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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 28 October 2010

Attorney-General

Disclosure of Information: Homicide

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Attorney-General pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2010, Official Report, column 643W, on disclosure of information: homicide, for what reason the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has not disclosed to the family of David Gray its contacts with the German authorities in the case of Daniel Ubani; and if he will direct the CPS to do so. [20143]

The Attorney-General: A CPS prosecutor informed Mr and Dr Gray, by letter of 2 April 2009, that steps were being taken to discover from the German authorities the events leading to Dr Ubani being dealt with under German criminal law.

The minutes of the meeting with the German authorities cannot be disclosed because Eurojust meetings are covered by a confidentiality agreement. This is not a matter therefore in which I could consider disclosure.

Scotland

Cross Border Cooperation: Tourism

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps the Secretary of State is taking to enhance and increase cross-border economic co-operation between England and Scotland for tourism growth. [20186]

Michael Moore: I will be meeting the chairman of Visit Scotland in the very near future to discuss the importance of Scottish tourism, at both local and national level, and how it can lead economic growth and recovery.

House of Commons Commission

Members: Childcare Vouchers

Jo Swinson: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Commission made of recommendation 52 of the Speaker's Conference on parliamentary representation, to allow Members to take a proportion of their salary in the form of childcare vouchers prior to the transfer of responsibility for that matter to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. [20051]

Sir Stuart Bell: The Commission has made no assessment of recommendation 52 of the Speaker's Conference on parliamentary representation. It would not have been appropriate to make the proposed changes so close to the transfer of responsibility to IPSA.


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Sittings

Simon Hart: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) of 13 October 2010, Official Report, columns 290-91W, on sittings, how many building contracts on the Parliamentary Estate were (a) cancelled and (b) deferred as a result of the September sitting; what the monetary value of each contract was; and what estimate has been made of the cost to the House Service of cancellation or deferral. [19657]

Sir Stuart Bell: No building contracts were cancelled as the reduced recess was planned for. Some projects which might have been included in the programme in a longer summer recess were not undertaken in the shorter recess, but only one, redecoration of the ceiling within the Shadow Cabinet Conference Room, is identifiable. This project was deferred but there was no cost to this deferral.

Communities and Local Government

Council Housing: Waiting Lists

James Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to reduce the number of people on council housing waiting lists. [20043]

Andrew Stunell: The Government are considering measures to support councils developing local responses to managing their housing waiting lists more effectively and in ways which best reflect local circumstances, while continuing to ensure that the priority for social housing goes to those in greatest need.

We are also investing nearly £6.5 billion in the homes this country needs over the spending review period, with £4.5 billion to fund new affordable homes including £100 million to bring empty homes back into use as affordable housing.

Housing Benefit

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on the number of people declared homeless of the proposed changes to housing benefit entitlement in each of the next four years; and if he will make a statement; [20175]

(2) what estimate he has made of the effect on local authority costs of fulfilling their statutory obligation to provide accommodation for families who have been made homeless of a reduction in housing benefit entitlements. [20176]

Grant Shapps: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published estimates of the numbers of households that will be affected by the changes to local housing allowance rates in 2011-12. However, it is not possible to estimate the number of households that will move as a consequence of the changes.


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A copy of the document 'Impacts of Housing Benefit Proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be Introduced in 2011-12' has been placed in the Library of the House.

Housing: St Albans

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made a recent estimate of the (a) number and (b) monetary value of homes which could be built on undeveloped sites in St Albans which are held by registered social landlords in land banks. [19666]

Andrew Stunell: The Department for Communities and Local Government has not made a recent estimate of the number or monetary value of homes which could be built on undeveloped land in St Albans owned by registered social landlords.

Regeneration: Hull

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for the future of his Department's housing regeneration schemes at Orchard Park and Bransholme North in Hull North constituency; and if he will make a statement. [19509]

Andrew Stunell: The Department's position on and funding support for its housing and other PFI projects will be considered and confirmed as quickly as possible following the spending review 2010 settlement.

Ministers will assess projects on a case-by-case basis for value for money and against other departmental priorities.

Tenants have voted to transfer the Bransholme North Estate to a housing association and subject to Ministers granting consent the transfer should take place later this year.

Social Rented Housing

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the proposed social rent level based on 80% of the market level will be applied in circumstances in which a social housing tenancy is created by assignment. [19804]

Andrew Stunell: Where a social tenant assigns a social rent tenancy, for example by way of mutual exchange, the new tenant will continue to pay a social rent.

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of payments in respect of which tenants will pay the new 80% of market level rents; how much rent income will be raised (a) gross and (b) net of housing benefit; and how much more rent income he expects to be raised than that raised from existing social housing rents net of housing benefit. [19806]

Grant Shapps: We will publish more detail on the new tenure shortly.


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Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) estimated percentage and (b) absolute difference between average social housing rents and the proposed rents of 80% of market level is for each (i) year of the spending review period and (ii) local authority with housing responsibilities. [19807]

Grant Shapps: We will publish more detail on the implementation of new "affordable rent" tenure shortly.

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether social housing tenants who move to a new property will pay rent at 80% of market level. [19808]

Grant Shapps: Existing tenants of local authorities and housing associations will retain their current tenancy and rent arrangements.

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of (a) the number of social tenants who will pay 80% of market rate rent and (b) the revenue raised through such rents (i) gross and (ii) net of housing benefit; and how these figures differ from current equivalents. [19814]

Grant Shapps: Existing tenants of local authorities and housing associations paying social rents will retain their current tenancy and rent arrangements.

We will publish more information on the new tenure shortly.

Trading Standards

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements he has made for funding of local authority trading standards officers to discharge their responsibilities in the event of an animal disease outbreak. [19710]

Mr Paice: I have been asked to reply.

Funding provided to local authorities via the rate support grant includes an element for handling emergencies and therefore there is no provision within the DEFRA budget to cover such costs arising within one or more local authorities in the event of a disease outbreak.

Wales

Prisons

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on the provision of prison places in north Wales. [20025]

Mr David Jones: Both my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have recently discussed the provision of prison places in north Wales with ministerial colleagues and we remain supportive of a new prison being built there.

The Ministry of Justice is committed to publishing a Green Paper on rehabilitation and sentencing, and consulting on longer term plans for offender management.
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Following this the coalition Government will be in a position to evaluate our long-term strategy for prison capacity.

We will continue to work closely with the Minister with responsibility for prisons, my hon. Friend the Member for Reigate (Mr Blunt) as decisions on the prison estate are made, to ensure that the implications for north Wales are fully taken into account.

Public Expenditure

Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the (a) Welsh Assembly government, (b) Welsh Local Government Association and (c) Welsh Council for Voluntary Action on the effect of the comprehensive spending review on the block grant for Wales; and if she will make a statement. [20061]

Mrs Gillan: I have discussed the comprehensive spending review with a range of organisations, including the First Minister and other Welsh Assembly Government Ministers. I intend to continue a programme of meetings with organisations and individuals from across Wales to discuss key issues, including the comprehensive spending review outcome.

Over the course of the spending review period, the Welsh Assembly Government will have a 7.5% reduction in their resource budget, which is a smaller reduction than the UK average. This equates to an average cut of less than 2% each year.

It is now for the Welsh Assembly Government to decide how to manage these reductions reflecting their own policies and priorities.

Prime Minister

Domestic Visits

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Prime Minister what estimate (1) he has made of the cost to the public purse of (a) transport, (b) venue and accommodation, (c) printed materials, including backdrops, (d) security, (e) staffing, (f) filming and photography and (g) other costs of each Prime Minister Direct event; [13262]

(2) what vetting his Office undertakes of people attending Prime Minister Direct events; [13263]

(3) how many (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers accompanied him on each Prime Minister Direct event. [13264]

The Prime Minister: Since my appointment as Prime Minister I have held a series of public meetings which provide members of the public with an opportunity to raise local, regional or national issues with me directly.

The events have been arranged in accordance with ministerial and civil service guidelines. Costs have been minimised as far as possible. In each case these events were parts of wider visits to those areas. The audience is not selected by No. 10 and questions are chosen at random.

The cost of these events is as follows. The cost of any security provided by the police is a matter for the relevant police force.


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Cost (£)

Leeds-29 June 2010

3,603

Cornwall-9 July 2010

2,934

Luton-16 July 2010

2,743

Birmingham-3 August 2010

5,211

Brighton-5 August 2010

3,681

Manchester-10 August 2010

3,976


As with all visits I was accompanied by a small number of officials and special advisers as necessary.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Brazil: Fossil Fuels

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with the government of Brazil on fossil fuel subsidy reform. [19885]

Mr Bellingham: The issue of fossil fuel subsidy reform was discussed with the Government of Brazil during the G20 in Toronto in June.

Conflict Pool

Yvette Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what contribution his Department plans to make to the Conflict Pool in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15; [19685]

(2) how much his Department plans to spend on conflict prevention in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15. [19689]

Mr Hague [holding answer 26 October 2010]: Funding for the tri-departmental Conflict Pool has been provided through the spending round separately from departmental expenditure limits. We expect to announce detailed allocations for Conflict Pool activity for 2011-12 in coming weeks. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not contributed additional funds to the Conflict Pool in 2010-11.

Funding for the Peacekeeping Budget and the Conflict Pool is provided for separately by the Treasury and does not come from departmental expenditure limits. As a result, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not usually contribute additional funds from its own departmental budget and has not done so in 2010-11.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department plans to allocate to (a) the Stabilisation Aid Fund, (b) the Conflict Prevention Pool, (c) the Discretionary Peacekeeping Fund, (d) the BBC World Service, excluding the BBC World Service Trust, (e) the BBC World Service Trust, (f) the Special Reserve, (g) the British Council and (h) the Security and Intelligence Fund for (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13, (iv) 2013-14 and (v) 2014-15. [20208]


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Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not yet set budgets for 2011-12 or beyond. Detailed allocations will be agreed during the coming weeks.

(a), (b), (c): On 1 April 2009 the Conflict Prevention Pool and the Stabilisation Aid Fund were merged to form the Conflict Pool, which is managed tri-departmentally by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). At the same time, responsibility for discretionary peacekeeping costs also moved to the Conflict Pool.

Funding for the Conflict Pool has been provided through the spending round separately from departmental expenditure limits (DELs). The FCO has not contributed additional funds to the Conflict Pool in 2010-11. Priorities and allocations for 2011-12 will be determined in the coming weeks. We will continue to seek to maintain a range of activities in priority regions where the risk and impact of conflict is greatest.

(d) (g) Updated information on the 2010-11 budget allocations for the British Council and the BBC World Service will be published in the Winter Supplementary Estimates.

For the period 2011-15, the budget allocations (resource and capital funding) are as follows. From 2014-15, the BBC will fund the World Service from the licence fee.

£ million (nominal, excluding depreciation)

2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

BBC World Service

253

242

238

0

British Council

180

171

162

154


(e) The BBC World Service Trust is an independent charity funded by external grants and voluntary contributions. The FCO makes no specific allocation to it each year but may fund individual projects on an ad-hoc basis.

(f) The FCO makes no allocations to the 'Special Reserve' which is part of the Treasury Reserve.

(h) The FCO makes no allocation to the Single Intelligence Account.

European Union

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) his European counterparts, (b) the European Commission and (c) others on the cost and number of European Union public bodies; and if he will make a statement. [20138]

Mr Lidington: As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister explained, at Prime Minister questions on 27 October 2010, Official Report, column 309:


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I raised these points most recently with my European counterparts during the General and Foreign Affairs Councils (GAC/FAC) on 25 October 2010 and will continue to do so at every opportunity.

The EU Commission is also already working on an Inter-Institutional review of European Agencies which will focus on ways to encourage efficiency, transparency and value for money in their day-to-day functioning. We are closely involved in the consultation process of this review.

Gibraltar: Spain

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take to stop people crossing the border from Gibraltar to Spain being charged a toll by the La Linea authorities. [19625]

Mr Lidington: We have raised our concerns over the Mayor of La Linea's earlier proposed actions to impose a charge on traffic entering/leaving Gibraltar with the Spanish Government. It is for them to resolve this issue. Our priority is to keep the traffic flowing at the border. We believe that the Spanish Government shares this goal. They have made clear that EU and Spanish law will be fully respected and that they do not consider that the Mayor of La Linea's earlier proposed actions would be legal. We continue to keep in close touch with the Government of Gibraltar and to follow developments in La Linea.

Human Rights: Kosovo

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his Department's policies of the opinion given by the International Court of Justice on Kosovo. [19978]

Mr Lidington: The UK Government welcome the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) Advisory Opinion confirming that Kosovo's Declaration of Independence did not violate international law. The legal process before the ICJ has come to its end. This should mean an end to debate about Kosovo's status. The UK Government remain firm in their conviction that Kosovo's status as a sovereign state, with its territory defined by its existing borders, is a positive force for stability in the western Balkans. The UK Government also welcome the consensus shown in the UN General Assembly in adopting, on 9 September, a resolution on the ICJ Opinion. The resolution acknowledged the content of the Opinion and welcomed the readiness of the European Union (EU) to facilitate a dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade to promote co-operation, achieve progress on the path towards the EU and improve the lives of the people.

The Government strongly support preparations for this dialogue, which will open a new phase in the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia as both move towards EU membership.

Gyumri Military Base

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his Organisation for Security and Co-operation in
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Europe (OSCE) counterparts the implications for the Russian Federation's role as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group of the extension of the Russian Federation's lease on the Gyumri military base. [19976]

Mr Lidington: The UK and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe partners continue to support the work of the Minsk Group Co-chairs-Russia, France and the US-in pursuing a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia, in its role as co-chair, hosted a summit between President Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Sargsyan of Armenia on 27 October to help maintain dialogue between the two countries. There has been long-standing military co-operation between Armenia and the Russian Federation and the most recent agreement on the extension of the lease on Gyumri military base reflects that.

Security: EU

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) counterparts the (a) role of the EU and (b) composition of the OSCE Minsk Group. [19977]

Mr Lidington: I have had and will continue to have regular dialogue with a range of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) partners about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the work of the Minsk Group. The composition of the group has not featured in those contacts and there has been no suggestion that it needs to be changed.

Like other OSCE partners, the UK continues to support the Minsk Group and its co-Chairs and encourages all parties to the conflict to work towards a lasting solution based on the principles of: refraining from the threat or use of force; territorial integrity; and people's right to self-determination. During my visit to Azerbaijan on 20-21 October, and in recent phone conversations with Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian, I explored the possibility of increased UK and EU activity to help support the peace process.

Transcaucasus: Diplomatic Service

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people were employed by his Department's diplomatic mission in (a) Armenia, (b) Azerbaijan and (c) Georgia on the latest date for which figures are available. [18504]

Mr Lidington: At 1 October 2010 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office employed approximately (a) 20 staff at the British embassy in Yerevan, Armenia; (b) 40 staff at the British embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan; (c) 50 staff at the British embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. These figures include UK-based civil servants and staff engaged locally and have been rounded for operational and security reasons.

Turkey: Arrests

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the government of Turkey on arrests of journalists. [19830]


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Mr Lidington: Our embassy in Ankara regularly raises issues relating to freedom of expression-including the arrests of journalists-in the context of wider discussions on human rights with its Turkish counterparts. Freedom of expression remains a key area for reform in Turkey, and we expect the next EU Progress Report, due to be published on 10 November 2010, to address this issue again.

Home Department

Criminal Records Bureau

Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on the inclusion of harassment warnings in Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks; and if she will make a statement. [19116]

Lynne Featherstone: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) operates under part V of the Police Act 1997 (the 'Act'). The Act places a duty on the CRB (as the Secretary of State) to include details of all convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are recorded on the police national computer (PNC) on a certificate. The CRB will not routinely include harassment warnings on a CRB certificate unless it forms part of a disposal of a conviction/caution that is recorded on the PNC.

Immigration Controls: France

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has for the future of juxtaposed border controls in France; and if she will make a statement. [19855]

Damian Green: There are no plans to change our juxtaposed controls in northern Europe. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and myself have both met with our French counterparts to discuss migration issues, including the juxtaposed controls and wider bilateral co-operation, and it is expected that agreement will soon be reached on the next phase of UK-France collaboration at the border controls in northern Europe.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to reply to the letter of 8 September 2010 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on Mr O. Uillah. [19861]

Damian Green: I apologise for the delay in replying to the letter of 8 September 2010. A reply should be provided to the right hon. Member within the next 10 days.

Police: Crime Prevention

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the relationship between the number of front-line police officers and levels of crime in neighbourhoods. [16416]

Nick Herbert: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary recently reported that on average only 11% of forces' police manpower is visibly available to the public at any one time. What matters is how officers are deployed. Our aim is to reduce costs and bureaucracy to ensure that resources can be directed to the front line.


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UK Border Agency

Mr Woolas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of the UK Border Agency juxtaposed border controls in France in 2010-11. [19065]

Damian Green: The cost of the juxtaposed border controls including northern France ports and Paris in 2010-11 is £50.8 million.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the performance of local authorities in the delivery of the Carbon Emission Reduction Target scheme; and if he will make a statement. [19959]

Gregory Barker: The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is an obligation placed on large energy suppliers to reduce carbon emissions from households in Great Britain and does not require local government to meet any specific function or target. Most obligated CERT suppliers do form partnerships with local authorities, social housing providers and others in helping deliver their schemes, capitalising on local knowledge, trusted brands and in some instances additional funding.

We are currently conducting an evaluation of the CERT scheme, which will gather evidence on the range and effectiveness of the delivery routes adopted by suppliers in delivering their CERT obligation.

Departmental Publications

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the recommendations relevant to his Department's policy responsibilities contained in the Government Office for Science's Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-being; if he will ensure that his Department take steps to promote well-being; if he will ensure that his Department's policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective well-being; and if he will make a statement. [20265]

Gregory Barker: In developing household energy efficiency and fuel poverty polices Government take account of the need to promote well being among vulnerable householders to ensure that they are able to benefit from the policies.

Energy: Carbon Emissions

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what role he expects local authorities to play in the roll-out of the Green Deal; and if he will make a statement. [19956]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal will provide the opportunity for all householders to take action to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and communities.
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We envisage that local authorities may want to play different roles in terms of the Green Deal, whether as Green Deal providers in their own right, or in forming partnerships with companies active in their areas. We are currently considering proposals from the Local Government Group around the contribution local government can make to the Green Deal.

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Local Government Association, (b) local authorities and (c) the Department for Communities and Local Government on the role of local authorities in the rolling out of the Green Deal. [19957]

Gregory Barker: My ministerial colleagues and I have discussed the Green Deal with the Local Government Association (LGA), local authorities and DCLG.

The Local Government Group (of which the LGA forms a part) has set out specific proposals from the local government side on how it might play a role in delivering the Green Deal. We will be discussing these proposals further in the coming months.

Fuel Poverty

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce fuel poverty; and if he will make a statement. [19954]

Gregory Barker: The Government are totally committed to helping those households that are in fuel poverty. We remain committed to doing all that is reasonably practicable to eradicate fuel poverty in all households in England by 2016.

The Government are permanently increasing cold weather payments to £25 to help around 4.2 million elderly and disabled households on low-incomes during periods of cold weather. The winter fuel payment remains unchanged.

We have recently extended the carbon emissions reduction target, introducing a greater focus on targeting energy efficiency measures at the most vulnerable households by introducing a Super Priority Group.

We intend to introduce mandated Social Price Support in April 2011, to replace the existing Voluntary Agreement with energy suppliers in order to provide direct energy bill support to a large number of vulnerable households.

Funding for the Warm Front scheme was announced in the spending review through to 2012-13. Going forward, the Green Deal is a key element of our policy to improve household energy efficiency. It will help protect people against price rises through greater energy saving, with special support for the most vulnerable. The new Energy Company Obligation will provide additional funding for the vulnerable and those in hard to treat homes who may need additional support.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will use his powers under the Energy Act 2010 to bring forward mandatory social price support. [20573]


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Gregory Barker: Energy suppliers will be required from April 2011 to provide greater help with the financial costs of energy bills to more of the most vulnerable fuel poor households, through Social Price Support-with total support of £250 million in 2011-12 rising to £310 million in 2014-15.

Government will implement Social Price Support by using the enabling powers in the Energy Act 2010 to make regulations requiring energy suppliers to participate in the Social Price Support scheme.

Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the number of households living in fuel poverty in (a) North West Durham constituency, (b) the North East and (c) the UK. [20858]

Gregory Barker: In 2006, the most recent year for which sub-regional figures are available, there were around 6,900 fuel-poor households in the North West Durham constituency.

In 2008, there were 236,000 fuel-poor households in the north east and 4.5 million fuel-poor households in the UK.

Renewable Energy

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department plans to equalise the rate of return on solar thermal energy with the rate of return on other renewable energy sources within the Renewable Heat Incentive. [20494]

Gregory Barker: As announced on 20 October 2010, as part of the spending review, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will go ahead in 2011. As part of the spending review process we have looked again at the RHI to target the scheme more effectively. We have more work to do to determine support levels. We expect to be in a position to announce the details of the scheme, including RHI tariffs and technologies supported, before the end of this year, and be open for business from June 2011.

Renewable Technology

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the cost to his Department in 2011-12 of increasing feed-in tariff payments offered to individuals who installed renewable technology before 15 July 2009 to the rate available to those who did so after that date. [19147]

Charles Hendry: The primary objective of the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) scheme is to incentivise additional small-scale, low carbon electricity generation. Extending FITs to sub-50kW installations made before 15 July 2009 could not deliver this objective.

Extending FITs to existing installations would increase the costs of the scheme, without the corresponding benefit of new installations. We do not think that this represents value for money, particularly in the current economic climate, and cannot therefore justify the additional cost to consumers, who ultimately pay for the scheme. Additionally, it would set a precedent for other incentive schemes such as the renewable heat incentive. Therefore,
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after careful consideration, we decided that the scheme as it relates to early adopters should remain unchanged.

The Department estimated that allowing all(1) such existing generators to claim FITs at full rate, without repaying grants would represent a discounted cost in the order of £5.8 million(2) for the period 2011-12. In addition to these costs there would be additional administrative costs to DECC, Ofgem and suppliers. In practice, these administrative costs would have increased, had such a policy also included a requirement to repay some or all of any grant.

Tidal Power

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to assess the merits of establishing further tidal energy projects. [20684]

Gregory Barker: The coalition agreement states that the Government

underlining our commitment to building a successful wave and tidal energy sector in the UK as part of a diverse energy mix. In our "Annual Energy Statement" to Parliament we stated that,

Given the UK's rich tidal energy resource and expertise in this emerging sector we consider that tidal energy is likely to form a significant part of this deployment.

Wards in Gateshead

Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 22 October 2010, Official Report, column 923W, what the equivalent figures are for those wards in Gateshead constituency which were formerly part of the Tyne Bridge constituency; and if he will make a statement. [19953]

Gregory Barker: Equivalent fuel poverty data are not available at ward level for 2006.


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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Asbestos

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers local authorities have to (a) identify, (b) assess, (c) manage and (d) dispose of asbestos sheeting on land where the ownership is unknown or in dispute; and if she will make a statement. [19184]

Richard Benyon: Local authorities have powers under section 59 (7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to remove any controlled waste which has been deposited without authorisation in order to prevent pollution or harm to human health, including from land which has no occupier.

Bees

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many beekeepers have alerted the National Bee Unit to bee health problems in each of the last five years. [18824]

Mr Paice: The number of inspections in each of the last five years carried out by the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit's Bee Inspectors as a result of being contacted by beekeepers are set out in the table. As the number of beekeepers is increasing, and they are becoming more aware of disease risks, we would expect the number of contacts to rise.

Inspections

2006

611

2007

985

2008

1,095

2009

1,429

2010

(1)1,341

(1) Partial year

Common Agricultural Policy

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what priorities she has set for her negotiations in the Council of Ministers on the proposed reform of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if she will make a statement. [19204]

Mr Paice: The UK is committed to ambitious reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) that delivers good value for farmers, taxpayers, consumers and the environment. A future CAP must enable a sustainable, thriving and competitive EU agriculture and food sector that is able to rise to the challenges and opportunities of the future. Negotiations on CAP will take place in the context of a Communication which we expect to be published by the Commission in November.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many officials in her 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. [18757]


28 Oct 2010 : Column 404W

Richard Benyon: The tables show the number of staff subject to disciplinary and performance action in each of the last six years. Data prior to 2005-06 are not easily available and to obtain this information would be at a disproportionate cost.

The tables show the number of staff subject to disciplinary or performance action and whether they were transferred or dismissed as a result of these actions. If staff are removed from post then this would result in either their transfer or dismissal and these data are therefore included in those categories.

The following information is provided for Core DEFRA and its Executive Agencies:

Table 1: Disciplinary action

Number of staff subject to disciplinary action Transferred to another post( 1) Dismissed

2010-11

25

1

3

2009-10

69

1

6

2008-09

58

4

5

2007-08

43

2

12

2006-07

50

0

20

2005-06

34

1

11

(1) Includes DEFRA and its Agencies except Rural Payments Agency (RPA) who could provide the data only at disproportionate cost.

Table 2: Performance action

Number of staff subject to performance action Transferred to another post( 1) Dismissed

2010-11

13

3

2

2009-10

33

1

5

2008-09

35

7

5

2007-08

38

2

9

2006-07

30

1

10

2005-06

22

1

9

(1) Includes DEFRA and its Agencies except RPA who could provide the data only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Publications

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of recommendations relevant to her Department's policy responsibilities contained in the Government Office for Science's Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-being; if she will ensure that her Department takes steps to promote well-being; if she will ensure that her Department's policy development process takes account of psychological research into subjective well-being; and if she will make a statement. [20281]

Richard Benyon: My Department has played a leading role in developing our understanding of the relationship between departmental policies and well-being and has noted the policy recommendations made in the Government Office for Science's Foresight report on Mental Capacity and Well-being.

Departmental statisticians and social researchers have developed and produced well-being indicators and analyses over the last five years as part of the national set of sustainable development indicators. They are now working closely with the Office for National Statistics and Cabinet Office, who are developing measures of societal well-being.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 405W

Economists and social researchers from DEFRA are taking a lead role in the cross-government Social Impacts Task Force (co-chaired by DEFRA's chief economist). The taskforce's remit includes the development of guidance to help Departments assess social impacts of government policies; and highlighting the importance of social impacts and well-being indicators in cost benefit analysis and impact assessment of policies.

Environment Agency: Apprentices

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many apprentices were in post at the Environment Agency on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many such apprentices recruited in the last 12 months (a) were previously apprentices, (b) had been long-term unemployed and (c) are graduates. [20269]

Richard Benyon: There is one apprentice in post at the Environment Agency as of 26 October 2010. This four-year apprenticeship is due to end shortly.

The Environment Agency recruited one other apprentice in the last 12 months. The individual has now left the organisation without completing the apprenticeship. They were not a previous apprentice, long-term unemployed or a graduate.

Fisheries

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total mackerel catch was in respect of (a) UK and (b) Northern Ireland fisheries in each of the last five years. [20183]

Richard Benyon: The total mackerel catch made by UK and Northern Ireland vessels in the years 2005 to 2009 (the last year for which final official statistics are available) is set out in the following table:

Catch (tonnes live weight)

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

United Kingdom

155,443

103,050

133,904

128,246

172,304

Of which :

Northern Ireland

9,068

9,380

11,004

6,038

3,341


Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the contribution of the mackerel catch to the fishing industry. [20184]

Richard Benyon: Mackerel is currently the most valuable species in terms of catches to the UK fishing industry. According to official statistics for 2009 (the latest year for which final official statistics are available), UK vessels landed some 172,300 tonnes of mackerel with a value of £153 million. This compares to total landings by UK vessels of all species in 2009 of 580,600 tonnes with a value of £674 million.

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had at EU level on the mackerel quota claimed by Greenland. [20185]


28 Oct 2010 : Column 406W

Richard Benyon: Recent talks on the management of the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock have not included Greenland. The negotiations have been between the EU, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland as the coastal states, and the Russian Federation has attended as an observer. We are not aware of any claim by Greenland on the North-East Atlantic mackerel stock.

Flood Control

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take to implement the proposed savings of 15% in her Department's flood defences procurement strategy. [19783]

Richard Benyon: In real terms, 15% efficiency savings in flood and coastal risk management procurement is equivalent to delivering an average of 2% more in terms of outcomes, each and every year, between now and 2015. The Environment Agency is developing a new procurement strategy which will set out how these savings will be achieved. The Environment Agency's main contractual frameworks are due for renewal, and these present an opportunity to commission segments of capital and asset maintenance work to clearly defined service levels and outcomes.

Foxes

Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on control of urban foxes by local authorities in residential areas. [19902]

Richard Benyon: Neither I nor the Secretary of State have had any recent discussions with ministerial colleagues on control of urban foxes by local authorities in residential areas.

National England Office

Martin Vickers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in each Natural England office are designated as (a) managers and (b) field workers. [20140]

Richard Benyon: Natural England does not designate two categories of its staff, but currently has 304 managers and 2,296 other staff across its offices and other sites.

Nature Conservation: Convictions

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were (a) proceeded against and (b) convicted of an offence under the provisions of the (i) Badgers Act 1991, (ii) Deer Act 1991, (iii) Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 and (iv) Hunting Act 2004 in 2009; and if she will make a statement. [19876]

Richard Benyon: The latest figures for the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the provisions of the (i) Badgers Act 1991, (ii) Deer Act 1991, (iii) Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 and (iv) Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales in 2009 are given in the following table.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 407W
Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences under the Badgers Act 1991, the Deer Act 1991, the Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 and the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales in 2009( 1,2)
Statute Offence description Proceeded against Found guilty

Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (except Sec. 13)

Offences of cruelty to badgers and special protection for badgers and their setts.

44

26

Protection of Badgers Act 1992 Sec. 13

Failing to give up a dog for destruction or having custody of a dog while disqualified

6

4

Deer Act 1991

Killing or injuring deer by shooting, trap, snares etc.

3

2

Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996

Offences under this Act

8

5

Hunting Act 2004

Offences under this Act

90

57

Total

151

94

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that this data has been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when the data is used.
Source:
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice

Public Expenditure

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what occasions she attended the Public Expenditure Committee to discuss the 2010 Spending Review. [20147]

Richard Benyon: Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when and how often they meet, is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Rural Development Programmes

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which body will determine applications for funding for rural development programmes between 2010 and 2013; and if she will make a statement. [19660]

Mr Paice: The bodies which currently manage delivery of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) will continue to do so for the remainder of the programme period, until the end of 2013, with the exception of the regional development agencies (RDAs), which will be abolished by March 2012.

The Government are working to ensure a smooth transition to new delivery arrangements for the socio-economic elements of RDPE. We expect to be able to provide details shortly.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 408W

Culture, Media and Sport

Apprentices

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many apprentices were in post at (a) Arts Council England and (b) Sport England on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many such apprentices recruited in the last 12 months (i) were previously apprentices, (ii) had been long-term unemployed and (iii) are graduates. [20272]

John Penrose: The Department does not collate this information.

Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of both bodies to respond directly to the hon. Member for North East Cambridgeshire (Stephen Barclay).

Copies of the responses will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Betting

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent representations he has received on the maximum stake for a category B2 fixed odds betting terminal; and whether he plans to review that maximum level. [20597]

John Penrose: I have received no recent representations about the maximum stake for category B2 fixed odds betting terminals.

There are no plans at present to review the maximum level.

Betting: Licensing

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 27WS, on public bodies reform, how many staff or full-time equivalents will monitor the licensing of betting shops in the proposed body to be created by merging the National Lottery Commission and the Gambling Commission. [20886]

John Penrose: Local licensing authorities, rather than the Gambling Commission, have responsibility for licensing and monitoring betting premises under the Gambling Act 2005.

Broadband

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the Spending Review 2010, Cm 7942, what estimate he has made of the number of households in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland, (c) England and (d) Northern Ireland who will obtain access to broadband services as a result of the Government's proposed expenditure on the broadband network. [19658]

Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Government are committed to ensuring the UK has the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015, including the delivery of superfast broadband to
28 Oct 2010 : Column 409W
rural and remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas. Households in Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland will all benefit from the Government's support for superfast broadband investment; the exact number has yet to be determined.

Capital Investment: Greater London and North West

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his Department's capital expenditure per head was in (a) London and (b) the North West in each of the last five years. [19129]

John Penrose: Most of the Department's capital funds are distributed via its arm's length bodies. A summary
28 Oct 2010 : Column 410W
of the countywide analysis of capital spend for the entire sector can be found in the Departmental Resource Accounts (HC 222, 22 July 2010). Data for 2008-09 is the latest available.

The Department(1) itself incurs a small amount of capital expenditure on both its own administration (e.g. IT systems, office accommodation) and on a limited number of directly funded programmes such as the listed places of worship scheme, free swimming (which commenced in 2008-09) and the Department's contribution to Wolfson Grants, which are summarised in the table. The expenditure per head uses Office of National Statistics mid-year population estimates.

£

2004-05 2005-06 2006-07( 2) 2007-08 2008-09

Total DCMS capital spend (including that via arm's length bodies)

157,158,000

188,581,000

325,240,000

624,203,000

905,446,000

O f which:

DCMS( 1) capital spend

London

5,584,650.00

8,542,789.50

13,794,500.00

6,273,500.00

6,447,175.00

North West

898,500.00

1,347,390.50

235,000.00

200,000.00

1,860,176.00

Spend per head

London

0.75

1.14

1.83

0.83

0.85

North West

0.13

0.20

0.03

0.03

0.27

(1) Includes the Royal Parks and the Government Art Collection. (2) These figures include early allocations following the successful Olympic bid.

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much and what proportion of his Department's capital expenditure was allocated to (a) London and (b) the North West in each of the last five financial years. [19130]

John Penrose: Most of the Department's capital funds are distributed via its arm's length bodies. A summary of the countywide analysis of capital spend for the entire sector can be found in the departmental resource accounts (HC 222, 22 July 2010). Data for 2008-09 are the latest available.

The Department(1) itself incurs a small amount of capital expenditure on both its own administration (eg IT systems, office accommodation) and on a limited number of directly funded programmes such as the Listed Places of Worship scheme, Free Swimming (2008-09) and the Department's contribution to Wolfson grants, which are summarised in the table.

2004-05 2005-06 2006-07( 2) 2007-08 2008-09

Total DCMS capital spend(3) (£)

157,158,000

188,581,000

325,240,000

624,203,000

905,446,000

Of which:

London (£)

5,584,650

8,542,790

13,794,500

6,273,500

6,447,175

DCMS( 1) capital spend

North West (£)

898,500

1,347,391

235,000

200,000

1,860,176

Proportion of spend

London (percentage)

36

46

90

82

41

North West (percentage)

6

7

2

3

12

(1) Includes the Royal Parks and the Government art collection.
(2) These figures include early allocations following the successful Olympic bid.
(3) Including that via arm's length bodies

Departmental Contracts

Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport 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. [19018]


28 Oct 2010 : Column 411W

John Penrose: When conducting procurement exercises the Department will normally make some assessment of quality management statements in the selection of suppliers as suitable bidders. However, this assessment would only form a small part of the overall assessment as, in our opinion, quality management statements do not impact on the likely success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) winning business. On average over the last three years approximately 30% of the Department's business has gone to SMEs.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the BBC Trust on the effect on the BBC of the proposed change to its funding under the Comprehensive Spending Review. [20142]

Mr Vaizey: The BBC Trust has been fully and productively engaged in discussions with the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport on all changes to BBC funding proposed under the licence fee settlement.

Departmental Visits Abroad

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [18416]

John Penrose: All official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Department's travel and subsistence guidance and is consistent with the Civil Service Management Code.

Overseas travel and subsistence below ministerial level is not recorded by grade. To disaggregate overseas expenditure by grade would incur disproportionate costs as this information is not held on our accounting system.

The Department does publish details of expenses and hospitality of senior officials and above on our website:

which will include details of individual travel costs, under "Business Costs".

The table shows total overseas T and S expenditure by officials for the financial year 2009-10 irrespective of grade.

Category £

Officials travelling overseas

2009-10

109,764.73

Officials accompanying Ministers

2009-10

36,953.15

Total 2009-10

146,717.88


28 Oct 2010 : Column 412W

Gambling: Internet

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) occasional and (b) frequent or habitual online gamblers in each of the last five years; [20133]

(2) what definition of (a) occasional and (b) habitual gambling his Department uses. [20134]

John Penrose: This Department and the Gambling Commission do not use the terms "Frequent" or "habitual" to describe the gambling habits of individuals and do not record the information requested on that basis.

The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007, commissioned by the Gambling Commission, was undertaken better to understand the nature and scale of gambling in Great Britain. Data on trends of online gambling can therefore be found in the survey on the Gambling Commission's website at:

The third nationally representative survey of participation in gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling in Great Britain will be published in February 2011.

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) how many new licences have been granted in the last five years for (a) non-remote general betting (standard), (b) non-remote general betting (limited), (c) non-remote betting intermediary, (d) non-remote pool betting, (e) remote general betting (standard), (f) remote betting (limited), (g) remote betting intermediary, (h) remote betting intermediary (trading rooms) and (i) remote betting pools; [20135]

(2) how many online gambling sites are based in the UK; [20136]

(3) how many online gambling sites are based in (a) white-listed countries and (b) countries listed in the Gambling Act 2005 which advertise in the UK. [20137]

John Penrose: The Department does not collate this information.

Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of the Gambling Commission to write to the hon. Member for Hampshire East (Damian Hinds).

Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what criteria are applied to determine the level and nature of payments made by the Secretary of State under Section 31 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993. [20165]

John Penrose: The Secretary of State, with approval of the Treasury, makes payments under section 31 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 ("the Act") for defraying certain expenses:


28 Oct 2010 : Column 413W

Therefore the criteria that apply for meeting expenses under section 31 are whether the expense can be properly attributable to the exercise of functions as set out in section 32 of the 1993 Act.

S4C: Wales

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport on what date his Department informed the (a) Welsh Assembly government, (b) Welsh Assembly Minister for Heritage, (c) board of S4C, (d) Secretary of State for Wales and (e) BBC of his decision about the future of S4C. [19898]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 27 October 2010]: The Secretary of State or officials informed all the parties listed in the days leading up to, or at the time of, the spending review and licence fee settlement announcements.

Television: Licensing

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will revise television licensing guidelines to allow women's refuges and shelters to hold one television licence per establishment. [20276]

Mr Vaizey: The Government have no plans to extend the special licence for hotels and hospitality areas to include women's refuges. There are many different vulnerable groups living in temporary accommodation and it would be difficult to justify providing concessions for one of these groups but not for any of the others.

Tourism: Cumbria

John Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of tourists who visited Cumbria in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009; and what estimate he has made of the average expenditure per head by tourists visiting Cumbria in each such year. [19355]

John Penrose: The number of holiday visits to Cumbria and total spend by visitors from outside the United Kingdom for 2008 and 2009 are as set out in the table:

Purpose 2008 2009

Visits (Thousand)

Holiday

114

85

Spend (£ million)

Holiday

34

24

Source: VisitBritain

The number of holiday visits taken in Cumbria by United Kingdom residents and total spend for the years 2006 to 2009 are as set out in the table:

2006-09

Domestic visits (Thousand)

3,671

Domestic spend (£ million)

718

Source: The United Kingdom Tourism Survey

28 Oct 2010 : Column 414W

Cabinet Office

Charity Commission: Apprentices

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many apprentices were in post at the Charity Commission on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many such apprentices recruited in the last 12 months (a) were previously apprentices, (b) had been long-term unemployed and (c) are graduates. [20271]

Mr Hurd: This is a matter for the Charity Commission. I have, therefore, asked the chief executive of the commission to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger CBE:

Charity Commission: Finance

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will take steps to ensure proposed reductions in his Department's budget do not adversely affect the Charity Commission's ability to (a) regulate, (b) investigate allegations of fraud, (c) investigate allegations of diverting funds to international terrorist organisations and (d) enforce existing law in the charitable sector. [19692]

Mr Hurd: The Charity Commission is an independent non-ministerial Government Department and as such negotiates its own financial settlement direct with HM Treasury. Any reductions in the Cabinet Office budget therefore have no bearing on the commission's ability to carry out its statutory duties.

Public Expenditure

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review on the Charity Commission's ability to discharge its statutory duties to (a) regulate and (b) support the charitable sector. [19691]

Mr Hurd: As a non-ministerial department, the Charity Commission negotiates its spending review settlement direct with HM Treasury. I have, therefore, asked the chief executive of the commission to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, dated 25 October 2010:


28 Oct 2010 : Column 415W

Health

Care Homes: Fees

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which local authorities have reclaimed money from people for deliberately depriving themselves of assets to avoid paying care home fees under the provisions of the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 in each year since 2000-01; [19815]

(2) how many people have repaid money to their local authority under the provisions of the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 in each year since 2000-01. [19816]

Paul Burstow: The Department does not collect information about how many local authorities have made use of these provisions, or how many people have had to pay money to a local authority because of the use of these provisions. While the Department issues regulations and guidance on charging, the responsibility for assessing how much an individual can afford to pay for residential care rests with the local authority arranging the care.

Dental Services

Mr Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who will have responsibility for commissioning dental care in (a) care homes and (b) prisons under the proposals in his Department's White Paper on Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. [19593]

Mr Simon Burns: Under the proposals set out in the White Paper "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS", the NHS Commissioning Board would, subject to the outcome of consultation, be responsible for commissioning primary care dental services. Further details will be available at the introduction of the Health Bill into Parliament, which will follow later this year.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 416W

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS dental care will become part of the medical model, as recommended by Lord Darzi. [19746]

Mr Simon Burns: Building on Lord Darzi's work, the Government intend to establish improvement in quality and health care outcomes as the primary purpose of all national health service-funded care. This includes dentistry.

Under the proposals set out in the White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS', following consultation and piloting, a new dentistry contract would be introduced, with a focus on improving quality, achieving good dental health and increasing access to NHS dentistry, and an additional focus on the oral health of schoolchildren.

Lord Darzi specifically recommended that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) should regulate safety and quality for dental as well as general practitioner (GP) practices. The Government support this and the CQC is in the process of establishing the regulatory arrangements, first for dental and then for GP practices.

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for future levels of funding for NHS dentistry (a) nationally and (b) in areas where there is under-provision of NHS dental services; and if he will make a statement. [19747]

Mr Simon Burns: Primary care trust (PCT) funding allocations for primary dental care services will be announced in December 2010. The Government's White Paper "Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS", published on 12 July 2010, proposes that in future the responsibility for apportioning funding to, and the commissioning of, dental services will be a matter for an independent and accountable NHS Commissioning Board.

Departmental Computer Software

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications for the Apple iPhone his Department has commissioned each company to create; and at what cost to the public purse those applications were created. [19459]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department, through NHS Choices, has commissioned three iPhone applications.

The first is a package of alcohol tools, including an iPhone application. The tools help individuals calculate the alcohol units in drinks, keeps a drinks diary and provides tailored messages about levels of drinking in order to support behavioural change. The package was launched on 1 December 2009. The iPhone application cost £10,000.

The second is the NHS 'Quit Smoking' application, which provides hints and tips to manage cravings, keeps a running tally on how much money quitters have saved since they stopped smoking, tracks the number of days, hours and minutes since quitting and includes a direct link to the stop smoking helpline. The application was launched on 11 March 2010 and cost £10,000.

The third is the World Cup/Football Fan Fitness Application. This is an online, Facebook and iPhone application providing a fitness assessment tool that aims to encourage adults to think about their health and become more physically active. The application was
28 Oct 2010 : Column 417W
launched on 9 June 2010 to coincide with the World Cup and continues through the current football season. The iPhone Application element cost £9,000.

Health Services: Greater London

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to primary care trusts in London, Islington, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield on joint working and commissioning of health services; and if he will make a statement. [19574]

Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Operating Framework sets out for national health service commissioners what the national priorities are and where they have discretion in terms of local commissioning. It advises that joint working should happen where appropriate; however this should be determined by the local NHS.

Hospitals: Food

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) effects of the Better Hospital Food Panel on the level of malnutrition among patients in hospitals and (b) weekly effects on that level of the disbanding of that committee. [19773]

Mr Simon Burns: The Better Hospital Food Programme (BHF) programme, overseen by the Better Hospital Food Panel, was introduced following the publication of the NHS Plan in 2000. It took forward a number of initiatives, including:

The programme aimed primarily at improving patient experience, through improving the quality and availability of food. Measures taken included the introduction of protected mealtimes, greater access to snacks and the launch of an NHS Recipe Book-which includes material on 'soft meals' for the many patients who find chewing and swallowing difficult. Measures such as this would be expected to have a knock-on effect on nutritional status, but this was not formally measured. Details of clinical malnutrition are collected via the Hospital Episode Statistics process and these are routinely provided on an annual basis.

Central initiatives can only go so far in supporting local improvement. The decision to close the BHF programme was taken in April 2006. Funding previously allocated centrally was passed directly to the national health service-to allow it to develop services in the way that is appropriate for local organisations.

Work on implementation of hospital food policy was moved to the National Patient Safety Agency in 2005-06. The resources developed as part of the programme are still available via the Hospital Caterers' Association website. Their contribution to ongoing improvement therefore remains, even though the programme has closed.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 418W

Mental Health

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to establish a joint commissioning board for mental health. [19039]

Paul Burstow: There is no plan to establish a joint commissioning board for commissioning mental health services at a national level. The NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate services are commissioned for the whole population and local arrangements will be for local determination.

Our proposals for commissioning give general practitioner consortia responsibility for commissioning the majority of national health service services, supported and held to account by an independent NHS Commissioning Board, and Health and Wellbeing Boards. Mental health services will form an integral part of the range of services commissioned, informed by the output of the local joint strategic needs assessment process led by local authorities.

Flexibilities in the NHS Act 2006 can support and enhance opportunities for integrated working, particularly section 75, which supports a range of partnership arrangements where they can demonstrate this will lead to improvements for services.

Methadone

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) people receiving regular methadone prescriptions and (b) prescriptions for methadone issued by each primary care trust. [20267]

Anne Milton: The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System collects information on the number of people receiving substitute prescribing interventions for opioid dependence in England, but does not distinguish between methadone and other drugs, such as buprenorphine, which are also recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The number of adults receiving substitute prescribing was 153,632 in 2009-10.

The following table gives the number of items of methadone prescribed in each primary care trust in England, in the financial year 2009-10.

Methadone is used as an opioid analgesic, a treatment in opioid dependence and as a cough suppressant. Prescriptions for all uses of methadone are included in the figures given.


28 Oct 2010 : Column 419W

28 Oct 2010 : Column 420W

28 Oct 2010 : Column 421W
Primary care trust (PCT) name Items (thousand)

PCT Ashton, Leigh and Wigan

21.2

PCT Barking and Dagenham

1.1

PCT Barnet

3.1

PCT Barnsley

21.4

PCT Bassetlaw

10.3

PCT Bath and North East Somerset

11.9

PCT Bedfordshire

16.4

PCT Berkshire East

8.1

PCT Berkshire West

17.4

PCT Bexley Care Trust

1.0

PCT Birmingham East and North

14.4

PCT Blackburn with Darwen CTP

15.2

PCT Blackpool

25.7

PCT Bolton

24.5

PCT Bournemouth and Poole Teaching

23.8

PCT Bradford and Airedale Teaching

53.9

PCT Brent Teaching

5.3

PCT Brighton and Hove City

15.2

PCT Bristol

57.2

PCT Bromley

1.7

PCT Buckinghamshire

3.8

PCT Bury

9.4

PCT Calderdale

14.1

PCT Cambridgeshire

24.9

PCT Camden

3.8

PCT Central and Eastern Cheshire

12.3

PCT Central Lancashire

24.3

PCT City and Hackney Teaching

16.4

PCT Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

8.8

PCT County Durham

27.6

PCT Coventry Teaching

35.3

PCT Croydon

2.0

PCT Cumbria Teaching

27.3

PCT Darlington

9.0

PCT Derby City

23.9

PCT Derbyshire County

36.4

PCT Devon

6.3

PCT Doncaster

33.4

PCT Dorset

11.4

PCT Dudley

17.3

PCT Ealing

10.2

PCT East and North Hertfordshire

2.5

PCT East Lancashire Teaching

32.0

PCT East Riding of Yorkshire

10.6

PCT East Sussex Downs and Weald

13.5

PCT Eastern and Coastal Kent

28.7

PCT Enfield

4.0

PCT Gateshead

22.9

PCT Gloucestershire

7.9

PCT Great Yarmouth and Waveney

5.3

PCT Greenwich Teaching

3.0

PCT Halton and St Helens

27.8

PCT Hammersmith and Fulham

5.7

PCT Hampshire

27.4

PCT Haringey Teaching

2.5

PCT Harrow

4.0

PCT Hartlepool

18.7

PCT Hastings and Rother

11.2

PCT Havering

0.7

PCT Heart of Birmingham

53.6

PCT Herefordshire

11.9

PCT Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale

18.8

PCT Hillingdon

2.6

PCT Hounslow

0.8

PCT Hull Teaching

51.5

PCT Isle of Wight NHS

6.7

PCT Islington

11.7

PCT Kensington and Chelsea

4.4

PCT Kingston

1.6

PCT Kirklees

32.8

PCT Knowsley

13.7

PCT Lambeth

11.7

PCT Leeds

57.5

PCT Leicester City

26.8

PCT Leicestershire County and Rutland

25.2

PCT Lewisham

7.8

PCT Lincolnshire

14.2

PCT Liverpool

37.6

PCT Luton

14.1

PCT Manchester

54.6

PCT Medway

11.9

PCT Mid Essex

14.3

PCT Middlesbrough

34.9

PCT Milton Keynes

0.4

PCT Newcastle

32.3

PCT Newham

8.5

PCT Norfolk

34.9

PCT North East Essex

5.8

PCT North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus

19.7

PCT North Lancashire Teaching

19.5

PCT North Lincolnshire

11.5

PCT North Somerset

9.9

PCT North Staffordshire

8.2

PCT North Tyneside

7.2

PCT North Yorkshire and York

36.7

PCT Northamptonshire Teaching

14.7

PCT Northumberland Care Trust

18.3

PCT Nottingham City

9.3

PCT Nottinghamshire County Teaching

26.9

PCT Oldham

14.3

PCT Oxfordshire

31.2

PCT Peterborough

16.3

PCT Plymouth Teaching

23.0

PCT Portsmouth City Teaching

20.1

PCT Redbridge

0.7

PCT Redcar and Cleveland

6.2

PCT Richmond and Twickenham

2.5

PCT Rotherham

29.8

PCT Salford

15.3

PCT Sandwell

4.3

PCT Sefton

24.1

PCT Sheffield

48.1

PCT Shropshire County

8.1

PCT Solihull Care Trust

8.3

PCT Somerset

22.7

PCT South Birmingham

27.2

PCT South East Essex

7.8

PCT South Gloucestershire

6.6

PCT South Staffordshire

22.7

PCT South Tyneside

7.8

PCT South West Essex

9.9

PCT Southampton City

4.0

PCT Southwark

8.2

PCT Stockport

12.4

PCT Stockton-on-Tees Teaching

21.5

PCT Stoke on Trent

27.5

PCT Suffolk

5.6

PCT Sunderland Teaching

12.4

PCT Surrey

17.7

PCT Sutton and Merton

0.5

PCT Swindon

13.7

PCT Tameside and Glossop

4.5

PCT Telford and Wrekin

2.8

PCT Torbay Care Trust

6.2

PCT Tower Hamlets

17.9

PCT Trafford

9.5

PCT Wakefield District

33.3

PCT Walsall Teaching

10.3

PCT Waltham Forest

0.8

PCT Wandsworth Teaching

2.2

PCT Warrington

8.0

PCT Warwickshire

2.4

PCT West Essex

4.9

PCT West Hertfordshire

5.6

PCT West Kent

11.4

PCT West Sussex

20.5

PCT Western Cheshire

26.2

PCT Westminster

14.1

PCT Wiltshire

13.6

PCT Wirral

47.7

PCT Wolverhampton City

6.7

PCT Worcestershire

14.3

Unidentified prescribing

13.4

England total

2,476.1


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