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24 Jun 2010 : Column 283W—continued

The Public Accounts Committee's Thirtieth Report-Tackling Problem Drug Use-published on 24 March contained a key conclusion that the Home Office evaluates
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the spending and effectiveness of measures aimed at tackling problem drug use. The Department's response will be published shortly as a Treasury Minute.

Entry Clearances

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when her Department plans to implement the decision in visit entry clearance appeals VA/15347/2009 and VA/15353/2009 (New Delhi references 2649457 and 8) which were allowed on 6 July 2009. [4154]

Damian Green: I confirm that the applicants have now been invited to submit their passports to the visa section in New Delhi, with a view to the visas being issued as soon as possible. The UK Border Agency regrets the delay in these cases.

Identity Cards

Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of sending notification letters to those who have purchased or applied for identity cards. [3816]

Mrs May [holding answer 22 June 2010]: The estimate for the cost of sending notification letters to all existing identity card holders is £20,000.

These costs include printing, postage and enclosure costs and the cost of secure extraction of names and addresses from the National Identity Register.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of her Department's staff to be redeployed as a consequence of the end of the identity card programme. [4178]

Damian Green: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 June 2010, Official Report, column 552W.

Immobilisation of Vehicles

Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring into force the provisions in the Crime and Security Act 2010 relating to regulation of the conduct of the private vehicle wheel-clamping industry; and if she will make a statement. [3991]

Lynne Featherstone: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 15 June 2010, Official Report, column 385W.

Offences against Children: Internet

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the subjects investigated under Operation Ore have been (a) charged and (b) convicted of offences related to the investigation; what the status of the investigation is; and if she will make a statement. [3798]

James Brokenshire: The investigations generated by Operation Ore were initiated as a consequence of nationally co-ordinated disseminations to local UK police forces.
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The decision to proceed to investigation on these cases was a matter for the relevant chief constable. Information on Operation Ore is not collated centrally on a routine basis.

However, from information supplied by UK police forces to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and its precursor agency, the National Crime Squad (NCS), more than 1,750 individuals were convicted, and another 700 people received a formal caution.

Police: Stun Guns

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the process of authorisation is for (a) acquisition, (b) possession and (c) use of Tasers by police. [3743]

Nick Herbert: In England and Wales, the acquisition, deployment and use of Tasers is an operational matter for chief officers of police. Conducted Energy Devices are classified as 'prohibited weapons' by virtue of section 5 Firearms Act 1968. Police officers in England and Wales while acting in their capacity as such, are exempt from the requirements of the legislation and do not need any additional legal authority to possess the Taser.

Taser is available to Authorised Firearms Officers (AFO) in England and Wales as a less lethal alternative for use in situations where a firearms authority has been granted in accordance with criteria laid down in the Association of Chief Police Officers Manual of Guidance on the Management, Command and Deployment of Armed Officers. Since 20 July 2007 Taser has been deployed by AFOs outside of a firearms authority where officers are facing violence or threats of violence of such severity that they would need to use force to protect the public, themselves and/or the subject(s). Since 1 December 2008, Taser is also used in similar circumstances by specially trained units who are not authorised firearms officers.

Rape: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested on suspicion of rape in Warrington in each of the last five years. [3827]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 22 June 2010]: The information requested on arrests is not available.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) at main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and sexual offences. It is not possible to separately identify arrests for individual offences such as rape.

Smuggling: Ports

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mandatory checks UK Border Agency staff carry out for (a) firearms, (b) drugs, (c) illegal entrants into the UK and (d) trafficked people at (i) Calais and (ii) other ports with ferry connections to the UK. [4159]

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Damian Green: Checks for firearms and drugs on passenger and freight traffic routed through all ports with ferry connections to the UK are conducted by the UK Border Agency on the basis of risk profiles and intelligence.

All passengers and crew entering the UK are examined for immigration purposes at all ferry ports. The UK Border Agency uses intelligence, trend and risk profile to identify illegal entrants and those who have been trafficked.

All Border Force officers undergo trafficking awareness training to help them identify those who might have been trafficked persons. If there are reasons to believe that a person has been trafficked the case is referred to the police.

The UK Border Agency at the channel ports utilises a range of technologies to search for people; heartbeat detectors, passive millmetric wave imaging, CO2 probes and body detection dogs.

The UK Border Agency, SOCA and police agencies on both sides of the channel have created a UK-France Joint Intelligence Unit which operates to crack down on the criminals behind illegal migration through Calais.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council England: Finance

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding from his Department the Arts Council holds in its reserves. [3556]

Mr Vaizey: The value of the Arts Council's reserves at 31 March 2009 stood at £18.4 million. Following the recent reductions to 2010-11 budgets, the Arts Council will use £9 million of its reserves in 2010-11 to mitigate the impact of these reductions on frontline arts organisations. It has also been agreed that a further £7 million of these reserves will be returned to DCMS. These measures mean that the Arts Council's reserves will be reduced to £2.4 million.

Bingo: Manpower

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of people who are employed in bingo clubs. [3980]

John Penrose: The information requested is available in the Gambling Commission Industry statistics. The latest data for 2008-09 is available at the following website:

Departmental Mobile Phones

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 148W, on departmental mobile phones, what the (a) purchase
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cost of the handset, (b) network provider, (c) type of tariff and (d) name of the supplier is of the mobile phone issued to each Minister in the Department. [3995]

John Penrose: The Department uses Nokia mobile phones and BlackBerrys, which are primarily used for data, although some do have the voice function enabled.

As two year contracts have been entered for the mobile phones and BlackBerrys, we have not incurred any costs for the handsets. Our mobile network provider is Vodafone and our BlackBerry provider is O2. Mobile phones are on the Teamwork Government tariff, and BlackBerrys are on the Standard tariff.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) how many of his Department's contracts with its suppliers are under review as a result of the recently announced reductions in public expenditure; and what the monetary value is of all such contracts which are under review; [3634]

(2) how many officials in his Department are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Department as a result of recently announced reductions in public spending; what savings are expected to accrue to his Department from such renegotiations; how much expenditure his Department will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. [3656]

John Penrose: The work to review and renegotiate contracts will be taken forward over the coming months, led by the Department's existing procurement team of three staff and supported by colleagues who are users of the goods or services involved in individual contracts as needed. They will also be supported by project staff from Cabinet Office as well.

Listed Buildings: Compulsory Purchase

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many buildings in England listed as (a) Grade 1 and (b) Grade 2 he has purchased by means of a compulsory purchase order since 1992. [3783]

John Penrose: The records held by this Department, dating back to April 2006, indicate that DCMS has not purchased any listed buildings via a compulsory purchase order during this period. To obtain information on the number of listed buildings purchased by DCMS by means of a compulsory purchase order between 1992 and 2006 would incur disproportionate cost.

National Lottery: Grants

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much and what proportion of lottery funding he expects to be allocated to the Big Lottery in 2010-11. [3557]

John Penrose: The Big Lottery Fund will receive 50% of Lottery income in 2010-11. On current projections, this would amount to £732 million, though the actual
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amount will depend on the level of lottery ticket sales. Out of this sum, Big Lottery Fund is contributing £172 million to the Olympic transfers.

Television: Advertising

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he plans to end contract rights renewal undertakings. [3554]

Mr Vaizey: Responsibility for decisions on the future of contract rights renewal undertakings rests with the UK's independent competition authorities. The Competition Commission's report on its review of whether the undertakings should be varied was published on 12 May 2010. The Government are considering representations it has received suggesting that it should take some form of action in relation to the contracts rights renewal undertakings.

These representations are being considered in the wider context of the Government's aim to reform the regulatory regime in the media sector.


Armed Forces: Pensions

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to review the pension entitlement of regular members of the armed forces who were discharged before 5 April 1975 after fewer than 22 years' service. [4144]

Nick Harvey: No. Providing pensions for life this group, even if only paid from a future date, would cost hundreds of millions of pounds. In addition, this issue cannot be considered in isolation. Any changes applied to the armed forces schemes would raise similar legacy issues across all public sector schemes, with financial implications running into billions of pounds.

AWE Aldermaston

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 93W, on the Atomic Weapons Establishment, whether his Department has requested a defence environmental impact assessment exemption direction for the proposed new hydrodynamics facility, Project Hydrus, at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston. [3574]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence is currently in the process of requesting a Defence Environmental Impact Assessment Exemption Direction for Project Hydrus from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Departmental Pay

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in his Department in 2009-10. [2184]

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Dr Fox: Senior civil service (SCS) pay is managed by the Cabinet Office and performance incentives are paid primarily as non-consolidated performance payments.

All satisfactory performers at SCS level were eligible to be considered for a non-consolidated performance award. In financial year 2009-10, permanent members of the SCS received performance awards totalling £1,594,500, which was within the pay-bill ceiling of 8.6%.

Senior fixed term appointees (FTAs) are recruited from outside the civil service. They are on individual contracts and have a higher percentage of pay set to performance awards. In financial year 2009-10 senior FTA received performance awards totalling £838,393.

For staff below the SCS, performance awards are paid to staff who meet the eligibility criteria.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) operates an in-year non-consolidated special bonus scheme (SBS), which rewards eligible MOD civilians for exceptional performance in a specific task or for the achievement of a professional qualification the use of which benefits MOD and the individual. Additionally, Ministry of Defence police officers may be awarded a payment for exceptional performance when dealing with particularly demanding one-off tasks or situations, unpleasant one-off tasks or situations, or important one-off tasks or situations.

End of year non-consolidated performance related pay awards made to staff below the SCS in financial year 2009-10 totalled £40,240,963. SBS awards made to staff below the SCS in financial year 2009-10 totalled £3,990,953.

This response excludes information on staff below the SCS in MOD Trading Funds that have separate pay delegations.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what structural reforms to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation he is seeking. [4060]

Dr Fox: If NATO is to succeed as a modern security alliance, it needs the capability and flexibility to adapt to new threats, with leaner, more efficient and more effective structures. At a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers on 10-11 June, I was encouraged that progress is being made on reforming its headquarters and rationalising its agencies. But as I made clear to the Secretary-General and to colleagues, NATO's Command Structure is also a key priority: it is too big, too static and too much is not optimised for the challenges we now face. Defence Ministers will review options for a revised structure in October.

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