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18 Oct 2010 : Column 473Wcontinued
Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils (a) eligible and (b) not eligible for free school meals were entered for (i) a history GCSE and (ii) a history A-level in each of the last five years. 
Mr Gibb: The information required is given in the following tables:
|Number and proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals who were entered for a history A-level in the period 2005-09|
National Pupil Database (NPD).
The A-level figures relate to students at the end of advanced level study in maintained schools and FE colleges.
|Number and proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals who were entered for a history GCSE in the period 2005-09|
National Pupil Database (NPD).
The GCSE figures relate to pupils at the end of key stage 4 in maintained schools only.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what his Department's policy is on the provision of funding for primary school capital projects; 
(2) if his Department will provide equivalent funding to phase two of Aintree Davenhill primary school to that which has been committed by Sefton council; 
(3) how much funding the Government have agreed to provide for primary school capital projects in 2010-11; 
(4) if he will take steps to prioritise funding for the completion of school building projects which have been planned in phases and where funding is still required for the later phases. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 October 2010]: All capital resources for this spending period have been allocated, and there is no scope for making additional resources available. Over the current spending period Sefton borough council and its schools have been allocated nearly £65 million of capital support, including over £9 million relating to the primary capital programme. An announcement concerning future capital support, including primary capital, will take place following the outcome of the spending review covering the period 2011-12 to 2014-15.
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what mechanisms are in place to ensure that children with asthma have access to an inhaler at school; and if he will take steps to enable schools to keep shared inhalers for use in emergencies; 
(2) if he will take steps to ensure that training on the requirements of children with asthma is available for all school staff. 
Mr Gibb: Guidance issued by the Department, "Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings":
states that children with asthma need to have immediate access to their reliever inhalers and advises that spare inhalers labelled for the use of individual children may be kept at school or early years settings, in case a child's ready access inhaler is mislaid or runs out.
It is for schools and local authorities (LAs) to set their own policies on managing the medical conditions of their pupils, including the training needs of staff, taking into account local needs and resources. They should work with local health services to make sure comprehensive training is in place and delivered by appropriately qualified health professionals. This should ensure that staff are fully competent to undertake medical support duties, including supporting children with asthma.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will make it his policy to require schools to involve parents of multiple birth children in deciding whether they should be placed in the same class or separate classes (a) when starting school and (b) in subsequent years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will bring forward proposals to implement the recommendations of the Chief Schools Adjudicator that (a) the schools admissions code be revised to ensure that multiple birth children are allocated places together at primary school by adding them to the list of excepted pupils in the class size regulations and (b) admission authorities are compelled to consult on and publish arrangements for the admission of multiple birth children; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: It is for schools to determine in which classes children from multiple births should be placed, but I would expect their parents to be consulted in each case.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is considering the Chief Adjudicator's recommendations to the previous Secretary of State regarding the admission to the same school of twins and other children from multiple births, and will announce in due course any policy changes which may arise.
Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of schools which did not exceed the national challenge floor target of 30% of pupils gaining five GCSEs at A* to C grade including English and mathematics in 2010. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 16 September 2010]: The number of schools where fewer than 30% of pupils achieved five GCSEs at A*-C including English and mathematics in 2010 will be published as a National Statistic as part of Statistical First Release to be published in January 2011. Individual school results will be published as Official Statistics in the school performance tables at the same time.
Mr Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the status of decisions relating to a teacher's professional standing made by the General Teaching Council (GTC) will be following the abolition of the GTC. 
The Government are committed to maintaining an efficient and effective regulatory system for the teaching profession. Detailed arrangements are yet to be agreed, but the GTCE's decisions relating to disciplinary action against teachers will be upheld after its abolition, subject to the normal processes of appeal. The GTCE will continue to make those decisions until the point at which it is abolished. We are now in the process of considering a range of options for handling the current suite of GTCE functions, including how the regulatory and disciplinary functions should operate once the GTCE has been
abolished. We will announce further details on how these functions will operate in due course and we hope to include these within new legislation later in the year.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many contracts his Department has had with Capita in each year since its inception; and how much it paid to Capita under such contracts in each such year. 
Gregory Barker: Since DECC's inception in October 2008 the Department has held eight contracts and spent a total of £74.3 million to date with the Capita Group (CG). The majority of the spend can be attributed to the Coal Liabilities Unit (CLU) where it has held three contracts of which one has now been discontinued as of the start of this financial year. Further details of the contracts held by CLU and the other contracts held by the Department have been summarised as follows.
Since the inception of DECC in October 2008, the Coal Liabilities Unit has had three contracts with the Capita Group. Two of them are still in operation:
(i) handling and administration of coal health compensation claims, due to end in July 2011; and
(ii) administration and management of the National Concessionary Fuel Scheme (NCFS) via the National Concessionary Fuel Office (NCFO), coming to an end in March 2011 but recently extended for further two years until March 2013.
(iii) undertaking medical assessments for VWF Services claims. The contract ended in December 2009.
From October 2008 to the end of September 2010 Capita has received a total of £74.2 million in relation to these contracts, £70.6 million in relation to the coal health compensation claims and £3.2 million in relation to the National Concessionary Fuel Office contract, and £0.3 million in relation to Capita Health Solutions. See the following breakdown by financial year.
|Financial year||2008-09( 1)||2009-10||2010-11( 2)|
|(1) From October 2008|
(2) To end September 2010 only
The Department has held five other contracts with the CG outside of CLU during financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11 which have been summarised as follows:
|Financial year||2008-09( 1)||2009-10||2010-11( 2)|
Temporary staff to assist IT Team with the transition to FIT
Project support to the Energy and Climate Change Summer Strategy
|(1) From October 2008|
(2) To end September 2010 only
The total amount spent in each financial year:
|Financial year||2008-09( 1)||2009-10||2010-11( 2)|
|(1) From October 2008|
(2) To end September 2010 only
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department plans to determine the payback period for installing energy efficient circulator pumps in (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic properties. 
Gregory Barker: The Department has no plans to determine the payback period for installing energy efficiency circulator pumps in either domestic or non-domestic properties.
Payback periods are difficult to determine precisely. They are influenced by the unit cost of the pump, the cost of installation, the actual running hours per year and the value of the fuel saved. As these variables are bespoke to each building payback periods are likely to vary considerably. The 2010 Building Services Compliance Guide recommends the use of circulators that have an A to G rating.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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 per cent. by May 2011. 
Gregory Barker: The Department's carbon emissions from energy use in our two buildings (3 Whitehall Place, London and Atholl House, Aberdeen) were 10.8% lower in the period 1 May 2010 to 30 September 2010 than in the same period in 2009.
Along with other Departments, DECC has published details of the projects that we will undertake as our contribution to the pan-government target to reduce CO2 emissions by May 2011 by 10%. This information is available at:
Among these projects is an investment in a new chiller for on-site IT equipment in our London headquarters, which is expected to lead to a significant reduction in electricity demand from November 2010 onwards. Alongside this capital project, departmental officials are also being engaged in the drive to reduce energy use. On 30 September, over 250 energy saving ideas were received from staff through a pledge wall. The Department will have implemented some of these ideas before the end of October.
Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many statutory duties have been placed on local authorities by legislation introduced by his Department in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has placed the following duties on local authorities through legislation (primary, secondary and orders in Council) each year since 2008:
|Description||Number of duties|
Climate Change Act 2008 s 81- Duty on any local authority in Wales to have regard, in exercising its functions, to any current climate change measures report.
Electricity and Gas (Community Energy Saving Programme) Order 2009 Art 16 (2)(a) - Indirect requirement on any local authority to confirm in writing that a generator or supplier has consulted it on a qualifying action which it intends to promote in that local authority's area.
CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010 Art 16(2) and 17(2) -Duty on any local authority that meets the qualification criteria to register for the emissions trading scheme in respect of greenhouse gases.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials his Department has appointed on a fixed-term contract since 7 May 2010. 
Gregory Barker: Since 7 May 2010 the Department for Energy and Climate Change has appointed 11 officials on fixed-term contracts.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has to recruit staff to senior Civil Service posts in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: DECC will be working through the outcome of the spending review on 20 October to determine if any recruitment to SCS posts will be required in the next 12 months.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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. 
Gregory Barker: In the last 12 months the Department for Energy and Climate Change has engaged 22 interns. Of those, (a) eight were unpaid, (b) four were paid expenses only and (c) 10 were paid above the national minimum wage.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require energy companies to maintain the availability of a tariff during the time taken by a customer to switch companies to take up that tariff; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: Under existing rules if a customer agrees a contract for a fixed rate tariff then, subject to the terms and conditions of this tariff, they will be guaranteed the agreed price upon completion of the switching process.
If a customer agrees a contract for a variable tariff then the price of that tariff may change during the switching process, subject to the terms and conditions of that tariff. In these circumstances, consumers have the right to transfer to a different tariff or supplier without having to pay the increased charges, providing they inform their supplier within 20 working days of receiving the notification of a price change.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 36W, on energy: subsidies, what definition of fossil fuel subsidies was used by the G20 at the Summit; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The G20 Pittsburgh summit left it to its members to determine what definition they wished to use of what constitutes a fuel subsidy for the purposes of this initiative.
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on the diversity of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) supplies from domestic consumers of LPG who are parties to communal contracts for LPG supply. 
Charles Hendry: The Department has received four letters since August from MPs on diversity of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) supplies from domestic consumers of LPG who are parties to communal contracts for LPG supply.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the potential contribution of micro combined heat and power to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 
Gregory Barker: The most recent assessment of the potential contribution of micro-combined heat and power to reducing carbon dioxide emissions was made as part of the impact assessment of the operation of the Feed-in Tariff regime. Details of the impact assessment are available on the DECC website at
The assessment noted the potential for micro-combined heat and power to deliver significant carbon savings in the form of avoided carbon emissions compared to a gas boiler and grid electricity.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to include provision for funding for micro combined heat and power units in his proposed Green Deal for Businesses scheme. 
Gregory Barker: The Department strongly supports the roll out of CHP and it is intended that a range of energy saving measures, which are expected to pay for themselves over a set period of time through savings on energy bills, will qualify for green deal finance under the Green Deal for businesses. However, decisions on the specific measures and technologies which will be eligible for green deal finance have yet to be finalised.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with representatives of the private insurance industry on opportunities for that industry to provide comprehensive accident liability insurance cover for nuclear power plant operators. 
Charles Hendry: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not held any discussions with the private insurance industry on this matter but other DECC Ministers and DECC officials have as part of the Department's work on implementing revisions to the Paris convention on nuclear third party liability and the Brussels supplementary convention.
The conventions provide that operators of nuclear installations are to be liable to pay compensation for certain categories of third party damage caused by a nuclear incident. Operators are required to have insurance or other financial security to cover their liabilities. The revisions to the conventions increase the liabilities which nuclear operators will be responsible for and for which they will need to have insurance cover or other financial security. The Department has therefore engaged with the insurance industry on the cover it is willing to provide for the increased liabilities.
Government intend to issue a public consultation on the implementation of the revised conventions later this year. The consultation will set out our understanding of the current insurance market position and will provide an opportunity for the insurance industry to comment about what they may be able to cover.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost to his Department was of providing security cover for commercial nuclear installations in the UK in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and whether any cost recovery is applied to nuclear operators to offset such expenditure. 
Charles Hendry: Under the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003, the civil nuclear industry is required to have in place a range of security measures to protect nuclear sites, materials, transports and information. The cost of these security measures and the costs of their regulation by the Office of Civil Nuclear Security are met by the civil nuclear industry in accordance with the Nuclear Industries Security (Fees) Regulations 2005 and the Energy Act 2004 (part 1, chapter 3, section 60). In addition to this, my Department has provided some capital funding to the Civil Nuclear Police Authority (CNPA) for the procurement of large items of equipment to enable the Civil Nuclear Constabulary to operate effectively. The CNPA then recovers the cost of these items from the civil nuclear industry. In 2009-10, £2.7million was provided to the CNPA by the Department.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on drilling in the Arctic Refuge. 
Charles Hendry: We have had no such discussions.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on the power cuts at Dartford Creek cable bridge on 20 July 2009. 
Charles Hendry: Since the beginning of August 2010, representations have been received from my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Gareth Johnson) on 2 August 2010 and 17 September 2010. A response was sent by my noble Friend Lord Marland of Odstock on 20 September 2010.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy (a) to conduct an immediate review of agro-fuel Renewable Obligation Certificate banding for electricity generation and (b) not to guarantee the current level of Renewable Obligation Certificates for agro fuels. 
Gregory Barker: My officials are currently in the process of appointing independent consultants to carry out the scheduled banding review of the renewables obligation. This will look at the support level for biomass technologies.
In June 2010 the Government published their response on grandfathering of biomass technologies:
In it the Government set out their intention to grandfather anaerobic digestion and energy from waste plants, dedicated biomass, and advanced conversion technologies (gasification and pyrolysis); and not to grandfather bioliquids and the uplift available for CHP and for the use of dedicated energy crops such as Miscanthus and willow.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will assess the merits of bringing forward proposals under section 35(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 to require private landlords to make reasonable adjustments to improve the energy efficiency of (a) premises let out and (b) the buildings in which those premises are located. 
Gregory Barker: Regulating under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (which applies to residential not commercial property) would be a matter for my colleague the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CLG). I can confirm that through the coalition Government's Green Deal we will introduce substantial new measures to enable home energy efficiency improvements to be paid for by savings from energy bills, and these measures will apply to the private rented, as well as both owner-occupied and social housing, sectors. This is a big step forward as it will remove the need for private landlords to pay upfront costs for measures that they do not directly benefit from.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether grants under the Warm Front Scheme may be made in respect of all types and methods of loft insulation. 
Gregory Barker: The following types of loft insulation are used under the Warm Front Scheme:
(i) Man-made mineral fibre thermal insulation mats complying with BS 5803: Part 1.
(ii) Man-made mineral fibre thermal insulation in pelleted or granular form for application by blowing complying with BS 5803: Part 2.
(iii) Cellulose fibre thermal insulation for application by blowing complying with BS 5803: Part 3.
(iv) Wool based thermal insulation batts complying with agreement certificate 02/3950
Loft insulation is fitted in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will review the implementation of recommendations made to the Government by the Hayes McKenzie Partnership in respect of wind turbine noise nuisance and aerodynamic modulation, with a view to reducing permitted noise limits. 
The work being carried out by Hayes McKenzie Partnership is a review of how the current noise guidance is implemented in consideration of planning
decisions, and is not concerned with the guidance itself or issues such as permitted noise limits. Hayes McKenzie are now working up their draft report which will then be independently peer reviewed. It is too early to speculate on possible next steps following its publication.
John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has made a recent assessment of the merits of rationalising the harmony regulations of the armed services. 
Mr Robathan: Harmony guidelines-not regulations-were introduced to cover the length of time service personnel spend away on operational tours and the interval that they should have between tours. Each service sets its own guidelines which reflect specific single service requirements, ethos, expectation and deployment on operations.
The Secretary of State has asked the Defence Reform Unit, alongside the Chiefs of Staff to begin a review of all our current practices impacting upon our personnel. This will ensure that we are using our people, our greatest asset, to the best of their ability.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place to ensure delivery of successful packages sent by families to armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan; and if he will review delivery sites to the Irish Guards to ensure that packages reach their destination. 
Mr Robathan: High priority is placed on ensuring that mail to members of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan is sent as quickly and securely as possible. All mail bags are electronically monitored to ensure they are delivered and in addition test letters are regularly sent to assess the time taken to deliver the mail.
There have been no recent problems reported concerning the delivery of mail to British troops in Afghanistan, including to the Irish Guards. As such, while we will continue to monitor performance, there are no plans to change the current arrangements.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of food supplied to the armed forces was domestically produced in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Peter Luff: The Pay As You Dine (PAYD) programme is currently being introduced across non-operational bases and barracks in the UK, and covers more than 65% of service personnel, who pay for the food themselves. Contractors are required to seek best value for money in the open market, consistent with meeting EU quality standards, and wherever competitive, give full consideration to procuring British products. The last year for which we have data is 2008-09 and relates to a sample basket of fresh and frozen ingredients as specified by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 49% of this basket was domestically produced.
Personnel not being fed under the PAYD programme are covered by the single food supply contract placed by the Defence Food Services Team, part of the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation. This covers personnel serving on operations and overseas exercises, as well as those at UK bases not yet covered by PAYD. The proportion of domestically produced food procured under the single food supply contract in 2008-09 was 62%.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria his Department uses to determine whether armed forces personnel are placed in the higher or lower pay ranges; and what mechanism his Department has put in place to ensure that anomalies across the pay structure are identified and corrected. 
Mr Robathan: Only other ranks in the armed forces are paid according to the allocation of their rank and trade to either the higher or lower pay range as determined by a process of job evaluation. The job evaluation system has six factors against which each job subject to evaluation is measured. These are:
Knowledge, skills and experience needed for the post, and how widely they must be applied.
Complexity and mental challenge of the job.
Judgment and decision-making, and their impact on the success of the organisation.
Use of resources (personnel, equipment, budgets etc.); level of supervision and the jobholder's influence in the organisation.
Communication-the level of internal and external communications and their significance.
Working conditions-health and safety aspects, bodily constraints and physical environment of the job in question.
The addition of each of the six factor scores produces a numerical score for the job. Scores from a sample of statistically representative jobs are combined to produce a weighted average score for the trade and rank. This score largely determines whether a trade/rank is to be paid in the high or low pay range. However, each rank has a pay boundary threshold and, if the score falls within 5% of it, the service concerned may exercise management discretion to allow the rank group concerned to be moved up or down across the pay boundary.
Checks and balances within the job evaluation process are:
Jobs are scored by independent single service job evaluation judges;
Job scores (and therefore trade/rank scores) are consensus scores;
Engagement of branch managers/trade sponsors throughout the process;
Evaluations of similar trades from two or three services undertaken in the same year and results not published until all is complete; and "Feel-fair" exercises conducted by the judging panel on conclusion of each judging session.
A number of mechanisms exist that provide a wider perspective on the overall pay structure, including centrally sponsored research and analysis, an extensive evidence gathering process in support of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body annual pay round, and routine communication through the chain of command.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding his Department has provided to Combat Stress to help former members of the armed forces who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: Although the Ministry of Defence works closely with the Department of Health, the NHS is responsible for treating former members of the armed forces. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) uses discretionary powers under the War Pensions Scheme to meet treatment costs arising wholly or mainly as a result of disablement due to service before 6 April 2005, where such costs are not provided for under other UK legislation.
In 2009-10 the MOD provided £3 million to Combat Stress for residential treatment of war pensioners with mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, caused by service and £49,000 for travel expenses incurred by war pensioners receiving such treatment. Combat Stress also receives separate funding from NHS Scotland for war pensioners resident in Scotland treated at Combat Stress's centre in Ayr.
In June the Prime Minister confirmed an additional £2 million funding to the Department of Health into veterans' mental health services, including provision for 15 veterans' mental health nurses to be embedded into NHS mental health trusts.
Following a recent study of health services for the armed forces community by my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison), we will work with Combat Stress, the Department of Health and others to ensure delivery of recommendations he has made to improve support for serving and former members of the armed forces.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policy on recruitment to the armed forces of his Department's spending reductions. 
Mr Robathan: At the heart of the Strategic Defence and Security Review has been a thorough examination of our force structure, looking at the overall shape, size and role of the armed forces and Ministry of Defence Civil Service, as well as the reserve forces, including the implications for recruitment.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the cost of the Astute-class submarine (a) II, (b) III, (c) IV, (d) V and (e) VI; and whether each estimate has been revised since his appointment. 
The most recent published estimate of the cost of the Astute Class Submarine programme is recorded in the National Audit Office's Major Project Report (MPR) 2010 (HC 489-I, 2010-2011, dated 15 October 2010).
The report forecasts procurement costs for Boats 1 to 3 (Batch 1) as £4,041 million, and the costs for Boat 4 as £1,567 million.
The current approved level of spend on Astute Boat 5 is £735 million and for Boat 6 is £334 million; however, these do not reflect the total costs of these boats as they undergo incremental approval. The Boat 5 approval includes the nuclear reactor, other long lead items and the initial build work. The Boat 6 approval includes the nuclear reactor core and long lead items.
These published figures reflect the position as of 31 March 2010 and have not been revised since my right hon. Friend, the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox) was appointed.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the production drum beat level is for the Astute-class submarines; and whether that has changed since his appointment. 
Peter Luff: The re-baselining of the Astute Submarine programme is ongoing and the production 'drum beat' can only be confirmed once detailed joint planned and cost analysis work has been completed. This work will then need to take account of any changes recommended to the Ministry of Defence's equipment programme as a result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which will, in due course, be subject to the Department's and HM Treasury's formal investment approvals process.
The SDSR has examined all aspects of the defence programme, including the Astute Submarine programme. The outcome will be announced tomorrow.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of the Export Support Team in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and whether these costs have been reimbursed by the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: All military staff within the Export Support Team (EST) continue to have their salaries, allowances, travel and subsistence claims paid by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Annual costs relating to salaries are £1,393,679.97 for financial year 2008-09 and £1,450,570.35 for financial year 2009-10.
The annual running cost of export related activities of the EST is £82,120.55 for financial year 2008-09 and £99,109.72 for financial year 2009-10.
All costs, including associated salaries, are recovered by the MOD from UK Trade and Investment Defence Security Organisation under the service level agreement. As a result, there is no cost to MOD.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the likelihood of claims arising from any termination of defence contracts. 
Contracts let by the Ministry of Defence have an appropriate 'break' clause as part of their standard terms and conditions. Many factors are taken
into account before consideration is given to invoking this clause, including the likelihood of any claims being made. Each case is dealt with on its individual merits.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officials his Department has appointed on a fixed-term contract since 7 May 2010. 
Mr Robathan: Since 7 May 2010 the Ministry of Defence has appointed 143 members of staff on fixed-term contracts. In all instances fixed term appointments are used to reflect the finite nature of the requirement and include casual appointments as well as longer fixed terms.
Almost half of the appointments are technical apprentices who are employed on limited term apprenticeship contracts while they undertake their training. Apprenticeship contracts are exempt from the civil service external recruitment freeze. The recruitment of apprentices is part of our continuing commitment to providing the engineering skills needed in the MOD. The 2010 intake increases our numbers undertaking training to around 200.
26 appointments are teachers employed on short-term contracts in schools educating the children of servicemen and women in Germany and Cyprus. These contracts all began at the start of the academic year.
Other appointments are in direct support of ongoing operations in Afghanistan and include medical staff employed in the operational theatre and drivers appointed on a short term basis in the UK to provide cover for service personnel deployed on current operations.
In addition, following an open competition launched in November 2009, the Department made an appointment to a senior civil service, deputy director position within a trading fund agency.
John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will assess the effect on the capability of any new aircraft carrier of a reduction in Harrier capability. 
Peter Luff: The Strategic Defence and Security Review is due to be announced to the House on 19 October 2010. Following its publication, I will write to the hon. Member.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Iraq Medals his Department has awarded since that medal's inception. 
Mr Robathan: The total number of Iraq medals awarded since the inception of the medal is 127,154. Of these, 36,641 were Iraq Medals with Clasp.
John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of refurbishment and maintenance of existing (a) Harrier and (b) Tornado capability in the next 10 years. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 14 October 2010]: Anticipating the planned retirement from RAF service of the Tornado F3 in March 2011, the estimated logistic support costs of the Tornado GR4 aircraft over the next 10 years is £3.1 billion starting from April 2011. The estimated logistic support costs of the Harrier aircraft from the same date through to its planned out of service date of March 2018 is £0.7 billion. In addition, there are other support costs for all RAF aircraft which are not specifically attributable to either the Harrier or Tornado aircraft.
All in service equipments are being considered as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, due to be published tomorrow.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the case for a National Defence Medal; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Colchester (Bob Russell) on 15 June 2010, Official Report, column 351W.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of proposals for a new strategic concept for NATO prepared by the experts groups and distributed in May 2010. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: The UK welcomed the report of Madeleine Albright and the Group of Experts. It rightly emphasises the alliance's enduring core purpose in providing collective defence; the importance of responding to threats emanating beyond its borders; of succeeding in Afghanistan; adapting to new and emerging security challenges, including cyber attack; continuing its process of reform and transformation; developing productive relationships with a range of partners, including the EU and Russia; and being able to play its part with others in a comprehensive approach to responding to crises. The group's thorough and inclusive work is an important contribution to the development of NATO's new Strategic Concept, which is due to be endorsed at the Lisbon summit next month.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of each paper circulated by NATO member states in preparation for the meeting of NATO defence and foreign affairs ministers in Lisbon from 19 to 21 November 2010. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: The summit meeting in Lisbon on 19 to 20 November 2010 is of NATO's Heads of State and Government. Unless made publicly available by the nation itself, national papers circulated within the Alliance in preparation for the summit are done so in confidence. It would therefore be inappropriate to place such papers in the Library of the House.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the European Leadership Network on proposals by the experts group for reform of NATO strategy. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the retention by NATO of (a) US tactical nuclear weapons and (b) stored B61 gravity nuclear bombs at air bases leased by the US administration from NATO member states in Europe. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: NATO's nuclear policy and posture is a matter for the Alliance as a whole to determine. The UK will play a full part in any discussions on the issue.
Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department pays conservancy costs in respect of seaports used by the Royal Navy. 
Nick Harvey: Yes, when levied by the commercial seaport, Royal Navy ships will pay a conservancy charge. The requirements for dredging and navigation aids in dockyard port waters are driven by the needs of defence and therefore these costs are met by the Ministry of Defence.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has made a recent assessment of the merits of making amendments to the Far East Prisoner of War and Civilian Internees ex-gratia compensation scheme to include those civilian internees who lacked formal Japanese records of status. 
Mr Robathan: No. To qualify for a payment under the Scheme, it is necessary to confirm that the claimant (or their deceased spouse) had been interned by the Japanese. We appreciate that the time elapsed since the end of the Second World War may not make this easy and we will consider various types of supporting proof but it needs to be contemporary.
We have been, and will continue to be, flexible in the type of evidence that we accept as confirmation of an individual having been detained in a camp, or a specifically designated area, under the direct control of the Japanese.
Although other aspects of the eligibility criteria of the Scheme have been subject to review and amendment since its inception, I do not consider that there is any need to review the need for proof of internment. There remains a requirement for evidence to corroborate any claim before consideration can be given to the disbursement of public funds.
Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the statement of 6 July 2010, Official Report, columns 175-178, on the treatment of detainees, and the Prime Minister's letter to the right hon. Sir Peter Gibson of the same date, what separate arrangements his Department has made to address allegations relating to military detention operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr Fox: The separate arrangements made by the Ministry of Defence to address the allegations comprise several elements which look both at the historical issues arising from operations in Iraq, where we no longer conduct detention operations, and the current arrangements in those theatres of operations where UK forces are still deployed. Legislative provisions to ensure that we can deal robustly and transparently with allegations are contained in the Armed Forces Act 2006.
In respect of allegations against British Forces in Iraq, we have established a dedicated Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) to enhance our capacity to review and investigate all such claims. Following the conclusion of an investigation into any particular allegation, the IHAT will report their findings to the Provost Marshal (Army) and, where justified, disciplinary action will be taken against those who may have behaved inappropriately. Separately, and with the full co-operation of the Ministry of Defence, the Baha Mousa Inquiry has been looking into the circumstances relating to the tragic death of Baha Mousa in 2003.
In respect of current operations, in March this year the MOD's Strategic Detention Policy was published. This document informs subordinate doctrine, instructions and procedures relating to detention. In addition, early this year the Chief of the General Staff directed the Army Inspector to undertake a review into the implementation of policy, training and conduct of detainee handling. This review has looked at detention handling in the round, drawing on recent experiences and current practices, and has resulted in a number of recommendations which will be taken forward under new governance mechanisms. The key findings were set out in a statement to the House by the Minister for the Armed Forces on 14 September 2010, Official Report, column 35WS.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the Russian Government's decision to supply Syria with P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles. 
Nick Harvey: The deal is not a contravention of any embargo or sanction. Nevertheless, we would expect Russia, as with other exporting nations, to have considered carefully the potential end-use of such weapons.
Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he expects the proposed US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty to enable his Department to purchase more defence equipment off the shelf: 
(2) what progress has been made on the agreement of a US-UK defence trade co-operation treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
The US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation treaty achieved a major milestone when it was agreed by the US Congress on 29 September 2010 allowing preparations for implementation to begin. The treaty will help improve interoperability and the support provided to our armed forces. It is a symbol of the close defence relationship between our countries. We envisage that
the detailed preparations required to bring the treaty arrangements into force will take up to twelve months and will be conducted in close consultation with the US Administration and with UK and US industries. By simplifying export licensing arrangements for Government end use, the treaty will facilitate the more rapid movement of equipment and information between the UK and the US whether purchased off-the-shelf, as part of bilateral project or in support of joint operations.
Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what insurance arrangements are required in respect of civilian target shooters using shooting ranges for which his Department is responsible. 
Mr Robathan: Civilians using Ministry of Defence ranges must be covered by a commercial public liability insurance policy with a Limit of Liability of not less than £5 million per incident. This must be unlimited as to the total number of incidents it covers before any access to the Department's shooting ranges is permitted.
This indemnifies MOD against potential claims from third parties for personal injury or death arising from members of the general public using its ranges.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to add further shipwreck sites to the Maritime War Graves list; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence extends protection to vessels, in military service when lost, by designating them under the terms of the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. To date, the remains of 67 ships have been designated in both UK and international waters. Further designations will be made as part of a continuing programme.
The Protection of Military Remains Act contains no power to permit a wrecked vessel to be designated as a "war grave" and no other legal mechanism exists for this purpose.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of steps taken by the Belarus government in relation to the New Life Church; whether he has made recent representations to the government of Belarus on religious freedom; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government continue to have serious concerns about freedom of religion in Belarus. While the Catholic and Orthodox churches are able to operate unhindered, Protestant churches face a particularly difficult environment. Our embassy in Minsk works closely with EU partners to raise our concerns about these issues with the Belarusian authorities. We maintain regular contact with civil society organisations devoted to human and civil rights, including freedom of religion.
We also observe their public demonstrations and court cases. Our embassy meets representatives of the New Life Church regularly and will continue to follow this case.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the situation of Christian communities in Burma. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government condemn all instances where individuals face persecution or discrimination because of their faith or belief. In Burma, we are particularly concerned at the treatment of Christian and Muslim minorities who are disproportionately affected by the wider pattern of human rights abuses. Our ambassador in Rangoon regularly raises human rights concerns directly with the regime and we will continue to highlight the situation in the UN's human rights bodies, pursuing strongly worded resolutions in the General Assembly and at the Human Rights Council.
Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives his Department has set for its policy on Burma. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government wish to see a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Burma, where human rights are fully respected. Our immediate objectives are the release of more than 2,100 political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi and the start of a genuine process of national reconciliation involving the military regime, the democratic opposition and all ethnic groups.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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 per cent. by May 2011. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions since May 2010 compared to the same period last year. Energy consumption data for our main building is published online
We have a number of projects planned to deliver carbon reductions within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by at least 10%. Details on these plans are also available online
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how much was allocated by each Government department to the Discretionary Peacekeeping Fund in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009. 
(2) how much money was allocated by each Government department to the Conflict Prevention Pool in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; 
(3) how much funding was allocated to the BBC World Service in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; 
(4) how much money each Department allocated to the British Council in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; 
(5) how much money each Department allocated to the Security and Intelligence Fund in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; 
(6) how much money each Department allocated to the Special Reserve in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; 
(7) how much money each Department allocated to the Stabilisation Aid Fund in 2008. 
Alistair Burt: I refer the hon. Member to my response of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 386-87W, to the right hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire South (Mr Alexander).
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria his Department uses to determine whether to employ a former member of staff who has previously taken early retirement or received a severance package from his Department. 
Alistair Burt: The current rules of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS) allow for staff to return to employment with the civil service subject to certain requirements.
When the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is considering employing a former member of staff who has either taken early retirement or received a severance package, strict criteria are used based on the organisation's workforce planning needs, whether the former member of staff has skills or expertise that the office lacks and which are business critical, and is value for money.
If former members of staff do return to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after taking an early retirement package, there is a strictly enforced set of rules covering repayment of compensation and abatement of earnings.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 September 2010, Official Report, column 1186W, on the Ilois: resettlement, on what defence security grounds he has determined his policy against resettlement of the Ilois; and what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on Government policy on the settlement of civilian populations in the vicinity of defence installations. 
Full immigration control over the entire of the British Indian Ocean Territory is necessary to ensure and maintain the availability and effective use of the territory for defence purposes of both the UK and the US with whom the UK has treaty obligations. US authorities have always made clear their concerns about the possible restoration of a settled civilian population in the territory which, they have said "would severely compromise Diego Garcia's unparalleled security and
have a deleterious impact on our military operations." In October 2010, the US reconfirmed that they remained concerned about the implications of any resettlement of the outer islands.
My officials keep in close contact with their Ministry of Defence counterparts over British Indian Ocean Territory issues.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the treatment of Christians in Bekasi and other areas of West Java; and whether he has had recent discussions with the Indonesian government on religious freedom for minorities in Indonesia. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: We are aware of recent reports of threats and attacks on religious minorities in Indonesia.
We regularly raise freedom of religion with the Government of Indonesia. In a meeting with the Indonesian Foreign Minister at the Asia-Europe meeting in Brussels on 4 October, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the need for Indonesia to address concerns about religious freedom in the light of attacks on Christians and the Ahmadiyya community.
With strong support from the UK, freedom of religion was included as a substantive item on the agenda of the first EU-Indonesia Human Rights Dialogue on 29 June.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the (a) export of components for F-16 aircraft and Apache helicopters (i) to Israel and (ii) to the US for incorporation in military equipment to be supplied to Israel and (b) other military exports to Israel. 
Alistair Burt: All export licence applications for the export of military equipment to Israel are assessed on a case by case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Further details about UK military exports to Israel and all other destinations are available in the UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report.
James Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress of Israel's application to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 
Alistair Burt: We can confirm Israel joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in May 2010.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer to the then Member for Milton Keynes South West of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 973W, on the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and Development: Israel, what further progress has been made in resolving the outstanding
issues relating to the scope of statistical data provided by the Israeli authorities to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and Development. 
Alistair Burt: Israeli accession to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OECD) does not demonstrate an acceptance of illegal settlements or stand in the way of Palestinian statehood. Israel put forward statistics which include areas which are deemed by the UK and the wider international community to be occupied territory. However, the OECD Secretariat have included the following footnote regarding Israeli data in all pre- and post-accession reports that use Israeli data. The UK worked to agree this with EU and OECD partners in order to ensure clarity on the status of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
"This report/review/document is not intended to cover the territories known as the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. However, for technical reasons, it uses Israel's official statistics, which include data relating to the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It is without prejudice to positions regarding those territories, which most members of the international community regard as occupied territory under the terms of international law."
James Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the economic situation in the Gaza Strip. 
Mr Duncan: I have been asked to reply.
There are several recent reports on the economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), but none specifically on Gaza. These include reports produced by the World Bank, IMF and Palestinian Authority for the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting of the donor support group to the Palestinian Authority, held in September.
The World Bank report 'The Underpinnings of the Future Palestinian State: Sustainable Growth and Institutions' is available at:
on the west bank and Gaza page.
The IMF report 'Macroeconomic and Fiscal Framework for the West Bank and Gaza: Sixth Review of Progress' is available at:
on the west bank and Gaza page.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics also produces regular reports on various aspects of the economy in the OPTs, such as employment figures and activity of various sectors, which are available on their website at:
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the activities of the Law and Justice Party in Poland; and if he will make a statement. 
I receive regular reporting from our embassy in Poland covering the political and economic
situation in Poland, including on the policies and performance of all leading political parties in Poland. This includes the Law and Justice Party who form the main opposition.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the membership of the UN Security Council. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed reform of the United Nations Security Council with several of his counterparts. Both he and I have spoken about this with a number of interlocutors including during the United Nations Ministerial Week in September.
The UK's support for reform of the Security Council is clear. In his speech on 1 July, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said that
"this Government will be at the forefront of those arguing for the expansion of the United Nations Security Council."
The UK wants a Security Council that is more representative of the modern world
while no less effective in taking decisions to maintain international peace and security.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his UN counterparts on the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the Executive Director of UN Women. 
Mr Bellingham: This appointment, like other Under Secretary-General positions within the UN Secretariat, is at the discretion of the Secretary-General. In line with standard procedures for UN senior appointments, the Secretary-General called for nominations from member states highlighting the skills required for the position and then interviewed a short-list before making his selection.
We welcome the Secretary-General's choice of Michelle Bachelet as the head of UN Women. As a former Head of State, she brings with her experience at the highest political level coupled with an impressive track record of work on women's rights. I look forward to working with Ms Bachelet as she takes forward UN Women's work in promoting equality and women's empowerment in developing and developed countries alike.
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how much was paid to Apex Communications for services provided to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) since its inception; how many hours work were carried out by Apex Communications; what the (a)
commencement and (b) concluding date was of the contract with Apex Communications; and what mechanism was used to select Apex Communications to provide communications services for IPSA. 
Mr Charles Walker: Apex Communications was paid £69,375 for work conducted between October 2009 and July 2010. Apex worked an average of 100 hours a month providing services to IPSA. In September 2009, IPSA's implementation team held a competition after identifying, researching and approaching three corporate communication agencies with an invitation to tender for a contract to provide communications support to IPSA. Following this competition, the contract was awarded to Apex Communications.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on how many occasions he has met the governor of the Bank of England since May 2010; and what the duration was of each such meeting. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: The Government are committed to publishing details of Ministers' meetings with external organisations and individuals on a quarterly basis. Information for the period 12 May to 31 July 2010 is currently being collated and will be published shortly.
Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) number and (b) seniority of civil servants in his office. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: As with support to all Ministers, staffing arrangements in my office are kept under continual review in order to reflect Government priorities.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he received reports of people registered to vote in more than one constituency who voted more than once in the last general election. 
Mr Harper: Information about whether individuals have registered in more than one constituency is not collected centrally. It has been a longstanding feature of the electoral register that some people are legitimately registered in two places; however, it is an offence, subject to a fine of up to £5,000, to vote more than once at an election for the same body. A person may not therefore vote twice in a UK General election or European Parliamentary election, but may do so in different local elections where they are validly registered.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes he expects to be built by the public sector in the next 12 months. 
Andrew Stunell: We recognise that many people are struggling to afford a suitable home. We are reviewing the options for providing affordable housing in the context of the spending review.
Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with local authorities on the steps to be taken should such authorities not nominate sand and gravel extraction sites sufficient to meet targets set by his Department. 
Robert Neill: None. However, when we revoked regional strategies on 6 July we made it clear that minerals planning authorities will have responsibility for continuing to plan for a steady and adequate supply of aggregate minerals to support economic growth. They should do this within the longstanding arrangements for minerals planning. Technical advice provided by the aggregate working parties, including their current work in sub-apportioning this Department's guidelines for 2005-20 to mineral planning authority level will assist with this. Planning authorities can choose to use alternative figures for their planning purposes if they have new or different information and a robust evidence base.
Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on (a) the factors to take into account in determining their mineral extraction plans and (b) the safe operational margins required between sand and gravel diggings and (i) domestic properties, (ii) schools and (iii) areas of outstanding natural beauty. 
Robert Neill: The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 makes it clear that a local authority must have regard to national policy when preparing development plan documents. For mineral extraction plans this will include Planning Policy Statement 12 and the Minerals Policy Statements, Minerals Policy Guidance notes and accompanying guidance as appropriate.
There is no national planning policy for safe operational margins in England. Councils are responsible for deciding the appropriate distance between the boundary of mineral sites and the nearest community. However, Minerals Policy Statement 2 states that in some circumstances mineral planning authorities should consider the need to require separation distances for new or extended permissions for mineral extraction close to residential property to ensure adequate protection to nearby residents.
Minerals Policy Statement 1 states that new major mineral developments should not be permitted in areas of outstanding natural beauty, except in exceptional circumstances. Because of the serious impact that major mineral developments may have, applications for these
developments should be subject to the most rigorous examination and must meet additional tests. There are however, a number of mineral sites in existence with long standing planning permissions that were granted before Minerals Policy Statement 1 was in place.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what area of land in each local authority area had been allocated for allotment use on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: Information on the amount of land each local authority allocates for allotment use is not held centrally. Local authorities are not required to provide central Government with comprehensive data on green space as this would be burdensome.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to reduce the incidence of anti-Semitism since his appointment; what such steps he plans to take in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: The Department of Communities and Local Government chairs the cross-Government working group to tackle anti-Semitism and plans to publish a three-year progress report on the implementation of the recommendations of the All Party Inquiry into anti-Semitism in December 2010. The cross-Government working group will continue to meet over the next 12 months to tackle anti-Semitism and any other issues of concern to the Jewish community.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Jewish community on reducing the incidence of anti-Semitism; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: I met representatives of the Community Security Trust in September 2010 where the issue of reducing the incidence of anti-Semitism was discussed. I also attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism breakfast in May 2010 where issues concerning the Jewish community were discussed.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the financial effect on the Audit Commission pension fund of his decision to close the Audit Commission. 
Robert Neill: The effect of disbanding the Audit Commission on its pension fund will depend on the options adopted for making these changes, including the option chosen for moving the commission's in-house audit practice into the private sector. Working with the commission and other partners, we are currently considering a range of options.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he consulted trade unions (a) before and (b) after his decision to close the Audit Commission. 
Robert Neill: When we announced, on 13 August, our plans to disband the Audit Commission, we made clear that we would be working with the commission and other partners to develop the detailed options for making this change. We are currently doing this and, on 10 November, I am meeting Prospect, the trade union representing the majority of Audit Commission employees.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date he was informed of the pension and redundancy liabilities arising from the closure of the Audit Commission. 
Robert Neill: Before my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced his plans to disband the Audit Commission, he was aware that pension and redundancy liabilities could arise and that their extent would depend on the options adopted for making these changes, including the option chosen for moving the Commission's in-house audit practice into the private sector. Working with the Commission and other partners, we are now considering a range of options.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Audit Commission (a) entered into and (b) renewed contracts for pot plant (i) maintenance and (ii) leasing in (A) 2008-09 and (B) 2009-10. 
Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to my hon. Friend direct.
Letter from Andy McKeon, dated 18 October 2010:
Your Parliamentary Question outlined above has been passed to me to reply on behalf of the Chief Executive who is currently on annual leave.
The Audit Commission entered into a three year contract with Flora-Tec for the lease and maintenance of internal plants on 1 January 2006, with an option to extend for a further period.
The contract was extended by a further year on 1 January 2009 and again on 1 January 2010.
The contract was terminated in September 2010.
A copy of this letter will appear in Hansard.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he has provided to the Director of Communications of the Audit Commission on publishing analyses of Government policy. 
Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to respond to my hon. Friend direct.
Letter from Andy McKeon, dated 18 October 2010:
Your Parliamentary Question outlined above has been passed to me to reply on behalf of the Chief Executive who is currently on annual leave.
The Audit Commission no longer employs anyone in the role of Director of Communications or equivalent.
Employees of the Audit Commission are required at all times, under the terms of their employment, to act in a way that ensures the Commission's integrity, impartiality and independence is maintained.
A copy of this letter will appear in Hansard.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department issues to developers on requirements to construct buildings that are appropriate to the architectural heritage of a local area; and whether he has plans to bring forward proposals to amend building regulations relating to such requirements. 
Robert Neill: Planning Policy Statement 5 (Planning for the Historic Environment) includes policy principles about the need for new development to take account of the local historic environment. It is supported by a PPS Practice Guide prepared by English Heritage. Detailed guidance on design and the historic environment is available from English Heritage and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Robert Neill: The Department estimated a target emissions rate of 6,848(1) tonnes of carbon dioxide between 1 May and 31 August 2010 in order to meet the Prime Minister's target to reduce emissions from offices by 10% by May 2011. The actual reported emissions were 6,452 tonnes. September data is currently being collated.
The Department has already undertaken a range of actions to help meet the 10% emissions reduction target, including estate rationalisation, installing high efficiency lighting, and reducing operating hours of major plant and equipment. Further planned activity includes fitting boiler optimiser controls and voltage reduction equipment, reducing heating and cooling set points and installing additional automated meter reading devices across the estate.
I also refer my hon. Friend to the cost saving measures highlighted in my Department's press release of 30 September 2010.
(1) The figures cover CLG Group emissions as the Prime Minister's 10% target applies to CLG Centre, the Government Office network, executive agencies and executive non-departmental bodies.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Robert Neill: The information requested is not held centrally and could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, as part of the new Government's transparency agenda, grants spending data for 2008-09 and 2009-10 can be found on the Department's website.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has spent on bottled water in each year since 2008. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my noble Friend, Baroness Warsi on 20 May 2009, Official Report, column WA322.
Since that answer was given no bottled mineral water has been purchased by the Department.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials his Department has appointed on a fixed-term contract since 7 May 2010. 
Robert Neill: Between 7 May and 30 September 2010, eight individuals have been appointed through fixed term appointments to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for changes to the (a) remit and (b) functions of each of his Department's non-departmental public bodies; what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of (i) pension liabilities, (ii) redundancies, (iii) changes to contracts, (iv) transferring functions and (v) other winding-up costs consequent on implementing such changes in respect of each non-departmental public body; and what estimate he has made of the likely effects on his Department's budget of those changes on each non-departmental public body in each of the next three years. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the Minister for the Cabinet Office's statement on the Public Bodies Review Programme on 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 505-06. A copy of the list was placed in the Library of the House and the Vote Office. The changes to CLG's bodies will substantially increase accountability and transparency for the remaining functions.
All of the changes proposed to the Department's public bodies will be delivered within CLG's spending review settlement and, where appropriate, be subject to the outcome of that, impact assessment and consultation.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department (a) entered into and (b) renewed contracts for pot plant (i) maintenance and (ii) leasing in (A) 2008-09 and (B) 2009-10. 
Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 14 September 2010, Official Report, columns 1027-28W. The departmental pot plant contract, initiated by the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, has now been cancelled.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government engaged 28 interns over the 12 month period to 30 September 2010. None of the engagements were unpaid, six were placed from the Government Legal Intern Programme on two week contracts and were paid £180 per week. The remaining 22 interns were all paid above the national minimum wage for the period of their placements.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many empty dwelling management orders each local authority has obtained since such orders were introduced. 
Grant Shapps: Number of Empty Dwelling Management Orders issued in each local authority since they were introduced is shown in the following table.
|Authority||Number of EDMOs|
James Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for the (a) collection and (b) distribution of EU structural funds after the implementation of his proposals to replace regional development authorities with local enterprise partnerships. 
Robert Neill: We are currently considering the future arrangements for running European Regional Development Fund programmes across England, after the abolition of the Regional Development Agencies, and we will make an announcement when the decision has been reached.
Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to end the FireControl Project. 
Robert Neill: As with all major Government projects FiReControl is being reviewed to ensure value-for-money for the taxpayer. We have activated a milestone in our contract with EADS (now branded as Cassidian) that requires them to deliver the main IT system in three Control Centres by mid-2011. We have been clear that EADS must deliver to time, cost and quality. This Government are not prepared to pour any more taxpayers' money into funding their further delays, nor can they cut any corners in the quality of the system they deliver.
Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether he has considered the merits of introducing elected fire commissioners; 
(2) whether he has discussed with the Secretary of State for the Home Department the merits of creating jointly-elected fire and policing commissioners. 
Robert Neill: There are no plans to introduce elected fire commissioners and there have been no discussions with the Home Office to create jointly elected fire and policing commissioners.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to review the funding criteria for Fire Brigade services with large industrial conurbations. 
Robert Neill: The consultation on Local Government Finance Formula Grant Distribution closed on 6 October 2010. Ministers will take into account all the representations that have been received when making decisions about changes to the formula grant distribution system ahead of the 2011-12 settlement.
The existing fire and rescue relative needs formula, used in the distribution system, includes an indicator based on the number of top tier Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) sites per head. There was no consultation proposal to change this.
Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the monthly running costs of empty regional fire control centres. 
Robert Neill: The control centres are currently being used for a range of activities in preparation for the FiReControl system going live.
The following table gives the most recent estimate of the monthly running costs of the control centres.
| Note: The building in London was completed on 26 February 2010 and is rent free until 26 November 2010. This figure is the average monthly running cost for 2010-11. The monthly estimated running cost from December 2010 is £268,320.|
Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of the FireControl Project. 
Robert Neill: The current estimate of the cost of the FiReControl Project is £423 million. As with all major Government projects, it is being reviewed to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fire fighters in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) England have been made redundant in each of the last five years. 
Robert Neill: The number of fire fighters who were made redundant in Gloucestershire and England for the period 2006-07 to 2009-10 is shown in the table. The number of redundancies in fire and rescue services was not collected prior to 2005-06 and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Fire fighters made redundant in Gloucestershire and England, 2006-07 to 2009-10|
| Source: Fire and Rescue Service Annual Returns to CLG.|
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