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7 Dec 2010 : Column 246Wcontinued
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what expenditure (a) his Department and (b) the Natural Environment Research Council have incurred to date on the procurement of the Natural Environment Research Council's new research vessel. 
Mr Willetts: The Natural Environment Research Council has incurred a total of £18.3 million on its new research vessel. This includes resources provided by the Department from the Large Facilities Capital Fund.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration the Natural Environment Research Council gave to outsourcing research functions before deciding to procure a new research vessel. 
Mr Willetts: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) considered a range of options for outsourcing aspects before proceeding to procure a new research vessel.
NERC made a formal assessment of the option of utilising private sector capability for scientific data acquisition. This option was not pursued as it provided the weakest value for money case in net present value terms in accordance with HM Treasury Green Book guidance.
The outsourcing of the research function in its entirety would not have met the statement of requirement for the new vessel, particularly in respect of the enduring need to provide barter, swap and collaboration opportunities to deliver world-class multi-disciplinary marine science.
As part of its comprehensive review of ship operations in 2008/9, NERC concluded that the lack of guaranteed availability of vessels with the right capabilities to deliver world-class multi-disciplinary science programmes precluded exercising an option to charter in research ship time to replace the RRS Discovery.
NERC sought bids for a long-term maintenance contract option as part of the production of the RRS Discovery replacement. A thorough assessment of the qualifying submissions which included long-term maintenance responses was conducted and NERC concluded that a design and build was the most affordable approach at that time.
NERC continues to be open to the possibility of outsourcing the operation of its research vessels (as distinct from outsourcing the research), and will keep this under review.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of the construction costs of Natural Environment Research Council's new research vessel will be paid to UK companies. 
Mr Willetts: Approximately 20% of the construction costs of NERC's new research vessel will be paid to UK companies.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the estimated cost of the Natural Environment Research Council's new research vessel was at the time the decision to procure was made. 
Mr Willetts: The estimated total cost of bringing the ship into service at the time the procurement decision was made in March 2010 was £75 million.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reasons the costs of procuring the new Natural Environment Research Council's research vessel have risen from £55 million in 2009 to £75 million; for what reasons this increase has been accepted by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The figure of £55 million was an early planning figure from 2005 before the Discovery Replacement Project was initiated. In November 2008, NERC Council agreed a revised funding envelope of £70 million to £75 million to encompass an extended project scope and the latest market intelligence information on shipbuilding, material costs, and design risk, and to allow for the prevailing currency weakness. This deterioration in exchange rate accounted for most of the increased cost. The Department accepted that this increase was principally due to a factor outside NERC's control.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the purchase cost was of the Natural Environment Research Council's vessel, RSS Discovery. 
Mr Willetts: In 1962/63 the RRS Discovery was purchased at a cost of nearly £900,000. In 1991/92 approximately £12 million was spent on a major refit and refurbishment of the vessel.
The total project cost for the purchase of the replacement for RRS Discovery contracted in March 2010 is £75 million. Of this the contract for the vessel is £66.718 million.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reasons the Natural Environment Research Council contracted Skipsteknisk to design its new research vessel; what account was taken of Skipsteknisk's performance in its work on the National Environment Research Council research vessel, James Cook, in making this decision; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The decision to appoint Skipsteknisk AS as the lead design authority the replacement of RRS Discovery was taken by the shipyard (C.N.P. Freire SA) as part of its bid to build the vessel, not the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Skipsteknisk AS is a world renowned and leading designer of research ships. It designed the RRS James Cook which has been deployed extensively by the NERC on research projects with little or no downtime since
delivery in August 2006. The appointment of Skipsteknisk AS is allowing NERC the benefit of improving on areas of design utilising lessons learned from the RRS James Cook Project.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration the Natural Environment Research Council gave to utilising private sector capability for scientific data acquisition when taking the decision to proceed with the procurement of its new research vessel. 
Mr Willetts: The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) formally reviewed eight options in its assessment of a requirement to deliver an enduring marine science capability. Utilising private sector capability for scientific data acquisition was subject to a formal business case assessment as a 'Charter' option. This option was not pursued as it provided the weakest value for money case in net present value terms in accordance with HM Treasury Green Book guidance. A thorough assessment of the qualifying submissions which included long-term maintenance responses was conducted and NERC concluded that a design and build was the most affordable and practical approach at that time.
The private sector currently has the ability to collect routine survey data sets; however few private sector vessels are capable of acquiring the complex multi-disciplinary data sets required simultaneously in support of UK marine research interests. This is primarily because the private sector platforms are optimised to collect data of specific types, whereas the NERC research vessels have been designed to perform multi-disciplinary science ranging from the atmosphere to the sub seabed, as an increasing trend in marine research is the inter-action between biological, chemical, physical and geological processes.
Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of self-employed businesses which are run by individuals between the age of 16 and 24 years in (a) the UK and (b) Sevenoaks constituency. 
Mr Prisk: The Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey showed that 4.1% of individuals in the UK identifying themselves as self-employed in July to September 2010 were aged between 16 and 24 years. Robust estimates of this proportion are not available for Sevenoaks constituency.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what proportion of students (a) normally resident in (i) Bristol East constituency and (ii) Bristol and (b) nationally were awarded (A) a full maintenance grant, (B) a partial grant and (C) special support grant in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) how many students normally resident in Bristol East constituency were awarded a (a) full maintenance grant, (b) partial grant and (c) special support grant in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Willetts: The maintenance grant is available to students who have entered higher education since 2006/07. The special support grant is available in place of the maintenance grant for full-time students who can claim income-related benefits. Both have the same level of full grant (£2,906 in 2010/11), and are means-tested with partial grants available.
|Grants awarded( 1) in academic year 2009/10, Bristol( 2) and England|
|* = Less than 50 applicants|
(1) The table covers applicants for student support who entered higher education in 2006/07 or later. Excludes those who received an NHS bursary.
(2) Applicants normally resident in the Bristol local authority area.
(3) Not awarded a grant because their household residual income is greater than the threshold to receive a grant, or they have not supplied income information. Eligible applicants may receive other forms of support.
Student Loans Company
3% of applicants were awarded a special support grant, both in Bristol and at England level. Robust information is not available at constituency level.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the compliance of (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. 
Mr Davey: Contractors engaged by the Department are required to comply with the DEFRA guidance. The tender documents issued to potential contractors state that wood products must be purchased from sustainable sources and the potential contractors are required to provide certificates of compliance in their tender submissions.
I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, National Measurement Office and the Intellectual Property Office and they will respond directly to the hon. Member.
Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 29 November 2010:
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question what assessment he has made of the compliance of (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber.
The Insolvency Service Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has made no assessment of the compliance of the UN Food Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber.
Letter from John Alty, dated 30 November 2010:
I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 26 November 2010, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Intellectual Property Office does not purchase timber direct. However, furniture is purchased through the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) Buying Solutions Framework agreement where it is a requirement that preferred suppliers hold the relevant Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Where we engage the use of contractors for minor building work requirements, they must provide evidence that timber products are sourced from managed and sustainable sources.
Letter from Geoff Russell, dated 1 December 2010:
Thank you for your parliamentary question regarding what assessment has been made by the Skills Funding Agency of its compliance with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber.
Please note that the Skills Funding Agency does not source timber.
Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 1 December 2010:
I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 26 November 2010, UIN 27855 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Companies House has written into all specifications for work that requires the use of timber, that we will only accept timber from a proven sustainable source.
Letter from Peter Mason, dated 3 December 2010:
I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO) to your Parliamentary Question tabled 26th November 2010, asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the compliance by his Department and its Agencies with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber.
Because of NMO's responsibility for the site in Teddington on which both it and the National Physical Laboratory are located, our principal interest in the use of sustainable timber is in relation to buildings and site infrastructure. The site Facilities Management contractor is required to compile and maintain a recording system to monitor any timber usage in the course of providing the services by species and volume. Written confirmation is required that all timbers utilised have been obtained from sustainable sources.
I can confirm that timber purchased satisfies the approved schemes of the Central Point of Expertise on Timber which meet the Government's sustainability criteria. These criteria are the same as those referred to by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
In addition, NMO's general office procurement (such as the purchase of paper to Forest Stewardship Council standards) is reviewed as part of the Sustainable Development in Government process.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the scope for professional discretion and flexibility in respect of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention against Human Trafficking. 
Damian Green: There is flexibility in how the Council of Europe Convention against Human Trafficking is implemented, as giving effect to it does not require legislation. The UK is fully compliant with the Convention.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many alcohol-attributable (a) violent crimes and (b) sexual offences per 1,000 crimes were recorded in (i) each local authority in Wiltshire, (ii) Wiltshire and (iii) England in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
James Brokenshire: The information requested is not available centrally. It is not possible to determine the number of offences which were attributable to the effects of alcohol from the police recorded crime data collected by the Home Office.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the ethnic group was of each (a) offender and (b) victim of each crime motivated by prejudice in 2009. 
Mr Blunt: I have been asked to reply.
The ethnic group of each offender proceeded against at the magistrates courts for racially or religiously, aggravated indictable offences is available in the following table.
Data on the ethnicity of the victim are not collected centrally, but previous editions of the British Crime Survey (BCS) have explored racially motivated crime.
|Number of persons proceeded against at the magistrates courts for racially or religiously aggravated indictable offences( 1) , by ethnicity, England and Wales, 2009( 2, 3)|
|(1) Includes offences under the following statutes:|
Offences against the Person Act 1861;
Common Law and Crime and Disorder Act 1998;
Crime and Disorder Act 1998;
Public Order Act 1986
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
Criminal Damage Act 1971
(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the effectiveness of Drug Inventions Programme in the last six months. 
James Brokenshire: The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) was established in 2003 to tackle class A drug misusing offenders by identifying, assessing and case-managing them to ensure they access treatment. In 2009-10, DIP was effective in managing approximately 58,000 adult class A drug misusing offenders into treatment.
Some of the interventions were introduced in the Drugs Act 2005 and, in September 2010, the Department published the Post-Legislative Assessment of the Drugs Act 2005 (Cm 7935) for consideration by the Home Affairs Select Committee. This provided a preliminary assessment of the implementation and operation of the Drugs Act 2005, and showed that:
the introduction of testing on arrest and the initial and follow up assessment had significantly increased the number of those tested and those attending an assessment.
these powers had improved the grip exerted on drug using offenders through the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP).
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discretionary provisions the implementation of the proposed EU Directive on human trafficking would make mandatory; and if she will make a statement. 
Damian Green: The Explanatory Memorandum submitted by the Home Office to Parliament on 25 May (8157/10) sets out in more detail any discretionary provisions the implementation of the proposed EU directive on human trafficking would make mandatory.
The Government chose not to opt in at the start but will review that decision once the text of the directive is adopted.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to announce the conclusion of her review of the Licensing Act 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
James Brokenshire: The Government's response to the alcohol licensing consultation was published on 1 December 2010. This sets out the changes that we will make to the licensing regime which stem from the commitments in the coalition agreement. The Government's response can be found at the following weblink:
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what external agencies and organisations the UK Border Agency engages in Northern Ireland to provide services to asylum seekers; and what the total cost of those services was in each of the last three years. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency uses two external agencies in Northern Ireland, the Refugee Council and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. UK Border Agency has a Grant Agreement with Refugee Council to supply One Stop Services and Initial Accommodation 'wraparound' services. The costs for this service over the last three years are:
Northern Ireland Housing Executive provides housing for asylum seekers. Total costs for this service for the last three years from July 2008 are:
2010-11 are currently projections as costs for housing varies depending on numbers.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) budget and (b) expenditure outturn was for the UK Border Agency's operations in Northern Ireland in each year since the Agency's formation. 
Damian Green: The budget and expenditure outturn for the UK Border Agency's operations in Northern Ireland is as follows:
These are directly attributable costs to each of the operations that the Immigration Group and Border Force have in Northern Ireland. There are costs that are held centrally like IT, Property and Management overheads that are not allocated out and hence are not included in the costs above.
Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what discussions he has had on plans to build a new academy school in Consett, North West Durham in the last three months; 
(2) if he will release immediately the funding to build a new academy school in Consett, North West Durham; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: The Secretary of State has not, in the last three months, had any telephone discussions regarding plans for a new academy in Consett, north-west Durham. On 8 October 2010 the Secretary of State wrote to Professor Christopher Higgins, vice chancellor of Durham university, regarding capital funding, and on the same date he also wrote to Councillor Owen Temple regarding the location of the academy in Consett.
The comprehensive spending review set out how much capital funding the Department will receive for projects. There are a group of academy building projects, of which Consett is one, where Ministers have not yet
made a decision about which should be funded or how much funding they will receive. We aim to confirm how much will be allocated to each project by the end of the year. Plans to open the Consett academy in its existing buildings continue to be developed.
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what financial support his Department plans to allocate to the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom in the financial year (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13. 
Mr Gibb: As we made clear in our response of 25 October to the report from the Children, Schools and Families Committee's Transforming Education Outside the Classroom of 1 April 2010, the Government recognises the valuable role that Learning Outside the Classroom can play in a child's educational experience.
The Government also made clear in their response that it is for the Council and its member organisations to take the lead in working directly with schools and providers. This is consistent with the government's approach to education-that school leaders and other front-line professionals should be free to make decisions about how to use the resources available to them. School budgets will see an increase in funding of £3.6 billion in cash terms by the end of Spending Review period.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the proportion of recipients of education maintenance allowance likely to receive (a) financial assistance from the Discretionary Learner Support fund and (b) receive the same level of assistance from the Discretionary Learner Support fund in the 2011-12 academic year as they are receiving in 2010-11. 
Mr Gibb: Decisions regarding the new discretionary fund will be made locally, enabling schools, colleges and training providers to target support at those young people in greatest need. The Government do not intend to dictate to schools, colleges and training providers how many young people should receive support under the new arrangements, or what level of support they should receive.
The current discretionary scheme supports around 200,000 young people each year.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many young people who were eligible for free school meals in year 11 in each local authority area have claimed education maintenance allowance in each year since its inception. 
Mr Gibb: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Wigan with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in Hansard and the House Libraries.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many young people resident in (a) West Ham constituency, (b) Newham and (c) London are eligible for education maintenance allowance; 
(2) how many young people resident in (a) West Ham constituency, (b) Newham and (c) London have applied for education maintenance allowance since the inception of that scheme. 
Mr Gibb: These are matters for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for West Ham with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding he expects to be allocated to each school in Warrington under his proposals to abolish education maintenance allowance and replace it with sums paid out at the discretion of head teachers. 
Mr Gibb: The enhanced discretionary learner support fund replacing EMA will enable schools, colleges and training providers more effectively to target those young people who actually need the support to enable them to participate in education.
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.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department will allocate to each school and college in Warrington under the Government's plans to replace the education maintenance allowance in the first 12 months of such arrangements. 
Mr Gibb: We will replace EMA with an enhanced discretionary learner support fund, based on the existing arrangement for discretionary learner support so that schools, colleges and training providers can more effectively target those young people who actually need the support to enable them to participate in education.
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.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he has taken to reduce the level of educational under-achievement since his appointment. 
Since his appointment, the Secretary of State for Education has introduced a number of significant steps to reduce levels of educational under-achievement. First, the Academies Act 2010 enabled the expansion of
the Academy programme and the introduction of free schools to offer schools more freedom and autonomy in their drive to tackle under-achievement. Furthermore, in the Education White Paper presented before the House, the Secretary of State has outlined reforms to reduce educational under-achievement through measures to support teachers and the teaching profession, ensure rigorous standards in the classroom and help schools to drive their own improvement. This includes a new focus on higher floor standards in both primary and secondary phases.
Iain Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much of the funding allocated to High Performing Specialist Schools in 2010-11 will be redistributed to the pupil premium in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15. 
Mr Gibb: The pupil premium will be funded from outside the schools budget. On 20 October the Government announced in the spending review that we are bringing together schools funding streams into the dedicated schools grant, which will include the high performing specialist schools funding.
Details of the how the Department's programme funding will be allocated will be announced in due course. We are considering carefully how funding can be used to best effect, in line with our priorities in relation to services for children, young people and their families.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of children in Oxford West and Abingdon constituency who will receive the proposed pupil premium. 
Mr Gibb: 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. The number of children eligible, either in a constituency or in England as a whole, will depend on this decision.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance he has provided to schools that wish to convert to academy or free school status that are subject to a private finance initiative contract. 
Mr Gibb: The Department's advice to schools which are part of a PFI contract is that they will remain part of the contract after conversion to Academy status.
Arrangements for each PFI school converting to Academy status are specific to that school. However, the normal arrangement is that two additional legal agreements are put in place. First, a schools agreement, made between the academy trust and the local authority, which contains the obligations of the parties necessary for continued fulfilment of the PFI contract. Second, a principal agreement made between the local authority, the academy trust and the Secretary of State, which contains indemnification for the authority in relation to various obligations of the Academy. When a PFI school
applies to convert, officials provide specific advice and guidance. We do not expect that any free schools would be subject to an existing PFI contract, but if they were, similar arrangements would apply.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what mechanisms he plans to put in place to ensure that the determination of the level of direct
funding of schools takes into account additional costs associated with schooling in rural communities. 
Mr Gibb: The Dedicated Schools Grant includes £200 million of underlying funding for sparsity in 2010-11, to recognise that small rural schools are more expensive to run. Further information on the future direction of school funding have been set out in the White Paper which has now been published.