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Mr Umunna: To ask the Attorney-General how many cases prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in each (a) magistrates and (b) Crown court in each local authority area were stopped or lost as a result of (i) discontinuance and (ii) attrition of CPS staff in each of the last three years. 
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) collects data about the cases it prosecutes, but its data collection system is based on the number of defendants prosecuted rather than individual offences.
The CPS comprises 42 areas whose boundaries are largely based on those of the police forces of England and Wales. These boundaries are not co-terminate with either local authority boundaries or with those of individual magistrates courts or Crown courts.
The detailed data requested for individual magistrates courts and Crown courts can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However there are data available which show: (i) the total of prosecutions discontinued by the CPS; (ii) the totals of other unsuccessful outcomes; (iii) the total of all unsuccessful outcomes; and, (iv) the totals of successful outcomes for each CPS area in the last three years for both magistrates court cases and Crown court cases. The data for prosecutions dropped by the CPS include cases that are discontinued, withdrawn or where no evidence is offered. Other unsuccessful outcomes will include all acquittals after trial. CPS data do not identify whether the reason for dropping a case was due to attrition of CPS staff. Tables containing these data have been deposited in the Library of the House.
1. Solar House, Stratford, London
2. Ludgate Hill, City of London
3. Kings House, Harrow, London
4. The Old Barracks, Grantham
5. Crosstrend House, Lincoln
6. Tolworth Tower, Surbiton
7. Atlantic House, Birkenhead, Merseyside
8. Prosper House, Workington
9. Rosemary House, Lancaster
10. Prudential House, Blackpool
Mr Umunna: To ask the Attorney-General how many Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) staff there were in each local authority area in each year since 2005; and how many cases were referred to the CPS in each local authority area in each such year. 
The number of cases referred to the CPS includes all cases charged by the police which the CPS prosecutes, and the cases referred to the CPS by the police for a pre-charge decision. The breakdown between pre-charge decisions and cases charged by the police, in the last five years, are provided in tables 2 and 3 as follows.
|Table 1-CPS staff|
|Table 2-Pre-charge decisions|
|(1) January to October|
|Table 3-Police charged prosecutions|
|(1) January to October|
Ian Austin: To ask the Attorney-General what the monetary value is of contracts the Law Officers' Departments have awarded to each (a) management consultancy and (b) IT company since 7 May 2010. 
|Monetary value of contracts awarded by TSOL to IT companies from 7 May 2010 to 31 October 2010|
|Company||Value of contract (£)|
|Monetary value of contracts awarded by the SFO to management consultancy companies from 7 May 2010 to 31 October 2010|
|Company||Value of contracts (£)|
|(1) Includes £96,680 accrued|
(2) Includes £213,660 accrued
|Monetary value of contracts awarded by the SFO to IT companies from 7 May 2010 to 31 October 2010|
|Company||Value of contracts (£)|
|Monetary value of contracts awarded by the NFA to management consultancy companies from 7 May 2010 to 31 October 2010|
|Company||Value of contracts (£)|
|Monetary value of contracts awarded by the NFA to IT companies from 7 May 2010 to 31 October 2010|
|Company||Value of contracts (£)|
Mr Watson: To ask the Attorney-General whether the Director of Public Prosecutions was informed that the Metropolitan Police Service held transcribed voicemail messages as part of its telephone hacking and blagging investigation; and if he will make a statement. 
The Attorney-General: In 2006 two people were prosecuted for offences of conspiracy to intercept communications and related offences. The DPP at the time, Sir Ken McDonald QC, now Lord MacDonald of River Glavern, and the reviewing lawyer are no longer in post, and no information is contained in the prosecution file on this specific issue. It is not therefore possible to ascertain whether the DPP was informed that the Metropolitan Police Service held transcribed voicemail messages as part of its investigation into telephone hacking.
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) collects data on prosecutions conducted by them. Other Government Departments and local authorities also conduct prosecutions, which are not captured in the data retained by the CPS. CPS data relate to defendants and not to individual offences, and are recorded on the basis of the 42 geographically separate CPS areas, not local authority areas.
Tables showing the percentage of convictions for each CPS area for each of the last 12 months in the period 2009-10, together with the total successful and unsuccessful outcomes for each CPS area, for each month in that year, have been deposited in the Library of the House.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable she has set for the merger of Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The Secretary of State announced on 29 June that Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency were going to be merged. We are aiming to formally merge these bodies on 1 April 2011. The merger will bring together services, expertise and scientific capability on animal health. In resource constrained times it will improve our resilience in delivering important services, including our animal disease emergency response capability and science requirements for animal health.
Caroline Nokes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the potential market for a facility to store animal products that do not comply with EU import requirements. 
The importation into the EU of animal products could pose a risk to animal and public health unless it is properly controlled. Each consignment of animal products must be accompanied by appropriate documentation and must enter the EU through a Border Inspection Post (BIP), where checks are carried out to ensure that import conditions have been met.
While Council Directive 97/78 (the Veterinary Checks Directive), provides that non-conforming animal products may be stored within the EU in specially approved warehouses, subject to stringent controls, provided their ultimate destination is outside the EU, the Directive also provides that member states can refuse to allow storage of such goods in their territory on the grounds that they pose an animal or public health risk.
The UK therefore deems these products to be a risk. Regulation 47 of the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations 2006 prohibits imports of non-conforming products into a warehouse in free zones, a free warehouse or a customs warehouse in England.
Mr Paice: The Beak Trimming Action Group will consist of poultry industry representatives, poultry breeders, welfare groups, representatives from scientific and veterinary professions, researchers and DEFRA officials.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 November 2010, Official Report, columns 2-4WS, on beak trimming (laying hens), who will be responsible for the cost of industry study tours to European countries where beak trimming is not carried out. 
Mr Paice: In order to progress towards a ban on beak trimming, I have asked the industry to carry out its own study tours to European countries-for example Austria, where beak trimming is not carried out-and to consider experiences from their industry colleagues. Results of these tours will be fed back to the Beak Trimming Action Group to consider when formulating an action plan that will work toward a future ban on this procedure.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to make an announcement on the outcome of the consultation on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses. 
Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many recommendations she received for the registration of new town and village greens in each of the last 10 years; how many new town and village greens were registered in each such year; and what size the town and village greens were in each case. 
Richard Benyon: Commons registration authorities (county councils in two-tier local authority areas) are responsible for processing and determining applications to register land as a town or village green under section 15(1) of the Commons Act 2006.
The figures in the following table are estimates derived from surveys of commons registration authorities in England, and scaled up accordingly. The data include registrations made under section 13(b) of the Commons Registration Act 1965 (the predecessor to section 15(1) of the 2006 Act), but do not include registrations made on a voluntary application by the owner under section 15(8) of the 2006 Act. There are no national data available for 2000-02.
Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations her Department has received on legislation relating to the registration of new town and village greens; whether she plans to review this legislation; and if she will make a statement. 
The Government are considering whether change to the greens registration system is required as part of their commitment to create a new designation to protect green areas, and as a response to the Penfold Review,
which recommended making changes to the registration system to remove obstacles to development. I hope to make an announcement later this year.
Alan Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications for the registration of town and village greens were rejected by commons registration authorities in each of the last 10 years. 
Richard Benyon: The figures in the following table are estimates derived from surveys of commons registration authorities in England, and scaled up accordingly. The data include applications rejected under both section 15(1) of the Commons Act 2006, and section 13(b) of the Commons Registration Act 1965. There are no national data available for 2000-02.
|Number of applications rejected|
|(1) To end of September.|
Jane Ellison: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on her Department's consultation on dangerous dogs. 
Mr Paice: Discussions between officials at DEFRA and the Home Office about the link between antisocial behaviour and dangerous dogs are ongoing. An announcement about the publication of the summary of responses to the consultation on dangerous dogs and a way forward will be made soon.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press officers are employed by (a) her Department, (b) the Environment Agency, (c) Natural England and (d) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
|(a) DEFRA-20 press officers|
|Desk||Number of press officers|
|(b) The Environment Agency-26.5 press officers|
|Region||Number of press officers|
|(c) Natural England|
|Number of press officers|
|(d) Other non-departmental public bodies sponsored by DEFRA|
|Number of press officers|
|(1) Equivalent of 0.5 people's jobs|
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much her 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 of the last 10 years; 
(2) which of her 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 1997; and at what monetary cost in each such year. 
Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure that the Environment Agency has adequate resources to maintain all its watercourses. 
Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency is responsible for maintenance of watercourses designated as "main rivers". Local authorities will continue to be funded by Formula Grant for their responsibilities for ordinary watercourses.
Environment Agency resources to carry out routine maintenance will be protected as far as possible. They will continue to be targeted, on a risk based approach, towards the parts of the country where the consequences of flooding would be highest.
Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live (a) horses, (b) asses, (c) mules and (d) hinnies have been (i) exported from and (ii) imported into the UK from (A) EU member states and (B) third countries in each of the last two years; and for what purposes these animals were exported and imported in each case. 
Mr Paice: Details of the total number of live horses, asses, mules and hinnies exported from Great Britain and imported into the UK from EU member states and third countries for 2008 and 2009 are provided in the tables, as recorded in the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) and the Certification of Exports, Notification of Trade and Assessment of Underlying Risk (CENTAUR) databases.
It is not possible to split these figures into individual categories of horses, asses, mules and hinnies or to ascertain for what purposes these animals were exported and imported as these data are not recorded.
|Total number of live horses, asses, mules and hinnies exported from Great Britain 2008-09|
Certification of Exports, Notification of Trade and Assessment of Underlying Risk (CENTAUR) database
|Total number of live horses, asses, mules and hinnies imported into the UK 2008-09|
European Commission's Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) database
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what mechanism her Department has to assess the impartiality of Ofwat; and what the outcome was of the most recent assessment made by Ministers; 
The review aims to ensure Ofwat is fit for future challenges. It is examining how the regulator works, whether it offers good value for money and if it is
delivering what Government and customers expect. The review is also looking at the effectiveness of the Consumer Council for Water and its relationship with Ofwat and the water companies. The terms of reference for the Ofwat review can be found on DEFRA's website.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many redundancies she expects there to be in each pay grade in her Department in each of the next five years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of such redundancies to her Department in each year. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA will make the reduction in headcount through natural wastage and voluntary departures wherever possible, with compulsory redundancies as a last resort. Until we know the numbers who take up voluntary departure, it will not be possible to estimate the number of compulsory redundancies. However, overall, we expect DEFRA and its arm's-length bodies to have between 5,000 and 8,000 fewer jobs by 2015.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will assess the merits of measures to encourage water-intensive industries to locate in areas less prone to water shortages. 
A water-intensive business will usually want to obtain a licence to abstract water from the environment as this is cheaper than paying for water supplied by water companies. Business can make use of the published information on water availability via the Environment Agency's catchment abstraction management strategies. These identify the availability of water resources for new abstractions, and areas where water is unlikely to be available.
In addition, there are mechanisms in place to encourage efficient use of water by businesses, including water-intensive industries. The water technology list identifies products, across a range of technologies, that are at the leading edge of efficient water consumption. These technologies benefit from enhanced capital allowances. Investments in such products give long-term financial benefits by reducing the amount of water that needs to be abstracted from the environment or obtained from the public water supply.
Mr Paice: I do not intend to bring forward proposals to reduce the incidence of "wild horses" damaging private property. Depending upon the circumstances and nature of the damage caused, the owners of those free roaming horses that cause damage may be liable under the Animals Act 1971. If any horses causing damage are not owned, they may be controlled in a legal and humane manner.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on reducing the level of wildlife trade on the internet since the last meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. 
Richard Benyon: Further to the response I gave the hon. Member on 12 July 2010, Official Report, columns 457-58W, DEFRA is in the final stages of commissioning a project to establish a baseline of the scope and volume of wildlife trade via the internet. This project will also develop a search methodology to monitor illegal activity which will be shared with enforcement agencies worldwide. Following receipt of the results of that project, DEFRA will consider how best to tackle the use of the internet for illegal wildlife sales, including the possible issuance of a code of conduct for internet operators.
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how much the Government Equalities Office spent on attendance at the Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministerial conference in June 2010; and how many civil servants attended. 
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how much the Government Equalities Office spent on (a) foreign travel, (b) hotels, (c) taxi fares and (d) rail travel in each year since it was established. 
Lynne Featherstone: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. The total expenditure on all travel and subsistence is detailed in the following table. A breakdown of the expenditure into the categories requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Travel and subsistence||Total expenditure (£)|
|(1) From 12 October 2010|
(2) As at 31 October 2010
Lynne Featherstone: The Government are committed to tackling the barriers that women face in the workplace and are taking a range of measures including making pay secrecy clauses unenforceable, extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, consulting on a new system of parental leave, and promoting gender equality on company boards including asking Lord Davies to fully investigate the issue.
Mike Penning [holding answer 28 October 2010]: The Secretary of State for Transport announced on 26 October 2010, Official Report, columns 177-79W, the Department's plans for funding road improvement schemes for the spending review period, to the end of 2014-15.
The Department for Transport will also take forward work on a number of schemes already under consideration for the next spending review period. At present, the Department is not developing proposals for future schemes on this section of the A69.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what data his Department collects on road accidents where defective alloy wheels were a contributing factor to the cause of that accident; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department holds several datasets on road accidents. In addition to the police road casualty data (STATS19) there are several in depth studies-the On the Spot study (OTS), the Co-operative Crash Injury Study (CCIS) and the Heavy Vehicle Crash Injury Study (HVCIS). None of these datasets holds any information on whether defective alloy wheels contributed to an accident.
Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to assist competing bus companies to reach co-operative agreements to provide regular services on (a) Wherstead road in Ipswich constituency and (b) other routes with an identified need. 
Norman Baker: The regulatory framework for buses permits co-operative agreements between bus operators as long as certain conditions are met. We have seen good results in places where local authorities and operators work effectively in partnership to improve bus services-such as in Brighton, York and Cambridge.
While it is the role of Government to set this framework and encourage more of this type of activity for the benefit of bus passengers in Ipswich and elsewhere it is up to local authorities and communities to make it happen. This might be a local authority making a statutory quality bus partnership scheme, as in Nottingham, or instead endorsing a qualifying agreement between two operators, as in Oxford.
Ultimately, however, it is for commercial operators to decide whether to run services such as the route 66 bus in Ipswich, and at what frequency. If a service is not considered commercially viable, a local authority can decide it wishes to tender for and support a replacement service, or discuss with the local community alternative forms of transport provision.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the likely effects on (i) bus fares and (ii) service levels of the reduction in bus service operators grant proposed in the spending review. 
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has not commissioned or evaluated any specific research on the likely effects on bus fares and service levels of the reduction in bus service operators grant proposed in the spending review.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to amend the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000 to require on-board audio and visual passenger information systems on buses. 
Norman Baker: Research has been commissioned to assess the costs and benefits of installing audio visual systems on buses. The research project has brought together a cross-section of stakeholders, including Guide Dogs, Royal National Institute of Blind People and Royal National Institute for Deaf People. We will take account of the results of this work in considering any changes to the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR). The project is due to report shortly.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of changes in the level of cycling in each cycling city and town in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: In 2005 the Department for Transport funded six cycling towns and in 2008 this funding was extended to include a further 11 cycling towns and one city until March 2011. Their remit was to increase significantly their cycling levels.
Preliminary evaluation of the first six cycling demonstration towns (CDTs) provided evidence of early changes in the levels of cycling and physical activity in CDTs across a range of indicators, including a 1 percentage point increase in the estimated proportion of people cycling for 30 minutes at least three times a week, and a 27% increase in levels of cycling as measured by automatic cycle counts. Taken together, these findings (published by Cycling England in 2009) strongly suggest that cycling levels were observably increasing in the CDTs three years after the initiative began, with some evidence indicating that similar increases were not occurring in comparable areas.
Independent evaluation and monitoring of the 12 new CCTs (cycling city and towns) is scheduled to run until 2012, with final results (including the results of a large-scale pre-and post-intervention household survey) available in 2012-13. Analysis of the monitoring data will not be conducted until a suitable time series is available, to enable intervention effects to be distinguished from seasonal and other natural fluctuations in the data.
Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to bring forward proposals to increase charges at the Dartford-Thurrock crossing; and if he will make a statement. 
Increasing the charges as proposed allows future investment in improvements at the crossing, including the implementation of free-flow charging technology, and funding of proposals for a new, additional lower Thames crossing in the longer term.
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport's "Your Reward" portal enables staff to view and purchase a range of products offered with retailer discounts. Since the scheme came into operation in November 2009, 88,151 viewings have been recorded to date. There is no information about whether the purpose was to carry out cost comparisons or to view and purchase products.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what allowances and payments in addition to salary were available to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1997; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Norman Baker: Within the Department for Transport, its seven executive agencies and its non-departmental public bodies there are a number of different allowances and payments available to employees who meet the relevant criteria.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what departmental policy reviews his Department has undertaken since 6 May 2010; on what date each such review (a) was announced and (b) is expected to publish its findings; what estimate he has made of the cost of each such review; who has been appointed to lead each such review; to what remuneration each review leader is entitled; how many (i) full-time equivalent civil servants and (ii) seconded staff are working on each such review; from which organisations such staff have been seconded; and how much on average such seconded staff will be paid for their work on the review. 
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in each of the last three years. 
Norman Baker: The number of staff offered enhanced early retirement packages in (a) the Department for Transport and (b) its agencies in each of the last three years is set out in the following tables:
|(a) Department for Transport|
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many interns his Department has engaged in the last 12 months; and how many were (a) unpaid, (b) remunerated with expenses only and (c) paid a salary. 
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the potential saving to the public purse as a result of the abolition of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee. 
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons a 50 mph temporary speed limit was in force on the M18 motorway on 1 November 2010; what guidance he provides to the Highways Agency on the imposition of temporary speed limits when work is not being carried out; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: Work to replace the central reserve safety barrier is taking place in stages on the M18 between junctions 2 and to the north of junction 4. This is the first in a series of four schemes being undertaken between September 2010 and the end of March 2011.
In order to undertake the work safely and with the minimum of disruption to the road user the hard shoulder is being used to maintain the full complement of running lanes throughout the day. In order to do this a temporary 50mph speed restriction is required. This restriction remains in place on each stage until all the work has been completed and the hard shoulder reinstated.
On 1 November works to replace the central reserve barrier had been completed. The hard shoulder, however, was coned off because works to reinstate the verge safety barriers and inspection chambers were taking place. Works were also being undertaken in the northbound verge to repair drains and install new gullies. Additionally, to the north of junction 3 works were taking place to install both a temporary closed circuit television system in the north and southbound verges as well as speed camera cabling in the southbound verge, for the next stage of barrier works.
National advice on setting temporary speed limits is given in Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8 which is developed by the Highways Agency on behalf of Department for Transport. This identifies appropriate speed limits based on the relative risk to road users. This risk is normally the same whether road workers are present or not. The Highways Agency produced additional advice in July 2007 (Chief Highways Engineer Memo 203/07) on how to apply temporary speed limits at road works using the risk based approach in Chapter 8.
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