Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what occasions he has discussed the devolution of council tax rebate with (a) the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, (b) local authorities in Scotland, (c) the Scottish Executive and (d) the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since his appointment. 
Michael Moore: I am in regular contact with a range of stakeholders on matters concerning aspects of welfare reform. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) the AA, (b) the RAC Foundation and (c) other motoring organisations on the appropriate weight limits for alloy wheels fitted to vehicles on UK roads; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: Ministers have regular discussions with a number of organisations, including both the AA and the RAC Foundation, at which a wide range of road safety issues are discussed. However, the issue of the appropriate weight limits for alloy wheels has not been raised.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) ministerial colleagues and (b) his officials on proposals to introduce a legal weight limit for alloy wheels fitted to vehicles used on public roads; what recent representations he has received on weight limits for alloy wheels since his appointment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: The Secretary of State for Transport has not had any discussions with ministerial colleagues or officials on proposals to introduce a legal weight limit for alloy wheels fitted to vehicles used on public roads.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 28 October 2010, Official Report, column 460W, on alloy wheels, if he will place in the Library a copy of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe regulation on alloy wheels. 
Mike Penning: A copy of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 124 (Uniform Provisions concerning the Approval of Wheels for Passenger Cars and their Trailers) has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mrs Villiers: BRB (Residuary) Ltd will continue its agreed programme to dispose of land that has been determined to have no further operational transport use on terms that deliver the best value for money to the taxpayer.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the number of buses operating in rural areas of the reduction in Bus Service Operators Grant in combination with (a) likely levels of local authority spending on bus services and (b) the abolition of Rural Bus Subsidy Grant; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the reduction in the Bus Service Operators Grant in combination with projected levels of local authority
spending on bus services on the number of buses operating in (a) rural, (b) non-metropolitan urban and (c) metropolitan areas. 
Norman Baker: Outside London, around 80% of local bus services in England are provided by operators on a commercial basis. Local authorities procure the remaining 20%. It is up to local authorities to decide how they use their funding. As we do not know what the likely level of local authority spending on bus services will be in the future, we are not able to estimate what the effects will be on the number of buses. The impacts will vary according to each local authority's decision.
Mrs Villiers: Network Rail is developing the Northern Hub plans and will complete the next stage in spring 2011. We then expect Network Rail to include the Northern Hub in its initial strategic business plan.
The South East will also benefit from the additional capacity provided by the Crossrail project, which was confirmed by the Government on the 20 October. On completion, this will deliver new trains on routes across London into Essex, Kent and Berkshire.
Mr Frank Field: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many complaints the Commission has received on the operation of catering facilities in the House of Commons in each of the last five years. 
Sir Stuart Bell:
The Commission has not directly received complaints about the operation of catering facilities other than a letter about the recent price rises.
Complaints are received by the Director of Catering Services in various written or oral forms, including comment books in some of the catering outlets, but no record is kept of the overall number.
Mr Leech: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) if he will estimate the contribution to annual UK greenhouse gas emissions of meat and dairy produce procured for sale in House of Commons catering outlets in the latest period for which figures are available; 
Mr Leech: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will review the amount of meat and dairy produce procured for sale in House of Commons catering outlets for the purpose of reducing the level of such produce consumed in the House of Commons. 
Sir Stuart Bell: This is a matter for personal choice. All catering outlets in the House of Commons offer a menu that gives consumers the opportunity to eat vegetarian or fish dishes if they wish to avoid eating meat or dairy products.
Richard Benyon: The level of grant for British Waterways is currently being considered, following the outcome of the spending review. The reduction in British Waterways' grant will not be any greater because British Waterways is becoming a charity than it would otherwise have been, as the Government wish to get the charity off to the best start that we can afford. The move to charity status will require a long-term contract for continued Government support.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she had discussions with the Scottish Executive on her proposal for the transfer to a mutual trust of assets held by British Waterways in Scotland. 
British Waterways Scotland currently manage Scottish assets for the benefit of the inland waterways in Scotland. When British Waterways in
England and Wales becomes a charitable body, its non-operational property portfolio will transfer to the new body. The Scottish Executive has decided that British Waterways Scotland will remain in the public sector and use the existing legal structure to exercise its functions solely in relation to Scotland. Scottish assets will continue to be managed by British Waterways Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Executive. We will be discussing with the Scottish Executive and British Waterways other issues relating to assets.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has established processes to monitor any effects of proposed reductions in its expenditure. 
Richard Benyon: The Department publishes equality/regulatory impact assessments for all proposals that impose or reduce costs on businesses or civil society, or which affect costs in the public sector. These assessments establish a basis for subsequent monitoring and ex-post evaluation and are updated at the relevant stages of the policy development cycle.
Mr Paice: I appreciate that this is an issue which people feel strongly about and we will be working with interested groups to find a way to address their concerns. People should know what they are buying in shops and when they are eating out, and I will be discussing with the food industry whether labelling and point of sale information can play a greater role in giving consumers a choice.
(6) what estimate she has made of the likely effects on small and medium-sized enterprises in the waste-water sector of the transfer of private sewers and lateral drains to sewerage companies; 
(7) what consultation her Department undertook with the pumping station industry prior to the publication of the draft Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011; 
(9) what assessment she has made of the average change in water bills of the implementation of the proposed transfer of funding for private drains and sewers to sewerage companies; and if she will make a statement; 
Richard Benyon: On 26 August the Government and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) jointly published a consultation paper on draft regulations for transfer to the ownership of the water and sewerage companies of private sewers and lateral drains which drain to the public sewerage system in England and Wales. The consultation, supplemented by a series of workshops held jointly with WAG, seeks final responses by 18 November. To date, DEFRA has received many representations from the drainage industry. The current consultation follows earlier consultations on the subject in 2003 and 2007, to which DEFRA also received many responses, and is available via the DEFRA website.
In addition to the formal consultation process, DEFRA has been working closely with a steering group including the water industry regulator Ofwat, the Environment Agency, Water UK, the Consumer Council for Water, WAG, other Government Departments and representatives of local authorities, the insurance industry, house builders and the drainage industry. DEFRA has also held meetings with more specialist groups including representatives of the pump installation and maintenance industry, to hear their views and gather evidence. Representations from the independent drainage sector have focused on concern about the approach taken by the water and sewerage companies to the procurement of maintenance services after transfer.
The current impact assessment was published with the August consultation paper. It estimates the transfer to result in an increase in annual sewerage bills in the range £3 to £14. This includes the cost of the transfer of private pumping stations, based on an estimated number of 22,000. It also contains a Small Firms Impact Test and considers the benefits to householders including reduced incidence of blockages, which can result in sewer flooding. It is not anticipated that incidence of surface water flooding will be significantly affected. The impact assessment will be updated in the light of the outcome of the consultation.
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of compliance with the EU Directive on the right to translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings; and from which budget within his Department funding for such services will be drawn. 
Mr Blunt: In my written ministerial statement on 16 September 2010, Official Report, columns 64-66WS, the Government announced proposed changes to arrangements for the provision of interpretation and translation services across the justice sector. The changes aim to reduce waste and cut costs whilst safeguarding quality. Until the work is complete it is not possible to provide an accurate assessment of any potential costs arising from the directive. Interpretation and translation costs are met from within a range of operational budgets across the justice sector.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) timescale and (b) terms of reference are for the audit of Google's Street View project announced by the Information Commissioner on 3 November 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: Google will be subject to an audit by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) within nine months of signing an undertaking, which is intended to commit the company to take action ensuring that breaches of the Data Protection Act of the kind which have occurred do not occur again. Terms of reference will be agreed prior to the audit.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average time taken was for the Office of the Information Commissioner to respond to complaints in latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: The following table shows the average number of days taken by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to resolve complaints, broken down by data protection and freedom of information for the period 1 November 2008 to 31 October 2010.
Mr Djanogly: The following table shows the number of data protection and freedom of information complaints received and finished by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for the period 1 November 2008 to 31 October 2010.
|Data protection||Freedom of information|
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which training programmes in (a) information and communication technologies and (b) the internet staff of the Office of the Information Commissioner have attended in the last 24 months; how many staff attended each such course; and what accreditation they received in each case. 
|Course title||Accredited||Number of delegates|
|Course title||Accredited||Number of delegates|
Mr Djanogly: My officials have recently received a number of representations from members of the judiciary that the United Kingdom Border Agency is not always providing copies of appellants' records of convictions and other relevant documents for immigration and asylum appeals. The Tribunals Service will ensure that these issues are addressed as part of its regular liaison arrangement with the judiciary and the United Kingdom Border Agency considering what more could be done to ensure that the relevant documentation is provided by the respondent.
Mr Blunt: We are conducting an assessment of sentencing policy to ensure that it is effective in deterring crime, protecting the public, punishing offenders and cutting re-offending. That assessment includes consideration of the release and supervision of offenders serving determinate sentences. We will publish proposals for consultation in a Green Paper on sentencing and rehabilitation in December.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) drug caches including heroin, (b) needles used for drug taking, (c) prisoners testing positive for heroin use and (d) prisoners who on a first test did not test positive for heroin use but subsequently tested positive for such use were detected in each prison in the last 10 years. 
Mr Blunt: NOMS records centrally the number of drugs and drug-taking paraphernalia seized in prisons but this cannot be disaggregated to provide the number of (a) drug caches, including heroin and (b) needles used for drug taking seized in each prison in the last 10 years without incurring disproportionate cost.
The data for how many samples tested positive for opiate use, including heroin, under the prison mandatory drug testing programme in each prison in the last 10 financial years are shown in the following table. To disaggregate the data to show those samples positive for heroin from those positive for other opiates would require a detailed investigation of every prison's locally held records, which would be at disproportionate cost.
The figures contained in the table have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing data, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit. A space indicates that there was no testing in that period at that establishment.
|Positive drug tests due to opiates across the prison estate from 2000 to 2010|
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