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27 Oct 2008 : Column 689W—continued


Women: Violence

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of the (a) nature and (b) extent of violence against women; and if she will make a statement. [229882]

Maria Eagle: In July the Minister for Women and Equality published “Women's Changing Lives: Priorities for the Ministers for Women One Year On Progress Report”. In this report the Government assess the nature and extent of violence against women at length, and detail the significant progress made by Government on tackling violence against women and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women.

More recently the Home office, with the support of my Department, announced that they are undertaking a scoping project to audit current activity to tackle violence against women, identify gaps in delivery and look for opportunities to join up more strategically at a national and local level.

“Women's Changing Lives” and the earlier report, “Tackling Violence Against Women: a Cross-Government Narrative”, are both available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent progress has been made in the Government's work to reduce levels of violence against women; and if she will make a statement. [229883]

Maria Eagle: In July the Minister for Women and Equality published “Women's Changing Lives: Priorities for the Ministers for Women One Year On Progress Report” which details the significant progress made by Government on tackling violence against women and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women. It highlights a number of measures taken to reduce levels of violence against women, including:

Rolling out multi-agency risk assessment conferences across the country to reduce repeat incidents of domestic violence. MARACs are currently operational in 100 areas, and will be rolled out nationally by 2010-11.

Implemented a range of changes to the legal system and to how the police and Crown Prosecution Service work, which have resulted in women's increased willingness to report rape. Reporting of rape has increased since 1997, with the number of rapes reported to the police rising from 6,628 in 1997 to 12,654 in 2007-08.


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Criminalised all forms of human trafficking and secured 86 convictions for trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act. Since publication, this number has increased to 90 convictions (as of September 2008).

This and the earlier report, “Tackling Violence Against Women: a Cross-Government Narrative” chart the progress made by Government, and are both available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Construction

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what the original estimate for building cost inflation in the Olympic Construction Budget was for each year to 2012; and what the most recent estimate is for each such year. [229334]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 23 October 2008]: The funding envelope of £9.325 billion assumed construction inflation of 6 per cent. per annum. The current but as yet unsubstantiated estimates of inflation indicate a downward trend but in view of the present volatility, the Olympic Delivery Authority advise that a further six months procurement data will be required before any reasonably accurate assessment can be made. Any savings as a result of lower construction inflation will help to offset cost increases.

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics with reference to the answer of 26 March 2007, Official Report, column 1250W, on the Olympic Games, whether the £290 million, referred to in the answer as the investment in elite and community sport within the non-Olympic Delivery Authority provision public sector funding package for the Games' is in addition to the funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer's elite athlete funding package of March 2006; and if she will make a statement. [229337]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 23 October 2008]: Yes. The £290 million I announced in 2003 is separate from the funding announced by the Chancellor in March 2006. The £290 million is the Home Country Sports Councils’ contribution to elite and community sport as part of the overall Olympic budget. It is for each of these Sports Councils to determine how their contribution will be spent. The Chancellor's package confirmed £200 million of additional exchequer funding for UK Sport to be distributed to our Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes up to London 2012, supported by £300 million of lottery investment and £100 million from the private sector.

Olympic Games 2012: Wales

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Minister for the Olympics which organisations based in Wales have been awarded contracts by the Olympic Delivery Authority; what the value of each such contract is; and what work has been commissioned or goods and services procured under each such contract. [228436]


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Tessa Jowell [holding answer 20 October 2008]: To date, four businesses or organisations registered in Wales have been awarded contracts by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). These are;

These were awarded for leisure, media, and business services. I cannot disclose their values due to reasons of commercial confidentiality.

I am very keen to ensure that the games provide benefits that are felt nationally. The London 2012 Business Network has been developed to open up London 2012 supply chains and spread these opportunities to business across the country. The CompeteFor system, a key component of this, is a matching service for buyers and suppliers.

In June, the ODA and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) visited Wales to raise awareness of current and future business opportunities and the importance of registering on CompeteFor. Also, I can tell you that Welsh businesses and officials from the Welsh Assembly will be visiting the Olympic park for a briefing session with the ODA on 27 October.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Departmental Civil Service Agencies

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many agencies were sponsored by his Department or its predecessor in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 1997-98. [228505]

Mr. Simon: The “Next Steps Report 1997” (Cm3889) provides information on all Executive Agencies as at 31 December 1997. Copies are available from the Library of the House. The most up-to-date list of Executive Agencies is published in the Cabinet Office publication “The List of Ministerial Responsibilities”. The latest version, incorporating recent ministerial changes, will be published shortly. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Higher Education: Research

Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what criteria are used to take decisions on allocation of quality related research funding. [228636]

Mr. Lammy: Within England, quality related research funding (QR) is allocated and distributed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The overall criterion for HEFCE QR funding is to fund excellent research wherever it is found. There are a number of components to QR funding as set out in the following table:


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The components of quality-related research funding

£ million

Mainstream QR allocated to reflect the quality and volume of research at institutions in different subjects

919.8

Research degree programme supervision fund

199.0

Charity support element

184.9

Business research element

61.7

London weighting

28.7

“Best 5” allocation

24.5

Supplementary funding to maintain QR in real terms

11.9

Special funding for research libraries

5.9


The criteria for mainstream QR are quality (as determined by research assessment exercises—RAE), volume, and subject cost weighting. There are three subject cost weightings: high cost laboratory and clinical subjects, intermediate cost subjects and other.

HEFCE measure the volume of research in each unit of assessment using three separate components. These volume components apply for departments rated four or above in the RAE and are weighted as follows:

More detailed information on allocation of funding is set out in HEFCE publication 2007/20 “Funding higher education in England: How HEFCE allocates its funds”, available on the HEFCE website:

Mr. Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much quality related funding was awarded in the last funding round to universities to support (a) five star, (b) four star, (c) three star, (d) two star and (e) one star research. [228639]

Mr. Lammy: Quality related (QR) funding in 2008-9 is allocated on the basis of the 2001 RAE. Scores in that exercise range from 1 to 5*. The amount of funding allocated at each rating level are as follows:

2001 RAE rating 2008-09 HEFCE research funding (£ million) Percentage of total

1

0.0

0.0

2

0.0

0.0

3b

0.6

0.0

3a

0.9

0.1

4

190.9

14.1

5

650.2

48.1

5*

509.8

37.7

Total England

1,352.4

100.0


Figures only include funding streams that are allocated at the departmental level. These are: mainstream QR; research degree programme supervision funds; London extra costs; ‘best 5star' funds; and charities support funds.


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Higher Education: Standards

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the performance of English universities against international benchmarks; and if he will make a statement. [229983]

Mr. Lammy: The UK higher education system is internationally renowned for its high quality, high graduate employability and high student satisfaction. There is no recognised international benchmarking system for universities although a number of unofficial ranking systems have emerged which consistently recognise the UK HE system as world leading, second only to the United States. An indication of the attractiveness of the UK HE system is the continued success our institutions have in recruiting international students. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's “Education at a Glance” 2008 published in September, the UK remains the most attractive destination, excepting the United States, for international students.

Innovators Growth Programme

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what projects have been supported by the £3 million Innovators Growth Programme; and when he expects the programme to establish its first sector pilots. [227180]

Mr. Lammy: The Innovators Growth Programme, run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), encourages innovation in small and medium sized enterprises in the creative sector.

Pilots for the “Digital Innovation in Film”, “Digital Convergence” and “Raise the Game” projects were launched in March, May and July 2008 respectively.

The pilot for the “Creative Business Catalyst” is scheduled to start this month (October 2008) and the pilot for “Creative Business Mentor Network” will start in November 2008.

The Innovators Growth Programme has also funded the “London Fashion Designer Economy Research” to help inform a future project in this area.

Intellectual Property: Internet

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to require internet service providers and rights holders to co-operate in taking action on illegal file sharing as discussed in the cross-departmental report, New Talents for the New Economy. [227177]

Mr. Lammy: As the hon. Member will be aware, work in this area is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, in close co-operation with DIUS and DCMS. The Government are determined to ensure that the problem of illegal file sharing is tackled. As to whether legislation is needed, it has not yet made any such assessment, but is awaiting the results of the current consultation on legislative options, including
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our preferred approach of co-regulation, which closes on the 30 October. That assessment will take into account the work that is going ahead on a voluntary basis to tackle unlawful peer-to-peer file-sharing under the auspices of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the biggest internet service providers, major music and film players, and Government.

Midwives: Training

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many midwifery educationalists there were in higher education institutions in England in each year since 1997. [230909]

Mr. Lammy: This information is not held centrally.


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