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There were also a number of smaller payments made, amounting to no more than £3 million in total in any one year.

In addition, English Partnerships, an NDPB sponsored by Communities and Local Government, provided funding of £0.4 million to Lancashire county council in 2005-06 in respect of Whittingham hospital. Amounts paid by English Partnerships in other years were negligible.

Information on public expenditure by region is published in “Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2008 (HC 489).”

Office for National Statistics: Finance

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 11 June 2008, on the Migration Impacts Plan, whether the £12 million programme led by the Office for National Statistics to improve population and migration data entails additional monies and new activities or whether it is part of the Office for National Statistics’ ongoing Improving Migration and Population Statistics Project. [211465]

Mr. Dhanda: The £12-million funding announced over a three-year period comprises additional resources that the Office for National Statistics has itself committed, that are on top of the resources it was already planning to spend on an ongoing basis to improve its population and migration statistics, and new contributions from Government Departments. The programme includes new activities, as well as some extensions to existing work.

Ordnance Survey: Manpower

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many qualified solicitors Ordnance Survey employs (a) part-time and (b) full-time in its legal department. [211220]

Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Survey currently employs six full-time and two part-time qualified solicitors in its legal department.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are employed by Ordnance Survey (a) part-time and (b) full-time in (i) an account management and (ii) a sales role. [211221]

Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Survey employs 63 full-time staff employed in a sales role of whom 37 are account managers. No part-time staff are employed in these roles.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many permanent and contract staff at Ordnance Survey (OS) are involved in drafting and reviewing OS licences. [211222]

Mr. Iain Wright: Ordnance Survey has three permanent qualified solicitors who each spend approximately 25 per cent. of their time drafting or amending Ordnance Survey's licences for its products. Ordnance Survey has
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one permanent paralegal who spends approximately 60 per cent. of their time populating standard licence agreements. Ordnance Survey also has four permanent Licence Development Managers who each spend approximately 50 per cent. of their time working on proposals to develop new, or to amend existing, licences.

Regional Spatial Strategies: Green Belt

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what changes to green belt designation the (a) draft South East Regional Spatial Strategy and (b) inspector's report proposes; and in which locations in the South East would designated green belt be reviewed or removed. [211378]

Mr. Dhanda: The draft Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East made no recommendations for a review of the green belt. The Independent Panel Report, published in August 2007, made recommendations regarding a selective review of green belt boundaries in;

It also recommended boundary review in the area of the former ‘Defence Evolution and Research Agency’ site at Chertsey and smaller scale local reviews in other locations, including around Redhill-Reigate.

The Secretary of State is currently considering the recommendations of the Panel Report.

Somerset County Council: Manpower

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the workforce of Somerset county council was in each of the last five years. [211433]

Mr. Dhanda: The full-time equivalent staff numbers as at March each financial year are:

Staff numbers











(1 )Includes all adult learning tutors.

Swimming: Finance

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department is contributing to the £140 million fund announced on 6 June 2008 to encourage local authorities to provide free swimming. [211451]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 16 June 2008]: The Department for Communities and Local Government will contribute £5 million in 2009-10 and 2010-11—a total of £10 million.

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Travelling People: Caravan Sites

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the area of land (a) in total and (b) per Traveller which needs to be provided for Travellers in (i) England, (ii) the South West, (iii) Devon and (iv) the National Parks. [211523]

Mr. Iain Wright: Communities and Local Government published a good practice guide on designing Gypsy and Traveller sites on 15 May which recognises that there is no one-size-fits-all measurement for pitches on which Gypsy and Traveller families occupying caravans on public sites live. However, in “Common Ground: Equality, good race relations and sites for Gypsies and Travellers” the Commission for Racial Equality estimated that less than one square mile of land was needed to provide accommodation for Gypsy and Traveller caravans on unauthorised sites in the whole of England.

Travelling People: East of England

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what studies of movements in the Gypsy and Traveller population her Department undertook ahead of the consultation on the single issue review of the East of England Regional Spatial Strategy. [211911]

Mr. Iain Wright: The draft proposals prepared by the East of England regional assembly (EERA) were informed by the completion of Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAAs) prepared by the local authorities in the region. The Department published guidance in October 2007 on the preparation of GTAAs. The guidance highlights the need to take account of the mobility of Gypsies and Travellers between areas, and that partnership working should help to develop a better understanding of migration into, out of, and within the survey area.

The EERA proposals will be subject to an Examination in Public commencing in October 2008.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projections have been made of the growth of the Gypsy and Traveller population in the east of England by (a) 2011 and (b) 2050. [211951]

Mr. Iain Wright: The East of England regional assembly has prepared a single issue review on “Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation” in the East of England. The draft strategy considers the need for Gypsy and Traveller sites up to 2011. After 2011, the strategy proposes that provision should be made on the basis of an annual increase of 3 per cent. in the level of overall pitch provision. This draft strategy was subject to public consultation earlier this year and will be considered at an Examination in Public in October 2008.

There has been no projection of the growth of the Gypsy and Traveller population in the East of England by 2050.

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Home Department


Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals have been received from (a) EU partners and (b) EU institutions on (i) a common EU list of safe countries of origin, (ii) harmonisation of member state criteria for asylum and (iii) a central EU asylum office; what the Government's policy is on such proposals; and if she will make a statement. [211271]

Mr. Byrne: The Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) and the Tampere European Council (1999) committed member states to a broad range of measures towards establishing a Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Components forming the first phase of the CEAS have been agreed, including the Asylum Procedures Directive (2005/85/EC).

Article 29 of which contains provisions for a minimum common list of third countries regarded as safe countries of origin. An EU list could be established following a successful vote under qualified majority vote by Council but to-date no proposals for the countries that could form an EU list have been made.

Criteria establishing minimum standards for the granting of international protection status are contained with the Qualification Directive (2004/83/EC).

The Hague Programme (November 2004) started the second phase of the CEAS process. The European Commission presented a Communication on Strengthened Practical Cooperation in the area of Asylum (February 2006) and a Green Paper on the future CEAS (June 2007). The latter sought the views of interested parties on the future direction of the CEAS, including the possible development of a European Support Office to oversee all forms of cooperation between member states. No proposals have been made as yet and when they are we will judge them on their individual merits. The European Commission will shortly present a policy plan on asylum for further discussion, a copy of which will be deposited with the appropriate Committees in both Houses for scrutiny. We retain the right to opt-in to future proposals for legislative measures on a case-by-case basis and will do so where it is in the UK's interests.

Borders: Personal Records

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what total saving the e-Borders programme is expected to generate for the public purse. [211108]

Mr. Byrne: e-Borders is an evolutionary system of intelligent passenger management that will improve the security, efficiency and effectiveness of the UK's borders. Amongst other benefits, it will allow the border agencies to:

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The use of e-Borders (over existing systems) is expected to generate projected savings for the Government of approximately £692 million over 25 years.

The financial costs of implementing e-Borders may outweigh the financial benefits; however e-Borders is about more than financial gains.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the projected total cost is of the e-Borders programme. [211109]

Mr. Byrne: The current projected total cost of the e-Borders programme is £1.2 billion.

The projected costs of £1.2 billion include Semaphore and IRIS while they were pilot projects.

This figure also includes both capital and revenue forecast to the end of the contract, and actual costs from the start of the programme in 2004 up to the end of 2007-08.

British Nationality (Honorary Citizenship) Bill

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what files are held by her Department on the British Nationality (Honorary Citizenship) Bill of Session 1988-89; and if she will make a statement. [210528]

Mr. Byrne: There is a UK Border Agency file which holds papers produced when this Bill, which sought to give honorary British nationality to any individual for outstanding humanitarian services in Hungary between July 1944 and January 1945, was introduced in 1989.

At the current time, the British Nationality Act 1981 provides for the acquisition of British citizenship for those who have a close and continuing connection with the United Kingdom. The Green Paper ‘The Path to Citizenship’, contains proposals to extend this further by setting out the need for those wishing to become naturalised to speak English, spend minimum periods contributing economically and being self-sufficient, obeying the law and joining in with the community. We are not intending to make any changes which would enable a person to acquire citizenship on an honorary basis.

British Nationality: Assessments

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is responsible for determining the questions asked as part of the Life in the UK Test; and whether she plans to endorse particular publications as recommended revision materials for those taking the Test. [211649]

Mr. Byrne: Questions asked in the Life in the UK test were drawn up by experts in computer-based assessment from Ufi (the organisation that holds the current contract for providing the testing service) and representatives from the Advisory Board for Naturalisation and Integration. The current database of test questions was approved by Ministers.

Test questions are based on the official handbook “Life in the UK: A Journey to Citizenship” which contains everything applicants need to know in order to take the test. This is the only publication we endorse.

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Communications Directorate

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the function is of her Department’s (a) Stakeholder Strategy Unit and (b) Strategy and Insight Unit within the Communication Directorate; and how many staff work in each. [210837]

Mr. Byrne: The function of the Stakeholder Strategy Unit is to improve the way the Home Office works with and listens to its stakeholders, supporting Ministers, the Home Office Board and business units on all aspects of partnership working, seven staff work in the unit.

The Strategy and Insight Unit lead in the development of the central Home Office communications strategy, acting as the central hub for communication planning research, audience insight and campaign evaluation. They provide strategic communications planning advice to teams embedded within delivery groups/agencies and the Communication Directorate, five staff work in the unit.

Departmental Accountancy

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department's (a) chart of accounts and (b) resource account codes and usage descriptions for the 2008-09 financial year. [210994]

Mr. Byrne: A copy of the Department's chart of accounts has been placed in the Library. The resource account codes and usage descriptions are an inherent part of the chart of accounts and have not been placed separately.

The chart of accounts for 2008-09 reflects the Department's structure for the year and will not necessarily reflect the 2007-08 structure, or that for future years. The chart shows the relationship between parent codes (used for preparing resource accounts) and children codes (used for more detailed management purposes). Each code has a brief description that describes its use.

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