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Police: Pensions

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average payment per person to members of the police pension scheme was in 2008; [232824]

(2) how many individuals belong to the (a) old and (b) new police pension scheme. [232825]

Mr. Coaker: The estimated average annual police pension paid to both former officers and dependants was £13,400 in 2007-08 (rounded to the nearest £100). This estimate is based on total spending on police pensions in England and Wales in 2007-08 and an estimate of the number of police pensioners at 1 April 2008 from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Police Estimates Statistics 2008-09.

Information on the number of members of the police pension schemes is not held centrally. However, virtually all serving officers are members of one of the schemes. Figures in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series “Police Service Strength, England and Wales” (available at

and in the Library) suggest that there were 12,266 officers eligible for membership of the new police pension scheme 2006 and 129,593 eligible for membership of the police pension scheme 1987 at 31 March 2008.

Repatriation: Finance

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the average cost of (a) assisting an individual to return voluntarily to their country of origin and (b) deporting an individual to the same country. [231408]

Mr. Woolas: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Assisted voluntary returns have been identified as a cost effective method of returning people to their country of origin by the National Audit Office report on 'Returning
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failed asylum applicants'. (Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General HC 76, Session 2005-2006, 19 July 2005) which noted that the cost of a voluntary return was approximately 10 per cent. of the cost of an enforced removal.

The average cost of a return under the Assisted Voluntary Return for Irregular Migrants (AVRIM) programme is approximately £900.

(b) The National Audit Office report put the cost of an enforced removal at £11,000.

Roads: Accidents

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many road accident frauds were reported to the police in each of the last five years. [232317]

Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 3 November 2008]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Such frauds cannot be separately identified in the Home Office recorded crime statistics.

Telecommunications: Databases

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether local authorities will be given access to the database of communications that will be introduced via the forthcoming Communications Data Bill. [232674]

Mr. Coaker: I have announced that, prior to any legislation, we will be launching a consultation on options for maintaining the ability of public authorities to have appropriate access to communications data, in the face of the challenge of changing technology.

Travelling People

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on county police forces moving transit Travellers to suitable sites in neighbouring local authorities but within the same police authority. [231005]

Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 28 October 2008]: Government policy on powers to deal with unauthorised encampments by transit Travellers is set out in the “Guide to effective use of enforcement powers” issued in 2006 jointly by the Home Office and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Government agree with the conclusions of the Final Report of the Independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement for Gypsies and Travellers published in December 2007 that existing enforcement powers are sufficient, and that the key to effective enforcement is adequate site provision. A change to powers to enable police to move transit Travellers to suitable sites in neighbouring local authorities risks de-incentivising adequate site provision.


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Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Banks: Regulation

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will review the recommendations of the Better Regulation Executive on banking in light of the events in the banking sector in mid September. [225954]

Ian Pearson: The Better Regulation Executive has made no specific recommendations on banking. It will continue in its role supporting and challenging Government Departments and regulators, including HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, to deliver regulation which is effective, risk-based and proportionate.

Financial Institutions: Public Appointments

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the directors appointed by the Government to the boards of (a) Northern Rock and (b) Bradford and Bingley are subject to the duties on directors set out in sections 170 to 177 of the Companies Act 2006. [230780]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 27 October 2008]: The directors are subject to the usual provisions of the Companies Act on general duties of directors.

Financial Services: EC Action

Ann Winterton: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 357W, on financial services: EU action, which European Union legislative instruments implement mark to market in the full range of its applications, including trading in securities and other financial instruments. [232352]

Ian Pearson: Under Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of international accounting standards, companies governed by the law of an EU member state, whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market in any EU member state, must prepare their consolidated accounts in conformity with international accounting standards (IAS) adopted by the European Commission under the Regulation. Under UK law implementing an option in the Regulation such companies may prepare their individual accounts, and other companies may prepare either individual or consolidated accounts in accordance with EC adopted IAS.

Under Commission Regulation (EC) No 1725/2003, IAS 39 (financial instruments: recognition and measurement) and IFRS 7 (financial instruments: disclosure) were adopted. That Commission Regulation was amended on 15 October 2008 by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1004/2008.

International Accounting Standard 39, International Financial Reporting Standard 7 and Reclassification of Financial Assets (Amendments to IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement and IFRS
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7 Financial Instruments: Disclosures) are all published by the International Accounting Standards Board and the EU.

UK companies which do not prepare their accounts in accordance with EC adopted IAS must do so in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 (previously the Companies Act 1985) and regulations made under it. Those provisions implement the following EC Directives which contain valuation rules, including valuation on a mark to market basis:

UK companies which do not prepare their accounts in accordance with EC adopted IAS must do so in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 (previously the Companies Act 1985) and Regulations made under it. Such companies will follow UK accounting standards. The UK accounting standards covering Financial Instruments, i.e. FRS 26 (IAS 39) Financial Instruments: recognition and measurement and FRS 29 Financial Instruments: disclosures, are fully converged with their BFRS equivalents, and so there should be little difference in the accounting treatment of these items in company financial statements for UK companies using UK GAAP or IFRS.

Petrol: Prices

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps are being taken to seek to ensure the stability of the price of petrol. [229388]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have been asked to reply.

Competitive markets are the best means to ensure efficient petrol retailing. The Office of Fair Trading monitors the UK petrol market to ensure competitive pricing. Consumers are best placed to support suppliers who provide lower prices. Ministers have urged consumers to use their power.

The Government charge fuel duty at a fixed rate per litre. Duty currently accounts for approximately half of the retail petrol price (including duty and VAT) and, consequently, petrol prices are considerably less volatile (in percentage change terms) than the underlying prices of wholesale petrol and crude oil.

The Government recognise the recent instability in the oil price and are committed to continuing the dialogue between producers and consumers to enable a better functioning global oil market. Through the work of the Prime Minister's Global Energy Initiative, the London Energy Meeting in December 2008 will bring Energy Ministers together from across the world to discuss these issues.

Postage Stamps: Design

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance he provides to the Royal Mail on stamp design; and if he will make a statement. [229389]


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Mr. McFadden: Decisions relating to Royal Mail’s operational matters, which include decisions on stamp designs, are the direct responsibility of the company.

The company has a well-established process for choosing its stamp designs. Its own researchers examine all major anniversaries over a five-year period and give careful consideration to any suggestions from organisations or members of the public. Royal Mail receives around 2,000 suggestions for stamp designs every year.

The subjects selected for commemoration on stamps are carefully researched and briefs formulated for the company’s in-house design team. These specialist staff commission designers, illustrators, photographers and other image makers to respond to the brief, given the unique parameters of a postage stamp. A selection of designs is then reviewed by the company’s Stamp Advisory Committee to ensure balance and diversity before the finalised designs are put before Her Majesty the Queen for approval.

Retail Trade

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what business support his Department makes available to the retail sector; what assessment he has made of future trends in demand for such services; and if he will make a statement. [229309]

Ian Pearson: Retail enterprises, both at start-up and when established, can access a wide range of BERR and other publicly funded business support products via Business Link. Business Link provides impartial information that helps customers diagnose their needs and identify solutions and support providers in the public and private sector. The service can be accessed through the website:

by telephone on 0845 6009006 or through the network of advisers based in England.

The Government announced on 22 October a package of further support to help small and medium sized businesses to bear the impact of the current global economic challenges, including free “Health Checks” for businesses through Business Link, and advice on financial management, cash flow and securing finance. Details of the full range of measures and how to access them can be obtained from Business Link.

The Department continually assesses the demand for its business support services and through the Business Support Simplification Programme aims to streamline publicly funded business support to make schemes targeted, focussed and measurable, so increasing take-up, impact and value for money.

Justice

Antisocial Behaviour: Fixed Penalties

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 884W, on public order offences: young people, (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the evaluation of the pilot project for
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the use of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) for 10 to 15 year olds; and for what reasons some police forces continue to issue PNDs to juveniles; [222984]

(2) how many penalty notices for disorder have been issued to 10 to 15 year olds in each year since 2005; if he will make a statement on the issuing of penalty notices for disorder to 10 to 15 year olds; what recent assessment he has made of the outcome of the pilot project in the seven pilot police force areas; and when the evaluation of the pilot projects will be published. [226024]

Mr. Hanson: The evaluation report on penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) for 10 to 15-year-olds was published today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House. The report will include data covering the number of PNDs issued during the pilots. Some of the police forces involved in the pilots have continued to use PNDs for 10 to 15-year-olds because, as the evaluation shows, they are an effective tool for dealing with certain offences. We continue to discuss the learning from the evaluation report with key stakeholders.

Community Legal Advice

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what cost was incurred in changing the name of Community Legal Service Direct to Community Legal Advice; how much of this cost was spent on advertising the change of name; and if he will make a statement. [232082]

Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) changed the name of Community Legal Service Direct to Community Legal Advice (CLA) in November 2007. The LSC spent £8,836 on producing the Community Legal Advice logo and the guidelines for using it. The LSC did not use paid-for advertising to promote the name change.

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reason Community Legal Service Direct changed its name to Community Legal Advice; and if he will make a statement. [232086]

Bridget Prentice: On 12 November 2007, Community Legal Service Direct changed its name to Community Legal Advice for two main reasons.

1. Client research demonstrated that clients wanted a clearer name that better described the service offered. Various names were tested with clients. The most popular was ‘Community Legal Advice’.

2. The LSC wanted to develop a clear brand, based on a single name, for both the existing telephone and website services, and the new Community Legal Advice centres and networks being set up across the country. The single name makes it clear to clients that all the advice services come from the same reliable source, whether they are delivered by telephone, website, leaflet or face to face. It also gives the LSC greater flexibility for the future to add new ways of delivering Community Legal Advice services without having to develop any new branding.


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