Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the monetary value is of contracts her Department has awarded to each (a) management consultancy and (b) IT company since 7 May 2010. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if her Department will take steps to assess the effects on (a) equality of incomes, (b) equality of assets and (c) equality of access to services of measures relating to its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review. 
Mr David Jones: The Wales Office will ensure the relevant equality considerations are taken in to account in the context of expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review, in compliance with our obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Mr David: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether officials of her Department plan to attend the 2010 Ryder Cup. 
Mr David Jones: No Wales Office officials attended the 2010 Ryder Cup in an official capacity.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average cost to his Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period his Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. 
Mr Paterson: The latest period for which information is available for the Department as currently configured is from 12 April 2010, when devolution to the Northern Ireland Assembly was completed, to 31 August 2010.
The proportion of invoices paid electronically during this period was 93.1% and 6.9% by cheque.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the monetary value is of contracts his Department has awarded to each (a) management consultancy and (b) IT company since 7 May 2010. 
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the estimated monetary value is of each vacant (a) building and (b) parcel of land owned by his Department in each region. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not own any vacant buildings or parcels of land.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if his Department will take steps to assess the effects on (a) equality of incomes, (b) equality of assets and (c) equality of access to services of measures relating to its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) will ensure the relevant equality considerations are taken into account in the context of expenditure under consideration in the spending review, in compliance with our obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines in each year since 1997. 
Mr Paterson: Comparable figures for the Department as it is now configured are not available for the years preceding the completion of devolution on 12 April 2010.
In the period since 12 April 2010, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has spent £6,346 on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff his Department has appointed on secondment since 7 May 2010; and from what organisation each such member of staff has been seconded. 
Mr Paterson: Since 7 May 2010 my Department has appointed one member of staff on secondment from the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provisions of the St. Andrews Agreement govern the transfer of intelligence material to the Northern Ireland Executive. 
Mr Paterson: Where issues arise within the transferred policing and justice field which have a national security dimension or which touch on national security-related issues, arrangements are in place for consultation and the sharing of information between the Secretary of State and the Minister of Justice. This includes regular meetings at ministerial level, and ad hoc information exchange as necessary. Insofar as it touched on the matter, the St Andrews Agreement dealt primarily with the transfer of primacy, from the PSNI to the Security Service, for the handling of national security intelligence in Northern Ireland.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the remit is of the funding review of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; how the review will carry out its work; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Swire: I am not aware of any specific review of funding of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC). A review of management structures is underway-this is not being undertaken by Government but has been commissioned by the Commission independently. Details of the review can be found in letters deposited in the Library of the House (reference: DEP2010-1623). The Government-wide spending review affects the Human Rights Commission as it does all aspects of public spending. Correspondence between my department and the NIHRC on the subject of the spending review can also be found in the Library of the House (reference: DEP2010-1623).
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent progress has been made towards a resolution for savers affected by the current situation of the Presbyterian Mutual Society. 
Mr Paterson: I have been chairing regular meetings of the Ministerial Working Group, with the aim of finding a just and fair resolution for those PMS members who have been unable to access their investments since October 2008. In recent months we have made considerable progress, and we hope to be able to announce the way forward shortly.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2010, Official Report, column 945W, on departmental consultants, whether research was commissioned by his Department into voters' perceptions following the Scottish Parliament elections in (a) 1999 and (b) 2003. 
David Mundell: It is not normal practice for the Government to commission research into voters' perceptions following elections. Starting with the 2003 election, the Electoral Commission has had a statutory responsibility to report on the administration of Scottish Parliament elections and, as part of its fact finding role in connection with their reports, it commissions research into voters' perceptions.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2010, Official Report, column 945W, on departmental consultants, what the terms of reference were of the research commissioned through Quadrant consultants into voters' perceptions following the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the report of the research. 
David Mundell: The objectives of the research were:
To obtain a quantitative evaluation of voters' responses to key questions on the overnight count and ballot paper design.
To develop a qualitative understanding of voters' reasoning behind their responses to the above issues.
To explore voters' personal experiences of elections both in 2007 and in previous years.
To make an assessment of the level of confidence voters currently have in the electoral system and the likely impact of the proposed changes/solutions on their confidence in the short and medium-term future.
To explore additional electoral issues, specifically:
Voters' experiences of the voting process, i.e. how easy do they find it?
Postal vs. personal voting.
Voters' experiences of their contact with electoral staff.
To what extent the different approaches for different types of elections make the process confusing.
Methods by which voting could be improved/made easier.
I have arranged for a copy of the research report to be placed in the House Library. The report has been available on the Scotland Office website since 24 June 2008.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what testing has been undertaken on ballot paper designs for the Scottish Parliament elections scheduled for May next year. 
David Mundell: The ballot papers for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election take account of the recommendations made by Ron Gould in his report on the May 2007 elections and the views expressed by voters who took part in the research undertaken by Quadrant Consultants on behalf of the Scotland Office during May and June 2008. They have been designed in accordance with the Electoral Commission's guidance on ballot paper design contained: "Making your mark: Good practice for designing voter materials: guidance for government policy-makers".
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date he wrote to (a) the Scottish Government, (b) the Scottish Trades Union Congress and (c) the Confederation of British Industry to suggest that it participates in a second jobs summit. 
Michael Moore: I hosted a roundtable meeting on employment and related matters with a group of key partners from the public, private and third sectors on 24 September. Organisations represented included the Scottish Government, the STUC, a range of business organisations, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Scotland's Colleges, Enable Scotland, the Poverty Alliance, and employability providers from the private and social enterprise sectors.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) public and (b) private sector jobs he expects to be (i) lost and (ii) created in Scotland during the course of the present Parliament. 
Michael Moore: The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts that UK employment will rise by around 1.4 million over the next five years and that, although public sector employment is falling, in three years time it will be 150,000 higher than the OBR forecast based on the March 2010 budget. In Scotland, the Fraser of Allander Institute's most recent forecast shows economy-wide net growth of almost 15,000 jobs in 2011 and over 36,000 jobs in 2012. The Government are committed to tackling the country's record deficit, to allow for sustainable and balanced growth led by the private sector.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last discussed the Act of Settlement with (a) faith leaders in Scotland, (b) ministerial colleagues and (c) others. 
Michael Moore: As the Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform explained in the Adjournment Debate on 1 July 2010, Official Report, column 1109, the Government have not ruled out any change to the Act of Settlement, but if we are to undertake change, we need to do it in a careful and thoughtful way. Where future change is considered, I will discuss this with my ministerial colleagues, faith leaders and others with an interest in this issue.
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on (i) the Scottish budget since devolution and (ii) the draft Scottish budget for 2010-11. 
Michael Moore: No recent research has been commissioned regarding the Scottish Budget since devolution nor on the draft Scottish Budget for 2010-11. The Scottish Government's Independent Budget Review Panel published their report in July and it showed that there has been an annually growing budget in the first 10 years of the Scottish Parliament. However, tackling the record budget deficit and achieving sustainable, balanced, private-sector-led economic growth are the Government's priorities for the duration of this Parliament. Tackling the deficit is unavoidable and while there will have to be cuts in order to restore health to the public finances, the forthcoming spending review will be a crucial stepping stone on the way to recovery.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the reasons for which the rate of worklessness in Scotland is rising at a faster rate than the equivalent figure across the UK. 
Michael Moore: The figures for worklessness for the three months to June 2010 published by the Office for National Statistics in September highlight the scale of the problem inherited by the Government. They demonstrate very clearly that the system supported by previous Governments is failing families in our country. That is why the Government are moving forward with a work programme which will offer personalised support to people on a range of benefits to help lift them out of worklessness and into employment.
I discussed this at a roundtable meeting on employment, welfare and poverty I hosted on 24 September with a group of key partners from the public, private and third sectors. At that event, Dr Jim McCormick, Scotland Adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, shared the findings of their 'Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2010' report which was published on 22 September 2010.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Trades Union Congress, (b) the Confederation of British Industry, (c) the Federation of Small Businesses and (d) the Scottish Chambers of Commerce on unemployment trends in Scotland. 
Michael Moore: The economic problems that this Government have inherited and their impact on employment have been key topics of the meetings I have had with a range of organisations since I took office. On 24 September I hosted a roundtable meeting with key organisations from the public, private and third sectors to discuss unemployment and related matters. The STUC and a range of business organisations were in attendance. I will continue to engage with these and other organisations.
Ian Austin: To ask the Prime Minister whether he had discussions with the (a) Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and (b) Israeli government on his description of Gaza as a prison camp. 
The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave on 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 1W.
Mr Amess: To ask the Prime Minister whether Government facilities have been made available to Tony Blair since June 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: As with all former Prime Ministers, Mr Blair is provided with access to Government resources as appropriate.
20. Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent progress his Department has made in implementing its academies programme. 
Mr Gibb: The recent National Audit Office report confirms that many academies are performing impressively and the academies open the longest have shown significant and sustained improvement. We now have 322 academies open, 119 of which opened this autumn. This is record progress; it took four years for the first 27 academies to open.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools have asked to withdraw their name from the list of those which have expressed an interest in becoming an academy. 
Mr Gibb: As of 9 September, around 180 schools have decided they no longer want to be registered as having an interest in converting to academy status. Schools may choose to express an interest or withdraw their interest at any time; they may also choose to re-register, so the numbers will change on an ongoing basis. At the last published update, registrations of interest had been received from 1,039 outstanding schools and 870 other schools. We will keep lists updated regularly on:
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many expressions of interest in academy status his Department has received from schools in (a) South Northamptonshire constituency and (b) England. 
Mr Gibb: As of 29 September 2010, 31 expressions of interest in academy status had been received from schools in South Northamptonshire. A total of 2,040 expressions of interest had been received from schools in England.
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether Roman Catholic schools which become academies may retain selective admissions criteria. 
Mr Gibb: All maintained schools and academies are required to adopt admission arrangements which comply with the School Admissions Code. Catholic maintained schools are all voluntary aided. This means that the governing body is the admission authority and can decide whether or not to adopt faith admission criteria. Academy trusts are the admission authorities for their schools which means that, on conversion, it will be able to maintain its current admission arrangements. So if an existing Catholic maintained school that selected by faith became an academy, it would be able to continue prioritising on the basis of faith if oversubscribed.
Any entirely new faith academies-where there is no existing maintained faith school-will be required to admit 50% of their intake without reference to faith when oversubscribed. This is in order to give a broad range of local pupils access to new academy provision and will not affect converting maintained schools, which will be able to retain their existing arrangements.
If a faith school that has converted to academy status wishes to change its admission arrangements, it will be required to consult locally in line with admissions law and the School Admissions Code.
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether the articles of association of an Academy Trust operating a Catholic school allow (a) a majority of foundation governors to be appointed by a religious trusteeship and (b) the posts of headteacher, deputy headteacher and head of religious education to be reserved for practising Catholics. 
Mr Gibb: The Academy Model Articles of Association provide for a structure which would allow those who are setting up the academy trust (for example the existing governing body of a converting Catholic school) to decide who should be the members of the academy trust. The members are in turn responsible for deciding who should appoint, and who should be, the governors of the academy trust. Where the school has an existing foundation-for example in the case of voluntary aided faith schools-we would expect that foundation to be the lead member of the new academy trust which could then appoint a majority of the governors. There is no impediment to the members of the academy trust agreeing that a majority of foundation governors be appointed by a religious trusteeship.
Similarly, section 124A of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 allows academies with a religious character to take faith into account in the appointment of its-teachers, including the posts of head teacher, deputy head teacher and head of religious education. This means that an academy designated as a Catholic school would have equivalent freedoms in this area to a voluntary aided school in the maintained sector.
21. Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals for long-term funding of youth facilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education has not yet made a decision on funding for youth facilities beyond March 2011. As the hon. Lady will know the Government are undertaking a comprehensive spending review and Ministers will shortly announce their spending priorities.
23. John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent progress his Department has made on its proposed Green Paper on children and young people with special educational needs. 
Sarah Teather: I will publish a Green Paper later this year to look at a wide range of issues for children with special educational needs and disabilities. I have been meeting a range of people, including parents, teachers, local authorities, charities and other groups and considering the findings of recent reviews, including the most recent report from the Office for Standards in Education. A call for views was published on 10 September and closes on 15 October.
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether Catholic schools which wish to achieve academy status may retain the right to select a proportion of pupils on the basis of their Catholic faith. 
Mr Gibb: All maintained schools and academies are required to adopt admission arrangements which comply with the School Admissions Code. Schools must be designated a faith school in order to prioritise admissions on the basis of faith if oversubscribed. Catholic maintained schools are all voluntary aided. This means that the governing body is the admission authority and can decide whether or not to adopt faith admission criteria. Academy trusts are the admission authorities for their schools which means that, on conversion, it will be able to maintain its current admission arrangements. So if an existing Catholic maintained school that selected by faith became an academy, it would be able to continue prioritising on the basis of faith if oversubscribed.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether new academy schools will be required to have (a) elected parent governors, (b) elected staff governors and (c) local authority nominated governors. 
Mr Gibb: The academies governing body should include at least two parent governors and the principal. Academies are free to choose whether to have a staff governor or local authority governor.
Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what expressions of interest in academy status his Department has received from primary schools (a) nationally and (b) in Worcester. 
Mr Gibb: As at 29 September 2010, 910 primary schools nationally had registered an interest in academy status. We have received five registrations of interest from primary schools in the constituency of Worcester.
Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) whether (a) Wandsworth and (b) other London boroughs will not receive Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding as a consequence of being in later waves of the BSF programme; 
(2) how much Building Schools for the Future funding was initially allocated to Wandsworth; and whether that funding will now be provided to the borough. 
Mr Gibb: On 5 July, the Department announced that BSF projects that have reached financial close will continue, together with repeat projects which have outline business case approval prior to 1 January 2010. All projects that have not reached close of dialogue will stop with immediate effect. On 6 August, the Department announced that all sample schools would also go ahead. These criteria apply to Wandsworth, to all other London boroughs and to all authorities throughout England.
The London borough of Wandsworth's Building Schools for the Future project was allocated an indicative £333 million none of which has been spent to date. Further funding will not be allocated to the borough until the capital review has been completed.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to make a decision in respect of Building Schools for the Future funding for (a) Wade Deacon and (b) The Grange School. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 20 July 2010]: BSF projects in a local authority's initial BSF scheme are continuing where Financial Close has been reached for the scheme, as will projects subsequent to their area's initial scheme which have Outline Business Case approval prior to 1 January 2010.
On 6 August the Department announced that 33 sample school projects, including UCL academy in Camden, and 119 additional academy projects will proceed. The 44 academies at the most advanced stage in their capital planning with Partnerships for Schools will receive capital now. Capital allocations for the remaining 75 will be decided in the spending review.
Wade Deacon and The Grange School are among the 33 sample schools and have now been allocated capital.
Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the oral statement of 5 July 2010, Official Report, columns 47-57, on education funding, when the final criteria to determine action to be taken on each (a) Building Schools for the Future project and (b) Academy application were decided; and what consultation took place with (i) local authorities and (ii) Partnerships for Schools on those matters before decisions were made. 
Mr Gibb: [holding answer 22 July 2010]: The Secretary of State had wide-ranging discussions during May, June and July and took into account information from a range of sources in taking his decisions on Building Schools for the Future projects and Academies. The Secretary of State worked closely with Partnerships for Schools during this time, drawing on their strong working relationships with local authorities in the Building Schools for the Future programme.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received from Stockton on Tees Borough Council on school building projects; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: On 5 July the Secretary of State announced a review of all areas of DfE capital spending. Its purpose is to ensure that future capital investment represents good value for money and strongly supports the Government's ambitions to reduce the deficit, raise standards and tackle disadvantage. While he announced that the Building Schools for the Future programme is ending, this does not mean the end of capital investment by this Department.
The Secretary of State has received a letter from Councillor Mrs Ann McCoy, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what criteria his Department has used to decide which proposed projects should not received Building Schools for the Future funding. 
Mr Gibb: BSF developments are being maintained for three groups of schools:
those in a local authority area's initial BSF scheme where Financial Close has been reached;
the first, or "sample", schools due to be taken forward in a local authority area where Financial Close has not been reached but where very significant work has been undertaken, to the point of appointing a preferred bidder at "close of dialogue"; and
some schools with planned projects subsequent to their authority's initial scheme-projects with Outline Business Cases approved before 1 January 2010.
All other BSF funding has been stopped for schools.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the (a) name and (b) address is of each building (i) leased and (ii) owned by his Department; on what date his Department began occupying each such property; what the book value is of each such property; and if he will make a statement. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education occupies the following properties:
|Property name||Address||Tenure||Date occupied||Value (£)|
The nursery is run by the company Bright Horizons for use by the staff of Sheffield based Government Departments.
In addition, the Department has responsibility for the following lease commitments which were all former Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) properties with the exception of 200 Great Dover Street which was formerly an area office for the Manpower Services Commission.
|Property name||Address||Date occupied and lease term||Current status|
Wobaston Road, Pendeford Business Park, Wolverhampton, WV9 5HA
All surplus space is marketed both through the Government Property Unit and commercially through our property agents, DTZ.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects were undertaken by his Department in each of the last five years; and what the costs were of each such project. 
Tim Loughton: There has been one refurbishment project in the last five years which was the refurbishment of Sanctuary Buildings our London headquarters. The costs were incurred from an estate rationalisation and maintenance programme that resulted in the Department vacating and disposing of one of its two HQ buildings and consolidating its occupation within a single building, Sanctuary Buildings. This has achieved ongoing annual savings of £13 million in running costs with a payback on the capital investment within 16 months.
|(1) No spend.|
There was also a single building project undertaken at our new premises at 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield. This was for the fit-out of the building prior to staff occupation and included mechanical and electrical installations, carpets and fittings, security and environmental controls. The project cost £4,160,893 and was undertaken between 2009/10 and 2010/11.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what instructions have been issued by the private office of each Minister in his Department on the preparation of briefing, speeches and replies to official correspondence. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education ensures that guidance is issued to staff on the departmental intranet. The guidance sets out each Minister's preferences for briefing, speeches and replies to official correspondence. These are reviewed regularly to ensure that Ministers are able to fulfil their duties to Parliament and the public to the highest standards possible.
Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much (a) his Department and (b) its predecessor spent on search engine biasing with (i) Google and (ii) other search engines in each of the last five years. 
Tim Loughton: The Department's expenditure on paid for search engine marketing, through the Central Office of Information, was £511,923 in 2008/09 and £811,132 in 2009/10.
To supply information for previous years and to separate expenditure for Google from that of other search engines would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.
No money was spent on search engine biasing.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) special advisers and (b) press officers are employed by his Department at each Civil Service pay grade. 
Michael Gove: The Department has two special advisors, one at pay band 1 and one at pay band 2.
The Department currently employs 21 full time equivalent press officers. A breakdown by grade is outlined in the following table.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department spent on hospitality for events hosted by each Minister in his Department in July 2010. 
Tim Loughton: The Secretary of State and Ministers hosted two briefing events in July 2010 to meet approximately 50 stakeholders from across the education sector to outline policy priorities and to listen to their views. To keep costs to a minimum the events were hosted in the Department. The total cost was £465.15.
All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 5 July 2010, Official Report, columns 1-2WS, on public spending control, under which budgetary headings he expects his Department to make savings of £1 billion in fiscal year 2010-11. 
Tim Loughton: Work is still ongoing to identify the budget areas where the £1 billion reduction in end year flexibility (EYF) will be taken from, and will be working on the implications as part of our work on the spending review.
£156.5 million of savings have already been identified from capital budgets in the following areas:
|Saving (£ million)|
Co-location projects-cancelling projects where progress has not been satisfactory or is not good value for money
School swimming-cancelling capital investment in school swimming pools due to low take-up of the offer
Eco-towns contribution-not funding pilot work on energy efficient schools in the CLG led eco-towns initiative
Harnessing Technology Grant-a further reduction to take this year's funding down to £100 million, allowing schools to reconfigure their broadband and IT infrastructure projects onto a more sustainable funding model
14 to 19 diplomas, SEN and disabilities-cutting allocations to the 76 LAs which were not included in early BSF waves and were therefore allocated £8 million each to support investment in SEN or diploma provision. Their allocations will be reduced by c £660,000
Social Work IT support-not proceeding with plans announced just before the election of a formulaic allocation to LAs to improve social work IT provision
EYF is a mechanism whereby Departments may carry forward unspent departmental expenditure limit (DEL) provision into later financial years.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which single tenders have been authorised by his Department since his appointment. 
Tim Loughton: A complete answer to this question could only be provided at disproportionate costs as my Department does not keep a central record of all single tender authorisations. However, we do have a central record of all single tender authorisations under the category of consultancy and I can tell the hon. Member that one single tender has been authorised. That was for Dame Clare Tickell's services as chair of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) review.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what mechanism will be available to ensure the accountability of new free schools to (a) Ministers and (b) parents; and if he will make a statement. 
We expect the vast majority of free schools to be funded via a funding agreement. As for academies, the funding agreement will set the terms and conditions
under which the free school must operate and free schools will be held accountable by the Secretary of State for their performance. We will continue to evaluate the academies and free schools programme. During the passage of the Academies Act 2010 we also agreed that we would provide Parliament with regular reports on the progress and performance of the academies and free schools programme.
In line with other state-funded schools, free schools will be required to collect performance data, publish their results and be inspected by Ofsted. Parents with concerns will be able to request an Ofsted inspection.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of free schools likely to be created under his Department's proposals in the next five years. 
Mr Gibb: There has been a high level of interest in the free schools programme and the Department for Education is working with proposers to develop their ideas. Our intention is to be permissive, not prescriptive. The number of projects taken forward over the next five years will depend on the level of parental demand and the quality of proposals that come forward.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many expressions of interest in establishing free schools the New Schools Network has passed on to his Department. 
Mr Gibb: The point at which the Department receives formal notice of applications is when groups put in a proposal form. Many, though not all, of those groups will have received advice from the New Schools Network. However it is the proposers who choose to notify the DfE of their wish to set up a school when they feel they are prepared adequately, not the New Schools Network.
Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to bring forward draft regulations for the registration and monitoring of free schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: Free schools will be set up as academies under existing legislation and will be held to account in the same way as other academies.
James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many applications in respect of his Department's proposed free schools have been received from groups in the North East. 
Mr Gibb: As at 27 September 2010 the Department has received two Free School proposals from groups in the North East region, both of which are within the Stockton local authority area.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of candidates achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics in each (a) selective, (b) partially selective
and (c) comprehensive school in each local education authority in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr Gibb: The percentage of candidates achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics in 2009 is published for each individual school in each local authority and available on the departmental website. The admission basis in each maintained school is also given:
Code descriptions for admission basis can be found in the Glossary and abbreviations page
Figures for all schools in 2009 are also available in a publication file that has been added to the House Libraries.
Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much has been paid to the building contractor Skanska in each of the Local Education Partnerships (LEPs) in which Skanska is active in each year since LEPs were established; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of Local Education Partnerships; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: Skanksa have been appointed main contractor on two Local Education Partnerships (LEPs) schemes, Bristol and Essex. Partnership for Schools (PfS) does not hold information on how much money is paid to individual building contractors. The funding provided to the local authorities which in turn pay LEPs is as follows.
Since the creation of the Bristol LEP in Financial Year 2007-08 Bristol City Council has been paid the following amounts:
|Capital grant for design and build schools|
|Financial year||Capital grant (£ million)|
|Revenue support for PFI schemes|
|Financial year||Revenue (£ million)|
Local Education Partnerships are being reviewed as part of the wider review of schools capital.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what account the appointment of the New Schools Network took of the provisions of (a) the Public Contracts Regulations 2008 and (b) his Department's guidance on procurement; 
(2) whether the exemption from procurement procedures applicable to single tendering was invoked in respect of the New Schools Network; 
(3) what criteria he used when awarding the New Schools Network a contract; and whether the Compact Commissioning Guidance was taken into account. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 8 September 2010]: On 18 June 2010 the Department agreed to enter into a £500,000 grant agreement with the New Schools Network (NSN) to provide support for groups wanting to find out more about setting-up a free school. NSN has championed the development of parent and teacher promoted schools and has been providing advice and support to those interested in establishing new schools since 2009, as well as developing networks among interested groups and individuals. This makes NSN ideally placed to fulfil the role for an initial period.
Officials are currently finalising the grant details which will take account the relevant regulations and agreements.
Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many placement orders were authorised by (a) Cambridgeshire County Council and (b) Staffordshire County Council in each of the last three years; and whether the Government plan to review the powers of local authorities to apply for placement orders. 
Tim Loughton: The requested information is available as part of Statistical First Release: Children Looked After in England (including adoption and care leavers). Information for 2009 can be accessed via the Department's website at:
Table LAA11 gives information on the number of placement orders granted for each local authority for year ending 31 March 2009. This can be found in the Excel link titled (3rd set of additional tables).
Information for 2008 can be accessed at:
Table LAA11 can be found in the Excel link titled (2nd set of additional tables). Information for 2007 can be accessed at:
Table LAA11 can be found in the Excel link titled (2nd set of additional tables).
I am examining the adoption process to consider how best to remove barriers and delays to adoption, but have no immediate plans to review the power of local authorities to apply for placement orders.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of primary school places required in (a) the London Borough of Merton and (b) Wimbledon constituency in (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13, (iii) 2013-14, (iv) 2014-15 and (iv) 2019-20. 
Mr Gibb: It is the responsibility of each local authority to manage the supply and demand for primary school places in its area and secure a place for every child of statutory school age. Ministers play no role in deciding primary school provision in individual authorities and constituencies but the Department provides capital funding to enable local authorities to provide sufficient school places.
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils will receive the pre-paid premium in Hampstead and Kilburn constituency. 
Mr Gibb: On 26 July, the Secretary of State for Education announced in his written ministerial statement the launch of the consultation on school funding arrangements for 2011-12. The details as to how pupils would be classified as entitled to the pupil premium are part of this consultation.
Copies of the consultation document can be found in the House Libraries and on our website
Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether the new academy schools will be encouraged to adopt banded admissions policies to ensure all-ability intakes. 
Mr Gibb: Academies, as with other admission authorities, are required to follow the Admissions Code.
This gives academies the flexibility to adopt the admission arrangements which are the most appropriate for children and parents in their areas, within a clear overall framework.
Banded admissions can therefore play a part in current admissions arrangements, but we do not intend to be prescriptive.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to refurbish primary and secondary schools in Coventry. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 23 June 2010]: The Department is reviewing all capital programmes. This includes the Buildings Schools for the Future (BSF) programme and the Primary Capital Programme. The Department has announced that BSF projects that have reached financial close will continue, together with repeat projects which have outline business case approval prior to 1 January 2010.
On 6 August, the Secretary of State announced that BSF 'sample projects' and some academies would continue to be funded as part of the BSF programme. All projects that have not reached close of dialogue have stopped with immediate effect.
Funding allocations to support local delivery of the Primary Capital Programme have already been confirmed for the current financial year. Decisions about the specific projects that will benefit from this funding are entirely matters for the relevant local authority.
All capital programmes are being considered as part of the comprehensive spending review and the capital review.
Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of total spending on maintained schools is allocated to (a) teaching staff and (b) all staff costs. 
Mr Gibb: The total net spend on maintained schools in the financial year 2008-09 was £32.3 billion. Of this, £18.9 billion was spent on teaching staff, representing 58.5% of the total. The cost of all staff (including teaching staff) was £22.7 billion, representing 70.2% of the total.
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of secondary schools in London have expressed interest in becoming an academy. 
Mr Gibb: As of 10 September, 116 maintained secondary schools in London had registered an interest in academy status. At the point that schools were invited to register an interest in applying for academy status, on 26 May 2010, there were 376 maintained secondary schools in London. This represents 31% of maintained secondary schools.
The list of schools that have registered an interest in becoming an Academy is published at:
and will be updated on a regular basis.
Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many projects in the Building Schools for the Future programme have been affected by an English Heritage listing decision during the design period since the inception of the programme; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the level of expenditure incurred in the Building Schools for the Future programme as a result of the listing of school buildings by English Heritage since the inception of the programme; 
(3) what recent discussions he has had with representatives of English Heritage on the Building Schools for the Future programme. 
Mr Gibb: Information about the number of projects and the level of expenditure incurred in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme as a result of the listing of school buildings by English Heritage is not held centrally.
There have been no recent discussions between the Secretary of State and representatives of English Heritage on the BSF programme.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will examine the case for a new Catholic high school in Oldham following the merger of Our Lady's, Royton and St Augustine, Werneth. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 27 July 2010]: Under current legislation local authorities are responsible for planning and securing sufficient and suitable maintained schools in their area. Where changes are proposed, a statutory process must be followed which is decided under established local decision making arrangements. The proposals from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford to establish a new voluntary aided Roman Catholic secondary school in Oldham on 1 September 2012 to replace two closing Roman Catholic schools-Our Lady's RC High School and St Augustine of Canterbury RC High School-were approved on 23 March 2009.
The Secretary of State's announcement on 6 August included an allocation of capital for the proposed new Roman Catholic school in Oldham.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had on assisting schools to provide sport in schools for children with (a) mental health disabilities and (b) physical disabilities. 
Tim Loughton: The Secretary of State has not, as of yet, had discussions on assisting schools to provide sport in schools for children with mental health disabilities and physical disabilities. However, on 28 June my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport announced the creation of an Olympic and Paralympic-style competition to encourage schools to provide more competitive school sport. This new competition, funded through the lottery, will be inclusive and will create competitive sports for disabled pupils at all levels, with the national finals showcasing the best in Olympic and Paralympic sport. At school level, the initial pilots will include at least 25 special schools and a further 25 schools will consider how to involve disabled pupils in mainstream schools. Further details of this national competition framework will be announced later this year.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2010, Official Report, column 193W, on schools: standards, for what reasons his Department does not hold information on which local authorities do not undertake school organisation plans following the removal of the requirement to do so in 2004; if he will make it his policy to collect such information; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: We have made it easier for free schools and Academies to be established by new groups, including outstanding teachers, independently of local authorities. Within that context, we do not see it as part of the role of central Government to collect routine information about proposed school reorganisation plans within local authorities.
Mr Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received on improving secondary school provision in Gravesham constituency. 
Mr Gibb: Although the Department has not received specific representations from others, my hon. Friend wrote to the Secretary of State recently to clarify local authority powers to require schools to admit pupils above their published admissions number where there is a shortage of places.
We want all parents to have access to a good school, and our new academies and free schools policies are designed to address this, providing more choice for parents and the necessary freedoms to drive up standards across the country.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how he plans to ensure sufficient funding for academies for (a) special educational needs support services, (b) behaviour support services, (c) education welfare services, (d) school meals, (e) pupils' support and (f) staffing costs. 
Mr Gibb: Academies' General Annual Grant has a budget share element based on the relevant local authority's school funding formula, together with a grant (Local Authority Central Spend Equivalent Grant) which is intended to replace local authority services provided to maintained schools and is calculated on the basis of the authority's spending level on those services. The services listed are funded as follows:
|Service/Cost||Element of General Annual Grant|
Budget share and/or LACSEG depending on local authority arrangements
The basis of funding for academies from the academic year 2011/12 onwards is the subject of a review, announced on 26 July 2010 as part of the school funding consultation document issued on that day. This review is based on the principle that conversion to academy status should not bring financial advantage or disadvantage; and that local authority responsibility for services should be properly recognised in the financial arrangements.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what capital funding he plans to make available to schools for children with special educational needs in Sunderland. 
Mr Gibb: On 5 July the Secretary of State announced a review of all areas of the Department for Education's capital spending, including funding for special educational needs schools. Its purpose is to ensure that future capital investment represents good value for money and enables us to build more for less. We will use its advice to focus capital spending on key need. All future capital funding, including for schools in Sunderland, is subject to the outcome of the capital review and the comprehensive spending review.
The capital review team will be providing advice to Ministers for use in the comprehensive spending review, and will complete its work by the end of the calendar year.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he will take to ensure that graduates from universities in every region take part in the Teach First programme. 
Mr Gibb: Teach First currently directly markets the programme to universities across the UK and overseas, and graduates from every region are able to take part in the Teach First programme. Teach First is currently based in London, midlands, north west, and Yorkshire. The new funding announced by the Secretary of State on 5 July was largely intended to pave the way for further expansion of the Teach First programme into schools in areas not already served by Teach First, including the north east, south west and east of England, ensuring coverage across all regions by 2013/14.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to make the commencement order to implement the careers education provisions in section 250 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009; and what discussions his Department has had with Ofsted on ensuring that those provisions are taken into account during future inspections of schools in England. 
Mr Gibb: The Government are reviewing the provision of careers education and guidance, and the commencement of section 250 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 has been delayed pending that review.
Schools already have a clear legal obligation to ensure pupils receive information about apprenticeships. The Education and Skills Act 2008 requires schools, in discharging their statutory duty to provide careers education, to provide impartial information and up-to-date materials that present a full range of 16 to 18 education or training options. Ofsted inspections take account of the support provided to pupils, including effective careers education and guidance.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure that youth services are maintained at existing levels following the ending of ring-fenced funding for such services. 
Tim Loughton: We are committed to ensuring that our young people continue to receive high quality youth services. This is reflected in our vision for the new National Citizen Service, which will aim to offer every 16-year-old in the UK a personal and social development programme that builds a sense of purpose, optimism and belonging.
The Government do not set a budget for spending on youth services. Local authorities receive funding from Government through the revenue support grant for
youth services and it is for them to decide how much funding should be spent based on Government priorities and local needs.
To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, how
much the House of Commons Service paid for press cuttings services provided to (a) the House of Commons Library, (b) Select Committees of the House and (c) other officers and bodies of the House (i) in each of the last three months and (ii) in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Sir Stuart Bell: Expenditure by the House of Commons Service for press cutting services was as follows:
|(i) In each of last three months||(ii) In last 12 months for which figures are available September 2009-August 2010|
|(1) MCS pays for coverage of the work of Select Committees, but a small number of Committees also purchase a service with a wider remit, to inform them of developments in their subject area.|
Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to meet air quality targets in EU legislation. 
Richard Benyon: The Government take their air quality obligations very seriously, and are committed to working towards full compliance with the air quality limits set down in EU legislation as soon as possible.
The UK is now compliant with the EU limits for most air quality pollutants. For particulate matter (PM10), EU limits are already met with the exception of very few areas in London. The Government have been working with the Mayor of London, and in May this year, submitted evidence to the European Commission showing that full compliance with the PM10 limits in London is expected by the extended deadline of 2011 as set out in the EU ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC).
Outside of urban areas, much of the UK already meets the EU air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) but, along with other EU countries, faces a challenge in achieving the limits in major urban areas, such as London, by the 2010 deadline. We plan to use the provisions in the ambient air quality directive to secure the additional time available (up to 2015) to meet the NO2 limit values. DEFRA is currently in discussions with the Mayor of London, local authorities and other Government Departments, to determine what can be done to achieve the NO2 limit values as soon as possible.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, for what length of time it is proposed that a regime of licences for badger culling should be in place. 
Mr Paice: The proposal in the consultation on a badger control policy is that licences to cull badgers would cover a fixed period, but not less than four years. It also makes clear that the policy of granting licences will be reviewed after four years, or sooner if any monitoring data show unexpected results or if new evidence or control tools become available (such as an oral badger vaccine and/or cattle vaccine).
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what criteria will be used by Natural England to determine how many badgers in a proposed cull area may be killed. 
Mr Paice: As set out in the consultation on a badger control policy, to gain a licence to cull, applicants will have to show that culling will achieve badger densities low enough to reduce TB transmission but not lead to local extinction.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of policing badger culls; and whether she has discussed this with the Association of Chief Police Officers. 
Mr Paice: It is possible that any future culling operation will generate policing costs. However, the scale of any extra policing needed is difficult to quantify at this stage, as it depends on the extent of the threat of any illegal activity. We are currently discussing a range of issues relating to badger control measures with the Association of Chief Police Officers, including costs.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, whether culling licences will permit farmers to go on to other landowners' property to cull badgers. 
Mr Paice: Culling licences would not permit compulsory access to land for culling. As set out in the consultation document, one of the proposed criteria for a culling licence would be that there is access for culling over at least 70% of the land area.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, what percentage of landowners in a minimum area of 150 square kilometres will have to take part in an application for a badger culling licence to meet the requirement laid down in the consultation document. 
Mr Paice: As set out in the consultation on a badger control policy, to gain a licence to cull, applicants will have to demonstrate that within the area of at least 150 km(2 )there is access for culling to over 70% of the area.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's consultation on badger control, whether badgers culled under the proposals will undergo post-mortem testing for bovine tuberculosis. 
Mr Paice: Given the extent of evidence already available on the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the badger population, we do not propose to check whether individual badgers are infected with bTB.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take to protect private property along the Blackwater river from intrusions from the planned coastal path; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: Under part 9 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 any private property along the Blackwater river will be protected in the same way as any other coastal property that may be affected by proposals for a coastal route. In order to protect privacy, the right of access to coastal land will not apply to any land used as a garden, or any land covered by buildings or the curtilage of such land.
Any proposals that Natural England may make for the position of the coastal route along the Blackwater river will be discussed with owners and occupiers of affected land. In addition, owners and occupiers will also be able to object to proposals and any such objections will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate.
The Secretary of State will make the final decision on the coastal route for a particular stretch of the English coast. In doing so she must strike a fair balance between the interests of the public in having rights of access over land and the interests of any person with a relevant interest in any land that might be affected by the new right of coastal access.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department plans to spend on vaccines against bovine tuberculosis in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. 
Mr Paice: Planned expenditure on bovine tuberculosis vaccines during the current financial year (2010-11) is £6.7 million. This includes vaccines research and the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project.
No decisions on future spend will be made until the results of the spending review are known.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost to her Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period her Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. 
Richard Benyon: The latest data indicate that the average cost of processing and paying an invoice, during the period June to August 2010, is £3.68.
This includes all of the direct costs attributed to processing the invoice, any returns or rework and payment of the invoice. This cost excludes any apportionment for overheads and systems costs since these relate to all finance processing services and are not directly attributable to any one element of the service.
98.6% of invoices, during the period June to August 2010, were paid electronically with the remaining 1.4% being paid by cheque.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the monetary value is of contracts her Department has awarded to each (a) management consultancy and (b) IT company since 7 May 2010. 
Richard Benyon: The monetary value of new contracts awarded by the Department, including its executive agencies, since the 7 May 2010 is as follows.
(a) Management consultancy: £84,820
(b) IT: £131,534.88.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated
monetary value is of each vacant (a) building and (b) parcel of land owned by her Department in each region. 
Richard Benyon: The information requested is set out in the following table:
|Core DEFRA||Division||Property reference||Property name||Town||Postcode||Leasehold or freehold||Value (£)||Basis|
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department spent on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines in each year since 2001. 
Richard Benyon: The figures in the following table have been extracted from the Department's accounts under the headings 'Purchase of Publications' and 'Subscriptions to Publications' where possible. Figures include the purchase of books and subscriptions to relevant trade internet news services.
Figures start from 2005 as to obtain them from 2001 would incur disproportionate cost.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if her Department will take steps to assess the effects on (a) equality of incomes, (b) equality of assets and (c) equality of access to services of measures relating to its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review. 
Richard Benyon: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will ensure the relevant equality considerations are taken in to account in the context of expenditure under consideration in the spending review, in compliance with our obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff her Department has appointed on secondment since 7 May 2010; and from what organisation each such member of staff has been seconded. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA has appointed two staff on secondment since 7 May 2010, one from the Environment Agency and one from Natural England.
No secondments have been appointed since the start of the recruitment freeze (24 May).
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for the future provision of flood prevention services previously provided through the Government office network; and what assessment she has made of the likely effects on flood prevention services of the closure of that Network. 
On 22 July the Government announced their intention in principle to abolish the remaining
Government offices subject to consideration of consequential issues, including which Government office functions need to continue. The spending review process is being used to test which activities should continue, and to decide the most cost-effective way of doing this.
The final decisions on the future of the Government office network, including the transfer of ongoing functions, will be announced at the end of the spending review in the autumn.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the costs of providing (a) flood storage on farmland, and other soft forms of flood defence and (b) physical flood defences, walls and other hard forms of flood defence. 
Richard Benyon: Options for managing flood risk are considered on a case by case basis by the responsible operating authorities (the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards). The cost will vary from place to place depending on local circumstances.
DEFRA's guidance is that all technically feasible options should be considered and appraised in an open, transparent and comparable way to establish which is the most cost-effective and appropriate. Options should include flood storage and other 'soft' forms of flood defence, as well as 'hard' defences such as flood defence walls and embankments.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Environment Agency, (b) the Association of Drainage Authorities and (c) other interested parties on the apportionment of responsibility for dredging and maintenance of main watercourses. 
Richard Benyon: Ministers have regular discussions with the Environment Agency, the Association of Drainage Authorities and other organisations in relation to the efficient and effective management of flood risk from all sources, including main rivers. The Environment Agency is currently in discussions with internal drainage boards about dredging and maintenance of some stretches of main rivers.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding her Department allocated for the purpose of flood prevention to (a) local authorities and (b) Swindon Borough Council in each of the last three years. 
Richard Benyon: Local authority expenditure is supported primarily through Formula Grant from central Government and through capital grants from the Environment Agency (the latter are issued under delegation from DEFRA).
Formula Grant is "unhypothecated block grant", which means that local authorities are free to spend it on any service. The calculations carried out include adjustments such as "floor damping," which guarantees every authority receives a minimum change year-on-year on a like-for-like basis, that help ensure local authorities
receive a fair settlement. As a result it is not possible to say how much grant has been provided for any particular service within each block.
The Government collate outturns from local authorities, which estimate expenditure from formula grant and are published by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
The following table summarises the outturns from all local authorities in England and includes provisional data for 2009-11.
In 2009-10 Swindon borough council received £46,000 in capital grant funding from the Environment Agency. The council did not receive any funding in 2007-8 or 2008-09, and nothing is planned for 2010-11.
In addition, Swindon has been allocated £10,000 (via special grant) this year as part of the £2 million DEFRA announced would be allocated to local authorities for the preparation of preliminary flood risk assessments. This is in addition to £100,000 announced for Swindon in August 2009 (from a total national allocation to local authorities of £9.7 million via the area based grant) for the preparation of surface water management plans.
|Local authority outturns|
|2007-08||2008-09||2009-10 (Budget)||2010-11 (Budget)|
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the animal welfare implications of farming cloned animals. 
Mr Paice: The welfare of farmed animals is regulated in the UK through a combination of European and national legislation, and UK welfare standards are considered to be among the highest. Cloned livestock would be subject to exactly the same welfare requirements as other farm animals, as would animals involved in the production of cloned offspring.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress she has made in creating marine conservation zones. 
Richard Benyon: Natural England (NE) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) have set up four regional projects which are working towards making proposals for possible Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) sites to NE and the JNCC by summer 2011. The projects will base their proposals on ecological and other guidance drawn up by our delivery partners and DEFRA. They will also complete detailed Impact Assessments.
The projects will report to both statutory bodies and the independent Science Advisory Panel (SAP) at four key stages. Their first draft reports were submitted in July 2010, the next progress reports are due at the end of October 2010, and the third set of draft proposals are due in February 2011. The delivery partners will consider the final set of proposals, and accompanying Impact Assessments (due to be sent to them in June 2011), and then make their recommendations to Ministers in October 2011.
DEFRA has also established the SAP to support the four regional projects in the MCZ selection process by offering objective scientific assessment of site proposals, and independent advice to Ministers. Panel members have been drawn from a diverse range of marine scientific disciplines in order to ensure a balanced and comprehensive skill set.
Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much public funding each of the four regional projects constituting the Marine Conservation Zone Project received in financial year (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. [R] 
Richard Benyon: The following table shows how much public funding each of the four regional projects that constitute the Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) Project received in the financial year (FY) 2009-10, and projected funding for 2010-11.
|Regional MCZ Project||Actual FY 2009-10||Projected FY 2010-11( 1)|
|(1 )The funding to each project will be reduced during the FY to take into account savings made as a result of the public sector expenditure controls on marketing and advertising.|
The final budget provided will be dependent on the outcome of an exemption from the spending control and other efficiencies identified in year.
Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent under each budget heading on each of the four Marine Conservation Zones by (a) her Department, (b) Natural England and (c) the Joint Nature Conservation Committee in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. 
Richard Benyon: The following table shows how much was spent on each of the four Marine Conservation Zone projects-Finding Sanctuary, Balanced Seas, Net Gain and Irish Sea Conservation Zones-by DEFRA, Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) for the financial years (FY) 2008-09 and 2009-10.
|Funding provided to the regional MCZ projects|
|DEFRA||Natural England||JNCC||Total funding|
|(1) FY 2008-09: Three regional MCZ projects were established in late FY 2008-09.|
(2) FY 2009-10: The Net Gain Project was not established until June 2009.
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