|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent in respect of the cases of British prisoners held in prison in each country in the latest year for which figures are available. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provide assistance to all British nationals detained overseas. This assistance includes: contacting the prisoner within 24 hours of being informed of their detention and visiting them (if they so request) as soon as possible afterwards; keeping in contact with a prisoner's family or friends; taking an interest in the prisoner's welfare; and offering information about the local prison system to the prisoner and their family.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many officials in his Department have been (a) subject to disciplinary action, (b) removed from post, (c) transferred to another position and (d) dismissed for matters relating to their (i) disciplinary record and (ii) performance in each year since 1997. 
Alistair Burt: Records are only available in the form requested for UK based Foreign and Commonwealth officials. Records for overseas-based officials are not held in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
|Number of officials|
Central records for matters relating to (d) (ii) have only been maintained since 2006. As there are fewer than five dismissals in each year since records have been maintained, details are withheld on the grounds of confidentiality.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the implications of the provisions of (a) the Treaty of Sèvres and (b) Article 80 of the UN Charter for negotiations on the Middle East Peace process. 
Alistair Burt: The best way to achieve the goal of a sustainable two-state solution is through a negotiated settlement. We do not believe that the treaty of Sèvres or article 80 of the United Nations charter are relevant to this process.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of affordable homes which will be built in Warrington in the next four years as a result of the proposals announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review. 
Grant Shapps: The Department does not forecast levels of future house building and delivery will be determined by local housing plans. We announced in the spending review almost £4.5 billion investment for new affordable housing, which through a new delivery model is expected to deliver up to 155,000 new affordable homes over this spending period.
Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the average annual cost to the public purse of payments of child benefit to children resident in (a) other EU member states and (b) countries outside the EU. 
Information about the payment of child benefit for children resident outside the UK is available only at disproportionate cost. Entitlement to child benefit is generally reliant on the child in question being present in the UK. There are limited exceptions set out in UK and European Community (EC) law, for example when the child is receiving medical treatment anywhere abroad for an illness or disability which began before that child left the UK or when the person claiming child benefit is working in the UK and paying compulsory UK national insurance contributions and their family is living in another member state of the European economic area (EEA).
Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Although 16% of the DCLG's spend last year was with small and medium-sized enterprises, the Department recognises that it can be difficult for these enterprises to win central Government contracts for a variety of reasons. It is, therefore, taking steps to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises can be used as second-tier suppliers. In particular we will be incorporating the best practice in the Office of Government Commerce guidance into our processes and systems.
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate he has made of the per capita level of his Department's Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit allocated in (a) London and (b) the North West in each year of the Comprehensive Spending Review period; 
(2) how much and what proportion of his Department's Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit will be allocated to (a) London and (b) the North West in each year of the Comprehensive Spending Review period; 
(3) what estimate he has made of his Department's capital Departmental Expenditure Limit per head in (a) London and (b) the North West in each year of the Comprehensive Spending Review period. 
Robert Neill: The data requested for the spending review 2010 are not yet available. The Department is at present working through its settlement in order to allocate the resources available. This process will be completed in due course. We expect to complete this exercise well in advance of the start of the next financial year (1 April 2011).
in the 2012 exercise. It should be noted that these allocations comprise planned expenditure only, and are therefore subject to change. Due to the statistical nature of the analysis, the subsequent analysis is open to interpretation and is not designated as "National Statistics".
Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has spent on (a) consultants, (b) agency staff and (c) fixed-term contractors in the last five months; and whether he has made an estimate of his Department's expenditure on such personnel in (i) the remainder of 2010-11 and (ii) each of the subsequent four financial years. 
Robert Neill: Under the initiative to open up Government spending over £500, details of the Department's expenditure, including consultants and agency staff (fixed-term contractors will appear under agency staff), have already been published for the first quarter of 2010-11 and can be found here:
Forecast spend for the remaining six months of 2010-11 is £0.7 million for contract and agency staff and £6.7 million for consultancies. However, we have introduced stringent controls which are likely to reduce expenditure in these areas.
There is a moratorium in place on consultancy expenditure over £20,000, exemptions to which can only be authorised by the Permanent Secretary. There is also a vacancy freeze which prohibits the recruitment of interim or agency staff unless authorised by the Secretary of State.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government was formed in May 2006 and the following tables detail the total and consecutive days lost to staff sickness in the main Department in each financial year since that date up to and including 30 September 2010.
|Total days sickness absence|
|2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2010 to 30 September|
|Consecutive days sickness absence|
|2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2010 to 30 September|
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the average density of new housing in (a) St Albans and (b) the East of England in each of the last 10 years. 
Andrew Stunell: The density of new housing in St Albans for 1994-97, 1998-2001, 2002-05 and 2006-09 is published in the Land Use Change Statistics Live Table P232, while the density of new housing in the East of England between 1999 and 2009 is published in the Land Use Change Statistics Live Table P231. Both of these tables can be accessed at:
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the responses he has received from local authority chief executives and leaders to his letter requesting their views on reducing the burden of local government. 
Robert Neill: We are unable to deposit the individual responses within the Library without incurring disproportionate cost. We will, however, provide copies of individual responses on request, in accordance with confidentiality, data protection and freedom of information requirements.
Greg Clark: I have been tasked by the Prime Minister to take forward the coalition's commitment to decentralise power away from Whitehall and towards local government, communities and individuals. Measures have already been announced including the removal of central burdens such as the comprehensive area assessment, the removal of centrally prescribed indicators and targets, and the abolition of the Standards Board.
In order to free up local areas, funding to local authorities and delivery bodies will be radically simplified, giving them greater choice over how to use their money to meet the needs of local people. The forthcoming Localism Bill will introduce measures which empower local government, such as the general power of competence. I will be reporting to the Prime Minister in summer 2011 with an update on the progress the Government have made to push power down to the lowest possible level.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which body will be responsible for providing advice on sustainability to his Department's new office for major planning decisions following the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission. 
Both the town and country planning regime and the planning regime for major infrastructure provide for the integration of economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development into decisions on applications, and for consultation with a
wide range of relevant organisations, including, for example, the Environment Agency, Natural England and relevant health authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion
of housing is (a) social housing and (b) private sector (i) owner-occupied and (ii) rented housing. 
Andrew Stunell: The following table shows the proportion of social and private sector housing as at 1 April 2009 in England and is derived from live table 100 published at the Communities and Local Government website.
|Local authority||Registered social landlords||Other public sector||Private sector|
Housing Flows Reconciliation and joint returns by local authorities; Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) submitted to Communities and Local Government by local authorities; Regulatory Statistical Return (RSR) as reported to the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) by registered social landlords.
However, estimates of the proportion of the private rented and owner-occupied sectors are available in the Survey of English Housing (SEH). These figures are however not comparable to the figures shown in the answer, because the SEH is based on survey data and the figures in the answer to the PQ on administrative data.
John Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of housing in Carlisle constituency is (a) social housing and (b) private sector (i) owner-occupied and (ii) rented housing. 
Andrew Stunell: Statistics on dwelling stock are not collected at constituency level. Local authority level figures are published in Housing Statistics live table 100 at the Communities and Local Government website:
John Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of housing in Cumbria is (a) social housing and (b) private sector (i) owner-occupied and (ii) rented housing. 
Andrew Stunell: The following table shows for Cumbria the number and the proportion of dwellings by tenure at 1 April. The table is derived from live table 100 published at the Communities and Local Government website.
|Local authority||Registered social landlords||Other public sector||Private sector|
Housing Flows Reconciliation and joint returns by local authorities; Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) submitted to Communities and Local Government by local authorities; Regulatory Statistical Return (RSR) as reported to Tenant Services Authority (TSA) by registered social landlords.
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 26 October 2010]: Airlines are required by European rules on air fare transparency to indicate at all times the final price to be paid, including all applicable taxes, charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. Any optional price supplements should be clearly communicated at the start of the booking process. We expect to introduce an enforcement regime for these requirements early in 2011, including penalties for non-compliance.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 408W, on bicycles, what mechanisms there are in place to encourage the use of folding bicycles; if he will use the same mechanisms to encourage the provision of additional capacity to allow more space for bikes to be carried on trains; and whether the remit of the Station Travel Plan pilot project covers the issue of provision for bicycles on trains. 
Mrs Villiers: The 2007 Rail White Paper provided that future franchises would require the carriage of folding bikes at all times and non-folding bikes at the discretion of the relevant train operator. Decisions on how much capacity to provide on trains for storage of bicycles is a commercial one for individual train operators. The Department is currently monitoring the Station Travel Plan pilots being run by the rail industry which include a focus on improving the integration between rail and other transport modes including cycling. However, the specific question of provision of cycle space on trains is outside the pilot's remit.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for future funding of concessionary bus passes for older people; and what assessment he has made of the likely effect of his policy in this respect on rural communities. 
Norman Baker: Currently, the bulk of concessionary travel funding is provided through formula grant by Communities and Local Government, with the remainder provided through special grant from the Department for Transport. Special grant funding provided by DFT was only intended to cover the period from 2008-09 through to 2010-11. From April 2011 this funding will be subsumed into formula grant alongside the rest of the funding for concessionary travel.
Communities and Local Government held a consultation, which closed on 6 October, on the distribution of formula grant to local authorities in England from 2010-11. The consultation process provided an opportunity for local authorities to influence decisions on the final distribution method. Consultation responses submitted by rural communities will be considered by Communities and Local Government in arriving at a final distribution method.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport 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. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is committed to achieving the 10% carbon reduction target announced by the Prime Minister on 14 May this year, and I have had discussions with relevant officials to progress this.
The Department has developed and published, through the Efficiency and Reform Group's Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement, a plan that aims to deliver the savings required by the target. The latest data on performance, to the end of August, are publicly available on the data.gov.uk website at:
Performance data are reported monthly, within four weeks of the month end. The next data release (to the end of September 2010) will be available by the end of October 2010, and similarly published on the data.gov.uk website.
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the level of (a) punctuality and (b) overcrowding in respect of rail services on the First Capital Connect line between St Albans and London; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 26 October 2010]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 14 July 2010, Official Report, column 722W, in response to a similar question concerning punctuality and reliability and passengers in excess numbers for rail services on the St Albans to London route.
|PPM = Public Performance Measure. MAA = Moving Annual Average.|
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has spent on surveillance flights to monitor pollution from shipping in the UK Counter Pollution Zone in the last 12 months. 
Nigel Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to implement the recommendations of the July 2010 interim report of the Winter Resilience Review; and what plans he has to publish a guide on rights and liabilities in respect of the clearing of snow and ice. 
Norman Baker: The Winter Resilience Review's interim report concentrated on actions that can be taken by local and national highways authorities, salt suppliers, the Government and others to improve resilience for the coming winter, as well as some longer term actions. The findings were welcomed by the Government and the Secretary of State for Transport instructed his officials to take forward recommendations directed at the Department for Transport and the Highways Agency. This included sourcing 250,000 tonnes of imported salt to establish and manage national strategic stockpiles, reflecting the exceptional re-stocking challenges for local highway authorities for this coming winter.
Among its recommendations, the review panel recommended that this Department produce guidance for members of the public on clearing the footways outside their property. The Department in consultation with other interested Government Departments has published this guidance on the Directgov website at:
Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the statement of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 36WS, on updating the coroner system, whether the improved training for coroners and their staff will be affected by the reductions in his Department's budget announced in the Spending Review 2010. 
Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice is developing firm plans to deliver priorities within the spending review settlement. Although no internal budgets have been set, I am committed to maintaining effective training for all who work within the coronial system, where financially possible.
Neither the MoJ nor the Home Office have carried out a systematic analysis of the financial impact on the criminal justice system of decriminalisation of illegal drugs. Such an analysis would be highly complicated
to carry out, require considerable resources, and would not be justified against the background of the Government's clear position that decriminalisation of drugs would not be in the broader interests of the community or discourage the use of drugs.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases relating to each type of claim have been heard at employment tribunals in each of the last three years; and in how many such cases the tribunal ruled in favour of the claimant in each such year. 
Mr Djanogly: The following tables list the number of claims heard by employment tribunals, broken down by type of claim (or 'jurisdiction') throughout Great Britain for the period 2007-10. They also show the number of those cases in which the claimant (rather than the respondent/employer) was successful.
The first table excludes data in respect of default judgments (i.e. cases in which the claimant is awarded judgment on the basis that no, or no acceptable response has been received to the claim; or where the respondent states that it does not wish to resist the claim). The second table includes data in respect of default judgments.
|Table 1: Number of hearings at employment tribunals and number of successful claims 2006-07 to 2009-10|
|Number of cases heard at tribunal( 1)||Claimant success at hearing( 2)|
|All jurisdiction cases||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10|
|(1 )This excludes cases that were withdrawn, conciliated by ACAS, struck out without a hearing and default judgments.|
(2) Successful at hearing excludes default judgments.
ET Annual Reports 2006-07 to 2009-10
|Table 2: Number of hearings at employment tribunals and successful claims 2006-07 to 2009-10 including default judgments|
|Number of cases heard at tribunal (including default judgments)( 3)||Successful at hearing (including default judgments)|
|All jurisdiction cases||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10|
|(3) Excludes cases that were withdrawn, conciliated by ACAS and struck out without a hearing.|
ET Annual Reports 2006-07 to 2009-10
|Utilisation rates of each magistrates court in England and Wales for periods April to June 2010|
|Courthouse||Courtroom utilisation (percentage)|
1. The data source is HMCS Performance Database (OPT).
2. This data was subject to the minimum data quality checks.
3. Courtroom Utilisation is the total number of hours used for judicial business in all courtrooms, divided by the total number of court hours available to be used.
Mr Djanogly: In the second quarter (April to June) of 2010, there were 7,736 trials in the magistrates courts of England and Wales which were recorded as 'ineffective', meaning that they did not go ahead on the scheduled day, due to action or inaction by one or more of the prosecution, the defence or the court. This represented 18% of all trials taking place in the magistrates courts during this period. These trials will have been relisted for completion at a later date.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many reports the Prison Service has received of inappropriate relationships between prison inmates and prison staff in each of the last three years. 
Allegations of inappropriate relationships, as with other information relating to prison security, are reported using a Security Information Report (SIR). All SIRs have to be evaluated for quality, accuracy and intelligence value. Reporting levels can be driven by interpretation and subjective perceptions of particular circumstances and individuals, malicious reporting and the possibility of duplication. The number of SIRs submitted, therefore, does not provide a true reflection of risk. As with other concerns relating to potential
corrupt activities, SIRs relating to potential inappropriate relationships are forwarded to the NOMS Corruption Prevention Unit for further development, analysis and potentially tasking activity.
NOMS will always seek to deal robustly with any member of staff engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a prisoner and will look to use internal disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings depending on the circumstances of the case. Data collected from each prison shows that 258 individuals (directly and non-directly employed) have been convicted, dismissed or excluded by NOMS since January 2008 for corruption-related offences. 126 of these individuals are recorded under the category of 'Inappropriate Relationship' (five convicted, 85 excluded and 36 dismissed).
These figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems maintained by the Corruption Prevention Unit which may be amended at any time. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The 'results' data do not take account of those cases where there is an ongoing suspension, arrest or prosecution, or where there has been a resignation due to a corruption-related reason, prior to a formal disciplinary or criminal outcome.
Mr Kenneth Clarke: I met the chair of the Prison Officers Association formally in my Department and informally on other occasions. I met the president of the Prison Governor's Association briefly when I spoke at the recent conference of the association.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of the working day which probation officers spend (a) with offenders and (b) on computer-based administrative tasks. 
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.
Initiating the Offender Engagement Programme to evaluate and improve the quality of face to face work with offenders and its impact on reoffending. This includes work to reduce the bureaucratic demands on operational staff to enable them to:
spend a greater proportion of work time in one to one engagement, exercise their professional judgment in personalising the work and engaging with offenders.
As part of this programme the current heavily prescriptive, process-focused national standards are being revised, switching the focus from practitioners to what offenders do and achieve during the course of their supervision period.
The Specifications Benchmarking and Costing programme which is on track to publish specifications for approximately 75 services delivered to offenders, defendants, victims and courts. This work is supporting decentralisation by removing unnecessary prescription-specifying "what" must be delivered but not "how" it should be delivered by clearly stating the outcomes required from the services provided by probation. It supports innovation and localism-by offering clear choices to commissioners on the core services to deliver, to which types of offenders and with the flexibility to commission options to reflect local circumstances; and it is driving improvements in efficiency and effectiveness, 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;
Expanding the use of video conferencing to reduce the time probation staff spend travelling to interview prisoners; and
A pilot in Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust to enable the use of professional judgement in deciding how to work most effectively with each individual.
A new performance framework which is currently being piloted in Surrey and Sussex contains around half the current number of indicators with a view to rolling out nationally from April 2011.
Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice does not hold information on the number of transgender people who are serving custodial sentences. There are difficulties in collecting information on the numbers of transgender prisoners. It would require a prisoner to voluntarily provide information on their gender history, as it would not always be possible for a prison to identify a transgender person by any other means. Any monitoring of the numbers of transgender prisoners would thus likely be incomplete.
A further obstacle to collecting information on the numbers of transgender prisoners is that the Gender Recognition Act 2004 makes it an offence to disclose any information concerning the gender history of a person with a gender recognition certificate.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|