Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011. 
John Penrose: The Department's target to reduce carbon emissions from offices by 10% includes DCMS and its executive agency, the Royal Parks. For the period 1 May 2010 to 31 August 2010 it is estimated that carbon emissions have decreased by 16% compared to the same period the previous year.
The following initiatives have been identified to ensure that the target of reducing emissions by 10% by May 2011 will be met:
Reduce running times of fan coil units
Sequencing of the boiler and chiller
Reduced cooling in the data centre
Virtualisation of the data centre
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department has spent on bottled water in each year since 2008. 
John Penrose: In September 2008 the Department installed a system to filter and bottle tap water on site. The Department now no longer purchases bottled water.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on soft furnishings and furniture in each year from 1997-98 to 2006-07. 
John Penrose: The amount spent by the Department on furniture from 2005 to 2007 is set out in the table. The Department does not hold information prior to 2005.
|Furniture costs (£)|
Due to the way information has been collated we are unable to disaggregate the costs of soft furnishings from the overall expenditure without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many officials his Department has appointed on fixed-term contracts since 7 May 2010. 
John Penrose: Since 7 May 2010, the Department has appointed three officials on fixed-term contracts.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many (a) officials of his Department and (b) external advisers are working on his Department's review of the National Lottery. 
John Penrose: Six officials are spending part of their time on the reforms to the national lottery. No external advisers are involved.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on newspapers and magazines in each year between 1997-98 and 2005-06. 
John Penrose: The information set out in the table shows expenditure incurred by the Department on subscriptions for hard copy and online magazines, newspapers, books and other publications, access to specific research databases, the Stationery Office and other parliamentary information sources as well as legal online and hard copy updating services.
Due to the way information has been collated we are unable to disaggregate the cost of newspapers and magazines from the overall expenditure, for the timeframe requested, without incurring a disproportionate cost.
|Financial year||Cost (£)|
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many interns his Department has engaged in the last 12 months; and how many were (a) unpaid, (b) remunerated with expenses only and (c) paid a salary. 
John Penrose: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 13 September 2010, Official Report, column 746W. No interns were paid at national minimum wage or above.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has considered the merits of franchising the Tote on a basis similar to that of the National Lottery. 
John Penrose: My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed in the Budget on 22 June that the Government will, over the next 12 months, resolve the future of the Tote in a way that secures value for the taxpayer while recognising the support the Tote currently provides the racing industry.
A variety of possible approaches are being discussed with different stakeholders, and the Government will continue to talk to all parties with an interest in the Tote during that process. We will announce which structure has been agreed as soon as possible.
Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many buildings have been listed (a) nationally, (b) in the North West and (c) in Merseyside in each of the last five years. 
John Penrose: The figures for additions to the statutory list of listed buildings for the last five years have been supplied by English Heritage and are set out in the table:
|Number of additions to the statutory list|
Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport to what local newspapers his Department has subscribed in the last five years; on what date each such subscription started; and what the cost to the public purse of such subscriptions has been since 2001 
John Penrose: In the last five years the Department has subscribed to two local newspapers, the Yorkshire Post (from July 2007 to May 2010) at a cost of £450, and the Exeter Express and Echo (from June 2009 to May 2010) at a cost of £250. All local newspaper subscriptions were cancelled when the current Secretary of State took office.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take to increase the number of women on national governing bodies of sport. 
Hugh Robertson: Diversity should be encouraged at all levels in sport, from the boards of the national governing bodies (NGB) of sport to volunteers and participants at grass roots level. Sport England is delivering this through NGB Whole Sport Plans with the support of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation.
The Equality Standard in Sport continues to be implemented throughout the NGB and national and regional sports organisations in England. It will make sure that decision-makers in sport respond to the needs of all under-represented individuals, groups and communities, including women and girls.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation on increasing the participation of women in sport. 
Hugh Robertson: I have met the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) and will be looking to have regular discussions with them, as well as the other national partners, to discuss equality and diversity issues in sport.
I have also met with the Commission on the Future of Women's Sport.
The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation is actively engaged with all national governing bodies of sport, working in a consultancy capacity to advise them individually on the best approach to increasing women's participation in sport.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which 15 destinations in (a) Essex, (b) Hertfordshire, (c) the City of London area of London and (d) the Metropolitan Police area of London were most frequently visited by tourists in each of the last three years. 
John Penrose: This information is not held in the format requested.
Visit England has advised that the United Kingdom Tourism Survey (domestic) data for 2006-09 places the following destinations as being the most frequently visited places in the following areas:
City of London
Westminster City of
Kensington and Chelsea
Hammersmith and Fulham
Richmond upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames
Barking and Dagenham
Further data on international tourist destinations in the UK are provided by VisitBritain and can be found on its website at:
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what contracts his Department has awarded to voluntary sector organisations in the last two years; and what the monetary value was of each such contract. 
John Penrose: Contracts awarded by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport during the past two financial years to voluntary sector organisations are set out in the table:
|Contract||Supplier||Total spend 2008-09 and 2009-10 (£)|
Children's Play Advice and Information Dissemination Service
|(1) Indicates brace.|
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) steps her Department is taking and (b) funding her Department provides to encourage an increase in the grey partridge population. 
Richard Benyon: The grey partridge is a farmland species whose population trend is declining. It is currently being targeted by Environmental Stewardship (ES)-an agri-environment scheme, administered by Natural England-that provides financial support to farmers to manage their land effectively for environmental and wildlife outcomes. ES includes a number of land-management options designed to deliver the nesting and year-round feeding habitats required by farmland birds.
Recent research by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, funded by Natural England, suggests that three ES groups of options have consistently shown positive effects on farmland birds, including grey partridges. These are: beetle banks; conservation headlands; and wild bird seed mixtures. A total of £34.2 million will be paid to farmers for these three groups of options over the 10-year life of the agreements (initiated since 2005) for tailored management arrangements, known as Higher Level Scheme agreements. In addition, a further £2.57 million was paid in the past 12 months to farmers implementing these options through the Entry Level Scheme, which requires a simpler, generic management approach.
The grey partridge may also benefit from the Campaign for the Farmed Environment work by farmers. This is an industry-led initiative to which DEFRA is contributing £1.5 million over three years. The campaign seeks to improve the environmental benefits of farmland across three schemes including one focused on increasing the populations of species of farmland birds that are currently in decline.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts her Department has awarded to voluntary sector organisations in the last two years; and what the monetary value was of each such contract. 
Richard Benyon: The Department, including its Executive Agencies, have not awarded any contracts for goods and/or services to any identifiable voluntary sector organisations in the last two years.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether funding has been (a) applied for and (b) granted under (i) the Rural Development Programme for England and (ii) another of her Department's programmes in respect of the proposed large-scale dairy farm in Nocton, Lincolnshire. 
Mr Paice: Although an early expression of interest for aid, under the Rural Development Programme for England, was submitted by Nocton Dairies Ltd, no formal application for funding has been received or granted, either under that programme, or under any of the other schemes operated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many statutory duties were placed on local authorities by legislation introduced by her Department and its predecessors in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: The full response to this question could be made only at disproportionate cost.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many officials her Department has appointed on a fixed-term contract since 7 May 2010. 
Richard Benyon: 30 officials were appointed to DEFRA on fixed-term contracts since 7 May 2010, with nine of these appointments made after new recruitment restrictions were put in place on 24 May.
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the UK increases its level of self-sufficiency in food production. 
Mr Paice: The Government are committed to supporting British agriculture and encouraging increased UK production. The UK is currently 72% self-sufficient in all indigenous foods, a higher proportion than in the 1950s; the Government wish to see this downward trend reverse. The UK is also a significant exporter of wheat, lamb, dairy products and breakfast cereals.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the proportion of ozone-depleting substances in the UK attributable to (a) refrigerators, (b) building foams and (c) other sources. 
Richard Benyon: We have not made any specific assessment of the proportion of ozone-depleting substances attributable to these different sources. The Department commissioned some independent research last year into the quantity of ozone-depleting substances present in building foams in the UK. This research will be published soon and consideration will be given to whether it could provide a basis for developing guidance for the construction industry on dealing with ozone-depleting substances in building foams.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to prevent the release of ozone-depleting substances in the construction and demolition industries. 
Richard Benyon: EU Regulation 1005/2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer requires controlled substances in products and equipment, including building foams, to be recovered for destruction, recycling or reclamation where this is "technically and economically feasible". The technical and economic feasibility of recovering and destroying ozone-depleting substances in building foams at the end of life is currently being considered by the European Commission.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance her Department has issued to (a) the Environment Agency, (b) local authorities and (c) private contractors on the safe use and disposal of materials containing ozone-depleting substances. 
Richard Benyon: The Department has not issued any such guidance. In 2002 the Environment Agency issued guidance on the recovery and disposal of controlled ozone-depleting substances in refrigerators and freezers.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who is responsible for monitoring the safe and proper disposal of ozone-depleting substances from demolished buildings and demolition sites. 
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency is responsible for ensuring that any waste is disposed of in accordance with a relevant environmental permit or exemption.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect on the (a) environment and (b) economy of establishing an isolated waste stream for building foam containing ozone-depleting substances arising from demolition. 
The Department commissioned some independent research last year which seeks to quantify the amount of ozone-depleting substances present in building foams in the UK and examine the environmental
and economic impact of different treatment routes. This research will be published soon and consideration will be given to whether it could provide a basis for developing guidance for the construction industry on dealing with ozone-depleting substances in building foams.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the quantity of ozone- depleting substances which entered landfill sites in each of the last 10 years. 
Richard Benyon: These data are not collected.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent representations she has received on the introduction of a No. 4 production code for enriched eggs to differentiate them from eggs produced using conventional cages after 1 January 2012; 
(2) what discussions she has had at EU level on the introduction of a ban on eggs and egg products produced from hens housed in conventional cages after 1 January 2012. 
Mr Paice: The UK Government remain entirely committed to the conventional cage ban coming into force on 1 January 2012 and to supporting industry during this transitional stage. I have received many questions and concerns from UK egg industry representatives and egg producers regarding the introduction of a code 4 for eggs. These concerns have been raised with the European Commission which has made it clear that the introduction of an additional production code would be confusing to consumers and thus is not an option it is willing to consider.
I recently wrote to the Commission about my concerns about the possible non-compliance with the EU-wide ban on eggs and egg products produced from hens housed in conventional cages after 1 January 2012 and requested that it begin work on a practical enforcement solution to help manage the transition across Europe. This might be through the introduction of an intra-community ban on the trade in eggs produced by hens still housed in conventional cages after 1 January 2012. In practice this would mean that such eggs may be sold in the member state of production for a limited period only. This will help protect compliant producers and ensure that they are not disadvantaged if there is any delay to the ban, or other member states do not meet the 2012 deadline.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has received recent representations on the effects on (a) poultry farms, (b) the (i) price and (ii) quality of eggs and (c) the welfare of hens of full implementation of the EU regulations on laying hens. 
Mr Paice: DEFRA has ongoing communication with the laying hen industry and I am meeting the British Egg Industry Council very soon. I also recently met with Compassion in World Farming, which included a discussion on laying hen welfare.
Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what regulations govern the proximity of industrial recycling sites to residential areas. 
Richard Benyon: Any development or use is subject to the need for planning permission from the relevant planning authority under the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Current planning policy expects local authorities to assess the suitability of proposed sites for waste management facilities against certain locational criteria. These include the physical and environmental constraints on development, existing and proposed neighbouring land uses, and any significant adverse impacts on environmental quality.
The operation of a waste management facility is also subject to an environmental permit under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. In prescribed cases the operator of a recycling site facility may benefit from an exemption from the need for a permit. Environmental permits for waste operations are generally granted by the Environment Agency and the agency may only grant a permit for certain 'specified waste management activities' where relevant planning permission is in force.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the measures to retain key services in rural communities. 
Richard Benyon: The Government are committed to ensuring that rural people have fair access to public services, including health, education and transport, and my Department works to ensure that those who are responsible for planning and delivering these services fully understand the rural dimension.
DEFRA also fully recognises the importance of service outlets, such as village shops, post offices and community pubs, as being at the heart of strong and sustainable rural communities and will continue to work with national Government, local authorities, business and civil society partners to support their retention wherever possible.
There are already numerous examples of rural communities taking responsibility for providing these services for themselves, and my Department is keen to support and promote these Big Society approaches to addressing community needs.
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with veterinary surgeons on her decision to put official veterinarian services out to tender; and whether she has made an estimate of the likely financial effect of the implementation of that decision on small rural veterinary practices. 
Animal Health (AH) has been engaged with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and other
stakeholders to discuss proposals in developing a way forward and to consider how the concerns already raised can be mitigated or managed.
While the scope of Official Veterinarian (OV) work is wide, the engagement of private practice OVs is most significant for the delivery of statutory testing for bovine TB. £21 million was paid to OV practices across Great Britain last year; 96% of which was in respect of TB testing of cattle.
Relatively few practices have a large proportion of their income from TB testing. With 660 practices receiving payment for TB testing, only 15 (2%) receive more than £200,000 per year and 84.5% receive less than £50,000.
To help ensure that existing small and medium-sized enterprises are not disadvantaged through a lack of commercial tendering experience, AH plans to provide a series of regional workshops at which the tendering process will be explained and guidance provided.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable she has set for bringing forward legislative proposals in respect of her Department's White Paper on water. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA's structural reform plan currently commits us to publishing a Water White Paper in June 2011, and to put any legislative requirements in place by November 2012.
We are currently reviewing this timetable in light of the passage of the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill, taking into account the need for a settled regulatory environment ahead of the next water industry price review.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has discussed with the Leader of the House the implications for the implementation of proposals in her Department's White Paper on water of the proposed extension of the current Parliamentary session to 2012. 
Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State will be seeking any necessary discussions with the Leader of the House as part of our current consideration of the timetable for legislative requirements resulting from the Water White Paper, due for publication in June next year.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence between herself and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on illegal logging since her appointment. 
Mr Paice: Information and correspondence relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees are generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2010, Official Report, column 640W, on timber: EU law, if she will make it her policy to implement the provisions of the EU timber due diligence regulation within the next 12 months. 
Mr Paice: Formal agreement has now been reached on the illegal timber (due diligence) regulation, and we will implement its provisions through a robust and proportionate enforcement regime. We must allow sufficient time to harmonise implementation as far as necessary at the European level to meet the goal of eliminating illegal timber from the EU market. The regulation sets the deadline for implementation at 27 months. Our priority is ensuring the effectiveness of the first-placing prohibition.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 June 2010, Official Report, column 338W, on wood: EU action, whether she plans to take steps to prohibit shell companies importing illegal timber. 
Mr Paice: The EU illegal timber (due diligence) regulation includes a prohibition on the first placing of illegal timber on the EU market. The use of a shell company to carry out the trade in illegal timber will therefore be prohibited under the regulation.
Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of the Women's (a) Land Army and (b) Timber Corps Badge Scheme. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 13 October 2010]: The most recent estimate of expenditure on the scheme set up to acknowledge the efforts of the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps (rounded to the nearest thousand) is £208,000.
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on biofuels. 
Norman Baker: The UK is required to implement the renewable energy directive (RED) and fuel quality directive (FQD), both of which have an impact on biofuels policy.
The RED requires the UK to source 10% of transport energy from renewable sources by 2020. Biofuels are expected to form the major contribution to this target, although electric vehicles and rail will also play a part.
The transport sector also needs to comply with the FQD. This requires the UK to deliver a 6% reduction in greenhouse gas life cycle emissions from our fuels by 2020.
The Government take the issue of biofuel sustainability seriously. The RED and FQD contain mandatory sustainability criteria for biofuels. These include that biofuels must deliver a GHG saving of at least 35%, and must not be sourced from areas of high biodiversity, or from high carbon soils (such as rain forests or wetlands).
All biofuels will have to meet mandatory sustainability criteria in order to be counted towards meeting the targets in the RED and FQD, subject to certain exceptions.
We will be consulting soon on proposals to implement the RED and FQD, including on how to ensure biofuels used in the UK meet mandatory sustainability criteria set out in the directives.
The UK is also awaiting the European Commission's report on the impacts of biofuels on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), which is due to report by the end of the year.
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage bus companies to increase the number of services they provide in rural and small town locations. 
Norman Baker: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 14 October, given to my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon (Julian Smith), Official Report, column 409W.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost to the Highways Agency of cable theft in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency does not hold data on cable theft. The agency employs a range of contractors to undertake maintenance and improvement works on the strategic road network. To obtain this information the agency would have to write to all of its service providers contracted over the last three years, which would incur disproportionate costs.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on the use of small one-person electric personal vehicles on public roads and cycle tracks. 
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport expects to publish summary results of the electric personal vehicle public consultation and its response to the consultation on the Department for Transport website by the end of October.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress has been made towards the full operational capability of the Galileo system; and what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the Government's contribution to the operation and maintenance of that system. 
Mrs Villiers: Contracts were let by the European Commission earlier this year for three of the six work packages needed to complete the Galileo system. Surrey Satellite Technology secured work worth €236 million to build payloads for 14 satellites from this. The European Commission estimates that the remaining three contracts will be signed by early next year.
The European Commission has not yet set out its proposal for the exploitation phase covering the operation, maintenance, marketing, improvement and renewal of the system from 2014 onwards. The Commission is required to undertake a feasibility study of the advantages and disadvantages of the use of contracts with private sector entities as part of this process since that may save some public funds. The Commission's proposal may be made with the programme's mid-term review which the Commission is legally required to undertake this year.
Galileo is funded from the core EU budget to which all member states contribute. The UK's contribution to the EU budget from 2014 onwards will be decided during the forthcoming negotiations.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Highways Agency staff have been (a) injured and (b) killed while collecting litter from motorways and trunk roads in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: The Highways Agency is responsible for picking litter on motorways and a small number of the all-purpose trunk roads.
No Highways Agency staff are involved in picking litter; the work is carried out by the agency's contractors.
The following information shows the number of contractors injured or killed over the last five years.
|Number of HA contractors injured and killed while picking litter|
Mr Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at how many points above the Bank of England base rate the Humber Bridge Board is paying the interest on its outstanding debt. 
Norman Baker: Details of the current interest rate applied to the debt are detailed in the Humber Bridge (Debts) Order 2007 and the associated explanatory memorandum.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) he has had with the Highways Agency and (b) the Highways Agency has had with local businesses on the siting of additional traffic lights on the roundabout at junction 9 of the M5; what assessment he has made of the potential benefit of the proposed traffic management scheme; what the cost to the public purse is of this scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: The installation of traffic signals at the M5 junction 9 roundabout is part of a programme of safety enhancement schemes carried out by the Highways Agency in its capacity as an executive agency of the Department for Transport. As such, it did not require specific sanction by Ministers.
In its regular review of accident data, the agency identified this location as an injury collision cluster site; that is where there are six or more injury collisions in a five-year period. In this case, there were 12 injury collisions in the most recent five-year period investigated. The scheme cost of £370,000 represents good value for money and is expected to save between five and six injury collisions within the next five years, as well as improving traffic flows through the junction.
There were some difficulties with increased congestion due to other road works taking place nearby which had an impact on the junction 9 roundabout works. Discussions took place with the county council and also local business representatives of Shannon Way Industrial Estate, which resulted in additional signing and adjustments to the timing of nearby traffic signals being implemented.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 183W, on motor vehicles: registration, which organisation carried out the design work and production tests for the redesigned Registration Certificate V5C for vehicles in the UK. 
Mike Penning: The design work and production tests for the redesigned registration certificate (V5C) was carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in conjunction with its contracted print supplier Stralfors plc.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the MOT test system was last reviewed; what the outcome was of that review; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department for Transport published the then available evidence base relating to the MOT
scheme in 2008. Copies were placed in the Libraries of the House and the document is on the Department's website at:
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with representatives of the motor industry to discuss a review of the MOT test system. 
Mike Penning: Ministers in the Department for Transport have had discussions with various representatives of the motor industry about a wide variety of subjects including the MOT test system.
Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to prevent abuses by private companies and individuals of the system for issuing parking tickets. 
Norman Baker: Since November 2009, it has been compulsory for every parking enforcement company to be a member of an accredited trade association in order to be eligible to receive the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) vehicle keeper data. This applies to companies issuing parking tickets and prevents the release of DVLA information to "rogue" parking companies.
The coalition Government are working closely with industry to improve enforcement practices and the compliance of parking companies with the relevant codes of practice, and with the BPA to develop a non-statutory ombudsman-type complaint system for parking on private land.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what capital projects are scheduled to take place on railway lines in (a) London, (b) the London borough of Lambeth and (c) Streatham constituency during (i) the remainder of control period 4 and (ii) control period 5. 
Mrs Villiers: Details of Network Rail's investment plans for control period 4 are available within Network Rail's delivery plan documents published on their website. No details regarding control period 5 investments are available as Network Rail's regulatory settlement for that period will not be concluded until around 2013.
Details of investment plans by train operators contained within the franchise agreements are available on the Department for Transport's public register.
Transport for London will be providing additional railway investment via the East London Line extension phase 2 to Clapham Junction, planned to open in 2012.
Details of the appropriate websites are:
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries have occurred on roads in Pendle constituency in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: The information requested is shown in the following table:
|Reported fatalities and serious injuries in road accidents in Pendle constituency( 1) , 2005-2009|
|(1) Based on 2010 constituency boundary.|
Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Highways Agency spent from its budget for noise mitigation programmes in each year since 1999; and how much it spent on each programme in each such year. 
Mike Penning: Low noise surfacing materials are used as a matter of course when major maintenance is required on the strategic road network. As the noise reduction results are a secondary benefit it would be inappropriate to assign costs from resurfacing to noise reduction alone.
Generally, noise mitigation measures are included as part of the Highways Agency's improvement schemes, where warranted, as it is more cost-effective to do this work concurrently with other scheme works. The cost of these works is subsumed within the overall cost of the individual schemes. Therefore, the exact figure allocated to noise mitigation is difficult to extract without a disproportionate commitment of resource.
However, in addition to the areas listed above, the agency does have an identifiable small programme of works specifically targeting noise mitigation measures in the most serious and pressing cases, where practical and cost-effective measures can be provided. These measures are applied to the entire strategic road network.
Spend on this area, which represents only an element of noise mitigation measures, since 2004-05 is as follows:
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on methods to mitigate the effects of wind turbines on air traffic control systems. 
Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport has not commissioned any research or evaluated the methods to mitigate the impact of wind farms on air traffic control systems.
The independent Civil Aviation Authority regulates the operation of air traffic control systems in the UK and this includes the provision of impartial regulatory advice relating to proposed wind farm mitigation strategies on air traffic control systems.
Before a wind farm can be built, all aviation-related objections must be lifted. Consequently, developers work closely with NATS, airports, the MOD and the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that suitable mitigations can be identified and implemented, thus enabling their developments to proceed.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether she has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from her Department since May 2010; and what steps she plans to take to meet her Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10 per cent. by May 2011. 
Mr David Jones: The Wales Office comes under the umbrella of the Ministry of Justice, and contributes to that Ministry's sustainability framework and targets.
Mr David: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with (a) Ministerial colleagues and (b) housing organisations on the effects on Wales of changes to the local housing allowance. 
Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a range of issues affecting Wales, including housing.
This Government are committed to continuing to provide benefit support to those who need it in order to live in affordable accommodation while removing imbalances in the system.
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when she was informed of the proposal of the Identity and Passport Service to consult on the future of the Newport Passport Office. 
Mrs Gillan: I had a brief discussion with a Home Office Minister on 5 October who agreed to meet me the following week to further discuss issues relating to the Identity and Passport Service in Newport.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Attorney-General on what dates (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have held meetings relating to the death of Dr David Kelly since his appointment; and who was present at each such meeting. 
The Attorney-General: I have routine meetings with the Lord Chancellor to discuss a range of issues; these have included matters relating to Dr David Kelly. AGO officials have had similar meetings with counterparts in the Ministry of Justice and the matter has been considered at meetings within my Department. It is not the Department's practice to provide details of such meetings.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Attorney-General how much the Law Officers' Departments have spent on bottled water in each year since 2008. 
The Attorney-General: Only the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office have actually purchased any bottled water since 2008. Unfortunately it is not possible to determine the amount actually spent on bottled water without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Some of the Law Officers' Department have provided staff with bottle-fed water dispensers during this period, the cost of which is outlined in the following tables. All of these contracts have since been discontinued.
|Treasury Solicitor's Department|
Mr Watson: To ask the Attorney-General (1) whether Ministers and officials in his Department have had discussions with the Metropolitan Police Service on its investigation into telephone hacking and blagging since his appointment; 
(2) if he will publish each item of correspondence (a) sent and (b) received by Ministers in his Department in respect of the Metropolitan Police Service's investigation into telephone hacking and blagging since his appointment. 
The Attorney-General: It would be inappropriate to comment on a matter that is currently being considered by the police.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 16 September 2010, Official Report, column 1145W, on the Appointments Commission, in which circumstances appointments may be made by Departments other than in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the procedure adopted following the Nolan Inquiry; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Appointments within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments are set out in the Public Appointments Order in Council 2002 (as amended). As has been the case under previous Administrations, appointments to posts outside the Commissioner's remit are made on merit and in line with the principles of the Commissioner's code of practice but are not formally bound by the requirements of the code.
Mr Watson: To ask the Prime Minister how many special advisers have (a) been appointed to and (b) left the employment of each Government Department since 10 June 2010. 
The Prime Minister: An updated list of special advisers will be published quarterly.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 15 September 2010, Official Report, column 1107W, on departmental ministerial policy advisers, what records of declarations of (a) interests, (b) gifts and (c) hospitality made by special advisers based in No. 10 Downing Street his Department holds for the period before 13 May 2010. 
The Prime Minister: These are the papers of a previous Administration. This Government are committed to publishing on a quarterly basis details of gifts and hospitality received by special advisers.
Mr Watson: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to reduce the number of Government Ministers; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The size of the Government is kept under review.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Prime Minister when he plans to respond to the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton of 30 July 2010, on Mr J. Wilkinson. 
The Prime Minister: A reply has been sent.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Prime Minister if he will (a) publish the agendas and minutes of the National Security Council and (b) bring forward proposals to designate that council as a public body under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
The Prime Minister: The National Security Council is a Cabinet Committee and thus part of central Government. Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed as to do so would put at risk the public interest in both collective responsibility and the full and frank discussion of policy by Ministers. This is consistent with long-standing practice.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has met executives of News International Limited or News Corporation since his appointment. 
Mr Watson: To ask the Prime Minister what meetings he has had with representatives of News International since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Information on official meetings by Ministers with external organisations will be published in accordance with the ministerial code.
Mr Amess: To ask the Prime Minister what the outcomes were of his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the Joint Communiqué between HM Government and the Papal delegation published on Friday 17 September 2010. This is available on the Number 10 website
I also refer my hon. Friend to the press notice issued by my Office on Monday 20 September 2010 which can be found at
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans his Department has to increase the level of funding provided to refugees from Burma who are in camps in Thailand. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has more than doubled its total support for Burmese refugees in Thailand since 2007-08. We have allocated £1.1 million to the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) for 2011, the majority of which will be used to provide food and shelter for refugees in Thailand.
In addition, we plan to provide around £650,000 to the International Rescue Committee to improve access to legal assistance for refugees in Thailand in 2010-11.
The overall size of DFID's future programme in Burma will be decided on the basis of the bilateral aid review and the results of the comprehensive spending review.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on bottled water in each year since 2008. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) UK offices have filtered mains water supplies and have not purchased bottled water since 2008.
DFID does not maintain a central record of expenditure on bottled water for our overseas offices. This information cannot be supplied without incurring disproportionate cost. All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials his Department has appointed on fixed-term contracts since 7 May 2010. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has appointed one person on a fixed term contract since 7 May 2010. The period of the contract was from 13 May 2010 to 11 June 2010.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many interns his Department has engaged in the last 12 months; and how many were (a) unpaid, (b) remunerated with expenses only and (c) paid a salary. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has not engaged any interns in the last 12 months.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on (a) providing support and building capacity for co-operatives in developing countries and (b) enabling smallholders to form secondary co-operatives in such countries. 
Mr O'Brien: Co-operatives are key partners in the fight against poverty in many low income countries. The Department for International Development's (DFID's) Food Retail Industry Challenge Fund (FRICH) provides funding to co-operatives which, for example, are helping smallholder Kenyan farmers in co-operatives to access a guaranteed market for the tea they produce. Co-operatives are also eligible to apply to the Department's Business Innovation Facility. In addition our new funding instruments for private sector development will be designed to be accessible to co-operatives.
DFID does not have a specific policy on enabling smallholders to form secondary co-operatives. However we do recognise their importance as one way for smallholders to capture more of the value chain and increase their incomes. These are key objectives that we support through our funding for fair trade, private sector enterprise and civil society, a good example of which I have seen for myself in Rwanda as part of a DFID-funded Social Protection Programme.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department provides for (a) research into and (b) projects countering (i) malaria, (ii) dengue fever, (iii) dysentery and (iv) yellow fever overseas. 
Mr O'Brien: In 2009, the Department for International Development (DFID) provided a total of £8 million for research into malaria and is finalising a new £5.5 million programme of research to address resistance to artemisinin drugs, currently the mainstay of malaria treatment. In 2009 DFID provided £4 million to the WHO Special Programme on Tropical Disease Research (TDR), which includes research into dengue, dysentery and yellow fever.
In 2009, DFID provided £150 million to tackle malaria. At the recent UN Millennium Development summit, the UK made a substantial commitment to help reduce malaria deaths by at least 50% in at least 10 high-burden countries by 2015, backed up by an increase in funding to as much as £500 million per year by 2014. Individual amounts for programme spend are not available for dengue and yellow fever. To reduce diarrhoeal disease, such as dysentery, £87 million was spent in 2009, on water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 13 September 2010, Official Report, column 1762W, on developing countries: family planning, what estimate he made of the cost to the public purse of providing the information requested; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) holds many files relating to the United Nations Population Fund, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International both within the UK and throughout DFID's overseas offices. Since 2005 files are held electronically in DFID's electronic data records management system. Files pre-dating 2005 are held in paper format both within the UK and in the relevant country offices. To provide information on all files would incur costs in excess of £800 in terms of staff hours spent collating this information, and is therefore deemed disproportionate.
Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has allocated to each country for (a) reproductive health and (b) abortion services in the last three years; and what assessment he has made of the effects on those services of his Department's expenditure. 
The Department for International Development's (DFID's) expenditure in individual sectors, as recorded by its sector code system, were published on 7 October in 'Statistics on International Development'. The amount spent on reproductive health care is reproduced in the following table. Expenditure on abortion services
is not captured under any single sector code and we are, therefore, unable to provide this information without incurring disproportionate cost.
|Financial year||Amount (£000)|
Reproductive, maternal and child health is a major priority for the UK Government. DFID is currently developing a new business plan based on the best evidence available of what works, to increase dramatically our impact in addressing deaths and illness caused by poor reproductive, maternal and newborn health. This will include action to increase coverage of effective services and to reach those who might not usually have access to health services, including those suffering the consequences of unsafe abortion.
We are currently reviewing all our development spending to maximise the effectiveness of the UK's development efforts.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he plans to take to encourage global efforts to provide funding to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals on health, women and children by 2015; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr O'Brien: The UK is at the forefront of global efforts to accelerate progress on women and children's health. The UK was one of the core partners in the development of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Global Strategy for Women and Children's Health, aimed at saving the lives of more than 16 million women and children. In recent months we have been working closely with the United Nations, the G8 and other partners to secure new financial and policy commitments in support of the global strategy which was launched at the recent Millennium Development Goals summit.
The launch was accompanied by an unprecedented $40 billion in commitments for maternal and child health. The UK announced that it will save the lives of at least 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth, 250,000 newborn babies and enable 10 million couples to access modern methods of family planning over the next five years, backed by a doubling of financial support. We are working closely with others to develop a strong accountability framework to ensure outcomes are tracked and commitments delivered.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal on environmental sustainability. 
The Department for International Development (DFID) is playing an active role in supporting progress towards the Millennium Development Goal on environmental sustainability. In 2009-10 UK aid
enabled around 5.1 million of the world's poorest people to gain access to clean water and 16.3 million to basic sanitation. Through the joint United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Poverty and Environment Initiative, DFID has supported 22 developing countries to integrate environmental sustainability into national planning processes. With DFID support, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has delivered over 750 projects in 155 countries to improve the management of biodiversity. We also provided support during the preparatory stages to the World Bank's partnership for the valuation of natural resource assets, which will enable six to 10 developing countries to incorporate the value of their natural assets into their national accounts to strengthen sustainable economic growth. In addition, DFID is strengthening its environmental screening procedures, and incorporating climate change assessments.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to seek to end World Bank assistance for fossil fuel extraction and transport projects. 
Mr Duncan: The Secretary of State is currently reviewing the Department for International Development's (DFlD's) position regarding the energy lending of the multilateral development banks in the light of our commitment to poverty reduction and tackling climate change.
I will write to the hon. Member when decisions have been made.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what his most recent assessment is of the humanitarian situation in Pakistan following the recent floods; 
(2) what steps his Department plans to take to assist recovery work following the recent floods in Pakistan. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: I refer the hon. Member to my written statement of 12 October 2010, Official Report, column 12WS, which contains a detailed assessment of the humanitarian situation in Pakistan and explains UK support for the relief and early recovery work in response to the floods.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of delivery of humanitarian aid in Pakistan. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: We continue to work with the international community and Government of Pakistan to ensure an effective humanitarian operation.
For further details I refer my hon. Friend to my written statement of 12 October 2010, Official Report, column 12WS, which sets our assessment of the current humanitarian operation in Pakistan.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) monitors its carbon dioxide emissions on a regular basis and these are published on a yearly basis. Officials are working closely with the newly formed Efficiency and Reform Group to ensure my Department meets its target by May 2011.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department has spent on bottled water in each year since 2008. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) no longer purchases bottled water. The use of bottled water was phased out in NIO buildings in the period March 2008 to October 2008.
Northern Ireland Office policy is that where staff have access to tap water which is of drinking water quality, they should not continue to be provided with bottled water.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to improve its level of compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has achieved compliance levels of 95%, with permitted extensions, for FOI requests received during the first two monitoring quarters of 2010.
The importance of compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is regularly highlighted at Management Board meetings. The NIO continues to monitor its processes for information requests and works closely with the Information Commissioners Office to ensure that these high levels of compliance are maintained.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of arrangements for (a) intelligence gathering for security purposes in Northern Ireland and (b) contacts between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Security Service. 
Mr Paterson: Lord Carlile, who carries out an independent assessment of the arrangements for handling national security in Northern Ireland, provided me with his second annual report earlier this year. Copies of his report were placed in the Libraries of the House on 15 September. In it, he comments that he is:
"firmly of the view that the Security Service is as likely to gather information for the protection of the public as is possible using proper means, compatible with the principles of liberty applicable in a democratic society such as our own."
"the Service Level Agreements between the Security Service and the PSNI have been in operation for about two years and well tested. There has developed a good degree of partnership between the two organisations, different though they are in nature, history and purpose. ... There are many examples of advantages resulting from the new arrangements. They include greater interaction between the services, better handling and organisation of covert human intelligence resources, improved debriefing practices, and more effective use of equipment for intelligence gathering purposes. The Security Service and the PSNI continue to learn from each other."
"The now established national security arrangements for Northern Ireland work more efficiently than analogous arrangements described to me elsewhere in the democratic world, and in a more acceptable human rights context than anywhere comparable. ... I am satisfied that the work of the Security Service now being carried out in Northern Ireland will continue to make a significant and increasing contribution to the national security of the whole of the UK."
I was pleased to accept, and entirely agree with, Lord Carlile's report.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will guarantee the Government's undertaking to provide £18 billion to the Northern Ireland Executive for political institutions and infrastructure development and renewal; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Prime Minister and (b) the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the criteria to apply to the determination of the financial allocation for the Northern Ireland block grant in the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr Paterson: These are matters that are under consideration as part of the spending review that is currently under way.
As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what date the security structure of Northern Ireland was last reviewed; whether any capital expenditure priorities were identified as a result; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Paterson: I meet regularly with the Chief Constable and my security advisors to discuss the security situation and security structure in Northern Ireland. It is for the Chief Constable and other budget holders within the security structure to identify capital expenditure priorities, in line with the demands of their organisations.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the security threat from paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Paterson: The threat level in Northern Ireland remains at severe, meaning terrorist attacks are highly likely. So far this year there have been 37 attacks. To date in 2010 there have been 180 arrests and 64 persons charged with terrorist offences. This compares to 106 arrests and 17 charges in the whole of 2009. While these terrorists pose a serious challenge, the security forces have the manpower, resources and ability to meet the threat.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions (a) he and (b) his ministerial colleagues have had with the Northern Ireland Executive on (i) proposed changes to the benefit and welfare system and (ii) the level of employment in Northern Ireland. 
Mr Paterson: Responsibility for these matters is largely devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly, but Executive Ministers do discuss matters of mutual interest with my ministerial colleagues and me. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions recently met with the Northern Ireland Minister for Employment and Learning and the Minister for Social Development to discuss welfare reform.
18. Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what opportunities his Department provides for jobseekers to undertake work experience. 
Chris Grayling: Work experience of two to 13 weeks is currently available to qualifying 18 to 24-year-old non-graduate jobseekers. Graduates are encouraged to apply for internships through the graduate talent pool. Work experience is also made available for customers of all ages who are in non-flexible new deal areas through the appropriate new deal option.
19. Yvonne Fovargue: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of child poverty of the proposed £26,000 benefit cap. 
Maria Miller: A full impact assessment will be published alongside the forthcoming Welfare Reform White Paper.
This Government are committed to tackling child poverty and will set out more detail in our Child Poverty Strategy which will be published before the end of March 2011.
The cap will take into account the average earnings of working families-which we estimate will be around £26,000 per year, £500 per week, when the cap comes into effect. This equates to a salary of £35,000 (for a single worker) before income tax and national insurance.
20. Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with third sector organisations on their role in helping people back to work. 
Chris Grayling: DWP continues to engage and acknowledge the vital role the third sector plays in helping people back to work and informing policy.
During the summer we held consultation events across GB to engage voluntary and community sector organisations in our plans for the Work Programme and welfare reform more generally. We also supported events with the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), Association of Learning Providers (ALP) and the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA).
We also have regular meetings with the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) and regionally with the Community and Voluntary Forum East of England (COVER) and the next meeting is 18 October when JCP will be outlining the options and opportunities within the Get Britain Working programme.
21. Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to improve the quality and accuracy of the work capability assessment. 
Chris Grayling: We believe that the work capability assessment is effective at identifying a person's functional capability for work and work-related activity and very much more so than its predecessor the personal capability Assessment.
In March this year the Department led a review which engaged closely with experts and specialist disability charities. We are now implementing the recommendations of this review, which will improve the fairness and accuracy of the work capability assessment.
We are committed to continuing this process of review and improvement and to ensure that it is as robust as possible, particularly ahead of the reassessment of existing incapacity benefits cases commencing in April next year. As you may be aware we are required by statute to undertake an independent review annually for the first five years following introduction of employment and support allowance. We recently announced that the first review is being led by Professor Malcolm Harrington. We are also pleased that Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, is sitting on the review's scrutiny group, which will provide advice and challenge to the lead reviewer.
We expect to receive Professor Harrington's report later in the year and will then carefully consider any recommendations he makes.
22. Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the Government's proposals to abolish the compulsory retirement age. 
Steve Webb: We are currently consulting on our proposals to phase out the default retirement age. The consultation closes on 21 October and the Government intend to publish their response in autumn 2010.
We have already received several hundred responses from individuals, employers and stakeholder groups.
23. Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average change in payments to pensioners as a result of restoring the link between the level of state pension and average earnings. 
Steve Webb: On top of restoring the earnings link the triple guarantee will ensure that the basic state pension will be increased each year by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%.
This will mean that the average person reaching state pension age in 2011 can expect to receive an additional £15,000 in basic state pension over their retirement.
24. Mr Gyimah: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of disabled people who are in employment. 
Maria Miller: For people of working age, the employment rate for disabled people is currently 48.4%. This compares with the overall working age employment rate of 72.2%, a gap of almost 24 percentage points.
The coalition Government are committed to reducing this gap.
Work Choice, our specialist programme for disabled people, will begin on 25 October 2010.
We stated in the Coalition Agreement that we will reform Access to Work, the programme which funds adjustments to help people enter and remain in work, so disabled people can apply for jobs with funding already secured for any adaptations and equipment they will need. We are currently considering how to do this and an announcement will be made in due course.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in the Warrington weather station areas received cold weather payments in the financial year 2009-10. 
Steve Webb: In 2009-10, postcodes in Warrington were linked to either Crosby or Woodford weather stations. The available information is given in the following table.
|Estimated number of benefit units that received cold weather payments in 2009-10|
1. The figures are for each weather station as a whole, not for the part of Warrington linked to the weather station.
2. Figures are estimates only, as actual data are not available.
3. Cold weather payments are made to benefit units rather than to households. A benefit unit can be a single person or a couple and can include children.
4. Eligible benefit units in Warrington received more than one cold weather payment in 2009-10.
5. Each of the weather stations listed also covers an area that is not part of Warrington.
6. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.
1. Scans of benefit computer systems taken at the end of October 2009 giving the number of potential qualifiers for cold weather payments by weather station.
2. Department for Work and Pensions records of triggers.
3. Department for Work and Pensions records of the total number of payments actually made by benefit computer system and clerically.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. 
Chris Grayling: The average cost of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period (August) for which figures are available is:
These costs include all controllable costs and shared services and DWP overheads eg accommodation and IT.
During this period 99.33% of invoices were settled electronically and 0.67% settled by cheque.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011. 
Chris Grayling: The following table gives details of the consumption and associated carbon emissions for DWP reported since May this year. A total is given for the first quarter (April to June), as monthly reporting only commenced in July; thereafter monthly data are provided. A quarterly reconciliation is undertaken to correct and resolve any monthly estimates using metered data. Carbon performance continues to be regularly scrutinised by senior management as part of routine governance arrangements.
|Electricit y||Gas||Oil||Carbon (Tonnes)|
The Department has put in place a comprehensive range of measures to address carbon emissions from the estate. To generate engagement throughout the management structure we have used the improved data resulting from our installation of "smart meters" to set specific reduction targets for all the Department's businesses. They in turn ensure these are cascaded to site level where Energy Champions are in place to lead local action. A tailored pack of information is available for use at site level to promote energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
Technical solutions, such as improved lighting controls, resulting from individual site audits are being delivered by our estate partner Telereal Trillium. A combined heat and power (CHP) plant is being installed in Quarry house in Leeds, which is estimated to deliver both carbon and financial savings (428 tonnes CO2 and £93,000 p.a. respectively). Additional CHP opportunities are being assessed. We are also working with the Carbon Trust to identify funding schemes for further low-carbon energy generation initiatives such as solar, wind and biomass.
We launched our AWaRE (Avoid Waste and Reduce Energy) campaign formally at the beginning of June. Working in conjunction with Telereal Trillium, this actively promotes to all staff the part they can play in meeting the 10% challenge. Information has been made available and is continually promoted to encourage staff to adopt energy efficient practices (such as using the 'off' switch). In addition, the Department's executive team have agreed a further package of measures designed to generate further savings, such as:
Challenging the need for unnecessary equipment and removing it where need is not proven.
Ensuring buildings are not heated outside normal occupancy hours.
Ensuring that where buildings are used outside normal office hours, staff are brigaded together where operationally and logistically possible, so that additional heating and lighting are used most efficiently.
Disabling cooling in buildings between November and April unless there is a proven need, at the same time as restricting access to heating and cooling controls.
Site Energy Champions reporting direct to building senior responsible officers.
Including environmental issues formally within the remit of local health and safety committees.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff the (a) Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, (b) Pensions Protection
Fund, (c) Health and Safety Executive, (d) Pensions Ombudsman and (e) Jobcentre Plus employed on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Chris Grayling: The number of full-time equivalent staff employed by (a) Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, (b) Pensions Protection Fund, (c) Health and Safety Executive, (d) Pensions Ombudsman and (e) Jobcentre Plus as at 30 June 2010 is set out as follows:
Staff working for the Pensions Protection Fund and the Pensions Ombudsman are not civil servants.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees of his Department (a) at each grade and (b) in each directorate are employed at its Norcross site. 
Chris Grayling: The number of staff, in each grade and agency/business directorate, employed at the Norcross site is shown in the following table. The latest available data are at 30 June 2010.
|Grade||Jobcentre Plus||Pensions, Disability and Carers Service||Corporate and Shared Services||DWP total|
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