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Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change on targets for greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, what account his Department is taking of the effect of long-term energy facilities including incinerators on the level of emissions arising from the UK grid in 2030. 
Gregory Barker [holding answer 21 December 2010]: The Department is considering the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change in its report on the Fourth Carbon Budget and will shortly be responding formally.
Gregory Barker: The Department does not hold information on the overall number of ground-source heat pumps (GSHP) fitted to new-build residential properties. These works are carried out by private contractors who have no obligation to inform the Government.
Under the previous Government grant programme (low carbon buildings programme), the following shows the numbers of ground-source heat pumps grants awarded for new-build residential properties between 2005 and 2009.
Gregory Barker: My hon. Friend the Minister of State (Charles Hendry) visited the North East in December 2010. This was part of a regional programme, which included visiting the Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station's control room training simulator site, meeting staff undergoing re-training.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Tamworth of 16 December 2010, Official Report, column 1039, on nuclear power stations, what the names are of each of his contacts around the City who have indicated that there certainly is an appetite to invest in new nuclear plant. 
Charles Hendry: It would not be appropriate for the Department to provide names of individuals who have offered their views on this subject in a personal capacity. However, the fact that energy companies have announced plans to build up to 16 gigawatts (GW) of new nuclear in the UK demonstrates that they see a future for new nuclear generation in the UK and are willing to make significant investment to make this happen.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's consultation on revised funded decommissioning programme guidance for new nuclear power stations, if he will take steps to recover from (a) NNB GenCo, (b) Horizon Nuclear Power and (c) NuGeneration Ltd the expenditure from the public purse since 1973 on payments to (i) (A) the International Atomic Energy Agency and (B) Euratom and the Joint Research Centres for research on nuclear waste, (ii) NIREX and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for research and development on nuclear waste and (iii) the UK Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels for research, development, demonstration and deployment of technologies and materials used for nuclear waste management in proportion to the proposed use by those companies of the technological advances in nuclear waste management so funded from the public purse. 
Charles Hendry: The UK has a legacy of nuclear waste from the UK's public sector nuclear programme which has accumulated over the last fifty years or which is already committed. The costs identified in this question have been incurred in relation to the management of this legacy waste. In line with the polluter pays principle, it is not appropriate for operators of new nuclear power stations to pay towards the historic costs of managing this legacy waste.
As set out in the "Consultation on revised Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations", published on 7 December
2010, the Government's objective is to ensure that operators of new nuclear power stations make prudent provision for their full share of the costs of safely and securely managing and disposing of their waste. The draft FDP Guidance and the "Consultation on an updated Waste Transfer Pricing Methodology for the disposal of higher activity waste from new nuclear power stations", also published on 7 December 2010, provide more detail on those costs for which a new build operator will be responsible. In summary, an operator's full share of waste management and disposal costs is considered to be: the cost of managing their waste pending disposal; the costs that are directly attributable to disposing of their waste in a geological disposal facility (GDF); a contribution towards the fixed costs of constructing a GDF; and an additional element or elements to reflect any financial risks being taken on by the Government in agreeing to title to and liability for the operator's waste.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's consultation documents on electricity market reform published on 16 December 2010, which types of financial support or incentivisation he regards as subsidies to the nuclear industry; and what criteria he uses to decide whether a financial incentive is a subsidy. 
"there will be no levy, direct payment or market support for electricity supplied or capacity provided by a private sector new nuclear operator, unless similar support is also made available more widely to other types of generation. New nuclear power will, for example, benefit from any general measures that are in place or may be introduced as part of wider reform of the electricity market to encourage investment in low-carbon generation".
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration he has given to implementing the proposals in the European Commission Communication: Facing the challenge of the safety of offshore oil and gas activities, SEC(2010) 1193, with particular reference to section 3, page 10, that until complete results are available from the investigation into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon accident, additional caution should be applied both to ongoing exploration and to new operations and that where extreme climate, high pressure/high temperature reservoirs, deep water or particularly sensitive natural environments are involved, this would warrant extra care and a temporary suspension of future operations. 
In the section to which the hon. Member refers, the European Commission asks member states to review all complex oil and gas exploration
operations to ensure best practice is applied, while adopting a precautionary approach. The Communication text does not however state that
"this would warrant extra care and a temporary suspension of future operations".
DECC and the Health and Safety Executive have already reviewed such complex operations, and ensure best practice is adopted. DECC/HSE will not allow any offshore operation to begin until they are assured that all risks have been assessed and appropriate controls are in place. DECC/HSE will inspect operations to ensure good practice is then followed, when it is not, it will take appropriate action, which can include stopping these operations.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department received from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in respect of the accident on 23 December 2009 involving an uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons from Sedco 711 oil recovery platform in the North Sea; what lessons have been learned about the vulnerabilities of flow control valves; and if he will place (a) in the Library and (b) on his Department's website a copy of the report on the accident made by Shell to the HSE. 
Charles Hendry: In accordance with the legislative requirements, my Department and the Health and Safety Executive were formally notified of the incident involving the Sedco 711 on 23 December 2009. DECC's investigations confirmed that there was no likelihood of environmental damage from this incident.
I am advised that the Health and Safety Executive's investigation into this incident confirmed that flow control valves can fail and that such risks should be identified and mitigated within well construction programmes. HSE will continue to monitor that such issues are addressed when it inspects well notifications and well construction activities. I am advised that HSE did not request a copy of Shell's internal report on this incident.
Charles Hendry: The Department does not hold information on the overall number of new build non-residential properties constructed with solar panels. These works are carried out by private contractors who have no obligation to inform the Government.
Under the previous low carbon buildings programme, the following numbers of solar photovoltaic panels projects for new-build non-residential properties were supported between 2005 and 2009. Figures for 2010 are not yet available.
|Number of grants|
|Value of grants (£)|
|Approximate capacity (KW)|
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many solar panels were retro-fitted to existing properties in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007, (d) 2008 and (e) 2009. 
Charles Hendry: The Department does not hold information on the overall number of solar panels retro-fitted to existing buildings. These works are carried out by private contractors who have no obligation to inform the Government.
Under the previous Government grant programme (low carbon buildings programme), the following shows the numbers of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal grants awarded for existing properties between 2005 and 2009.
Charles Hendry: The Department does not hold information on the proportion of residential properties which have solar panels. These works are carried out by private contractors who have no obligation to inform the Government.
The Government are currently supporting installation of solar photovoltaic panels through the Feed In-tariff (FIT). The number of domestic installations, as at 3 December 2010, accredited for FITs are as follows:
|Technology||Domestic installations||Domestic installations installed capacity (MW)|
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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 such schemes can be accessed in (a) Welsh and (b) English. 
Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change is currently developing a Welsh Language Scheme in close cooperation with the Welsh Language Board. We expect to publicly consult on our draft scheme early in the new year. Following the consultation and the agreement of the Welsh Language Board, the scheme will be available on the DECC website in Welsh and English with an expected publication date this spring.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what budgetary changes he expects to arise from implementation of his plans to reform adult community learning; and if he will make a statement. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQs 2566, 2567 and 2574. As set out in 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth', published on 16 November
2010, the budget for informal adult and community learning will remain at £210 million for 2011-12 and the same indicative budget for 2012-13. It will continue to be a priority as we finalise the allocations for future years.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has plans to identify best practice in respect of apprenticeship schemes in other European countries. 
Mr Hayes: Important lessons can be learnt from the way apprenticeships are delivered in other countries in Europe and further afield. However, we must not make the mistake of assuming that we can simply replicate other national systems.
The Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network, supported by this Department, together with the London School of Economics, has recently published a report on the State of Apprenticeships in 2010, where international comparisons with many leading European countries, including Germany, France and Sweden, have been researched-this report is freely available at:
BIS officials are currently working with organisations such as the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and German Industry UK to explore what lessons might be learned from apprenticeships in other countries. The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) are also part of the International Network for Apprenticeship best practise (INAP) and contribute to and attend events designed to explore the differences between the English and continental apprenticeships systems. For example in January, NAS will be meeting with colleagues from Germany to look at comparisons in the retail and engineering sectors, and in February NAS are hosting a conference for apprenticeship experts from leading international countries.
More widely, Professor Alison Wolf is looking at the organisation of vocational education for young people, including apprentices, and its responsiveness to a changing labour market, this will take explicit account of good practice in a selection of developed economies such as France, Denmark and Germany.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what grants have been awarded by his Department in 2010-11 to date; what grants he plans to award in each of the next two years; what the monetary value is of each such grant; and to which organisations such grants are made. 
Mr Davey [holding answer 18 November 2010]: The Department does not keep a central record of grant awards and the collation of the information could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost. From 12 May 2010, grant payments and recipients have been published on the BIS website
Details of grant payments that will be made in the next two years will be published retrospectively. The Department is currently undertaking an internal allocation exercise to determine detailed allocations for 2011-12
and 2012-13 and does not yet have a forecast for grant payments for the next two financial years.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) steps he is taking to encourage small businesses to bid for contracts let by his Department and (b) recent guidance he has provided to small businesses on bidding for such contracts. 
Mr Prisk: On 1 November the Minister for the Cabinet Office announced a package of measures to make government procurement easier for SMEs and voluntary sector organisations by simplifying the procurement process and making opportunities more accessible. These measures include (i) the introduction of a simpler standardised pre-qualification questionnaire across central Government from 1 December 2010, (ii) an investigation of red tape and the causes of delay in the procurement process and (iii) a free facility from March 2011 for small businesses to find public sector procurement, and subcontracting, opportunities in a single place online and free of charge-the "Contracts Finder" system.
Additionally, to support SMEs bidding for public sector contracts, raise their capability and work with public procures, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills provides a free online training course-'Winning the Contract'. Registration for this free course can be made at
We are consulting further on facilitating small business access to public procurement. On 1 December 2010, the No. 10 website launched a forum on for SMEs to collect their views on public procurement.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with voluntary and community groups on bidding for contracts let by his Department. 
Mr Prisk: This Department is supporting the Cabinet Office consultation with charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises consultation on how Government can create a level playing field for bidding for Government contracts. On 7 December 2010 the Cabinet Office published a Modernising Commissioning Green Paper. The consultation closed on 5 January 2011 and the results will feed into a Public Service Reform White Paper to be published shortly.
Additionally, BIS officials have been working with the Cabinet Office on a Civil Society Red Tape Taskforce, led by my noble Friend Lord Hodgson, which will be making recommendations as to how to reduce the bureaucratic burden on small organisations, particularly in the charitable, voluntary and social enterprise sectors. The taskforce will produce recommendations for Ministers in spring 2011.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from which external (a) individuals and (b) organisations his Department has sought scientific advice since 1 August 2010. 
Mr Willetts: We do not hold central records of requests for scientific advice. The Department aims to ensure the best available evidence informs its activity at all stages of policy development, implementation and review. Most day-to-day stakeholder engagement on specific policy areas is led by policy officials. The Department's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Brian Collins, maintains strategic oversight of the scientific, engineering and technical evidence and advice that informs policy development and can help policy teams identify gaps and opportunities for engagement with individuals and organisations with relevant expertise. A central stakeholder engagement team is responsible for ensuring that BIS adopts a well co-ordinated approach to engaging with BIS stakeholders more generally.
As the Department responsible for the UK research base, promoting science and innovation, and fostering world-class universities, we receive advice from our delivery partners all the time, including Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. We also seek and receive advice from the national academies, a broad range of learned societies and from individuals within the academic community who have expertise relevant to the Department's activities.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure science and engineering evidence contribute to his Department's (a) strategy and (b) policy development. 
Mr Willetts: BIS has a strong commitment to evidence-based policy making and aims to build a culture where science and engineering evidence and analysis are recognised as a vital part of an integrated approach to strategy, policy development and decision making.
The Department's chief scientific adviser (CSA), Professor Brian Collins, is responsible for ensuring that the Department's scientific and engineering activities are well directed and that policy development is informed by the best available evidence. This is achieved by working with heads of profession and heads of management units to ensure the Department has access to high quality, relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) advice and expertise, and uses this to inform policy development and implementation. Where necessary the CSA will challenge the scientific and engineering content and quality of evidence and advice underpinning BIS policies.
The CSA is a member of the policy and programme board (the team of senior officials advising Ministers on major policy issues and programmes) and has regular discussions with senior colleagues to identify priority policy areas where he can have most impact. The CSA is currently exploring ways of capturing and better using the existing science and engineering skills and expertise of staff within the Department.
To ensure an integrated approach to analysis, the CSA works closely with the chief economist and other senior analysts. Science and engineering is included in the BIS research strategy alongside economic and social research.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what weight he gives to the views of (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) unions, (c) business and (d) other interested parties in consultations on EU regulations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: When consulting on the transposition of EU directives in the UK, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills follows the Code of Practice on Consultation published by the Better Regulation Executive in July 2008.
6.1 All responses (both written responses and those fed through other channels such as discussion forums and public meetings) should be analysed carefully, using the expertise, experiences and views of respondents to develop more effective and efficient policy. The focus should be on the evidence given by consultees to back up their arguments. Analysing consultation responses is primarily a qualitative rather than a quantitative exercise.
Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the export of potassium chloride and pancuronium bromide by British companies for use in executions in the United States; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: The export of potassium chloride and pancuronium bromide is not currently subject to UK export controls. Following recent allegations that British companies may have supplied these drugs to the United States for use in executions, my right hon. friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, is currently considering the merits of imposing a form of export control in relation to these drugs.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many full-time equivalent staff are employed in the office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government. 
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has allocated to the office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government in each of the last three years. 
Mr Willetts: The Government chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, is supported by the Government Office for Science, a semi-autonomous unit housed within BIS and funded from the BIS vote.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the annual running costs of innovation centres supported by regional development agencies were in each of the last three years. 
Mr Willetts: The regional development agencies (RDAs) do not hold the information being requested. This information is not readily available and would require contacting third parties, many of which would be private sector, to obtain the running cost details. Therefore, the RDAs are not in a position to provide a response as to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £800.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding was given to each innovation centre supported by regional development agencies in each of the last five years. 
Mr Willetts: The following table provides the total capital spend on innovation for each RDA over the last five financial years and includes both Single Programme and European regional development fund (ERDF) funding.
|(1) Includes funding from Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) totalling £10,361,368.|
Mr Vaizey [holding answer 21 December 2010]: Ofcom does not hold this information centrally, and it could be produced only at disproportionate cost. Ofcom have indicated that they would be prepared to discuss this matter with my hon. Friend directly.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the likely total cost to his Department of Opinion Leader Research's review of relay services on behalf of Ofcom. 
Mr Vaizey [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The Opinion Leader research is funded by Ofcom. There is no direct cost to either the Department for Business Innovation and Skills or the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport for this work.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much Ofcom expects to pay Opinion Leader Research for the conduct of the second consultation to be launched in March 2011 undertaken as part of the review of relay services. 
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he expects the review of text relay services by Ofcom to be linked to the implementation by his Department of the revised EU electronic communications framework. 
Mr Vaizey: This Department has recently undertaken a substantial consultation exercise on implementing revisions to the EU's Electronic Communications Framework. The deadline for implementation is 25 May 2011. We are also working very closely with the regulator, Ofcom, on implementation of the necessary revisions, some of which will be achieved through changes to Ofcom's General Conditions.
Among those changes mandated by Europe is a requirement that member states enable national regulators to ensure that disabled end-users have access to electronic communications services equivalent to that enjoyed by the majority of users. This extends an existing reference to equivalence in the Universal Service Order, and we intend to implement this provision through a change to Ofcom's general conditions.
This change will enable Ofcom to further consider issues of equivalence, but such consideration would need to be subject to research, cost benefit analysis, a proportionality test and a public consultation.
Mr Willetts: The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Assurance Scheme is designed to encourage early engagement by policy teams with STEM issues, both in terms of the evidence they may call upon and also the technical assumptions upon which implementation of the policy depends. The scheme is light touch and overseen by the Department's Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), Professor Brian Collins. The scheme has been piloted during 2009-10 and is now being rolled out across the Department. All BIS policies are examined carefully and if they have a STEM content they will be subject to scrutiny under the scheme either by the CSA and internal experts through local assurance panels or by calling in external expertise.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on its ability to set its own income threshold for Scottish students borrowing with the Student Loan Company. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the variations in the real interest rate to be charged on student loans for graduates earning between £21,000 and £41,000 will be following the implementation of his proposed reform of student finance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The interest rate will be graduated, starting at RPI for those earning £21,000 up to a maximum of RPI + 3% for those earning £41,000 and above. The formula for the graduation of interest rates is being developed and will be announced in due course.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what responsibility (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) the Student Loans Company will have for (i) applying the annual uprated earnings threshold and (ii) calculating the repayments to be made by graduates following the implementation of his proposed reform of student finance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: Working together with my Department, HMRC will amend the threshold to reflect the annual increase and the subsequent calculation under PAYE for employers to make the correct student loan deduction. The Student Loans Company will be notified of the deductions and use this information to update borrowers accounts, apply interest and produce statements.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of mature students graduating in each year of the comprehensive spending review period who will never repay the full value of loans taken out (a) under the existing system for student finance and (b) under his proposed reform of student finance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: A student beginning a regular three-year degree in 2012-13 on the new system will graduate in June 2015 which is after the end of the current spending review period so there will not be a cohort of students on the new system who will graduate during the current spending review.
For current system students we estimate that around a third of mature students studying full-time will have some of their loan written off. Our estimate for the whole full-time population is around 15%.
For students under the new system, we estimate that around two thirds of mature students studying full-time will have some of their loan written off. Our estimate for the whole full-time population is between 50% and 60%.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the likely change in the average level of household debt attributable to the implementation of his proposed reform of student finance in the next 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Department does not hold this information. The proposed reform of student finance ensures that no student will face up-front costs for HE tuition. All full-time students will continue to be eligible, and all part-time students studying at a minimum intensity of 25%, will become eligible, for loans to cover costs of tuition. Graduates will benefit from a more progressive repayment structure in the proposed reforms, including that they will not have to start repaying until they are earning £21,000.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the effect on the number of students who enter higher education of a tuition fee of (a) £7,000, (b) £8,000 and (c) £9,000 per annum; and what estimate he has made of the effect on the public purse of the implementation of such fees. 
Mr Willetts: The Department commissioned research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies to support the Browne Review which explored how changes in fees, grants and loans impact on participation. That research, which analysed the 2006-07 HE indicated that participation would tend to be lower with higher fees (by 4.4 percentage points for an increase in £1,000) but that this was offset by increases in loans and grants package (3.2ppt and 2.1ppt increases).
Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of higher fees on the duration of university courses which currently last four years. 
Mr Willetts: The duration of university courses is a matter for institutions taking into account the complexity and content of the subjects delivered and demand from students. The new funding regime is designed to move from a situation where the bulk of funding is via direct grants to one based on the informed choices of students. Students will want to take into account course length and content, the quality of their experience at university and their employment prospects on graduation in deciding which courses to apply for, in addition to the fees being charged. Students will benefit from a fairer and more progressive system of graduate contributions and so we do not expect a particular impact on four year courses where there is a clear rationale for the length of study. Overall, however, we would expect innovative approaches to teaching, such as compressed degrees.
Since December 2009, in order to reduce the number of those who over-repay, borrowers nearing the end of their loan repayment term are notified by the SLC that they may opt out of the PAYE system, and complete their loan repayments by direct debit. Additionally, borrowers are advised to monitor their own repayments so they can calculate when they are likely to repay their loan in full.
Mr Willetts: By the start of term, the Student Loans Company (SLC) had paid 99.3% of all eligible applications that had been received with the right documentation before the relevant applications deadlines, the last of which was at the end of June 2010.
By 14 October 2010, the latest date for which official figures are available, the SLC had prepared for payment 606,000 applications for financial support from new and continuing students in England for the academic year 2010/11. The following table provides details of the payment status of these applications at 14 October 2010.
|Status||Number of applications for academic year 2010/11|
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what average period elapsed between the end of the financial year and the issue by the Student Loans Company of loan statements to its customers in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. 
Mr Willetts: The average time taken by the Student Loans Company (SLC) to issue loan account statements to customers in 2008, 2009 and 2010 is provided in the following table. Statements for the current tax year will be issued after April 2011.
The SLC issues loans account statements once it has received repayment information from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). HMRC in turn receive the relevant repayment information from employers when they submit their annual tax returns. The earliest that the company will receive repayment information on loan accounts is in May following the end of a tax year, with the bulk of repayment files received between May and September.
|Average time taken to issue loan account statements to customers|
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to ensure that his policy on the provision of telecommunications services to British Sign Language users takes full account of emerging technologies; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 20 December 2010]: Government are working with industry and the third sector through the eAccessibility forum to produce and implement an eAccessibility action plan that will address the issues faced by those suffering hearing loss when trying to use or access digital equipment and services so that they can partake fully in UK digital economy. The
forum will also investigate issues around Inclusive design process-making sure businesses improve their design of products and services to include everyone. It will also investigate issues around assistive technologies, making sure people can identify what is available on the market at a reasonable cost. In addition, the forum will consider creating a one stop shop for accessible information.
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to implement its obligations arising from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in respect of (a) Article 24 on Education, (b) Article 27 on Work and Employment and (c) other articles of that Convention. 
Mr Hayes: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) overall mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy by creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. The work of BIS must reflect this. We are therefore wholly committed to the obligations set out within the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to improving outcomes for disabled people.
BIS will contribute to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Report in 2011, setting out what the Department is doing to meet our obligations and how implementation is being achieved.
A number of strategies and programmes already exist and/or are being taken forward by BIS which serve to support the various rights and freedoms set out in the numerous Convention Articles, examples from across our sectors include:
The Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11 sets out how we will continue to support provision which meets particular equality needs-for example investing in further education and skills training for learners with difficulties and/or disabilities remains a priority, and in the UK we have a continuing commitment to be inclusive and equitable by maintaining opportunities for all learners.
Next Step provides a universal offer of information and advice about learning, work and careers for all those in and out of employment in England. It has been fully operational from August 2010. Next Step provides targeted support-by phone, online or face-to-face-to those with specific barriers to getting into and on in work, including overcoming wider obstacles to progress, such as employment rights, health, transport, personal finance issues, child care and financial support for learners. BIS is ensuring that the service is well placed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities, and specialist support is available to help people with the full range of disabilities.
Work is ongoing to implement the Diversity in Apprenticeships pilots with the Department for Education to increase the critical mass of learners in non-traditional occupations.
In England, disabled students in higher education (HE) are supported by the Government via the institution they attend and individually through disabled students' allowances which are available to help students in HE with the extra costs they may incur on their course because of a disability (including an ongoing health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia).
BIS is helping businesses and individuals to prepare for and deliver a successful 2012 games; and that as a result of the games there are businesses better able to deliver other major sporting, cultural and entertainment events. Further to encourage businesses to become more accessible the BIS and the UK Office for Disability Issues commissioned a report "2012 Legacy for Disabled People: Inclusive and Accessible Business" setting out the opportunities that disabled customers bring. The initiative focused on improving the way businesses engage with disabled customers.
As part of its work to promote STEM careers, the BIS and Department for Education funded STEMNET works to ensure equality of access for all, including those covered by disability legislation. While the duty to ensure wide access falls principally to schools, STEM ambassadors and others design and support activities and enrichment material in a way that allows young disabled people to fully appreciate how science can be a part of their lives and careers.
The work of BIS is also supported by a programme on implementing the requirements and provisions in the most recent equality legislation in the UK, the Equality Act 2010.
More detailed information about BIS and its contribution to supporting the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities will be available in the UK Report to the UN Disability Committee when it is published in the summer of 2011, co-ordinated by the Office of Disability Issues.
Mr Offord: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance he plans to provide to civil society groups who wish to engage with the Government's proposals to increase the participation of civil society in public service provision. 
Mr Hurd: The Government have just published a Green Paper, "Modernising Commissioning: Increasing the role of charities, social enterprises, mutuals and cooperatives in public service delivery", which seeks comments, by 5 January 2011, from civil society organisations on how the commissioning process for public services can be improved. Feedback from this consultation will both inform the wider Public Services Reform White Paper, to be published early in the new year, and our plans for whether more guidance to civil society groups is required.
John Mann: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what information he has received from local authorities in each parliamentary constituency on the size of the electorate for parliamentary elections recorded on the registers submitted to his Department on 1 December 2010. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking what information I have received from local authorities in each parliamentary constituency on the size of the electorate for parliamentary elections recorded on the registers submitted to the Department on 1 December 2010 (32797).
ONS have received information from approximately 75 per cent of local authorities in England and Wales on the number of people within parliamentary constituencies who are registered to vote in parliamentary elections. The data refer to the number of people who would have been entitled to vote if an election had been held on 1 Dec 2010 and is based on the qualifying date of 15 October 2010. The data include information on the number of people registered to vote who were:
1) resident within the parliamentary constituency on the qualifying date,
2) service voters,
3) crown servants,
4) voluntary patients,
5) overseas electors, and
6) had no permanent address.
The data also include the number of registered people who will attain the age of 18 during the currency of the register, and who are entitled to vote at an election on or after their eighteenth birthday.
ONS intend to publish electoral statistics for December 2010, for all parliamentary constituencies, on 23 February 2011.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many staff employed by the Prime Minister's Office were not paid at a rate equivalent to or above the London living wage in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office 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. 
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office on how many occasions the Cabinet Office has provided embargoed media briefings prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010; in respect of how many such briefings the Cabinet Office was informed that the embargo had been breached; what steps were taken as a result of each such breach; and on how many occasions the Cabinet Office has provided media briefings without an embargo prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010. 
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible have taken to comply with the Guidance of the Office of Government Commerce on promoting skills through public procurement issued in 2009. 
Within the Cabinet Office family, the principles set out in the guidance, "Promoting skills through public procurement" have been applied to the Buying Solutions Facilities Management framework and the Cabinet Office pan-government framework agreements for grant fund management services.
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office 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. 
Simon Kirby: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps his Department is taking to ensure that electronic and postal contact information for (a) Government Departments and (b) Ministers is easily accessible on Government websites. 
Mr Sanders: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many internship opportunities for black, Asian and minority ethnic applicants have been (a) advertised and (b) undertaken in each central government department in the last 12 months. 
Mr Maude: The Fast Stream Summer Development Programme for ethnic minorities offers internships to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) applicants. The programme does not specify the number of opportunities. Internships undertaken through this programme in the last 12 months are listed as follows:
In addition, the Home Office, DWP, BIS and the Welsh Assembly Government have offered internships to people from BAME backgrounds in the last 12 months through the Windsor Fellowship-a leadership programme for ethnic minority undergraduates. There are currently 16 interns across government.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office runs a Partner University Placement Scheme (PUPS) which attracts high calibre students who are either female, from a BAME background or receiving the full maintenance grant. In the past 12 months, five students from a BAME background took up a place on the programme from 19 vacancies.
Mr Llwyd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's policy manual containing the managed move policy applied to its human resource activities; and if he will make a statement. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the claimant (a) count and (b) rate is in (i) Tottenham constituency and (ii) the Northumberland Park Ward. (32045)
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system.
The number of claimants of JSA in the Tottenham constituency in November 2010 was 6,038 which represented 7.7% of the population aged 16-64 years. The number of claimants of JSA in the Northumberland Park Ward in November 2010 was 971 which represented 11.0% of the population aged 16-64 years.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance documents were provided by the Office of Government Commerce to the Legal Services Commission in respect of its 2010 tenders in 2008-09; and (a) when and (b) by what means each document was provided. 
Mr Hurd: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Djanogly) of 16 November 2010, Official Report, column 667W. LSC did not seek or receive specific guidance from OGC.
Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which Ministers of his Department have visited the North East since their appointment; and what the (a) date and (b) purpose was of each such visit. 
Mr Evennett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the number of children in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London Borough of Bexley who live in a workless household. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many children were living in workless households in a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and b) the London borough of Bexley. 32461.
The requested information is not available. Due to the specific detail of the request, it is not possible to provide estimates for either the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency or the London borough of Bexley because of insufficient sample sizes.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether employees transferring from the public to the private or voluntary sectors will be covered by TUPE regulations after the removal of the two-tier code. 
Mr Hurd [holding answer 20 December 2010]: Withdrawal of the two-tier code does not impact on or change existing TUPE regulations and therefore employees that are subject to TUPE regulations will continue to be covered by TUPE regulations.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 143W, on public sector procurement, what plans the Office of Government Commerce has to monitor compliance with its 2009 guidance on promoting skills through public procurement; and what mechanisms it has in place to do so. 
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he evaluated the experience of summer camps in other countries in developing his proposals for a national citizenship service. 
Mr Hurd: The Cabinet Office and Department for Education have considered international comparisons in developing the National Citizen Service pilots and have analysed evidence of challenges and success factors in running youth development programmes with a community focus in a number of other countries.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the remit is of the winter resilience network; who the members are of that network; when that network was established; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude [holding answer 21 December 2010]: The Winter Resilience Network comprises those central Government Departments, the devolved Administrations and local partners responsible for anticipating and managing the various impacts of winter weather. Its role is to monitor, address and share information regarding winter preparedness, as well as to ensure a co-ordinated response to challenges as they arise. Partners have been in regular contact throughout the summer to address issues arising from last winter's disruption, and have been meeting regularly at both ministerial and official level to address issues arising from the recent severe weather and to identify potential challenges ahead.
(3) what steps he is taking to reform the system of commissioning for (a) alcohol and (b) drug addiction treatment services; and how he plans to (i) increase efficiency, (ii) create savings to the public purse and (iii) reduce the level of administrative burdens through the local commissioning of such services. 
Anne Milton: "Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Consultation on the funding and commissioning routes for public health" sets out our vision for the future of commissioning of drug and alcohol services which we propose will be funded from the new public health budget and commissioned by local authorities as part of their new public health role.
In addition, the "Drug Strategy 2010. Reducing Demand, Restricting Supply, Building Recovery: Supporting People to live a drug free life" sets out how treatment services will be commissioned locally to take account the needs of communities with local directors of public health and directors of children's services taking a key role, this would include any local engagement of service users.
The drug strategy also sets out plans to test new approaches by introducing six pilots to explore how payment by results can work for drugs recovery for adults. Separately, work is being undertaken to pilot a payment by results approach for alcohol treatment.
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role he expects Public Health England to play in raising awareness of the health implications of (a) alcoholism and (b) drug addiction in local communities. 
Anne Milton: "Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Consultation on the funding and commissioning routes for public health" sets out our vision for the future of commissioning of drug and alcohol services which we propose will be funded from the new public health budget and commissioned by local authorities as part of their new public health role. This includes delivering appropriate prevention interventions and commissioning treatment services for those who need it to get help to recover.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on proposals made by the European Commission on a moratorium on the cloning of animals for food production; and what advice he has received from the Food Standards Agency on the matter. 
Following consideration by interested Government Departments and advice from the Food Standards Agency, the Government consider that a ban or a temporary suspension on cloning, the use of clones and the marketing of food from clones is disproportionate in terms of food safety and animal welfare. Insufficient evidence has been provided to justify a ban and any ban would require an impact assessment that demonstrated the need for and benefit of new regulation.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2010, Official Report, column 173W, on blood: hepatitis, on what date the review of payments for compensation will be (a) completed and (b) announced to the House. 
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on which initiatives of his Department and its agencies expenditure on advertising has been incurred in each of the last five years; how much was spent on advertising in respect of each such initiative; and how much his Department and its agencies plan to spend on advertising in respect of which initiatives in 2010-11. 
A total budget figure for the 2010-11 financial year cannot be provided at this stage as detailed planning for some campaigns is under way and advertising media allocations have not yet been finalised.
|Departmental advertising spend 200 5 -0 6 to 2008-09|
|Departmental advertising spend 2009-10|
|MHRA advertising spend 2006-10|
(1)Advertising spend is defined as covering only media spend (inclusive of agency commissions but excluding production costs, COI commission and VAT). All figures exclude advertising rebates and audit adjustments and therefore may differ from COI official turnover figures. All figures are rounded to the nearest £10,000. These figures do not include departmental recruitment/classified advertising costs and ad hoc spend under £10,000. These figures may include occasional minor spend through COI by NHS organisations to supplement national campaigns in their area. While this expenditure has been excluded as far as possible so that this chart reflects central departmental spend, it would incur disproportionate cost to validate that every item of NHS expenditure has been removed.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department has issued guidance to Newcastle Bridges GP commissioning consortium on (a) the desirability and frequency of executive management meetings and (b) whether such meetings should be held in public; 
(2) whether his Department has issued guidance to County Durham and Darlington Federation Pathfinder on (a) the frequency of executive management meetings and (b) whether such meetings should be held in public. 
Mr Simon Burns: Under the proposals set out in 'Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England', and in related consultations, responsibility for health visiting provision should pass to Public Health England budget. In due course, we see health visiting being commissioned locally as part of the health improvement responsibilities that will pass to local authorities.
The Department's Transforming Community Services Programme is working closely with strategic health authorities to ensure that primary care trusts separate commissioning of services from provision by April 2011 as smoothly and as effectively as possible.
Mr Simon Burns: The Department does not collect data centrally on the number of hydrotherapy treatment pools available in each primary care trust in England. National health service organisations will decide locally on the provision of hydrotherapy pools based on the clinical needs of their patients.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to encourage new providers to bid for community contracts as part of the reforms proposed in the public health White Paper. 
Mr Simon Burns: On 21 December 2010 we published a consultation to accompany the recent White Paper on public health, "Healthy Lives, Healthy People". The consultation, "Healthy Lives, Healthy People: consultation on the funding and commissioning routes for public health", asks specifically what can be done to ensure the widest possible range of providers are supported to play a full part in providing health and wellbeing services. We plan to publish a response to the consultation in 2011.
Localism will be at the heart of the new public health system, with devolved responsibilities, freedoms and funding, subject to parliamentary approval of the forthcoming Health and Social Care Bill. Local authorities will have use of a ring-fenced grant to fund their new public health responsibilities. We expect that the majority of services will be commissioned, given the opportunities this would bring to engage local communities more widely in the provision of public health, and to deliver best value and best results. We would encourage and expect that local authorities, where possible and appropriate, should be commissioning on an any willing provider/competitive tender basis. It is also expected that local people will have access to information about commissioning decisions, how public health money has been spent and the outcomes that have been achieved.
Mr Simon Burns: No discussions have taken place. An annual mandate will be agreed between the Secretary of State and the NHS Commissioning Board. It will include objectives and levels of improvement for quality, outcomes and reducing inequalities as well as financial allocations to the NHS Commissioning Board.
Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) middle grade doctors and (b) middle grade doctor vacancies there were in each accident and emergency department in the North East Strategic Health Authority area. 
Information on the numbers of medical staff in the accident and emergency (A&E) specialty by trust in the North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area is available from the "NHS Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census". This information has been placed in the Library.
Information on the vacancy rates and numbers for all consultants in the A&E specialty by trust in the North East SHA area is available from the "NHS Information Centre for health and social care Vacancies Survey of March 2010". This information has been placed in the Library.
Paul Burstow: The Department has no plans to publish guidance for healthcare professionals on the chronic pain pathway. We understand that the British Pain Society has set up a working group to draw up guidelines for health care professionals on chronic pain pathways, drawing on guidelines from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and other evidence-based guidelines. In addition, the Department has asked NICE to consider the development of a quality standard on pain relief.
Paul Burstow: The Department has not issued guidance specifically for general practitioners, pain specialists or patients on dealing with chronic pain, although it published a summary care pathway in July 2008 to help commissioners to develop appropriate integrated services, and has funded the distribution of a "pain toolkit" written to help people who live with persistent pain.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published guidance on various aspects of chronic pain, including clinical guidelines on the early treatment of non-specific chronic back pain and on the pharmacological management of neuropathic pain.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the independent report commissioned into the dismissal of the chief executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust; and what proportion of such costs were attributable to the redrafting of the report; 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department estimates that the cost to the Department of the independent report commissioned into the dismissal of the chief executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust will be £66,331.
Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the funding made available to assist the NHS and local authority social services departments to integrate their services has been allocated to (a) Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust and (b) Cornwall Council for each of the next four years. 
|Additional funds from health (£ billion)|
For the first two years, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust (PCT) will receive £7.760 million and £7.485 million respectively. Of this, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT will transfer £7.727 million in year one and £7.448 million in year two to Cornwall council for spend on social care services that also benefit health. The remaining balance of £0.033 million and £0.037 million respectively will go to the Isles of Scilly local authority for spend on social care that also benefits health.
PCTs will need to transfer this funding to local authorities to invest in social care services to benefit health, and to improve overall health gain. Transfers will need to be made via an agreement under section 256 of the 2006 NHS Act.
PCTs need to work together with local authorities to agree jointly on appropriate areas for social care investment, and the outcomes expected from this investment. This could include current services such as telecare, community directed prevention (including falls prevention), community equipment and adaptations, and crisis response services. The Department would expect these decisions to take into account the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for their local population, and the existing commissioning plans for both health and social care. PCTs should work with local authorities to achieve these outcomes in a transparent and efficient manner, with local authorities keeping PCTs informed of progress using appropriate local mechanisms.
Additionally the Government have recently set out their vision for adult social care: 'Capable communities and active citizens and updated its carers' strategy, Recognised, Valued and supported: Next steps for the Carers Strategy', which should be taken into account when agreeing local investment plans.
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