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22 July 2010 : Column 483Wcontinued
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will include in his Strategic Defence and Security review a review of the UK's cyber security defensive and offensive capability. 
Nick Herbert: I have been asked to reply.
Cyber security is a key work strand in the ongoing Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). In subjecting cyber security to the review process the full range of cyber capabilities have been considered, including (but not limited to) defensive and offensive capability. This has involved detailed liaison and discussion across Government, including with the security agencies. The Government expect to publish the outcomes of the SDSR in the autumn, in co-ordination with the comprehensive spending review (CSR).
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the future provision of his Department's firing ranges in the Uists will be considered as part of the strategic defence and security review. 
Dr Fox: The Strategic Defence and Security Review is looking at a wide range of options to ensure that the Defence budget is spent as efficiently, effectively and economically as possible. This includes the Department's approach to test and evaluation, and military training, including that provided at the Hebrides range.
Mr Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the terms of reference are for the Trident value for money review; what the timetable is for that review; which Departments will contribute to that review; which independent organisations will be consulted under that review; by what mechanisms that consultation will be undertaken; and whether that review will include consideration of the option of extending the life of the current Vanguard submarines beyond an additional five years; 
(2) what account the (a) Strategic Defence and Security Review and (b) Comprehensive Spending Review will take of the Trident value for money review. 
Dr Fox [holding answer 19 July 2010]: Both the value for money review of the Trident programme and the re-examination of the UK's declaratory nuclear policy will be conducted within the framework of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The current policy of maintaining the UK's essential minimum deterrent remains unchanged. The Trident Value For Money Review is looking at whether this policy can be met while reducing the cost of the successor submarine and ballistic missile systems, including by shifting the balance between financial savings and operational risk.
The value for money review work will cover: the programme timetable; submarine numbers; numbers of missiles, missile tubes and warheads; infrastructure and other support costs; and the industrial supply chain.
The Ministry of Defence's work on the value for money review should be completed at the end of this month. The findings will go to the Cabinet Office, and will then be considered by the National Security Council. The Council's conclusions will inform the SDSR and the comprehensive spending review, which will be published in the autumn.
There are no plans for independent organisations to be consulted.
The review will consider the optimum programme timeline. Part of that work will include consideration of the costs and risks of further extending the Vanguard class beyond the planned five year life extension.
Mr Havard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will request the National Audit Office to evaluate the (a) assumptions on which the Trident value for money review will be based and (b) mechanisms by which that review will be carried out. 
Dr Fox [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The National Audit Office is already reviewing the Department's financial planning process, which includes the assumptions for the successor deterrent programme. There is no intention to commission a further NAO review of the successor programme at this stage.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will lay before Parliament before the summer recess the report of the value-for-money study being undertaken into the Trident nuclear weapons systems replacement options. 
Dr Fox [holding answer 20 July 2010]: No. The Ministry of Defence's work on the value-for-money study should be completed at the end of this month. The findings will then go to the Cabinet Office for consideration by the National Security Council. The Council's conclusions will inform the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the Comprehensive Spending Review, which will be published in the autumn.
Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research and design work will need to be authorised in the assessment phase that will follow an initial gate decision to replace the Vanguard nuclear weapons capable submarines; which long lead items would be purchased during the assessment phase; what the estimated monetary value will be of contracts placed to deliver assessment phase work; in which financial year each such contract will be placed; over what financial years contract payments would be spread; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: Decisions on the research and design work required during the assessment phase of the programme to replace the Vanguard submarine, as well as the associated commercial and procurement strategies, will be made as part of and following the Initial Gate approvals process, taking full account of the ongoing value-for-money review. The Initial Gate approvals process is currently planned to be completed towards the end of 2010.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has visited the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers since his appointment. 
Dr Fox: I am planning a visit to a Type 45 destroyer early in the autumn.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his plans are for the use of Government funds earmarked for New Deal for Communities programmes in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands and (c) Kings Norton, Birmingham which are (i) unallocated and (ii) not yet spent. 
The final year's funding of £78 million has been approved for the remaining 23 Round 2 NDCs across England including the West Midlands and Funding Agreement letters have been issued. The Funding Agreement for all NDCs state, as conditions, that they must secure best value for money in the purchase of
goods and services made for the purposes of the programme and unspent grant must be returned to the department at the end of the financial year.
CLG funding for Round 1 NDCs (including Kings Norton) ended in March 2010.
Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many contracts were awarded to suppliers in respect of the FiReControl project; and what the monetary value of each such contract was. 
Robert Neill: The following major contracts have been awarded to suppliers in respect of the FiReControl protect:
A contract awarded to EADS to develop the IT solution worth around £200 million;
A seven year contract valued at around £25 million awarded to VT Flagship to provide facilities management services;
Lease agreements entered into for the nine Control Centres are as follows:
|Control centre location||Total rent payable for duration of the lease (£)||Length of lease (years)|
Leases for the north-east, east midlands and north-west control centres have been transferred to their local authority controlled companies (LACC). The other leases are currently held by the Department until the other LACCs are in a position to take these over.
In addition a list of commercial suppliers who have been paid under contracts worth more than £500 between project start up in April 2004 and June 2010, has been placed in the Library of the House
The FiReControl project is over-budget and behind schedule. The new Government are committed to ensuring value for money for the taxpayer improving resilience and stopping the forced regionalisation of the fire service.
Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of the budget for the Government Office of the North West for 2010-11 will be used to promote enterprise in (a) Lancaster and (b) the North West. 
Robert Neill: The Government office of the north-west does not hold a budget for the promotion of enterprise.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proportion of all homeless applicants to local authority housing departments had as the recorded principal ground of application the end of an assured shorthold tenancy in each of the last 10 years; 
(2) what proportion of all homeless applicants to local authority housing departments in (a) each region of England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland gave the end of an assured short hold tenancy as the principal grounds for the application in each of the last 10 years. 
Summary information about English local housing authorities' actions under the homelessness
legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected at local authority level, and published by the Department in the quarterly Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, available both in the Library and via the CLG website:
Figures broken down by reason for application are only available relating to homeless applicants accepted as being statutorily homeless, that is eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, rather than all homeless applicants, and these have been provided in the following table.
The Department does not hold statistics for the devolved Administrations.
|Percentage of homeless households in priority need accepted by local authorities with termination of assured short hold tenancy as reason for loss of last settled home|
|2000 - 01||2001 - 02||2002 - 03||2003 - 04||2004 - 05||2005 - 06||2006 - 07||2007 - 08||2008 - 09||2009 - 10|
Quarterly PIE returns, 2000-01 to 2009-10
Mr Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in which 12 English cities it is intended to introduce elected mayors; and what the (a) geographical area of and (b) population will be within each mayoralty. 
Robert Neill: The Structural Reform Plan, published by my Department on 8 July, states that we will legislate through the Localism Bill for directly elected mayors to enable the largest 12 cities in England to have mayors from 2012, subject to confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the adequacy of arrangements to encourage economic development in national parks through the planning process; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: National policy set out in Planning Policy Statement 4: "Planning for Sustainable Economic Growth" supports economic development in rural areas, including locations remote from local service centres where small scale and the most sustainable option.
We will create a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the planning system and will provide incentives to help people to decide locally on what development is appropriate in their areas. In national parks, the conservation of the natural beauty of the landscape and countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage should carry great weight in planning decisions so that we protect the environment for future generations.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of cleaning the camp site on Parliament Square; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: Costs for the decontamination, cleaning, graffiti removal, replanting and reseeding are expected to be in the region of £50,000.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who has responsibility for the restoration of Parliament Square following the eviction of protestors camped in the square; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: Under the Greater London Authority Act, the GLA is responsible for the control and management of Parliament Square Gardens and therefore all costs and actions in relation to the reinstatement of Parliament Square, following the eviction of the protestors, is the responsibility of the GLA.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when Professor Steven Fothergill's report The Small Resort Benchmarking Study in England and Wales is to be published. 
Robert Neill: Ministers are currently considering a publication timetable for all research reports funded by the Department that have been delayed due to purdah. It is expected that these reports will be published over the summer.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2010, Official Report, column 531W, on the Working Neighbourhood Fund: Birmingham, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Birmingham Local Strategic Partnership and (b) Birmingham City Council and other constituent organisations of the partnership on the (i) use and (ii) future of Working Neighbourhood Fund programmes in Birmingham. 
Robert Neill: The Working Neighbourhoods Fund is paid as part of area based grant. This gives councils the flexibility to take decisions locally on how best to meet their priorities.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with either the Birmingham Local Strategic Partnership or Birmingham City Council on the use and future of the WNF programme in Birmingham
Ministers would be happy to meet representatives of Birmingham City Council to discuss these issues.
Helen Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what assessment has been made of the extent of liability of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for any financial implications for hon. Members in the event of the alleged unauthorised disclosure of personal details by the Authority. 
Mr Charles Walker: It has not been possible for IPSA to provide a response to this question by the named day. IPSA will respond as soon as possible.
Substantive answer from Charles Walker to Helen Jones:
Under section 13(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, an individual MP who can show that he or she has suffered damage by reason of any contravention by IPSA of any of the requirements of the Data Protection Act is entitled to claim compensation from IPSA for that damage.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects on levels of biodiversity of higher level stewardship schemes; and how such effects are measured. 
Richard Benyon: The monitoring and evaluation of the biodiversity benefits of Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements are part of a continuous process carried out (at the agreement and option level) under Natural England's Environmental Stewardship monitoring programme. Further information regarding the biodiversity performance of HLS can be found within Natural England's report 'Agri-environment schemes in England 2009, A review of results and effectiveness'. The full report can be found at:
Each HLS agreement also has an individually tailored set of "indicators of success"-against which progress towards the delivery of biodiversity and other benefits can be measured.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to which Commonwealth organisations her Department provides grant funding; and how much it has provided to each in each of the last 10 years. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA provided grant funding to one Commonwealth organisation between the time the Department was created in June 2001 and 31 March 2010:
This funding was provided for building civil society capacity for conservation in the Caribbean UK Overseas Territories, under the Darwin Initiative, more information about which can be found at:
Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dogs were destroyed in (a) England, (b) London and (c) the London Borough of Ealing following seizure under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in the last three years. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 21 July 2010]: Figures detailing the number of dogs destroyed following seizure under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in England in the last three years cannot be provided because these figures are not held centrally.
Figures detailing the number of such dogs destroyed in London, and in the London Borough of Ealing in the last three years will be placed in the House Library shortly.
Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dogs are being kennelled in (a) England, (b) London and (c) the London borough of Ealing while their status under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is being determined. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 21 July 2010]: Figures detailing the number of dogs currently being kennelled in England while their status under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is being decided cannot be provided because these figures are not held centrally.
Figures detailing the number of such dogs currently being kennelled in London, and in the London borough of Ealing, will be placed in the House Library shortly.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) her Department and its predecessors and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on legal advice in each year since 1997. 
Richard Benyon: In response to the amount spent on legal advice since 1997, the Department was not formed until 2001 and data between then and April 2002 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The amount spent on legal advice each year since April 2006 for core DEFRA is shown in the following table:
|Financial year||Value (£ million)|
It should be noted that these figures do not include advice from Treasury solicitors, parliamentary counsel and Agency lawyers.
In respect of the earlier years, 2002-06 an answer was tabled in a previously response to David Davis MP in January 2007 and the figures given are tabled as follows:
|Financial year||Value (£)|
Information on legal advice obtained by its Agencies and NDPB's is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) date of establishment, (b) number of staff employed and (c) annual budget is of each of her Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies. 
Richard Benyon: The information requested is set out in the tables. The following should be considered alongside this:
(a) the date of establishment reflects the year each body was established.
(b) the number of staff employed reflects full-time equivalents and the latest information available. Where the number of staff employed is shown as zero, this reflects the fact that many smaller NDPBs utilise a minimal secretariat function provided by staff employed within the core Department.
(c) the annual budget is the sum of the current admin, programme and capital allocations for each body for 2010-11 (£ million).
|(a) Date of establishment||(b) Number of staff employed||(c) 2010-11 annual budget (£ million)|
|(1) CEFAS, Fera, the VLA and the VMD are net control agencies, i.e. they net off receipts against gross running costs. The budget figures shown thus represent capital funding only.|
|(a) Date of establishment||(b) Number of staff employed||(c) 2010-11 annual budget (£ million)|
|(2) Levy-funded body: income from the levy covers expenditure on running costs.|
(3) DEFRA alone funds the costs of JNCC's work on reserved matters such as marine work beyond territorial waters, overseas territories and international conventions. This element of the budget is set out in the table above. The remaining costs are shared by DEFRA (49.25%) funded through Natural England; Scottish Executive (29%) funded through Scottish Natural Heritage; Welsh Assembly Government (14.5%) funded through the Countryside Council for Wales; and DOE Northern Ireland (7.25%). Further funding in 2010-11 will come from the Defray Marine Programme for the establishment and monitoring of marine protected areas/marine conservation zones and broader marine biodiversity monitoring needs.
(4) Excludes Rural Development Programme for England funding; the contribution which NE makes to JNCC; and its income from activities and certain other sources (e.g. rents).
|(a) Date of establishment||(b) Number of staff employed||(c) 2010-11 annual budget (£ million)|
National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources
|(a) Date of establishment||(b) Number of staff employed||(c) 2010-11 annual budget (£ million)|
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many of her Department's contracts with its suppliers are under review as a result of the recently announced reductions in public expenditure; and what the monetary value is of all such contracts which are under review; 
(2) how many officials in her Department are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Department as a result of recently announced reductions in public spending; what savings are expected to accrue to her Department from such renegotiations; how much expenditure her Department will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. 
Richard Benyon: Work on assessing our current contracts and identifying the scope for renegotiation is currently under way following the announcements in the Budget. It is too early to say what will be the outcome in terms of numbers of contracts affected, likely savings or number of staff involved in the activity.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received on the proposed partial closure of the Leeds-Liverpool canal due to a lack of rainfall. 
Richard Benyon: No representations have been received regarding the closure of the Leeds-Liverpool canal because of the lack of rainfall. This is an operational matter for British Waterways (BW).
BW advised me of planned closures of parts of the Leeds and Liverpool canal. It also advised that the reason was severe drought and they are doing all they can to conserve water levels, and will reopen the canal as soon as sufficient water supplies become available. In the meantime they are contacting all affected customers, and will do all that they can to minimise the impact on them.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department plans to undertake a public consultation as
part of its review of the governance arrangements of national parks; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: As set out in the Government's coalition document, we will be reviewing the governance arrangements of national parks. I have now written to the chair of the English National Park Authorities Association on this issue. No timetable has yet been set, but we will keep the DEFRA website updated on progress.
Barbara Keeley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will bring forward proposals for the compulsory labelling of horticultural composts to indicate the percentage of peat they contain; 
(2) what steps she is taking to phase out the use of peat in garden compost; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: We are currently considering our approach to a new policy to reduce the horticultural use of peat in growing media and, as part of this, are considering the labelling of growing media products. The most recent data for peat sales throughout 2009 will be published shortly, and this will feed into the development of future policy.
We believe that retail growing media products should be clearly labelled so that the consumer is aware of whether or not they contain peat, and can, therefore, make an informed purchase choice. Some manufacturers have already introduced new labelling schemes for their bagged growing media this season, and it is encouraging that there are plans to develop these further for 2011.
Barbara Keeley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the contribution of peat soils (a) in storing carbon dioxide, (b) as habitats for wildlife and (c) as archaeological sites; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: Peat soils provide a wide range of 'ecosystem services' or functions for society, including carbon storage. UK peat soils are estimated to store around 5.5 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to 31 times the UK's total annual greenhouse gas emissions if it were all lost to the atmosphere.
Peat soils also support valuable wildlife and biodiversity and a range of peatland habitats in both upland areas (for example, blanket bogs and moorland) and lowlands (for example, raised bogs and fens). The importance of peatland habitats is recognised by the designation of 68% of English upland blanket bogs as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and 85% of lowland raised bogs.
Formed over hundreds and thousands of years in cold and wet conditions, peat soils are of special interest for archaeology. The preservation of organic materials (e.g. wood, skin, leather, hair, textiles and plant remains) in peat has led to a better and more detailed understanding of the past, including valuable information about past environmental and climatic change. English Heritage surveys of the main wetlands in England show that there are 4,200 archaeological sites in lowland peatlands alone.
Barbara Keeley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will estimate the effect on the level of carbon dioxide emissions of restoring peat extraction sites to sphagnum-forming bogs; 
(2) what assessment she has given of the likely effect on the level of carbon dioxide emissions of the restoration of peat bogs; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment she has made of the contribution of lowland raised bogs in (a) reducing the level of carbon dioxide emissions and (b) contributing to Government targets contained in the Biodiversity Action Plan. 
Richard Benyon: Degraded peatlands emit carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere as their store of carbon is oxidised. The primary objective of most restoration activities is to protect the underlying peat (for example, by re-wetting or re-vegetating) and to halt the emissions associated with degradation.
Restoration to an active peat-forming bog is more challenging and can take many decades, if not centuries. As such, accumulation of new carbon in restored and active peat bogs (in other words, the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) is a slow process, and peat is, therefore, viewed as an essentially non-renewable resource. However, active bogs do accumulate carbon (by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere) at a rate of 0.2 to 0.7 tonnes per hectare per year, under UK conditions.
A DEFRA study in 2009 concluded that the restoration of degraded peatlands is generally beneficial from an overall global warming point of view as it protects the carbon store from further degradation. However, it is recognised that active peat bogs are also, naturally, a source of methane emissions, and any post-restoration savings in emissions of carbon dioxide need to be carefully balanced against the potential for increased emissions of methane. DEFRA has recently commissioned further research to develop best practices for restoration, focusing on techniques to minimise methane emissions.
The domestic extraction of peat for horticultural use in the UK, predominantly from lowland raised bogs, is estimated to result in emissions of at least 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (not including the emissions associated with peat imports). If extraction from these sites halted and they were restored to sphagnum-forming bogs, these emissions would be halted-although, as above, restoration to an active bog can take many decades, or even centuries.
Lowland raised bogs are an important store of carbon, with underlying deposits of up to 10 metres deep, and raised bogs in England alone are estimated to store over 57 million tonnes of carbon. This is equivalent to a third of the UK's total annual greenhouse gas emissions, if it were all lost to the atmosphere.
The Biodiversity Action Plan contained four specific targets for lowland raised bogs. Progress against each was assessed in 2008 by the UK Biodiversity Partnership and this assessment can be found on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee's website at:
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure compliance with regulations on the use of pesticides. 
Mr Paice: Compliance with regulations on the use of pesticides is ensured via an established combination of surveillance (including food, wildlife and environment monitoring programmes) and reactive investigation undertaken by various enforcement bodies including the Health and Safety Executive, the Rural Payments Agency, local authorities and the Environment Agency.
Regional agencies acting on behalf of the devolved administrations ensure compliance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to enforce regulations on spray drift of pesticides. 
Mr Paice: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has responsibility for enforcement in this specific area. Over-spraying or spray-drift incidents reported to HSE are assessed and where necessary subject to investigation and appropriate regulatory action including prosecution.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of progress of her Department's research project on electric pet training devices; and (a) how, (b) where and (c) through whom the dogs used in the study have been sourced. 
Mr Paice: We have been monitoring progress of the research project on electronic training devices closely. This includes meeting with all of the contractors involved with the project and regular contact via email and telephone. The project was also assessed by animal welfare experts as part of the review of all DEFRA-funded animal welfare Research and Development held in March 2010.
The dogs used in the research project have been sourced from a number of locations, organisations and individuals e.g. through a survey of dog owners; via experienced dog trainers; through kennels for staff pets at a university; and through a dog training class at an agricultural college.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the beak-trimming of laying hens. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 13 July 2010]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr Anderson) on 9 June 2010, Official Report, column 150W.
The Government have accepted the advice of The Farm Animal Welfare Council, an independent advisory body, that a complete ban on beak trimming of laying hens should not be introduced from 1 January 2011 (as is currently in legislation), but should be deferred until it can be demonstrated reliably under commercial conditions that laying hens can be managed without routine beak trimming.
The Government's consultation on the proposed amendments to the Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007, to remove the total ban on beak trimming allowing for the routine beak trimming of day old chicks intended for laying to be carried out using the infra-red technique only, closed on the 14 April. Consultation responses are currently being considered.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether any consequential adjustment to payments to Scotland under the Barnett Formula arise from the changes to the Building Schools for the Future programme in England. 
Michael Moore: No Barnett consequentials arose from the Secretary of State for Education's announcement in respect of the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Deputy Prime Minister on the implementation in Scotland of plans to equalise the size of constituencies in Scotland. 
Michael Moore: The plans to equalise the size of constituencies across the United Kingdom will apply to Scotland as they will elsewhere.
However, the Government have proposed the two exceptions of Orkney and Shetland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar as those islands are less accessible and harder to traverse. We have concluded that exceptions for these areas are justified by their particular geography.
The forthcoming Bill will also provide for an upper limit on the geographical size of a constituency.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate his Department has made of its expenditure on travel undertaken in an official capacity by (a) him and (b) each other Minister in his Department in (i) May 2010 and (ii) June 2010. 
David Mundell: Scotland Office expenditure on travel undertaken in an official capacity by its Ministers is as follows:
|May 2010||June 2010|
All ministerial travel is undertaken by the most efficient and cost effective way, in accordance with the Ministerial Code, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.
Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent assessment he has made of the relationship between the Government and the Scottish Executive under the devolution settlement. 
Michael Moore: The Government are committed to an agenda of mutual respect with all three devolved Administrations. This commitment has been demonstrated by the attendance of the Prime Minister and Chief Secretary of the Treasury at the Scottish Parliament, very early after appointment. I have appeared before the Scottish Parliament's committee of conveners and have made clear my willingness to engage with both the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament on a regular basis.
Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with CBI Scotland on the condition of the Scottish economy. 
Michael Moore: I have had productive discussions with CBI Scotland and others on the Scottish economy, as had my right hon. Friend the Under-Secretary, and I plan to meet them again in the near future. Our plan to cut the record budget deficit that this Government inherited is the key to a sustained economic recovery.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the sum to accrue to the Exchequer from Scotland attributable to the proposed increase in the standard rate of value added tax in each of the next five years. 
Michael Moore: A geographical breakdown of the impact of the increase of the main rate of VAT has not been published. Detailed estimates of the annual yield of this measure are available in chapter 2 of the published HM Treasury June Budget 2010 document. Our necessary plan to cut the record budget deficit that this Government inherited, goes hand in hand with our determination to return sustained growth to the Scottish economy.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what models he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect on the Scottish economy of the proposed rise in the standard rate of value added tax. 
Michael Moore: The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) models the impact arising from Government policies for the whole of the United Kingdom. The VAT rise is part our necessary plan to cut the record budget deficit that this Government inherited. Reducing this deficit is essential, and goes hand in hand with our determination to return sustained growth to the Scottish economy.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effect on the Scottish economy of planned reductions in funding to the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme. 
Michael Moore: As part of the £85 million savings the Department for Energy and Climate Change is contributing to reduce the public deficit, funding available under the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme has been reduced by £3 million. However, this reduction will not affect the £5 million of grants announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on 5 July 2010, including the award of £800,000 to NGentec in Edinburgh.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on reductions in funding to the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme. 
Michael Moore: As part of the £85 million savings the Department for Energy and Climate Change is contributing to reduce the public deficit, funding available under the Offshore Wind Capital Grants Scheme has been reduced by £3 million. However, this reduction will not affect the £5 million of grants announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on 5 July 2010.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools in (a) Bristol, (b) South Gloucestershire and (c) Bath and North East Somerset local authority areas have expressed an interest in becoming academy schools. 
Mr Gibb: The information is as follows:
(a) For Bristol we have received one expression of interest from an outstanding school and four from schools that are not classed as outstanding.
(b) For South Gloucestershire we have received one expression of interest from an outstanding school and 16 expressions of interests from schools that are not classified as outstanding.
(c) For Bath and North East Somerset we have received six expressions of interests from outstanding schools and four from schools that are not classed as outstanding.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the oral statement of 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 49, on education funding, by what date he expects the review of his Department's capital spending to be completed. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2010]: The Review Panel has begun work and we expect them to conclude their review by the end of the calendar year.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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. 
Tim Loughton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, for Department for Transport on 13 July 2010, Official R eport, column 624W.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to relocate officials working in his Department from central London to Bassetlaw. 
Tim Loughton: The location of public sector activity and plans for the Government's estate will be considered alongside other public spending issues over the course of the spending review.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent representations he has received on the number of educational psychologists expected to complete their training in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. 
Sarah Teather [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The numbers of educational psychologists currently expected to complete training are as follows:
(a) 2010: 110
(b) 2011: 121
(c) 2012: 122.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many staff worked in his Department's ministerial support office on (a) 1 May 2010 and (b) 1 July 2010. 
Tim Loughton: The number of full-time equivalent staff in the Department's ministerial offices as at 1 May 2010 was 36.7. As at 1 July 2010 the Department's ministerial offices had 31.7 full-time equivalent staff.
Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the significant premium for disadvantaged pupils will be per pupil; and when he plans to make it available. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 15 July 2010]: We are currently considering school funding arrangements, including the pupil premium for disadvantaged children. We will be announcing our proposals in due course.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools in England (a) are grammar schools, (b) are controlled, foundation, voluntary-aided or voluntary-controlled and (c) have sixth forms; and how many grammar schools with sixth forms are controlled, foundation, voluntary-aided or voluntary-controlled. 
Mr Gibb: The information is as follows:
(a) There are 164 grammar schools in England.
(b) The following table represents the number of establishments per type which have a sixth form; this does not include the grammar schools or middle deemed primary or primary schools, grammar school data have been included in table c.
|Types of establishment||Have a sixth form||Does not have a sixth form||Total|
(c) The following table represents the total number of grammar schools which have a sixth form broken down by type of establishment.
|Types of grammar school||Have a sixth form||Total|
| Source: EduBase 2.|
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether it is his policy that outstanding schools will not be subject to Ofsted inspection unless standards at those schools start to deteriorate. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 19 July 2010]: It is the Government's intention that, in future, schools judged outstanding by Ofsted will not be subject to routine inspection by Ofsted, conditional on them maintaining both high performance and the confidence of parents.
Parents will be able to trigger an emergency inspection as is currently the case.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the financial effect on maintained schools of the increase in the rate of value added tax in 2011. 
Mr Gibb: In general terms, local authorities can recover input value added tax, so their costs will not rise when the VAT rate rises. Since maintained schools count as part of the local authority when spending local authority funds (section 49(5) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998), they can recover VAT through their maintaining authority. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but we estimate that the increase in the rate of VAT will not cause any significant pressure on schools' budgets.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to pilot a social work manager support programme in 2011. 
Tim Loughton: The Children's Workforce Development Council is already developing an offer of support for front line managers in social work. 16 children's services across the country are trialling approaches to ensuring their aspiring, new and experienced managers in their social work teams are properly equipped for the demands of the role. A further 69 children's services have expressed an interest in doing so later this year. The Department of Health is taking a similar approach in adult services and we will build on this work to develop a consistent offer for the whole profession from 2011.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to involve children and young people in the development and delivery of his Department's social work reform programme. 
Tim Loughton: The Department and the Social Work Reform Board are committed to involving service users, including children and young people, in the development and delivery of the social work reform programme.
The Social Work Reform Board includes a representative of A National Voice, an organisation run by and for young people who are in or leaving care. We have sought advice from him and other members of the Reform Board, and several networks of organisations representing children and young people, and we intend to use a number of approaches. These will include a reference group of young people, service users and carers, providing feedback on the reform programme to the Social Work Reform Board, and involvement in working groups developing detailed proposals on achievement of the Social Work Task Force's recommendations.
In addition, children and young people are already being involved in the development and delivery of various social work pilots. For example, the recruitment process for the 'Step Up to Social Work' pilot required candidates to complete exercises where they interacted with children and young people.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department plans to allocate to social work reform as outlined in Building a safe and confident future: Implementing the recommendations of the Social Work Taskforce in 2010-11. 
Tim Loughton: The following funding was confirmed in a written statement to the House on 10 June 2010, Official Report, columns 17-19WS, as part of the announcement of Professor Munro's review of child protection:
A £23 million Local Social Work Improvement Fund will be available to local authority children's services in 2010-11.
The continuation of Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) programmes to support recruitment and retention of social workers.
Funding to support the establishment of an independent College of Social Work.
Continuation of pilots of Social Work Practices.
We have found some efficiencies (£6 million) in the CWDC work announced by the previous Government in "Building a safe and confident future: implementing the recommendations of the Social Work Task Force", which have been achieved by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, marketing and overlap. Similarly, rather than proceed with a grant for IT improvement (£15 million) announced in that publication, I have asked the Munro Review to consider in detail the question of how IT can best support effective social work practice.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he has received recent representations on granting anonymity to teachers accused of a sexual offence by pupils; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton: I have received no recent representations on granting anonymity to teachers accused of a sexual offence by pupils. In our coalition programme we made a commitment to give anonymity to teachers accused by pupils. We are currently considering how to take this forward and will make an announcement in due course.
I know that being named in the press can cause untold harm to teachers who are subsequently acquitted or against whom no further action is taken and I am determined to increase the protection given to them.
9. Mike Freer: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on increasing recruitment to the civil service from black, Asian and other minority ethnic people. 
Lynne Featherstone: Black, Asian and other minority ethnic (BAME) representation in the civil service has been increasing steadily and is broadly representative of the economically active population. The Government are committed to attracting the best talent from the widest pool of candidates. There have been targeted and successful efforts to make the civil service and fast stream more diverse. My Cabinet colleagues are looking at the range of BAME internships run by Departments and I expect to have discussions with them on this matter in due course.
Ian Austin: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what her estimate is of the mileage she travelled in a Government car in (a) May and (b) June 2010. 
Lynne Featherstone: The Minister for Women and Equalities did not travel in a Government car on official GEO business in May 2010 or June 2010.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what recent research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) educational achievements and (ii) achievements in working life of women; and if she will make a statement. 
Lynne Featherstone: I have not commissioned any research specifically on these subjects but I will set out what we know.
There is a gender gap in achievement at school, with girls overall gaining higher qualifications than boys. Schools with little or no gender gap tend to have a positive learning ethos, high expectations of all pupils, high quality teaching and classroom management and close tracking of individual pupils' achievement.
We also know that more women are now completing further education than men. In 2008-09 57% of first degree graduates from courses at UK higher education institutions were female.
Despite these achievements in education women are still, on average, earning 12.2% less than men (comparing the median hourly wages of men and women working full-time).
We have pledged to tackle this by promoting equal pay and we will take a range of measures to end discrimination and disadvantage in the work place. The role of women as primary carers in many families contributes to the pay gap so we will be introducing measures to help people balance their work and home responsibilities. These include extending the right to request flexible working for all and promoting a system of flexible parental leave. We are also looking at how to promote gender equality on the boards of listed companies.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what her policy is on adoption of measures to assist people from ethnic minorities to obtain senior positions in the public and private sector. 
Lynne Featherstone: The Government are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all under-represented groups in both the public and private sector.
To pave the way we have outlined some of our proposals for change in the new Coalition programme for government. So for example, we will:
promote opportunities by providing internships for under-represented minorities in every Whitehall Department;
fund a targeted national enterprise mentoring scheme for black and minority ethnic (BAME) people who want to start a business; and
we will look to promote gender equality on the boards of listed companies.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Leader of the House what steps he has taken to reduce the running costs of his Office since his appointment. 
Mr Heath: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
1. Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve the long-term financial viability of the rail network. 
Mr Philip Hammond: Sir Roy McNulty's review of value for money on the railway has produced a scoping study, which identifies that the UK's railway is prima facie up to 40% more expensive than elsewhere in Europe. We must adjust to a world in which our aspirations for a successful railway have to be met from within a much tighter public spending envelope. Therefore, I have asked Sir Roy to accelerate his work, looking at the drivers of cost across the industry and to produce recommendations to create a sustainable railway with growing passenger usage and declining subsidy.
17. Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress he has made on the Todmorden Curve rail project. 
Mrs Villiers: The Todmorden Curve rail project is being promoted by Burnley borough council and Lancashire county council. These local authorities are working with Network Rail to develop a business case for funding from local sources.
18. Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with representatives of local transport authorities on the electrification of the Wrexham to Bidston rail line; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: The Welsh Assembly Government are responsible for Arriva Trains Wales' services between Wrexham and Bidston. We continue to keep in touch with the Welsh Assembly Government and Merseytravel about options for the line. I discussed electrification of the Wrexham-Bidston line when I met the Director General of Merseytravel on 23 June.
19. Jane Ellison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the Government's review of rail franchising; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: The Government today launched their consultation on the future of rail franchising policy.
Our proposed reforms will lead to longer, more flexible franchises to incentivise private sector investment in the railways to benefit passengers and improve value for money.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department and its agencies have spent on the installation of automatic number plate recognition cameras to date. 
Mike Penning: The total cost of establishing the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) capability from 2002-03 to date is £7.7 million. This includes all capital and running costs (including the cost of the vehicles). The total cost of establishing the Highway's Agency's ANPR capability from September 2001 to date is £12.5 million. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) capital expenditure on ANPR and Weigh in Motion Sensors from 2003-04 to March 2010 was £3.4 million. This figure cannot be disaggregated without incurring disproportionate costs.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to achieve agreement at EU level on reducing aviation emissions. 
Mrs Villiers: An agreement at EU level on reducing aviation emissions already exists. In 2008 the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission agreed to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System from 1 January 2012. This agreement limits CO2 emissions from aviation to 97% of the average annual emissions between 2004-06 in 2012. In 2013 this cap on emissions will tighten to 95% of the average annual emissions levels between 2004-06.
Inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading System is complemented by operational and technological measures at European level, such as the implementation of the Single European Sky project which would make air traffic management more efficient.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on Crossrail from (a) the public purse and (b) private sources to date; and what estimate his Department has made of the annual expenditure from each source until completion. 
Mrs Villiers: In relation to public sector expenditure on Crossrail, I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made to the House on 15 July 2010, Official Report, column 43WS.
In relation to private funding, there are specific agreements with Canary Wharf Group (for £150 million), City of London (for £350 million), BAA (for £230 million), and Berkeley Homes Group (to construct the Woolwich Station box) as well as wider contributions being made through business rate supplements, the planned community infrastructure levy and Section 106 developer contributions.
Construction of the Canary Wharf Crossrail station is currently under way and good progress is being made. It is envisaged, on the current rate of construction, that the £150 million Canary Wharf Group contribution to Crossrail will have been put in to the project by June 2011. The other contributions are subject to conditions being met which are set out in the specific agreements. The detailed profile of expenditure by private sector contributors is commercially confidential.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on the Government Car Service since the Government took office. 
Mike Penning: The total spent by the Department for Transport on car services provided by the Government Car Service for the period 12 May 2010 to 12 July 2010 is £35,441.04 (excl. VAT). The costs cover all car services provided to Ministers plus on-demand taxi-style services provided to officials.
The new Ministerial Code, published on 21 May 2010, contains changes that affect ministerial entitlement to travel by Government car. It states that:
"the number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum, taking into account security and other relevant considerations. Other Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the Government Car Service Pool as needed".
The Department for Transport and its Government Car and Despatch Agency are working with Departments to effect the transition to the new arrangements.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have been driven by the Government Car Service since the Government took office; and how much each of these persons has received in expenses for use of taxis, buses and underground trains in that period. 
Mike Penning: I refer the hon. Member to the answers of 2 June 2010, Official Report, column 6W and 8 July 2010, Official Report, column 371W.
In addition, the Government publishes on a quarterly basis, the expenses incurred by the most senior officials which includes use of the Government car service and other travel expenses.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the effects on (a) levels of employment, (b) economic growth and (c) the environment of reductions in (i) direct train services between Lincoln and London and (ii) other rail services on the East Coast Main Line. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 19 July 2010]: No reductions are planned in direct train services between Lincoln and London or in other services on the East Coast Main Line. The new timetable, which will start in May 2011, increases the number of trains on the route and introduces the first direct trains between Lincoln and London King's Cross for many years.
Assessment of major changes to railway timetables is carried out in line with the Department's appraisal guidance for transport schemes, which covers a range of costs and benefits including economic and environmental impacts.
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions the legal limit on night flights has been breached at Heathrow airport in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: Aircraft departing from Heathrow at night are required to operate within noise limits prescribed by my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport. During the May 2009 to June 2010 period, there were 67 night noise infringements. In all these cases, the operator was fined by the airport. All revenue from fines is donated to a local fund used to finance local community projects.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what statistics his Department holds on (a) punctuality and reliability and (b) passengers in excess numbers for rail services on the East Grinstead to London route in each month since November 2009. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The Department for Transport does not hold disaggregated performance data for East Grinstead to London. However, the following table shows the public performance measure (PPM) for all Southern services since November 2009. The Period PPM column shows performance in the period itself, while the PPM MAA column shows the moving annual average for the previous 12 months. PPM combines figures for punctuality and reliability into a single performance measure.
Information relating to passengers in excess numbers for rail services on the East Grinstead to London route is not measured on the basis sought and is not available. The information requested is currently published annually in aggregated form by the Office for Rail Regulation within its 'National Rail Trends Yearbook'. The latest published data relate to passenger journeys in 2008-09. Chapter 7 of the latest update of 'National Rail Trends' contains these data and is available on the Office of Rail Regulation website at:
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what statistics his Department holds on (a) punctuality and reliability and (b) passengers in excess numbers for rail services on the Haywards Heath to London route in each month since November 2009. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The Department for Transport does not hold disaggregated performance data for Haywards Heath to London. However, the following tables show the public performance measure (PPM) for all Southern and First Capital Connect services since November 2009.
The Period PPM column shows performance in the period itself, while the PPM MAA column shows the moving annual average for the previous 12 months. PPM combines figures for punctuality and reliability into a single performance measure.
|Period||Period PPM||PPM MAA|
|First Capital Connect PPM|
|Period||Period PPM||PPM MAA|
Information relating to passengers in excess numbers for rail services on the Haywards Heath to London route is not measured on the basis sought and is not available. The information requested is currently published annually in aggregated form by the Office for Rail Regulation within its 'National Rail Trends Yearbook'. The latest published data relate to passenger journeys in 2008-09. Chapter 7 of the latest update of 'National Rail Trends' contains these data and is available on the Office of Rail Regulation website at:
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what correspondence his Department has had with Network Rail officials on how Network Rail plans to reduce its expenditure by £100 million in 2010-11; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such item of correspondence. 
Mrs Villiers: No formal correspondence exists between the Department for Transport and Network Rail on this matter. However, some e-mails exist covering the arrangements for the announcement and I am placing copies in the Libraries of the House.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings he has had with Network Rail since his appointment; and whether executive pay at Network Rail was included on the agenda of those meetings. 
Mrs Villiers: The issue of executive pay has not been included on the agenda of any meeting my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has held with Network Rail.
However, Officials from the Department for Transport have spoken to Network Rail's representatives to stress the points contained in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's letter of 28 May to Rick Haythornthwaite, chairman of Network Rail, emphasising the need for restraint on executive pay. This letter is available in the Library of the House.
Sajid Javid: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take account of the level of funding per head from central Government between 2000 to 2010 for Bromsgrove district council and Worcestershire county council when determining the level of funding for Bromsgrove's new railway station. 
Mrs Villiers: The Government do not make a link in the way proposed by the hon. Member between the funding for a particular project and the level of funding to the local authorities within which the project is located.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring the East Anglia and Essex Thameside franchises into public ownership in March 2011 in order to ensure continuity of service for the London 2012 Olympics. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 19 July 2010]: The Government have no plans to bring the Greater Anglia and Essex Thameside franchises into public ownership. It is anticipated that these franchises will continue to be operated by private sector train operators under contract to Government, which will include provisions for ensuring continuity of service during the period of the Olympics.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the cost in 2010 prices of electrifying (a) the Great Western railway line from Swansea to London, (b) the North Wales coastline from Holyhead to Chester, (c) the Valley Lines Network, (d) the Severn Tunnel Diversionary Line and (e) lines to the West of Swansea (i) from Carmarthen to Swansea and (ii) from Carmarthen to Western terminus stations. 
Mrs Villiers: In July 2009 the previous Government announced that the Great Western Main Line between London and Swansea, including the branches to Oxford and Newbury, would be electrified at a capital cost of £1 billion (in 2009 prices).
The Department for Transport has carried out a high-level analysis of the costs of further electrification in Wales, based on the length of the tracks and typical costs per mile of other recent electrification work. But a detailed estimate of cost based on the features specific to these routes, such as the number of structures needing modification and power supply requirements has not been made.
The Government support rail electrification as it helps to reduce carbon emissions and cut running costs. However, we are in the early stages of the new Government and Ministers are considering the full range of transport policy to ascertain what is affordable.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken to increase the proportion of the rail network that is electrified. 
Mrs Villiers: Network Rail has commenced detailed design work for electrification of the Great Western Main Line, the Liverpool to Manchester line via Newton-le-Willows, and other routes in the north-west. Electrification of the line between Bromsgrove and Barnt Green is being delivered as part of Network Rail's settlement for Control Period 4 (2009-10 to 2013-14).
The Government support rail electrification as it helps to reduce carbon emissions and cut running costs. However, our priority is tackling the fiscal deficit and Ministers will consider the full range of proposed transport projects in parallel with the spending review process to ascertain what is affordable.
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