Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff her Department has appointed on secondment since 7 May 2010; and from what organisation each such member of staff has been seconded. 
Mr David Jones: My Department has spent £6,256.31 on training and staff development since 7 May 2010. The amounts spent include a professional accreditation and £1,926.31 is for advanced payments for courses in the new year.
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what account he has taken of (a) banking market conditions in Northern Ireland and (b) the effects on that market of the current financial situation in the Republic of Ireland in developing his proposals for an enterprise zone in Northern Ireland. 
Mr Paterson: The forthcoming HM Treasury consultation paper on rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy, to be published by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, my hon. Friend the Member for South West Hertfordshire (Mr Gauke), will examine a wide range of proposals for possible economic reform options to rebalance the NI economy and attract significant new investment. I am aware of the particular circumstances for lending to SMEs in Northern Ireland, though there is some evidence that lending is being affected by low take-up rather than credit rationing by banks.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff employed by his Department were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and (b) Minister of State for Higher and Further Education on the impact on Scottish higher educational institutions of the planned increase in university tuition fees in England. 
David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland and I are in regular contact with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on a range of matters important to Scotland, including student finance.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Executive and (b) Universities Scotland on the impact on Scottish higher educational institutions of the planned increase in levels of university tuition fees in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Spellar: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what additional cost in respect of building work on the House of Commons estate was incurred as a result of the House sitting in September 2010. 
Robert Halfon: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the House of Commons Service spent on bottled water in the last 24 months; what the average cost to the House per litre of water supplied was; which company holds the contract to supply bottled water to the House; and under what procedures (a) the tender for this contract was issued and (b) the contract was let. 
John Thurso: The House has spent £95,023 on bottled water (other than bottled water obtained for water coolers) over the last two years for which full figures are available (2008-09 and 2009-10). The average cost for bottled water over the period was 38p per litre. The contract for supplying bottled water is held by Hildon Natural Mineral Water. Contract award followed the EU restricted procedure. The contract was extended in 2010 with the intention of competitively re-tendering in 2011.
Where the House pays for water coolers together with bottled water, the cost of the bottled water cannot be separately identified. The House has spent £9,825 on water coolers, including bottled water and supplies, over the last two years for which full figures are available (2008-09 and 2009-10). The cost for an 18 litre bottle for water coolers was 20p per litre. The House uses suppliers from a public sector framework contract. The supplier most frequently used is Pressure Coolers Ltd.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission will take steps to assess the level of compliance with the regulations on the use of House dining facilities in respect of indirect fundraising for political parties in the last 12 months. 
The House's Catering and Retail Services seek to ensure that the regulations on use of the dining rooms are complied with, principally, as regards fundraising
for political parties, by requiring hon. Members to certify that they have read the regulations and will abide by them. The main responsibility lies with hon. Members. It is not clear what evidence the Commission could gather to make a general assessment of the level of compliance with the regulations. It is open to anyone who has evidence of a breach of the regulations to make a complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
|Department||Numbers of invoices processed between 1 December 2009 and 30 November 2010|
|(1 )TSol also processes invoices for AGO and HMCPSI|
Mr Whittingdale: To ask the Attorney-General what fees have been paid to prosecution counsel instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service on the case of Ejup Ganic between 26 March 2010 and 20 August 2010. 
The Solicitor-General: The total fees paid to the five counsel instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the conduct of the extradition proceedings against Dr Ejup Ganic between 26 March 2010 and 20 August 2010 amounted to £69,000.
Bob Russell: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, by what means the post of Director of Communications at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was advertised; who was responsible for drawing up the shortlist of candidates for that role; how many people were included on the shortlist of candidates; who sat on the interview panel; and on what date the appointment took effect. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how the post of Director of Communications was advertised; who was responsible for drawing up the shortlist of candidates for the role; how many people were included on that shortlist; who sat on the interview panel and on what date the appointment took effect. (29685)
The post of the Director of Communisations was initially advertised in February 2010, but a candidate was not found. In May 2010, the role was re-advertised online on a number of websites, including PR Week, Guardian Jobs, Exec-Appointments.com, Green Park, Executivesontheweb.com, and diverse-leaders.com.
Candidates were shortlisted for interview by IPSA from a long-list of applicants. There were four candidates on the shortlist.
Final interviews were conducted by IPSA's chief executive, IPSA's chairman, and an independent panel member.
The successful candidate's appointment took effect on 20 September 2010.
Bob Russell: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) application form and (b) supporting documentation for the person appointed as Director of Communications for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking if I will place in the Library a copy of the (a) application form and (b) supporting documentation for the person appointed as Director of Communications for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 29686
Applicants were requested to send their CV and a supporting statement based on the job specification and person specification. This information constitutes personal data and I will not therefore be releasing it. Copies of the job description and person specification are, however, available on the IPSA website.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how many hon. Members have been refused advance loans by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to date. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question as to how many honourable Members have been refused advances and loans by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in 2010 to date (29496).
We offered Members the facility to apply for an interest-free advance of up to £4,000 each. The advance is to assist Members to cover any expenses they incur that are allowable under the scheme. As of 8 December, 253 Members had applied for and had received such an advance. No applications for advances of up to £4,000 have been refused. One application for a greater sum was refused. This application was subsequently resubmitted for a permissible amount and approved.
We have also provided loans for deposits on rented office and living accommodation. As of 8 December, 172 loans have been made to 157 Members. No applications for such loans have been refused. In one instance a Member submitted and subsequently withdrew an application as the deposit was no longer required.
Mr Spellar: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, on which dates the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) received a request for information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from The Times newspaper on hon. Members' expenses; and on what dates the IPSA responded. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking on which dates the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) received a request for information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from The Times newspaper on Members' expenses; and on what dates the IPSA responded.
IPSA received a Freedom of Information request from The Times newspaper on 22 September. We responded on 19 October advising the requestor that we would require more time to consider the use of a qualified exemption. On 19 November we provided a substantive answer. On 22 November we received a further request pursuant to our response. This resulted in the release of additional information on 30 November and further information on 14 December.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, to how many business bank accounts operated by the offices of hon. Members the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority made payments in the latest period for which figures are available. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking to how many business bank accounts operated by the offices of hon. Members the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority made payments in the latest period for which figures are available.
IPSA can register a number of bank accounts for each MP; the purposes of each are determined by MPs themselves.
By the end of November, IPSA had made payments relating to MPs' salaries and expenses into a total of 1,483 bank accounts. This number includes not only MPs' bank accounts, but accounts held by certain members of MPs' staff and MPs' landlords.
Of these 1,483 bank accounts, some 295 are, for IPSA's purposes, operated by MPs exclusively for the payment of expenses. A further 645 of the 1,483 bank accounts are used to pay MPs' salaries, and we estimate that some 348 of these 645 are also used for the payment of expenses and other non-personal transactions.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how many site visits were carried out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in October and November 2010. 
As Interim Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many site visits were carried out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in October and November 2010.
During October 2010, IPSA officials carried out five visits to Westminster offices to discuss policy matters, and 50 visits for assistance with the online expenses system. In November 2010, IPSA officials made five visits to MPs in their constituencies, 10 visits to Westminster offices to discuss policy, and 53 visits for assistance with the online expenses system. In addition, IPSA Board members paid MPs two visits during this period.
Sarah Teather: All local authorities received funding in 2010-11 under the Disabled Children's Access to Childcare (DCATCH) programme. This funding has been used to embed changes to practice locally which will improve the service offered to disabled children. Local authorities are focusing their funding on a number of areas including: work force development, improving information for families and increasing capacity, inclusion and improving quality. Arrangements about funding for future years will be announced in due course.
Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people resident in (a) England, (b) Leicester and (c) Leicester West constituency were in receipt of education maintenance allowance on the latest date for which figures are available 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 30 November 2010]: 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 with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Mr Gibb: 22 Free School proposals that intend to open in 2011 are currently in the business case and plan stage. I am confident that they will submit strong business cases which will enable as many Free Schools as possible to open in September 2011.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding his Department has allocated to the school linking network programme since October 2007; and how many projects in each local authority area have received assistance from that programme. 
The SLN has supported 857 projects involving over 1,700 schools. Of these 857 projects, 379 have been funded by the £2 million from the DfE, with the remainder being self-funded. The breakdown by local authority is set out in the following table:
|Local authority||Number of DfE funded projects|
Tim Loughton: 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 Sports 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.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effects of the removal of funding for Schools Sports Partnerships (a) nationally and (b) in Brighton Pavilion constituency on the provision of (i) after-school sports clubs, (ii) inter-schools competitions and (iii) dance and sports festivals. 
Tim Loughton: The coalition Government's approach to school sport differs fundamentally from that of the previous Government. While the network of school sport partnerships helped schools to increase participation rates in areas targeted by the previous Government, the fact remains that the proportion of pupils playing competitive sport regularly has remained disappointingly low. Only around two in every five pupils play competitive sport regularly within their own school, and only one in five plays regularly against other schools.
We are committed to creating an Olympic and Paralympic style school sport competition to address this. The best way to create a lasting Olympic legacy in schools is to give them the freedom and incentives to organise it themselves, for themselves, rather than imposing a central Government blueprint.
When announcing his decision not to continue to ring-fence funding for school sport partnerships, the Secretary of State also lifted the many requirements of the previous Government's PE and sport strategy. This gives schools the freedom and clarity to concentrate on competitive sport. In giving schools this freedom, we are trusting school leaders to take decisions in the best interests of the pupils and parents they serve. This will allow schools, both nationally and in the Brighton Pavilion constituency, more time and greater freedoms to run after school clubs and to organise competitions and festivals involving other schools.
Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has for the future funding of academies in respect of education services for children with low incidence special educational needs. 
Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many families have been separated when one parent is held in immigration detention while their children stay in the community for the purposes of immigration control in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many such families were single parent families. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency will always first seek to achieve voluntary departure of illegal migrant families. Where families refuse to leave the UK, enforcement efforts will start with efforts to remove the family without the need to detain any family members. Separating parents from children is only ever done as a matter of last resort and only after careful case by case consideration.
For example, there may be circumstances where a prisoner, who is also a parent, is released from prison and a decision is made to maintain their detention under immigration powers in order to effect their deportation. Such assessments are made on a case by case basis taking into account public and child protection concerns.
However, family separations may occur for other reasons, such as for child protection purposes (which would be a matter for local authority children's services) or where the parent has chosen to separate the family by deliberately hiding the whereabouts of their children. Where children are missing the UK Border Agency will work with other statutory agencies, such as the police and local authorities, to try and locate the children and reunite them with their parent.
At present we do not centrally hold the requested information. To do so would mean examining individual case records at a disproportionate cost. In response to the Independent Chief Inspector's report into family
removals the UK Border Agency committed to improving the management information held on families, which we are currently reviewing.
Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will meet representatives of Barnardo's prior to her announcement of a strategy for human trafficking of the purpose of learning from their experience of child trafficking in the UK. 
Damian Green: The voluntary sector plays a key role in the identification of, and provision of support to, victims of human trafficking. We are strongly supportive of this role and will continue to work in partnership with voluntary organisations to reduce the incidence of human trafficking.
Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers, (b) police community support officers and (c) other staff in each police force area were assigned to each police function in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mrs May [holding answer 23 November 2010]: The available data are provided in the tables placed in the House Library. The tables show the police officer, police community support officer, and police staff functions in England and Wales as at 31 March 2010. The available data is collected by the Home Office from police forces as part of the annual data requirement, ADR601.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will (a) exclude from the UK and (b) freeze the assets of any Russian officials found to be involved in (i) the arrest, treatment in prison and death of Sergei Magnitsky and (ii) the fraudulent activity against the Russian Federation he alleged before his arrest. 
Damian Green: As the Prime Minister outlined in a previous response to this issue the Government remain very concerned by Mr Magnitsky's case. We are awaiting the conclusion of the official investigation into this case announced by President Medvedev in November 2009. It would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment any further at this time on the individual circumstances of the case.
The use of control and restraint against children is used as last resort and only by specially trained officers. Arrest trained officers can only use the
minimum amount of force necessary to carry out their duties, and the control and restraint of children must be limited to circumstances where it is necessary for an officer to use physical intervention to prevent harm to the child or any individual present.
UK Border Agency arrest team immigration officers are trained in the use of control and restraint by accredited police trainers to standards that are laid down by the police. This training is reviewed regularly and all arrest trained officers are required to attend refresher training every 12 months, which they must pass in order to retain their accreditation.
The use of control and restraint is carefully monitored and scrutinised internally to ensure that it is justified. Our operational activities are also subject to inspection by John Vine, the Independent Chief Inspector.
Further information on UK Border Agency procedures in family cases, including the use of force against children, can be found in chapter 45 of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance manual which is available to view at:
As part of the review 'ending child detention for immigration purposes' the UK Border Agency is engaging closely with child welfare organisations to review training provided to staff who manage families.
Damian Green: Funding has been made available to the Welsh Refugee Council for the provision of support for asylum seekers in the form of 'One Stop Service' and initial accommodation wrap-around services. The following table details the funds made available for these services for the past three years and the maximum funding level for these services for 2011-12.
|Financial year||Funding levels (£)|
The maximum funding level for 2011-12 does not include funding for the provision of the Refugee Integration Employment Services in Wales or for strategic funding that will be made available to the Welsh Refugee Council.
Norman Baker: I welcome the positive impact that the cycle hire scheme has had on journey patterns in central London and the environmental benefits that have accrued. However, I do not intend to issue guidance to local authorities. It is a matter for local authorities to decide whether to introduce a cycle hire scheme in their local area taking into account issues such as their current levels of cycling, cycling infrastructure, current patterns of public transport use and other factors.
Norman Baker: During the last 12 months (December 2009-November 2010) the Department for Transport and its agencies processed 227,462 invoices. This information, together with further details, is available on the DFT website at:
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) purpose and (b) nature was of the management consultancy for which his Department paid the Central Office of Information (a) £113,724.72 on 10 June 2010, (b) £299,574.96 on 14 June 2010 and (c) £127,416.44 on 17 June 2010. 
Norman Baker: The purpose of the expenditure in all three cases was publicity to raise public awareness and encourage behaviours to improve road safety and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on roads in Great Britain.
|Non-departmental public bodies|
|Grade equivalent||Pay band||DFT inc. agencies||Renewable Fuels Agency||Northern Lighthouse Board||Trinity Lighthouse Service||High Speed Two Ltd||Traffic Commissioners and Deputies|
British Transport Police Authority
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee
Directly Operated Railways Ltd.
Railway Heritage Committee.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the expenditure on redundancy costs likely to be incurred by each of his Department's non-departmental public bodies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13 and (d) the spending review period. 
Norman Baker: Redundancy costs at each of the Department for Transport's non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) will be dependent on the precise nature, extent and timing of future changes. We have set out our proposed reforms to a number of DfT NDPBs and other public bodies, including those named in Schedules 1 to 5 of the Public Bodies Bill, but are not yet in a position to provide robust information on the likely redundancy costs. We would expect to make this information available in due course.
|Organisation||(a) 2008-09||(b) 2009-10|
DFT(c)-Department for Transport (Centre)
DSA-Driving Standards Agency
DVLA-Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Agency
GCDA-Government Car and Despatch Agency
MCA-Maritime and Coastguard Agency
VCA-Vehicle Certification Agency
VOSA-Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what impact assessment his Department has conducted of the effects on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea of the comprehensive spending review outcomes; what assessment he has made of the effects of the outcomes of the Review on the number of people employed by the Agency in Swansea; what restructuring of DVLA he expects to take place as a consequence of implementation of the review outcomes; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), like all areas of the Department for Transport, will need to make savings as part of the comprehensive spending review. The DVLA has a good record of delivering efficiency savings and already has plans in place to continue this work. However, it is too early to say what impact these savings will have on the structure of the DVLA or the number of people which it employs.
Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with distribution network operators on the provision of electricity to retail outlets providing charging points for electric cars. 
Norman Baker: Officials from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles have met with distribution network operators (DNOs) as part of the Plugged-In Places scheme and will continue to do so as the Government develops their strategy for the installation of electric vehicle infrastructure. The Plugged-In Places scheme offers match-funding to support the cost of installing a critical mass of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in lead places across the UK; at home, at work, in public areas (such as car parks or on street) and at retail sites.
Mike Penning: The information about expenditure on different types of fuel used by ministerial cars since 2005 is not available. The Government Car and Despatch Agency only holds data for the entire government fleet that it operates.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department conducted any environmental risk assessment prior to the decision announced as part of the comprehensive spending review to end funding for marine salvage tugs. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 9 December 2010]: The decision to withdraw public funding for the provision of emergency towing vessels (ETVs) was informed by a series of marine assessments, arising from a number of work streams which address a range of wider marine environmental issues.
George Eustice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the mileage of ministerial cars was in each year since 2005; and what estimate he has made of the carbon footprint of journeys made by ministerial cars in each such year. 
Mike Penning: The information requested on the mileage and carbon footprint of journeys made by ministerial cars since 2005 is not available. The Government Car and Despatch Agency only holds data about the entire car fleet that it operates.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the number of persons who habitually travelled to a place of work in (a) England, (b) the East Midlands and (c) Leicestershire by (i) train, (ii) car and (iii) bus in each of the last five years. 
Norman Baker: The requested statistics for England and the East Midlands are shown in the table. These are estimates taken from the Labour Force Survey, which includes questions on mode of travel to work during a three-month period (October to December) in each year.
|October to December|
|Area/Mode of travel||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009|
|(1) Includes railway trains but excludes underground train and light railway or tram. (2 )Includes car, van, minibus and works van. (3) Includes bus, coach and private bus. (4 )Data are not shown due to the estimate falling below the LFS minimum threshold of 10 thousand. Source: ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS).|
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the recognition as a user group of reduced fare users in consultations on the future of public transport services. 
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Highways Agency plans to import salt from overseas to meet winter demands for road salt; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 3 December 2010]: As a result of the Independent Winter Resilience review led by David Quarmby, which delivered its final report in October 2010, the Highways Agency is importing a national reserve of 250,000 tonnes of salt. In addition, following its own internal review, the Highways Agency is importing a reserve of a further 60,000 tonnes of salt, over and above its planned operational requirements for its own purposes.
The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Hammond) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Pickles) wrote on 12 November to the leaders of all English local authorities. This letter advised on the measures the Government have taken to implement the recommendations following David Quarmby's independent review on Winter Resilience, published in October 2010. The letter also drew attention to the recommendations in the review panel's report which were addressed to local authorities.
Given that much of the country is being hit unusually early this winter by severe weather, the Secretary of State for Transport has asked David Quarmby to take the opportunity to conduct an urgent audit of highway authorities' and transport operators' recent performance in England, their progress in implementing his recommendations and any further steps that need to be taken.
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the amount and proportion of (a) salt, (b) grit and (c) potash the Highways Agency will procure from (i) British and (ii) overseas suppliers in 2010-11; 
It is not possible for the Highways Agency to estimate the amount and proportion of salt to be procured from British and overseas suppliers in 2010-11 or the proportion of its budget that will be spent on procuring salt.
The delivery of winter service is paid for within lump sum payments covering a range of defined activities. The amount spent on the purchase of road salt is not readily discernible from the service delivery lump sum payments and cannot therefore be provided.
In addition to the provision of routine winter services, the Highways Agency has been tasked with a strategic stockpile to provide additional resilience for local authorities. The Government anticipates that the full cost of procuring the strategic stockpile will be recovered from those local authorities which use it.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department last published a Welsh language scheme in accordance with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act 1993; and at which web addresses these can be accessed in (a) Welsh and (b) English. 
John Mann: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister on what dates since his appointment he has in the course of his official duties (a) taken a scheduled bus service, (b) travelled on the London underground, (c) travelled on a scheduled tram service and (d) cycled. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements, including by public transport. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel as set out in the Ministerial Code.
Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions entered into a contract with Addison Lee plc on 1 May 2010 for a period of two years, for the provision of a Taxi Sourcing, Booking, Delivery and Management service.
Chris Grayling: We want to ensure that as many people benefit from the Work Programme as soon as possible, and will launch the Work Programme as soon as providers are ready to start delivery in each contract package area. We aim to have the new Work Programme in place nationally by the summer of 2011.
We are determined to ensure that there is continuity of provision, and that the transition to the Work Programme does not leave any customer unsupported. Therefore, new deal and employment zone contracts will be extended until June 2011, ensuring that customers referred to these programmes in March will be supported until the summer, when the Work Programme will be rolled out.
Before their referral to the Work Programme, customers will have access to support delivered through Jobcentre Plus, including access to work experience, help to volunteer or take advantage of peer-to-peer support, as well as help with basic skills or jobsearch techniques and access to the Jobcentre Plus flexible fund.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many young people have been employed through the Future Jobs Fund in each region in each month of the fund's operation; and how much has been spent under the fund in each region. 
Chris Grayling: We have placed the number of young people that have been employed by the Future Jobs Fund (FJF) in each region in each month of the fund's operation in the Library. This information has been compiled from the Official Statistics up to July 2010.
Annex A provides the overall total spend per region up to 18 November 2010. This information has been taken from the FJF Combined and Monitoring Claim Form (CMCF) process which is FJF expenditure that is claimed by lead accountable bodies (LABs) via the monthly claims process.
The Government have announced they will be replacing many of the existing back to work programmes with the Work Programme. This is expected to be in place nationally by the summer of 2011. Incapacity benefit customers will be able to access the Work Programme, if, following reassessment for employment and support allowance (ESA), they go on to claim ESA or jobseeker's allowance.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2010, Official Report, column 165W, on Jobcentre Plus: buildings, what the average rent per square metre is for Jobcentre Plus premises in London. 
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Sure Start maternity grants were made to mothers resident in Coventry for a second or subsequent child in 2009-10. 
Steve Webb: A total of 274,000 Sure Start maternity grants were awarded in Great Britain in 2009-10. The exact number of awards for a second or subsequent maternity is not available, but is estimated to be 52% of all awards, around 143,000.
1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have management information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National Statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, the total given does not include awards processed clerically which had not been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System by the end of 2009-10.
2. Both numbers have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System (for total number of awards for Great Britain).
The estimate of 52% was obtained by analysing families in Great Britain with a child (or children) aged under one from the Department for Work and Pensions Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance Quarterly Statistical Enquiries for August 2009. (This was considered the most appropriate available data at the time the analysis was done.)
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of pensioners aged (a) between 60 and 65, (b) between 65 and 70, (c) between 70 and 75, (d) between 75 and 80 and (e) over 80 years old were living in poverty in 1997. 
Steve Webb: Estimates of pensioner poverty are published in the Households Below Average Incomes series. The most commonly used measure of pensioner poverty relates to those people with incomes below 60% of contemporary median income, after housing costs. This is often referred to as relative poverty.
The Households Below Average Income publication uses Family Resources Survey data. Data for Northern Ireland has been collected only since 2002-03. Estimates of poverty for 2001-02 and earlier are for Great Britain only, but from 2002-03 are for United Kingdom. The percentage of pensioners in relative poverty in Great Britain in 1997-98, split by age group, is shown in the following table:
|Age group||Percentage with income below 60% of contemporary median after housing costs( 1)|
|(1 )Relative poverty. Notes: 1. These statistics are based on the Households Below Average Income series, sourced from the Family Resources Survey. 2. The estimates presented here are Great Britain only, as Northern Ireland data was not collected until 2002-03.|
3. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication "Households Below Average Income" (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or "equivalised") for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 5. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) modified equivalisation factors. 6. Proportions of pensioners in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest whole percentage point.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria he plans to use to determine whether benefit claimants have deliberately not informed the relevant agency of a change in their circumstances. 
Chris Grayling: Where a customer deliberately does not inform the Department of a reportable change in circumstance this would constitute benefit fraud. The Fraud Investigation Service investigates cases thoroughly, and an admission of fraud or proof beyond reasonable doubt are the criteria used to determine whether fraud has been committed.
The Department takes fraud very seriously and has recently published a new joint strategy with HMRC for tackling welfare fraud and error. This sets out a strong sanctions regime to punish those who are caught of committing benefit fraud and includes a new civil penalty for genuine mistakes.
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the level of savings which will accrue to his Department as a result of the decision to suspend work-focused health-related assessments. 
Our decision to suspend work focused health-related assessments was based on feedback from customers and staff which indicated that it was not providing valuable support. The suspension of work focused health-related assessments will improve the Department's capacity to focus on, and cope with, the reassessment of existing incapacity benefits customers, which began in Aberdeen and Burnley in October.
Although they do not currently attend work focused health-related assessments at the beginning of their claim, individuals in the Work Related Activity Group meet regularly with their personal advisers within Jobcentre Plus or Provider-led Pathways to Work. Personal advisers help customers to focus on what they can do to get a job, taking any medical condition into account.
By the summer of 2011, we will introduce the Work Programme which will give providers greater freedom to tailor the right support to the individual needs of each customer. Providers will be best placed to assess a customer's needs and abilities, in the context of the support that is available.
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the maximum length of time is that a claimant of jobseeker's allowance may attend a training course while retaining their benefit; and what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of this period. 
Chris Grayling: Jobseeker's allowance is designed to support people while they are unemployed and looking for work. To be eligible, jobseekers must therefore be available for and actively seeking employment. Unless specific exemptions apply, they must be willing and able to take up full-time work immediately.
Jobseekers can however undertake part-time education or training at any point in their claim and continue to receive jobseeker's allowance as long as they continue to meet the basic conditions of entitlement.
Jobseeker's allowance claimants may also undertake full-time training if this is needed in order to gain the necessary skills to enhance employment prospects. While undertaking two weeks of work-related training within any 12 month period claimants can remain on jobseeker's allowance. This is agreed by the adviser and it can be combined with part-time learning to give a longer period of support.
Within limits, jobseekers may also undertake full-time training for longer than two weeks where it is deemed appropriate in order to help towards a move into employment. Currently, jobseekers who undertake full-time training in excess of two weeks are transferred to a separate training allowance. Full-time training opportunities for jobseekers are ideally no more than eight weeks long as short, intensive periods of work-focused training better achieves the purpose of the jobseeker's allowance interventions regime of helping people find employment as quickly as possible. Those with basic skills needs (for example literacy and numeracy) may be able to remain on full-time training for 15 weeks or longer.
The current approach maintains a balance between enabling unemployed people to provide access to training while keeping claimants close to the labour market. Where there are identified skills barriers to work they can be tackled through structured provision.
From summer 2011 we will also be launching nationwide the Work Programme, which will provide personalised and individual services to claimants to support them into work. Work Programme providers will be free to design support according to the needs of the individuals referred to them; this may include training courses which the claimant can undertake while still retaining their benefit.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under what circumstances recipients of universal credit will be expected to identify
(a) administrative errors in their payments and (b) errors in real-time earnings data supplied by employers. 
Chris Grayling: As under the current system, we will expect all customers to report to us if they become aware that any of their payments are incorrect. However, with the availability of real time information about their earnings, the potential for errors and overpayments will be dramatically reduced as people will not have to report changes in earnings.
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to provide for (a) the exercise of discretion and (b) a de minimis level in respect of any overpayment of tax credits where the claimant has failed to take reasonable care before the proposed £50 civil penalty is imposed. 
Chris Grayling: On 18 October the Government published their new strategy, "Tackling fraud and error in the benefit and tax credits systems". The strategy announced the introduction of a new £50 civil penalty for those individuals who fail to take reasonable care of their claim.
The civil penalty will apply to customer error and not fraud. Customer error applies in cases where there is no fraudulent intent on behalf of the customer and a change in circumstance goes unreported as a genuine mistake. Where a customer deliberately does not inform the Department of a reportable change in circumstance this constitutes benefit fraud. The Fraud Investigation Service investigate such cases thoroughly, and an admission of fraud or proof beyond reasonable doubt are the criteria used to determine whether fraud has been committed.
This new penalty will not apply to tax credits as the Tax Credits Act already includes a civil penalty. For Social Security benefits, it is too early to confirm the criteria that will be used when considering the penalty such as (a) the exercise of discretion and (b) a de minimis level. However, it is intended that the penalty will deter individuals from negligent behaviour in the future and increase their personal responsibility for keeping claims correct.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many bottles of wine from the Government wine cellar have been served at Government functions since 1 November 2010; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of serving such wines. 
Between 1 November and 13 December 2010 Government Hospitality used 494 bottles of wine at 23 Government functions, for approximately 1,376
guests. The functions were a combination of receptions, lunches and dinners. Government Hospitality estimates that the total purchase cost of these wines amounted to £4,735, an average of less than £10 per bottle.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of the People's Republic of China on the release of Liu Xiaobo. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: In a statement to mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2010, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary sent a message of support to human rights defenders around the world. Highlighting the important work of human rights defenders, the Foreign Secretary said,
"We remember in particular Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but is imprisoned in China, and we call again for his release".
Our Ministers have consistently raised the case of Liu Xiaobo in their engagement with China. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the case during his visit to China in July this year. We will continue to urge the Chinese Government to release Mr Liu.
Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on rules of engagement in counter-piracy operations. 
As a participant in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, the UK has discussions with partners on the legal questions and concerns affecting the international response to Somali piracy. These have included the appropriate use of force in counter piracy operations, although rules of engagement themselves are not discussed.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has had no recent discussions with its international counterparts on the rules of engagement in counter-piracy operations because this is primarily a military matter. Therefore the matter is one which the Ministry of Defence leads on rather than the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK operates with a number of international partners on counter-piracy operations including the European Union's Operation Atalanta, NATO's Operation Ocean Shield and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and operational tactics are discussed regularly as part of this. Our rules of engagement are shared with our coalition partners as necessary to improve international co-ordination.
In Argentina, the Government have taken measures in recent years to address the issue, for example through the reform of the process for nominating Supreme Court judges. A Bill on access to information is also being considered by Congress.
The Venezuelan Government have publicly recognised corruption as an issue requiring attention. The creation of a new national police force is an important part of an attempt to address the issue and the UK is working with the authorities on police reform issues.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions with his Chinese counterpart on the extent of deforestation on Chinese-owned land in Africa used for the development of palm oil plantations. 
Defra and the Department for International Development are working in partnership with China on a project on the international palm oil industry. This involves outlining the business case for sustainable sourcing, including on investments abroad. The project will conclude in March 2011 with a report and policy options, which we will then discuss with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
With regards to our consumption in the UK, the Secretary of State and I announced on 13 July 2010 that Defra has commissioned a project to map UK palm oil supply chains (including those specific to government procurement), to determine how much we use (including future trends) and in what products. It will identify existing company commitments to sourcing sustainable palm oil and the implications for the sustainability of palm oil consumed in the UK, as well as considering options for encouraging increased sustainable sourcing. The project has involved participation from international businesses, NGOs and other Governments, and will report in February 2011.
|South Western||Eastern||South Eastern||Midlands||Yorks & Humber||Northern||Western|
|(1 )Indicates that figures are incomplete as a full set of records are unavailable for these areas within the year shown.|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects of recent severe weather on farmers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: We have maintained close contact with farming organisations throughout the recent severe weather conditions. This has allowed us to support farmers in responding to a range of issues, including relaxing drivers' hours for hauliers supplying feed to farms so that animal welfare is not compromised; relaxing the rules on supplementary feeding to help livestock farmers who are in agri-environment schemes; and monitoring the position on milk collections.
DEFRA and Animal Health have published advice for farmers on their websites on what they should do to protect the welfare of their animals. DEFRA remains in close touch with the industry and will continue to look at whether there are additional, specific measures that need to be put in place to ease problems.
Richard Benyon: Many bird of prey populations in the UK have recovered in the latter part of the 20th century following severe declines, and in some cases national or regional extinctions. These declines were due to the impacts of illegal persecution and secondary poisoning by pesticides used in agriculture.
The interaction between birds of prey and various countryside interests (in particular, lowland game rearing, pigeon racing and driven grouse shooting) have been the subject of considerable research involving stakeholder organisations and other interested parties. These studies have demonstrated that a wide range of practical management techniques are available to reduce or eliminate these conflicts with birds of prey. There are no current plans to assess the merits of reducing bird of prey populations.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's procedure is for blood testing of camelids suspected of having TB; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 13 December 2010]: Because of the poor sensitivity of the tuberculin skin test in South American camelids (llamas, alpacas, etc.), voluntary blood testing for TB can be offered to herd owners. This is currently at the Government's expense and subject to a veterinary risk assessment by Animal Health (AH). Although only optional for herd owners as it is not yet fully validated in camelids, blood testing is often recommended in order to maximise the chances of detecting all infected animals that may remain in these herds and thus speed up the resolution of the TB outbreak.
The case veterinary officer will discuss the TB testing options and implications with the affected herd owner. Herd owners must then signify their intention to co-operate with the TB testing regime and release any animals testing positive by signing a standard letter of consent. If the owner agrees to supplement the skin test with blood testing, AH will take blood samples from all the potentially exposed animals remaining in the herd. This will normally take place 10 to 30 days after a skin test.
Blood testing of camelids is currently undergoing full validation at Veterinary Laboratories Agency as part of a project largely funded by the British Alpaca Society and British Camelids Ltd. It is hoped that a suite of validated blood tests for camelids will be available by the end of 2011.
Richard Benyon: There have been no ministerial discussions with EU counterparts on odour emissions from mushroom composting. However, officials have conducted investigations with various sources in different member states.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with representatives of farm businesses on the likely environmental impact of the introduction of individual dairy and beef units of up to 3,000 cattle. 
However, when I have held my regular discussions with representatives of farming organisations and the subject of large scale dairy farms has been raised, I have emphasised that all legislation, including animal welfare and environmental legislation, must be complied with whatever the size of unit. I have also pointed out that environmental gains may be more easily achieved on larger scale farms through spreading the cost of investment in technologies such as anaerobic digestion.
In response to the arrangements for advertising and marketing put in place by the Government, DEFRA has established an internal panel to consider all proposals for expenditure arising from communication activity. As a result business areas are required to gain approval prior to arranging conferences and are expected to fund these using local budgets.
Approval has been given to expenditure on seven conferences. Five were approved following reduction in costs requested by the panel. Two were accepted by the panel without change. The total cost of these seven conferences was £34,285.
Mr Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of the non-departmental public bodies that she plans to abolish will have their responsibilities subsumed into her Department. 
Richard Benyon: In the case of some of the bodies we are abolishing, some of the work will return to the Department. However in many cases the decision to pursue abolition has been taken because there is no need for the function to continue.
Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances
Advisory Committee on Packaging
Advisory Committee on Pesticides
Air Quality Expert Group
Darwin Advisory Committee
Farm Animal Welfare Council
National Standing Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources
Pesticide Residues Committee
Veterinary Residues Committee
It is proposed that the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) will be abolished, subject to obtaining the necessary powers through the Public Bodies Bill. A new Rural Communities Policy Unit will be created in DEFRA to expand on the Government's existing rural
policy work and act to as a centre of rural expertise within government. The unit will also take over from CRC responsibility for managing the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) National Rural Network.
In addition, responsibility for delivery of parts of the socio-economic elements of the RDPE will transfer from the eight regional development agencies (which are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills) to DEFRA.
With regard to the Sustainable Development Commission, the Secretary of State has decided to transfer specific elements of two of their functions into DEFRA. These include elements of capability building and stakeholder engagement.
DEFRA has also announced that the Inland Waterways Advisory Council will be abolished. We have decided that an arm's length body is no longer needed to help develop policy for the inland waterways-instead, this should be the clear role of Government Departments and Ministers. Therefore, in future we will develop policy by consulting all interests directly, including making full use of the evidence which can be provided by the navigation authorities and having a closer relationship with stakeholders.
Mr Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff at each civil service grade employed in non-departmental bodies that will have their responsibilities subsumed into her Department will have a right of transfer into her Department; and when she expects such transfers to take place. 
Richard Benyon: We are considering which functions currently in non-departmental bodies will transfer into the Department in accordance with the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector (COSOP). It is not therefore possible to say how many staff in total will have a right to transfer into the Department.
16 CRC staff members had the right to transfer into Core DEFRA. 14 have exercised this right and two have not. The 14 CRC staff transferred into DEFRA on 1 December 2010. The grade profile of these staff is as follows:
|Table 1: Number of CRC staff, by grade, who have transferred to the core Department|
|Grade||Number of staff|
|Table 2: Number of CRC staff, by grade, that declined transfer to the core Department|
|Grade||Number of staff|
Mr Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria she has set to determine the right of transfer into her Department of staff employed in non-departmental bodies that will have their responsibilities subsumed into her Department. 
Richard Benyon: We are currently looking at the potential transfer rights of staff in accordance with Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Staff Transfers in the Public Sector (COSOP) in respect of the bodies which will have responsibilities returned to the Department. Except for those relating to the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) we have not yet finalised the numbers involved.
COSOP has been followed and adhered to, in order to determine the right of CRC staff to transfer into the Department. While the commission's statutory functions are not being transferred, some of the commission's work is already replicated in the Department and those staff associated with this work therefore have the right to transfer.
(a) 2008-09: £3,710,190.97
(b) 2009-10: £3,676,091.87.
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