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26 Oct 2010 : Column 267Wcontinued
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many community interest companies are registered in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford, (b) the London Borough of Bexley and (c) London. 
Mr Davey: The number of community interest companies registered in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford, and (b) the London Borough of Bexley and (c) London are as follows:
This statistical information is estimated using postcode data provided in the current registered office addresses of community interest companies on the public register of companies.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 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. 
Mr Davey: The Department is committed to reducing its carbon emissions; this is demonstrated by the 14.68% reduction in emissions in 2009/10 compared with 2008/09. Our progress against the 10% target and our plans to reduce emissions by May 2011 can be found on the following link:
We have completed some of our key initiatives recently including installing Voltage reduction technology at our main ministerial building, 1-19 Victoria Street, adjusted building temperature set points and are engaging with staff to help us achieve the target.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to recruit staff to Senior Civil Service posts in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: A recruitment freeze is currently in place, which affects all external recruitment into the Civil Service, with exemptions allowed for business critical and frontline posts. The Fast Stream graduate programme is also exempt.
If Departments decide they need to recruit staff to one of the Top 200 Civil Service posts (the most senior posts in the Civil Service) there is a protocol drawn up by the Senior Leadership Committee and the Civil Service Commissioners. It outlines the process in which appointments to and within the Top 200 are handled.
Within BIS, the only Senior Civil Service recruitment we have undertaken since the introduction of the recruitment freeze is for a Director General level Economist. As a major economic department of state the Senior Leadership Committee agreed that this was a business critical post and could be filled by an open competition to ensure that the department had the best field of candidates to consider for the role.
Following the spending review, BIS is reviewing its organisational design, and is considering the need for senior recruitment as part of that process.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to prevent the sale in the UK of electronic goods with components made from minerals illegally mined in conflict-affected countries. 
Mr Davey: Having a strong, robust and transparent minerals sector is vitally important for the prosperity of many countries. We welcome measures to bring an end to illegal activities in mining and the trade of minerals, and to make the sector more productive and accountable.
We encourage British companies trading in natural resources from countries which are in a state of internal conflict to do so in a way which is socially, economically and environmentally responsible, and to adhere to the voluntary guidelines set out by the OECD.
There is considerable international work currently in progress at the moment and we remain of the view that voluntary initiatives such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) are effective tools. The Government consider international approaches are likely to work better than any national approach.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Green Investment Bank will be able to raise money on the financial markets. 
Mr Prisk: We are committed to working with the private sector to establish a Green Investment Bank that is effective in mobilising additional private sector investment into green infrastructure projects. The precise nature of the Green Investment Bank is subject to further design and testing work.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what forecast his Department has made of the funding that will be available to the Green Investment Bank in each of the next five years; and what the sources are of such funding. 
Mr Prisk: I refer the hon. Member to the Chancellor's spending review statement of 20 October 2010.
As the Chancellor had announced, we will be funding the Green Investment Bank from £1 billion of departmental budgets, as well as from additional significant proceeds from Government's asset sales. While it would not be appropriate to speculate on the timing of asset sales, the use of these proceeds should provide opportunities for additional funding to be available over the next five years.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made in his Department's consideration of applications to establish local enterprise partnerships in the North East; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: Ministers are currently examining the proposals in detail, looking at how they will support economic growth, before providing feedback to partnerships shortly. Discussions have also been had with partners from the North East on their proposals.
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) grants and (b) other financial support his Department makes available to start-up businesses in areas of high unemployment. 
Mr Prisk: This Department is responsible for supporting enterprise though Community Development Finance Intuitions and we work closely across Government on this agenda. CDFIs are independent financial institutions, serving a specific disadvantaged geographic area or disadvantaged groups. CDFIs provide loans to start-up companies, individuals and established enterprises from within that area or community who are unable to access finance from more traditional sources ie banks. Accredited CDFIs are able to raise lending capital through the Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR). Some CDFIs are also accredited Enterprise Finance Guarantee lenders and CDFIs are able to borrow money through EFG. Government also support the EU PROGRESS Microfinance Facility which in turn supports microfinance across Europe.
The Government have announced a New Enterprise Allowance which will support start-ups among the unemployed.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on trends in investment in Mongolia by UK-based organisations. 
Mr Prisk [holding answer 25 October 2010]: HM ambassador in Mongolia provides support to UK business with interests in Mongolia, including in respect of specific contracts and investments. The British Government are aware of some specific UK business engagements in Mongolia, such as a Rio Tinto deal to mine copper and gold at the Oyu Tolgoi development.
Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department and its predecessors have undertaken in the last 20 years on the potential effects of changes in the use of British summer time. 
Mr Davey: The Government have made no recent assessment of the current Summer Time arrangements but we continue to listen to representations we receive and consider any evidence presented to us.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the distribution of the remainder of the grant allocated by his Department to Corus TCP in December 2009. 
Mr Prisk [holding answer 25 October 2010]: The previous Government announced the provision of £5 million of training support to Tata Steel (then Corus) in June 2009. £2.5 million of that funding was delivered by the Regional Development Agencies (Yorkshire Forward and One North East) in December 2009. A further £2.5 million was also earmarked to be provided to the company in those regions through Train to Gain. The offer of assistance was intended to contribute to training the work force, retain capacity in the UK and to help the company through the downturn and to recover more strongly as economic conditions improved.
Almost 100 learners at Corus TCP undertook training in Business Improvement Techniques, using Train to Gain funding, with learning delivered by Gateshead College in 09/10. The Skills Funding Agency continues to work constructively with Tata Steel across a number of its sites in different regions to identify training opportunities that are eligible within the current Train to Gain rules and within future funding arrangements, and which are consistent with state aid requirements.
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities (1) how much was paid to the Government Equalities Office 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; 
(2) what allowances and payments in addition to salary were available to officials in the Government Equalities Office in each year since its inception; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Lynne Featherstone: Since the Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007, the following bonuses have been awarded to GEO staff:
|Financial year||Number of staff||Total amount of bonuses awarded in GEO (£)|
|(1) From 12 October 2007 to 31 March 2008.|
(2 )From 1 April 2010 to 30 September 2010.
The top 20 bonus payments are shown as follows divided into ranges. The table gives the range value of the top 20 payments.
|Bonus size||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2010-11( 1)|
|(1) Only five bonuses have been awarded in 2010-11|
The amounts paid to officials other than performance related payments and salaries are drawn from a number of allowances which are detailed as follows:
Temporary Responsibility Allowance
Recruitment and Retention Allowance
Analyst Allowances-introduced in 2009
Private Office Allowances
Fast Stream Allowances-being withdrawn
Detached Duty Allowances
Duty Officer Allowances
The following table shows the amount paid in other payments in addition to salary in each year:
|Financial year||Number of employees qualifying for allowance||Amount awarded in allowances (£)|
David Simpson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how much the Government Equalities Office spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Lynne Featherstone: For the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available-September 2009 to August 2010-the Government Equalities Office spent £14,255 on overseas visits by its senior officials.
Mr Gyimah: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements HM Revenue and Customs have made to provide (a) advice to and (b) support for small businesses. 
Mr Gauke: HMRC currently provides advice to small businesses through the HMRC website, 'Taxhelp' and other pages of businesslink.gov.uk, a range of dedicated and general telephone help lines, and face to face appointments in HMRC Enquiry Centres. Around 70% of small and medium sized businesses engage professional help to manage some or all of their financial requirements including tax matters. Both small businesses and tax agents can also access information and advice through face to face advice events, published bulletins for employers and CD ROMs.
HMRC supports small businesses in temporary financial difficulties by providing time to pay arrangements allowing tax debts to be budgeted for in instalments. In addition to this, HMRC continues to reduce administrative burdens and remains committed to simplifying the tax system to reduce the costs for small businesses in complying with their tax obligations. HMRC are increasingly working through third parties to offer necessary support where they know that businesses are more likely to respond to messages from these sources.
Mrs McGuire: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in (a) Stirling constituency, (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain are receiving child benefit for (i) one child, (ii) two children, (iii) three children, (iv) four children, (v) five children, (vi) six children and (vii) more than six children. 
Mr Gauke [holding answer 19 October 2010]: Information on the number of families claiming child benefit, split by number of children up to four, can be found at:
This information is based on a snapshot as at August 2009 of all child benefit claims.
Simon Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of households in Norwich South constituency are in receipt of child benefit. 
Mr Gauke: The latest information on the number of families receiving child benefit, by each parliamentary constituency, local authority and region is available in the HMRC snapshot publication "Child Benefit Statistics Geographical Analysis. August 2009". This can be found at:
Take-up rates for child benefit are not available by constituency. It is estimated that approximately 97% of families in the UK claim child benefit.
Estimates of take-up rate for child benefit in 2007-08 are detailed in the HMRC publication "Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit Take-up Rates 2007-08", which is available on the HMRC website at:
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the adequacy of arrangements for the regulation of companies trading in foreign exchange markets; and if he will make a statement. 
Regulation governing wholesale foreign exchange trading in the UK flows from UK and EU legislation. As with financial services regulation generally,
future changes may be considered appropriate and the UK will be closely involved in any European initiative affecting the foreign exchange market.
As regards the regulation of retail foreign exchange services, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson) on 19 October 2010, Official Report, column 677W.
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was paid in bonuses to staff of HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last three years; and how many staff in each role received such bonuses in each such year. 
Mr Gauke [holding answer 19 October 2010]: HMRC operates two bonus arrangements:
Performance bonuses tied to the annual performance for delegated grades and senior civil servants; and
A recognition bonus scheme for delegated grades which recognises exceptional in year performance.
|Total bonuses paid (£)|
HMRC does not hold any bonus data by role.
A two-year pay freeze applies to HMRC staff for grades below senior civil service (SCS) in 2011-12 and 2012-13. This affects everyone earning more than the full-time equivalent of £21,000 a year. As part of the freeze, the bonus pot for staff in delegated grades has been frozen as a percentage of paybill at the previous year's level. A pay freeze is in place for the SCS in 2010-11.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date the management of HM Revenue and Customs was informed that miscalculations of tax liability in the PAYE system had been made resulting in the overpayment and underpayment of tax; and on what date Ministers were informed. 
Mr Gauke: Under and overpayments have been a feature of the PAYE system since it was introduced in 1944. They are mainly caused by a change of circumstances in year and are not usually the result of an error.
HMRC's management have kept closely in touch with the plans to run automated end of year reconciliation, and this is detailed in the NAO's report on HMRC's accounts for 2009-10, which is available at:
Treasury Ministers were advised in July 2010 that HMRC intended to commence automated end of year reconciliation processing using the new National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS).
Ian Mearns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many residents of Gateshead borough have been identified as having (a) underpaid and (b) overpaid PAYE contributions during the recent automated reconciliation of such payments. 
Mr Gauke: The information requested is available only at disproportionate cost, as HMRC does not hold those data in relation to MPs' constituencies.
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff HM Revenue and Customs employed at management grades in each of the last three years; and what the average salary was of such an employee in each such year. 
Mr Gauke: The number of staff employed in management grades at 31 March each year and their average salary at that date was as follows:
|Grade||Headcount||Full- time equivalent||Average s alary (£)||Headcount||Full- time equivalent||Average s alary (£)||Headcount||Full- time equivalent||Average salary (£)|
A two-year pay freeze applies to HMRC staff for grades below Senior Civil Service (SCS) in 2011-12 and 2012-13. This affects everyone earning more than the full-time equivalent of £21,000 a year. A pay freeze is already in place for the SCS in 2010-11.
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many HM Revenue and Customs staff were (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed as a result of (i) errors made by them and (ii) poor performance in another respect in each of the last 24 months for which figures are available. 
Mr Gauke: The following table provides information on the total number of disciplinary cases dealt by HMRC, as HMRC's systems do not disaggregate disciplinary cases by the term "error".
HMRC does not handle poor performance as a disciplinary matter. It is dealt with under separate Managing Poor Performance procedures. However, the following table includes figures for the numbers of dismissals as a result of poor performance or poor attendance.
|Number of HMRC staff disciplined|
|Total||O f which: Dismissals||Dismissed as a result of poor performance or poor attendance|
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was paid to HM Revenue and Customs staff in management grades in (a) salaries and (b) expenses in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Gauke [holding answer 19 October 2010]: The salary paid to staff in management grades in the month to 30 September 2010 was as follows:
|Grade||Salary paid (£)|
|Salary calculation = gross annual salary (excluding NIC and superannuation x full-time equivalent value)/12|
A two-year pay freeze applies to HMRC staff for grades below senior civil service (SCS) in 2011-12 and 2012-13. This affects everyone earning more than the full-time equivalent of £21,000 a year. A pay freeze is already in place for the SCS in 2010-11.
The expenses paid to staff in management grades in the month to 30 September 2010 was £597,208.90; a breakdown by management grade is available only at disproportionate cost.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the deferred introduction of the Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Levy on the readiness of CCS demonstration projects to seek co-funding from the EU's NER300 mechanism. 
Gregory Barker: The European Commission is expected to launch its NER process by the end of October and our aim is to publish guidance for UK projects in relation to the NER once the NER call is launched and we have more detailed information regarding that process.
In parallel we are developing the scope and selection process of the UK CCS programme and will set out proposals on how further demonstration projects will be taken forward by the end of the year.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he intends to deliver more than one commercial-scale Carbon Capture Storage demonstration project; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The Government remain committed to the Coalition programme for government policy of providing public sector investment for four CCS demonstration plants. The October 2010 Spending Review announced that up to £1 billion will be invested in the first of these projects. We are now developing our approach to the additional three demonstration projects and will set out proposals on how these projects will be taken forward by the end of the year.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the readiness of Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration projects to seek co-funding from the EU's NER300 mechanism; and if he will make a statement. 
The market sounding process carried out by the Office of Carbon Capture and Storage over the summer suggests that there are a number of UK projects interested in seeking funding from the EU
NER 300 but it is not possible to say how many will meet the requirements of that process until more details are available from the European Commission.
The Commission is expected to launch its NER process later this month and our aim is to publish guidance for UK projects in relation to the NER once the NER call is launched and we have more detailed information regarding that process.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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. 
Gregory Barker: The Department encourages a culture where good attendance is expected and valued. However, it recognises from time to time absences for medical reasons may be unavoidable. The Department aims to treat its staff who are ill with sympathy and fairness and where possible provide them with support which will enable them to recover their health and return to work.
In 2009-10 the average working days lost per grade were:
|Grade||Average working d ays lost|
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials in his Department have had (a) fewer than five days, (b) five to 10 days, (c) 10 to 15 days, (d) 15 to 20 days, (e) 20 to 25 days, (f) 25 to 50 days, (g) 50 to 75 days, (h) 75 to 100 days, (i) 100 to 150 days, (j) 150 to 200 days, (k) more than 200 days, (l) more than three months, (m) more than six months and (n) one year on paid sick leave (i) consecutively and (ii) in total in each year since his Department's inception. 
Gregory Barker: The information requested could be provided only by incurring disproportionate costs.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on energy co-operatives. 
Gregory Barker: The Government are keen to encourage a wide range of innovative approaches to buying and selling energy, particularly those which maximise local opportunities and meet the demands of local people. That is why for example local authorities were recently given the power to sell electricity from renewable sources.
Energy co-operatives are a positive way that local authorities and their communities can come together to develop local renewable and low carbon energy projects. An online portal entitled 'Community Energy Online'
will be launched in November and will provide advice and support for these groups, and include information on co-operative business models.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has to meet representatives of the heating industry to discuss the Green Deal programme. 
Gregory Barker: DECC Ministers regularly meet with stakeholders from the heating industry. During the past few months, the Green Deal has been included in these discussions. We will continue to meet with a range of stakeholders as the Green Deal develops, including the heating industry.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what energy efficiency measures will qualify for support under his Department's proposed Green Deal programme. 
Gregory Barker: Green Deal will support energy efficiency measures which constitute a fabric change to the property and pay for themselves through real reductions in household fuel bills. One of the most cost effective ways to do this is through insulating homes and this will be a focus of Green Deal. The types of energy efficiency improvement that will fit within the Green Deal framework will be the subject consultation ahead of secondary legislation on the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department plans to take to ensure take-up of the Green Deal in the private rented sector by (a) landlords and (b) tenants. 
Gregory Barker: The energy security and green economy Bill will be introduced at the end of the year and will confirm our precise approach to improve the energy efficiency of the Private Rented Sector under the Green Deal.
The Green Deal will offer Private Rented Sector landlords a real opportunity to invest in their property at no up-front cost. It will remove the spilt incentive that has previously hampered progress in the sector and allow tenants to repay the cost of energy efficiency measures through their energy bill savings.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will ensure that the support given to people who have already installed renewable electricity projects under the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme will be protected under any future review of the FIT scheme. 
Gregory Barker: It is the Government's intention that no changes will be made to tariffs for those already receiving feed-in tariffs. Any change to tariffs resulting from a review of the FITs scheme will be directed solely on new entrants joining the scheme.
Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take into account in his assessment of the renewable status of heat pumps the level of carbon dioxide emissions in respect of (a) heat pump hardware and (b) the manufacture and emission of fluorocarbon refrigeration gases; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: The renewable status of heat pumps is set out in Directive 2009/28/EC, dated 23 April 2009. The criteria for determining the renewable energy contribution from a heat pump is described in Annex VII of that Directive. This indicates that the Commission will establish, by 1 January 2013, guidelines on how member states are to estimate the renewable energy contribution. The Directive does not require the energy, and associated CO2 emissions, used in the manufacture of heat pumps and fluorocarbon gases to be taken into account when assessing the renewable energy contribution.
Directive 2005/32/EC, the framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products, requires the Commission to consider the life cycle and environmental aspects of energy using products. The Commission has yet to agree the ecodesign criterion for heating technologies, including heat pumps, though consultation documents have not included these wider energy aspects. The magnitude of manufacturing energy use is small compared with the 'in-use' energy consumption.
Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department collects on the fluorocarbons emitted during the manufacture and operation of heat pumps; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: A DECC/DEFRA recent review of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) consumption and emissions forecasting estimated that 0.05 kilo tonnes of HFC was emitted from ground source heat pumps in the UK in 2008, based on 3,500 installed heat pumps. The review emphasises that these estimates are highly uncertain, although very small in relation to HFC emissions from other sectors. The review did not locate sufficient information to make an estimate of HFC emissions from air source heat pumps.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of homes in respect of which the Government has contributed to energy efficiency measures (a) nationally, (b) in the East of England, (c) in Cambridgeshire and (d) in North East Cambridgeshire constituency in each of the last three years; what estimate he has made of the number of people who were employed to undertake that work in each such year; and whether he has made an estimate of the effect on the number of new jobs of commissioning that work in each such year. 
Gregory Barker: There are a range of programmes that promote energy efficiency measures including CERT, CESP and Warm Front.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is an obligation on energy suppliers to reduce domestic carbon emissions. Suppliers meet their obligation by promoting the uptake of energy efficiency measures in households.
The number of homes receiving energy efficiency measures under CERT is as follows:
|Number of homes receiving CERT insulation measures( 1)|
|(1) Data are collected based on the number of measures installed. It is assumed that each household treated receives 1.3 measures as some homes will receive both loft and cavity wall insulation. These estimates are made from the Energy Savings Trust's Home Energy Efficiency Database (HEED). The most complete national data available for CERT are from Ofgem. At national level HEED has under recorded the number of measures by 3% in 2008-09 and 19% in 2009-10 compared to the OFGEM totals.|
(2) No information currently available.
The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) targets designated low income areas across Great Britain with whole house energy efficiency retrofits.
We estimate that CESP will benefit 90,000 households across Great Britain. Regional figures are not available as energy companies are free to deliver CESP in any of the 4,500 eligible areas across Great Britain. However, Ofgem's six-monthly CESP progress report, which was published on 21 October, does provide a regional breakdown for the number of CESP proposals received to date as follows:
North East: five
Yorkshire and Humberside: 12
North West: 18
East Midlands: one
West Midlands: 19
East of England: three
South East: one
South West: one.
Warm Front provides heating and energy efficiency measures and energy efficiency advice to vulnerable households.
The number of households assisted under Warm Front is as follows:
These figures include households receiving measures that have been traded with CERT. The number of households assisted in the CERT and Warm Front tables above may have in some cases been double counted.
The number of people employed directly in energy efficiency products and services in the UK has been estimated by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes as 50,000.
The effect on the number of new jobs of commissioning the work to undertake the energy efficiency measures is not known for CERT, CESP or Warm Front.
Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects his Department's programme for the insulation of 3.5 million homes to be completed. 
Gregory Barker: To pave the way for the Green Deal, to ensure supply chains grow to meet future challenges and so that consumers have opportunities now, we announced this summer a restructured and extended Carbon Emissions Reduction Target on energy suppliers to December 2012. The revised scheme has a renewed focus on insulation, which we estimate will deliver insulation to some 3.5 million households by December 2012.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost to his Department was of the storage of (a) spent nuclear fuel and (b) intermediate nuclear waste at reactor sites in the UK in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and whether his Department is taking steps to reduce such costs. 
Charles Hendry: Due to the complexity of the sites, storage cost of spent fuel and intermediate level waste cannot be easily apportioned because each stream shares common resources, management arrangements and facilities. The total expenditure on Magnox reactor sites (for the year ended 31 March 2009) was £590 million. This included the operational cost for the two generating sites, Wylfa and Oldbury, of £164 million and power generating revenue of £324 million. The cost to maintain safe compliant condition on non operational sites is approximately £159 million.
DECC, through NDA, continually drive cost efficiency into the decommissioning and waste management programme through stringent oversight and developing appropriate commercial arrangements. Cost reduction is ultimately driven through by reducing hazards at the sites by retrieving and packaging waste so that it can be stored passively and safely. Early remediation, within funding constraints, is the key to reducing ongoing liability. DECC are currently considering, as part of the current spending review, a programme that will not only meet funding constraints and accelerate hazard remediation, but also reduce the long term Nuclear Liability Estimate (NLE) at Magnox Sites by between £l billion and £1.2 billion.
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his estimate is of the increase in (a) average domestic gas bills, (b) average domestic gas bills in the lowest income quintile, (c) average industrial gas bills and (d) gas bills among
intensive-energy users by (i) 2020 and (ii) 2030 as a result of the Renewable Heat Incentive implementation of other measures designed to mitigate the effects of climate change. 
Charles Hendry: As part of the spending review process, the Government announced they will not be taking forward the previous Administration's plans of funding the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme through an overly complex renewable heat levy. The forthcoming RHI will not, therefore, impact directly on domestic or non-domestic gas bills.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his written statement of 18 October 2010, Official Report, columns 42-46WS, on energy policy, what future plans he has for renewable tidal energy in the Bristol Channel; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: The Severn tidal power feasibility study has concluded that there is no strategic case for Government to support a large tidal power scheme in the Severn estuary in the immediate term. However, the Government recognises that factors which will determine the feasibility of Severn tidal power could change over time. The circumstances in which a future Government may choose to review the case for Severn tidal power are set out in the feasibility study summary report available at:
The outcome of the feasibility study does not preclude a privately financed scheme coming forward. My officials are talking to private sector consortia about their ideas.
Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department plans to take to assist the fuel-poor and vulnerable energy consumers when the Warm Front programme ends in 2011. 
Gregory Barker: Funding for the Warm Front scheme was announced in the spending review through to 2012-13. Government will work to improve the cost-effectiveness of Warm Front by ensuring that the scheme is best targeted to help the most vulnerable receive free or subsidised heating and insulation measures, through a more focused programme. We will be consulting to ensure that the eligibility criteria support this objective.
At the same time, we are working towards a further package of measures that will help support more of the most vulnerable and fuel poor households to keep their homes warm at an affordable cost. Through the CERT extension, from April 2011, we have introduced a greater focus on targeting energy efficiency measures at the most vulnerable households by introducing a Super Priority Group. And we intend to introduce mandated Social Price Support in April 2011, to replace the existing Voluntary Agreement in order to provide direct energy bill support to a large number of vulnerable households.
From 2012, the Green Deal is expected to dramatically increase investment in energy efficiency for households and businesses across the country. It will help protect
people against price rises through greater energy saving, with special support for the most vulnerable. The new Energy Company Obligation, which will take over from current schemes from the end of 2012, will run in parallel with and serve to underpin parts of the Green Deal programme. It is intended to focus particularly on households who cannot achieve financial savings without additional support, including the poorest and most vulnerable and those in hard to treat homes.
We expect energy companies to play an even greater role than they do through the current obligations in ensuring the poorest and most vulnerable can afford to heat their homes adequately. This includes offering a wider range of measures which improve energy performance, such as heating systems.
Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the name and postcode is of each academy school; when each such school opened; who the sponsor is of each such school; and what the name was of the community school that preceded the academy school in each case. 
Mr Gibb: The information requested has been placed in the House Libraries. Postcode information can be obtained from Edubase, the database of educational establishments in England:
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what evidence he took into account in his assessment that academy schools would raise the standards of other schools in the same area; and whether he plans to review that assessment when the proposed academy schools have been established. 
Mr Gibb: The Fifth Annual Independent Academies Evaluation Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that there is evidence of academies increasing collaboration with neighbouring primary schools and secondary schools. It also found that neighbouring schools have increasingly realised the benefits they can derive from academies with some adopting policies introduced by academies-the report found that this had a positive impact on other local schools.
More recently, the National Audit Office report on Academies did "identify effective examples of partnership working with other schools, particularly 'feeder' primary schools".
All outstanding schools that convert will be expected to partner and provide support to weak schools to help improve standards. Currently, the former and existing city technology colleges are sponsoring over 20 academies or are supporting weaker schools. We will continue to monitor the progress and performance of academies and ensure that they remain accountable against the results and outcomes they are expected to deliver.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2010, Official Report, column 10W, on the Building Schools
for the Future Programme, how much capital has been allocated to (a) Wade Deacon School and (b) The Grange School. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 19 October 2010]: Wade Deacon school has been allocated £28.6 million of conventional capital funding, and The Grange school has been allocated £35.3 million of PFI credits for the secondary school phase. As the Grange school will be an all-through school, Halton borough council is also planning to convert around £6.5 million of its primary capital grant into PFI credits.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what recent assessment he has made of the need for building programmes at (a) Fox Wood School, (b) Green Lane School, (c) Lysander High School and (d) William Beamont High School in Warrington North constituency; 
(2) what recent representations he has received from Warrington Borough Council on the need for building programmes at (a) Fox Wood School, (b) Green Lane School, (c) Lysander High School and (d) William Beamont High School. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 27 July 2010]: On 5 July the Secretary of State announced a review of the Department's capital programmes. The review will make recommendations to help shape the decision of future capital investment in schools including those in Warrington North constituency. The aim is to ensure that investment represents good value for money and strongly supports the Government's ambitions to reduce the deficit, raise standards and tackle disadvantage.
The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with or representations from Warrington borough council about Building Schools for the Future (BSF).
On 26 July my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools met with the hon. Member for Warrington South (David Mowat) to discuss the impact of the BSF cancellations on schools in Warrington.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the merits of holding centrally information on the number of children who have gone missing from social services care. 
Tim Loughton: It is clearly important to collect information about the number of children who have gone missing from care. This is a key indicator of whether looked after children are being appropriately safeguarded. The Department collects information on the number of looked after children absent for more than 24 hours from their agreed placement. However it is the responsibility of local authorities to safeguard and promote the well-being of children in care and they will hold more detailed information on each child who has gone missing from their care. They are expected to use this to inform their processes and procedures, and the training of staff and carers, to minimise the risk of children going missing from local placements.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent estimate he has made of the number of children with a chronic condition requiring medical treatment in each region in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Anne Milton: I have been asked to reply.
No such estimate has been made. It is currently for individual primary care trusts within the national health service to commission services for their resident population, including services for children with a chronic condition requiring medical treatment.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans his Department has for the future of the Coventry Butts Street Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency building. 
Tim Loughton: The property at Butts Street, Coventry is occupied wholly by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA). It is intended that following the abolition of the QCDA in 2012 the lease for the building will be transferred to the Department for Education.
The Department is presently reviewing options for the future use of the building and a decision has not yet been taken.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the average cost to his Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period his Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. 
Tim Loughton: The average cost to the Department for Education, in August 2010, for processing payment of invoices was £1.60 for invoices processed electronically and £3.41 for invoices processed manually. Based on August 2010 figures, 98.61% of the Department's invoices were processed electronically and 1.39% processed by cheque.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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. 
Tim Loughton: For the period from May to September 2010 the Department estimates it has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 9%.
The Department has plans in place to achieve a 10% emissions reduction during the financial year 2010/11 compared with financial year 2009/10. This will be achieved by changes to how buildings are operated and
also a communications campaign to encourage staff and building users to reduce their energy use as far as possible.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what vacant leasehold properties his Department owns; how many years are left until the lease break clause in each case; and what the average rent was in each case in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Tim Loughton: Details of the Department for Education's vacant leasehold properties, current annual rental costs and the date of next opportunity to break or terminate our lease in each case are shown in the following table:
|Property||Annual rent (£)||Lease break/expiry|
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education was formed on 12 May 2010. Information for 2009-10 relates to its predecessor, the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
The average number of working days lost (AWDL) of all staff for the rolling period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 was 6.6 days. Information on absence data is published quarterly on the Department's website:
The tables on the website break the data down by grade, as well as by age, gender and geographical location.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education 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. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education (DFE) was formed on 12 May 2010. The information covers its predecessors, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Education and Skills.
Sickness absence data for DFE and DCSF covering the periods July 2007 to June 2010 are available on the Department's website and for the period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2007 on the Cabinet Office's website:
No data are available for the period prior to 1 April 2003 as they were not routinely collected centrally or by Departments.
Due to the wide range of posts and salary points in the Department, the actual costs of absences could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Estimate costs of absence for the Civil Service between 2003 and 2007 are set out in the reports on the Cabinet Office website.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many officials in his Department have had (a) fewer than five days, (b) five to 10 days, (c) 10 to 15 days, (d) 15 to 20 days, (e) 20 to 25 days, (f) 25 to 50 days, (g) 50 to 75 days, (h) 75 to 100 days, (i) 100 to 150 days, (j) 150 to 200 days, (k) more than 200 days, (l) more than three months, (m) more than six months and (n) one year on paid sick leave (i) consecutively and (ii) in total in each year since 1997. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education (DFE) was formed on 12 May 2010. The information covers its predecessors, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Education and Skills.
Sickness absence data for DFE and DCSF covering the periods July 2007 to June 2010 are available on the Department's website and for the period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2007 on the Cabinet Office's website:
The latest published information shows the average number of working days lost (AWDL) for staff for the rolling period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 at 6.6 days. The tables on the DFE website break the figures down according to grade, age, gender and geographical location.
No data are available for the period prior to 1 April 2003 as it was not routinely collected centrally or by departments.
The data, broken down as requested, could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many staff his Department plans to (a) recruit and (b) transfer to new duties as a result of the implementation of the proposals for the reform of non-departmental public bodies; and how many redundancies he expects to result from the implementation of these proposals. 
There are no plans to recruit new staff into the Department for Education to undertake duties previously carried out by non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). There are likely to be existing staff in NDPBs who will transfer into the Department, under Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) regulations or in accordance with the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice (COSOP) on staff transfers in the public sector. It is not possible to say how many staff will transfer into the Department, or give the numbers of existing departmental staff who will change their
responsibilities to undertake work previously carried out by our NDPBs, at this stage of the reform programme.
The Secretary of State announced the closure of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) and the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) earlier this year. Some activity formerly undertaken by BECTA will return to the Department and will result in staff transferring into the Department under TUPE/COSOP arrangements. No decisions have been made about transferring activity undertaken by QCDA.
The number of staff to be made redundant due to the closure of these NDPBs is not known. There are consultations under way or about to commence with staff which could result in some staff retiring or leaving under voluntary severance terms.
The current cross-Government recruitment freeze also means that staff who leave are not replaced unless they are considered critical to continuous effective delivery until closure.
On 14 October 2010 the Cabinet Office announced the initial findings of the coalition Government's pledge to increase the transparency and accountability of public bodies. The announcement gave an update on Government-wide plans to abolish, merge, reform or review 901 NDPBs. The work to review and reform public bodies continues in the Department and its outcome will inform decisions about the future of its other NDPBs. This, combined with the outcome of the comprehensive spending review, is likely to mean further staff reductions across the Department and its NDPBs, but it is not possible to give an indication of the numbers at this time.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent representations he has received on the effect of family debt on the educational attainment of children in deprived areas. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 13 October 2010]: The Secretary of State has not received any recent representations on the effect of family debt on the educational attainment of children in deprived areas.
Ms Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to (a) rebuild and (b) refurbish secondary schools in Doncaster. 
As the right hon. Member may be aware, on 5 July the Secretary of State announced a review of all areas of DFE capital spending. Its purpose is to ensure that future capital investment represents good value for money and strongly supports the Government's ambitions to reduce the deficit, raise standards and tackle disadvantage. The independent capital review team is working with building companies on a pilot proposal to rebuild Campsmount Technology College in Doncaster. There is a good prospect that the new school could be built ahead of the original schedule and with significant cost savings. The funding of academies in Doncaster will be considered on a case-by-case basis. However plans for all other schools in Doncaster in line for BSF funding for refurbishment and rebuilds have
been stopped at present while we await the outcome of the capital review which will report at the end of this calendar year.
Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of funding for maintained schools which comes from (a) (i) central and (ii) local government and (b) other sources. 
Mr Gibb: From 2008-09 section 251 budget and outturn statements we estimate that 93.8% of funding for maintained schools in 2008-09 came from central Government, 0.2% from the local authority, and 6% from other sources.
Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether his Department requires those who go onto a school site to carry out repairs of service equipment to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check. 
Tim Loughton: The Government have committed to reviewing the criminal records regime in order to scale it back to common sense levels; meanwhile, previous statutory guidance remains in force. To meet inspection standards, a school must follow statutory guidance unless there is a compelling reason not to.
The guidance states that visitors or contractors who come on site only to carry out emergency repairs or service equipment will not require a CRB check. However, the guidance makes clear that contractors do need to undergo a CRB check if they are going to be left unsupervised on school premises or if they are going to come into contact with children. Of course, the vast majority of contractors will not come into contact with children because, for health and safety reasons, children should not be allowed in areas where builders are working.
The scope of the review will be announced shortly. The Government recognise the costs and other difficulties for applicants and employers which can arise, and will be looking at a more cost-efficient and effective way of doing things, balancing the need for people to have the freedom to go about their daily lives while safeguarding children.
Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to implement the recommendation of the Social Work Task Force to introduce an assessed year in practice for new social workers. 
Tim Loughton: The Government are committed to reforming social work and took early steps in June 2010 to confirm its support for the Social Work Reform Board which is taking forward the recommendations of the Social Work Task Force; to confirm funding for social work reform in 2010-11; and to announce the Munro Review of Child Protection which will make final recommendations in April 2011 for improving frontline child protection services.
The transition from study to practice is a crucial time in a social worker's career and the Social Work Reform Board is looking at how this area can be improved,
including options for a new Assessed Year in Employment, building on the existing Newly Qualified Social Worker programmes in the adult and children's sectors. The Social Work Reform Board will advise Government on options for the Assessed Year in Employment over the course of the coming year and the Government will consider very carefully how to take this forward.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to retain teachers within the profession in light of the planned two-year public sector pay freeze. 
Mr Gibb: The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document already provides maintained schools in England and Wales with the option of making additional payments or providing other financial assistance, support or benefits to a teacher in order to retain their service.
The Government will keep under review the impact that the pay freeze has on teacher recruitment and retention.
Teachers and other education professionals will be at the heart of the Schools White Paper, to be launched later this year, because everything else the Government want to achieve in education flows naturally from the quality and professional status of the work force.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the performance of Nottinghamshire County Council Children's Services in respect of at-risk young people. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 18 October 2010]: Ofsted published the results of their full inspection of Nottinghamshire's safeguarding and looked after children services on 21 May 2010. This report judged the council's safeguarding services to be 'inadequate', highlighting deficiencies in quality and timeliness of frontline practice, work force capacity and application of thresholds.
The Department issued the council with an Improvement Notice on 29 June, containing a range of targets for the council to meet within a prescribed timescale. As set out in the Improvement Notice, officials from the Department routinely attend the council's monthly Improvement Board, which supports and challenges the council's ongoing plans for improvement.
Officials also met the council recently to review progress against the requirements of the Improvement Notice, and a final review will take place when performance data relating to June 2011 are available. At that stage, Ministers will take a view as to whether any further action is necessary to secure the safety of Nottinghamshire's at-risk children and young people.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to limit the rate of pay of consultants funded through grants made by his Department to £300 per day or the equivalent annual salary. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) policy is to ensure that all contracts represent value for money, by maximising efficiency savings and quality from every contract we have with consultants. All work for DFID is paid for in arrears, if we are satisfied with the product. In certain markets, we can often obtain services for less than £300 per day. Sometimes, however, complex market conditions affect fee rates, and require us to pay more, for example in specialised markets or difficult operating environments such as fragile states. In these circumstances a universal fee rate cap is not feasible.
Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of quality management statements in assisting with contract decisions by his Department; and what assessment he has made of the effects on the prospects for small businesses of winning contracts of such statements. 
Mr O'Brien: Quality management statements are provided by suppliers at the Pre Qualification Questionnaire stage of a competitive process. This provides assurances that suppliers the Department for international Development (DFID) does business with comply with the Quality and Health and Safety standards provided by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). This is an integral part of our assessment of a supplier. Suppliers are asked to provide either an accreditation certificate or, as an alternative, details of their quality management systems. Therefore we do not anticipate this requirement to have an impact on small and medium size enterprises winning DFID business.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the oral statement of 19 October 2010, Official Report, columns 797-801, on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, what criteria his Department uses to determine whether a state is (a) fragile and (b) conflict-affected. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not formally distinguish between the categories of (a) "fragile" and (b) "conflict-affected" states. DFID uses a range of criteria drawn from internationally recognised indices, including the World Bank's Country Policy Institutional Assessment Index, the Failed State Index of the Fund for Peace, and the Uppsala datasets of Armed Conflict to determine which states are "fragile and conflict-affected".
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the statement of 19 October 2010, Official Report, columns 797-801, on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, from which departmental budgets the increase in funding for the Conflict Pool will be drawn. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell:
The Conflict Pool does not draw its resources from departmental budgets. The Conflict Pool is part of a separate HM Treasury settlement on
conflict resources which is managed jointly by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the statement of 19 October 2010, Official Report, columns 797-801, on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, from which departmental budgets funding for the increase in official development assistance to fragile and conflict-affected states will be drawn. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The increase in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to fragile and conflict-affected states will be drawn from the departmental budgets of the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, together with the separate Conflict Pool settlement.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the statement of 19 October 2010, Official Report, columns 797-801, on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, from which of his Department's budget lines the increase in funding for fragile and conflict-affected states will be drawn. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) is reviewing all bilateral and multilateral programmes to ensure resources are focused where they will achieve most impact. The outcome of the reviews will determine final allocations across the Department, including to fragile and conflict-affected states.
Funding for conflict and fragile affected states will also be provided from the separate settlement on conflict resources. The Conflict Pool does not draw its resources from departmental budgets; it is part of a separate HM Treasury settlement on conflict resources which is managed jointly by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence.
Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the International Monetary Fund on the interest on Pakistan's debt repayments. 
Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply.
Treasury Ministers regularly meet with multilateral institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, on a wide range of policy issues.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent assessment is of the performance of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. 
Anne Milton: The Department has not carried out any formal assessment of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), which was established in January 2008. However, the chair of SaBTO carries out periodic appraisals for each of the SaBTO members, which include a review of members' performance. Appointments are reviewed regularly. Officials regularly meet with the chair to discuss the work of SaBTO.
However, as part of the implementation of the changes to the Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs), we will be implementing a periodic review process, of all our significant advisory committees and ANDPBs which will incorporate an assessment of performance and effectiveness.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his most recent assessment is of the performance of the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollutants; 
(2) what his most recent assessment is of the performance of the Committee on Carcogenicity of Chemicals in Food Consumer Products and the Environment; 
(3) what his most recent assessment is of the performance of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. 
Anne Milton: No formal assessments have been made of these committees themselves. The Chairmen and Health Protection Agency secretariats review members' contributions on an annual basis. The Department is satisfied with the advice they have provided over many years.
As part of the implementation of the changes to the Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs), we will be implementing a periodic review process (three yearly), of all our significant advisory committees and ANDPBs which will incorporate an assessment of performance and effectiveness. Wherever possible this will be conducted by an independent expert. Members' attendance and performance are assessed by committee chairs and secretariat when reappointments are considered.
Scientific Advisory Committees must follow the code of practice for Scientific Advisory Committees. This can be viewed at:
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the annual direct cost to the NHS of treating people with (a) tobacco and (b) alcohol-related illnesses. 
Anne Milton: The Department does not maintain an annual record of the cost to the national health service of treating people with such illnesses.
Academic research has indicated that the direct cost to the NHS of treating people with tobacco related-illnesses
in England is £2.7 billion per annum (Callum C.) (2008), The cost of smoking to the NHS in Health Economics, Policy and Law. This report is available at:
There has been no recent estimate of the annual cost to the NHS of treating alcohol-related illnesses; however, a review into the total cost of alcohol harms was carried out by the Department in 2008. The cost of alcohol harm to the NHS in England estimates that the total cost of alcohol harms to the NHS is around £2.7 billion a year. A copy of this review has already been placed in the Library.
Earlier this year, Policy Exchange estimated that the wider cost to society of tobacco use is almost £14 billion per annum. In their report, 'Cough up', they looked at the cost of early death or retirement due to sickness, payment of benefits to support widows and families, the costs of sickness at work to employers, the human and financial costs of smoking-related fires, smoking breaks at work and cleaning up cigarette butts. A copy of this report has been placed in the Library.
Department statistics show that, in England in 2007-08, there were estimated to be 945,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions, which is 7% of all hospital admissions.
It is estimated that up to 35% of all Accident and Emergency attendance and ambulance costs may be alcohol-related.
The National Audit Office has carried out an audit of NHS spend on alcohol treatment. Its report, Reducing Alcohol Harm: health services in England for alcohol misuse, was published in November 2008 and found, that where primary care trust expenditure on alcohol services was known, an average of £600,000 was spent on commissioning alcohol services in 2006-07.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will issue guidance to GP consortia on the provision of training to commission services for people with rheumatoid arthritis that develop their ability to self-care and manage pain on a day-to-day basis. 
Paul Burstow: The White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' set out our proposals to devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to local consortiums of general practitioner (GP) practices.
GPs play a crucial role in co-ordinating patient care and committing national health service resources through daily clinical decisions. Our proposals for this new model of commissioning draw on the regular contact that GPs have with patients and their more detailed understanding of patients' wider health care needs.
We propose that GP consortiums will be responsible for commissioning the great majority of NHS services. In doing this, they would also play a crucial role in ensuring that patients have an opportunity to exercise greater choice and control over their care and treatment, including choice of any willing provider of services.
To support GP consortiums in their commissioning decisions, we will also create an independent NHS Commissioning Board. The NHS Commissioning Board
will provide a framework to support GP consortiums in commissioning services, including setting commissioning guidelines on the basis of clinically approved quality standards developed with advice from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, in a way that promotes joint working across health, public health and social care. We also propose that the NHS Commissioning Board would take the lead on promoting and extending patient involvement and choice.
'Liberating the NHS: Commissioning for Patients' invited views on a number of areas of the commissioning agenda. The engagement exercise closed on 11 October and the Department is now analysing all of the contributions received.
'Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control', published on 18 October, seeks views on how we implement the choice commitments in the White Paper, including what can be done to encourage GP consortiums to offer appropriate choices to their populations. The consultation closes on 14 January 2011.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the appropriateness of the care and support provided to (a) children and (b) adults with autism who are receiving treatment in hospitals. 
Paul Burstow: The Care Quality Commission undertakes assessment of hospital and social care services to ensure they meet essential standards of quality and safety. These standards include the delivery of care, treatment and support for all individuals.
The Autism Strategy consultations provided some personal experiences of hospital services for people and children with autism, which will inform the planned statutory guidance for health and social care bodies to support delivery of the strategy. The statutory guidance is to be published by the end of December 2010.
Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department has made on its proposal to extend the age group for breast screening to include those over the age of 70 years. 
Paul Burstow: The Cancer Reform Strategy (CRS) included the commitment that the NHS Breast Screening Programme would be extended to women aged 47 to 73. In June this year, we confirmed in the Revision to the NHS Operating Framework 2010-11 that all local breast screening units should begin the extension in 2010-11. To date, 14 breast screening units have expanded.
A copy of the framework has already been placed in the Library.
Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he has made a recent assessment of the regional variation in the allocation of funds from the Government's interim Cancer Drugs Fund; 
(2) in respect of which locations funding from the interim Cancer Drugs Fund has been allocated; and how much such funding has been allocated to (a) the dispensing of drugs and (b) administration of the Fund. 
Paul Burstow: From 1 October 2010, strategic health authorities (SHAs) were allocated £50 million of interim funding for cancer drugs, in advance of the implementation of the Cancer Drugs Fund from April 2011. The funding was allocated using the weighted capitation formula, which distributes resources based on the relative needs of the area and takes account of such factors as the age distribution of the population and additional need in determining the appropriate allocation of funding. A table showing the allocation of funding to SHAs is included as follows:
|Region||Allocation (£ million)||Percentage s hare|
The Department has issued guiding principles to SHAs, specifying that the funding is intended to pay for the purchase of drugs, and primary care trusts are expected to meet the associated service costs related to provision of these medicines.
The guiding principles are included in Sir Bruce Keogh's letter of 27 July to SHA Directors of Finance, Deputy Directors of Finance and Medical Directors, which is available at:
and a copy has been placed in the Library.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review the level of multidisciplinary team provision for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) to take account of the decision not to receive blood from people diagnosed with ME. 
Paul Burstow: The ban on blood donations from those living with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), to be introduced from 1 November 2010, is a precautionary measure. At the moment there is no clear evidence for the cause of CFS/ME, and health professionals should continue to use their clinical judgment to provide health and social care based on existing guidelines.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the national clinical strategy on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 
Mr Simon Burns: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Houghton and Sunderland South (Bridget Phillipson) on 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 567W.
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