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Prisoners are placed on basic level where they have failed to meet local criteria for admission to standard and enhanced levels. The types of behaviour for which prisoners might, following an incentives and earned privileges scheme review, be placed on basic would include assault, bullying or intimidating behaviour, being in possession of unauthorised drugs or alcohol, non compliance with mandatory drug testing and theft.
Mr Blunt: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has overseen a sustained programme of work to tackle racism in prisons. The most recent published assessment is contained in "Race Review 2008", and is available from the House Library. The review, overseen by an independent advisory group and described as 'honest and rigorous' by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, concluded that good systems and processes are in place in prisons and that blatant forms of racism have been largely eradicated. However it also concluded that the experiences of black and minority ethnic prisoners and staff have not been transformed and that there remained evidence of differential treatment of black and minority ethnic prisoners. A further programme of work is set out in "Promoting Equality in Prisons and Probation: the NOMS Single Equality Scheme 2009-2012", also available in the Library, and progress on this will be reported in the 2009-10 annual equalities report which will be published later this year.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the average proportion of working hours spent by probation officers (a) in contact with offenders and (b) on administrative tasks in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: Delivery structures across probation areas vary as do the requirements of specific roles, and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) does not routinely report on the proportion of working time spent in face to face contact with offenders. In December 2008, NOMS undertook a snapshot survey over a one-week period, based on a small sample of probation officer (PO) and probation service officer (PSO) staff. It reported that across England and Wales 24% of PO/PSO time was spent in direct contact with offenders, 41% was involved in computer activity and 35% of time was spent on non-computer-dealing with correspondence, meetings, travel, etc.
The reporting of the results against only three main headings means that much of the detail is open to interpretation. For example, it could reasonably be argued that time spent on computer activity involving the production of reports and assessments is work on individual cases. Even if only about three-quarters of this time were included as work on cases this gives a picture of more like 54% of time being spent on work with individual offenders.
allocating resources to the assessment and management of offenders according to the level of risk;
as part of the Probation Trusts Programme all areas (including locally initiated mergers) have identified efficiencies through for example the reduction in management overheads, and development, of shared services, to the benefit of front-line staffing levels;
a national programme of specifying probation work, and benchmarking performance, to support the effective deployment of front-line staff;
identifying opportunities for reducing bureaucracy and other demands currently placed on front-line staff;
expanding the use of video conferencing to reduce the time probation staff spend travelling to interview prisoners; and
initiating the Offender Engagement Programme to evaluate and improve the quality of face to face work with offenders, its impact on re-offending, and identify and reduce any barriers to that work taking place.
A pilot in Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust to enable the use of professional judgment in deciding how to work most effectively with each individual.
|Probation service case load, England and Wales, 2005-09|
Includes those supervised on court orders as well as post-release supervision.
Mr Djanogly: The vast majority of cases lodged with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority have been settled. It received 650 claims for compensation in the years following the London bombings, and is working to finalise five remaining cases. CICA has made interim payments in all the outstanding cases.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) capacity and (b) population of the women's prison estate was (i) on the most recent date for which figures are available and (ii) in each of the last five years. 
Mr Blunt: The following table shows the capacity and population of the women's prison estate as at (i) end of August 2010 (the most recent figures available) and (ii) end of August in each of the last five years.
|Total operational capacity and population of the female prison estate, England, as at August of each year|
There are no female prisons in Wales.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of young offenders re-offended within one year of being released from custody in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of (a) the role of and (b) the likely effect on the creative industries of proposals to rebalance the economy (i) in favour of industry and (ii) outside London. 
Mr Vaizey: The creative industries have been an increasingly important part of the economy in recent years and we are committed to enabling the sector to maximise its future growth potential, across the whole of the UK in the coming years.
A key tenet of the Government's Coalition agreement is to move away from rules and regulations to changes people's behaviour to policy approaches that support and enable people to make better choices for
themselves. And we have introduced an ambitious programme of regulatory reform to make that a reality in regulation making.
There is no more appropriate part of Whitehall with more skills and experience in regulation policy than the Better Regulation Executive. It has extensive and deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and is firmly re-focussed on developing new policies to deliver the Government's objectives on regulation. I judge that BRE is appropriate to lead the Government effort.
Mr Prisk: As at 20 October there were 79 staff working in the Better Regulation Executive. Of those, eight were working for the Secretariat to the Regulatory Policy Committee and two were on maternity leave.
Mr Prisk: This information is not held centrally, however at least 10 staff in the Better Regulation Executive indicated that they had managed a small business with less than 10 staff when asked on 20 October 2010.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what short-term measures the Better Regulation Executive has considered to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. 
We sought suggestions from SMEs and members of the public on regulations to repeal or amend through the 'Your Freedom' website and are currently working through the 2,500 responses. The BRE is also undertaking a series of regional visits, speaking to SMEs all over the country to further identify ways to improve the business environment.
The Government introduced the 'One-in, One-out' rule last month. This means that no new regulations which impose costs on business or civil society organisations can be brought in without regulation of an equivalent value being removed. This is a significant step in stemming the flow of regulation and will focus Whitehall's attention on finding alternatives to regulation. The BRE will manage and support this cross-Government programme.
Extended the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) by £200 million at June's Budget, benefiting around 2,000 extra small businesses. We have also announced two new capital funds for SMEs with growth potential, and will shortly respond to the recent Green Paper on the future of business finance.
A rise in entrepreneurs' relief lifetime limit from £2 million to £5 million, and a reduction in small profits rate (small companies' rate) from 21% to 20%.
Changes to national insurance contributions (NIC), raising the employers' threshold to increase the number of employees
for whom employers pay no NICs by 650,000 and introducing a regional employer NIC holiday to encourage new businesses in selected regions to take on employees.
Mr Prisk: There are currently no Better Regulation Executive staff working in other Government Departments. However, Better Regulation Executive staff are working in partnership with staff in better regulation units and policy staff in other Government Departments.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the cost to the public purse of (a) the Better Regulation Executive and (b) the Better Regulation Strategy Group was in the last 12 months. 
Mr Prisk: The cost to the public purse of the Better Regulation Executive in the financial year 2009-10 was £6.4 million. This figure includes the operating costs of the Regulatory Policy Committee Secretariat.
Mr Prisk: One member has joined the Better Regulation Strategy Group (BRSG) since my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was appointed. This member is Peter Schofield, director of HM Treasury's enterprise and growth unit. Mr Schofield was invited to join the BRSG on 5 October and accepted this invitation on 13 October.
Other current members of the BRSG are listed as follows. These were all members of the group before my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was appointed but have been confirmed as ongoing members of the BRSG since his appointment.
John Cridland (deputy director-general, Confederation of British Industry)
Robert Devereux (permanent secretary, Department for Transport)
Julia Evans (chief executive, National Federation of Builders)
Iain Ferguson (chair, Wilton Park)
Dame Deirdre Hutton (chair, Civil Aviation Authority)
Sir Philip Hampton (chair, board of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc)
Scott Johnson (partner, WF Watt Contracts)
Lucy Neville-Rolfe (executive director, corporate and legal affairs, Tesco)
Philip Rycroft (chief executive, Better Regulation Executive)
Sarah Veale (head of equality and employment rights department, Trade Union Congress)
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (a) how many and (b) what proportion of members of the Better Regulation Strategy Group (i) manage a small business of fewer than 10 people and (ii) are based in the North of England. 
Mr Prisk: Two members of the Better Regulation Strategy Group (BRSG) have confirmed that they manage a small business of fewer than 10 people. One member of the BRSG has confirmed that they are based in the North of England. A further one member has confirmed that they are based in Scotland. The BRSG has 12 members.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of small and medium-sized enterprises run by women (a) nationally and (b) in the West Midlands. 
BIS estimates that there are approximately 710,000 majority women-led small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK (15% of the UK SME population) and approximately 45,000 majority women-led small and medium-sized enterprises in the West Midlands (12% of the West Midlands SME population). This is based on data collected over the period 2005-08.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if his Department will take steps to (a) improve the quality of and (b) increase provision for enterprise education in colleges and universities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: Enterprise has a key role in achieving the Government's goals of social mobility and economic rebalancing, and the foundations for an enterprising society will be laid in our schools, colleges and universities. This Department has brought together a forum of entrepreneurs, educators and sector representatives to build a consensus on how best learning institutions might further improve and promote enterprise education. In collaboration with the National Enterprise Academy, the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, the Association of Colleges and other enterprise education providers and intermediaries, we will be building on the forum's work to ensure the opportunities to develop enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, including those needed for self-employment, are supported and promoted throughout education.
Mr Davey [holding answer 21 October 2010]: I have had many discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding access to finance for business as part of our ongoing work in this area, and relating to the Green Paper on access to business finance that was published and consulted on collaboratively by our two Departments.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many community interest companies were started in (a) Gateshead constituency, (b) Tyne and Wear, (c) the North East and (d) England in each of the last five years. 
as at 21 October 2010.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the responsibilities of the Minister of State for Trade and Investment. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many young people resident in Gateshead constituency entered (a) higher education and (b) university in each of the last 13 years. 
Mr Willetts: The latest available information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is shown in the following table. Changes made to constituency names and boundaries in 2010 will be initially applied to HESA data for the 2010/11 academic year. Data for these students will not be available until January 2011. Until then, data based on the old constituencies will continue to be provided. Therefore, this answer uses figures for Gateshead East and Washington West and Tyne Bridge constituencies.
|Young( 1) undergraduate entrants from Gateshead East and Washington West c onstituency and Tyne Bridge constituency( 2)|
|UK Higher Education Institutions( 3) -academic years 1996/97 to 2008/09|
|Academic year||Gateshead East and Washington West||Tyne Bridge|
|(1) Covers entrants aged under 21.|
(2) Exclude entrants whose parliamentary constituency cannot be established due to missing or invalid postcode information.
(3) Excludes the Open University due to inconsistencies in their coding of entrants across the time series.
Figures are based on a snapshot as at 1 December and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which Government representatives attended the fifth annual Internet Governance Forum meeting; and what the outcome was of discussions on each item of the agenda of that meeting. 
Mr Vaizey: The UK Government were represented at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Vilnius by Dr Sue Baxter, Deputy Director, Europe and International Competitiveness Unit, and one other BIS official with responsibility for internet governance policy.
managing the internet's critical infrastructure;
security, openness and privacy;
access and diversity;
Preparatory discussions were undertaken in 113 workshops, best practice forums, dynamic coalition meetings and open forums. The Chairman's summary of the full range of issues discussed is accessible at:
The IGF is not a negotiating forum so there are no formal outcomes as such. However, it is clear from the sustained level of support from stakeholders-over 1,450 attendees including representatives from over 90 governments, business experts, civil society representatives, academics, technical experts and parliamentarians, with an additional 600 participating remotely-that the IGF plays an important role in enabling stakeholders to exchange views and best practice on internet public policy.
In particular, the UK Government showcased their policy approach on internet inclusion and an online child protection 'toolkit' developed for those Commonwealth members with little or no legal framework for criminalising access to and distribution of child abuse images.
The UK also held confidential bilateral meetings with Brazil, China and the USA on internet public policy issues and the decision on the future of the IGF to be taken by the UN General Assembly in December.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the oral answer of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 487, on local economic partnerships, what the scope of the sub-regional White Paper will be; and whether it will include the role of local enterprise partnerships in relation to the management of the European regional development fund programme. 
Mr Prisk [holding answer 21 October 2010]: The sub-regional White Paper will set out the Government's approach to economic development following abolition of the regional development agencies, including the approach to management of the European regional development fund programme.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the oral answer of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 487, on local economic partnerships, what discussions (a) ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the content of the sub-regional White Paper. 
Mr Prisk [holding answer 21 October 2010]: All Departments and Ministers with an interest in the sub-regional White Paper, including the Department for Communities and Local Government, have been involved in discussions regarding its content.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the oral answer of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 487, on local economic partnerships, when he expects to publish the sub-regional White Paper. 
Mr Prisk: The Government are supporting manufacturing industries by creating a stable business environment that will give businesses the confidence they need to plan and invest for the future. We are doing this by creating a more supportive tax environment, freeing up credit through the banking system, reducing regulation, maximising the flexibility of the labour market and focusing on training and apprenticeships. For example, we have already redirected £150 million to create up to 50,000 extra apprenticeships, which will be workplace-based and employer-led. The Government announced in the spending review that they will invest up to £200 million to support manufacturing and business development focusing on high growth business and innovation particularly among small and medium sized businesses.
Later in the year we will be launching a new approach to manufacturing that will highlight key ambitions, identify growth opportunities and set out a new framework of actions for both Government and industry.
Mr Prisk [holding answer 21 October 2010]: Although the scheme is now closed for new applications, transactions are still being processed and so the information requested is not currently available. Once final figures are available, further analysis of the data will also be required because certain vehicle models are both imported and manufactured in the UK.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he made of the contribution to the gross domestic product of trade with the Philippines in each of the last two years; whether he has had recent discussions with the government of the Philippines on trade; and if he will make a statement. 
The benefits of international trade to gross domestic product (GDP) result from greater economic efficiency due to a combination of increased competition in markets, comparative advantages, economies of scale, increased opportunities for learning, and greater incentives
for innovation. Due to the difficulty of differentiating between the impact of trade and other factors on growth, it is not possible to quantify precisely the impact of trade with another country on GDP.
|UK exports to the Philippines: percentage of UK GDP at market prices||UK imports from the Philippines: percentage of UK GDP at market prices|
I have not held recent discussions with the Philippine Government. However, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office responsible for South East Asia, held bilateral discussions with the Philippine Government when he visited the country between 20-22 July 2010. He called on the President of the Philippines and met key Cabinet Ministers and business leaders. The main objective of his visit was to strengthen trade and investment links between the UK and the Philippines.
Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assets of regional development agencies are (a) listed buildings, (b) in conservation areas, (c) in areas of outstanding natural beauty, (d) in sites of specific scientific interest and (e) in national parks. 
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the savings to accrue to the public purse from the abolition of the South East England Development Agency. 
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the Oral Statement of 18 October, Official Report, column 629, on education policy, on what the £150 million of pupil premium allocated to enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter higher education will be spent; under what budgetary heading such expenditure will be incurred; and if he will make a statement. 
We have no preconceived ideas about the shape of the scheme, except that it will be fair, affordable, and will make a real difference to some of the poorest students. Further information will be made available as the scheme is developed.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) charge on student loans is; and if he will estimate the likely RAB charge consequent on the implementation of the proposals of the Independent Review of Higher Education and Student Finance. 
Mr Willetts [holding answer 21 October 2010]: The total amount of income contingent repayment loans issued to English domiciled students studying in the UK and EU domiciled students studying in England in financial year 2009-10 was £5,049 million. The increase in interest and write-off subsidies during 2009-10 was £1,361 million.
The RAB charge for 2011-12 and future years will depend on the outcome of the comprehensive spending review which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 20 October, and on the response to the Browne review of higher education and student finance. This is a substantial report and we shall consult further on some of the more detailed proposals before making specific recommendations to Parliament, with a view to implementing the changes for students entering higher education in autumn 2012.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on funding for student support of any changes to resource accounting and budgeting charges on student loans consequent on implementation of the proposals in the Browne review of higher education funding. 
Mr Willetts: The RAB charge and student support funding for 2011-12 and future years will depend on the outcome of the comprehensive spending review which the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 20 October, and on the response to the Browne review of higher education and student finance. This is a substantial report and we shall consult further on some of the more detailed proposals before making specific recommendations to Parliament, with a view to implementing the changes for students entering higher education in autumn 2012.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on proposals for the introduction of single and double summer time. 
Mr Davey: I have not taken part in any recent discussions with the Scottish Executive on proposals for the introduction of single double summer time. However, recent official level discussions have confirmed that the Scottish Government remain opposed to any change to the current arrangement.
Mr Vaizey: Fraud is an offence which the Government take very seriously. Dial-through fraud (DTF) occurs when hackers gain access to a PBX voicemail system or VoIP network and then exploit its vulnerabilities to make national and international calls at a company's expense. According to the Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum (TUFF) membership survey in 2009, communications and service providers reported that 98% of businesses that were hit by hackers also suffered from DTF.
Fraud arising from unauthorised access to dial-through functions can be exacerbated by non-existent or ineffective access security measures to protect against unauthorised access to on-site or remote maintenance functions. The unauthorised reconfiguration of, or access to system information, can facilitate unauthorised access to dial-through functions. Should companies suspect that they have experienced DTF, they should take the appropriate steps to make their systems as secure as possible.
Mr Vaizey: This Department has made no such estimate. The Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum (TUFF) surveyed its members in 2009, and found that 98% of businesses that were hit by hackers also suffered losses through dial through fraud.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress his Department is making on the implementation of his Department's proposals on (a) the 116 000 number and (b) missing people's existing helpline numbers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: Reservation and assignment of the 116 000 number and all other reserved numbers in the 116 numbering range is a matter for the regulator Ofcom. In allocating interested service providers to numbers Ofcom is guided by an advisory committee established under the Contact Council and now co-ordinated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
116 000 was the inaugural and only number established at the time of the original European Commission Decision (2007/116/EC). Ofcom launched a comparative selection process to identify a service provider for the "Hotline for Missing Children" in February 2009. As a result 116 000 was allocated to the charity Missing People and its chosen communications provider BT on 17 May 2010. 116 000 is now operational alongside Missing People's existing numbers.
Low key promotion of the 116 000 number will commence in November 2010 at selected UK entry points. Pan-European marketing material provided by Missing Children Europe will be used. Operational readiness will then be assessed, leading to a high profile launch of 116 000 in April 2012. At that point, 116 000 will become Missing People's prime contact number, replacing the promotion of the existing three helpline numbers.
Mr Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) on how many occasions and for what periods the website of the Intellectual Property Office has been unresponsive as a result of denial of service attacks in the last three years; 
Mr Vaizey: This Department was approached by one private sector company that was suffering a denial of service attack attributed to Operation Payback. Officials advised that company where to seek advice and to report the attack to the police. In the past week this Department has been working with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on the similar attack on its website. This is the first time in the last three years that the Intellectual Property Office website has been unresponsive as a result of denial of service attacks. The IPO has taken advice from experts within Government and its service has now been restored. The Government clearly abhor this sort of direct action and the impact it has on businesses consumers and citizens who rely on access to Government websites for the delivery of important services, and call on those taking part to behave responsibly. The question as to whether this can be regarded as a criminal act is a matter for the appropriate authorities.
Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what process his Department has put in place for disposing of the assets of Yorkshire Forward; and when his Department expects to determine the future ownership of (a) the Odeon site and car park, Princes Way, Bradford, (b) the former Bradford Business and Innovation Centre, (c) the former police headquarters at The Tyres, Bradford, (d) land at the former Furniture City warehouse site at Valley Road, Bradford and (e) land at 2-16 Great Horton Road, Bradford. 
BIS is working with the RDAs and other Departments to develop plans for disposal or transfer of assets and liabilities. These will be based on the existing statutory framework until new legislation comes into force, alongside the guidance in Managing Public Money. These principles will govern Yorkshire Forward's own closure plans covering the period up to March
2012, including disposal of assets in Bradford. No decision has yet been made on any specific asset and no dates have been set for the transfer or disposal of specific assets and liabilities.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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. 
Gregory Barker [holding answer 18 October 2010]: The Department of Energy and Climate Change was formed on 3 October 2008. The Department did not award any contracts to voluntary organisations during the financial year 2008-09.
|Voluntary organisation||Amount paid (£)|
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of households in (a) Gateshead constituency, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the North East in fuel poverty. 
Gregory Barker: In 2006, the most recent year for which sub-regional figures are available, there were around 4,800 (14%) fuel poor households in the Gateshead East and Washington West constituency and 75,600 (16%) fuel poor households in the county of Tyne and Wear. Gateshead East and Washington West was replaced by the constituency of Gateshead and the constituency of Washington and Sunderland West in 2010.
Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of installed heat pumps which fail to meet the required EU standard on coefficient of performance. 
Gregory Barker: The EU standard, given in Annex VII of Directive 2009/28/EC, is based on the total useable heat delivered, the average seasonal performance factor and the efficiency of electrical generation. As the Commission has yet to establish how member states are to estimate these factors it is not possible to estimate the proportion of installed heat pumps that will fail to meet that standard.
Interim results from recent field trials show there is a significant range of domestic heat pump performance, from good to disappointing. Some of the reasons for poor performance are understood and others are being investigated in these ongoing trials. This information should help us to estimate the proportion that may fail to meet the required standard-once the standard has been established.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department and its non-departmental public bodies of compliance with (a) domestic, (b) European and (c) other international human rights requirements in each year since the Department's inception; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not collate information on the costs of compliance with human rights requirements. Where relevant, the Department takes account of the domestic and international human rights framework in developing all its policies and practices, as it does other relevant legal obligations; an accurate estimate of the total cost of compliance with human rights obligations could not be made without incurring disproportionate cost.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many contracts his Department has with Capita; and how much it has paid to Capita under such contracts in 2010-11 to date. 
Robert Neill: The Department has only one contract with Capita and the total spend to date in this financial year is £1,296,145. This contract was awarded in December 2009 to establish a managed service for the recruitment of all specialist contractors and interim managers (including finance, IT, HR, PPM, procurement, communications and other niche requirements). Spending for 2008-09 and 2009-10 can be found online on my Department's website as part of our initiative to open up Government spending over £500.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was paid to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in bonuses and other payments in addition to salary in each year since 1997; how many officials received such payments; and what the monetary value was of the largest 20 payments made in each such year. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government was created in 2006. The following table shows the amount paid in bonuses and the number of staff who received them in the main Department since that date.
The following table shows the amounts paid in other payments in addition to salary in each year since 2006 although there is a disproportionate cost involved in identifying the numbers of staff who received them.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how many days on average his Department's staff in each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in 2009-10. 
|Grade equivalent||Average working days lost|
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many days his Department has lost to staff sickness in each year since 1997; and what estimate he made of the cost to his Department of sickness absence in each such year. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government was formed in May 2006 and the following table details the days lost to staff sickness in the Main Department in each financial year since that date, with estimated costs.
|Financial year||Working days absence||Estimated cost (£000)|
|(1) To 30 September.|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
In 1996-97, only metropolitan fire and rescue authorities were in existence. In shire areas, county councils had the responsibility for providing this service as well as providing other services such as education and social services. It is not possible to identify how much was allocated for fire for those authorities.
|Fire and rescue authority||Formula Grant in 1996-97( 1) (£ million)||Formula Grant in 2010-11( 2) (£ million)|
|(1) In 1996-97, formula grant comprises revenue support grant, redistributed business rates, principal formula police grant, SSA reduction grant (SSA review), SSA reduction grant (police funding review) where appropriate.|
(2) In 2010-11, formula grant comprises revenue support grant, redistributed business rates and principal formula police grant where appropriate.
Dorset Fire and Rescue Authority received formula grant of £15.43 per head in 2010-11. There is no figure for 1996-97 as the authority did not exist. The per head figure has been calculated using the main measure of population used in settlement, i.e. the revised 2004-based sub-national population projection for 2010.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's most recent assessment is of the effects on housing demand of immigration; what equivalent assessments his Department has made since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
and are based on the 2006-based population projections produced by the Office for National Statistics. They provide a long-term view of the net growth in the number of households given a projected population and previous demographic trends. As such the household projections do not take into account changes in policy or economic circumstances that may have a material effect on future household formation and do not explicitly reflect the different tenure pattern and household formation of migrant groups. The household projections reflect a net position; the number of newly forming households net of those that dissolve. Using the zero net migration population variant it is estimated that net international migration could account, on average, for 40% of the net growth in households in England over the projection period from 2006 to 2031.
However, this does not directly equate to the actual effective demand for housing. This will also be determined by factors such as the ability of individual households to meet the cost of housing which is in turn influenced by the wider economic context. These projections also do not take into account the 2008-based population projections, subsequently published by the ONS, which include lower projected levels of net international migration. CLG expect to publish 2008-based household projections in November 2010.
Equivalent assessments were made for the household projections from a 2003-base and 2004-base. Using the zero net migration population variant in the 2004-based projections it was estimated that net international migration could account, on average, for around a third of the net growth in households in England to 2026. The equivalent estimate in the 2003-based projections was that net international migration accounted for around a quarter of household growth from 2003 to 2026.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department makes available to local authorities on attracting sponsorship from local businesses to support their services; and what plans he has for the future of arrangements for such sponsorship. 
Robert Neill: The Department does not publish guidance on attracting sponsorships. Councils ought to consider opportunities to raise income, including sponsorship, to protect valued local services and keep council tax bills down; decisions on these matters are rightly for individual local authorities to take.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of holding confirmatory referendums on directly-elected mayors in each of the 12 largest cities in England; 
Robert Neill: Issues relating to the implementation of the coalition agreement commitment to create directly elected mayors in the 12 largest English cities, subject to confirmatory referendums and full scrutiny by elected councillors, will be addressed when the localism Bill is presented to Parliament.
Robert Neill: We appreciate the problems caused by the last Government's increases in the burden of empty property rates, especially given the fact they were imposed at a time when firms faced significant difficulties in renting out empty property. The new Government's ability to take action on this matter is restricted by the high costs-the last Government estimated that the change would increase net tax yield by £950 million in 2008-09. As a result, any action will need to be balanced against the overriding need to reduce public expenditure and support the economy generally by reducing the deficit. However, we keep all taxes under review, including this specific issue. We recognise the burden of business rates on local firms, and we have already taken action to increase small business rate relief and scrap the unfair 'ports tax' on firms which threatened to inflict significant harm on Britain's manufacturing sector.
Robert Neill: The Department has published Guidance on Community Governance Reviews jointly with the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to assist principal councils when undertaking parish boundary reviews. The guidance can be seen at:
Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to give local councils and neighbourhoods more powers to take decisions on planning; and if he will make a statement. 
The coalition Government is committed to a radical reform of the planning system to give neighbourhoods far more ability to determine the shape
of the places in which their inhabitants live, based on the principles set out in the Conservative Party publication, "Open Source Planning".
We have already made a good start on returning power to local authorities by scrapping regional strategies and their centrally imposed building targets and scrapping housing density targets. Our action on re-designating back gardens and abolishing the unaccountable Infrastructure Planning Commission also means more control for the local level.
Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he intends to review the (a) role, (b) responsibilities and (c) powers of the Planning Inspectorate; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: There are no proposals to review the Planning Inspectorate in addition to those already announced. My hon. Friend will be aware that on 29 June 2010 the Minister for Decentralisation confirmed that the Infrastructure Planning Commission would be abolished and replaced with a Major Infrastructure Planning Unit, to be established in the Planning Inspectorate, to continue fast tracking major infrastructure projects. This is in line with the coalition agreement. It will affect the role and responsibilities of the Planning Inspectorate, but the details are yet to be finalised.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of the new (a) local authority social lettings and (b) registered social landlord lettings were made to foreign nationals from (i) A8 countries and Romania and Bulgaria, (ii) other EU member states and (iii) non-EU member states in 2009-10; and what the equivalent figures were for each of the last 30 years. 
Andrew Stunell: Figures for the 2009-10 financial year are not yet available but will be published on the Communities and Local Government website in December 2010 in table 754, which can be accessed at the following link:
Information on the number of foreign national households receiving social housing is collected through the Continuous Recording of Letting form (CORE). Historically CORE has only collected information from registered social landlords, though a number of local authorities are now also providing information through this process.
A question on nationality was first introduced to the form for the 2006-07 data collection period. For historical data, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 1048W.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the number of households in social housing headed by a foreign national; what proportion this represents of all households in social housing; and what the equivalent figures were in each year since 1997. 
Andrew Stunell: Data on the nationality of householders have only been collected by the Department since 2005-06 when relevant questions were first included in the Survey of English Housing. In 2008 this survey was merged with the English House Condition Survey to form the English Housing Survey.
Estimates of the number of households in social housing headed by a foreign national are presented in the following table. The definition of 'foreign national' used is consistent with that used in published results from the Survey of English Housing; namely a foreign national is someone who is not a national of the UK or Ireland.
|Social sector households headed by a foreign national, England|
|Number of households in social housing (thousand)||Proportion of all households in social housing (percentage)|
Estimates are presented as a two-year rolling average due to sample size considerations
Survey of English Housing
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will examine
the effectiveness of operation of the formula used to calculate the grant to local authorities under the Supporting People programme in respect of (a) Wolverhampton and (b) other cities of comparable population. 
Robert Neill: Decisions regarding the allocation of the Supporting People programme to local authorities have yet to be agreed. Further details on the allocation will be announced alongside the local government settlement in December.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the change in the budget for Supporting People (a) nationally and (b) in Sunderland local authority area in (i) cash and (ii) percentage terms in each of the next three years. 
Robert Neill: My Department has minimised reductions to the Supporting People programme with £6.5 billion investment secured over the next four years. This represents reductions in Supporting People funding to just 12% staged gradually over the four year period. Further details on the local authority allocations will be announced alongside the local government settlement in December.
Andrew Stunell: In parallel with the intended revocation of Planning Circular 01/06 on Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Sites, the Government intend to revoke Planning Circular 04/2007 "Planning for Travelling Showpeople" subject to the necessary impact assessments and following a public consultation. The circular will be replaced with a short policy statement and light-touch guidance.