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20 July 2010 : Column 203Wcontinued
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many employees of his Department attended Civil Service Live in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010; and what estimate he has made of the (i) employee working hours taken up by and (ii) cost to his Department of such attendance in each such year. 
Mr Simon Burns: Civil Service Live events are owned and managed by the private company Dods (the publishers of Civil Service World), who bear all of the financial risks.
The overall delegate numbers for Civil Service Live in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were approximately 6,000, 8,000 and 7,700 respectively. Delegate registration is managed centrally by Dods. Departments do not keep a detailed record of every member of staff that attends.
Civil servants do not pay to attend Civil Service Live events. There will have been some travel and subsistence costs for delegates, which will be paid for by individual Departments. Civil servants attending the event will have followed the travel and subsistence guidelines set by their Departments.
Iain Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations he has made to the European Commission on the time taken by the European Food Safety Authority to process assessments of the health benefits claimed for food products and supplements; 
(2) what estimate he has made of (a) the number of and (b) the costs to businesses of changes to the previously announced timescale for assessing the claims for the health benefits of food products and supplements by the European Food Safety Authority. 
Anne Milton: The unprecedented number of health claims applications (more than 4,000) from businesses has meant that the timetable for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) completing its assessments and the development of the European community list (31 January 2010) has slipped.
The EFSA has decided to issue its opinions in batches, and has rejected requests from the Commission and others to limit publication to a single list: the first batch was published in October 2009 and the EFSA predicts that the final batch will be published in 2012. Several European Commissioners past and present have made clear that the Commission will authorise claims in batches, to give clarity to the market and ensure consumer protection, and that it is not willing to change its position. We have not therefore made representations to the European Commission on this matter but Food Standards Agency (FSA) officials are working to ensure that claims are authorised appropriately.
The FSA compiled a Regulatory Impact Assessment on the nutrition and health claims regulation in 2007. It has not carried out a formal assessment of whether any costs to business will result from changes to the planned timetable for assessing health claim applications. However,
officials are willing to work closely with businesses and with enforcement bodies to minimise any negative impact on businesses.
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what standards his Department requires in respect of (a) competence in the English language and (b) professional standards from (i) doctors and (ii) nurses from other EU member states coming to work in the UK. 
Anne Milton: 'HSC1999/137: Employment of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals ensuring language competency' makes it clear that employers are responsible for ensuring that the staff they employ have the necessary language and communication skills for the specific role to which they are being appointed. The precise requirements for different posts are a matter for employers as they are likely to vary depending on the specific role being undertaken.
All registered health care professionals from the EEA who are practicing their profession anywhere in the United Kingdom are required to observe the professional standards set by the relevant UK professional regulatory body. For doctors the professional regulatory body is the General Medical Council and for nurses it is the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what means he plans to implement his proposal to abolish the Food Standards Agency. 
Anne Milton: We have no plans to abolish the Food Standards Agency. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 20 July on the machinery of government changes.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were located at each office of the Food Standards Agency in each of the last five years. 
Anne Milton: The average number of staff located at each office of the Food Standards Agency over the last five financial years was as follows:
Mr Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2010, Official Report, column 400W, on general practitioners, whether information on the number of GP appointments for patients with minor ailments is collected locally. 
Mr Simon Burns: Information on consultations for minor ailments is held by general practitioner practices on their clinical systems. Whether or how this information is shared more widely is a matter for local decision.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has undertaken for benchmarking purposes into health service provision in other countries in the last 12 months. 
Anne Milton: The Department performs international comparisons as part of its routine business and in policy development. In addition the Department commissions research using international comparisons from both inside and outside the Department, which is used to learn potential lessons from other countries. By comparing ourselves with other countries, we can identify particular areas where, internationally, we are underperforming. We can then examine how different countries have approached similar issues, learn from their solutions, and improve care in the national health service.
In the last 12 months the Department has worked with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on Health Care Quality Indicators, commissioned work from RAND and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a variety of international comparisons projects, and contributed funds to the World Health Organisation for work on Health System Performance Assessment in the WHO European Region. An internal project is being carried out on International Cancer Benchmarking and the National Cancer Director, Professor Mike Richards, has undertaken a study of international variations in drug usage, and the causes for any such variation. His report will be published shortly.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has for future funding of the Macfarlane Trust. 
Anne Milton: There are currently no planned changes to the future funding of the Macfarlane Trust.
Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps are being taken to assist veterans with combat stress which is diagnosed a decade or more after discharge from the armed forces; 
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of family breakdown arising from veterans' undiagnosed mental health problems. 
Mr Burstow: No estimate of the cost of family breakdown arising from veterans' undiagnosed mental health problems has been made.
The Government are committed to providing effective, through-life, mental health services for our service and ex-service personnel. The Prime Minister has asked the hon. Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison)
to conduct an independent study into the provision of Ministry of Defence and national health service support and services to the armed forces and ex-service personnel and to make recommendations for improvement, particularly in the area of mental health.
The Government have recently confirmed an additional £2 million to allow the Department of Health to work with strategic partners, including Combat Stress, to ensure that the best treatment and support services are available for veterans with mental health problems-including those who have left the armed forces several years ago-and to ensure a smooth transition to civilian life.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) cost of abortions carried out for non-EU nationals on the NHS in 2009. 
Anne Milton: Abortions performed under Section 1(4) are rare in recent years and in each year since 2002 there have been less than 10(1) cases (between 0 and nine). The Department does not collect information on the cost of such emergency abortions.
(1) Totals are suppressed in line with Office for National Statistics guidance on the release of abortion statistics, 2005.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the statement of 12 July 2010, Official Report, columns 661-681, on NHS White Paper, (1) what (a) funding and (b) other resources will be provided to local authorities to assist them to agree local strategies with the NHS; 
(2) over what timescale local authorities will be given control over local health improvement budgets; 
(3) what estimate he has made of expenditure on local health improvement budgets for 2010-11; and what the forecast expenditure is for (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13. 
Later this year we will publish a White Paper setting out further details of the new Public Health Service (PHS) and our programme for public health. Primary care trusts responsibilities for local health improvement will transfer to local authorities, who will employ Directors of Public Health jointly appointed with the PHS. As set out in the draft Structural Reform Plan published on the Department's website,
implementation of the PHS will begin in the financial year 2011-12 and it will be fully established by April 2012. In 2012-13 local ring-fenced public health budgets will be allocated in shadow form and real allocations will be issued for 2013-14.
The Department will create a ring-fenced public health budget and, within this, local Directors of Public Health will be responsible for health improvement funds allocated according to relative population health need.
The local ring-fenced public health budget will be based on current identifiable expenditure by the NHS and the Department. The allocation formula for those funds will include a new "health premium" designed to promote action to improve population-wide health and reduce health inequalities. Work is currently under way to determine baseline spending and the details of how local ring-fenced public health budgets will be determined. Further details will be made available in due course.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department plans to participate in the European Project for Assessing Patients' Rights. 
Mr Simon Burns: I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
Substantive answer from Anne Milton to Annette Brooke:
The Government have no plans to participate in the European Project for Assessing Patients' Rights.
The project is linked to proposals for a European Union-wide constitution for patients and significant harmonisation of health systems and patient entitlements. We consider this to be contrary to member states' rights to organise their health systems under Article 168 of the Treaty.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many newborn babies were diagnosed with group B streptococcal infections in (a) London and (b) England in each of the last five years. 
Anne Milton: Data are not available by region as this is not a routine data output.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) receives reports of bloodstream infections associated with group B streptococci.
The HPA has published data for England for infants aged under 90 days, as detailed in the following table.
|Number and rate (per 1,000 live births) of group B streptococcal bacteraemia reports in infants 0 to 90 days old: England, 2006 - 08|
|All cases (0 to 90 days old)||Early onset (0 to 6 days old)||Late onset (7 to 90 days old)|
|Number||Rate (95% confidence interval (CI))||Number||Rate (95% confidence interval (CI))||Number||Rate (95% confidence interval (CI))|
1. CI = Confidence Interval or 95% confident the true proportion lies within the range given.
2. Data for 2005 and 2006 are only available for infants, i.e. children aged under one year).
Dr Wollaston: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to bring into force each of the powers to protect young people from sunbed use available under the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010. 
Anne Milton: The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 (the Act) comes into force on 8 April 2011. The purpose of the Act is to prevent people under the age of 18 from using sunbeds on commercial premises, by making it an offence for sunbed operators to allow people under the age of 18 access to sunbeds on their premises.
Regulation making powers (for example the one requiring that the use of sunbeds to be supervised) would begin as soon as possible after the Bill became an Act. Departmental officials are considering options to take forward the powers to regulate and may make recommendations to Ministers in due course. However they are giving priority to implementing the main provisions of the Act (namely those that prohibit sunbed operators from allowing those under the age of 18 from using their sunbeds). However, this parliamentary question is an illustration of the continuing interest there is in this topic within Parliament and beyond.
We are currently considering the regulation making powers contained in the Act.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the projected deficit of NHS Sutton and Merton is for (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14; when he expects to receive the full strategic business case for upgrades to Nelson Hospital; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department has collected financial plans from national health service organisations for 2010-11 and 2011-12. Sutton and Merton primary care trust has planned to break even in 2011-12. The Department does not hold projected figures for 2012-13 or 2013-14.
The Department has not received a business case for the Nelson hospital. Business cases must first be assessed by the relevant strategic health authority prior to being submitted to the Department.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who died as a result of (a) misdiagnosis of bacteriological infections as swine flu and (b) not being prescribed antibiotics during the swine flu pandemic. 
Anne Milton: We do not hold estimates of the data that have been requested and we do not hold baseline data from which bacteriological deaths can be estimated.
It is well accepted that there are no symptoms or signs that are considered so characteristic of influenza that it makes the diagnosis completely certain. In addition, the signs and symptoms associated with influenza also apply to a host of other viral and bacterial conditions. This presents major challenges for clinicians during seasonal influenza.
During the pandemic, in common with normal seasonal flu, data were collected on the proportion of subsets of the population presenting with a flu-like illness that were actually laboratory confirmed. Like seasonal influenza, this ranged from 10-60%, depending on the age of the patient and the point in the pandemic that they presented.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when remaining stocks of swine influenza (a) antivirals and (b) vaccines will pass their use-by dates; 
(2) what proportion of swine influenza (a) antivirals and (b) vaccines were used; and what the estimated value is of the unused medicines in each case; 
(3) how much was spent on (a) antivirals and (b) vaccines for the H1N1 virus. 
Anne Milton: The expiry dates of the remaining stocks of antivirals depend on their original purchase dates. The initial Tamiflu procurement completed in 2006 and the procurement in 2008-09 had a five-year shelf life. Tamiflu stock bought since July 2009 has a seven-year shelf life. The Relenza stocks procured in 2008-09 had a seven-year shelf life although we are discussing shelf life extensions with the supplier. The remaining stocks of vaccines have shelf lives through to October 2011.
The antiviral stock usage for England constituted approximately 6% of the amount procured. The usage of antivirals in England includes stock issued through the National Pandemic Flu Service, general practitioners and other avenues. The vaccine stock usage for England constituted approximately 45% of the amount procured. The usage of vaccines in England includes all the stock sent out to the national health service and a donation to the World Health Organisation.
The values of the unused antivirals and vaccines cannot be disclosed as this information is commercial in confidence.
The spend on the response to the pandemic, as set out in the independent review of the UK response to the 2009 influenza pandemic, is £587 million. This publication can be found at:
The spend on response includes antivirals consumed, vaccine and associated administration costs, consumables used, the operating costs for systems and infrastructure including the National Pandemic Flu Service, additional Health Protection Agency costs and extra costs required for swine flu related communications.
The spend on preparedness was £655 million. This includes antivirals, antibiotics and consumables which continue to be held for future use, the development of the systems and infrastructure and the advance purchase agreements for vaccines signed in 2007.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the number of lives saved as a result of the vaccination programme against influenza A subtype H1N1; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: In her independent review of the 2009 influenza pandemic, Dame Deirdre Hine noted that this pandemic
"was the first where the United Kingdom had a specific vaccine available for use while the virus was still causing disease in the nation".
In addition, at the time when decisions about the procurement of pandemic vaccine were required she noted that
"uncertainty remained about all aspects of the influenza outbreak, and although data was being collected and analysed, there was little confidence that the severity or infectivity could be predicted".
The total number of deaths from influenza A (H1N1) in England from the start of the pandemic in England to 18 March 2010 was reported in the Hine report as 342.
A study published by the Health Protection Agency, Imperial College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine following the end of the second epidemic wave of influenza A (H1N1) has estimated that the influenza A (H1N1) vaccination programme may have prevented between about 230,000 and 710,000 cases and between 26 and 67 deaths from influenza A (H1N1) in England (there are no similar estimates for the United Kingdom). These estimates are based upon a number of assumptions about the vaccination programme and the performance of the vaccine, including that the uptake of vaccine in clinical risk groups would reach 70%, by early November 2009. In fact, the uptake of vaccine in the clinical risk groups was about 30 per cent, by late December 2009. Therefore, the number of cases and deaths prevented may be of a lower range than these estimates. A published Canadian study of the influenza A (H1N1) vaccination programme in Ontario suggested that vaccinating 30% of the population of that province would prevent about 35 deaths.
The study published by the Health Protection Agency, Imperial College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed that the vaccination strategy that was employed in practice would save most lives.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent assessment is of the efficacy of the influenza A subtype H1N1 vaccine (a) as a prophylactic and (b) in reducing the symptoms of swine influenza. 
Anne Milton: Unpublished data by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) suggest that in England the influenza A (H1N1) vaccination is likely to have been at least as effective as the usual seasonal influenza vaccinations when the vaccines have been well matched to the circulating influenza strains (around 70% effective at preventing influenza). As with seasonal influenza vaccines, influenza A (H1N1) vaccine is likely to be less effective in older people.
The HPA is seeking to publish a detailed analysis of these data in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine effectiveness is being assessed in terms of influenza that may have been prevented not by the reduction in severity of symptoms of influenza. However, as well as preventing influenza, an effective vaccine is likely to reduce the symptoms of influenza for those that develop the disease.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of Wharfedale hospital. 
Mr Simon Burns: It is for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to ensure that the Wharfedale hospital provides modern, personalised, and responsive patient care of a consistently high quality that is equally accessible to all patients.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many employees of his Department attended Civil Service Live in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010; and what estimate he has made of the (i) employee working hours taken up and (ii) cost to his Department of such attendance in each such year. 
Robert Neill: Civil Service Live events are owned and managed by the private company Dods (the publishers of Civil Service World), who bear all of the financial risks.
The overall delegate numbers for Civil Service Live in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were approximately 6,000, 8,000 and 7,700 respectively. Delegate registration is managed centrally by Dods. We do not keep a detailed record of every member of staff that attends.
Civil servants do not pay to attend Civil Service Live events. There will have been some travel and subsistence costs for delegates, which will be paid for by Communities and Local Government (CLG). Civil servants attending the event will have followed the travel and subsistence guidelines set by CLG.
Travel and subsistence is approved locally in accordance with departmental procedures and guidance and costs have to be met from within agreed budgets for general administrative expenditure. Unfortunately there would be a disproportionate cost in obtaining detailed information from local line managers.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has spent (a) in total and (b) on staff costs on promoting equality and diversity in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and how many people are employed by his Department for this purpose. 
Robert Neill: All public bodies are required to be compliant with equality legislation and so resource is allocated to ensure the Department meets its statutory obligations.
In 2008-09 the budget for promoting equality and diversity was £69,000. For the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 the allocated budget was £72,000.
The projected costs for the three staff working on work force equalities totals £126,000 for the financial year 2010-11. As a consequence of staff turnover and
restructuring of the function it has not been possible to calculate the staff costs for the financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2010, Official Report, column 375W, on the Decentralisation and Localism Bill, if he will estimate the number of his Department's officials who have been assigned to work on the Decentralisation and Localisation Bill. 
Greg Clark: This is a major piece of legislation spanning many housing, planning and local government issues. A wide range of officials from across the Department are contributing to preparing for the Bill.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff worked in his Department's ministerial support office on (a) 1 May 2010 and (b) 1 July 2010. 
Robert Neill [holding answer 5 July 2010]: The number of staff in ministerial private offices on (a) 1 May 2010 was 32. On (b) 1 July 2010 the number was 30. The latter figure is unchanged from the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 8 June 2010, Official Report, columns 127-28 W. This is fewer than the arrangements inherited from the last Government.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East (Mr Watson) on 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 128W.
All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his estimate is of the mileage travelled by each Minister in his Department in a Government car in (a) May and (b) June 2010. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mike Penning) on 13 July 2010, Official Report, column 624W.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to reduce the cost of running his Department since his appointment. 
Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Nottingham East (Chris Leslie) on 21 June 2010, Official Report, columns 23-24W, which sets out the savings being delivered by my Department through reducing waste.
Running costs savings are being delivered through implementation of spending controls, including:
A freeze on new advertising, marketing, consultancy and research spend.
A freeze on civil service recruitment and increased controls on temporary and interim staff.
Implementation of the civil service pay freeze as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 22 June.
A freeze on all new ICT spend above £1 million.
My Department is also renegotiating core contracts, and is centralising procurement for commodity goods and services. Furthermore, the Department is implementing extended controls on new property lease and lease extensions.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was paid in remuneration in total to civil servants in his Department in 2009-10. 
Robert Neill: Details of the remuneration paid to all employees in Communities and Local Government is set out in 'Section 4: Remuneration Report', of the Department's Resource Accounts published on 9 July 2010:
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what training has been provided for Ministers in his Department since the formation of the present administration; and at what cost. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude) to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East (Mr Watson) on 3 June 2010, Official Report, columns 51-52W. The National School of Government is funded through its Core Learning Programme to deliver induction and other training to Ministers, and there is no separate charge to Departments.
In addition, the Department's Communications Directorate has also provided a training session. There was no charge to the Department.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his (a) Department and its predecessors and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on travel for employees in each year since 1997. 
Robert Neill: The following table shows total spend on travel for the last two financial years for (a) the Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental bodies. Details of expenditure in earlier years could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
These figures include expenditure on travel claimed back through staff travel and subsistence.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the cost to his Department of compliance with regulations arising from EU obligations in the last 12 months. 
Robert Neill: Details of the cost of compliance with regulations arising from EU obligations are not held centrally and could only be supplied at disproportionate cost. The Department does not hold central records for regulations arising from EU obligations nor does it exist separately as part of a category or coding within either the Department's finance system.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who the members are of the Faiths Consultative Council; and when it last met. 
Andrew Stunell: The full Council last met on 12 January 2010, however a further two special meetings of the Council were convened on 3 March and 18 March 2010 to discuss specific topics. At that time the membership comprised:
Al - Khoei Foundation
Bahá'is Community of the United Kingdom
Board of Deputies of British Jews
British Muslim Forum
British Sikh Consultative Forum
Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
Church of England
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Evangelical Alliance, UK
Faith Based Regeneration Network UK
Free Churches Group, Churches Together in England
Hindu Council UK
Hindu Forum of Britain
Interfaith Council, Wales
Inter Faith Network for the UK
Jain Samaj Europe
Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs, Churches Together in England
Muslim Council of Britain
Network of Buddhist Organisations
Network of Sikh Organisations
Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum
Office of the Chief Rabbi
Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office
Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe.
Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to end (a) the FiReControl project and (b) the regionalisation of the fire service. 
Robert Neill: The FiReControl project needs to be delivered to time, cost and quality. The main contractor EADS has given a clear public commitment on delivery and these contractual commitments must now be met.
I need to be satisfied that the three delivery basics are achievable. FiReControl, as with all Government projects, is also being reviewed to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
The Government are committed to ensuring value for money for the taxpayer, improving resilience and stopping the forced regionalisation of the fire service.
Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been incurred in cancellation changes by his Department in respect of each of the contracts awarded under the FiReControl project to date. 
Robert Neill: My Department has not incurred any cancellation costs in respect of contracts awarded under the FiReControl project.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to protect the Green Belt in (a) the UK and (b) Coventry. 
Planning is a devolved matter, so this answer relates only to England. In the coalition agreement we undertook to maintain the green belt. One major step has already been taken-we have just revoked regional strategies, thus removing regional housing targets and the pressure they created to release green belt land for development. That means the protection of particular green belts is in the hands of local communities. Local planning authorities-including those around Coventry-
are free to exercise the powers to protect green belt currently set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2, "Green Belts", including the presumption against inappropriate development on green belt land.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households with children were directed into private sector accommodation under schemes to prevent homelessness in each local authority area in each of the last five years. 
Grant Shapps: The information required is not held centrally.
Although the Department collects data on the number of preventions made in the form of private sector accommodation, these figures are not collected broken down by household type.
The Department began collecting homelessness prevention and relief data from local authorities in the April to June quarter 2008. Official statistics on homelessness prevention and relief in 2008-09 were published in November 2009 and designated as 'experimental statistics' in recognition that the preventions data is a new series of statistic still undergoing evaluation and the quality of the figures are likely to improve over time.
The release can be found in the following link:
The total number of households (with or without children) whose homelessness was prevented or relieved by obtaining private rented sector accommodation was 37,820 in 2008-09.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much has been paid in homelessness grants (a) to local authorities and (b) to the voluntary sector in each year to date; 
(2) with reference to the March 2010 Budget, whether homelessness grants are paid through area-based grants; 
(3) what mechanism is used to calculate the homelessness grant for each local authority. 
Grant Shapps: The table shows total allocations of homelessness grant to local authorities and the voluntary sector from 2002-03 to 2009-10.
Homelessness grant is not paid through area-based grant. Allocations of homelessness grant consist of proportionate distribution of the grant across authorities based on levels of rough sleeping, temporary accommodation and B&B usage, along with funding to support particular delivery blockages or weaknesses.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the effects on employment in the construction sector in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12 of the projected levels of housebuilding in those fiscal years. 
Andrew Stunell: The Department does not make estimates of future employment in the construction sector. Employment in the construction sector declined during the recession; ONS Labour Market Statistics show 2.31 million workforce jobs in the UK construction sector in the March quarter of 2008; in the March quarter of 2010 workforce jobs stood at 2.05 million (seasonally adjusted). Over the same period, housing output declined; quarterly housing completions stood at 40,620 in the March quarter of 2008 and were 26,090 in the same quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted) according to CLG's House Building Statistics.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the letters sent by the then Minister for Housing and Planning to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in summer 2009 detailing plans and funding for the Housing Pledge contained in Building Britain's Future. 
Grant Shapps: A letter of 17 July 2009 from the then Minister for Housing and Planning about funding the previous Administration's Housing Pledge was published in the Communities and Local Government Committee's Third Report of Session 2009-10 published on its website on 5 March
in the list of written evidence (first item, 'Ev 35').
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what incentives his Department will provide to encourage local authorities to increase the stock of new build housing. 
Grant Shapps: We are committed to increasing housing supply and seeing more of the homes that people want, in the places that people want them, to meet Britain's housing need. The coalition agreement set out our clear intention to provide incentives for local authorities to deliver sustainable development, including new homes and business.
The new incentives scheme will therefore directly reward local authorities that choose to take action to deliver housing growth. We will consult later this year.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on the exemption of new housing developments for older people from (a) section 106 requirements and (b) other planning requirements applied to housing developments. 
Robert Neill: The current policy on section 106 requirements is set out in Circular 5/05. The Circular is currently under review. The current policy on housing development is set out in Planning Police Statement 3 (Housing).
In the coalition agreement the Government stated that they will publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development. We will be making an announcement on how we propose to take forward the national planning framework and the implications for specific areas of planning policy.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty residential properties there were in Peterborough City Council area on 1 April in each year since 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: The numbers of empty domestic dwellings in the Peterborough city council area as at the beginning of October in each year since 2006 are shown in the following table. The data include both short-term and long-term empty dwellings.
|Empty domestic dwellings|
The data are taken from the Council Tax Base (CTB) and CTB(Supplementary) forms completed annually in October by all billing authorities in England and returned to Communities and Local Government.
Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to continue with the housing regeneration scheme in the Bransholme North area of Kingston upon Hull North constituency. 
Andrew Stunell: I assume the hon. Member is referring to the housing stock transfer proposal at the North Bransholme Estate, Hull to the Riverside Housing Group.
My predecessor agreed in a ministerial statement on 16 December that the Bransholme North housing stock transfer proposal should proceed to consultation with tenants. Tenants have since voted in support of the proposal. The Homes and Communities Agency, which has responsibility for the delivery of the Housing Transfer programme, will scrutinise all aspects of the transfer application before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State on the application.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate he has made of the likely in-year change to his Department's capital allocation to each local authority in the West Midlands in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms in 2010-11; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the likely change in his Department's capital allocation to each local authority in the West Midlands for 2010-11 in (a) percentage and (b) cash terms; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: Tackling the UK's record deficit is the Government's top priority, and we believe that it is right that local authorities make a contribution to the efficiency savings of £6.2 billion which we have announced for 2010-11. A written statement on Local Government Savings by the Secretary of State and further information sent to local authorities was placed in the Library of the House on 10 June 2010.
These savings included reductions to two capital programmes proposed to be paid to local authorities in 2010-11: Housing Market Renewal was reduced by £50 million, and Gypsy Site Grant by £30 million. The Housing Market Renewal allocations initially announced in December 2009 will be reduced; the mechanism by which this reduction is achieved has been subject to consultation and individual allocations for 2010-11 will be confirmed shortly. My Department had intended to make allocations for Gypsy Site Grant through a bidding process; this process and all remaining grant have now been cancelled.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his definition is of an essential frontline service for local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: This is for local authorities to define. Local authorities, engaging their communities, must determine their local priorities and define the services needed to deliver them.
Mr Gyimah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by what mechanism local authorities may review target figures for the extraction of minerals. 
Mineral planning authorities are required to plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals to support economic growth. It is up to the local discretion of the mineral planning authority to review targets for the extraction of minerals as part of any review of their development plan documents, and when such a review may take place. Our statement to accompany the revocation of regional strategies indicated that minerals planning authorities should do so within the longstanding arrangements for minerals planning.
They can choose to use alternative figures for their planning purposes if they have new or different information, and a robust evidence base.
It is up to the local discretion of the mineral planning authority to decide the most appropriate mechanism to review their targets, in light of the revocation of the regional strategies.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which housing associations have participated in the Mortgage Rescue Scheme. 
Grant Shapps: On 16 March 2010 the Homes and Communities Agency published a list of the 153 syndicated housing associations participating in the Mortgage Rescue Scheme network. The list, which includes the 22 syndication agents, is contained within the following press release link:
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many of the visitors to mortgagehelp.direct.gov.uk used the "Create your action plan" tool in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Grant Shapps: From 8 October 2009 to 15 July 2010 there were 59,976 action plans generated on the
The latest monthly period for which figures are available is June 2010, during which 1,623 action plans were generated.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 497W, on mortgages: government assistance, how many absolute unique visitors from each (a) region and (b) local authority area there have been to mortgagehelp.direct.gov.uk (i) since 7 September 2009, (ii) in the last six months and (iii) in the last three months. 
Grant Shapps: The Department does not hold this information. The breakdowns of absolute unique visitors provided to the Department through Google Analytics use geographical definitions not consistent with either English regions or local authorities.
Analysis conducted in January 2010, looking only at target 'hotspot' areas showed the following visitor numbers for areas broadly analogous to local authority areas (based on the postcode of the visitor's Internet Protocol address):
|Visitor numbers (Google analytics) by hotspot|
|September 6 - October 5||October 6 - November 12||November 12 - December 10||December 11 - January 11|
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has made an estimate of the effect of the changes proposed to the level of assistance under the Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme in the June 2010 Budget on the number of home repossessions in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. 
Grant Shapps: The Department of Work and Pensions leads on analysis of Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) and is working to develop estimates on the potential impact of changes in SMI on repossessions.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the amount of erased back-dated business rates which will relate to port companies. 
Robert Neill: My Department's assessment of informal local authority estimates, received between May and June of 2010, indicate that port-based properties have a cumulative backdated liability in the region of £70 million.
This is an estimate based on a snap shot of information taken at varying times between authorities. It is important to note that this estimate could change, as it is possible that alterations will be made to the assessments of properties within ports, for example, following an appeal.
On 22 June we announced our intention to cancel certain backdated business rates liabilities for those properties, including some in ports, that had incurred a significant and unexpected backdated rates bill from 2008 as a result of being split from another property. In the meantime a freeze on the collection and payment of such backdated bills is in place.
Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to complete his review of successor arrangements to regional development agencies; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Simon Kirby) on 1 July 2010, Official Report, column 632W.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has carried out an assessment of the potential effect of the operation of (a) Articles 93 and 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and (b) EU Regulation 1370/2007 on local authority grant aid awards to subsidised transport services. 
Mrs Villiers: I have been asked to reply.
Articles 93 and 107 of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union, relating to state aid in the field of transport, were carried over from the former treaty and are unchanged (with the exception of an additional reference to measures in support of remote and detached parts of certain member states). They have not been subject to any recent assessment by the Department for Transport. A recent assessment of the impact of Regulation 1370/2007 on bus and rail services was carried out by the Department in the context of a questionnaire issued to member states in March this year on behalf of the European Commission, asking for information on the implementation of the regulation. I am placing a copy of the Department's response in the Library of the House.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment has been made of the level of unmet need for Travellers' sites in the Bristol area; and whether the Government plans to set targets for the provision of such sites. 
Andrew Stunell: Local councils are best placed to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. The abolition of Regional Strategies means that local authorities will be responsible for determining the right level of site provision, reflecting local need and historic demand, and for bringing forward land in Development Plan Documents. The West of England local authorities published a Gypsy and Traveller accommodation assessment in October 2007. If the West of England local authorities decide to review the levels of provision in their area the 2007 assessment will form a good starting point. The Government will review relevant regulations and guidance in due course.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on involvement of members of the public in planning decisions made in respect of the Yorkshire Dales national park; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: The Secretary of State has received no recent representations on involvement of members of the public in planning decisions made in respect of the Yorkshire Dales national park.
17. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to release documents held by his Department in relation to the Hillsborough disaster. 
Mr Djanogly: The Hillsborough Independent Panel is overseeing the process for maximum public disclosure of documents relating to the Hillsborough stadium disaster. Ministry of Justice documents will be provided to the panel as part of this process.
18. Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much legal aid funding was spent on clinical negligence cases in the last three years. 
Mr Djanogly: Net cash expenditure on legal aid clinical negligence cases was £26 million in 2006-07, £28 million in 2007-08 and £28 million in 2008-09. This includes funding for cases that have yet to conclude. In those cases where the claim succeeds, the legal costs should be met by the defendant so that the actual cost to the legal aid fund each year is considerably less than the cash expenditure.
19. Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on his review of magistrates courts. 
Mr Djanogly: We are four weeks into a 12-week public consultation process. As such, the responses to each of the 16 consultation papers have not yet been collated and analysed. This will happen once the consultation closes on 15 September.
However, I can confirm that as of 15 June, there had been 20 letters to Ministers in this Department from hon. Members and Welsh Assembly Members regarding the proposals. Two adjournment debates on the consultations have also been held.
20. Jim McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with the Prison Officers Association on pay and pensions of prison officers. 
Mr Blunt: None. Pay for prison officers falls within the remit of the Prison Service Pay Review Body and pension issues are discussed centrally on a collective basis by the Cabinet Office with the Council of Civil Service Unions. Regular meetings are held by the National Offender Management Service with the Prison Officers' Association on a range of other issues.
21. Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of cases in magistrates and Crown courts were subject to an adjournment in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: In March 2010, an estimated 60% of all defendants dealt with in criminal proceedings in the magistrates courts were subject to one or more adjournments. In the first quarter of 2010, around 70% of all cases dealt with in the Crown court were subject to one or more adjournments. Courts will adjourn a case for a range of reasons in particular for trial or sentence.
My hon. Friend's question highlights an important point, namely that an efficient court system is more than a question of the number of courts it is also an issue of effective procedure and I can advise my hon. Friend that we are looking at procedure-including the timing of pleas and the related payment of legal aid and the question of which court hears the case with the associated delay possibilities.
Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many asylum claimants who had been represented by Refugee and Migrant Justice as at 30 June 2010 have been allocated to alternative legal representatives since that date. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission has agreed a plan of action with BDO, the administrator. Accurate up to date figures will be provided by BDO but are not available at this time. Good progress is being made with regard to alternative providers indicating that they can take cases.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people received a criminal conviction for offences under section 53 of the Regulation of
Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; and how many such convictions there have been in 2010 to date. 
Mr Blunt: In England and Wales in 2008 (the latest year for which data are available) there were no convictions for offences under section 53 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned for publication on 21 October 2010. Court proceedings data for 2010 are planned for publication in autumn of 2011.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been (a) arrested for and (b) convicted of offences related to fly-tipping in each London borough since 1997. 
Mr Blunt: Information on the number of people arrested for fly-tipping is not held centrally. Data held by the Home Office cover arrests for notifiable offences only and offences relating to fly-tipping under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 sections 33(6), 33(8), 33(9) and 34 cannot be separately identified. Offences under Section 59 of Environmental Protection Act 1990 are not notifiable offences and do not form a part of the arrests collection.
The number of persons convicted of offences related to fly-tipping and waste duty of care offences under sections 33(6), 33(8), 33(9), 34 and 59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in the Metropolitan and City of London Police Force Area for the years 1997 to 2008 is shown in the following table. Information held centrally does not allow a breakdown of cases by borough of London area, therefore Metropolitan and City of London Police Force Area data has been provided in lieu. Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned for publication on 21 October 2010.
In addition the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs publishes data on Fly-tipping submitted by local authorities to the National Fly-tipping Database (Flycapture). This information, published on a financial year basis from 2004-05 onwards, includes data relating to prosecutions for Fly-tipping and waste duty of care offences and is available on the DEFRA website at:
|Persons found guilty at all courts for 'fly-tipping'( 1) , London( 2) 1997 to 2007( 3,4)|
|(1) Covers offences under sections 33(6),33(8),33(9),34 and 59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.|
(2) Includes the Metropolitan Police and City of London police force areas.
(3) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(4) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which (a) Crown and (b) magistrates courts are served by which prisons. 
Mr Blunt: Details of the courts served by which prisons are held centrally and to provide this information on every prison that serves the 91 Crown courts and the 330 magistrates courts could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
However, the following table shows the courts served by certain prisons in the hon. Member's constituency.
|Prisons that serve courts in West Yorkshire ( d ependant on type of prisoner)|
|Courts in West Yorkshire||Adults (males)||Young adult (males) aged 18 and 21||Juvenile (males)||All females (include adults, young adults or juveniles)|
Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was outstanding in unpaid fines and other financial penalties to the courts at the end of each of the last five years. 
Mr Djanogly: The amount of financial penalties outstanding at the end of each of the last five years is tabled as follows:
The outstanding balance has risen through the application of a strict policy that only allows fines to be written off in certain circumstances. The outstanding balance includes fines imposed a number of years ago during the period when fines could not be cancelled (2004-06) and fines which are being paid by instalments.
The national payment rate for financial penalties at the end of the 2008-09 financial year was 85% and 71% excluding the value of administrative cancellations.
HMCS is currently implementing the 'Criminal Compliance and Enforcement Services-A Blueprint for 2008 to 2012' which was launched in July 2008 and is currently being implemented by all of the HMCS regions. The blueprint sets out HMCS's strategic objective which is for a cheaper, faster and more proportionate system that primarily focuses on 'first time' compliance while continuing to apply the principles of rigorous enforcement to the hard core of defaulters.
Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of fines and other financial penalties uncollected by Her Majesty's Court Service. 
Mr Djanogly: Her Majesty's Courts Service has in place a strategy to increase the success of compliance with court orders particularly with regard to financial penalties-the Criminal Compliance and Enforcement Services Blueprint. This was launched in July 2008 and is being implemented across HMCS. The blueprint sets out HMCS's strategic objective for enforcement which is for a cheaper, faster and more proportionate system that primarily focuses on 'first time' compliance while continuing to apply the principles of rigorous enforcement to the hard core of defaulters. The blueprint implementation ensures greater use of the sanctions available under the Courts Act 2003 and extended methods of payment.
Performance in relation to the collection of financial penalties is being closely monitored across all areas of
HMCS and any area where performance is below target is being challenged by a central team who will assist the area in identifying areas for improvement and set targets for increased collection.
In the 2009-10 financial year HMCS collected £12.5 million (5%) more cash against financial penalties than in the 2008-09 year.
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) which (a) Crown and (b) magistrates courts have video links to which prisons; 
(2) what the monetary cost to his department was the installation of video link equipment in each (a) Crown court, (b) magistrates court and (c) prison in which such equipment has been installed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Blunt: At present, there are 30 Crown courts and 155 magistrates courts that have video links. Any of these courts can connect via video link with any prisons that also have this system installed. Details of all the courts and prisons equipped with video link are shown in the following lists.
The Ministry of Justice funds the video conferencing service. I will write to the hon. Member to provide details of the cost to the Department for installing the video link equipment.
Magistrates courts with video link
Bootle/S. Sefton Youth
City of London
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newport, Isle of Wight
Stoke on Trent
HMP Eastwood Park
HMP Forest Bank
HMYOI Glen Parva
HMP Holme House
HMYOI Lancaster Farms
HMP Low Newton
HMYOI New Hall
HMYOI Stoke Heath
HMP Wormwood Scrubs
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