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11 Nov 2010 : Column 449Wcontinued
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what location on his Department's website the text of its value-for-money review of the nuclear weapons systems can be accessed; which (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) external experts participated in the review; how much it cost to conduct; and if he will publish each submission made to it. 
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff of his Department were employed on the Trident value-for-money review (a) on a part-time basis and (b) on a full-time basis; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the review under each category of expenditure. 
Dr Fox: The value for money review's outcomes were published as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review which can be found at the following link:
Because of the classified nature of much of the supporting paperwork there are no plans to publish anything further.
The Ministry of Defence agreed the conclusions of the value for money review before it was passed to the Cabinet Office for consideration by the National Security Council. The Secretary of State, Minister of State for the Armed Forces and the Minister for Defence Equipment, Science and Technology were also closely involved in the review.
The review was conducted by Rear Admiral Philip Mathias and Mr Ian Forber, a senior civil servant from the MOD, both working full time, and a number of other MOD staff provided significant input to the review within the scope of their existing posts. The final staff cost is estimated to be approximately £120,000. In addition, there has been some expenditure on external assistance and technical consultancy for the value for money review which has totalled some £200,000. Overall, the value for money review produced savings of £1.2 billion and deferred spending of up to £2 billion over the next 10 years.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which location the verification test inspection will be conducted as part of the UK-Norway Initiative in December 2010. 
Nick Harvey: The UK-Norway Initiative will conduct a verification test inspection of a mock facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the projected expenditure is on the Mk4A refurbishment programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(2) what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(3) what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the Trident replacement future submarine programme in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(4) what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the Atomic Weapons Establishment in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(5) what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the UK nuclear weapon programme, including the atomic weapons establishment and the future submarine programme, in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Twickenham of 29 January 2010, Official Report, column 1118W, on AWE Aldermaston, how much his Department plans to spend on capital expenditure for the two atomic weapons establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in each of the next three financial years. 
Dr Fox: Future planned expenditure on the nuclear deterrent will be subject to cost savings measures identified in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). This includes expenditure on the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the Future Submarine Programme. Release of further detail may prejudice the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) negotiating position with its commercial suppliers, and final savings figures will depend on detailed SDSR-related implementation. The MOD is, therefore, not prepared to release this financial information at this time.
We expect, however, that the in-service costs of the UK's nuclear deterrent, which includes AWE's costs, will remain similar to those of the 2006 White Paper.
The AWE costs associated with the Mk4A modification form part of the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme, which cannot be distinguished from the AWE management and operation costs.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the publication on the Internet of classified materials relating to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
Dr Fox: I have had no such discussions. UK and US officials have however discussed this issue.
Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which VIPs have visited the hospital wards managed by his Department at Queen Elizabeth hospital in Edgbaston since the opening of that hospital. 
Mr Robathan: Since the opening of the new Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham on 16 June 2010, there have been nine scheduled VIP visits that included the Military Ward.
In order not to prejudice patient welfare and clinical recovery, VIP visits to the Military Ward are private in nature, and always kept to the minimum. Consequently, we do not wish to publicise the details of who has visited. I am happy to speak personally to the hon. Member on this point. The chief executive of the University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust has also arranged visits to the hospital, but we do not hold records of these.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met officials from the Department of Transport to discuss the search and rescue contract under the private finance initiative; and what the outcome of these discussions was. 
Peter Luff: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has discussed the search and rescue helicopter project with the Department for Transport on a number of occasions. The last meeting he attended on the subject at which officials from the Department for Transport were present was on 29 July, but Ministers and officials of both Departments have continued to engage subsequently. An announcement on the way forward will be made as soon as the review is complete.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to paragraph 3.1 of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, Cm 7948, what the most extreme threats are against which British nuclear weapons are deployed for deterrence purposes. 
Dr Fox: The UK would use nuclear weapons only in extreme circumstances of self-defence and would not use them contrary to international law. We do not define in advance precisely what circumstances we would regard as justifying the use of nuclear weapons or, by implication, indicate actions that an aggressor could take without fear of a nuclear response.
Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the overall anti-submarine capabilities (a) currently and (b) in 2015 of (i) the Royal Navy and (ii) the Royal Air Force. 
Peter Luff: Current and future requirements for anti-submarine warfare capability were assessed during the Strategic Defence and Security Review. In view of the sensitive and classified nature of this military task, and the implications for the protection of our armed forces, including the nuclear deterrent, it is not possible for us to comment in detail.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects on (a) the UK and (b) UK armed forces of the Anglo-French treaty on defence and security. 
Dr Fox [holding answer 9 November 2010]: The defence and security treaty strengthens the United Kingdom's bilateral relationship with France and offers significant operational, technological and financial benefits. These will be achieved through sharing development and equipment costs, eliminating unnecessary duplication, coordinating logistics, and aligning our research programmes. The treaty also provides the framework for closer co-operation, and improved interoperability, between our armed forces. It will lead to more capable and effective forces and improve our collective defence capability to the benefit of NATO, the UN and the EU.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the BBC Trust on the mechanisms by which the BBC plans to fund broadband services. 
Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport discussed the principles of funding broadband with the BBC Trust in the context of the recent licence fee agreement but we have yet to decide the most appropriate mechanism for drawing down the £530 million available for broadband projects.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent representations he received from representatives of rural communities when formulating the National Broadband Strategy. 
Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not personally had discussions with representatives of rural communities in forming the National Broadband Strategy. Officials and I have had numerous discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of rural communities on subjects that will inform the development of the National Broadband Strategy in meetings and at events such as the conferences I attended in Hereford, Penrith and Abingdon within the last few months.
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what consideration his Department gave to planning a superfast broadband pilot in Wales. 
Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The selection of the superfast broadband pilots was based on an assessment of the proposals put forward by the devolved Administrations and regional development agencies against the criteria set out on the Broadband Delivery UK industry day on 15 July 2010. The proposal from the Welsh Assembly Government was given the same consideration as the other 10 proposals.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the monetary value of grants by the Heritage Lottery Fund to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds was in each of the last five years. 
John Penrose: Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has supplied us with their grants to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for the last five years. This information is as set out in the following table:
|Financial year||Grant (£)|
Additionally, in 2009-10 HLF awarded two projects a Round 1 Pass, amounting to £157,700 of funding.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what information his Department holds on the number of youth (a) orchestras, (b) dance groups and (c) theatres in England. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department does not hold information on the total number of youth orchestras, dance groups or theatres in England.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport to how many youth (a) orchestras, (b) dance groups and (c) theatres (i) his Department and (ii) non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible provide funding. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department provides funding to youth orchestras, dance groups and theatres through Arts Council England.
In 2009-10 Arts Council England provided funding for 102 individuals and organisations either exclusively for youth arts, or for work that includes a youth art element.
The number of individuals and organisations funded through Grants for the Arts (GFTA) and Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO) status is set out in the following table, along with the percentage of that work that is focused on youth arts.
|2009-10 Awards Youth Arts-individuals/organisation|
|Percentage of Youth Arts activity||Grand total|
Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer by the Minister of State for Security and Counter-Terrorism of 2 November 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 1562, on immigration: deportation, if she will publish the UK Border Agency's guidance for private companies on the use of restraint in forced deportations. 
Mrs May: The guidance to which you refer is the Use of Force Manual, owned by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The document is restricted on the grounds that knowledge of the specific techniques it contains could be used against officers or to counter attempts to restrain individuals, thus putting at risk good order and discipline in prisons, immigration removal centres and during the escorting of individuals for removal.
For this reason I cannot release a full copy of the manual but arrangements are being made for a redacted version to be placed in the House Library. This contains information about communication skills, medical considerations, personal safety and production of incident reports. The sections detailing the various restraint techniques have been removed.
The UK Border Agency's operating standards for escorts includes one about the use of restraint. The standards are available on the UK Border Agency's website at:
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the outcomes of the randomised injectable opiate treatment trials. 
Anne Milton: I have been asked to reply.
I refer the right hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 4 November 2010, Official Report, columns 883-84W.
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers the European Commission has to monitor UK compliance with those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in, under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty; and what jurisdiction the European Court of Justice has over such monitoring. 
James Brokenshire: There are specific provisions in the treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ('TFEU') to enable the European Commission to monitor UK compliance with EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty. There may also be provisions in specific instruments that provide provisions for the Commission to monitor compliance with that particular instrument.
Article 258 TFEU empowers the European Commission to deliver a reasoned opinion to a member state when it considers that the state has failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaties. This includes any obligation arising under those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in since the entry into force of the treaty of Lisbon. If the member state fails to comply, the Commission may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In accordance with article 260 TFEU, if the Court of Justice of the European Union finds that the member state has failed to fulfil the obligation the member state shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were denied entry to the UK because of concerns about their extremist views in the last 12 months. 
Damian Green: I can confirm that in the period covering 1 November 2009 to 3 October 2010, 11 individuals have been excluded from the UK on these grounds.
Additionally, a decision to deny entry to the UK may be made at the entry clearance application stage, or when a person arrives at the port of entry. Denial of entry may also include individuals who have either been deported from, or removed and subsequently excluded from, the United Kingdom and in certain cases. There are no centrally held records which encompass the total number of foreign nationals who have been denied entry to the UK in this manner because of concerns about their extremist views.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) intra-company transfers and (b) student visas she plans to exempt from the proposed cap on levels of non-EU immigration; for what reasons the exemptions have been made; and if she will make a statement. 
Damian Green: We will announce the operation of the immigration limit and precise details of how in future individual routes will work in due course. As the Prime Minister said last week, businesses have told us that intra-company transfers should not be part of the annual limit. We have listened carefully to the advice.
Our limit applies to economic routes. We are reviewing the non-economic immigration routes separately, including the student route. We will introduce new measures, where required, to minimise abuse of the student route and to tighten the system further, in support of the aim of reducing net migration to tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands.
Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many residents of (a) Reading West constituency, (b) Reading, (c) Berkshire and (d) the South East are awaiting the completion of legacy immigration cases. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency is unable to accurately report on the number of individuals resident in Reading West constituency, Reading, Berkshire and the South East who have an outstanding asylum case being dealt with by the Case Resolution Directorate (CRD). This is because many records that appear to be open on our database are errors or duplicates that require no further action. We also hold old or incomplete address information for a number of individuals who have lost touch with the agency.
As reported in November 2010 to the Home Affairs Select Committee, CRD had concluded 334,500 cases up to the end of September 2010, of which 48% were duplicates, errors or cases that the agency has been unable to trace.
Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many evictions of squatters from properties in Dartford constituency there have been in each of the last five years. 
Mr Djanogly: I have been asked to reply.
The Ministry of Justice holds statistical information in relation to the number of possession orders against squatters or trespassers made in the county courts of England and Wales, and the number of interim possession orders made, upon delivery of which squatters must leave within 24 hours or be guilty of a criminal offence. There was one possession order made against squatters or trespassers in Dartford county court in 2008 and none in each other year from 2005 to 2009. There were no interim possession orders made in Dartford county court between 2005 and 2009.
Central administrative databases are not able to separately identify how many of these orders were in relation to squatters specifically. The Ministry of Justice also does not hold any statistical information about the number of evictions of squatters from properties.
The civil procedure rules state that all claims for the repossession of land must be commenced in the district in which the land is situated. However, county courts' jurisdictions are not coterminous with constituency boundaries. The above figures do not therefore necessarily relate to properties located in the Dartford constituency area.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what will be the maximum length of the fixed-term tenancies in the public housing sector announced following the Comprehensive Spending Review. 
Grant Shapps: We have rightly opened a debate about how we can create a social housing system that will provide stability where it is needed; provide more choice for tenants and prospective tenants; protect vulnerable households; and help get people into long-term employment. Existing social tenants will retain their existing rights and tenure. We will publish a policy paper setting out more details shortly.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on hospitality for events hosted by each of its Ministers in (a) September and (b) October 2010. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government did not incur any expenditure on hospitality for events hosted by its Ministers during September and October 2010.
Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what regulations he plans to (a) repeal and (b) amend in the next five years. 
At present it is too early to project how many regulations will be repealed or amended over the next five years. However, we are already taking steps to reduce the regulatory burden. We are also reducing the unnecessary burden of existing secondary legislation and other forms of regulation to remove needless bureaucracy. We have already announced various changes including the suspension and impending abolishment of home information packs, consolidation of building regulations and consolidation of three sets of tree protection regulations together with streamlining of this system. In addition to this, the forthcoming Localism Bill will contain additional measures that will further free local government from central and regional control so that they can ensure services are delivered according to local needs. Examples of this include radically reforming the
planning system to give neighbourhoods much greater ability to determine the shape of the places in which their inhabitants live.
The Government are committed to ensuring that new regulatory burdens on businesses are given full consideration through the new one-in one-out rule, and that new burdens on local government are also fully taken into account. Later this year we will publish our Regulatory Forward Programme which will provide details of all forthcoming regulatory and deregulatory measures.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's White Paper on Local Growth: realising every place's potential, Cm. 7961, paragraph 3.29, what estimate he has made of the total number of new homes to be built in each of the next six years. 
Grant Shapps: We inherited a catastrophic decline in home building from the previous Government. A combination of divisive top-down targets and a public subsidy-driven approach delivered just 118,000 completions in 2009, the lowest level of house building in England and Wales in peace-time since 1923-24. This is despite the previous Government increasing the notional annual house-building target to 240,000 dwellings a year-showing the disconnect between Whitehall targets and actual house-building.
Under the hon. Member's system, if a local authority built more homes, little of the benefit was seen by the local community. Existing residents saw only further strain on public services. We are wasting no time in taking action.
Rewarding rather than penalising councils and communities for new homes is not only fairer, but will be far more effective. We will create a powerful framework of incentives which will return the economic benefits of growth back to communities.
The cornerstone of this framework is the New Homes Bonus-a powerful, simple, transparent and permanent incentive. The scheme will match fund the additional council tax raised when new homes are built or brought back into use for the following six years and we will increase the incentive for building affordable homes with an additional amount. Those local authorities that take action now to consent to and support the construction of new homes will receive direct and substantial benefit from their actions.
We have set aside almost £1 billion over the spending review period and previously made clear that funding beyond those levels would come from Formula Grant. Almost £200 million will be made available to meet the costs of the scheme in 2011-12.
I am pleased to announce that a formal consultation will be published on 12 November and I will be writing to all local authority leaders and English MPs on this.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the likely change in the level of funding under each budget heading for housing market renewal contracts in each local authority in each of the next five years. 
Grant Shapps: The housing market renewal fund as it is currently structured will end in 2010-11. It is not possible to comment at this stage on funding for the continuation of projects in areas covered by housing market renewal pathfinders. Those areas covered by recently announced local enterprise partnerships will be able to bid for funding from the regional growth fund for capital projects. The Government will continue to work with local authorities to enable the delivery of housing and regeneration which have the support of the local community. The spending review also provides for £6.5 billion of investment in housing.
Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects local enterprise partnerships to be (a) established and (b) in receipt of Government funding. 
Robert Neill: On 28 October 2010, the Government published their Local Growth White Paper, which set out their approach to achieving local economic growth by shifting power to local levels and helping to create the right conditions for growth and recovery. This included announcing the first 24 local enterprise partnerships which have been given the go-ahead to establish their boards and begin dialogue with central Government on how we can help them realise the ambitions set out in their proposals.
As set out in the White Paper, local enterprise partnerships will be expected to fund their own day-to-day running costs and they may wish to submit bids to the Regional Growth Fund.
Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will set a floor level for formula grant for local authorities which are below the present floor level for the period of the Comprehensive Spending Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: We will announce our proposals for the distribution of formula grant to the House in due course.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects local authorities to be authorised to proceed with tax increment financing schemes; and what mechanisms he plans to put in place to co-ordinate such financing with capital funding for projects from the Department for Transport. 
Robert Neill: The Government will develop and introduce proposals to implement local retention of business rates, and to introduce Tax Increment Financing powers to allow authorities to fund key projects by borrowing against future increases in business rates, by April 2012. The necessary changes to give effect to this will require primary legislation. This work, including the mechanisms for delivering Tax Increment Financing projects, will be taken forward through the Local Government Resource Review which will start in January 2011.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the reasons are for the difference between the answers of 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 510W, on local government finance and 1 November 2010, Official Report, columns 519-20W, on the Audit Commission, in respect of the role of the National Audit Office and the duties of district auditors in reporting matters in the public interest. 
Robert Neill: My answers of 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 510W and of 1 November 2010, Official Report, columns 519-20W, are wholly consistent. On 18 October, I set out that the new statutory over-arching framework will be overseen by the profession and National Audit Office. On 1 November I explained that local district auditors will retain a duty for reporting specific issues in the public interest and that it is not envisaged that the National Audit Office will assume any of the Audit Commission's functions in this respect. Such functions are about the handling of the public interest report.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will issue guidance to local authorities on the application to a community of practising Buddhists of the provisions of schedule 14(5)(1) of the Housing Act 2004. 
Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government has no current plans to issue guidance on schedule 14(5)(1) of the Housing Act 2004. It is for local authorities to assess on a case by case basis whether a building is subject to the licensing provisions.
Joseph Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward legislative proposals to prevent repeat applications for planning development in cases where the first attempt has been rejected by the local council. 
Robert Neill: Since April 2009, local authorities have powers, under section 70B of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990), to decline to determine repeat planning applications. This applies where:
The same (or a substantially similar) application has been rejected by the Secretary of State on appeal or following a call-in, within the previous two years; or
The local planning authority itself has refused two or more substantially similar applications in the previous two years, and there has been no appeal against refusal to the Secretary of State.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to increase the social housing stock in Coventry. 
The Department does not forecast levels of future house building and delivery will be determined by local housing plans. In the spending review we announced almost £4.5 billion investment in
new affordable housing to deliver up to 150,000 affordable homes. We are giving housing associations much more flexibility on rents and use of assets, so our aspiration is to deliver as many homes as possible through our investment and reforms. We will publish details of how these proposals will work shortly.
Joseph Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals to designate areas of special residential character designated by the London borough of Bromley as special areas of conservation. 
Robert Neill: This is a matter for local authorities. They have statutory responsibility for designating such areas, once they have assessed which parts of their area have special architectural or historic interest. English Heritage also has the power to designate conservation areas in Greater London, subject to prior consultation with the council of the London borough(s) concerned.
Nigel Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will issue guidance to planning authorities on the minimum admissible distance of wind turbine developments from dwellings. 
Robert Neill: Current planning policy already advises local planning authorities that the distances between wind turbines and dwellings should be decided on a case by case basis so that local factors can be taken fully into account.
John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department's forthcoming statutory guidance for local authorities and NHS organisations to support implementation of its autism strategy will require the provision of brokerage services to support adults with autism to manage individual budgets and direct payments for social care. 
Paul Burstow: The national consultation on the statutory guidance closed on 22 October. We are currently in the process of analysing the response, which will inform the further development of the statutory guidance. Ministers will then consider a revised draft and take final decisions on content. We would not wish nor would it be appropriate to anticipate this process.
The Autism Act sets the publication date for the statutory guidance, which must be produced and published before 31 December 2010.
John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what autism training his Department requires in respect of community care assessors who work with adults with autism; and what measures on training delivery he plans to include in his Department's statutory guidance for local authorities and NHS organisations to support implementation of its autism strategy. 
Paul Burstow: There are no specific requirements currently on what form of autism training should be given by local authorities to community care assessors working with adults with autism. But the Government recognise the importance that staff carrying out assessment should have appropriate training, and this was addressed in the draft statutory guidance published for consultation earlier this year.
The national consultation on the statutory guidance closed on 22 October. We are currently in the process of analysing the response, which will inform the further development of the statutory guidance. Ministers will then consider a revised draft and take final decisions on content. We would not wish nor would it be appropriate to anticipate this process.
The Autism Act sets the publication date for the statutory guidance, which must be produced and published before 31 December 2010.
Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate of 2 November 2010, Official Report, columns 766-7, what assessment he has made of the compliance of the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey clinical strategy with his criteria for future healthcare models on GP commissioning institutions, future patient choice and proper reflection of the views of the public. 
Mr Simon Burns: In May 2010, the Secretary of State set down four tests which proposals for national health service reconfiguration must meet.
It is the role of strategic health authorities to ensure local health commissioners are engaged with general practitioners (GPs), wider stakeholders, and the public to ensure the four tests are realised.
NHS London, through its assurance work on the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Clinical Strategy, will seek to ensure that GP commissioning intentions, future patient choice and views of the public have been properly reflected.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account he has taken of the levels of payments made to haemophiliac patients infected by contaminated blood and blood products in the Republic of Ireland in determining the level of payments to such patients; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 14 October 2010, Official Report, column 30WS.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people over 65 are full-time residents of care and residential homes in England. 
Data on the number of adults aged 65 and over in receipt of local authority funded residential and nursing care is collected and published by the NHS
Information Centre for health and social care. These are broken down into whether the resident's type of stay is permanent or temporary.
As at 31 March 2010, 162,500 adults aged 65 and over were in receipt of permanent registered residential care funded fully or in part by councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities.
Data on the number of adults aged 65 and over who fund their own care is not collected centrally.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the outcomes were of his Department's workshop for patients, carers and health professionals on Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease held in April 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: The workshop was specifically for those affected by haemophilia and other bleeding disorders who may be at increased risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). It enabled patients, their families and health professionals to hear presentations from a panel of experts about the current state of knowledge of vCJD and the way in which the risk is managed, given the significant scientific uncertainty. Those attending were able to put questions directly to the experts. The Department funded filming of the workshop. A DVD was made available to the Haemophilia Society.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research projects his Department has funded in each of the last three years into Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; and what the outcomes of those projects were; 
(2) in which companies engaged in research into Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease his Department holds shares. 
Anne Milton: Over the last three years, the Department has funded research on variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in the following areas:
surveillance and prevalence of vCJD in the population;
infectivity of vCJD tissues, and aetiology and transmission studies;
improving the safety of blood;
decontamination of surgical instruments; and
development of therapeutics for prion infected patients.
The projects have built largely on previous studies, as part of the Department's overall strategy for addressing key policy questions relating to vCJD. This has enabled the implementation and continuing refinement of measures to reduce the risk of exposure of the population to vCJD.
Research to determine how many people may be carrying infection in the United Kingdom population has resulted in an estimate, based on a sample of around 10,000 tissue samples, giving a wide prevalence range of between 1:1,200 and 1:20,000. Efforts to refine this are under way.
Transmission of vCJD via blood has been proven and measures have been introduced to reduce the risk of contamination of blood and blood products. The potential
for transmission of vCJD via instruments used in neurosurgery, some other surgery and dental procedures remains. Single-use instruments and decontamination guidelines have been introduced to reduce this risk.
The Department does not hold shares in any companies engaged in research into Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding to meet staff redundancy costs was identified in his Department's settlement letter in respect of the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr Simon Burns: All pressures on Departments' budgets were taken into account as part of the spending review and settlements were allocated accordingly. The full costs of redundancies will be met from within the Department's spending review resource departmental expenditure limit settlement.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to improve drug treatment services. 
Anne Milton: The Government are keen to set a new ambition for drug services that puts the ultimate goal of recovery at its heart.
High quality treatment and rehabilitation for those who misuse drugs are the most effective ways to address drug misuse and we want to support treatment by ensuring that individuals are able to access the full range of services to help them rebuild their lives.
The Government are currently formulating the new Drugs Strategy which will set out the future of drug treatment policy. This will be published in December.
As well as the Drug Strategy, we are also creating a public health service to take action to promote public health, and encourage behaviour change to help people live healthier lives and drug treatment will sit at the core of the public health service.
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether GP commissioning consortia will be allowed to keep any budgetary underspends. 
Mr Simon Burns: Under our proposals for general practitioner (GP) commissioning, practice level budgets will be allocated directly to consortia who will be responsible for managing these commissioning budgets-which will be distinct from GP practice income-and deciding how best to use resources to meet the health care needs of their patients. They will have a duty to ensure that expenditure does not exceed their allocated resources.
The NHS Commissioning Board will hold consortia to account for the stewardship of national health service resources and will have a significant role in managing financial risk.
The principles for managing underspends and overspends, including whether any planned and managed underspends may be carried over to future years to invest in services
and whether any actual overspends will be deducted from the following year's allocation, will be agreed between the NHS Commissioning Board, the Department and HM Treasury.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department has issued to NHS Supply Chain on the new Part IX arrangements of the Drug Tariff; 
(2) whether his Department places requirements on NHS Supply Chain to ensure contracts do not reduce (a) patient choice, (b) patient safety and (c) a patient's rights; 
(3) what his Department's policy is on the (a) supply and (b) use of unbranded medical appliances in primary and secondary care; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: No guidance has been issued by the Department to the national health service or NHS Supply Chain (NHS SC) on the new Part IX arrangements of the Drug Tariff.
NHS SC sources products and services that the NHS may wish to procure so the Department does not place any such requirements on the NHS SC with regard to patient choice, safety and rights. NHS organisations (such as hospitals) can utilise NHS SC but are not mandated to procure goods or services from it. Any procurement carried out by the NHS would need to take account, among other things, of products needed to ensure patient choice, safety and rights. As part of these procurements secondary care will decide whether it wishes to source branded or unbranded medical appliances.
In primary care, Part IX of the Drug Tariff lists those products deemed suitable for prescribing by general practitioners and other appropriate prescribers. These products can then be dispensed by pharmacies, appliance contractors and, if applicable, dispensing doctors operating pharmaceutical services. The Drug Tariff lists both branded and unbranded appliances as appropriate.
Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on the McKinsey report on Achieving world class productivity in the NHS; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: The cost of the report was £46,000 (including VAT). The report commissioned by the previous Government was delivered on 18 March 2009.
Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment he has made of the level of psychological well-being of elderly people in residential care; 
(2) whether he has made a recent assessment of the effects of companion animal ownership on the physical and psychological well-being of elderly people (a) in and (b) not in residential care; 
(3) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on the psycho-social needs of elderly people in residential care; 
(4) whether there are mechanisms in place to ensure that the psychological well-being of elderly people in residential care is given priority by local authorities. 
Paul Burstow: The Department has not made any such assessments or had any such discussions with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. It is the responsibility of local authority social services departments to assess the needs of people living in their areas and to provide or arrange care which is appropriate to meet those needs, which will include their psychological well-being.
The Government appreciate that pets and companion animals can be a source of great comfort to their owners. We would encourage residential care providers to give careful consideration to granting requests from residents to take their pets into care homes.
Providers of residential care are free to decide, in the light of individual local circumstances, whether or not to permit residents to keep pets. The Government consider that this is the only practically workable approach.
Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on the decision by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence not to recommend the introduction of mifamurtide into the NHS; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: In the period 12 May 2010 to 5 November 2010, the Department received 116 written representations from hon. Members (including the hon. Lady's question), members of the public, a pharmaceutical company and patient groups about the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) ongoing appraisal of mifamurtide (Mepact) for the treatment of osteosarcoma. NICE has not yet issued its final guidance to the national health service.
Joseph Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the closure of Accident and Emergency and maternity departments at Queen Mary's hospital Sidcup does not prejudge the outcome of the reconfiguration programme, A Picture of Health. 
Mr Simon Burns: NHS London, through its assurance work on the A Picture of Health reconfiguration scheme, is currently considering the report produced by the Clinical Forum established in outer South East London to lead a review of the proposals against the four tests for national health service reconfigurations as set down by the Secretary of State in May 2010.
The decision made by the trust to temporarily close Accident and Emergency and maternity units at Queen Mary's hospital Sidcup is based on clinical and patient safety. The temporary closures of these units will not
impact on NHS London's assessment of the A Picture of Health reconfiguration proposals against the four tests for reconfiguration. Both units will reopen if this is found to be the best way forward for the local community.
Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what correspondence he received from (a) local authority leaders, (b) councillors with lead responsibility for social care and (c) local authority directors of social services on the effect of the outcome of the comprehensive spending review on social care provision before the announcement of the outcome of the review; and if he will place in the Library each such item of correspondence. 
Paul Burstow: The Department received six such items of correspondence between 12 May and 20 October 2010. The decision to place these in the Library will be made following consultation with the correspondents.
Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which local authorities in (a) the North East and (b) England were recorded as performing poorly in safeguarding adults in service inspection reports of the Care Quality Commission in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Paul Burstow: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care services in England. It has carried out assessments of adult social care, which can include service inspections of local authorities.
The following information has been provided by CQC.
Inspections of adult social care look at safeguarding and up to two outcomes drawn from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework.
CQC carried out and published 35 inspections of adult social care during the period June 2009 to November 2010. Of these two local authorities have a poor rating for 'safeguarding' in the north-east region. These are:
Redcar and Cleveland; and
Two further local authorities in England have a poor rating for 'safeguarding', these are:
The Wirral, (North West Region); and
Hounslow, (London Region).
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the recommendation of the NHS Information Centre on registration rates by local authorities of persons with (a) sight loss and (b) visual impairment; 
(2) whether he plans to require local authorities to publish the number of residents with (a) new and (b) existing visual impairment or sight loss; 
(3) what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on maintaining registers of people with visual impairment or sight loss; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: Under Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948 local authorities are required to compile and maintain classified Registers. Information on the numbers of people who fall within the scope of this act are recorded on the local authority registers since 2005 by the NHS Information Centre and SSDA902 is the statistical return for registration of blind persons and partially sighted persons.
Officials have had a number of discussions with voluntary sector partners on the quality of data collection on registered blind and partially-sighted people. In 2008 the then Minister for Care Services commissioned the NHS Information Centre to take forward a review with the aim of improving the quality of the data collected. Officials are addressing the recommendations of the NHS IC report and will discuss these with external partners, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People and local authorities, to agree the way forward.
18. Mr Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for the production and construction of UK onshore wind turbines; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: The Government are committed to a substantial increase in renewable energy which will require a large contribution from offshore wind; this is also a vital economic and employment opportunity for the UK. This is why my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister recently announced that we are committing up to £60 million to support offshore wind manufacturing infrastructure at port sites in England.
19. Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review on the ability of the Government to meet its carbon budgets; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon South (Richard Ottaway) today.
20. Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has for the future of feed-in tariffs for small-scale renewables; and if he will make a statement. 
Gregory Barker: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Charlie Elphicke) today.
21. Neil Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to facilitate new nuclear power stations without public subsidy. 
Charles Hendry: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson) earlier today.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many eligible (a) current and (b) former coal miners have not yet received a final compensation settlement for industrial disease. 
Charles Hendry: DECC is only liable in relation to former British Coal employees. The two main compensation schemes for former miners involving a total of c.760,000 claims are largely complete.
At 31 October 2010 there were six outstanding scheme claims for vibration white finger. There were 102 active claims remaining in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease scheme of which 21 have yet to receive an offer, but should do so by the end of the year.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent from the public purse on influencing public policy through (a) employing external (i) public affairs companies, (ii) strategic consultancies and (iii) corporate communications firms, (b) external marketing and (c) other activities in each year since its inception. 
Gregory Barker: The Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies have not spent any money on these activities/firms.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which of his Department's non-departmental public bodies have undertaken activities to influence public policy for which they engaged (a) public affairs and (b) public relations consultants in each year since its inception; and at what monetary cost in each such year. 
Gregory Barker: None of the Department's non-departmental public bodies have engaged public affairs or public relations consultants to influence public policy.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management has made on finding a suitable site for disposal of radioactive waste. 
Charles Hendry: The Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) does not have a role in identifying possible sites for disposal of radioactive waste.
Government are undertaking a stepwise process for implementing geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste, as set out in the 2008 White Paper "Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: A Framework for Implementation of Geological Disposal". CoRWM's primary task is to provide independent scrutiny and advice on the Government's and Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority's proposals, plans and programmes to deliver geological disposal, together with robust interim storage.
Government's process to site a geological disposal facility is based on voluntarism and partnership with local communities with the first stage being local communities 'expressing an interest' in entering discussions with Government about the siting process.
To date, three 'expressions of interest' have been received (Copeland borough council, Cumbria county council and Allerdale borough council) for the areas of Copeland and Allerdale. The authorities and local stakeholders are working together in partnership to consider whether to move to the next stage of the process and further information is available on their website at:
The option to express an interest remains open and DECC officials are available to answer questions or advise any community who wishes to seek further information.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what annual targets he has set under the Climate Change Act 2009 to reach near 30 per cent. generation of energy from renewables by 2020. 
Gregory Barker: The renewable energy directive 2009 sets the UK a legally binding target to ensure that 15% of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. The directive does not set annual targets; however, the first interim milestone is to achieve an average of 4% over 2011 and 2012.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions his Department has had with UK banks on implementing the recommendations of the 2007 Independent Review of the Banking Code on information and advice to customers abroad on procedures and alternative methods of payment should their cards be blocked; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: The 2007 review of the voluntary Banking Code was implemented by the then Banking Code Standards Board (BCSB). The BCSB took forward a recommendation that banks that block payment cards used abroad should tell their customers that their cards may be blocked, so that customers can consider alternative methods of payment.
As part of the information process, an advice guide on paying by card for those going abroad on holiday or business is published by the UK Cards Association. The guide is accessible on the association's web site.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he had with representatives of civil servants on the rate of civil service pension scheme
benefits for 2010-11; what steps he took to inform civil servants of the rate of benefits which would apply in 2010-11; what representations he has received on this matter from civil servants in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude: I am replying as policy for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme rests with the Cabinet Office.
I have had no discussions with representatives of civil servants on the rate of the civil service scheme pension benefits for 2010-11. Pension benefits for civil servants are set by the rules of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.
Pension arrangements for members of the Northern Ireland civil service are not covered by the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme and are a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the provisions of the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010. 
Mr Hoban: The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010 and the Act came into force on 8 June 2010. The legislation means that UK courts of law can no longer be used to pursue excessive claims against some of the poorest countries on their historic debts, ensuring that resources are available to tackle poverty. The sunset clause attached to this legislation means that the law will expire on 7 June 2011, By March 2011, the Government will review whether or not to extend the Act.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the sum identified as national minimum wage underpayments to employees in 2009-10 has now been paid. 
Danny Alexander: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs does not keep separate statistics on the amount of arrears paid or not paid to workers.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effects of prevailing labour market conditions on the workload of national minimum wage compliance officers. 
Danny Alexander: A key indicator of the effects of this change is the number of complaints received about non-payment of national minimum wage (NMW). Since April 2009, the level of complaints from workers and former workers about non-payment has remained steady. Complaints received from third parties about potential non-payment of NMW have declined.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average waiting time for consideration of a complaint of payment of wages below the rate of the national minimum wage was in the HM Revenue and Customs compliance team in (a) Aberdeen, (b) Ashton, (c) Belfast, (d) Birmingham, (e) Cambridge, (f) Cardiff,
(g) East Kilbride, (h) Exeter, (i) Maidstone, (j) Teesside, (k) Portsmouth, (l) Romford, (m) Sheffield, (n) Ashton, (o) Shipley, (p) Wigan and (q) Leicester in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Danny Alexander: HMRC records the average elapsed time in working days from the date of registration of a complaint from a worker about non-payment of minimum wage to the date of closure of a case. The following table shows the average elapsed time, in working days, for complaint cases closed by the teams specified for the period April 2010 to the end of October 2010.
|Team||Average elapsed time (working days)|
HMRC strives for continual improvement and is piloting new ways of responding to complaints from workers. This includes a triage approach with possible approaches being by telephone, letter or a face to face visit to the employer.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of complaints to his Department on payment of wages below the national minimum wage resulted in a repayment of arrears to the employee in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Danny Alexander: For the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 October 2010, 44% of complaints from workers and third parties about the non-payment of national minimum wage (NMW) resulted in the identification of arrears of wages as a result of non-payment of the NMW.
HMRC does not keep separate statistics on the amount of arrears paid or not paid to workers.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff HM Revenue and Customs employs in its national minimum wage regional compliance team in (a) Aberdeen, (b) Ashton, (c) Belfast, (d) Birmingham, (e) Cambridge, (f) Cardiff, (g) East Kilbride, (h) Exeter, (i) Maidstone, (j) Teesside, (k) Portsmouth, (l) Romford, (m) Sheffield, (n) Ashton, (o) Shipley, (p) Wigan and (q) Leicester; and how many staff he expects to be in each such team in (i) 2011 and (ii) 2012. 
Danny Alexander: Current staff in post figures for the specified regional compliance teams are in the following table.
No estimate of future staff numbers is available as HMRC is currently considering future resource requirements for 2011-12 and beyond, in the context of the comprehensive spending review.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency were found to have been (a) overpaid and (b) underpaid as a result of errors in the PAYE system in the most recent reconciliation process; 
(2) if he will estimate the average repayment requested from a person resident in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency in respect of the recent reconciliation of PAYE liabilities. 
Danny Alexander: The information requested is available only at disproportionate cost, as HMRC does not hold these data in relation to MPs' constituencies.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on land directly owned by (a) Government Departments and their agencies and (b) other public bodies. 
Mr Maude: I have been asked to reply.
The Government's central property database, e-PIMS, currently records 4,160 land holdings for central Government Departments and their arm's length bodies, of which 4,010 are marked as freehold. e-PIMS does not hold comprehensive information on other public bodies.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) each impact assessment evaluated on the comprehensive spending review and (b) each dataset used for modelling impacts. 
Danny Alexander: The spending review on 20 October set out spending plans to 2014-15. Alongside this were published a 'Distributional Impact Analysis', with accompanying data sources, and the 'Overview of the Impact of the Spending Review on Equalities'. These can all be found on the HM Treasury website at:
It will be the responsibility of Departments to ensure that equality issues are further considered when assessing options for spending reductions.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Barnett consequentials he expects there to be from his Department's grants for business scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: The devolved Administrations will have received Barnett consequentials on all changes to BIS's budget in line with the arrangements set out in the statement of funding policy.
The Barnett formula is applied at departmental level rather than at individual programme level. Therefore it is not possible to quantify the amount of Barnett consequentials arising from this programme. Since the grants for business scheme is an England-only programme, it will be a matter for the devolved Administrations to decide whether to operate similar programmes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ian Lavery: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has had discussions with ministerial colleagues on the likely effects on (a) Wansbeck constituency, (b) Northumberland and (c) the UK of the change in the number of public sector jobs as a result of the implementations of the proposals in the comprehensive spending review. 
Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers have regular discussions with colleagues as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released, as part of its Budget forecasts on 22 June 2010, projections for whole economy employment to 2015-16.
Further information on its employment forecast, including projections for general government employment, was released on 30 June 2010 in its document "OBR forecast: Employment", which can be found on the following webpage:
A revised forecast will be released on 29 November 2010.
The OBR has not published forecasts on a sub-national level.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward regulatory proposals to (a) limit commodity speculation by hedge funds and banks and (b) provide transparent clearing house arrangements for trading on food derivatives. 
Mr Hoban: The Government are very aware of the importance of commodities markets to countries around the globe. We believe in particular that improved transparency and data availability is important to inform policy making in this area and to help regulators police markets effectively. We support initiatives to introduce clearing obligations, where appropriate, on commodity and other derivatives, and we are working with European partners to achieve this.
Mr Mark Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to review the imposition of value added tax on professional pilot training for the purposes of increasing the number of UK nationals undertaking such training; and if he will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: Education and vocational training are exempt from VAT when supplied by eligible bodies, such as schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and non-profit making organisations, or when provided under a Government-approved training scheme. All other supplies of education and vocational training are liable to VAT.
Under EU law, we cannot extend the scope of this exemption, and there are therefore no plans to review the current treatment.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has any plans to abolish price controls of ITV television advertising through contracts rights renewal . 
Mr Davey: The Contract Rights Renewal undertakings were provided in 2003 as a condition of clearing the merger between Carlton Communications and Granada to form ITV plc. They were provided to address an anti-competitive outcome resulting from the increased market power the merged entity would be able to exert. Responsibility for taking determinative decisions about the continued need for these undertakings rests with the Competition Commission.
In May 2009, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) advised the Competition Commission to undertake a formal review of whether the undertakings remained appropriate. The Competition Commission's provisional decision was published in September 2009. Its final report was published on 12 May 2010 following further rounds of substantive engagement on the matter with ITV. The report is available on the Competition Commission website at:
The report provides a detailed examination of all relevant arguments as well as of the alternative mechanisms latterly put forward by ITV. It explains in full the Competition Commission's decision that the undertakings should remain in place subject to certain variations to the definition of ITV1.
The House of Lords Select Committee on Communications is undertaking an inquiry into the regulation of television advertising. This includes consideration of the arguments around the Contract Rights Renewal undertakings applicable to ITV. I expect the inquiry to receive views from a wide range of interested parties including regulators and market participants.
The Government will, of course, give careful consideration to the Committee's findings.
Rory Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been spent from the public purse on extending broadband availability since 1997. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and its predecessor Departments have directly spent around £47 million on enabling broadband internet access since 1997. This excludes spending by the Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies. The funding went towards a number of projects covering availability and take-up.
The breakdown of the spending is as follows:
UK Broadband Fund: £30 million for projects to encourage broadband roll out in the regions across the UK from 2002-05
Broadband Task Force: £86,000 from 2004-05
Broadband Aggregation: £17 million from 2003-05
Community Broadband Network: Part funding of £30,000 in 2004
Broadband Awareness Portal Project: £40,000 in 2004-05
Independent Networks Association set up: £150,000 in 2009-10.
The Government have also now committed up to £530 million between now and 2015 to facilitate the delivery of universal broadband and stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much of the funding for broadband announced in the comprehensive spending review will be spent on programmes in Wirral West constituency. 
Mr Vaizey: £530 million of funding to support broadband rollout is available up to 2015. However, to date no specific allocation of funds has been made for programmes in Wirral West constituency, or any other constituency.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects on changes to the Building Schools for the Future programme on small firms in the construction sector; what recent representations he has received on the topic; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: I have been asked to reply.
The Secretary of State considered wide-ranging advice from officials on the decision on the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, including on the construction industry.
On 5 July, alongside his announcement on BSF, the Secretary of State for Education announced a review of all areas of the Department for Education's capital spending. The report of the review is due by the end of the calendar year.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase the level of investment and working capital available to businesses; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: The coalition Government have articulated their ambition to ensure the flow of credit to viable SMEs and are committed to ensuring a stable business environment which gives businesses the confidence to invest and makes the UK an easy place to do business.
The Government have published their response to the consultation on business finance issues, 'Financing a private sector recovery'. It is available at:
There are various measures in place to support access to finance for businesses and provide the capital they need for investment and growth. The Government aim to continue to support and improve the diversity of sources and access to finance for SMEs and businesses through:
"A four-year extension to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) making around £2 billion available to viable small companies without a credit history or lacking sufficient collateral.
A commitment to the Enterprise Capital Fund programme of £200 million to support small businesses with the highest growth potential, providing more than £300 million of venture capital investment into the equity gap after both Government and private sector funding are combined.
Welcoming the banks' announcement of a new £1.5 billion Business Growth Fund, to provide equity funding of between £2 million and £10 million for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with strong growth potential."
The Government will also work with the British Bankers' Association's Business Finance Taskforce and the banks on a range of commitments set out in their response to the Green Paper and which will assist small businesses with access to finance issues.
Finally, the Government continue to monitor performance against the legally binding lending commitments agreed with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Lloyds Banking Group. These will deliver £50 billion and £44 billion of business lending this year respectively, providing businesses with capital for investment and growth.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) level of online copyright infringement in the UK and (ii) potential effect on such infringement of the provisions of the Digital Economy Act 2010. 
Mr Vaizey: The need for a robust independent assessment of the level of online copyright infringement is recognised by the Government. Under the Digital Economy Act (DEA), Ofcom is required to establish a base level of online infringement of copyright and to track the impact of DEA online copyright provisions. Ofcom are currently refining the methodology to be used so that they are in a position to begin measuring the level of infringement from when the initial obligations code comes into effect at the beginning of April 2011.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Office of Fair Trading plans to consult on its revised debt management guidance in the light of the outcome of its recent compliance review. 
Mr Davey: I can confirm that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) plans to publish a draft revised version of the debt management guidance for consultation in line with HM Government's code of practice on consultation.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the oral evidence taken by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on 26 October 2010, Q1, what definition of real activity he uses. 
Mr Davey [holding answer 9 November 2010]: In the context of contributing to deficit reduction, my Department has sought to achieve savings through a series of radical reforms and by taking a tougher approach to efficiency. Within a smaller spending envelope, this is leading to reductions in real activity, i.e. lower programme spend in particular areas-such as spend previously provided via the RDAs.
Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what regulations his Department plans to (a) repeal and (b) amend in the next five years. 
Mr Prisk: At present, it is too early to project how many regulations will be removed or amended over the course of the next five years.
However, as a first step, the Government initiated a pipeline review of legislation inherited from the previous Administration. This is now well advanced, and, as part of this, this Department will repeal the Small Business Credit Adjudicator measure, saving BIS some £3 million, and amend the Ban on Unsolicited Credit Card Cheques measure to look for alternative approaches to regulation. In addition, the Right to Request Time to Train measure will be reduced in scope with small firms with 49 or fewer employees being exempted, producing savings to business of some £270 million per annum.
The Government have also initiated the Your Freedom programme, and a number of ideas are being taken forward as a result. In addition, BIS has contributed two powers of entry for repeal under the Home Office
Your Freedom Bill, namely Regulations (Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995 S.I. 1995/1629) regulation 24-(6); and Powers of entry under the Distribution of German Enemy Property Order 1950.
The Budget announced a review of employment laws, and further reviews are planned. Among other things, these reviews will consider how the burden of regulation may be reduced. Such savings may be fed into the One-in, One-out (OIOO) process as OUTs. Generally, this Department will continue to work to identify further potential OUTs for OIOO.
The Government's regulatory Forward Programme is due to be published later this year which will provide details of all forthcoming regulation.
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure private sector investment in the proposed Green Investment Bank. 
Mr Prisk: We are committed to working with the private sector to establish a Green Investment Bank that is effective in mobilising additional private sector investment into green infrastructure projects.
It will, therefore, be run on an independent and commercial basis, employing appropriate private sector skills and expertise and free from ministerial interference in its day-to-day operations.
Furthermore, we will undertake further design and testing to ensure it is effective in mobilising additional private sector investment into green infrastructure projects.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the likely effect of his proposed changes to higher education funding on the viability of individual higher education institutions. 
Mr Willetts: Our reforms to higher education will shift the balance of public funds for teaching from direct grant to institutions to funding that follows the choices made by individual students. This will provide strong incentives for institutions to focus on providing high quality teaching as efficiently as possible. Over time, popular and successful institutions will be able to grow and we expect new providers to enter the sector providing they can offer teaching to the high standards students will expect. HEFCE will monitor the financial health and sustainability of institutions to protect the public investment in higher education. But HEIs are autonomous institutions and, if a university mismanages its affairs, we cannot offer a guarantee of protection.
Dr Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of funding for universities he expects to be drawn from the proceeds of tuition fees in each of the next three years. 
Mr Willetts: We have not yet announced the level of public funding for universities for 2011-12 and subsequent years. We cannot therefore estimate the proportion of overall university income which will come from fees.
Dr Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding from the public purse he plans to allocate to universities in each of the next three years. 
Mr Willetts: In the comprehensive spending review on 20 October 2010 it was announced that the higher education budget in England, excluding research, would fall from £7.1 billion to £4.2 billion in 2014-15. In addition it was announced that the ring-fenced science budget would be held in cash terms at £4.6 billion per year until 2014-15. Funding allocations for each year will be announced in due course.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect on the labour market of his proposed changes to higher education funding. 
Mr Willetts: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have discussed the proposed changes to higher education funding and student finance with all of our Cabinet colleagues and will continue to do so over the coming months.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his proposed innovation centres will be required to take on (a) full-time and (b) part-time apprentices. 
Mr Hayes: BTEC qualifications in vehicle technology for the motorsports industry will continue to be available from Edexcel. The two qualifications referred to in this question will continue until they are replaced by Edexcel with more flexible, unit-based qualifications by the end of this year.
It is the responsibility of sector skills councils, in this case SEMTA, and other representative bodies to determine the content of apprenticeship frameworks. We expect sector skills councils to work with employers to ensure that the range and content of apprenticeship frameworks fully meets the skills needs of their respective industries. This allows the market to determine the content of apprenticeship frameworks and keeps apprenticeships focused on meeting business skills needs.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what measures he will use to assess the performance of his Department's proposed innovation centres. 
Mr Hayes: Funding for technology and innovation centres will be provided in the context of the Technology Strategy Board's overall programme of work and its objectives for specific technology areas. The success and contribution of individual centres will therefore be measured in the context of this overall objective.
We will also monitor more specific measures including their ability to leverage private sector contract funding; attract grant funding from EU and national research programmes; the number of businesses they support and create; and the nature and scale of their interactions with the knowledge base.
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his decision is on the proposal from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire for a science and innovation centre in Malvern. 
Mr Willetts: No decisions have been made. There are a number of areas of opportunity and the Technology Strategy Board will have to consider each of these cases on its merits and prioritise investments on those opportunities which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity on the basis of business and academic strength.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reason bids for local enterprise partnerships require approval by the Secretary of State. 
Mr Prisk: Local enterprise partnership proposals need to meet the Government's expectations regarding support from business, economic geography, local authority support, added value and ambition, and board membership. More detail on these expectations are set out in the White Paper on Local Growth.
The Government will enter into discussions with partnerships which meet these expectations about delivering the economic vision for their area. Partnerships which meet these expectations will also be likely to be in a good position to make credible bids to the Regional Growth Fund.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reason his Department did not proceed with the bid for a local enterprise partnership submitted by Torbay, Devon and Plymouth local authorities. 
Mr Prisk: Local enterprise partnership proposals were considered against the Government's expectations regarding support from business, economic geography, local authority support, added value and ambition; the details of which are set out in the White Paper on Local Growth.
Those partnerships, which were not asked to progress to form their boards, were considered as not having met one or more of these expectations. Discussions with local representatives are continuing.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what plans he has to encourage plurality and diversity in the media; 
(2) what recent assessment he has made of levels of concentration of media ownership; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government believe it is important for the media to reflect different viewpoints at the national level and to safeguard democratic debate. Plurality and diversity in the media market are encouraged by promoting effective competition in relevant markets and regulating mergers to ensure they do not result in a loss of such competition. Statutory rules enforced by Ofcom separately place absolute restrictions on cross media ownership and are designed to prevent too great a concentration of media power.
Where a merger is not prohibited altogether by these rules, media mergers are subject to the same competition based regulation by the independent competition authorities as all other mergers. Exceptionally, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills may intervene in a media merger to address concerns about the need to maintain plurality in media ownership.
The statutory media ownership rules were reviewed by Ofcom last year. The Government agreed with Ofcom's recommendations. Therefore no changes will be made to the national cross-media ownership rules. However, the Government intend to bring forward legislation to remove the local cross-media ownership rules.
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