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5 July 2010 : Column 30Wcontinued
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to ban the use of private military security companies in combat and combat support in military operations. 
Mr Bellingham: The Government currently have no plans to ban the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in combat and combat support in military operations. The Government do not use PMSCs in combat operations. PMSCs are primarily contracted to provide mobile and static guarding of our embassy staff and missions overseas. They provide a vital and necessary role in hostile environments, and enable the Government to fulfil their policy objectives in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Government are considering how best to promote high standards of conduct by PMSCs internationally. We believe it is important to reduce the risk that PMSC activities might give rise to human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law, assist internal repression, or provoke or prolong internal or regional tensions.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to introduce legislation to regulate private military and security companies. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. friend the Foreign Secretary has not yet taken a view on this issue as Ministers will be reviewing the way ahead.
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to work with African governments to reduce the incidence of piracy off the coast of Somalia. 
Mr Bellingham: The Government are working closely with African governments, the EU, the UN, the United States and other international partners to find sustainable solutions to Somali piracy, notably through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
In parallel with its strong support for naval counter-piracy operations and the widest possible implementation of shipping industry-agreed self-protection measures (Best Management Practice), the UK supports steps being taken to increase the capabilities of regional countries to combat piracy, consistent with their political commitment to take action through their signature of the January 2009 Djibouti Code of Conduct.
The UK recognises within this context the primary importance of building up prosecution and especially penal structures, including in Kenya, Seychelles and within Somalia itself, and welcomes the work of the UN in this sector, supported by the EU and others. The UK has joined partners in encouraging more regional countries to share the burden assumed by Kenya and Seychelles in prosecution and detention, and welcomes dialogue with Tanzania, Mauritius and others in this sense.
The UK also supports reinforcement of other law enforcement and military structures, including coastguard, as well as support for alternative livelihoods and community engagement. The UK has provided direct support this year for Seychelles, Somaliland and Yemen coastguards. The UK continues to support the full implementation of the recommendations of the UK-led CGPCS regional Counter Piracy Capability Development Needs Assessment mission to East Africa and the Gulf of Aden, endorsed by the CGPCS in January 2010, which encapsulates all these requirements. A copy of the report was placed in the Library of the House.
Ultimately, the enduring solution to piracy in Somalia lies in restoring governance and law and order in Somalia itself, an objective shared by the UK with African governments and other international partners.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Department's officials in the region on the political situation in Somalia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary receives regular updates on Somalia from departmental officials both in the region and in London. He held internal discussions in June to discuss Somalia including the current political situation.
Somalia is important to the UK because of the threat it poses to the UK, and to regional and international stability, as well as piracy off its shores, and the continuing need for urgent development and humanitarian assistance. The Government are working closely with international partners to address these issues and support progress in Somalia.
It is essential that we continue to support the Djibouti Peace Process. The international community must coordinate closely to ensure coherent and effective support to overcome the obstacles to progress. There is no military solution in Somalia; political reconciliation is vital to Somalia's future security and the Transitional Federal Government needs to deliver peace and stability to the Somali people. We and others will support it in doing so.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on recognition of Somaliland. 
Mr Bellingham: The UK, like the rest of the international community, does not recognise Somaliland as an independent state. While we keep this policy under review, there are currently no plans to change this long-standing position.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what advice he has received from lawyers in his Department on the legal effect of any United Kingdom Sovereignty Act; 
(2) what legal advice the Government have received on the legal effect of any United Kingdom Sovereignty Act. 
Mr Lidington: As set out in their coalition agreement, the Government have agreed to examine the case for a United Kingdom Sovereignty Bill to make it clear that ultimate authority remains with Parliament. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I, together with ministerial colleagues, are analysing this issue comprehensively, seeking advice as necessary, including legal advice.
Mr Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his Chinese counterpart the case of the imprisonment of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, with particular reference to the application to his case of the change in Chinese law on the admissibility of evidence obtained under torture. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: We are aware of Tenzin's case and are concerned for his well-being. This case was raised in September 2009 when we included Tenzin's name as part of an individual case list handed over during the visit of the then Minister of State responsible for China.
The Chinese response stated then that in January 2005, the Sichuan Provincial High People's Court had decided to commute his punishment from the death sentence to life imprisonment and life deprivation of political rights.
He was also included in a case list at the EU/China Human Rights Dialogue in May 2009.
We will continue to raise this case at every appropriate opportunity.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with representatives of other permanent members of the UN Security Council on reform of the Security Council, with particular reference to giving India, Japan and Brazil permanent membership of the Security Council. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not had recent discussions with representatives of other permanent members of the UN Security Council about Security Council reform or about extending permanent membership to India, Japan or Brazil.
Discussions about UN Security Council reform are ongoing at official level in New York. The latest exchange of views between all member states took place there on 28 June. At those discussions, the UK continued to support reform leading to a Security Council more representative of today's global realities and no less effective in taking decisions to maintain international peace and security. The UK also maintained support for the candidacies of Japan, India, Germany and Brazil for new permanent seats, as well as African representation.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many officials of his Department are working on preparations for the Scotland Bill. 
Michael Moore: There are currently four officials within the Scotland Office and the Office of the Solicitor to the Advocate-General in the core Bill team. Other members of the office are contributing to the preparations of the Bill as part of their wider policy responsibilities. In addition staff across Whitehall Departments with lead policy responsibility for specific recommendations from the Caiman Commission will be involved in the preparations for the Bill.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether the planned reduction to the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by at least 30 per cent. by 2020 will involve (a) using carbon markets to offset emissions and (b) the recalculation of emissions from logging. 
Gregory Barker: The Government are pushing to secure early EU agreement to move to a more ambitious emissions reduction target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. When this has been agreed, and the methodology for sharing the effort between EU member states has been decided, the UK will move to a more ambitious 2020 target, following advice from the Committee on Climate Change.
Although the EU rules have not yet been agreed, we anticipate that carbon markets will be taken into account in deciding how the UK will meet its share of an EU 30% target. We also anticipate that forestry activities, including the effect of logging, will make a contribution.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2010, Official Report, column 139W, on carbon emissions: departmental coordination, who the members are of the high-level group of senior officials established to promote more effective cross-departmental working on building a low carbon economy. 
Gregory Barker: The members of the high-level group of senior officials established to promote more effective cross-departmental working on building a low carbon economy are the Director General of National Climate Change and Consumer Support at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Director General of Business Group in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Director General of Strategy, Evidence and Finance at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Senior officials from other Government Departments are invited to attend as appropriate.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made by the Government on implementing commitments made at the Copenhagen climate change summit to limit the increase in global temperatures to below two degrees celsius. 
Gregory Barker: Since Copenhagen over 70 countries have set out the targets and actions they will take to reduce their emissions. If delivered in full, these commitments should be consistent with global emissions peaking before 2020, and will be a crucial step towards establishing a credible trajectory for holding the global temperature increase to below 2 degrees celsius.
We want all countries to deliver at the top end of the emission reduction commitments they have made and will continue to push the EU to show leadership by increasing our emission reduction target to 30%.
The Government have committed to providing £1.5 billion in fast start finance over three years (2010-12) to help developing countries tackle and adapt to climate change some £300 million of this will be dedicated to addressing emissions from deforestation.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on human resources in each year since 1997. 
Gregory Barker: The Department was formed on 3 October 2008. Expenditure on human resources was £1,294,000 in 2008-09 and £2,414,000 in the full year 2009-10.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2010, Official Report, column 18-19W, on departmental manpower, how many full-time equivalent staff are employed at each civil service grade in each ministerial private office; and what the salary range is of staff employed at each grade in each private office. 
Gregory Barker: The number of full-time equivalent staff at each civil service grade employed in each ministerial private office is set out in the following table. In total this is one fewer than the arrangements inherited from the last Government.
The Senior Civil Servant (SCS) Pay Band 1 range is £58,200-£117,800.
The Department's pay ranges below the SCS effective from 1 August 2009 are shown in the following table:
Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to prevent any future shortfall in UK electricity generation. 
Charles Hendry: It is a priority for the Government to ensure that the UK has secure electricity supplies and an appropriate capacity margin over the course of this decade and into the 2020s.
Our Programme for Government is clear that we will reform energy markets to deliver a security of supply mechanism.
The Queen's Speech also announced that legislation will be introduced to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses, to promote low carbon energy production and to secure energy supplies.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to increase the security of the UK's energy supply. 
Charles Hendry: The coalition agreement set out that we will:
reform energy markets to deliver security of supply and investment in low carbon energy;
instruct Ofgem to establish a security guarantee of energy supplies;
give an Annual Energy Statement to Parliament to set strategic energy policy and guide investment; and
through our green deal, encourage efficiency improvements paid for by savings in energy bills.
We are making progress: we will shortly publish our first Annual Energy Statement, together with our 2050 pathways project, and the Queen's Speech set out our legislative intentions.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 21 June 2010, Official Report, column 56W, on energy: subsidies, what agreements were made on energy subsidy reform at the G20 Toronto summit. 
Gregory Barker: We welcome the agreement on subsidies reached at the recent G20 summit. The relevant part of the communiqué reads:
"We note with appreciation the report on energy subsidies from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), OECD and World Bank. We welcome the work of Finance and Energy Ministers in delivering implementation strategies and timeframes, based on national circumstances, for the rationalization and phase out over
the medium term of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, taking into account vulnerable groups and their development needs. We also encourage continued and full implementation of country specific strategies and will continue to review progress towards this commitment at upcoming summits."
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much (a) his Department and its predecessors and (b) its non-departmental public bodies spent on subsidies for nuclear power in each year since 1997. 
Charles Hendry: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Redcar (Ian Swales) on 1 July 2010, Official Report, columns 600-601W.
Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to extend his policy to reduce levels of fuel poverty to cover people who use oil and liquefied petroleum gas for heating. 
Gregory Barker: We recognise the difficulties faced by those off-grid households who are in fuel poverty. We will continue to examine whether existing fuel poverty measures could be made more effective or new policies introduced. As announced in the Budget on 22 June, the Government are considering the case for introducing a fuel duty discount in remote rural areas. We are also developing our policy on Social Price Support and, subject to the outcome of the spending review and future consultation, we are considering providing financial benefits through the scheme on electricity accounts to be more inclusive of those vulnerable customers living off the gas grid.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what timetable has been set for the establishment of the Green Investment Bank; and what recent progress has been made on implementing that proposal. 
Gregory Barker: Following the Spending Review, the Government will bring forward detailed proposals on the creation of a Green Investment Bank to help the UK meet the low-carbon investment challenge. A wide range of options, including those published in the Wigley Report detailing the scope and structure of the Green Investment Bank, are under consideration.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has for the future of the home energy efficiency programme. 
Gregory Barker: The Coalition has made a priority of energy efficiency; it reduces energy bills, cuts carbon and energy demand, improving our energy security.
We announced our intention to put in place the legal framework needed for Green Deal Programme in the Queen's Speech. It will be a key element of our Energy Bill in the first session of this Parliament.
We have committed to a Green Deal that will provide energy efficiency improvements to homeowners at no up-front cost, with consumers paying through the savings they make on their energy bills. This represents a real step change and we believe the Green Deal will both substantially increase the rate of energy efficiency improvement in our housing stock and stimulate growth in green jobs.
On 30 June, we also announced an extended, more ambitious and targeted Carbon Emissions Reduction Target to December 2012.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 21 June 2010, Official Report, column 56W, on human tissue analysis in UK nuclear facilities inquiry, for what reasons there is currently no publication date for the report of the Redfern Inquiry on examination of tissue taken from individuals who had worked in the nuclear industry. 
Charles Hendry: Publication of the Redfern Inquiry report into the analysis of human tissue taken from individuals who had worked in the nuclear industry is planned to take place before the summer recess. However, as we wish to lay the report as a parliamentary paper, this date is dependent on the parliamentary timetable.
Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with representatives of Eaga on the management of the Warm Front Scheme and the delays experienced by customers for repairs to which they are entitled. 
Gregory Barker: Under the terms of the contract, the Department and Eaga meet regularly to review Eaga's management of the Warm Front Scheme and any delays experienced by customers. There is a monthly operations meeting and a quarterly scheme management board meeting.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons have been diagnosed with ataxia-telangiectasia in each of the last 10 years; what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into this condition; what services are available to assist those diagnosed with the condition; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Burstow: Information on the number of people diagnosed with ataxia telangiectasia is not collected. However, it has been estimated that there are currently around 200 people in the United Kingdom with this condition.
The National Institute for Health Research is funding the Care of Ataxia Patients study: an evaluation of service provision for people with ataxia. The Medical
Research Council funds a broad portfolio of research on conditions such as ataxia telangiectasia which are caused by DNA damage.
There is currently no cure for ataxia telangiectasia, and no treatment which will slow the progression of this disease. However, treatment can be provided for the frequent respiratory infections and pulmonary problems, as well as help for the weakened immune system. Speech and occupational therapy, as well as wider social care, can also be provided.
There are two specialist clinics, in Papworth and Nottingham, which offer multi-disciplinary care for those with ataxia telangiectasia.
Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions were issued for medicines with botulinum toxin type A as the active ingredient in the last three years for which figures are available; and how many such prescriptions were issued (a) by NHS practitioners, (b) privately, (c) under a medicinal product licence by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and (d) for other indications. 
Mr Simon Burns: Information on private prescribing, the number of prescriptions issued for a medicine, or the indication for which it is prescribed, is not collected centrally.
Information on the number of botulinum toxin type A prescription items dispensed in the community in England is shown in the table.
|Botulinum toxin type A prescription items|
|Prescription items( 1) (thousand)|
|(1) Excludes use in hospitals.|
Prescription Cost Analysis
Mr Timpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in establishing the Cancer Drugs Fund. 
Mr Simon Burns: We are working towards implementing the Cancer Drugs Fund from April 2011. In the meantime, we are considering what more can be done before this to help patients access the cancer drugs recommended by their clinicians.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to revise the Cancer Reform Strategy. 
Mr Burstow: We are committed to improving outcomes for cancer patients and that will be the focus of our future cancer strategy.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date his Department received PH25 prevention of cardiovascular disease guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and on what date it published its response. 
Mr Simon Burns: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provided the Department with a copy of its final guidance on the prevention of cardiovascular disease on 15 June 2010. NICE has published its guidance and the Department has no plans to publish a response.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the average number of members of family and friends who visited each resident in (a) small group homes, (b) residential homes and (c) campus homes in each week in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Burstow: The information requested is not collected centrally.
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for South Swindon (Robert Buckland) of 7 June 2010, Official Report, column 46W, on care homes, whether the Commission will report (a) within a year of the announcement of the coalition programme or within a year of the Commission being established and (b) to Parliament or the Government. 
Mr Burstow: Further details on the Commission for funding long-term care, including arrangements for reporting, will be announced shortly.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on human resources in each year since 1997. 
Mr Simon Burns: Departmental spend on human resources for the last four financial years is set out in the following table:
|Human resources spend (£)|
Prior to 2006, the Department's human resources function was devolved, so the information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider relocating civil servants in his Department who are currently working in central London to Leeds. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department currently has no specific plans to relocate civil servant posts in central London to Leeds, or other locations.
The size and shape of the Department and its arm's length bodies is under review and this will include consideration about the location of functions.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the address is of the head office of each non-departmental public body for which his Department is responsible. 
Mr Simon Burns: The address of the head office of each the Department's executive non-departmental public bodies is as follows:
The Department also has 31 advisory NDPBs, but these are all hosted by the Department or one of its executive bodies, so they do not have separate head offices.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on EU proposals to end the sale of eggs and other food products by number rather than by weight; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: At present egg producers are able to sell eggs by number, a practice we wish to see continue. We are advised that the matter is being discussed in the context of the European Commission proposal for a new food information regulation, which is still under negotiation. The United Kingdom will continue to seek amendments to the text which will allow selling by number to continue.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy that the Food Standards Agency's single, integrated, front-of-pack traffic light colour-coded system is adopted as the national standard for food and drink products sold in England. 
Mr Burstow: It is important that people have nutritional information on the pack of food they buy, so that they can make good choices about what they eat. We are considering a number of schemes at the moment.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials of his Department are working on preparations for the Health Bill. 
Mr Simon Burns: As announced in the Queen's Speech, a Health Bill will be introduced in the first parliamentary session. A dedicated Bill team of three officials has been established in the Department. A number of other policy and legal officials are also working on preparations for the Bill.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will require health professionals to record and monitor the number of people with hearing impairment as a result of using personal music players at too high a volume; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people in each age group who sought treatment for hearing impairment and loss arising from their use of personal music players in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Burstow: The Royal National Institute for Deaf People have conducted research that shows 66% of personal music player users are listening to music at louder than 85 decibels, which according to the World Health Organisation, can cause permanent hearing damage over time.
Health professionals focus on diagnosing and treating all those with hearing impairment. There are no plans to require monitoring of people whose hearing impairment is a result of using personal music players at too high a volume.
For any individual patient, it is very difficult to establish that hearing impairment is the result of listening to personal music players at high volume alone. The burden of doing so, and the subsequent monitoring of such cases, would require the creation of a national health service research project, with significant resource implications. Neither the Department nor the NHS collect information about "the number of people in each age group who sought treatment for hearing impairment and loss arising from their use of personal music players".
Given the difficulties in establishing the cause of hearing impairment no information is currently available about the number of people who sought treatment resulting from their use of personal music players.
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the maximum appropriate waiting time between the date of referral and the date of an operation for NHS patients. 
Mr Simon Burns: The revised "NHS Operating Framework for 2010-11", published on 21 June, removed the burden of central performance management of the 18-week maximum referral to treatment waiting times target by the Department. This change will empower patients and clinicians, putting them at the heart of decision-making, with a focus on quality and outcomes, not processes. A copy of the framework has already been placed in the Library.
To ensure patients do not experience undue delay at any stage of their treatment we will continue to publish and monitor hospital waiting times. General practitioners and commissioners of health services can use this information locally to ensure that they can continue to improve access to services for their patients.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budget is of each current project in Iraq funded by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department is currently funding no projects in Iraq.
Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the public purse has been of the review of the Making It Better Programme in Greater Manchester. 
Mr Simon Burns: This is a matter for the local national health service and as such the information requested is not held centrally. Information on the cost of the Making It Better programme can be obtained from the Making It Better Implementation Team direct, through the North West strategic health authority.
Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on summary care records; and how much remains to be spent on the project. 
Mr Simon Burns: A total of £96.7 million has been spent on the development of the summary care record to date and a further £48.8 million is planned to be spent on the project. Costs incurred by the national health service in local implementation of the summary care record are not collected centrally.
The Government are reviewing the content and opt-out arrangements for the summary care record which will inform final decisions on future spending plans as part of the Government's spending review.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to bring forward proposals for the repeal of section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983. 
Mr Harper: I have been asked to reply.
The Government are seriously considering the recommendations on attitudes to mental health illness and the disqualification of MPs in the report of the Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation, which recommended repeal of Section 141.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who the members of the board of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust were on 18 March 2009; and whether he plans to replace any members of the board. 
Mr Simon Burns: Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust's annual report for 2008-09 lists all the board members that served during that year (1 April 2008-31 March 2009). The report was laid before Parliament on 7 July 2009 and is available in the Library. The Secretary of State has no powers of appointment or dismissal of the members of a foundation trust's board.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2010, Official Report, columns 406-7W, on hospitals: Durham, (1) what representations he received that informed his decision not to proceed with the proposed North Tees and Hartlepool Hospital; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) on what date the decision not to proceed with the proposed North Tees and Hartlepool Hospital, announced on 17 June 2010 was taken; 
(3) what the total cost to public funds has been of proposed North Tees and Hartlepool Hospital to date; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 406W, regarding the cost to the public of the scheme to date.
There were no representations received that informed the decision not to proceed with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust scheme.
The date that the final decision to not proceed with this scheme was taken on 16 June 2010.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children and young people under the age of 16 years are not exposed to marketing, advertising and promotions which encourage an unhealthy diet. 
Mr Simon Burns: The television regulator Ofcom has placed scheduling restrictions on the broadcast advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) during children's programmes and programmes of particular appeal to children up to the age of 16.
In addition, under the Committee of Advertising Practice rules food and drink manufacturers cannot use promotional offers, celebrities, licensed characters popular with children, or health or nutrition claims in HFSS food and drink adverts targeted directly at primary school children.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely effect on the health of elderly people of the Government's decision to end free swimming for people aged over 60. 
Mr Burstow: An independent evaluation of the free swimming programme was published on 17 June 2010. It found that more than eight out of 10 over-60s would have gone swimming anyway, even if they had had to pay. A value-for-money analysis found that the cost of the programme outweighed the health benefits. No formal assessment was made of the likely effect on the health of older people of the Government's decision to end the free swimming programme.
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to introduce a new funding system for social care. 
Mr Burstow: "Freedom, Fairness, Responsibility", the coalition's programme for government, set out plans to establish a commission which will consider how to ensure responsible and sustainable funding for long-term care. The commission will be established as soon as possible and report within a year.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve services for people diagnosed with stomach cancer. 
Mr Burstow: In 2001 the Department published "Improving Outcomes in Upper Gastro-intestinal Cancers", which set out recommendations on how services for patients with upper gastro-intestinal cancers, including stomach cancer, should be organised in order to ensure the best outcomes. A copy has already been placed in the Library. It is for cancer networks, in collaboration with local stakeholders including strategic health authorities, to decide how best to implement the "Improving Outcomes" guidance.
We are in the process of developing a White Paper about the national health service which, among other things, will look at the best way to ensure high quality, cost-effective commissioning of patient-centred services, including cancer services.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of survival rates for stomach cancer; and what steps he is taking to improve these survival rates. 
Mr Burstow: The one-year age standardised relative survival rates for patients diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2003 to 2007, followed up to 2008, was 39.3% for women and 39.5% for men. This shows the percentage of cancer patients alive one year after cancer is diagnosed.
Data on five-year unstandardised relative survival rates are also available on the Office for National Statistics website at:
Evidence suggests that the most important reason for lower survival rates in England compared with other countries is later diagnosis of cancer, and so patients have more advanced disease at diagnosis. Over the coming months we shall be looking at what needs to be done to achieve earlier diagnosis. This will include tackling low public awareness of cancer symptoms, delays in people with symptoms presenting to their general practitioner and delays in referral to secondary care.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of action by NHS organisations to improve public and professional awareness of stroke since 2007. 
Mr Simon Burns: The national Act FAST stroke awareness campaign has been evaluated in some detail and has proved to be very effective in raising awareness of the signs of stroke and the need to treat it as a medical emergency. Analysis of 999 calls found that in the first four months of the campaign there was a 55.5% increase in stroke related calls.
Across the population generally, awareness of FAST as an acronym increased significantly across the two waves of research, from 9%, to 54%. Qualitative research among health and social care workers found that the campaign had been effective in educating them about the signs of stroke and need for urgency. These messages were strong, clear and well recalled after six weeks.
The Department has not conducted any assessment of the effectiveness of action by national health service organisations to improve public and professional awareness of stroke since 2007.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Prime Minister whether he plans to attend the UN Millennium Development Goals meeting to be held in New York from 20 to 22 September 2010. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 570.
Mr Davidson: To ask the Prime Minister when he next expects to meet the President-elect of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. 
The Prime Minister: I met President-elect Santos for the first time today.
Jessica Morden: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 June 2010, Official Report, columns 32-4WS, on special advisers, when he next expects to update the information; 
(2) what changes there have been in respect of the (a) number and (b) cost of employing special advisers since 10 June 2010; and when he next plans to publish a list of the names and salaries of special advisers in post. 
The Prime Minister: I published a list of special advisers in my written ministerial statement on 10 June 2010, Official Report, column 32WS. As set out in the ministerial code, an updated statement will be published annually.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Prime Minister what estimate has been made of the cost of him and the Deputy Prime Minister writing to every public sector worker. 
The Prime Minister: The letter was distributed by e-mail, at no additional cost, through established channels that public sector bodies use to communicate with their staff.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether he raised the matter of extent of respect for human rights in the Russian Federation in bilateral conversations with President Medvedev during the recent G8/G20 summit; 
(2) whether he raised the case of the ongoing second trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in bilateral discussions with President Medvedev during the recent G8/G20 summit; 
(3) whether he raised the issue of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and the extradiction of Andrei Lugovoi to the UK in his bilateral discussions with President Medvedev at the recent G8/G20 Summit. 
Mr Macshane: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has discussed the extradition of Audrei Lugovoi to the UK in his bilateral discussions with President Medvedev at the recent G8/G20 Summit. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the press notice issued by my office on Saturday 26 June 2010. A copy is available on the Number 10 website at:
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if his Department will take steps to establish a complementary mechanism to the Three Diseases Fund to ensure aid reaches border areas in Burma which cannot be reached by that fund. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: In addition to supporting the nationwide Three Diseases Fund in Burma, the Department for International Development (DFID) has expanded its aid for the health sector in border areas. We now provide TB treatment for Burmese people along the Thai border through the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit. We support the Shan Women's Action Network who provide basic health services to displaced people, and provide medical supplies through the Mae Tao Clinic. We are also expanding our cross-border health support from China. At least 345,000 people in remote border areas have benefited from this programme since 2006. I am currently considering a new proposal for health support for displaced people in conflict-affected parts of Eastern Burma.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in coordinating in-country and cross-border aid to Burmese internally displaced people; and how much funding the Government have provided for this work in each of the last three years. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) welcomes the United Nations' (UN) efforts in Burma to improve the coordination of humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people. We have seen an improvement in information sharing between organisations on their aid activities but recognise that this process will take time because of the risks involved in working in this part of Burma.
DFID does not currently fund the UN's coordination work to internally displaced people. However, we provided £33,500 in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to the UN Resident Coordinator's office to help facilitate discussions between organisations providing humanitarian aid.
We are currently reviewing all our aid, including aid channelled through multilateral agencies, to ensure it is as effective as possible and brings real benefit to the world's poor.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on catering in each year from 1997 to 2009. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The information requested is not centrally available and cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost. All expenditure is taken in accordance with the principles of "Managing Public Money" and the Treasury book on "Regularity and Propriety".
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent through the International Monetary Fund on overseas projects for the extraction and transport of fossil fuels in the last five years. 
Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides loans to countries that have trouble meeting their international payments and cannot otherwise find sufficient financing on affordable terms. This financial assistance is designed to help countries restore macroeconomic stability by rebuilding their international reserves, stabilising their currencies, and paying for imports-all necessary conditions for relaunching growth. Unlike multilateral development banks, the IMF does not provide finance for specific projects.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department plans to provide for education in developing countries which have experienced conflict and natural disasters to achieve progress towards the education Millennium Development Goal. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: In "The Coalition: our programme for government", the Government highlighted their commitment to education, stating that we will prioritise aid spending to ensure all children have access to education and will particularly focus on girls and children with disabilities.
In the coming months, the Department for International Development (DFID) will be reviewing its aid programmes to determine how we can achieve better value for money for the taxpayer and accelerate growth towards the MDGs. This includes a review of our emergency response programme, which will look at the provision of support across sectors in the immediate aftermath of conflict or natural disaster.
With over half of primary aged children not enrolled in school living in fragile states, a total of 42 million children out of an estimated 72 million worldwide, we recognise the need to promote education in fragile and conflict-affected states. We also understand the value of
maintaining education in emergencies. However it is important that short term emergency responses to education protect the longer-term prospects of rebuilding education systems and do not fragment or deepen social inequalities.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the timetable is for the Ministerial review of his Department's "Education for All: Education Strategy for 2010-15". 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: In "The Coalition: our programme for government", the Government highlighted their commitment to education, stating that we will prioritise aid spending to ensure all children have access to education and will particularly focus on girls and children with disabilities.
In the coming months the Department for International Development (DFID) will be reviewing its aid programmes to determine how we can achieve better value for money for the taxpayer, and accelerate progress towards the millennium development goals, including the target on education. DFID's approach to education will be reviewed in this context. I expect the review to be completed later this year.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities whether she plans to extend the provisions of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 beyond 2015; and whether she has commissioned research into the effect of the operation of that Act on the number of women selected as candidates by political parties. 
Lynne Featherstone: The Equality Act 2010 extends the provisions of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 until 2030 and contains a power for a Minister to extend their use further beyond that date.
No research has been commissioned into the effect of the 2002 Act.
Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2010, Official Report, column 107W, on betting shops: licensing, what the proposed location was of each premises; what local authority rejected each application; and what the grounds of rejection were in each case. 
John Penrose: The Gambling Commission have advised that the following local authorities have rejected licence applications for the following sites:
Haringey Local Authority-Green Lanes
Brent Local Authority-Ealing Road Wembley
Havering Local Authority-South Street
Camden Local Authority-Kingsway
Brent Local Authority-Kilburn High Rd
This information is based solely on returns from local authorities. The Commission does not hold details, and is not supplied details of the grounds for a rejection.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many staff worked in his Department's ministerial support office on (a) 1 May 2010 and (b) 1 July 2010. 
John Penrose: The Department employed four staff in the ministerial support office on (a) 1 May 2010 and (b) 1 July 2010.
I would also refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 2 June 2010, Official Report, column 28W about the number of staff employed in the private office of each Minister in the Department.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which Ministers in his Department have used an allocated ministerial car to travel between the Department and the House of Commons on each day since 21 May 2010. 
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 23 June, Official Report, column 212W, on departmental official cars, how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department have used (i) a car with a dedicated driver, (ii) a car from the Government car pool and (iii) a taxi ordered through a departmental account since 7 May 2010. 
John Penrose: There are no civil servants or special advisers in DCMS who have used a car with a dedicated driver or a car from the Government car pool since 7 May 2010.
Six civil servants have used a taxi ordered through departmental accounts since 7 May 2010.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding English Heritage has received from his Department through grant in aid in the last 12 months. 
John Penrose: English Heritage received £131.072 million grant in aid in the financial year 2009-10.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he plans to publish online the names of all listed buildings in England. 
John Penrose: English Heritage already maintains Listed Buildings Online, a website which publishes these data in a searchable format:
English Heritage is currently working on an enhanced searchable online database of all nationally designated heritage assets and world heritage sites with clear supporting data, including mapping which should be ready by the end of the year.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which buildings have been granted listed building status since 12 May 2010. 
John Penrose: English Heritage maintains Listed Buildings Online, a website which publishes these data in a searchable format
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has made of the average proportion of disposable income spent on National Lottery games and scratch-cards, as a percentage of disposable income by those in socio-economic groups (a) A, B and C1 and (b) C2, D and E. 
John Penrose: The National Lottery Commission (NLC) has advised that they do not hold the information in the requested format.
Research by the Operator of the National Lottery, Camelot, shows that 70% of the UK adult population play national lottery games on a regular basis, with an average weekly player spend of approximately £3.
The demographics of national lottery players are almost an exact match with the demographics of the UK population.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he plans to have with the Northern Ireland Executive on the contribution of Northern Ireland to the London 2012 Olympics. 
Hugh Robertson: I am committed to ensuring that the benefits of the London 2012 games are felt right across the UK and Northern Ireland, and will be looking for an opportunity to meet with the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss their plans as soon as it is practicable to do so.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 23 June 2010, Official Report, column 243W, on Olympic Games 2012: tickets, how many tickets the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will make available for purchase by the Government. 
Hugh Robertson: Further to my answer of 23 June 2010, Official Report, column 243W, the number of tickets potentially available to Government to purchase is not yet finalised, but will be before spring 2011.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will hold discussions with the Lawn Tennis Association on increasing participation in tennis by children from state schools. 
Hugh Robertson: I will continue, in the normal course of business, to meet the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to discuss key issues in the sport, including increasing participation by children.
Sport England and the LTA, as a part of their Whole Sport Plan, also continue to discuss the AEGON Schools Tennis Programme, delivered by the Tennis Foundation with LTA support, to increase tennis among children and young people in state schools. This programme includes providing training for teachers, resources and equipment for schools, and supporting activity outside school hours.
Furthermore, we expect tennis to play a prominent role and to capitalise on the huge demand and potential that exists in schools as part of our plan to set up an Olympic and Paralympic-style competition. This will be a nationwide competition that is open to every school and every child in the country.
Chris Evans: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent estimate he has made of the number of people in each parliamentary constituency who are eligible to be on the electoral roll but are not on it; and what assessment he has made of the accuracy of such estimates. 
Mr Harper: The Government have not made such an estimate. The Electoral Commission's Report "The completeness and accuracy of electoral registers in Great Britain", published in March 2010, indicates that:
"Estimates based on Census records suggest that the completeness of the registers was at 93.5% in 1980, 91 to 93% in 1990 and 91 to 92% in 2000. Evidence available from electoral statistics and surveys of levels of response to the annual canvass of electors suggests that there was a decline in registration levels from the late 1990s to 2006. The same evidence base suggests that the registers have stabilised since 2006, although it is likely that the completeness of the registers has declined since the last national estimate in 2000."
The Report also says the process of estimating registration rates is an:
"All current approaches to estimating the completeness and accuracy of the electoral registers at a national level are imperfect,"
"The completeness of Great Britain's electoral registers remains broadly similar to the levels achieved in comparative countries."
Richard Fuller: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to require that all polling stations to be used at the next general election are fully accessible to the disabled. 
Mr Harper: The Electoral Administration Act 2006 extended the existing provisions for making polling places and stations, as far as practicable, accessible for electors who are disabled. Under the Act local authorities were required to undertake a review of polling places in their area within 12 months of the obligation starting to apply to them. An additional obligation was imposed to carry out further reviews at least every four years. This should mean that polling places are regularly checked for accessibility, and consideration given to making reasonable improvements where practicable.
It is important that polling stations are accessible to all voters. The Government will look at this issue with reference to the current legislative framework to see if improvements need to be made.
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many staff worked in his Department's ministerial support office on (a) 1 May 2010 and (b) 1 July 2010. 
Mr Maude: At 1 May 2010, the Cabinet Office had 10 members of staff within the ministerial support office. As of the 1 July 2010, the office has nine members of staff.
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the roles and responsibilities are of each Minister in his Department. 
Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made on 1 July 2010, Official Report, column 47WS.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate has been made of the number of (a) full and (b) part-time employees working in corner shops and small convenience stores. 
Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated July 2010:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, 1 have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the number of (a) full and (b) part-time employees working in corner shops and small convenience stores. (5478)
Estimates of employment specifically in corner shops and small convenience stores are not available. Alternative estimates are available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) of employment by type of retail store according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007. Those estimates can be categorised according to the size of the store in terms of the number of its employees, as reported by LFS respondents. For the three-month period January-March 2010 it is estimated that, in the UK, there were 23,000 full-time and 56,000 part-time employees working in non-specialised retail stores where food, beverages or tobacco predominate and which had ten employees or fewer.
These estimates are not seasonally adjusted. As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost has been of resettlement payments made to Ministers from each Department who left office at the general election. 
Mr Maude: Severance payments for paid Government Ministers and other office holders are governed by legislation, specifically section 5 of the Ministerial and other Pensions and Salaries Act 1991. Those individuals who leave office under the age of 65 and who do not take up another relevant office within three weeks (six weeks for Opposition office holders at the time of the election) are entitled to receive one-quarter of their annual claimed salary as a severance payment.
I provide here the total cost of severance payments made by each Department to all their eligible Ministers and other office holders in the former Government. These are separate from resettlement grants available to members of Parliament upon leaving the House of Commons.
|Total severance payments to all eligible former Ministers in each Department|
|(1) Includes severance payments made to Government Whips in the House of Commons and House of Lords.|
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office for what reasons non-departmental public bodies were not included in the Central Office of Information's report on Government on the internet. 
Mr Maude: The first round of reporting of cost and usage was limited to websites run directly by the main departments in order to cover a significant majority of the costs while testing and gaining experience with the new methodology for cost and usage measurement. In the light of the success of the first round it is now intended to extend the methodology to other agency and non-departmental public body websites for the second and subsequent reports.
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many requests he has received to open new Government websites since 12 May 2010; 
(2) if he will publish a list of Government websites which end in the suffix gov.uk. 
Mr Hurd: I have asked the chief executive of the Central Office of Information to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Mark Lund, dated 30 June 2010:
As Chief Executive of the Central Office of Information (COI), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions 5733 & 5735 regarding Government Website domain name information.
Eighteen .gov.uk domain names have been requested since 12 May 2010.
A list of all government sites ending .gov.uk. is not held centrally within HMG. JANET (UK) hold the register of .gov.uk domain names and provide public access via its "whois" lookup service
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what Government websites his Department has identified for closure by September. 
Mr Maude: I have made a commitment to review the existing 820 Government funded websites by the Spending Review in September this year. Expectations are that the review will aim to shut down up to 75% of the existing sites and then look at how to reduce costs by up to 50% on the remaining sites.
The most recent closure by the Cabinet Office was the Modernisation Fund website which was closed on 29 June 2010.
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 450W, on government departments: manpower, which organisations at what addresses were contacted as part of the scoping exercise; and which of these returned the information requested. 
Mr Maude: All Government Departments, their agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) were within scope for this exercise. Organisations were contacted, via e-mail, through their HR Directors or equivalent.
Where appropriate, Departments were requested to co-ordinate returns for their respective agencies and NDPBs.
The list of those organisations responding in time to be included for publication was published on 18 June 2010 and is available on the Cabinet Office website at:
Mr Wallace: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which Lord-Lieutenancies in each constituent part of the UK are (a) filled and (b) vacant; what the reasons are for each vacancy; and when he expects each vacancy to be filled. 
Mr Harper: There are no vacancies in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The post of Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire is in the process of being filled, following the retirement of the incumbent.
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) if he will publish each (a) paper and (b) email note produced for consideration at the transparency board meeting of 24 June 2010; 
(2) if he will publish the minutes of the transparency board meeting of 24 June 2010. 
Mr Maude: Yes. I have already published the draft public data principles discussed by the Transparency Board at its meeting on 24 June, and will place them in the Library of the House. I will shortly similarly publish the minutes, terms of reference and the other paper considered by the Board.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether higher level special needs provision in new academy schools will be financed by the local education authority or by the school. 
Mr Gibb: Funding of academies for special educational needs (SEN), except for those pupils with individually assigned resources, is paid by the Young People's Learning Agency, not by the local authority. Where a pupil attracts individually assigned SEN resources, for low-incidence SEN, the local authority will continue to pay these directly.
Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 137W, on Government Departments: reviews, what reviews his Department is undertaking; and what the (a) purpose and (b) timescale of each is. 
Michael Gove: The coalition agreement sets out in detail the Government's future plans, including the key reviews they will be undertaking. My Department will bring forward detailed information about these reviews in due course.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will appoint a trade union representative to the new taskforce for food and farming regulation. 
Mr Paice: The taskforce on farming regulation's membership and terms of reference will be announced in the near future.
The taskforce will consist of a small dynamic group of individuals invited for their personal experience and not as representatives of specific sectors. The taskforce will consult widely and welcome input from all interested parties, including trade unions.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information her Department (a) holds and (b) has requested on the effect of pesticides on bee brains and the bee population; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA does not hold any information on the effects of pesticides on bee brains. The successful projects to be funded under the Insect Pollinators Initiative, which is being part funded by DEFRA, were announced on 22 June, and will include an investigation into whether chronic exposure to certain chemicals is interfering with information flow in bee brains and affecting foraging, navigation and communication.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will undertake an investigation to establish whether mobile telecommunications masts have any effects on populations of honey bees. 
Mr Paice: The Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit (NBU) has recently been investigating the causes of colony losses in England and Wales and the key results have been published on its website:
The results have shown that the most important risk factor in the mortality or weakening of colonies is deformed wing virus, a virus transmitted by the parasitic varroa mite, clearly indicating failed or unsuccessful treatments of mite infestations.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that mobile telecommunications masts are having an effect on bee populations and this is not an avenue of research that is being considered in the USA, where Colony Collapse Disorder has been confirmed.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps her Department is taking to protect threatened species in (a) England and (b) the West Midlands; 
(2) what steps her Department is taking to encourage biodiversity in (a) England and (b) the West Midlands. 
Biodiversity is one of DEFRA's highest priorities. We will promote green spaces and wildlife corridors to restore and increase biodiversity. Our White Paper on the natural environment will contain more detail on our plans. In the meantime we will
continue ongoing action to protect the best wildlife sites; promote recovery of priority species and habitats through a landscape-scale approach; and embed proper consideration of biodiversity and ecosystem services into all relevant sectors of policy and decision-making.
Natural England is the lead delivery body for the Government's strategy to conserve wildlife in England. Examples of Natural England's action in the West Midlands include:
Increasing the total area of the most important sites for nature conservation-Sites of Special Scientific Interest-in the region in favourable or recovering condition; this being 20,000 hectares or 89.75% of the total resource in the region.
Getting 63% of the utilisable agricultural area of the region under an agri-environment agreement through £40 million of annual investment in environmental stewardship and classic schemes, which pay land managers to manage their land in ways that benefits biodiversity, the historic environment and the landscape.
In particular, through the higher level stewardship scheme bringing over 3,000 hectares of existing wildlife habitats into favourable management and creating an additional 450 hectares of new habitats across the region, and bringing an additional 800 hectares of farmland under specific agreement to provide suitable feeding and breeding habitats for target species of farmland birds.
Ensuring that 2,816 hectares (97.3%) of the region's National Nature Reserves are in favourable or recovering condition.
Providing funding of £186,000 in 2009-10 to regional and local biodiversity partnerships in the West Midlands, and supporting the local Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB on Wetland Vision, Lapwing Meadows and other projects, with more than £60,000 of funding in the same year.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the UN Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. 
Richard Benyon: We strongly welcome the recent agreement that the UN General Assembly should establish the Intergovernmental science-policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). IPBES will provide governments and policy makers across the world with independent and trusted scientific advice so that we can take action to protect the world's biodiversity. It will help ensure the best available science underpins work towards the achievement of a post-2010 biodiversity target.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to announce her decision on the badger vaccine deployment project in the Stroud area; and what assessment she has made of its likely effectiveness in controlling the spread of bovine tuberculosis. 
On 25 June I announced that the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project (BVDP) has been reviewed and will proceed only in one area (Gloucestershire, near Stroud), in order to help maintain capacity at the Food and Environment Research Agency to train lay vaccinators. Badger sett surveys will also be completed in the Gloucestershire area near Cheltenham since this was already well under way. The areas in Staffordshire, Herefordshire/Worcestershire and Devon where the BVDP
was due to take place will not now be trapped and vaccinated as part of the project.
The BVDP is a practical project aimed at passing on the skills to trap and vaccinate badgers in the wild. It was not designed as a scientific study to assess the effectiveness of controlling the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of the effectiveness of (i) badger vaccine deployment projects and (ii) badger culling as a method of controlling the spread of bovine tuberculosis. 
Mr Paice: The coalition Government have committed to introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis as part of a package of measures on bovine TB. We are currently looking at options including culling and vaccination. We will set out our proposals in due course, including impact assessments that will detail the expected costs, benefits and effectiveness of the measures.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department estimates it will spend on (a) the badger vaccination demonstration projects and (b) bovine tuberculosis vaccination research in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13. 
Mr Paice: The estimated cost of the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project is as follows:
Estimated future spending on bovine tuberculosis vaccination research is as follows:
(i) £6,618,555 committed in 2010-11;
(ii) £3,594,760 committed so far in 2011-12;
(iii) No funds committed yet in 2012-13.
These figures show committed funds only and are therefore likely to be underestimates of total spend. Spend for future years will be determined in light of the Spending Review.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the address is of the head office of each non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA's non-departmental public bodies, including their addresses, are listed in the Department's Public Bodies return, which is on the Department's website at:
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2010, Official Report, column 53W, on departmental manpower, what the salary range is of staff employed at each grade in the private office of each Minister in her Department. 
Richard Benyon: Each grade has its own salary band. The salary bands for those grades of staff employed across the ministerial private offices are set out in the following table. Staff may be at any salary point within the pay band quoted for their grade.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to analyse the distributional effect of the options for reductions in her Department's expenditure. 
Richard Benyon: The Government set out in their document "Spending Review Framework" that they will
"look closely at the effects of its decisions on different groups in society, especially the least well off, and on different regions."
Further information will be available at the spending review.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take to encourage households to increase the amount that they recycle. 
Richard Benyon: Decisions about the waste collection and recycling service offered to households are rightly for local authorities to make, taking into account what is appropriate to the circumstances in their local area. This Government believe in incentives rather than penalties, and we encourage councils to reward people for the right behaviours and incentivise them to recycle more.
This Government are clear that we need to go faster and further than has to date been the case in our approach to recycling. We have announced a full review of waste policy in England, including looking at the effect of waste policies on local communities and individual households, and how local authorities can work with people to make the best decisions.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to encourage self-sufficiency in food production in the UK. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA will continue to support British farming and encourage a sustainable increase in UK production to meet consumer demand, while maintaining a stable and diverse range of supply sources. This balance lowers the risk to our food supply system from unexpected shocks or disruption suffered by trading partners or in our own domestic production.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the cost to Government Departments of the introduction of a policy that all food procured by such Departments must meet British standards of production. 
Mr Paice: The Government are committed to ensuring that food procured by Government Departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meet British standards of production or their equivalent, wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs. DEFRA has not therefore made an assessment of the cost to individual Government Departments. It is for individual Government Departments to assess whether or not the commitment can be met without increasing overall costs.
I am aware of a number of excellent examples of public sector bodies that have improved the quality and sustainability of the food they serve while at the same time keeping steady, or even reducing their overall costs, so I am convinced that this can be done where there is a will to do it and where central Government Departments show leadership.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the European Commission on its review of EU legislation on genetically modified food. 
Mr Paice: The Commission is expected to issue a report this autumn that reviews the operation of the EU legislation on the release of genetically modified (GM) organisms and the marketing of GM food and feed products. DEFRA Ministers have not discussed this initiative with the Commission.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research and development grants her Department has provided for the development of genetically modified potatoes resistant to late blight since May 1997, including for research into resistance genes and mechanisms; 
(2) what research and development grants her Department has provided for the development of potatoes resistant to late blight using traditional breeding since May 1997. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA has not provided funding for any projects developing blight resistant potatoes using genetic modification or through traditional breeding techniques since May 1997.
A collaborative project on agronomic methods for control of the disease is being funded with industry under the Sustainable Arable Link Programme.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research
and development grants her Department has provided for the development of genetically modified potatoes resistant to potato cyst eelworm since May 1997. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA contributed to the following collaborative research project funded with industry, which included the development of potato cyst nematode resistant potatoes through genetic modification.
|Project number||Project title||Start date||End date||DEFRA grant (£)|
Engineering resistance to nematodes by controlled and specific plant attenuation.
Under the Government Partnership Award Scheme DEFRA has also contributed £41,250 (15% of total cost) to a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) project-'An effective basis for control of potato cyst nematode and assessment of the impact on soil health'-which included assessment of genetically modified potato plants.
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