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26 July 2010 : Column 633W—continued

Planning Permission: Appeals

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he has issued to the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the planning application in Tolleshunt Knights (appeal reference: APP/X1545/A/10/2130723/NWF); and if he will make a statement. [11053]

Robert Neill: I cannot comment on individual planning applications. This matter is for the Planning Inspectorate. The Secretary of State published advice to local authorities and the Planning Inspectorate when he revoked regional strategies on 6 July. The advice is clear that regional strategies are no longer part of the statutory development plan. The Planning Inspectorate has ensured that all inspectors are aware of this advice.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will direct the Planning Inspectorate considering the planning application in Tolleshunt Knights (appeal reference: APP/X1545/A/10/2130723/NWF) to take into account his decision to end regional spatial strategies; and if he will make a statement. [11055]

Robert Neill: I cannot comment on individual planning applications; this matter is for the Planning Inspectorate. We published advice to local authorities and the Planning Inspectorate when we revoked regional strategies on 6 July. The advice is clear that regional strategies are no longer part of the statutory Development Plan and should no longer be treated as such when making planning decisions.


26 July 2010 : Column 634W

Private Rented Housing

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to (a) promote responsible letting and (b) deal with rogue landlords. [10844]

Andrew Stunell: This Government are keen to encourage responsible letting through the use of voluntary accreditation schemes for landlords and letting agents. These can offer landlords the benefit of a market advantage and tenants a guaranteed standard of accommodation and service. My Department is working with the leading industry bodies to examine what might be done to increase the use of voluntary schemes by landlords and agents. Local authorities already have extensive powers to take action against rogue landlords. We will work with them to ensure that any barriers to them using those powers are lifted.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the status is of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister draft circular 01/2006 (Gypsy and Traveller sites); whether he plans to bring forward proposals to replace it. [8145]

Andrew Stunell: Since regional strategies have been revoked, the level of pitch provision should now be determined locally. We intend to replace this circular with new light-touch guidance as part of a broader package of reforms to ensure fair play in the planning system.

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to introduce legislative proposals to strengthen the powers of local councils to remove people who are illegally encamped; and if he will make a statement. [9233]

Andrew Stunell [holding answer 19 July 2010]: We will be giving councils more powers to tackle unauthorised development to ensure fair play in the planning system. We have already written to councils about the importance of bank holiday enforcement; we have revoked the top-down regional targets that have worsened community relations; and we will be introducing new planning guidance and reformed planning laws later this year.

Working Neighbourhoods Fund

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for the Working Neighbourhoods Fund (a) nationally and (b) in the West Midlands; and if he will make a statement. [10472]

Robert Neill: The Government will consider the future of all programmes, including the Working Neighbourhood Fund, as part of the current spending review process.


26 July 2010 : Column 635W

Home Department

Animal Experiments

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when each of the overseas establishments approved by her to export dogs for use in scientific procedures to the UK was last inspected by inspectors from the Animals Scientific Procedures Inspectorate; how frequently such inspections occur; and what arrangements her Department makes with third parties for the inspection of such establishments; [10965]

(2) how many overseas supplying establishments are approved to export dogs to the UK for use in scientific procedures; and in which country each is based. [10966]

Lynne Featherstone: The Home Office has no authority to approve suppliers of dogs for use in scientific procedures located outside the United Kingdom. If suitable dogs are not available from a designated breeding establishment in the UK an application can be made to acquire them from overseas breeding sources. Assurances are sought from the project licence holder on the standards of husbandry and care at the overseas breeding establishment and permission to acquire is given on a case by case basis.

From the information available, since 2004-05, dogs have been sourced from European breeding centres in Italy, France, Spain, and Holland and from the United States. Centres in the United States, France and Italy have been visited in the past by members of the Inspectorate to confirm that information provided to the Home Office was accurate and that husbandry and care practices were satisfactory.

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on the testing of household products on animals. [11043]

Lynne Featherstone: The coalition Government have pledged to end the testing of household products on animals. Work is under way to define the range of products affected and to determine how an end to such testing can best be achieved.

Animal Experiments: Licensing

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licences her Department has issued allowing the use of the mouse/rat bioassay (MBA/RBA) method to detect marine biotoxins in shellfish; on what date each such licence was issued; in respect of which (a) shellfish species and (b) toxin groups each licence since June 2000 was granted; how many such licences were revoked during the period; and on what dates; and what procedure her Department has used to develop new guidelines for the detection of marine biotoxins without recourse to MBA/RBA methods. [10939]

Lynne Featherstone: Currently there is one project licence granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 allowing the use of the mouse/rat bioassay (MBA/RBA) method to detect and quantify marine biotoxins in shellfish. This licence was granted on the 28 May 2009.


26 July 2010 : Column 636W

Regulations EC 2074/2005, EC853/2004 and EC854/2004 set out the relevant EU requirements.

Under the authority of the current project licence animals are only used with the intention of detecting and quantifying toxins specified in the EU regulations as paralytic shellfish (PSP) toxins and lipophilic toxins, otherwise known as DSP.

Since 2000, the more commonly tested species were mussels, pacific and native oysters, cockles, razors and king and queen scallops.

Since June 2000 four project licences allowing the use of the mouse/rat bioassay (MBA/RBA) method to detect marine biotoxins in shellfish have been revoked. From the information available to us they were revoked during either 2000 or 2001, May 2004, 2006 and May 2009.

The Home Office is not party to the development of new guidelines for the detection of marine biotoxins without recourse to MBA/RBA methods, but Home Office experts have contributed to an European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) task force on reducing, refining and replacing animal use for this purpose. We also continue to work with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in their re-defined role of overseeing food safety which includes shell fish testing.

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate works with other regulators in the UK and Europe and with the testing laboratories in order to reduce the numbers of animals used in these tests and to refine the methodology where animal testing is still used.

Asylum

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanisms are in place to provide guidance on the application of immigration rules to those people granted refugee status from 2005 who must apply for further leave to remain in order to ensure that they will not lose their benefit, housing and voting entitlements. [7779]

Damian Green [holding answer 12 July 2010]: Individuals granted a limited period of five years' refugee status or humanitarian protection since August 2005 will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain from August 2010, in the month before their leave expires.

An application form and information for such individuals on how to apply for settlement is available on the UK Border Agency website. Guidance for officials on considering such applications will also be published on the website shortly.

The UK Border Agency will write to those eligible at the most recently provided address, reminding them of the need to apply. The Agency is also working closely with its corporate partners to communicate the application arrangements as widely as possible.

Mr Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects on the costs of asylum support of the change in the number of people granted asylum in the last 12 months. [9836]

Damian Green: The number of main applicants for asylum declined from 27,670 in the 2008-09 financial year to 20,220 in 2009-10. In 2008-09, the total cost of asylum support (excluding UASCs and grants) was £313 million, while in 2009-10 it was £312 million.


26 July 2010 : Column 637W

Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to process asylum applications made prior to 2010. [10498]

Damian Green: In April 2007 the UK Border Agency established a dedicated resource to clear the backlog of older asylum cases that were lodged prior to March 2007. It was estimated in July 2006 that the backlog stood at between 400-450,000 "legacy" cases. The Case Resolution Directorate had concluded around 277,000 cases up until the end of May 2010 and should complete the remainder of these cases by summer 2011 or earlier.

Applications lodged since March 2007 have been dealt with by case owners in teams based in each of the regions around the UK. Those which were not concluded within the six months target remain in those local teams where the progress of each case continues to be managed by a case owner.

Asylum: Deportation

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers awaiting deportation are in prison. [11300]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency seeks to deport foreign national offenders who meet the following criteria for deportation:

At the point where no barriers to removal exist, the UK Border Agency will set a direction to remove. According to provisional management information, on 16 July 2010 approximately 140 foreign nationals who met the relevant deportation criteria had removal directions set against them.

Of these, approximately 30% had also submitted a claim for asylum at some stage prior to the removal direction being set and approximately 80% of those who had submitted a claim for asylum were detained either in an immigration removal centre or prison.

British Nationality

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time to process an application for naturalisation was in the latest period for which figures are available. [10567]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 July 2010]: The average processing time for naturalisation applications in June 2010 was 1.45 months.

This information has been provided from local management information and is not a National Statistic. As such it should be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change.


26 July 2010 : Column 638W

British Nationality: Citizenship

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether second-generation descendants of former residents of the British Indian Ocean Territory are entitled to British citizenship. [11826]

Damian Green: There are no automatic routes by which second generation descendants of former residents of the British Indian Ocean Territory can acquire British citizenship. They can apply for citizenship through registration, or naturalisation if over the age of 18, based on a period of residence in the United Kingdom.

A person born stateless outside of the United Kingdom and overseas territories to a British Overseas Territories citizen may apply for registration as a British overseas territories citizen under schedule 2 of the British Nationality Act 1981 following a period of residence in the UK or an overseas territory immediately before the application. After acquiring British overseas territories citizenship in this way they may subsequently apply for full British citizenship.

British Citizenship: Traffic Offences

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which road traffic offences the UK Border Agency will normally disregard in considering an application for UK citizenship; what guidance the Agency issues on this matter; and if she will make a statement. [11262]

Damian Green: An applicant for British citizenship is expected to be of good character. Although "good character" is not defined within the British Nationality Act 1981, UK Border Agency (UKBA) would not normally expect to naturalise a person with an unspent conviction. There is however some discretion to overlook minor offences.

Where the applicant is of good character in all other respects, UKBA would normally be prepared to overlook a single minor unspent conviction resulting in a bind-over order, absolute or conditional discharge, admonition, relatively small fine or compensation order, or a fixed penalty notice or Scottish fiscal fines. They would not, however, normally disregard any unspent conviction that involved dishonesty or recklessness.

In terms of traffic offences, offences which would constitute "recklessness" would include offences such as drink-driving, excessive speeding, driving without tax or insurance with no reasonable excuse, or driving while using a mobile phone. Driving offences that might be disregarded are those that might be committed inadvertently, such as minor speeding, stopping in a box junction or going the wrong way down a one way street.

Guidance on the good character requirement is published on the UKBA website at:


26 July 2010 : Column 639W

Crime

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the attrition rate for (a) theft, (b) burglary of a dwelling and (c) offences of domestic violence was in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [10401]

James Brokenshire: Attrition is not a term which is formally defined in criminal justice statistics although in the past there has been one in common usage which relates to the ratio of convictions to offences recorded. In terms of police recorded crime, to achieve such an 'attrition' measure would require using two data sources which are not directly comparable. Within the current data collections, it is not possible to track individual offences through to any conclusion at court and there are important differences between the two data sources which prevent meaningful comparison.

The Home Office police recorded crime data are based on the number of offences recorded in each financial year. Prosecutions and convictions data are collected by the Ministry of Justice and are based on the number of offenders proceeded against. These data are published on a calendar year basis and are counts of persons classified by their principal offence. For these reasons the two datasets are not directly comparable.

Detainees: Torture

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will review the way in which survivors of torture designated for removal are treated by the United Kingdom Border Agency in removal centres and throughout the removal process. [11421]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency takes the welfare of those held in its removal centres very seriously. For this reason, centres are operated in accordance with the detention centre rules and a set of operating standards.

All detainees receive a healthcare screening, normally with a nurse, within two hours of arrival in an immigration removal centre, during which they are asked if they have been the victim of torture. Where a detainee gives a positive answer, healthcare notify the UK Border Agency's case owner, who considers whether in light of the information the detainee should be released.

Representations made by legal representatives, including medical reports submitted by independent doctors or organisations who are experienced in identifying persons who have been tortured, are also considered by the UK Border Agency, and in particular whether it is appropriate to maintain detention. Where the UK Border Agency accepts that a person has been the victim of torture, he or she is normally released. However, there are a number of circumstances in which detention of an alleged or actual victim of torture may nonetheless be appropriate. These may be for reasons of public protection where a person has been convicted of a crime, those who have persistently failed to abide by the terms of their release conditions, and in order to effect removal.

I am not proposing to review the procedures further at this time.


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English Language

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 9 June 2010, Official Report, columns 11-12WS, on English language requirement, whether she expects the English language requirement for migrants applying to join a spouse in the UK to be in place by 30 September 2010. [10489]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 July 2010]: On 26 July 2010 the Government announced that this policy would come into force via a change to the Immigration Rules on 29 November 2010. It will not therefore be in place by 30 September 2010.

Entry Clearances

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations her Department has received on its decision to refuse entry to the UK to members of the Iroquois lacrosse team using travel documents issued by the Iroquois Confederacy; and if she will make a statement. [9887]

Damian Green [holding answer 20 July 2010]: The Iroquois lacrosse team have not yet sought leave to enter the United Kingdom and therefore have not been refused leave to enter.

The UK Border Agency has received representations from the US authorities and legal representatives on behalf of the Iroquois lacrosse team about the acceptability of their travel documents. The United Kingdom is unable to recognise the Haudenousanee passport as a valid immigration document which can be used for entry to the UK.

We remain very keen to work with the US authorities and the Iroquois people to facilitate the team's travel for any future occasions that they wish to enter the UK.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances her Department considers representations from hon. Members on the refusal of visitor visas; and if she will make a statement. [10039]

Damian Green [holding answer 20 July 2010]: We will always give full consideration to representations from hon. Members about visit visa refusals, and any other entry clearance decision.

The refusal of a visit visa for a family visit attracts a full right of appeal and the applicant will normally be expected to exercise their right of appeal in order for the decision to be reviewed. Any representations from hon. Members will be taken fully into consideration, along with the grounds of appeal and any additional supporting documentation.

If it can be shown that there are exceptional or compelling compassionate circumstances involved, or that a decision is clearly flawed, we will be happy to review a decision outside the appeal process in the light of representations from hon. Members.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to ensure that representations from hon. Members on refusals of
26 July 2010 : Column 641W
visitor visas are referred to the relevant entry clearance manager in advance of the applicant exercising their right to appeal in cases where the applicant wishes to attend an imminent event. [10040]

Damian Green [holding answer 20 July 2010]: I assume that the hon. Member is referring to family visitors as, unlike other categories of visitor, they have a full right of appeal in the event of a refusal of entry clearance.

Where an applicant wishes to attend a family event in the UK and (a) has been refused a visit visa and (b) due to the imminence of the event is concerned that there is insufficient time to appeal against the decision, we would normally advise them that they may wish to re-apply, ensuring that, when they do so, they fully address the entry clearance officer's concerns about their original application, as detailed on the formal Notice of Refusal.

Representations from hon. Members in such cases should normally be provided to their constituents, so that the applicant can submit them along with other supporting documentation when re-applying.

Exceptionally, we will forward representations from hon. Members to an entry clearance manager for consideration outside the appeal process, e.g. where there are clearly compelling, compassionate circumstances. Compelling compassionate circumstances would normally be considered to be the death or serious illness of a close family member.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the relevant entry clearance manager is directed to review a visitor visa case when representations are made by hon. Members to the UK Border Agency; and if she will make a statement. [10041]

Damian Green [holding answer 20 July 2010]: An entry clearance manager will normally only be asked to review a decision to refuse a visit visa application following representations from hon. Members if there are exceptional or compelling compassionate circumstances involved, or if the decision is clearly flawed. Applicants who intended to visit family in the UK can achieve a review of the decision by exercising their right of appeal.

Their grounds of appeal, and any additional supporting documentation submitted, will be taken fully into account. The way forward for other visit visa applicants would be to re-apply, ensuring that they address the concerns about their previous application when doing so.

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many spouse visas her Department issued to people entering the UK from Pakistan in each of the last five years. [11049]

Damian Green: The number of spouse visas issued to nationals of Pakistan in each of the last five years is shown in the following table.


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Financial year Spouse visas issued to Pakistani nationals

2005-06

9,805

2006-07

10,935

2007-08

10,846

2008-09

8,239

2009-10

5,642

Note:
This information is based on Management Information. It is provisional and subject to change.

Entry Clearances: Married People

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many spouse visas her Department issued to people coming from each foreign country other than Pakistan in each of the last five years. [11322]

Damian Green: The number of spouse visas issued to nationals of each non-EEA country other than Pakistan, in each of the financial years 2005-06 to 2009-10, is given in the table which has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal migrants identified in the last 12 months were sponsored by institutions (a) accredited by the British Council and (b) inspected by Ofsted. [5122]

Damian Green: The information requested is not centrally recorded and could be obtained by a manual check of individual case records only at disproportionate cost.

Entry Clearances: Skilled Workers

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) migrants and (b) dependants of migrants were given leave to enter the UK under (i) the highly skilled migrants programme and (ii) Tier 1 of the points-based immigration system in each quarter since the inception of the system. [10586]

Damian Green: The information requested by my hon. Friend is given in the published Quarterly Control of Immigration Statistics, which is available on our Research, Development and Statistics website at:

Please refer to table 1.1: entry clearance visas issued by category, in each quarter since January 2007 to March 2010.

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which 20 non-EU nationalities have received the most work permits for (a) doctors and (b) nurses under the points-based immigration system since the inception of the system. [10587]

Damian Green: The number of work permits issued for each of the requested categories are set out in the following table:


26 July 2010 : Column 643W

26 July 2010 : Column 644W
Top 20 non-EU nationalities based on COS Used by Occupation Codes: Doctors and Nurses: 28 November 2008-20 July 2010
Occupation Nationality 2008 2009 2010 Total

Doctors

India

(1)-

605

355

960

Pakistan

0

285

230

520

Sri Lanka

(1)-

225

160

390

Egypt

(1)-

150

100

250

South Africa

(1)-

180

50

230

Nigeria

0

80

50

135

Sudan

0

75

50

130

Malaysia

0

90

35

125

Australia

0

65

50

115

Bangladesh

0

35

30

65

Burma (Union of Myanmar)

0

30

15

45

United States

0

25

20

45

Iraq

0

25

15

40

Syria

0

30

10

40

Singapore

0

25

10

35

Jordan

0

20

10

30

Libya

0

20

5

25

Canada

0

20

5

25

Trinidad and Tobago

0

15

5

25

New Zealand

0

15

10

25

Total

5

2,020

1,230

3,255

Nurses

India

(1)-

1,015

500

1,515

Philippines

0

685

585

1,265

Zimbabwe

0

520

190

710

Nigeria

0

180

90

265

South Africa

0

125

85

210

Ghana

0

80

40

120

Australia

(1)-

70

40

110

Mauritius

0

60

25

85

Nepal

0

60

25

85

Zambia

0

60

25

80

Jamaica

0

60

20

80

Pakistan

0

55

25

80

Kenya

0

55

20

70

China

0

30

25

55

Trinidad and Tobago

0

45

15

55

United States

0

30

25

50

Guyana

0

30

10

40

New Zealand

0

20

15

35

Uganda

0

20

5

25

Malaysia

0

15

10

25

Total

5

3,205

1,765

4,975

Total

5

5,225

2,995

8,225

(1) Indicates 1 or 2.
Notes:
1. The data are based on management information, are provisional and may be subject to change. The data are not National Statistics.
2. Figures are rounded to nearest 5.
3. Because of rounding, figures may not add up to totals shown.

Foreign Nationals: Licences

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional background checks the Security Industry Authority is entitled to make in respect of foreign nationals applying for licences; and if she will make a statement. [10967]

Lynne Featherstone: The SIA are entitled to make background checks on overseas nationals in accordance with their licensing criteria, which are approved by the
26 July 2010 : Column 645W
Secretary of State for the Home Office, and published in the form of Get Licensed. A copy of Get Licensed has been placed in the House Library and can be found on the SIA's website at:

If any applicant, overseas or UK national, has been based overseas for six continuous months or more during the last five years, they must produce evidence of a criminal record check covering that period from an official source from the country they lived in, which the SIA can verify. An official source will normally mean the Government body that issues criminal record certificates. Any evidence of criminality identified through an overseas disclosure will be judged against the criteria and offences in Get Licensed.

The SIA also undertake right to work checks on any non EEA national applicants. This check does not replace the statutory responsibility of employers to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK or their responsibility to ensure employees with restricted hours visas do not work more hours than allowed. Employers are advised by the SIA to ensure that they know if an employee's right to work expires before their SIA licence expires, and that they should not accept the possession of an SIA licence as proof of the licence holders right to work in the UK.

Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many factors are taken into account in assessing whether an individual has been trafficked. [10628]

Damian Green: Decisions about who is a victim of trafficking are made by trained specialists in designated 'Competent Authorities'. A Competent Authority will take into account multiple factors when considering whether an individual meets the definition of trafficking given in the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. There is no prescribed list of factors that must be present before trafficking can be recognised, but the detailed training and guidance used by Competent Authorities and frontline staff includes a range of indicators drawn from international best practice. These indicators include being deceived about the nature of the job, location or employer, violence or threats of violence against victim, confiscation of a passport, debt bondage, isolation, confinement or surveillance, forced tasks and excessive working hours.

Detailed information on the Competent Authority consideration procedure can be found in the UK Border Agency's trafficking guidance:

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria the police use to decide whether an individual has been trafficked. [10629]


26 July 2010 : Column 646W

Damian Green: The decision as to whether an individual is a victim of human trafficking is made by trained specialists in designated "competent authorities" within the UK Border Agency and the UK Human Trafficking Centre, not the police.

Police officers who encounter an individual they suspect may be a victim of trafficking are asked to refer that person to the UK Human Trafficking Centre so an assessment can be made by competent authorities.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal immigrants have been found to be employed by fishing vessels registered to each UK fishing port in each of the last 12 months; and what steps her Department has taken in consequence. [10931]

Damian Green: The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by undertaking a search of individual records.

Any abuse of the immigration rules within the fishing industry will not be tolerated. Employers of illegal workers are dealt with through the illegal working civil penalty regime and any prosecutions are dealt with through the courts.

Immigrants: English Language

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made on the establishment of English language test centres for immigrants. [10426]

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what mechanisms the language skills of migrants applying for spouse visas will be assessed under the proposed new English language requirement. [11041]

Damian Green: On 9 June, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced a new language requirement for those seeking entry to the UK as the spouse or civil partner, fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is present and settled in the UK.

Spouses will be required to meet level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for speaking and listening. The intention is that applicants will need to submit evidence that they have passed a test on a UKBA approved list of test providers with their application for leave to enter or remain, unless they are nationals from majority English-speaking countries.

We have not yet approved test providers for the new spouse language requirement. An announcement about approved test providers will be made at the earliest opportunity.

Immigration

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers she has to revoke an individual's indefinite leave to remain granted following marriage to a British citizen in circumstances in which the individual has been violent towards their spouse; and if she will make a statement. [11047]


26 July 2010 : Column 647W

Damian Green: Where an individual has been granted indefinite leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen, and is subsequently alleged to have been violent towards his or her spouse, this is not in itself grounds for revoking that indefinite leave. However, if deception was used in obtaining indefinite leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen, section 10(1)(b) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, which provides for the removal from UK of a person using deception, is relevant. This allows for leave to be revoked and removal pursued. If the person has been criminally convicted of violence, he or she may have their leave revoked and be subject to deportation.

Immigration: Hungary

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment her Department has made of the likely effect on the level of immigration to the UK of the decision of the Hungarian Government to allow ethnic Hungarians living abroad to apply for dual citizenship. [10712]

Damian Green: No assessment has been made to date, but the UK Border Agency will continue to monitor closely any significant changes in numbers of Hungarians registering on the Worker Registration Scheme, or those applying for residence documentation.

Immigration: Work Permits

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits have been
26 July 2010 : Column 648W
granted in respect of each occupation in each year since the inception of the points-based immigration system. [10584]

Damian Green: The numbers of work permits issued for each of the requested categories are set out in the tables placed in the House Library.

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many grants of settlement have been made on the basis of employment with a work permit in (a) each year since 1997 and (b) each quarter since quarter 1 of 2006; and if she will give the corresponding figures for spouses and dependants. [10597]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 July 2010]: The latest quarterly figures were published in table 4.2 in the "Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary, United Kingdom-January to March 2010". The quarterly figures from 2006 to the first quarter of 2010 are given in table 1. Data for second quarter of 2010 are scheduled for publication on 26 August 2010.

The latest annual figures from 1997 to 2009 are given in table 2.

Home Office statistical publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:

Table 1-Grants and refusals of settlement( 1,2,)( 3 ) by employment based category of grant, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals( 4) , Q1 2006 to Q1 2010
Number of persons
2006 2007( 5)
Broad category of grant Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total

Employment( 6)

Employment with a work permit after 4/5 years

7,210

2,670

685

710

11,270

1,350

2,880

5,550

5,385

15,165

Spouses and dependants

8,255

2,900

635

550

12,340

1,150

3,470

6,795

6,650

18,065

5 years aggregate of pre PBS categories and Tiers 1 or 2(7)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Spouses and dependants

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Permit-free employment, businessman, persons of independent means

705

1,820

620

120

3,265

90

175

340

265

865

Spouses and dependants

530

1,305

400

75

2,315

40

120

305

240

700

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent

1,380

390

75

50

1,900

90

400

710

480

1,675

Spouses and dependants

520

160

40

20

740

30

150

325

230

730

Total employment-related grants

18,600

9,245

2,455

1,530

31,830

2,750

7,195

14,020

13,250

37,210



26 July 2010 : Column 649W

26 July 2010 : Column 650W
Number of persons
2008 2009( 8) 2010( 9)
Broad category of grant Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total Q1

Employment( 6)

Employment with a work permit after 4/5 years

6,210

5,765

5,585

5,710

23,270

6,515

6,145

6,605

6,170

25,435

7,675

Spouses and dependants

7,815

7,210

7,360

8,185

30,575

9,120

9,250

9,835

8,630

36,830

11,060

5 years aggregate of pre PBS categories and Tiers 1 or 2(7)

n/a

n/a

n/a

5

5

45

410

795

740

1,990

1,230

Spouses and dependants

n/a

n/a

n/a

5

5

60

655

1,170

970

2,855

1,725

Permit-free employment, businessman,

persons of independent means

435

470

605

555

2,065

575

1,025

1,725

1,560

4,885

2,035

Spouses and dependants

380

400

510

500

1,790

540

1,230

2,440

2,065

6,275

2,485

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent

655

610

445

375

2,090

460

765

355

390

1,975

485

Spouses and dependants

280

300

225

165

970

225

350

190

195

965

235

Total employment-related grants

15,775

14,755

14,730

15,505

60,770

17,550

19,835

23,120

20,715

81,220

26,930

n/a = Not applicable.
(1) Figures rounded to the nearest 5 and may not sum to the totals shown because of independent rounding.
(2) Includes reconsideration cases and the outcome of appeals.
(3) May include a small number of cases in which a decision is recorded twice, where an individual has dual nationality.
(4) Data exclude dependants of EEA and Swiss nationals in confirmed relationships granted permanent residence.
(5) Excludes Bulgaria and Romania from January 2007.
(6) In April 2006, the qualifying period for settlement in all employment-related categories changed from 4 to 5 years delaying grants of settlement that would otherwise have occurred earlier.
(7 )Grants of settlement to persons that combine qualifying periods of residence in Points Base System Tiers 1 Highly Skilled or 2 Skilled Workers and other pre Point Based System categories.
(8) Revised figures.
(9) Provisional figures.


26 July 2010 : Column 651W

26 July 2010 : Column 652W
Table 2-Grants of settlement by employment based category of grant, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals( 1,)( 2) , 1997-2009 , United Kingdom
Number of persons
Broad category of grant 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003( 3) 2004( 4)( ,)( 5) 2005( 4) 2006( 4) 2007( 4,6) 2008( 4,)( 6,9) 2009( 4,)( 6)( ,)( 10)

Employment( 7)

Employment with a work permit after 4/5 years

2,840

3,150

3,280

4,445

4,335

5,845

9,190

16,205

25,470

11,270

15,165

23,270

25,435

Spouses and dependants

3,565

3,790

3,580

5,140

5,045

6,835

10,620

17,050

27,340

12,340

18,065

30,575

36,830

5 years aggregate of pre PBS categories and Tiers 1 or 2(8)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

5

1,990

Spouses and dependants

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

5

2,855

Permit-free employment, businessman, persons of independent means

975

1,060

835

1,685

1,050

1,095

1,550

1,545

1,945

3,265

865

2,065

4,885

Spouses and dependants

1,195

1,190

1,005

1,115

845

680

1,050

1,020

1,570

2,315

700

1,790

6,275

Commonwealth citizens with a UK-born grandparent

1,110

1,675

2,240

2,580

3,255

4,060

5,275

4,755

4,795

1,900

1,675

2,090

1,975

Spouses and dependants

225

365

540

640

725

1,290

1,945

1,680

1,895

740

730

970

965

Total employment-related grants

9,910

11,230

11,480

15,610

15,255

19,800

29,635

42,260

63,015

31,830

37,210

60,770

81,220

n/a = Not applicable
(1 )Figures rounded to the nearest 5 and may not sum to the totals shown because of independent rounding.
(2) Data from 2003 exclude dependants of EEA and Swiss nationals in confirmed relationships granted permanent residence.
(3) Excludes reconsideration cases.
(4) May include a small number of cases in which a decision is recorded twice, where an individual has dual nationality.
(5 )Includes nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia before 1 May 2004, but excludes them from this date.
(6) Excludes Bulgaria and Romania from January 2007.
(7) In 2006 the qualifying period for settlement in all employment-related categories changed from 4 to 5 years.
(8) Grants of settlement to persons that combine qualifying periods of residence in Points Base System Tiers 1 Highly Skilled or 2 Skilled Workers and other pre Point Based System categories.
(9) Revised figures.
(10) Provisional figures.

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits have been issued to non-UK nationals in each quarter since 1 January 2005. [10598]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 July 2010]: The number of work permits issued since 1 January 2005 is set out in the following table:

Work permits approved by quarter 1 January 2005-20 July 20 10
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2005

42,325

44,770

42,050

38,235

2006

41,880

42,720

45,370

41,030

2007

43,225

41,335

43,310

37,055

2008

35,265

39,330

45,135

28,835

2009

7,155

3,280

1,910

1,440

2010

1,340

2,120

480

669,590

Notes:
1. The data are based on management information, are provisional and may be subject to change. The data are not National Statistics.
2. Figures are rounded to nearest five.
3. Because of rounding, figures may not add up to the totals shown.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to reply to the letter to her dated 20 May 2010 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr A. Khan. [6339]

Damian Green: We have no record of receiving the right hon. Member's letter of 20 May 2010 and obtained a copy from his office on 13 July 2010. I replied to the hon. Member on 23 July 2010.

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency plans to respond to the hon. Member for Basildon and Billericay's letter of 17 June 2010 on his constituent Mr R. Zhang. [11428]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency wrote to my hon. Friend on 13 July 2010.

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to respond to the hon. Member for Basildon and Billericay's letter of 15 June 2010 on his constituent Mr M. Tizora. [11429]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency wrote to my hon. Friend on 23 July 2010.

Police: Finance

Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which elements of the proposed £135 million police expenditure reductions (a) were and (b) were not contained in the £545 million of reductions set out in the Policing White Paper published in November 2009. [2073]

Mrs May [holding answer 14 June 2010]: The £545 million set out in the 2009 Policing White Paper included £100 million intended for delivery in 2010-11. Savings were to be achieved through national frameworks for procurement, converging IT, reductions in overtime and streamlining support services. I have reduced this year's core Government funding to the police by a total of £125 million. It is for chief constables to use their expertise and decide what makes most sense for their force, including taking account of the £100 million opportunities, but I am quite clear that the £125 million saving can be achieved by driving out wasteful spending on support functions, reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiency in key functions, leaving the frontline of policing strong and secure. I expect forces to be held to this by both police authorities and Her Majesty's inspectorate of constabulary.

UK Border Agency International Group

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) guidance and (b) directions Ministers in her Department issue to the UK Border Agency International Group; if she will place in the Library a copy of each document containing such guidance and directions; and if she will make a statement. [10038]


26 July 2010 : Column 653W

Damian Green [holding answer 20 July 2010]: Entry clearance staff working within UK Border Agency International Directorate make entry clearance decisions on the basis of the immigration rules. Guidance on applying the immigration rules is available to staff and the general public at:

This guidance is best viewed online rather than in Library copy as it is regularly updated. A small part of the guidance is classified for issues of national security and on this basis it would not be appropriate to publish this in the Library of the House or make it available to the general public.

UK Border Agency: Expenditure

Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the UK Border Agency spent on legal costs for High Court cases in each of the last three years. [10577]

Damian Green: The information is not collated in the way requested as costs are not recorded based on the seniority of the court where the case was heard.

The Home Office prepares its accounts in accordance with UK GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting
26 July 2010 : Column 654W
Principles) adapted for the public sector in accordance with guidance issued by HM Treasury.

UK Border Agency: Immigration Appeals

Richard Harrington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of immigration appeals UK Border Agency staff attended in each year since 2005; and what proportion of immigration appeals at which the UK Border Agency (a) was and (b) was not represented were allowed in each year. [3271]

Damian Green: The proportion of immigration appeals represented by UKBA staff in each calendar year since 2005 is as follows:

Proportion
Represented (%) Appeal numbers

2005

91

53,630

2006

84

95,351

2007

85

102,249

2008

76

101,860

2009

64

96,188


The following table shows the proportion of immigration appeals allowed each year since 2005 that were (a) represented and (b) not represented.

Proportion
Not represented % Represented % Total

2005

Allowed

1,409

8

14,528

91

15,937

2006

Allowed

5,587

16

29,927

84

35,514

2007

Allowed

6,211

17

30,806

83

37,017

2008

Allowed

11,870

29

29,092

71

40,962

2009

Allowed

17,473

42

23,997

58

41,470

Notes: 1. In responding to this question, "immigration cases" has been taken to mean asylum, deportation, economic and family migration, international group (entry clearance), and visit visa cases.
2. Figures exclude paper appeal cases as these cases are determined in the absence of a hearing by an immigration judge sitting "in chambers". Neither the appellant's representative nor a presenting officer is required to attend a hearing and these figures are excluded from the appeals representation rates as no representation takes place.
3. The statistical information provided is provisional and for internal use by the UK Border Agency only. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols. The validity of data taken from CID is completely reliant on the quality and timeliness of the information held on the database. Statistics to be used publicly or for other Government Departments or agencies must be agreed with the Immigration Research and Statistics Service (IRSS).
4. Figures include cases withdrawn by the Home Office, as well as those withdrawn by the appellant.

Visas: Married People

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers she has to revoke a spouse or partner visa in circumstances in which an individual who has the visa has been violent towards their spouse or partner; and if she will make a statement. [11323]

Damian Green: Where a person has limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom as a spouse or partner, and the marriage or relationship breaks down, there is discretionary provision in paragraph 323 of the Immigration Rules to curtail that person's leave. If the UK-settled sponsor alleges that the migrant has caused domestic violence or made threats, my officials give priority to the consideration of such cases. If a non-British citizen is convicted of a criminal offence carrying a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, he is liable to deportation from the UK. A deportation order revokes leave to enter or remain, and requires the person to leave the UK.

Visas: Northern Ireland

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanism is in place to ensure that non-EU nationals living in the Republic of Ireland comply with visa requirements when travelling to Northern Ireland. [11202]

Damian Green: The Common Travel Area comprises the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies (the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and the Republic of Ireland, and is based on the principle that once a person has been granted leave to enter one part of the CTA, they will not normally require leave to enter another part of it while that leave is extant and provided they do not leave the CTA.


26 July 2010 : Column 655W

There are exceptions to this principle and a visa national who has no valid visa for the UK may not enter the UK from another part of the CTA without leave from a UKBA officer.

The UK currently makes no routine immigration checks on passenger travel within the CTA. However, we do carry out intelligence-led operations on intra CTA borders. This includes operational activity in Northern Ireland.

We work closely with the Republic of Ireland to tackle illegal migration and abuse of the CTA. The UK Border Agency, UK police and the Irish Garda National Immigration Bureau work collaboratively to tackle potential risk to the internal CTA borders.

We also continue to work in partnership with the Republic of Ireland and the Crown dependencies on measures to strengthen the external CTA border and prevent abuse; these include initiatives on data sharing, visa arrangements and e-Borders.

Visas: Pakistan

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications there were for visas to enter the UK from Pakistan in each year since 1997; and how many such applications were refused in each such year. [11145]

Damian Green: The number of visa applications from nationals of Pakistan that were (a) received and (b) refused in each year from 2004-09 are shown in the following table. Reliable statistics for previous years are not held.

Nationality Applications Refused

2004

Pakistan

229,338

64,563

2005

Pakistan

207,331

71,897

2006

Pakistan

243,143

75,633

2007

Pakistan

208,059

85,723

2008

Pakistan

181,345

66,728

2009

Pakistan

147,982

71,657


Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken to process applications for visas to enter the UK (a) from overseas and (b) from Pakistan was in the latest period for which figures are available. [11146]

Damian Green: In the financial year 2009-10, average processing times for UK visa applications were as follows:

Actual processing times can vary considerably according to location, category of application and time of year. A guide to visa application processing times for each UK visa application centre overseas is available on our website at:

Processing time is counted from the date the application is lodged and the fee paid to the date that either (a) the applicant is informed that their passport is ready for collection, or (b) the passport is sent back to the applicant.


26 July 2010 : Column 656W

Work Permits

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are limits on the number of hours a week that an individual on a working visa can work. [11207]

Damian Green: The points based system, and the immigration routes that preceded it, does not place a limit on the number of hours a week that an individual can work. However, migrant workers enjoy the same protection under employment law as resident workers, including the working time directive.

Attorney-General

Crown Prosecution Service: Somerset

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Attorney-General how many (a) full-time and (b) temporary Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors were assigned to cases heard in courts in (i) Taunton and (ii) Bridgwater in each of the last five years. [11028]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service keeps records of prosecutors'/agents' attendance at court recorded by half-day sessions. The figures available for 2005-06 and 2006-07 are no longer available. In 2007-08, 909 half-day sessions were recorded in Taunton and 673 at Bridgwater. However prosecutors and agents cannot be distinguished. In 2008-09 there were 825 half-day sessions in Taunton, of which 67 were conducted by agents, and 585 at Bridgwater, of which 67 were conducted by agents. In 2009-10, there were 840 half-day sessions at Taunton, of which 77 were conducted by agents, and 514 at Bridgwater, of which 70 were conducted by agents.

Departmental Internet

Graham Evans: To ask the Attorney-General how much (a) the Law Officers' Departments and (b) their agency spent on website design in each year since 1997. [7599]

The Attorney-General: The information requested is detailed as follows.

Central records held by both CPS and RCPO do not differentiate between different categories of website expenditure. The CPS figures shown, therefore, include expenditure on website design, maintenance, development, content (including Welsh translation), training, publishing, as well as costs for work on the staff intranet.

Cost

2004-5

£23,000

2005-6

£11,000

2006-7

£53,120.85

2007-8

£65,269.15

2008-9

£190,493.78

2009-10

£199,894.83

Note:
Central records of costs incurred before 2004 are not available and could be determined only at a disproportionate cost.

26 July 2010 : Column 657W

RCPO spent £58,741 in 2008-09 which includes not only design but also the costs of the strategy and planning, build, hosting, infrastructure, content provision, testing, evaluation and staff costs. RCPO was set up in 2005. Records for website spend are not available before 2008-09 and could be determined only at a disproportionate cost.

The National Fraud Authority spent £168,851 in 2009-10. This cost included the design and development of the Action Fraud website (including the design of the web reporting tool). No other expenditure on websites is recorded.

The Attorney-General's Office redeveloped its website in 2009. The Attorney-General's Office's website is shared with the National Fraud Authority and the total cost of the combined website for the Attorney-General's Office and National Fraud Authority was £62,143.20.

The Treasury Solicitor's Department is responsible for the following websites: Treasury Solicitor's Department, Bona Vacantia, HMCPSI and Government Legal Service.

Since 2003 there has been external design expenditure of £1,400 on the Treasury Solicitor's website (incurred in 2009-10).

The Bona Vacantia website was redesigned in 2009 at a total cost of £42,598.

No external website design expenditure has been incurred by HMCPSI or the Government Legal Service.

The Serious Fraud Office has spent the following amounts on website design, there are no records for expenditure in years before 2006-07.

£

2006-07

101,802

2008-09

60,288

2009-10

107,114


Departmental Pay

Tom Brake: To ask the Attorney-General how much was paid in remuneration in total to civil servants in the Law Officers' Departments in 2009-10. [9931]

The Attorney-General: The following table details the amount spent by the Law Officers' Departments on remuneration for civil servants in 2009-10. The information provided is drawn from departmental resource accounts for 2009-10 which have recently been presented to the House of Commons.

Department Remuneration (£ million)

TSol(1)

54.181

SFO

15.282

CPS

378.420

NFA

1.364

(1) The Treasury Solicitor's Department resource accounts for 2009-10 also cover staff at the Attorney-General's Office, Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Gordon Banks: To ask the Attorney-General (1) how many of the Law Officers' Departments' contracts with its suppliers are under review as a result of the recently
26 July 2010 : Column 658W
announced reductions in public expenditure; and what the monetary value is of all such contracts which are under review; [3632]

(2) how many officials in the Law Officers' Departments are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to those Departments as a result of recently announced reductions in public spending; what savings are expected to accrue to those Departments from such renegotiations; how much expenditure those Departments will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. [3654]

The Attorney-General: The Law Officers' Departments operate a policy of continually reviewing contracts to achieve efficiency savings where possible.

At present the Law Officers Departments, like other Government Departments, are waiting for a direction from OGC as to the suppliers and contracts that may be subject to review and renegotiation, following the work being done by the Efficiency and Reform Group on the efficiency savings programme. We are unclear at present as to which contracts may be affected by this programme, so accordingly cannot currently identify the expected savings or the expenditure the Departments will incur.

Green Energy (Definition and Promotion) Act 2009

Dr Whitehead: To ask the Attorney-General what legal advice he has given Ministers on their Departments' compliance with section 3 of the Green Energy (Definition and Promotion) Act 2009. [11014]

The Attorney-General: By long-standing convention, observed by successive administrations and embodied in the Ministerial Code, the fact that the Law Officers have advised (or have not advised) on a particular issue, and the content of any advice, is not disclosed outside government.

Prosecutions: Expenditure

Karl Turner: To ask the Attorney-General what proportion of the budget of the Crown Prosecution Service was spent on frontline prosecution activity in the latest period for which figures are available. [10456]

The Attorney-General: The proportion of the budget of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spent on frontline prosecution activity for the financial year 2009-10 was approximately 83%. The CPS has defined frontline to mean the costs incurred by the 42 geographical areas, CPS Direct and the four Casework Directorates, together with the appropriate proportion of central overheads such as information technology.

Prime Minister

Departmental Communication

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Prime Minister what instructions have been issued by his private office on the preparation of briefing, speeches and replies to official correspondence. [9674]


26 July 2010 : Column 659W

The Prime Minister: We aim to reply to all correspondence swiftly and accurately. My Office has responded to nearly 28,000 letters since 12 May 2010.

EU Budget

Mr Davidson: To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the merits of implementing a reduction of (a) 25% and (b) 40% in departmental expenditure related to UK payments to the European Union budget. [9962]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 July 2010, Official Report, column 946.


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