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22 Apr 2009 : Column 759W—continued


The Department for Transport has invited the UK Roads Liaison Group to review the lessons learnt from the recent salt supply difficulties, including whether prioritisation arrangements could be improved, should it operate in the future. Gloucestershire county council are to be represented on the steering group for the review.

Speed Limits: Cameras

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what requirements there are upon local authorities to install signs alerting motorists to the presence of speed cameras. [269885]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Department for Transport circular 01/2007 provides guidance to local authorities on the deployment, visibility and signing of speed and red light cameras. This came into effect on 1 April 2007 and recommends the use of camera warning signs where permitted and practicable. The signing is contained in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) and its use is not mandatory. However, in order for a speed limit to be enforced all speed limit signing must be lawful and correct and in accordance with TSRGD. The guidance was placed in the Library of the House and is also available on the Department's website.

Tower Bridge

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the (a) legislative and (b) administrative requirements for Tower Bridge to be raised on demand for the passage of vessels. [268996]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Under the 1885 Corporation of London (Tower Bridge) Act the Corporation is responsible for the administration and operation of Tower Bridge. The Act states that priority must be given to vessels and it is for the Corporation to decide whether to review these requirements.

Bridge operators are aware of the impact bridge lifts have upon local traffic and work to minimise disruption. Certain strict criteria must be met before vessels are allowed to pass through the bridge.


22 Apr 2009 : Column 760W

Transport Innovation Fund

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities have submitted bids for Transport Innovation Fund funding; and for what projects each is bidding. [270127]

Paul Clark: So far Transport Innovation Fund Proposals have been submitted by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities but, following a local referendum, they have decided not to proceed with them. We continue to work with a number of other authorities as they consider their congestion problems and the role that demand management, including road pricing, alongside better public transport could play in tackling them and, if appropriate, develop proposals.

Wind Power: Planning Permission

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many objections to proposals for the development of on-shore wind farms were lodged by the Highways Agency in each year since 2004. [269220]

Paul Clark: Since 2004 the Highways Agency has objected on road safety grounds to four proposals for the development of on-shore wind farms: one in 2005 and three in 2007.

Treasury

Banks: Ireland

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the number of British nationals who had money deposited with (a) Bank of Ireland and (b) Anglo Irish Bank in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement; [270269]

(2) what advice he has given to British nationals with money deposited with (a) the Bank of Ireland and (b) the Anglo Irish Bank in the event of a default; and if he will make a statement. [270229]

Ian Pearson: As a matter of course, HM Treasury does not comment on individual financial institutions.

Work and Pensions

Asbestos

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many prosecutions the Health and Safety Executive has brought against local authorities in respect of incidents involving asbestos in each of the last three years. [268413]

Jonathan Shaw: The number of prosecutions brought by the Health and Safety Executive against individual local authorities in respect of incidents involving asbestos in each of its last three work years for which figures are available is shown in the following table.


22 Apr 2009 : Column 761W

Number of prosecutions

2005-06

2

2006-07

0

2007-08

4


For the six authorities prosecuted, more than one charge was brought in every case. That is a total of 14 separate charges resulting in a conviction with one finding of not guilty.

Carer's Allowance

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of an annual increase in the earnings limit for carer's allowance of (a) £5, (b) £7.50, (c) £10, (d) £12.50, (e) £15, (f) £17.50, (g) £20, (h) £22.50 and (i) £25 in each of the next six years; [246724]

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of increasing the earnings limit in carer's allowance by (a) £10 per week, (b) £20 per week and (c) £50 per week; and if he will estimate the number of people who would become entitled to the benefit in each case. [260121]

Jonathan Shaw: Robust evidence on the possible behavioural effects from adjusting the earnings limit for carer's allowance is not available and we are therefore not able to estimate accurately the costs for extending the earnings limit for the specified amounts.

We recognise the importance of supporting carers who want to combine work with caring. However, we also need to maintain a balance between the income of carers on benefits who can combine paid work with caring, and those who cannot.

Children: Maintenance

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how much the Child Support Agency spent on paternity tests in each of the last five years; [265860]

(2) how many requests for DNA paternity tests were lodged with the Child Support Agency by non-resident fathers in each of the last five years; and how many such requests were granted; [265868]

(3) on what grounds the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission may decline to carry out a paternity test on the request of a presumed non-resident father. [265870]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system including the Child Support Agency. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


22 Apr 2009 : Column 762W
Child Support Agency—DNA testing

CSA spend on DNA tests( 1 ) (£ million) Number of DNA tests taken( 2)

2003-04

0.67

2,444

2004-05

0.55

2,888

2005-06

0.54

2,454

2006-07

0.39

3,602

2007-08

0.45

3,474

(1) Includes refunds for DNA tests privately funded. The Agency is unable to separately identify receipts collected from non-resident parents for Agency funded tests where paternity was proven. In normal circumstances, a full refund would be made if an alleged non-resident parent paid for a test privately and was proven not to be the father.
(2) Includes information on the number of DNA test undertaken on behalf of the Child Support Agency. Does not include those tests taken independently on behalf of either parent.

Citibank

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2009, Official Report, column 861W, on departmental bank services, what the (a) purpose and (b) monetary value is of the contract between his Department and Citibank. [268308]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department’s contract with Citibank is for the payment of pensions and benefits to customers living overseas.

The value of the contract is commercially confidential.


22 Apr 2009 : Column 763W

Departmental ICT

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to address the effect on levels of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department of its ICT purchases since the publication of the Greening Government ICT Strategy; and if he will make a statement. [269567]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department does not own its IT equipment, it is provided under contractual arrangements with the Department’s IT suppliers.

The Department has made great inroads in reducing its carbon footprint through active management of its IT services, since the end of 2005 when it re-aligned its contracts with BT and EDS. This work is continuing.

In the summer of 2008 the Department announced its strategy to re-compete its existing contracts over a five year period. A key element of this future contracting strategy is to contractually commit the IT providers to reduce the carbon footprint of the services they deliver to the Department.

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average server capacity utilisation by each division of his Department was in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [269589]

Jonathan Shaw: Under the Department’s contractual arrangements with its IT suppliers the Department pays only for the IT services it uses, providing the maximum value for money for the taxpayer.

The Department’s IT suppliers provide the required capacity based on quarterly forecasts of the projected use of the Department’s computer systems.

In this way the Department’s IT suppliers are encouraged to ensure that the equipment they provide and its capacity is sufficient for the Department’s consumption needs but that any excess capacity is minimised as it remains the responsibility of the IT supplier.

The information is not available in the format required and to provide it would be at disproportionate cost.

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) printers and (b) multi-function devices with printing functions were in use in each division of his Department in each of the last five years; how many such devices had a function enabling two-sided printing; and if he will make a statement. [269617]

Jonathan Shaw: A total of 15,260 printers have been installed within the Department for Work and Pensions in the last five financial years. The breakdown per year is as follows:

Number

2004-05

4,260

2005-06

2,157

2006-07

1,256

2007-08

5,975

2008-09

(1)1,628

(1) Including 16 multi-function devices.

22 Apr 2009 : Column 764W

All printers and multi-function devices installed during this period have either automatic or manual two-sided print capability, apart from a total of 5,089 printers which are installed within customer facing Jobpoint Kiosks (typically in customer areas of Jobcentre Plus offices). They were installed as follows:

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of IT products in each category procured for each division of his Department were compliant with the Government’s Buy Sustainable-Quick Win standard in the latest year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [269641]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department does not own its IT equipment, it is provided under contractual arrangements with the Department’s IT suppliers.

All the 122,558 personal computers and monitors deployed as part of the Department’s most recent desktop refresh meet the Class Leader Specification Requirements.

All 8,903 laptop computers deployed as part of that refresh meet at least the Minimum Specification Requirements.

In the summer of 2008 the Department announced its strategy to re-compete its existing contracts over a five year period. As part of this future contracting strategy the Department is mandating compliance with the Quick Wins Criteria for any appropriate equipment deployed as part of a managed service.


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