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Serious Organised Crime Agency: Databases

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which local authorities have access to the Serious Organised Crime Agency's ELMER database; and what (a) personal and (b) property data are held on the ELMER database. [323964]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The Serious Organised Crime Agency has partnership agreements in place with three local authorities allowing accredited financial investigators access to ELMER through terminals housed in local police units. These are the London borough of Tower Hamlets Trading Standards Service and London Illegal Money Lending Team, Neath Port Talbot county borough council's Consumer Fraud Team, and Trading Standards within Glasgow city council.

The Elmer database only holds personal or property data that have been submitted to SOCA in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) by institutions or individuals fulfilling their obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Stroud constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2000. [321209]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Stroud comes within the Stroud Community Safety Partnership (CSP). Prior to 1 March 2010, CSPs were referred to as Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRP). The available statistical information therefore relates to the Stroud CSP.

In terms of police recorded crime in the Stroud CSP, between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime fell by 14 per cent. More specifically:

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Data prior to 2002-03 are not directly comparable because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. Additionally, no data at CSP level are available prior to 1998-99.

Cotswold and Stroud Basic Command Unit had 258 police officers as at 30 March 2009. The number of police officers has increased by one since 2003. Comparisons with 1997 for Cotswold and Stroud BCU are not available. There were 43 Police Community Support Officers as at 30 March 2009, whilst there were none in existence in 1997.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). From March 2010, CDRPs are referred to as Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs). The CSP has brought new ways of working in a cross-cutting way with the police, council and other key stakeholders and genuine partnership working to help tackle complex issues.

Stroud's Safer Community Team is one of five Inspector Neighbourhood Areas in the Cotswolds and Stroud Police Division. There are three police divisions within Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Stroud's Community Safety Partnership, the statutory multi-agency partnership with responsibility for community safety, is currently looking to move to one partnership with Cotswolds District Partnership. Geographical coverage of the new partnership will therefore coincide with the police division of Cotswolds and Stroud. Information on crime and antisocial behaviour in Cotswolds and Stroud is available on the Crimemapper website at:

Before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle antisocial behaviour but there are now a range of powers to deal with this issue. These include antisocial behaviour orders and designated public places orders (DPPO) from the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

On 2 December 2009, the Home Secretary and my right hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Denham) announced additional funding to develop neighbourhood partnership work to improve public confidence in dealing with issues that matter most in neighbourhoods. This Accelerated Neighbourhood Partnership Fund was targeted at those areas with significantly lower confidence than most similar areas. Stroud was given £41,700 from this fund.

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The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 Census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at:


Banks: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of (a) business and (b) personal customers in York with (i) bank accounts, (ii) mortgages and (iii) other investments with each financial institution in receipt of financial support from the public purse. [324224]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Neither HM Treasury nor UK Financial Investments collects or holds such information.

Council Tax: Valuation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the Valuation Office Agency's Council Tax Revaluation 2007 Programme Board minutes of 11 December 2003, paragraph 2, what tests took place in Guildford; in respect of data relating to which bodies the tests were undertaken; what technologies were tested; whether Guildford Borough Council was involved in the tests; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the reports of the tests. [324165]

Ian Pearson: The proposed testing to which reference was made in the minutes was not undertaken.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the Valuation Office Agency's Council Tax Revaluation 2007 Programme Board minutes of 18 January 2005, paragraph 8, what the estimated level of imputation of data in the 2007 council tax revaluation was in (a) absolute and (b) percentage terms. [324170]

Ian Pearson: There was no council tax revaluation in 2007 and no such estimate was made.

Departmental Coordination

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on identifying ways in which HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and other Government Departments can better maintain a core database of business identities referred to in the report on service transformation by Sir David Varney. [313939]

Mr. Timms: The initial focus for business taken from Sir David Varney's report on service transformation was to bring together in one place on the

website all the information and transactions businesses need in dealing with central Government. That work is due to complete by March 2011.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is now developing a common business identifier for use within the Department that will link business tax records held on different HMRC databases. This work will enable delivery of the
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enhanced online services for small and medium enterprises set out in paragraph 4.20, page 53 of Budget 2010, including providing businesses with a single view of their current financial relationship with HMRC.

The Government will consider the potential for extending HMRC's approach to other Departments.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department and its agencies has spent on promotional items carrying the Department's branding and logo in the last five years; and what such items were purchased. [324357]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The information requested is not readily available and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Telephone Services

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department awarded contracts for the provision of services relating to its general public inquiry telephone line. [324113]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The HM Treasury (HMT) general public enquiry telephone lines are operated by HMT staff as part of wider public-facing services and are therefore not subject to contractual agreements.

Film: Government Assistance

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on fraudulent claims for assistance made by film companies participating in the Enterprise Investment Scheme. [324142]

Ian Pearson: In the light of representations about access to tax relief outside the spirit of the Enterprise Investment Scheme, discussions are taking place between HM Treasury, HM Revenue and Customs and the EIS community.

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of fraudulent claims for assistance made by film companies participating in the Enterprise Investment Scheme. [324143]

Ian Pearson: No such estimate has been made.

Gift Aid

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009,
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Official Report, column 255W, on Gift Aid, what plans his Department has to amend Gift Aid (a) rules, (b) eligibility and (c) tax relief. [324203]

Ian Pearson: In February 2010, the Treasury set up a Gift Aid Forum, drawn from representatives across the charitable sector, to consider options for improving Gift Aid, informed by the recent donor research. The forum aims to come up with firm recommendations by the end of September 2010. It has a page on the HM Treasury website:

The Government have announced in the Budget that the UK's tax reliefs for charities and charitable giving, including Gift Aid, will be extended to certain EU charities, to comply with a recent European Court of Justice judgment. To help reduce the increased risk of fraudulent claims, HMRC proposes to introduce a number of changes to the Gift Aid process. These are set out in the HMRC Budget Note:

Government Departments: Cable and Wireless

Judy Mallaber: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the monetary value is of Government contracts with Cable & Wireless to supply internet services. [324101]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 25 March 2010]: Details of the monetary value of Government contracts with Cable and Wireless are not held centrally.

Government Departments: ICT

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to the public purse had been of the Office for Government Commerce Heavy Hitter Programme Delivery Director service on the latest date for which figures are available; on which IT projects each consultant contracted under that service worked; and what payments have been made to each such consultant for work undertaken in connection with that service. [318112]

Ian Pearson: The Programme Delivery Directors (PDDs) project was part of a wider initiative, Executive Support Service, launched in 2005 to improve the success rate of major projects. Two consultants were deployed as Programme Delivery Directors, as set out in the table. The costs involved were recovered by the organisations concerned. Both appointments were made following a comprehensive value for money assessment.

Project name Description Period of time deployed: June 2006 - December 2007 Daily r ate (£) Total cost minus T and S (£)

Youth Justice Board

Delivery Director Programme

260 days




Programme Delivery Director

188 days







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Housing: Prices

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average sale price of (a) a detached house, (b) a semi-detached house, (c) a terraced house, (d) a flat and (e) an average dwelling was in (i) England, (ii) each Government Office region and (iii) each local authority in England in (A) 1996-97 and (B) the latest period for which figures are available. [324829]

Ian Pearson: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) does not routinely calculate average sale price of properties in the geographic areas specified so the information requested cannot be provided without disproportionate cost. However, for over 100 separate locations in England, the VOA does publish, twice yearly in its Property Market Report, individual average price estimates of (a) a post-1960 detached house and (b) a post-1960 flat within a block of flats.

Copies of the Property Market Report are available in the House of Commons Library. The Property Market Report from 2001 onwards is also available electronically on the VOA website at:

Housing: Valuation

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an estimate of the average additional capital value attributed by the Valuation Office Agency to the presence of a conservatory in a dwelling when conducting (a) council tax, (b) Right to Buy and (c) inheritance tax valuations and revaluations. [324036]

Ian Pearson: No such estimate has been made, nor could one be made without disproportionate cost.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many dwellings have been valued by the Valuation Office Agency's automated valuation model to date. [324232]

Ian Pearson: Value estimates for approximately 22 million dwellings have been produced using the Valuation Office Agency's automated valuation model (AVM) technology. A precise figure cannot be given without disproportionate cost. Value estimates were produced during the preparatory work for the postponed 2007 council tax revaluation in England and have since been produced to support the ongoing maintenance of the investment made in AVM technology.

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