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Ian Austin: To ask the Attorney-General how many staff the Law Officers' Departments have appointed on secondment since 7 May 2010; and from what organisation each such member of staff has been seconded. 
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Attorney-General if he will undertake an investigation of factors affecting the number of prosecutions for offences related to female genital mutilation; if he will take steps to increase the rate of such prosecutions; and if he will make a statement. 
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is an active member of the inter-departmental Female Genital Mutilation Steering Group co-ordinated by the Home Office. This group has been working to raise public awareness and ensure that wherever these
cases are reported, they are thoroughly investigated. In addition, they aim to ensure that measures are available to support victims and witnesses.
The CPS also works closely with the police to build strong prosecution cases. All cases sent to the CPS following an investigation are subject to the Full Code Test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which requires that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for a prosecution to proceed.
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Attorney-General (1) how many representations his Department has received requesting that a sentence given in a Crown court be considered for referral to the Court of Appeal for review because it may be unduly lenient in each of the last 12 months; and on how many occasions his Department has referred a sentence to the Court of Appeal for such a review; 
The Attorney-General: The power to refer certain sentences to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient is one which I exercise personally. Statistics relating to unduly lenient sentences are published annually and are available on the Attorney-General's Office website. In the 12 months from September 2009 the previous Attorney-General and I were asked to consider sentences passed on 347 offenders. The sentences passed on 99 offenders were referred to the Court of Appeal for review.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel were deployed from aircraft carriers in (a) Afghanistan in 2001, (b) Al Faw in 2003 and (c) Sierra Leone in 2000. 
Nick Harvey [holding answer 11 October 2010]: HMS Illustrious was one of the first British units in theatre at the start of the Afghanistan operation, providing the delivery of early entry land forces into theatre.
HMS Illustrious deployed in the Carrier Strike role to Sierra Leone in 2000 and therefore did not deploy any troops directly. As part of the same operation, approximately 800 personnel from the Amphibious Ready Group based around 42 Commando Royal Marines deployed into Sierra Leone from a task group based around HMS Ocean, a Royal Navy Landing Platform Helicopter.
Mr Robathan: As part of their duties Ministers are regularly asked to host receptions and meals in honour of visiting dignitaries. We do not have comprehensive costs records for the period in question. The following table details the costs of the events we have records for, by calendar year, from September 2007.
|Period||Name||Recorded cost of events in £ (rounded to the nearest £10)||Annual total (£)|
|(1 )Part year|
(2 )To date
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence 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 Robathan: The Ministry of Defence has appointed 10 staff on secondment since 7 May 2010. They have come from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, UK Trade and Investment, the Treasury Solicitor's Department and the national health service.
Secondments allow the outward and inward exchange of staff, ideas and skills between departments. They can help to develop individuals and enhance the business by introducing different perspectives, expertise and business acumen.
Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) chief constables, (b) police authority chairs and (c) local authority leaders have indicated support for her proposals to cease the use of antisocial behaviour orders. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 16 September 2010]: Home Office officials are in constant dialogue with police and other professional bodies about a wide range of issues related to antisocial behaviour. No decisions have yet been taken on the future of the antisocial behaviour order but my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced a review of antisocial behaviour tools and powers and the views of (a) chief constables, (b) police authority chairs and (c) local authority leaders will be taken into account as part of this work.
Alan Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to her speech at the Coin Street Community Centre in London on 28 July 2010, what representations her Department has received from hon. and right hon. Members in favour of the use of antisocial behaviour orders since 1997. 
Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions she has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers on her decision not to proceed with domestic violence protection order pilots; 
Lynne Featherstone: We have deferred, not halted, the pilot scheme of the domestic violence protection order (DVPO) so we could understand their potential impact better and be sure that they would work before committing public funds.
In tough economic times, the Government have to consider options for delivering improved protection and value for money across all aspects of their work. We will give further consideration to work in this area once the outcome of the spending review is known and we have explored options for reducing costs of implementation. We have had representations from a range of organisations and will keep the Association of Chief Police Officers and other partners involved in discussions about this.
The costs of implementing DVPOs across England and Wales would be impacted by a range of factors, including take-up, and it is not possible to accurately estimate these until a pilot has taken place. The estimated cost for piloting the scheme within two police force areas was £700,000 based on an assumption of 250-300 possible applications for DVPOs across a 6-12 month period over the two areas.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 July 2010, Official Report, column 199W, on firearms, whether her Department intends to publish a report of the National Ballistics Intelligence Service's work on the illegal use of shotguns. 
James Brokenshire: The National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) delivers a range of intelligence assessments and problem profiles to UK law enforcement organisations. The Service's role is to build these profiles in order to inform and develop operational activity that protects the communities of the United Kingdom from the threat of firearms crime. This includes the use, supply, manufacture and smuggling of illegal weapons into and within UK borders.
These assessments, and subsequent activity, are of a sensitive nature and often involve a range of law enforcement activities across multiple agencies and forces. In order to protect operational activity and intelligence gathering resources and techniques, NABIS does not share this information in the public domain and it would be inappropriate for Government to ask it to do so. NABIS may periodically share information relating to operational activity where a particular threat has been removed; however this is done on a case by case basis.
Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reports she has received on progress made by the Hillsborough Independent Panel; and what timetable the panel has set for the next steps in its work. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 11 October 2010]: As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said in her written ministerial statement of 22 July 2010, Official Report, column 42WS, the Hillsborough Independent Panel has the Government's full support. That statement also confirmed that no changes have been made to the Panel's terms of reference. Within that framework it is for the Panel to decide how and when information is disclosed, initially to the Hillsborough families. We recognise both the importance of the Panel's work and the diligent and professional way in which it is conducting its duty.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people had overstayed the time limit of their leave to remain on the latest date for which figures are available. 
I am aware of research by the London School of Economics (LSE) in May 2009 which gave a central estimate for the total irregular migrant population in the UK as at the end of 2007 of 618,000 (1.0% of UK population) within a range of 417,000 to 863,000.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the forecast requirements for foreign workers of Tier 2 sponsors have been at the end of each month since the inception of the scheme. 
Damian Green: The number of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to prospective migrants by sponsors under Tier 2 of the Points Based System (PBS) since inception of the scheme is 123,680. The monthly totals are as follows:
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in relation to which EU acts the UK is entitled to make notification of non-acceptance to the Council under Article 10(4) of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions attached to the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community; 
(2) to which EU acts which applied to the UK on the date of the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon the provisions of Article 10(1) of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions attached to the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community applied on that date; what EU acts which apply to the UK amend or repeal such acts; and on what date the UK decided to participate in, or participate in the adoption of the proposal for, each such amending or repealing act in which it had discretion to participate under the Treaties; 
(3) what proposals are under consideration at EU level that would amend or repeal EU acts which apply to the UK and to which the provisions of Article 10(1) of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions attached to the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community apply; and on what date the UK decided to participate in any such proposals in which it had discretion to participate under the Treaties. 
James Brokenshire: The provisions of Article 10(1) and the notification under Article 10(4) of the Protocol on Transitional Provisions apply to any measure adopted prior to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009 which had a legal base in the police and criminal judicial co-operation title (VI) of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) where those measures have not subsequently been repealed, annulled or amended by the adoption of a new measure. In making the notification, all such measures would cease to apply to the UK from 1 December 2014.
One proposal which will amend or repeal an existing measure has been adopted since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty: under the terms of the Schengen opt-out, the UK did not opt out of a proposal for a Council Regulation to amend Council Decision 2008/839/JHA, which provides a legal basis for the migration of Schengen Information System (SIS) data from the current system to the future SIS II system.
The UK has also opted in to one proposal which remains under negotiation, the European Investigation Order, which would replace the European Evidence Warrant, the majority of the 2000 Convention on Mutual Assistance in criminal matters and its Protocol and the Framework Decision 2005/577/JHA insofar as it relates to the freezing of evidence. The UK notified its intention to participate in the European Investigation Order on 27 July 2010.
Justine Greening: As set out in Paragraph A20 in Annex A of the June Budget, the Department used its tax and benefit micro-simulation model to estimate the impact of Budget measures on child poverty. This modelling was based on data from the Family Resources survey, uprated to the appropriate year, and estimated using the change in relative child poverty of modelled tax and benefit reforms.
Mr Hoban: The action announced by the Government in the June Budget 2010 to consolidate their fiscal position supports low interest rates and a fall in gilt yields. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that debt interest payments will be £4 billion lower, and net debt as a percentage of GDP will be 5% lower, in 2014-15 than in its pre-Budget forecast.
Mr Gauke: Next year's increase in the employer national insurance contributions threshold will reduce costs to employers by over £3 billion. The national insurance contributions holiday announced at Budget reduces costs to new businesses in targeted regions. In many cases, new small business will pay no employer national insurance in the first year of employment.
23. Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on joint working between Departments as part of the comprehensive spending review. 
Danny Alexander: The Prime Minister has appointed the Public Expenditure Committee to advise Cabinet on the high level decisions that will need to be taken in the spending review, including the approach to cross-cutting issues.
Joint working will continue to be important through the spending review period, including exploration of place-based budgets to encourage local budget holders to work together to deliver local priorities.
Business and tax professionals have also consistently pointed to the way in which tax policy is developed, legislated and implemented as a contributing factor to overall complexity. We published a discussion document alongside the June Budget setting out proposals for a new approach to tax policy making, available at:
Danny Alexander: On 24 May we announced £6.2 billion savings in 2010-11 and departmental budgets were reduced with immediate effect. Departments are responsible for ensuring that they live within their reduced budgets. In some areas they have been supported by HM Treasury and the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) in the Cabinet Office, for example renegotiating with Government's major suppliers to achieve cost reductions.
Justine Greening: The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) entered into force on 1 January 2007. It was established to support active labour market measures where major structural changes in world trade patterns lead to substantial redundancies. It is concurrent with the duration of the financial framework, ending on 31 December 2013.
In June 2009, the scope of the fund was expanded temporarily to support workers made redundant as a result of the global economic and financial crisis. This derogation will expire on 31 December 2011.
Mr Winnick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what telephone numbers are available for members of the public to contact his Department to discuss tax credit issues; what reports he has received of difficulties experienced by members of the public attempting to contact his Department in this way; and if he will make a statement. 
1. The main telephone number: 0845 300 3900
2. For customers who are deaf or hearing or speech impaired: 0845 300 3909
3. For customers calling from outside the UK: +44 2890 538 192
Treasury Ministers are aware that some taxpayers have found it difficult to get through to HMRC's helplines during this year's busiest periods. HMRC is committed to improving the performance of its telephone helplines, and has introduced a range of measures and improvements to improve the service the Department provides. These include:
Reducing the need for customers to contact HMRC by improving processes and the forms they issue.
Improving the HMRC website to make it easier for customers to find the answers to general inquiries.
Developing and improving the range of automated messages to provide answers to many customer queries without the need to speak to an adviser.
Using staff flexibly across HMRC's helplines to better match customer demand.
For tax credits the key peak runs from April to July 31, the deadline for customers to renew their claims. Demand in August and September can also be high as HMRC deals with customers whose claim has been terminated due to their failure to renew and claimants inform HMRC of changes to their dependents' educational status as the new school year starts.
Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many Business Link advisers were employed on Train to Gain in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Hayes: Since April 2009 the Train to Gain brokerage service was integrated with Business Link. Business Link advisers give advice and support to employers on skills and where appropriate broker access to Train to Gain-funded provision. While some regions employ a fully integrated model with all advisers working in all support areas, in others, skills brokerage is delivered by dedicated skills advisers. In total 675 Business Link advisers were available to deliver skills brokerage in 2009/10.
Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses used the National Apprenticeship Service in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and what the average cost to the public purse was of the service provided to such a business. 
Mr Hayes: The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) was established on 1 April 2009 as the first organisation established solely to promote apprenticeships to employers and young people. NAS does not hold information on the average cost to the public purse of supporting individual employers with these services.
Employers may work with the National Apprenticeship Service either directly or by accessing a range of services including: a dedicated telephone support line; apprenticeship website; and apprenticeship vacancies, the on-line recruitment system.
18,500 employers interested in apprenticeships contacted the apprenticeship national helpline. In addition 16,471 other individuals also used the helpline with apprenticeship enquiries(1).
About 2,600,000 visits were made to the apprenticeship website by individuals, employers and other organisations and 7,455 employers completed an employer web enquiry form(2).
Around 10,400 employers advertised for and recruited apprentices using apprenticeship vacancies (the on line system)(3).
Direct Mail and telemarketing activities allowed NAS to directly contact over 100,000 businesses to drive up leads for NAS sales teams to convert into new apprenticeship places. On top of this NAS sales managers contacted 27,000 businesses through events, intermediaries and their own calls(4).
(1) Statistics supplied by Call Credit the helpline contracted provider for the National Apprenticeship Service.
(2) Webtrends analytical software.
(3) Apprenticeship vacancy online system data.
(4) These additional statistics are derived from NAS records including the customer tracking system (CRM)-these have not been published externally.
2006/07: 51,600 (note this figure includes 4,000 employers engaged through the former Employer Training Pilots between April and July 2006);
April 2009: July 2009 there were 16,149 employer engagements
August 2009: June 2010 there were 51,329 employer engagements.
Mr Hayes [holding answer 11 October 2010]: In 2010/11 over £509 million is supporting skills training in the west midlands region, of which, over £20 million is supporting Coventry's residents. This funding covers a diverse range of programmes to meet the needs of individuals and employers, and includes apprentices. Learners resident in the Coventry constituency are accessing these opportunities and others in the wider region to raise and broaden their skill levels and improve their lives.
A consultation to inform a new skills strategy is currently under way. A key principle that will underpin the strategy is that the system should meet the needs of those who have poor work prospects or who have a high chance of spending long periods out of work. It is essential that any future skills system gives a respected, credible vocational training offer that will provide people with a route into employment and help them progress in their careers. The new strategy, to be published after the spending review, will take account of views on how we can best achieve that.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Prime Minister how many transport-related fines his Office has settled on behalf of its staff in each year since 2005; and what the cost to the public purse was in each such year. 
I refer the hon. Gentleman to my written ministerial statement of 26 July 2010, Official Report, column 70WS. There is broad party political acceptance that the current final-salary pension terms for Members of Parliament are not sustainable and that reform is needed. We anticipate that the current scheme for MPs will end. The Government proposes to consult IPSA on these matters and, in due course, to make a further statement in the light of the final findings of the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of (a) UK nationals, (b) people born in the UK, (c) foreign nationals, (d) non-UK EU nationals and (e) non-EU nationals (i) aged over 16 years and (ii) of working age were in employment in the UK in each of the last eight quarters. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many and what proportion of (a) UK nationals, (b) people born in the UK, (c) foreign nationals, (d) non-UK EU nationals: and (e) non-EU nationals (i) aged over 16 years and (ii) of working age were in employment in the UK in each of the last eight quarters. (15718)
You may like to be aware that, following consultation, our practice in respect of labour market statistics changed in August 2010 from regarding working age as men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59 to statistics based on those aged 16-64 for both men and women.
The table provided shows Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates provided on this basis.
|Employment levels and rates for people aged over 16 years in employment(1,2) by nationality and country of birth. Three months ending March, June, September and December, 2008-10. United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted|
|Thousand and percentage|
|Aged over 16 years|
|UK nationals||Rate (%)||UK born||Rate (%)||Foreign nationals||Rate (%)||Non-UK EU nationals||Rate (%)||Non-EU nationals||Rate (%)|
Labour Force Survey (LFS)
|Employment levels and rates for people aged 16 to 64 years in employment(1,2) by nationality and country of birth. Three months ending March, June, September and December, 2008-10. United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted|
|Thousand and percentage|
|Aged 16 to 64 years|
|UK nationals||Rate (%)||UK born||Rate (%)||Foreign nationals||Rate (%)||Non-UK EU nationals||Rate (%)||Non-EU nationals||Rate (%)|
|(1) Includes self-employed and unpaid family workers.|
(2) Excludes those whose nationality was not known.
(3) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates, as described below:
Guide to Quality:
The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV60 - for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220.
* 0 = CV<5%-Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise
** 5 = CV <10%-Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise
*** 10 = CV <20%-Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable
**** CV ? 20%-Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes
CV = Coefficient of Variation
It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc.).
Labour Force Survey (LFS)
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government have been at the forefront of international support for the efforts of the Heart of Borneo project. Our missions in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia have actively worked with their hosts to help turn the Declaration into co-ordinated action plans, and with non-governmental organisations and businesses (including Shell, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank) to build public support for the initiative. Our work has focused on how management of the rainforest, and associated life science research, presents all three countries with ways to align their economies with the global trend towards high-tech/low-carbon.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the monetary value is of contracts his Department has awarded to each (a) management consultancy and (b) IT company since 7 May 2010. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) signed a contract with Cable and Wireless Worldwide on 13 September 2010 for the provision of global telephony, data and video conferencing services. The Echo programme is a framework agreement for a period of 5.5 years, against which the FCO and its partners (UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the Department for International Development) can call off services as required. The current expectation is that the FCO and UKBA will together call off £82 million for services over 5.5 years. This framework contract will provide faster, cheaper and more reliable video conferencing, telephony and internet. The contract will save the tax payer up to £90 million, and will reduce flights, travel and carbon emissions through the increased use of video conferencing.
Mr Jeremy Browne: In both 2008-09 and 2009-10, £6.1 million was originally allocated to the Human Rights and Democracy Strategic Programme Fund. These allocations were revised to £5.59 million in 2008-09, following an internal transfer to another Foreign and Commonwealth Office programme supporting human rights projects, and to £5.81 million in 2009-10 as a result of in year budget cuts.