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Mr. Wills: Land Registry is able to provide information on the total number of registered properties sold in each month from January 2009 to December 2009. As these figures are extracted using price paid data, no information is available for any properties which have not been sold. The only way to identify other changes of ownership would be to extract data regarding every application event over the time period asked for. This could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) mean and (b) median sale price in 2008-09 prices was of house sales registered with the Land Registry in each year since 2000. 
Mr. Wills: Land Registry is able to provide data on the mean price paid of all residential sales registered in each year since 2000. Details of the percentage change on annual average prices has been calculated on the basis of the 2008 calendar year prices as the RPI data covering the 2008-09 financial year are not yet available.
This question has been answered on the basis of recorded sales figures in England and Wales. Land Registry does not hold the information requested on median price paid and could not produce it except at disproportionate cost.
|Mean price paid in (£)||Mean price paid in £ (adjusted to 2008 prices)( 1)||RPI index (1987 = 100)|
|(1) Prices adjusted using the UK all items Retail Prices Index (RPI)|
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of working days lost per employee at (a) the Legal Services Commission and (b) the Youth Justice Board in the latest period for which figures are available; and what steps he is taking to reduce levels of staff absence at each body. 
Bridget Prentice: The average number of days taken as sickness absence at the Legal Services Commission during 2008-09 was 7.98 per employee. This has decreased from 9.17 in 2007-08 and 10.7 in 2006-07.
The LSC has been reviewing its absence policy year-on-year in order to reduce absence levels. The target for 2009-10 is 7.66 days (a 4 per cent. reduction on 2008-09). Following the most recent review in 2009, online training has been further developed to support managers and absence trigger points (where the return to work meeting between the manager and employee become a more formal process) have been lowered to seven days. An absence panel has been set up to review any long-term sickness absence and ensure support systems such as occupational health referrals, home visits and the employee assistance programme are in place.
No days are recorded as having been lost as a result of staff being unable to make it to work due to adverse weather conditions or travel disruption as it is the LSC's policy to give line managers the flexibility to authorise home working where appropriate or convert any absences in these circumstances into annual, flexible or special leave.
In 2008-09, the average number of days taken as sickness absence at the Youth Justice Board was 3.7 days per employee. It has a robust attendance management policy in place outlining clearly line managers' responsibilities to support staff, manage absence and the actions they need to take at different trigger points. This includes interventions at cumulative absence and consecutive absence points, the requirement to conduct documented "return to work" interviews, line manager and/or occupational health and welfare services contact and formalised case conferences.
The YJB's HR team works closely with line managers across the business to monitor instances of sickness absences and provide advice, support and interventions, where necessary, to reduce the level of sickness absence even further. Sickness absence figures are also included in the YJB's "Organisational Health Indicators".
In addition the YJB runs a health and well-being programme to encourage staff to be aware of the health and fitness and take steps to improve their well-being. This includes access to eye tests, cycle to work schemes, discounted gym memberships, advice on tackling stress and access to health screening.
No days are recorded as having been lost as a result of staff being unable to make it to work due to adverse weather conditions or travel disruption as it is the YJB's policy to give line managers the flexibility to authorise home working where appropriate or convert any absences in these circumstances into annual, flexible or special leave.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the reason for the cost of (a) IT for his Department and (b) the finance function for the British Council referred to in the publication Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government; and if he will make a statement. 
The figures reported in 'Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government' equate to costs of £115 million in running and maintaining the FCO IT estate in 2008-2009. This reflects the fact that the FCO operates over a substantial global network on behalf of the Government overseas and needs to conform to strict security standards. The figure also includes temporary costs related to the transformation of our IT platforms. We expect IT costs to reduce following completion of this transformation.
The figures reported in 'Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government' report were based on the British Council's published 2008-09 statutory accounts and include all UK and overseas transaction processing staff, corporate finance, management accounting, tax, treasury and training staff together with their share of IT and accommodation costs.
The British Council has embarked on a programme to double its cultural relations impact. This includes a global finance transformation project to ensure effective and efficient support services, which will deliver improved service quality and increased efficiency with significantly lower transactional costs.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. 
In December 2009, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and FCO Services (its Trading Fund) together paid 97.5 per cent. of invoices within 10 days. This performance is an increase of 27.2 per cent. points compared to November 2008, when 70.3 per cent. of invoices were paid within 10 days.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department and its agencies have the status of (a) embedded communicators and (b) are members of the Government Communications Network and are not listed in the Central Office of Information White Book. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. 
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many job vacancies in his Department and its agencies were filled through external recruitment in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will propose at the next meeting of the European Council at which the proposed inter-governmental conference is to be discussed, amendments under Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union to (a) assert the sovereignty of the UK and (b) ensure that the Declaration of Primacy No. 17 of the Lisbon Treaty shall not be deemed as being capable of being construed by UK courts as preventing Parliament (i) legislating expressly and inconsistently with and (ii) amending or overriding European legislation. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons he agreed at the meeting of the European Council in December
2009 to request that the European Parliament should not convene an intergovernmental conference; and if he will make it his policy to seek such a conference to be convened. 
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the UN in respect of the rules of engagement in the (a) Southern and (b) Northern No Fly Zones in Iraq between 1998 and 2002; 
Chris Bryant: During the period in question the Department had a number of discussions with the UN and allies on the No Fly Zones in Iraq. The zones, established in support of UN Security Council Resolution 688, were justified under international law in response to a situation of overwhelming humanitarian necessity due to Saddam Hussein's violent oppression of Iraq's minority communities. Between 1998 and 2002 Saddam Hussein waged a systematic campaign against UK (and US) aircraft carrying out patrols-violating the No Fly Zones-designed to prevent a return to the brutal repression of the Kurdish and other minorities in the north and the Shi'a in the south. Our aircraft were authorised to respond to attacks solely in self-defence. All such defensive action was strictly limited to proportional responses against Iraqi weapons and facilities that posed a direct threat to coalition forces. My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Lewis) will write to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley with more detail on the representations made between 1998 and 2002.
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