some default text...

3 Dec 2010 : Column 1047W

3 Dec 2010 : Column 1047W

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 3 December 2010

Business, Innovation and Skills

Animal Experiments

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department plans to take to contribute to the Government's objective to reduce the use of animals in laboratory experiments. [28215]

Mr Willetts: The Home Office is responsible for regulating the use of animals in scientific research and testing, and is leading the development of a strategy to deliver the Government's objective to work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. I and other ministerial colleagues with an interest in research using animals, will be meeting in the near future to discuss how to take the strategy forward.

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) supports and promotes the 3Rs in research and testing. The NC3Rs receives around £5.1 million funding for 2010-11 from this Department, through the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Apprentices

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether those over the age of 24 years taking a level three apprenticeship will be expected to pay fees in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [28652]

Mr Hayes: "Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth" (16 November 2010) sets out our funding strategy for post 19 Further Education (FE) and Skills for the spending review.

For the 2011/12 and 2012/13 academic years, Government will continue to share the costs of Level 3 Apprenticeships for learners aged 24 and above with employers. From the 2013/14 academic year, Government will no longer co-fund Level 3 and higher Apprenticeships for those aged 24 and above. In this instance, where learners are expected to contribute towards the costs, they will have access to Government backed fee loans to defer the costs of training. Learners and employers will need to agree between themselves how best to share the costs and what proportion of the fees each will pay.

Over the next few months we will engage with colleges, training organisations and others on the details of how fee loans will be implemented to ensure the approach to fee loans recognises the characteristics of different types of learners and identifies the particular delivery arrangements appropriate for the FE and Skills sector.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1048W

Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme

Mr Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was allocated to the (a) tourism and (b) creative industries under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme in each year since the scheme's inception. [27925]

Mr Prisk: The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) is a loan guarantee to encourage additional bank lending to viable SMEs that lack collateral to secure a normal commercial loan. As such, the Department does not allocate funds to particular sectors or businesses. But rather it is for the accredited lender to make commercial lending decisions to individual SMEs seeking finance on a case-by-case basis. The Department plays no role in the application or decision-making process.

The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC code) for each business offered and/or drawing down a loan backed by EFG is recorded. Whilst businesses in these sectors comprise elements of several SIC codes we are able to give the following estimate of lending to businesses under EFG since its launch in January 2009 to date.

As of 2 December, over 760 businesses in the tourism sector have been offered loans with a value of almost £68 million. Of which, nearly 640 businesses have drawn down loans totalling over £56 million. As for the creative industries sector, over 670 businesses have been offered loans with a value of over £76 million. Of which, over 600 businesses have drawn down loans totalling over £66 million.

In addition, the Government acknowledge that creative industries sector businesses-particularly those relying on intangible assets-may suffer particular difficulties in accessing the finance that they need. For this reason, in "Financing Growth: The Government's response to financing a private sector recovery", published on 1 November, the Government announced that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will work together to understand whether creative businesses are experiencing greater difficulties than others in accessing financing. This review will be carried out to a Budget 2011 timetable.

Higher Education: Bristol

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many young people in (a) Bristol East constituency and (b) Bristol applied to enter university in each of the last 10 years. [27940]

Mr Willetts: The information is in the following table and is provided by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS):


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1049W
Applicants aged 20 and under to full-time undergraduate courses via UCAS from Bristol East constituency and Bristol 2001 to 2010( 1)

Bristol East constituency Bristol

2001

284

1,535

2002

296

1,536

2003

310

1,599

2004

294

1,579

2005

374

1,822

2006

296

1,571

2007

347

1,654

2008

330

1,791

2009

409

1,977

2010(1)

377

2,045

(1) The 2010 data presented are for the provisional end of year 2010 captured on 13 October 2010. Final end of year data will be available from 20 January 2011. Provisional data usually represents around 99% of total applicants.
Notes:
1. Bristol constituencies have been identified using the home postcode regardless of declared area of permanent residence; constituencies based on 2010 boundaries
2. For the 2004 cycle applications formerly handled by the Social Work Admissions Service (SWAS) merged into the main UCAS system.
3. For the 2008 cycle applications formerly handled by the Nursing and Midwifery Admissions Service (NMAS) merged into the main UCAS system.
4. For the 2010 cycle applications formerly handled by the Centralised Applications to Nurse Training Clearing House (CATCH) merged into UCAS.
Source:
UCAS

Higher Education: Finance

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department plans to continue to allocate funding to higher education institutions in London to take account of additional costs in London in the spending review period. [26192]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 24 November 2010]: This will be a matter for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to determine within annual budgets set by the Department. It is normal practice for the council to consult with the higher education sector on any changes to the funding formula.

As part of the new student finance package for 2012/13, there will be increases in loans for living costs, which will mean that overall, most new students, including those studying in London, should have more support for living costs than they do under current support arrangements. Students living away from home and studying in London will be eligible for a higher rate of loan for living costs; details of the London rate of loan will be made available in due course.

Innovation: EU Action

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department plans to respond to the EU Commission document, A Rationale for Action, SEC (2010) 1161 final. [28681]

Mr Willetts: The Government responded to the European Commission's Innovation Union Communication (COM(2010) 546) and underpinning staff working document A Rationale for Action (SEC (2010) 1161 final) in an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) 14035/10 dated 25 October 2010. The Government broadly welcomed the scope, analysis and level of ambition within Innovation Union, which underpins the Europe 2020 strategy for
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1050W
growth and jobs. The Government actively negotiated the drafting of Council Conclusions in response to the Innovation Union strategy, which were formally adopted at the EU Competitiveness Council meeting on 26 November.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent meetings he has had with representatives of new local enterprise partnerships. [28233]

Mr Prisk: On 28 October we announced that 24 of the outline proposals for local enterprise partnerships received met the Government's expectations. These partnerships have been asked to start developing their governance structures.

Other partnerships continue to develop their proposals so they can be in a similar position. We will continue to engage with both groups of partnerships at a speed that is appropriate for them.

Local Enterprise Partnerships: Nottinghamshire

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made on the establishment of a local enterprise partnership for Nottinghamshire. [28422]

Mr Prisk: The Government have received a proposal for a partnership that covers Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire. The proposal meets the Government's expectations regarding support from business, geography, local authority support, ambition and added value. The partnership has therefore been invited to put its governance structures in place.

Manufacturing Advisory Service

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) funding and (b) non-financial resources his Department plans to provide for the Manufacturing Advisory Service in the next 12 months. [28579]

Mr Prisk: The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has proved to be highly effective in assisting SMEs to improve their productivity and competitiveness in an ever increasingly challenging environment. We have made a commitment to continue the provision of MAS following the disbanding of RDAs. We are currently in contact with stakeholders and practitioners as to how the service can best be focused and delivered up to and beyond April 2012. However, no conclusion has been reached yet on what resources and finance will be needed over the next 12 months.

Manufacturing Advisory Service: Yorkshire and the Humber

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions his Department has had with Yorkshire Forward on funding for Yorkshire and Humber Manufacturing Advisory Service. [28580]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1051W

Mr Prisk: The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has proved to be highly effective in assisting SMEs to improve their productivity and competitiveness in an ever increasingly challenging environment. We have made a commitment to continue the provision of MAS following the disbanding of RDAs. It is our intention that from April 2012 MAS will be managed at a national level but will be delivered locally to ensure it continues to address the needs of individual companies. We are currently in contact with stakeholders and practitioners as to how the service can best be focused and delivered up to and beyond April 2012.

Natural Environment Research Council

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills by what mechanism the value for money of expenditure by the Natural Environment Research Council is assessed. [28129]

Mr Willetts: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) uses two mechanisms to ensure the value for money of its expenditure.

Firstly, NERC adopts standard HM Treasury guidance on its decisions regarding major equipment purchases, conducting a rigorous business case process that accommodates investment appraisal evidence. NERC ensures the level of delegated authority afforded to individual budget holders and the sub-committees they manage is appropriate to their level of experience and training. For example, approximately £100 million of NERC's expenditure is awarded as research grants, each of which are subject to a rigorous and independent process that assesses value for money before authorisation. All of these internal mechanisms are then supported by NERC's involvement with the Research Councils' Shared Service Centre whose strategic and operational procurement functions ensure NERC's expenditure is spent with the most competitively priced suppliers who have met their assessment of quality goods or service.

Secondly, NERC contributes to Research Council targets for value for money savings, administrative efficiency and asset disposals. The original targets were set out in the NERC allocation of the science budget for 2008-09 to 2010-11 (dated October 2007) and have since been increased as part of the April 2009 Budget. The specific level of the NERC contribution to these targets is agreed collectively by Research Councils through the Value for Money Efficiency Delivery Project Board. This board reports quarterly to my Department, recording savings achieved and forecasting savings for the remainder of the spending review period. These savings are subject to independent audit by the Research Councils' Internal Audit Service.

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps the Natural Environment Research Council has taken to engage with private sector marine science providers. [28130]

Mr Willetts: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), via its Research Centres and Surveys, its science programmes and knowledge exchange activities, engages directly and frequently with private sector marine science providers and their representative trade bodies, through a range of formal and informal mechanisms and interactions. Collectively these strategic partnerships
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1052W
inform the development of NERC strategy for its science programmes, knowledge exchange activities and the delivery of national capability and infrastructure. Such engagement enables the exploitation of NERC funded science in support of new business developments in the marine and maritime sector and contributes knowledge to inform the sustainable development of the wider industrial community.

NERC has recently engaged with private marine science providers during its Ship Management Review which it completed in February 2009. NERC met ship owners in the UK, Ireland and Germany and three private sector ship operating companies. The review demonstrated that NERC manages its ship operations to a level of efficiency and effectiveness that matches industry standards. NERC continues to monitor its performance against that of commercial operators of Government research ships. In addition, since 1987 NERC has been a member of the International Research Ship Operators' Meeting which shares best practice in Government research ship operations. The group now consists of 19 countries.

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what cost savings have been made by the (a) Natural Environment Research Council and (b) National Oceanography Centre in the latest period for which figures are available. [28131]

Mr Willetts: As part of the research councils' central targets for value for money savings and administrative efficiency, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has reported the following savings to this Department:

£ million

2008/09

23.3

2009/10

38.5


The figures given are for NERC as a whole, including the National Oceanography Centre cost centre, for which a detailed breakdown is not available.

The categories of savings included are: reducing the proportion of expenditure attributable to administration costs; increasing efficiency; demonstrating effective reprioritisation of programme spend; growing level of co-funding of research; and controlling the costs of research.

Regional Growth Fund

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the (a) process and (b) timetable is for bids to the regional growth fund; and who is entitled to make such bids. [28425]

Mr Prisk: The process for bidders wishing to apply for funds should be by completing the RGF application form, which can be found at:

This webpage also contains advice and guidance on completing the form.

The first bidding round is now open and will close on 21 January 2011. There will be further bidding rounds, the dates of these rounds will be published on the above webpage.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1053W

The fund's objectives and criteria are designed to be broad, which will allow bids from all sectors and communities. Bids for funding must be from either the private sector or private public partnerships from across England, and be at or above the fund's minimum threshold of £1 million.

Social Enterprises and Community Interest Companies

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what mechanisms his Department has in place to support social enterprises and community interest companies. [27644]

Mr Prisk: I recognise the important role that the social enterprise sector can play in supporting future growth in the economy.

The Department is working closely with the Cabinet Office, who have lead policy responsibility for social enterprise, to ensure that the coalition Government policy increases the impact of social enterprises and their contribution to a strengthened civil society. This Department's approach is to ensure that all our work that impacts on SMEs takes proper account of the social enterprise dimension.

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies (CICs) provides guidance and assistance about matters relating to CICs. This includes the provision of guidance leaflets, forms, templates of memorandums and articles of association, and awareness raising activities.

This Department is currently examining the information made available on Businesslink.gov.uk to ensure that all businesses and other organisations are able to make appropriate choices about the legal forms and ownership structures that best suit their operations.

Students: Finance

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) on 29 November 2010, Official Report, column 599W, on further education: transport, what student financial support will be in place in academic year 2011-12; and what changes he plans to make to arrangements for student financial support in the academic year 2012-13. [28654]

Mr Hayes: As outlined in the strategy document 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth', published on 16 November 2010, the current arrangements for learner support will start to change from the 2011/12 academic year. An enhanced discretionary learner support fund will be created within the next two years. By arrangements we assume that the question refers to the allocation methodology that the Skills Funding Agency will adopt to distribute the discretionary funding to qualifying providers in 2012/13. Decisions on this allocation method have not yet been finalised but the agency will work closely with the sector on the impact of any changes to ensure funds are targeted on helping those learners facing financial difficulties.

UK Trade and Investment

Joseph Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to privatise the Overseas Market Introduction Service within UK Trade and Investment. [28508]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1054W

Mr Prisk: UKTI keeps all of its services to business under constant review. I have no current plans to privatise the Overseas Market Introduction Service.

Cabinet Office

Government Departments: Procurement

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2010, Official Report, column 432W, on Government departments: procurement, in respect of what research small and medium-sized enterprises cited excessive bureaucracy as an obstacle. [28679]

Mr Maude: Through Government's regular conversations with industry and SME representative groups and from the stream of correspondence received by Ministers from SMEs on a daily basis, Ministers are aware that excessive bureaucracy is a concern for small businesses.

As part of the Government's commitment to make it easier for SMEs to do business with Government, a new online feedback facility has been launched on the No. 10 website. From this feedback we will be able to take further action.

Government Departments: Travel

Paul Maynard: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he plans to bring forward measures to reduce the annual cost of grey fleet expenditure to Government Departments; and if he will make a statement. [27588]

Mr Maude: 'Grey fleet' refers to business miles driven by employees in their own vehicles, and claimed back at a fixed mileage rate. There are clear opportunities to reduce spend in this area.

The Centralised Procurement Capability being developed by the Efficiency and Reform Group, will transform how Government buys common goods and services through centralised category management.

Existing effective practice in reducing grey fleet expenditure will be developed as a key element of the travel category, where work is under way to develop a single supply strategy which will deliver significant, sustainable cost reductions through aggregation, standardisation and rationalisation.

Timber

Mr Bain: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the compliance of (a) his Department, its agencies and its non-departmental public bodies, (b) the Prime Minister's office and (c) the Deputy Prime Minister's Office with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. [27837]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office form an integral part of the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office, including its agencies and non-departmental public bodies, follows the specifications set out in the UK Government's Timber Procurement Policy when purchasing timber. This policy
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1055W
requires that all timber and wood-derived products procured by central Government Departments must be exclusively from independently verifiable legal and sustainable sources or FLEGT (Forest Law, Enforcement, Governance and Trade) licensed timber or equivalent. Such procurements are carried out either by the Department's total facilities manager providers or via a framework contract.

The policy's definition of sustainability is based on internationally agreed criteria for sustainable forest management. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) have not set criteria for sourcing sustainable timber as such, but refer to the same internationally agreed criteria. Therefore, the Department's compliance with any criteria to which the UN FAO would refer to is ensured.

Communities and Local Government

Audit Commission: Termination of Employment

Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what settlement package has been offered to the Director of Communications at the Audit Commission upon termination of his contract; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of providing such a package. [28407]

Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to my hon. Friend directly.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 3 December 2010:

Departmental Conferences

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken since his appointment to reduce expenditure on conferences from budgets within his responsibility. [28350]

Robert Neill: The Department has sought to significantly reduce spending on conferences, exhibitions and similar activities since May.

Such expenditure is covered by the freeze on non-essential marketing and advertising activity, and any such activities have been considered against the criteria for essential activity laid down by the Cabinet Office. A number of potential conferences across the DCLG group have not proceeded as a result, and where exemptions have been granted my officials have been instructed to reduce costs to the minimum possible, bringing activity in-house and using public facilities where feasible.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1056W

Departmental Food

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has guidelines on ensuring that food used for his Department's official functions is of domestic origin. [25547]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not directly procure food for official functions in its HQ, Eland House. Catering services are provided as part of the Total Facilities Management contract for Eland House delivered by MITIE plc.

The Department works with suppliers, actively promoting DEFRA guidelines that food procured meets British or equivalent standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall costs.

Fire Services

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with the Fire Brigades Union on the likely effect on fire services of the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. [28329]

Robert Neill: I, and officials from my Department, have had a number of discussions with the Fire Brigades Union over a range of matters, including the possible implications of the spending review.

Fire Services: Pensions

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made an assessment of the likely effects on fire service pensions of the implementation of the proposed change in the measurement of inflation used to up-rate pensions from the retail price index to the consumer price index. [28532]

Robert Neill: No special assessment has been made of the effect on pensions paid to members of the firefighters' pension schemes. Pensions will continue to be protected against price increases and uprated in line with state second pensions.

Fire Services: Termination of Employment

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fire fighters were (a) dismissed from service, (b) re- deployed to an alternative position and (c) retired with an ill-health or injury pension owing to a career-threatening illness in (i) Redcar constituency and (ii) England in each of the last five years. [28038]

Robert Neill: Data held centrally are for Fire and Rescue Authorities. The numbers of fire fighters who were (a) dismissed from service, and who (c) retired due to ill-health are shown in the table.

No data are held centrally on numbers of firefighters who have been (b) redeployed to an alternative position.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1057W
Numbers of fighters who were dismissed from service, and ill-health retirements, in Cleveland and England 2005-06 to 2009-10
Cleveland England

Dismissal on disciplinary grounds/poor performance Ill-health retirements Dismissal on disciplinary grounds/poor performance Ill-health retirements

2005-06

0

2

68

287

2006-07

0

1

94

117

2007-08

1

n/a

96

48

2008-09

0

0

94

23

2009-10

0

1

93

34

Source:
Annual Returns to DCLG

Flood Control: Finance

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effects of the comprehensive spending review on his Department's budget for flood resilience measures; and if he will make a statement. [26627] [Official Report, 10 January 2011, Vol. 521, c. 1MC.]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold a budget for food resilience measures because this is a policy responsibility of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DCLG has made no assessment of the effects of the comprehensive spending review on food resilience measures.

Floods: Upton-upon-Severn

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Planning Inspectorate will consider the application from the Environment Agency for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to carry out restricted works on the banks of the River Severn at Upton-upon-Severn in order to build flood defences. [27916]

Robert Neill: The Planning Inspectorate has considered the application, together with the correspondence relating to it, and has decided that a site inspection is needed to inform its decision. A site visit by an inspector has initially been offered to parties to take place on 12 April 2011. However, the Planning Inspectorate is currently looking at options to hold the site visit earlier, in February 2011. A decision on the application will be made following the site visit.

Football: World Cup 2010

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on entertainment activities related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. [27366]

Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer from my right hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Local Government to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) on 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 86W. More broadly, the Department does not undertake spending on entertainment on sporting events. However, the Department does take steps to
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1058W
enable staff who want to watch major cultural and sporting events such as the World Cup to do so, for example, by adjusting their working day, subject to business priorities.

Local Government Finance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to ensure that areas with high levels of inward migration receive adequate funding in the forthcoming local government finance settlement. [28134]

Robert Neill: We use the best data that are available on a consistent basis across all authorities at the time we calculate the settlement. In the case of population projections, these are the sub-national population projections produced by the Office for National Statistics.

We will announce our proposals for the local government finance settlement for 2011-12 in the usual manner in due course.

Local Government Finance: North East

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the likely change in the level of central Government funding and grants for (a) Sunderland city council and (b) local authorities in the North East in the period 2010 to 2014. [28022]

Robert Neill: We will announce our proposals for the local government finance settlement for 2011-12 in the usual manner in due course.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Contracts

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 991W, on departmental contracts, whether he has made an estimate of the monetary value of the contracts between his Department and private sector companies which will be cancelled under his Department's planned spending reductions in the spending review period. [28678]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will be seeking savings over the spending review period through the collaborative procurement reviews being co-ordinated by the Office of Government Commerce and Cabinet Office.

However, the Department has not yet made any estimate of the value of contracts that may be cancelled.

Internet

Gordon Birtwistle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what measures he plans to put in place to ensure internet neutrality. [27709]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1059W

Mr Vaizey: There is no agreed definition of net neutrality. However, the Government are absolutely committed to an open internet. The internet has brought huge economic and social benefits across the world, precisely because of its openness and that must continue.

A contributing factor to the success of the internet has been the lack of legislative restraints that have been placed on it. It is our belief that improved transparency requirements provided by recent revisions to the Electronic Communications Framework, along with a competitive market place and the ability to easily switch providers will mean that regulation in this area will be unnecessary. It is important that we give the market the opportunity to self-regulate, but Ofcom will closely monitor how the market develops and if it develops in an anti-competitive way they will intervene.

In addition, I have made it clear that the Government expect all operators providing an internet access service-both fixed and mobile-to offer all legal content. Consumers should always be able to access any content or service they want to and at the speed they have contracted with their ISP to receive, while content providers and applications should be able to access consumers. ISPs should not be able to discriminate unfairly against services or users. That means no blocking or discriminatory degradation of services or applications for commercial reasons.

There is not yet any evidence that discriminatory practices are emerging in the UK, or that there is a problem with regards to how ISPs or networks manage the traffic that flows over them (something they all engage in for technical reasons to deliver the best possible service to consumers). And this is reinforced by the initial responses to Ofcom's recent consultation on the issue. However, I would like to stress again that should the market develop in a way that damages openness or impedes innovation in spite of the safeguards I have detailed above, we will not hesitate to step in to ensure that the internet remains the open, innovative place we all benefit from.

Olympic Games 2012: Costs

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of the London 2012 Olympics. [26158]

Hugh Robertson [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The latest anticipated final cost (AFC) of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) programme is forecast at £7.232 billion as set out in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Quarterly Report published in November 2010. As reported since February 2010, the ODA will take on additional responsibilities for the operation of the Olympic Park, and its venues and facilities, between 2011 and the handover to legacy owners. The additional forecast funding of around £126 million for this work will bring the ODA's AFC figure to around £7.358 billion.

Following the Government's spending review announcement on 20 October 2010, the total public sector funding package for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games remains at £9.3 billion. The funding package will, however, be reconfigured to reflect the changing focus of the programme from construction
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1060W
to operational delivery, as described in the latest Quarterly Report on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a copy of which has been placed in the Libraries of the House, or can be accessed at:

The reconfigured funding package will provide funding to ensure that all venues are secure, during the preparatory phase, through six weeks of Olympic and Paralympic competition, and for defined operational requirements. These requirements include shared responsibilities for the safety of spectators and visitors between transport hubs and sporting venues where existing budgets cannot cover the additional requirement, and specific extra responsibilities for host local authorities where the burden imposed for Games-time operations is of such a scale that it should not be borne solely by local council-tax payers. The Government also remain committed to the public sector funding half of the incremental cost of the Paralympic Games. The remainder of the funding package-around £0.5 billion-will be held as an Olympic contingency for cross-programme issues, including any major changes in security circumstances. Further details will be included in the next Annual Report for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which is due to be published in February 2011.

Defence

Public Expenditure

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much additional funding he plans to allocate to the provision of healthcare to service personnel as part of the comprehensive spending review settlement for his Department in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15. [26293]

Mr Robathan: As announced in the strategic defence and security review, the provision of health care to service personnel will be enhanced by an extra £20 million per annum in the spending review years of 2011-12 to 2014-15. This will be used to pay for additional medical staff and to deliver better mental health care facilities. Department of Health funding provides for standard secondary care services to service personnel; however, their primary care services and non-standard secondary care services are funded by the Ministry of Defence through Defence Medical Services.

Technical Support 3 Contracting Arrangement

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts have been let under the Framework Agreement for Technical Support 3 contracting arrangement; what the (a) highest and (b) lowest monetary value is of such a contract; and how many such contracts have been awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises. [27806]

Peter Luff: Since the Framework Agreement for Technical Support 3 (FATS/3) was put in place in April 2009, over 1,530 individual contracts have been placed with FATS/3 contractors. The highest value contract was for £7.9 million and the lowest for £600. Of these contracts some 684 were placed directly with small and medium-sized
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1061W
enterprises (SMEs). Many of those contracts placed with larger companies will also have benefited SMEs in the form of sub-contracted work.

Trident Submarines

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of extending the life of the Vanguard-class submarines; and if he will make a statement. [21400]

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely additional maintenance costs arising from the extension by nine years of the in-service life of the four Vanguard-class submarines. [20398]

Dr Fox [holding answer 2 November 2010]: The 2006 White Paper (CM 6994) extended the life of the Vanguard-class by five years to 2024 at an additional cost of £1.3 billion. As announced in the strategic defence and security review, we have deferred the successor submarine in service date from 2024 to 2028 for which we expect to spend around an additional £1.2 billion in maintaining the Vanguard-class.

The overall impact of the changes identified by the value of money study and reported in the strategic defence and security review will reduce costs by £3.2 billion over the next 10 years.

Education

Advertising: Children

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress the Government has made on the proposal in the coalition agreement to take steps to prevent irresponsible advertising and marketing, especially to children. [26742]

Sarah Teather [holding answer 29 November 2010]: As set out in the Department for Education business plan 2011-15, we will establish an independent review to advise on how to address the commercialisation and premature sexualisation of childhood. The review will begin in December 2010 and report in May 2011. A further announcement on the scope and remit of the review, which we expect will include tackling irresponsible advertising and marketing to children, will be made in due course.

Apprentices

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what message of congratulation he sent to the winner of the Young Apprentice of the Year competition for 2010; and what plans he has for the future of young apprenticeships for 14 to 16-year-olds. [26765]

Mr Gibb: I was pleased to attend the National Apprenticeship Awards ceremony this year and to congratulate both the winner and all the young apprentices. The winner, Todd Lowdes, has secured a full apprenticeship and his young apprenticeship will stand him in good stead.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1062W

Following the conclusion of the spending review, our decision on the future funding for the young apprenticeship programme will be announced shortly.

Discretionary Learner Support Fund

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough of 17 November 2010, Official Report, column 801W, on education maintenance allowance, whether the £60 million funding for the discretionary learner support fund will be additional to the allocation of £26 million this year. [26590]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 25 November 2010 ]: The level of the enhanced fund for each of the years covered by the spending review has yet to be confirmed.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding his Department plans to allocate for the discretionary learner support fund in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012, (d) 2014 and (e) 2015. [27287]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The budget for the discretionary fund in the financial year 2010-11 is around £26 million. The level of the enhanced fund for each of the years covered by the spending review has yet to be confirmed. We plan to allocate the enhanced funding in line with the timetable for overall funding allocations for schools and colleges, which will be made by the end of March.

Free Schools

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with the charity Chapel Street on its plans to establish free schools. [23182]

Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State has not met or had any discussions with the charity Chapel Street on its plans to establish free schools.

Pupils: Disadvantaged

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether the proportion of pupils in (a) each school and (b) each local education authority who do not speak English as their first language will be taken into account in allocating funding under the proposed pupil premium; and if he will make a statement. [26316]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 25 November 2010]: We are considering the responses to the consultation on school funding which ended on 18 October, including the question of which deprivation indicator to use for the pupil premium. The consultation did not propose English as an Additional Language (EAL) as one of the options as an indicator.

School Food Trust

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what discussions he had with the board of the School Food Trust prior to the announcement of 14 October 2010 that the Trust will become a charity; [22678]

(2) what recent representations he has received from school catering providers on the future of the School Food Trust; [22679]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1063W

(3) what potential donors to the School Food Trust he has identified; [22680]

(4) what assessment he has made of the likely proportion of funding for the School Food Trust which is to be provided by school catering providers once it becomes a charity; [22681]

(5) whether the duties of the School Food Trust will change when it becomes a charity. [22682]

Sarah Teather [holding answer 8 November 2010]: The School Food Trust (SFT) was established in 2005 as a non-departmental public body (NDPB), an independent company and a registered charity.

From 1 April 2011, it will no longer be an NDPB, but will continue as a charity. The SFT plans to set up a Community Interest Company to work alongside the charity. It will continue to advise the Government on school food, but will also be free to sell its services to local authorities, schools, caterers and others on a commercial basis.

Prior to the announcement on 14 October 2010, I met with the Chair and Chief Executive of the SFT, and officials had held a number of discussions with the SFT about future plans.

We expect that the SFT will continue to take forward a number of activities for the Department, and the level of future DFE support will be dependent upon decisions taken following the spending review announcement and the tasks we ask it to undertake.

Other funding will be dependent upon the additional activities undertaken and the take-up of services offered by the SFT.

No representations have been received from school catering providers about the future of the SFT, although Ministers have received correspondence on this subject.

School Sport Partnerships: Finance

Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department has made of the likely effects of the closure of the school sport partnership on the participation rates in sport of young people; and if he will make a statement. [26747]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 November 2010]: The coalition Government's approach differs from that of the last Government. While the network helped schools to increase participation rates in the areas targeted by the previous Government, the fact remains that the proportion of pupils playing competitive sport regularly has remained disappointingly low.

The Secretary of State has decided to withdraw central funding for the Youth Sport Trust because, in spite of significant central Government expenditure, nearly a quarter of all pupils do not do any competitive sport at all within their own school; and more than half of all pupils do not do any competitive sport at all against other schools.

Furthermore, the actual provision of competitive sport across the country has been very patchy, with some 1,280 secondary schools having none of their pupils taking part in any intra-school sporting competition, and 710 schools where no pupils regularly take part in any inter-school competition.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1064W

Consequently, the Secretary of State concluded that a fresh approach to school sport is needed and has announced that he will not continue to provide ring-fenced funding for school sport partnerships. By removing all the unnecessary targets and reporting requirements placed on schools by the previous Government's strategy, schools will be freed up to provide more opportunities for competitive sport that are most appropriate for their own pupils. The best way to increase participation is to give schools the freedom and incentives to organise school sport themselves, rather than imposing a central Government blueprint.

Schools: Greater London

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many schools in (a) West Ham constituency, (b) the London borough of Newham and (c) London have participated in a school sports partnership since the creation of the scheme. [26326]

Mr Gibb: All maintained schools in England are currently part of the network of school sport partnerships. The precise number of schools in school sport partnerships in West Ham, Newham and London is:

Number of schools in school sport partnerships

West Ham constituency

35

London borough of Newham

85

London

2,437


Schools: Transport

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to permit schools and colleges to use funding from the learner support fund for the purposes of student transport. [27292]

Mr Gibb: Discretionary support funding may not currently be used routinely for transport to and from college. The statutory responsibility for making the necessary arrangements for transport to enable 16 to18-year-olds (and 19 to 25-year-olds with a learning difficulty or disability) to attend education and training lies with local authorities.

We will consider this restriction as we develop the arrangements for the enhanced discretionary learner support funding.

Youth Sport Trust: Finance

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the future of youth participation in sport of the withdrawal of funding from the Youth Sport Trust. [26741]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 29 November 2010]: The coalition Government's approach differs from that of the last Government. While the network helped schools to increase participation rates in the areas targeted by the previous Government, the fact remains that the proportion of pupils playing competitive sport regularly has remained disappointingly low.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1065W

The Secretary of State has decided to withdraw central funding for the Youth Sport Trust because, in spite of significant central Government expenditure, nearly a quarter of all pupils do not do any competitive sport at all within their own school; and more than half of all pupils do not do any competitive sport at all against other schools.

Furthermore, the actual provision of competitive sport across the country has been very patchy, with some 1,280 secondary schools having none of their pupils taking part in any intra-school sporting competition, and 710 schools where no pupils regularly take part in any inter-school competition.

Consequently, the Secretary of State concluded that a fresh approach to school sport is needed and has announced that he will not continue to provide ring-fenced funding for school sport partnerships. By removing all the unnecessary targets and reporting requirements placed on schools by the previous Government's strategy, schools will be freed up to provide more opportunities for competitive sport that are most appropriate for their own pupils. The best way to increase participation is to give schools the freedom and incentives to organise school sport themselves, rather than imposing a central Government blueprint.

Energy and Climate Change

Climate Change: Developing Countries

Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has to contribute to multilateral climate finance funds, including the UN Adaptation Fund; and if he will make a statement. [27973]

Gregory Barker: Multilateral climate finance funds will play an integral part in our commitment to tackle climate change. The Government have allocated £800 million to the multilateral Climate Investment Funds, including £500 million this year. On the Adaptation Fund, we welcome the recent progress it has made in approving its first projects and accrediting implementation agencies.

In the spending review the Government committed to provide £2.9 billion for international climate finance over four years-a significant scaling-up of resources. I am working closely with colleagues across Government on how to programme this spend to meet the UK's priorities. This will include consideration of multilateral funds and whether to make a contribution to the Adaptation Fund itself.

Departmental Sponsorship

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what expenditure (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies incurred on sponsorship in each year since 1997 for which figures are available. [27518]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change, including its non-departmental public bodies, makes grants to organisations for specific purposes but does not provide sponsorship for cultural
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1066W
or sporting events or charities. Exceptionally the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has made charitable donations as part of its socio-economic remit totalling £1,250 since 2005.

Service Provision

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what structural arrangements are in place in his Department to enable staff of his Department to propose innovations in working practices to improve service provision. [28680]

Gregory Barker: DECC has a programme of work which is looking at how the Department will be shaped and resourced in the coming spending review period. A strand of this work includes engaging with staff via workshops and other mechanisms so they can put forward ideas in a structured manner to improve working practices and service provision.

Timber

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the compliance of (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. [27840]

Gregory Barker: DECC follows the sustainable operations on the Government estate framework which sets targets and standards for sustainable operations, including procurement, within central Government. Under this framework, only timber and timber products that comply with the UK Government's timber procurement policy, i.e. timber originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources, or from licensed Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) partners, can be required for use on the Government estate.

DECC makes use of a centrally negotiated Government framework agreement for purchasing office furniture, the main source of timber and timber-based products in the Department. This agreement includes relevant sustainability criteria and our office furniture supplier is both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified.

DECC is in the process of setting up its own in-house procurement section having previously used the procurement services of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and more recently a shared service with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This gives us the opportunity to implement our own sustainable procurement policy, including on sustainable timber, and establish procedures to ensure compliance.

DECC's non-departmental bodies are not currently covered by the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) framework but are covered by the UK Government's timber procurement policy. Those that purchase timber or timber-based products use either the centrally negotiated framework agreements or have a sustainable timber clause included in their own contracts.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1067W

Wind Power: Construction

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he made of the number of new residential properties which were built with wind turbines in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007, (d) 2008 and (e) 2009. [27247]

Charles Hendry: The Department does not hold information on the overall number of new build residential properties with wind turbines.

Under the previous low carbon buildings programme (2005-10), the following grants were made for micro and small wind turbines installed on new build residential properties:

LCBP-1 Householders-wind turbines on new build projects

Number of grants Total value (£)

2005

0

0

2006

0

0

2007

4

7,949

2008

14

30,154

2009

4

10,000


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bahrain: Detainees

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many representations Ministers in his Department made to the government of Bahrain requesting that Anthony James be allowed to leave Bahrain. [28522]

Alistair Burt: We have repeatedly made clear our concerns on the lengthy application of a travel ban in this case and the implications for the persons concerned.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Crown Prince of Bahrain during his visit to the UK the issue of the treatment of Anthony James and his colleagues. [28523]

Alistair Burt: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the case of Mr James and his colleagues in his meeting with the Crown Prince on 30 November.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will issue guidance on the risks of detention in Bahrain to UK nationals working in that country. [28524]

Alistair Burt: We encourage all British nationals travelling overseas to consult Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice. The Travel Advice for Bahrain states that:

Burma: Thailand

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made representations to the Thai government to ensure that repatriations of Burmese citizens are monitored. [28514]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1068W

Mr Jeremy Browne: Our ambassador to Thailand raised refugee issues with Foreign Minister Kasit on 18 November. Foreign Minister Kasit assured us that the Thai authorities were helping to provide temporary assistance for the recent influx of Burmese refugees and that no forcible repatriations had taken place. Our ambassador also raised the recent influx of refugees with the permanent secretary of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who stated that no forced repatriations would be carried out.

We are in close touch with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and local non-governmental organisations and we are closely monitoring the refugee situation on the Thai-Burma border. We are clear that all refugees should be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law and international refugee principles.

Colombia: Embassies

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) British and (b) local staff are employed by the British embassy in Colombia. [27177]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office employs approximately 80 staff in the British embassy in Bogota, Colombia. This figure includes UK-based civil servants and locally engaged staff. We cannot break this figure down further for operational and security reasons.

Conflict Resolution: Females

Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government have for implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security; and if he will make a statement. [27974]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government are fully committed to reducing the impact of conflict on women and girls and promoting their inclusion in resolving conflict. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs made a statement to the House on 25 November 2010, Official Report, columns 49-50WS, regarding our new National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

This plan clearly sets out how the Government will implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 through a range of initiatives in our diplomatic, defence and development activities. The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham) launched the plan at an event at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 25 November, involving over 100 representatives drawn from Parliament, civil society groups, Government officials and foreign diplomats.

Our key commitments are to make "Women, Peace and Security" an integral part of our overseas conflict policy; to implement specific action plans in priority countries, starting with Afghanistan, Nepal and Democratic Republic of Congo; and to strengthen the action taken by the international community. A full copy of the plan is available at:


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1069W

The plan will be reviewed annually, incorporating feedback from civil society focus groups. Annual progress will be reported to Parliament through the Associate Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security. A full evaluation of the plan will be carried out after three years.

EU Grants and Loans

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which civil society organisations in the UK have received funding from EU funds in each of the last five years; how much each received; and from which EU funding programme the funds were granted. [27547]

Justine Greening: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not held centrally, and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

Pope Benedict XVI

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent from the public purse in each cost category on arrangements for the recent visit to the UK of Pope Benedict XVI. [28044]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Full costs and details of Government spending on the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK are still being calculated. The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham) intends to make a statement as soon as they are finalised.

South America: Embassies

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which three British diplomatic missions in South America have the largest (a) budget and (b) number of employees. [27176]

Alistair Burt: The three British diplomatic missions in South America with the largest budgets are, in order, Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Bogota. In terms of employees, the largest missions are Brasilia, Bogota, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires. Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires have approximately the same number of staff.

UN Principles for Responsible Investment

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to take steps to promote the use of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. [28020]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government are committed to the promotion of good corporate governance and welcome initiatives that aim to assist companies adhere to these principles.

UN Women

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will represent the UK on the Executive Board of UN Women. [28526]


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1070W

Alistair Burt: The United Kingdom will be represented on the Executive Board of UN Women for five out of the next six consecutive years, starting from 2011. As is the case with other UN Executive Boards, the United Kingdom will be represented by the UK Mission to the UN, supplemented as necessary by relevant Government Departments.

Western Sahara: Human Rights

Mr Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the United Nations Special Envoy for the Western Sahara. [27923]

Alistair Burt: My noble Friend the right hon. Lord Howell met Ambassador Ross, the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, on 22 June and had a wide-ranging discussion on issues relating to Western Sahara. The Government fully support the UN process and the efforts of Ambassador Christopher Ross.

I have myself discussed the issue in the last few weeks with both the Algerian and Moroccan Governments during visits to the region.

Mr Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Western Sahara. [27924]

Alistair Burt: Our ambassador and officials at our embassy in Rabat are continually engaged on the human rights situation in Western Sahara and raise specific human rights cases with the Moroccan authorities when appropriate.

The UK Government support the idea of independent verification of the human rights situation in Western Sahara.

Western Sahara: Torture

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of alleged torture of Saharawi civilians taken into custody following violence in El Aauin. [28060]

Alistair Burt: We have received no formal reports of alleged torture after the recent violence in Western Sahara. However, we are aware of allegations made by a number of civil society organisations.

Our ambassador and officials at our embassy in Rabat have been monitoring the situation in Western Sahara closely since the reports of violence on 8 November. They remain in contact with the Moroccan authorities in Rabat and a wide range of interlocutors from civil society.

Health

Benzodiazepines

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2010, Official Report, column 136W, on benzodiazepines, by what means his Department determined that the 2008 licence cancellation by Wyeth was for commercial rather than safety reasons; for what reasons his
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1071W
Department no longer holds the original clinical data; on what date it ceased to hold that data; where it sent that data; and if he will make a statement; [27735]

(2) whether the original licence for Ativan was a Licence of Right; which body issued that licence; and by what authorisation procedures it issued that licence; [27780]

(3) how many generic lorazepam licences have been issued since 1980; what the date of issue was of each such licence; and whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency held any clinical trial data on the safety of lorazepam on respect of each such licence; [27797]

(4) whether his Department holds the original licence applications for (a) diazepam, (b) oxazepam and (c) nitrazepam; [27798]

(5) how many drugs other than lorazepam have been licensed under the terms of EU Directive 2001/23/EC without new clinical trials investigating safety. [27834]

Paul Burstow: Benzodiazepines have been used for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia since the early 1960s. When the Medicines Act 1968 came into force in 1971 all medicines that were on the United Kingdom market at the time were automatically given a Product Licence of Right (PLR). The licence for lorazepam (brand name Ativan) was originally issued by the then Medicines Division of the Department of Health and Social Security in 1972. For products with a PLR, product information had been prepared by the manufacturers and the PLRs were subsequently reviewed by the Committee for the Review of Medicines (CRM), an independent scientific advisory body set up for this purpose. CRM advised that full product licences should be granted for lorazepam.

In 2008 the product licences for all oral Ativan products were cancelled following a notification from the then marketing authorisation holder (Wyeth) stating that these products along with a number of other Wyeth products were no longer marketed in the UK. This notification was made under Article 23a of 2001/83/EC (as amended) which requires the marketing authorisation holder to notify the competent authority if the product ceases to be placed on the market either temporarily or permanently.

Since 1980, a total of 26 generic licences have been granted for lorazepam containing products and the dates of authorisation of these product licences are provided in the following table. No clinical trial data were submitted in support of these licence applications. Under Directive 2001/83/EC clinical trial data are not required for generic licences. Article 10.1 of the directive enables applications for generic medicinal products to refer to the safety and efficacy data of the reference product provided bioequivalence to the reference product has been demonstrated. After a period of clinical use (10 years in the UK) safety and efficacy will have been better established and repetitive tests on humans or animals are not justified without over-riding cause. Since 2003, approximately 5,200 product licences have been granted under Article 10.1 of Directive 2001/83/EC, encompassing around 400 drug substances. Prior to this date records are not held in a similar searchable form.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1072W

Under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's record management policy all application files (files that are submitted by a manufacturer for the licensing of a product) and data for licences are held for 15 years. After this period, files are destroyed unless there is a legal, regulatory, or business need to keep them, or unless they are considered to be of lasting historic interest. In line with this policy the original licence applications for lorazepam, diazepam, nitrazepam and oxazepam products are no longer held.

Generic lorazepam licences granted since 1980
Product licence number Date of authorisation

PL 00530/0080

1 April 1981

PL 00530/0081

1 April 1981

PL 00142/0164

18 November 1992

PL 00142/0165

18 November 1992

PL 04569/0024

8 December 1982

PL 04569/0025

8 December 1982

PL 00225/0063

4 February 1985

PL 00225/0075

18 October 1985

PL 04556/0019

8 January 1986

PL 04556/0020

8 January 1986

PL 04416/0016

11 January 1987

PL 04416/0017

11 January 1987

PL 04416/0094

23 March 1987

PL 04416/0095

23 March 1987

PL 00095/0126

6 March 1991

PL 00095/0127

6 March 1991

PL 00401/0050

22 March 1991

PL 00401/0051

22 March 1991

PL 00039/0182

11 July 1991

PL 00152/0224

11 July 1991

PL 00152/0225

11 July 1991

PL 00037/0180

5 September 1991

PL 00037/0181

15 September 1991

PL 00039/0183

31 March 1992

PL 04077/0124

23 August 1993

PL 04077/0125

23 August 1993


Cumberland Infirmary

John Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he made an estimate of the proportion of the total running costs for Cumberland Infirmary (a) paid to the private finance initiative provider in each year from 2005-09 and (b) expected to be paid to that provider in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [26476]

Mr Simon Burns: The information is not available in the format requested. However, data for the proportion of total revenue expenditure by North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust in respect of its private finance initiative (PFI) scheme, are set out in the following table.

Data are not held centrally for 2010-11 or 2011-12.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1073W
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust-proportion of total revenue expenditure relating to PFI

Percentage of total revenue expenditure relating to PFI

2005-06

8.5

2006-07

8.4

2007-08

8.1

2008-09

8.1

2009-10(1)

7.7

(1) 2009-10 accounts were compiled under international finance reporting standards under which PFI costs in the audited summarisation schedules of trusts are split between capital repayments and revenue expenditure elements, which does not make a precise like for like comparison with earlier years in this table possible. However, an estimate of the PFI unitary payment for 2009-10 is held centrally by the Department as well as the audited outturn revenue expenditure figure for the trust for this year and the percentage figure for this year is calculated using these two figures.
Notes:
1. The percentages provided represent the net revenue expenditure in respect of PFI schemes as a proportion of total revenue expenditure.
2. 2005-06 to 2008-09 figures compiled under United Kingdom generally accepted accounting practice.
Source:
Audited summarisation schedules of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust for 2005-06 to 2009-10.

Continence

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make provision in the delivery of continence services under his proposed reforms to the NHS for (a) the ability of continence patients to (i) work and (ii) participate in sports and social activities, (b) a reduction in levels of social isolation of continence patients, (c) a reduction in levels of bullying of continence patients of school age, (d) increased dignity for continence patients, (e) increased confidence for continence patients in going out in public and (f) improved quality of life for continence patients. [28539]

Paul Burstow: 'Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England', published on 30 November, sets out the Government's long-term vision for the future of public health in England including driving health and well-being improvement locally.

Our strategy for public health includes the development of a new vision for school nurses reflecting their broad public health role in the school community and recognising the major role they play in managing pupils' well-being. The vision will engage with a range of issues including bullying and continence.

The White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' set out our proposals to devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to local consortiums of general practitioner practices.

Mental Illness: Prisoners

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 October 2010, Official Report, column 1324W on mental illness: prisoners, when he plans to publish the cross-Government mental health strategy. [28682]

Paul Burstow: The new mental health strategy, which we plan to publish in the new year, will be based on clear outcomes and will follow a life-course approach. It will aim to establish mental health more clearly as central to a number of initiatives across Government and in the mainstream of local health and social care services. It will aim to give mental health the same prominence as physical health issues such as cancer and heart disease. It will also focus on the importance of increased productivity across the system, while improving quality of services.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1074W

Neonatal Care

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts have delivered a two-year outcome assessment for neonatal care. [28025]

Anne Milton: This information is not collected by the Department. The National Neonatal Audit Programme, which is funded by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and run by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Science and Research Department, will audit two-year outcomes. RCPCH has published the preliminary findings in the National Neonatal Audit Programme Annual Report 2009. Most neonatal units-95.5% (170 out of 178)-in England participated in the audit in 2009 and a further four units will participate in 2010.

NHS Foundation Trusts

Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of each assessment by strategic health authorities on the ability of NHS trusts to become foundation trusts; and what estimate he has made of the number of trusts likely to obtain foundation trust status. [28537]

Anne Milton: The returns from the strategic health authorities are being considered by officials in the Department in discussion with the local national health service and are therefore work in progress at this time. It is anticipated that by April 2011 the returns will have been validated and the agreed information will then be placed in the Library.

NHS: Surveys

Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the reported findings of each Ipsos MORI six-monthly survey on public perceptions of the national health service funded by his Department since the start of 2008. [28538]

Paul Burstow: The reported findings of seven Ipsos MORI surveys from March 2008 to March 2010 have been placed in the Library. These will also be published on the Department's website.

Older People: Care Homes

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance he has issued to local authorities on improving the psychological well-being of older people in residential care; [27817]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the psychological well-being of older people in residential care. [27818]

Paul Burstow: I refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave on 11 November 2010, Official Report, columns 465-66W.

The Department has not issued such guidance to local authorities.

As set out in the White Paper 'Equity and Excellence Liberating the NHS', we will be expanding the remit of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1075W
(NICE) to include social care. Over time, this will allow NICE to develop quality standards and supporting guidance, covering a range of care pathways, covering both health and social care services.

Suicide

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare, what steps his Department is taking to encourage (a) strategic health authorities and (b) primary care trusts to address the variation in mortality rates from suicide per 100,000 population. [28200]

Paul Burstow: Strategic health authorities have previously been tasked with reducing the suicide rate in their own areas and it is for them to work with primary care trusts to achieve this. We plan to publish a new Suicide Prevention Strategy in the new year which will set out a way forward, taking account of lessons learned over the eight years since the previous strategy was published. It will also take account of the most up to date suicide data.

Home Department

EU Law

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which areas the UK has signalled that it does not intend to apply its opt-out to a new EU legislative proposal since 6 May 2010. [28212]

James Brokenshire: Articles 1 and 2 of Protocol 21 to the Treaties in respect of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice provide that the UK is not bound by measures adopted pursuant to Title V of Part III of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However, in accordance with Article 3, the UK may notify the Council within three months of a proposal or initiative being presented to the Council that it wishes to take part-'an opt-in'. Since 6 May 2010, the UK has notified its wish to participate in the following six proposals:

Since, 6 May 2010 the UK has decided not to participate in a further five such proposals:


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1076W

Article 4 of Protocol 19 to the Treaties on the Schengen acquis also provides that the UK may request to take part in some or all of the acquis. The UK participates in some of the acquis. Article 5 of the Protocol provides that the UK is deemed to opt-in to measures building on parts of the acquis in which it participates unless it notifies the Council that it does not wish to take part in the measure-'an opt-out'. Since 6 May 2010 the UK has participated in two measures building on parts of the Schengen acquis in which the UK participates:

In addition to this, the previous Government decided to participate in a Council Regulation on migration from the Schengen Information System (SIS I) to the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II). This decision took effect on 8 May 2010.

Forensic Science Service Stakeholder Perception Audit

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to the public purse was of the Forensic Science Service Stakeholder Perception Audit 2010. [28042]

James Brokenshire: Market research activity by the Forensic Science Service is a matter for the Board and the company.

I am advised, however, that the approximate cost to the company of the exercise and resultant analysis is in the region of £6,000.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Committee

Management: Pay

Mr Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the (a) names, (b) responsibilities and (c) annual salaries are of each member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's senior management team. [25196]

Mr Charles Walker [holding answer 19 November]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald:


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1077W

3 Dec 2010 : Column 1078W
Name Job title Responsibilities Annual salary (£)

Andrew McDonald

Chief Executive Officer

Responsible for management and leadership of IPSA, delivery of its business plan and the Board's strategic objectives.

105,000-109,999

Bob Evans

Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Responsible for the financial management of IPSA, and for its corporate service functions, including human resources, finance, IT and data security, facilities, procurement and contract management.

65,000-69,999

Anne Power

Director of Communications

Responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of internal and external communications, and responsible for IPSA's publication programme.

75,000-79,999

John Sills

Director of Policy

Responsible for the management and strategic direction of policy development.

85,000-89,999

Scott Woolveridge

Director of Operations

Responsible for the management of IPSA's core business processes, including payroll, the validation and reimbursement of expenses, and support services.

80,000-84,999


International Development

Departmental Manpower

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in each division of his Department at each civil service payband (a) are assigned to work on agricultural issues and (b) have training in a discipline relevant to agriculture. [278231]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports numerous and diverse programmes addressing food security or agricultural development, involving many staff from a range of professional backgrounds. To determine the numbers of all staff involved and the extent of their agricultural related training would incur disproportionate cost.

DFID has two senior civil service positions and a group of professional livelihoods advisers (currently 57) who are required to have specific expertise and experience in agricultural or rural development, food security, agricultural adaptation to climate change and related livelihoods issues. They must have a minimum of five years relevant experience and a higher degree in a relevant subject. The numbers of livelihoods staff employed at each civil service pay band are provided in the following table.

DFID grade Traditional civil service grade Pay range (London scale) Number of livelihoods advisers

SCS

G5

£60,002-£117,750

2

A1

G6

£58,120-£68,221

22

A2

G7

£47,555-£56,293

34

A2L

SEO

£30,868-£34,534

1


Departmental Policy Goals

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's international development policy goals of the review of the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. [26404]

Justine Greening: I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission has not yet consulted on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. A consultation document is expected to be issued shortly.

Developing Countries: Agriculture

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much money his Department has (a) allocated and (b) disbursed to climate change adaptation projects directed at marginal smallholder farmers in the developing world in each of the last five years. [27816]

Mr O'Brien: Our central recording systems do not capture this level of detail for project expenditure. Compiling the requested information would incur disproportionate cost.

The Department for International Development (DFID) recognises that smallholder farmers are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and we take this into account in the design and implementation of a number of our development activities, including through our research programme and our adaptation programmes.

The UK Government have committed to providing £1.5 billion in Fast Start finance over the period 2010-12 to help the developing world carry out the urgent work needed to adapt to climate change, adopt clean technology and reduce emissions from deforestation. In 2010-11 the UK provided approximately 41% of its Fast Start allocation for adaptation, a significant share of which has been designed to benefit smallholder farmers. The Department is in the course of monitoring and evaluating the impact of these ongoing programmes.

Developing Countries: Food Supply

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many agriculture and food security projects overseas (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have visited since June 2010. [27815]

Mr O'Brien: In September the Secretary of State visited the work of the Protection of Basic Services programme in Ethiopia, which is helping to train some 9 million farmers in new agricultural techniques. My right hon. Friend stayed with farmers in a district in the
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1079W
south of the country who had benefited from this support and observed the new higher value crops that had been introduced as a result.

I have visited several such projects since June 2010. In Uganda I met with the Northern Ugandan Farmers Cooperative, a network of around 30 cooperatives across the Acholi region, which brings together farmers (up to 3,000 in each location) to store and sell produce and to learn new methods of production. I have also visited the Land Tenure Regularisation programme in Rwanda, which is registering landholders to provide them with security of their ownership and encourage investments, and the terraces building programme under the Social Protection Programme. While in Nigeria, I visited the PrOpCom agriculture programme, designed to enhance commodity and services market development in the agriculture sector. I have also witnessed how private sector investment and innovative business models are providing livelihood opportunities in Ghana, through the Ghana Grains Partnership (GGP) Maize Farm. I also visited a tree nursery in Ghana and stayed with a family in their hut in Gupanerigu, Northern Ghana, who were maize and groundnut farmers. In Sierra Leone I met farmers from Bo district where we discussed the issues of land licensing, market access and labour skills, especially for women. While in Tanzania I launched the Coastal Rural Support Programme (CRSP) where I met representatives from farmer groups that have already benefited from the programme in the neighbouring region of Lindi.

International Violence Against Women Champion

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the remit and responsibilities of the International Violence Against Women Champion in that capacity will be; and what funds will be allocated by his Department for the performance of those responsibilities. [28519]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The ministerial champion for tackling violence against women overseas will be responsible for providing policy coherence and coordination across Whitehall, ensuring that tackling violence against women and girls is fully integrated into our international work. The ministerial champion will represent the United Kingdom overseas, raising the profile of this issue bilaterally and multilaterally with European and international partners.

In addition, the ministerial champion will actively encourage all relevant Ministers to use the available levers and influence in their domestic, EU and international engagements to drive efforts on eliminating violence against girls and women to the top of the agenda.

Departments are currently finalising arrangements for support and funding for the role.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the International Violence Against Women Champion will exercise ministerial responsibilities in his Department. [28520]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID), along with the Foreign Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Government Equalities Office (GEO) all work on tackling
3 Dec 2010 : Column 1080W
violence against women overseas. Ministerial responsibility for taking forward the UK's work overseas will continue to rest with departmental Ministers.

The ministerial champion will encourage relevant Ministers to use all available levers and influence in their domestic, EU and international engagements to drive this issue to the top of the agenda.

Timber

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. [27847]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) environmental procurement policy is to procure wood products that have originated from sustainable and legal sources, in accordance with UK Government standards, as issued by the Government's Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement (CPET). The Department checks that direct suppliers, or suppliers managing works on its behalf, who procure timber products, are compliant with UK policy. DFID overseas offices are advised to meet UK standards where it is possible to do so.

We have not made an assessment of the extent to which DFID procures products from forests that are managed sustainably according to schemes that follow the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria. DFID's expenditure on direct procurement of timber and wood products is relatively low and confined mainly to building work, furniture and office supplies.

Tristan da Cunha: Ports

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) for what reasons his Department decided to approve the allocation of funding to repair the harbour on Tristan da Cunha; [27782]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of repairs to Calshot harbour on Tristan Da Cunha; [27783]

(3) what information his Department holds on the (a) population of Tristan da Cunha and (b) average per capita income per head of residents of Tristan da Cunha; [27784]

(4) whether funding provided by his Department for repairs to the harbour on Tristan da Cunha will be classified as official development assistance; [27785]

(5) how much funding his Department plans to provide for repairs to the harbour on Tristan da Cunha. [27786]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK is obliged under the UN Charter to promote the well-being of the inhabitants of the Overseas Territories. Without urgent repair work, the harbour on Tristan da Cunha, which was severely damaged in a storm earlier this year, could be rendered unusable during the South Atlantic winter. Without a harbour, tourism and fishing, the major sources of income on the island, would be severely reduced and the island would require a significant extra subsidy from British taxpayers every year.


3 Dec 2010 : Column 1081W

To divulge estimated costs now would prejudice ongoing contractual negotiations. Final costs will be fully met by DFID and all funding will be classified as official development assistance (ODA).

The current population of Tristan da Cunha is 265. Average per capita income is £3,100.


Next Section Index Home Page