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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 17 January 2011

Culture, Media and Sport

British Sky Broadcasting

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what timetable he has set for taking a decision on News Corporation's bid for BSkyB following the submission of Ofcom's report. [33610]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Bury South (Mr Lewis) on 13 January 2011, Official Report, column 386W.

Football Association

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has had recent discussions with the incoming chair of the Football Association to discuss football governance reform and supporter involvement. [33615]

Hugh Robertson: The new chair of the Football Association is not yet in post but, as soon as he is I intend to meet him as a priority.

Horserace Betting Levy

Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many licensed betting offices paid the Horserace Betting Levy (a) at the 10 per cent. rate, (b) between 4.5 per cent. and 10 per cent. and (c) at a rate of 4.5 per cent. or lower in each of the last three years. [33855]

John Penrose: The Department does not hold the information requested.

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is responsible for collecting the levy from betting shops, and I have therefore asked the chief executive of the HBLB to write to the hon. Member for Chippenham directly.

Copies of the response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Libraries: Opening Hours

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effects on the provision of library services of proposed changes to opening hours or the closure of libraries by local authorities. [33951]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State has a statutory duty to superintend the delivery of library services by local authorities, including any reduction in programmes. He takes this duty very seriously and we continue to
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monitor proposals being made about changes to library services across England. However, any specific assessment of the impact of any changes to services has to be made within the context of the exercise of statutory powers by the Secretary of State, consideration of which has to be made on a case by case basis and in accordance with the statutory provisions.

Responsibility and accountability for day to day management of individual library services, including opening hours and closures, is vested in local authorities. Local authorities must be capable of demonstrating that they have discharged their statutory duty to provide a "comprehensive and efficient" library service and that they will continue to do so if changes are made to the service.

Olympic Games 2012

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Information in respect of the role of the Olympic Park Legacy Company. [33849]

Hugh Robertson: A copy of the Memorandum of Information will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Memorandum of Information was prepared by the Olympic Park Legacy Company as part of the process to select a long-term use for the Olympic stadium.

Tourism

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport when the Minister responsible for tourism next plans to visit the North East. [33023]

John Penrose: I hope to visit the North East of England as part of an ongoing programme of regional trips which should help take forward the Government's new strategy for tourism. The next set of visits is currently under review and I hope to clarify details in due course.

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will assess for benchmarking purposes the effect on the tourist industry in (a) France, (b) Spain and (c) the Netherlands of reduced levels of value added tax for (i) hotel accommodation and (ii) restaurant meals in developing policies to assist the tourism industry. [33523]

John Penrose: Tax is a matter for Treasury Ministers. All taxes are kept under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process. The Government are committed to creating the best possible environment for a sustainable private sector led economic recovery. A competitive tax system is at the heart of our approach, but other factors (such as the levels of interest and exchange rates, which in turn depend on sound public finances) are also very important too.

While the Government will consider carefully proposals for new reliefs that might assist the tourism and hospitality industry, the financial position we inherited means we must give priority to maintaining our fiscal base. So
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there are no current plans to assess the impact that the application of reduced VAT rates in France, Spain and the Netherlands has on the hotel and restaurant sectors in those countries.

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what mechanisms are in place to measure the success of initiatives taken by his Department to increase competitiveness in the tourist industry. [33750]

John Penrose: We are currently considering initiatives to increase competitiveness in the tourism industry, and they will be included in the Tourism Strategy which we intend to publish shortly.

When our consideration is finalised, we will decide what indicators will best show the success of our plans.

Transport

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing

Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 21 December 2010, Official Report, column 1299W, on the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing, what steps his Department has taken to deal with congestion on roads in and around Thurrock attributable to congestion at the Dartford Crossing. [33581]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport's spending review announcement made clear that reducing congestion at the Dartford Crossing is a priority.

We have set out proposals to allow investment in the short, medium and longer term improvements, including introduction of free-flow charging, consideration of charge suspension at time of particularly severe congestion, and exploring new additional capacity.

In addition, the Highways Agency is investigating how to improve contingency plans and communication flows, with local authorities, county councils and major retail outlets such as Bluewater and Lakeside.

Departmental Press Releases

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions his Department has provided embargoed media briefings prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010; in respect of how many such briefings his Department was informed that the embargo had been breached; what steps were taken as a result of each such breach; and on how many occasions his Department has provided media briefings without an embargo prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010. [31927]

Norman Baker: Since 26 May there have been no embargoed media briefings prior to an oral statement organised by the Department for Transport's press office.

Transport: Capital Investment

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding his Department has allocated for capital expenditure on transport infrastructure in each region in the next 12 months. [33216]


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Norman Baker: Only a small part of the Department for Transport's budget is split by region in advance, the rest being allocated via a variety of transport providers and funding mechanisms, including a bids process, making it impractical to budget by region.

However, estimates of future regional spending are produced for the public expenditure core tables which are annexed to the Department's annual Resource Accounts. Regional spending estimates for 2011-12 will be compiled later this year, to be published as an annex to the Department's 2010-11 Resource Accounts.

Trief Kerbs

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent safety assessments his Department has made of the use of trief kerbs. [33286]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has made no recent safety assessments on the use of trief kerbs.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Feed: Prices

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to investigate the effect on poultry farmers of recent trends in feed prices. [33591]

Mr Paice: The poultry industry is the single largest user of domestic cereal production. Feed is the largest component of the costs of production and consequently changes in cereal prices will have an immediate, direct effect on poultry farmer profitability. However, some opportunities exist for farmers to alter the composition of feed rations in order to minimise impacts on their business.

While I always take a keen interest in this sector, there are no current plans to investigate this matter.

Dangerous Dogs

Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to promote responsible dog ownership; if she will bring forward proposals to consolidate existing legislation regulating the ownership of dangerous dogs; and if she will make a statement. [33285]

Mr Paice: We appreciate that the issue of dangerous dogs is increasingly important to the public. We consider that it is not just a problem of dangerous breeds, but also one of bad owners. They need to be held to account and stopped from ruining people's lives.

DEFRA is working closely with the Home Office on the antisocial behaviour dimension to this issue. We are also working with groups such as the RSPCA to look at other issues raised in the recent dangerous dogs consultation, such as micro-chipping and attacks on private property.

The Government are currently working on a proposal for a project to look at the motivations, barriers and social norms surrounding the acquisition and keeping
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of 'status dogs' in urban communities in the UK. This project has the support of the Home Office, Communities, Metropolitan Police, RSPCA and Dogs Trust.

An announcement about the Government's approach to dangerous dogs will be made early this year.

Environment Protection: Finance

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) funding and (b) other support her Department plans to provide to (i) the National Trust, (ii) the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, (iii) the Wildlife Trusts Partnership, (iv) the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, (v) the Woodland Trust, (vi) Butterfly Conservation and (vii) Plantlife in each of the four financial years from 2011-12. [33351]

Richard Benyon: Spending plans for future financial years are still being developed and have not yet been finalised.

Food: Reserves

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many days of food stocks at current consumption levels her Department holds in reserve. [33544]

Mr Paice [holding answer 13 January 2011]: The Government have no plans to hold reserve stocks of food. In the UK Food Security Assessment (published in August 2009 and updated in January 2010) DEFRA assesses that the UK enjoys a high level of food security, and we are continuously reviewing our evidence base to maintain this situation.

Forestry Commission

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to put in place arrangements to ensure that forests owned or leased by the Forestry Commission continue to be certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council after the disposal of the public forest estate; and if she will make a statement. [33950]

Mr Paice: Certification under the UK Woodland Assurance Standard is voluntary and this will be a decision for the new owners of woodland in the Forestry Commission's current asset sales programme. The consultation on the future ownership and management of the public forest estate will include proposals on how certification might be maintained.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the monetary value was of bills to the Forestry Commission from selling agents for incomplete asset sales since May 2010; and how many such bills the Commission has received during that period. [34173]

Mr Paice: The Forestry Commission has received 21 bills since May 2010 totalling £73,363 for woodland placed on the market and later withdrawn from sale.


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Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the inclusion of woodlands designated by the Forestry Commission as heathland in that body's disposals programme; and what recent submissions she has received on this matter. [34174]

Mr Paice: Heathland and other open habitats are a small component of many of the Forestry Commission's woodlands across England. Under the previous Government, the Forestry Commission England selected its woodland sales programme from those areas which provide limited added value from public ownership in the delivery of public benefits. We are currently considering the sales criteria for woodland that will be placed on the market in 2011-12.

Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many designated ancient woodlands have been removed from the Forestry Commission's disposals programme since May 2010; and what estimate has been made of the effects of such removals on the Forestry Commission's budget deficit for the financial year 2010-11. [34175]

Mr Paice: The Forestry Commission has withdrawn 17 designated ancient woodlands valued at £3.5 million from its 2010-11 asset sales programme. Due to the uncertainty in completing the sale of any woodland on a given time scale, the Forestry Commission's asset sales programme has flexibility built into it. That flexibility has ensured that the Forestry Commission does not expect there to be an impact on its budget from the withdrawal of these woodlands.

Forests

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the likely effect on the number of trees per hectare in woodland areas of her Department's policies in each of the next four years. [33356]

Mr Paice: No assessment has been made on this issue. The number of trees per hectare in any woodland is determined by the management regime and this is a decision for the woodland owner.

The United Kingdom Forestry Standard does not specify a tree density for sustainable forest management and the ancient woodland practice guide gives a range of density from 2,500 to 50 stems per hectare as acceptable, dependant upon the situation.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which proposals for restoration of woodland in England (a) have been confirmed since May 2010, (b) are under review and (c) are not to be proceeded with; [33357]

(2) which proposals for restoration of woodland are under review by her Department following the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. [33375]

Mr Paice [holding answer 13 January 2011]: DEFRA does not carry out the restoration of woodland. The Forestry Commission is responsible for delivery of forestry policy.


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Since May 2010, the Forestry Commission has approved applications under the English Woodland Grant Scheme for Woodland Regeneration Grants on 1,229 hectares (92 applicants) for the restoration of plantations on ancient woodland sites (PAWS) to native woodland. A further 1,122 hectares (52 applications) are in progress and 23 hectares (three applications) have been withdrawn by the applicant before approval. No applications have been rejected.

On the public forest estate, managed by the Forestry Commission, the focus of management of PAWS across the estate remains to enhance the ecological, social and economic value and ultimately to return them to native woodland species.

Nature Reserves

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what proposals her Department has to increase net levels of biodiversity on national nature reserve land in England in each of the next four financial years; [33346]

(2) what criteria for assessing levels of net biodiversity her Department will apply to the transfer of national nature reserve land from Natural England to the charitable, voluntary and third sectors; [33348]

(3) what options for the (a) funding, (b) ownership and (c ) management of national nature reserves in England her Department is discussing with the charitable, voluntary and third sectors; [33349]

(4) what arrangements her Department plans to make for (a) pensions and (b) terms and conditions of employment of employees in national nature reserves managed by Natural England should such reserves be transferred to charities, voluntary groups, or the third sector; [33350]

(5) how many of the national nature reserves maintained by Natural England are to be transferred to (a) the National Trust, (b) the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, (c) the Wildlife Trusts Partnership, (d) the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, (e) the Woodland Trust, (f) Butterfly Conservation and (g) Plantlife; [33352]

(6) how many requests she has received from wildlife charities to acquire national nature reserves maintained by Natural England; [33353]

(7) what level of savings she expects to make from the transfer of national nature reserves from Natural England to the charitable, voluntary or third sector in each of the next four financial years. [33507]

Richard Benyon: National nature reserves make an important and valuable contribution to the Government's biodiversity objectives, and to the public's understanding and appreciation of the natural environment. We need to look for ways to ensure that future management enhances their contribution, both at the national and local levels.

We have been investigating different management options and have involved civil society partners in these discussions, and will consult on these in due course. Cost reduction is not the primary driver for this exercise and no estimate has been made of any savings which might result. A number of wildlife charities have expressed an interest in being involved in the process, but pending a more formal process, only one has specifically requested
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to acquire a national nature reserve. Many nature reserves are already managed by local, charitable or private bodies and while we continue to analyse the costs and benefits of different approaches to government-run sites, we have made no firm decisions about the role that the big society will play in the future of these important places.

The great majority (98% by area) of national nature reserves are also designated as sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) and so are among our most precious wildlife sites. We will not take any risks with their future. Safeguards for biodiversity and other public benefits that these areas bring will remain no matter where ownership lies.

Poultry: Animal Welfare

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of hens which will have beaks trimmed in 2011; and what estimate she has made of the number which would have had beaks trimmed had the proposed prohibition on trimming come into effect in accordance with the timetable originally proposed; and if she will make a statement. [32983]

Mr Paice: We estimate that all hens housed in caged, free range and barn systems will be routinely beak trimmed. These account for around 18.6 million birds per year (approximately 94% of all laying hens). Organic laying hens are not routinely beak trimmed.

We are not able to estimate the numbers of birds which might have been beak trimmed in an emergency following an outbreak of feather pecking and cannibalism had the prohibition on beak trimming come into effect.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what her policy is on the uniform implementation of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive; [33306]

(2) whether she has made recent representations to the European Commission on implementation of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive in each member state. [33307]

Mr Paice: I am committed to supporting our industry and have therefore asked the Commission to provide sufficient enforcement controls across the EU to protect those UK producers who have invested heavily in complying with the legislation. I do not want to see UK producers disadvantaged if there was any delay to the ban, or if other member states do not meet the deadline. It is the Commission's responsibility to take a tough enforcement stance against non-compliant producers. The Government intend to take firm action against any UK producer still keeping laying hens in conventional cages after 1 January 2012.

The Commission has repeatedly restated its commitment to the 2012 deadline, most recently when I met with Commissioner Dalli in November 2010. The Commission has recently asked member states to submit data on the number of laying hen production sites according to farming method. This data will be used at a multi-stakeholder conference organised by the Commission on 19 January to aid discussion on how converting to alternative systems is progressing throughout the EU.


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Poultry: Swine Flu

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with the devolved Administrations on the presence of H1N1 in poultry in the UK; [34140]

(2) on what date she was first notified that the H1N1 virus had been detected in poultry in the UK; [34141]

(3) on what date, and by what method, she notified the devolved Administrations of the presence of the H1N1 virus in poultry in the UK. [34142]

Mr Paice: I was first informed of the possibility of H1N1 being detected in poultry on 5 January; the devolved Administrations were informed by my officials on the same date by e-mail. The UK chief veterinary officer discussed the case with colleagues in the devolved Administrations on 6 January. As a result of further testing, the presence of H1N1 in poultry was confirmed to me and officials in the devolved Administrations, again by e-mail, on 7 January. An Information Notice was issued by DEFRA on 12 January when further tests confirmed that the strain of H1N1 that had been detected was of low pathogenicity and therefore was not a notifiable disease.

Attorney-General

Control Orders

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Attorney-General how many special advocates have been appointed in respect of control orders since such orders were introduced in 2005. [33138]

The Solicitor-General: Special advocates are appointed by the Attorney-General.

Since their introduction in 2005, special advocates have been appointed in respect of 37 control orders. In most cases two advocates are appointed to each case.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Attorney-General how many special advocates there are in post to support controlled individuals in closed sessions. [33139]

The Solicitor-General: Special advocates are appointed by the Attorney-General.

The Attorney-General maintains a panel of senior and junior counsel who have indicated an interest in undertaking special advocate work and who have been security vetted to an appropriate level. Although the number varies over time, there are currently 69 counsel on the panel of whom 67 are qualified to be appointed in control order cases.

Sentencing: Prisoners

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Attorney-General what advice he has given to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor on the compatibility with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights of plans to introduce the enfranchisement of sentenced prisoners in custody. [34016]


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The Attorney-General: By long-standing convention, observed by successive administrations and embodied in the Ministerial Code, the fact that the Law Officers have advised (or have not advised) on a particular issue, and the content of any advice, is not disclosed outside of Government.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much funding his Department has allocated to the implementation of the findings of its low carbon capacity assessment studies; and if he will make a statement. [33541]

Charles Hendry: The Department has not allocated any additional funding for the implementation of findings of the renewable and low carbon energy capacity assessment studies, beyond the existing support framework for renewables deployment.

Local planning authorities are expected to have local plans in place which promote renewable energy and have regard to national policy. These plans should be founded on a robust evidence base. The Department intends the capacity assessment studies to be a tool to help local planning authorities and local communities in drawing up local and neighbourhood plans. It is for local planning authorities and communities to decide how best to use the findings of the studies to inform their development plans and to maximise opportunities for the deployment of renewable and low carbon energy in their areas.

In the future local authorities will need to have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework, which will make it clear that planning has a big part to play in tackling climate change. The Department for Communities and Local Government has invited organisations and individuals to offer suggestions on what priorities and policies might be adopted in the framework, and will consult on a draft in 2011.

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department is considering changes to its policies to reduce carbon emissions in order to meet climate change targets. [33612]

Gregory Barker: Latest emissions projections, published in June 2010, show that the UK is on track to meet its first three carbon budgets and has already reduced emissions by over 22% against 1990 levels, taking into account the effects of emissions trading. Additional policies to be implemented by the Government, such as the Green Deal, support for the world's first commercial scale CCS demonstration, and the roll-out of smart meters and a smart grid will build on this progress. Further information on the actions to take forward these policies can be found in DECC's business plan (published November 2010).

Electricity: Prices

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average change in electricity bills arising from the implementation of his proposals for reform of the energy market in each of the next five years. [33542]


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Charles Hendry: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 January 2011, Official Report, column 256W.

Energy

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his answer of 21 October 2010, Official Report, columns 863-64W, on energy policy, whether he plans to issue guidance to his officials on the definition of appropriate compensation and corresponding benefits for the purpose of reviewing cases in line with the policy set out in the written ministerial statement of 18 October 2010, Official Report, columns 42-46WS, on energy policy; and if he will make a statement. [33364]

Charles Hendry: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has no plans to issue guidance to his officials on the definition of appropriate compensation and corresponding benefits.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the contents of Chapter 3 of the International Energy Agency's report on the World Energy Outlook for 2010; and if he will make a statement. [33389]

Charles Hendry: Chapter 3 of the International Energy Agency's report is a valuable analysis, which provides a thorough overview of possible future scenarios for world oil markets between 2009 and 2035. These are based on current policies ("Current Policies Scenario"); policies consistent with commitments announced by individual countries ("New Policies Scenario"); and policies consistent with meeting a two degree climate change goal ("450 Scenario").

The differences between these scenarios highlight that the outlook for oil is highly sensitive to policy action to curb rising demand and emissions. Under the Current Policies scenario oil import prices reach $135/barrel in 2035; under the New Policies scenario $113/barrel; and under the 450 Scenario $90/barrel. Under the New Policies scenario demand continues to grow steadily to 2035. All of the growth comes from non-OECD countries (57% from China alone), mainly driven by rising use of transport fuels. The main sources of increased oil production include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Brazil and the Caspian region. The role of unconventional oil (particularly Canadian oil sands and Venezuelan extra-heavy oil) is expected to expand rapidly, enabling it to meet about 10% of world oil demand in all three scenarios by 2035.

The scenarios underline the importance of our policies to promote investment in oil production, enhance price stability through greater transparency and producer-consumer dialogue, and encourage low carbon growth to constrain demand as well as reduce CO2 emissions.

Energy Supply

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the merits of putting in place mechanisms to ensure fair competition between the renewable and traditional energy sectors. [33156]


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Charles Hendry: The Government have recently published the Electricity Market Reform and Carbon Price Support consultation documents. These set out, and seek views on, a number of interventions that would change the investment incentives for renewables, other low carbon forms of generation and fossil fired plant within the competitive market.

A White Paper later in 2011 will set out the final set of reforms that will ensure that the UK market design is able to support the low carbon investment that the renewables targets and 2050 objectives require.

Energy: Prices

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what criteria Ofgem use to determine whether consumer energy tariffs currently offered by energy suppliers are unnecessarily complex or confusing. [33069]

Charles Hendry: Ofgem is currently reviewing the retail market and, as part of this, will be looking at how effectively the energy companies have implemented the reforms introduced following its 2008 Energy Supply Probe. Ofgem will also be looking into issues concerning tariff complexity and consumer engagement.

These reforms included a set of overarching standards of conduct, regarding how suppliers deal with consumers on issues such as the complexity of products, which Ofgem expects the suppliers to adhere to.

These standards are not enforceable against energy suppliers, but are supported by obligations in licences and under consumer protection law, and form part of the wider context for possible Ofgem enforcement action.

Ofgem will take the standards into account when considering consumer detriment and when deciding whether to investigate potential licence breaches by suppliers. The standards will continue to form part of the context as an investigation progresses and as Ofgem makes decisions on the action it might take.

Ofgem has said that if suppliers do not meet their obligations they will consider more formal action.

Further details of these standards can be found online at:

In addition, we believe the provision of clear and comparable information on bills is crucial to energy users, to enable them to understand the range of products available to them. That is why we have introduced proposals in the Energy Bill that energy bills should tell consumers about their supplier's cheapest tariff.

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress his Department has made on modifying the conditions of supply licences to ensure that domestic consumers are notified by energy companies of changes to their gas and electricity tariffs within a specified period. [33386]

Charles Hendry: Ofgem are currently consulting on the impact assessment document of their proposals to change gas and electricity supply licences to require domestic suppliers to give advance notification of up to
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30 days before a price increase becomes effective. Ofgem's consultation closes on 18 January and they are expected to announce the way forward shortly after. Under the Energy Act 2010, Ministers have powers to modify licences to require such advance notice and we have made it clear that we will use these powers if Ofgem is unable to introduce these changes in a timely manner.

Fuel Oil: Prices

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with representatives of retail oil companies on their pricing strategy during periods of cold weather. [33695]

Charles Hendry: The UK retail oil market is open and competitive. The Office of Fair Trading continues to consider all complaints and representations carefully and is monitoring for any indications that consumer or competition legislation has been breached.

The Department has regular contact on issues affecting industry with trade associations that represent many oil suppliers. We have had no specific discussions with retail oil companies on pricing strategy during periods of cold weather.

Fuel Poverty

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his most recent estimate is of the number of households in fuel poverty in (a) Wallasey constituency, (b) the Wirral Borough Council area, (c) the North West and (d) the UK. [33865]

Gregory Barker: In 2006, the most recent year for which sub-regional figures are available, there were around 6,400 fuel poor households in the Wallasey constituency, and around 20,900 fuel poor households in the Wirral local authority.

More recent figures exist at regional level, and these show that in 2008, there were 531,000 fuel poor households in the north-west and 4.5 million fuel poor households in the UK.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the level of fuel poverty for each decile of the population by income in each year from 2011 to 2020. [34208]

Gregory Barker: Fuel poverty estimates by income decile are not currently available for the years 2011 to 2020. The latest year for which this information is available is 2008.

The number of fuel poor households in England by income decile in 2008 are shown in the following table:


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Income decile Number of households in fuel poverty (thousand)

1st decile (lowest income)

1,702

2nd decile

883

3rd decile

386

4th decile

213

5th decile

73

6th to 10th decile (highest income)

78

Total

3,335


Green Deal

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what timetable he has set for bringing forward his detailed proposals for the Green Deal. [33159]

Gregory Barker: This is a market mechanism, so the detail of the final Green Deal products will be decided by private providers according to consumer preferences. The Department is responsible for providing the legislative framework to enable this. Our provisional timetable was set out on page seven of the 20-page Green Deal policy document, published alongside the Energy Bill 2010-11. It is as follows, subject to the time taken for parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill:

Incinerators: Carbon Emissions

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the average emissions in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt hour of (a) incinerator and (b) other thermal energy-from-waste facilities. [33808]

Gregory Barker: Within the UK, incinerators which generate electricity from municipal solid waste (MSW) are commonly referred to as energy from waste (EfW) plant. In 2008, the latest year for which data are available, we estimate that EfW plant produce 0.54 kt carbon dioxide equivalent per GWh (equivalent to 0.54 kg per kWh). This figure incorporates emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. It should be noted that there is a high level of uncertainty around this figure.

All other incinerators in the UK, such as chemical or clinical waste incinerators, animal carcass incinerators or crematoria, do not generate any electricity. These are just "waste incinerators" and are typically smaller in capacity than the energy from waste plant used for MSW energy recovery and disposal.

London Energy Meeting

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what agreements were made on energy subsidy reform at the London Energy Meeting in December 2008. [33217]

Charles Hendry: No agreements on energy subsidy reform were made at the London Energy Meeting.


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Ofgem

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will consider the merits of extending the remit of Ofgem to include heating oil and its distribution. [33884]

Charles Hendry: The regulation of gas and electricity markets promotes competition and regulates the monopoly companies which run the electricity and gas networks.

There is no natural monopoly for supply and distribution in the heating oil market. The OFT continues to consider all complaints and representations carefully, and monitor for indications that consumer or competition legislation has been breached.

However we are not complacent and will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will be considering whether any further action needs to be taken.

Renewable Energy

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of electricity supplied to households that is produced from renewable sources. [33675]

Charles Hendry: The majority of renewable electricity generated is supplied to the National Grid, who then transmit it across the country. As such, all grid connected UK households will receive the same proportion of electricity originating from renewable sources as the grid as a whole. DECC does not currently hold generation data for households directly supplied by renewable installations.

DECC publishes data on the total amount of electricity supplied by renewable sources, which can be used to estimate the proportion of electricity supplied to households from renewable sources. In 2009, 6.7% of electricity generated in the UK was from renewable sources. The latest data for the 3rd quarter of 2010 show 8.8% of electricity generated was from renewable sources.

Renewable Energy: Heating

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 11 November 2010, Official Report, column 410, on the renewable heat incentive (RHI), whether his Department plans to introduce a tariff for deep geothermal energy after the launch of the RHI. [33623]

Charles Hendry: We expect to be in a position to announce the details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, including RHI tariffs and technologies supported shortly.

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department plans to introduce a dedicated tariff for deep geothermal energy when the Renewable Heat Incentive is launched in June this year. [33807]

Charles Hendry: We expect to be in a position to announce the details of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, including RHI tariffs and technologies supported shortly.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 482W

Sellafield

Mr Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions his Department has had with the Scottish Government on the current and future storage of radioactive waste arising in Scotland of all categories in (a) Sellafield and (b) West Cumbria. [33438]

Charles Hendry: The Department has had no recent discussions with the Scottish Government on the current and future storage of radioactive waste arising in Scotland, in Sellafield or West Cumbria.

Warm Front Scheme

Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the average time taken by Eaga plc to carry out work under the Warm Front Scheme; and if he will make a statement. [32639]

Gregory Barker: Under the Warm Front Scheme the average waiting time for heating and insulation measures is 65 and 23 days respectively(1).

Wind Power

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect on wind turbine energy production of the low temperatures experienced since November 2010. [33607]

Charles Hendry: I have seen no evidence to suggest that the low temperatures experienced since November 2010 have had any effect on wind turbine energy production. National Grid data indicate that generating output from operationally metered wind turbines (which account for 40% of wind generating capacity) was 67% higher in November and December than in July and August. This is likely to be due to relatively higher average wind speeds in early November, and an increase in wind power capacity.

Wind Power: Carbon Emissions

Mr Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from wind power taking into account the provision of standby generation from conventional power stations in the latest period for which figures are available. [33992]

Charles Hendry: The Department estimates that the net savings from wind power in 2009 were 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is based on an assessment of the weighted average carbon dioxide emissions of the fossil fuel mix in that year. It takes account of the effect of intermittency on the efficiency of plant used for back-up during times that wind-power was not available. Emissions from the electricity supply system, including from supplies used for back-up, are measured via the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The 2010 figure will be available following publication of the Digest of UK Energy Statistics, at the end of July 2011.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 483W

Wind Power: Manufacturing Industries

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to support companies manufacturing and installing wind turbines. [34020]

Charles Hendry: The renewables obligation is currently the Government's main financial incentive for renewable electricity, including wind power, and has been successful in more than tripling the level of renewable electricity in the UK from 1.8% in 2002 to 6.6% in 2009.

The Department is also involved in providing support for small scale wind installations. In particular, the feed-in tariff came into force in April 2010 to provide financial incentives for the installation of small scale renewable electricity generation, including micro-wind. On 22 December 2010, we also published a consultation on a microgeneration strategy that marks the final stage in more than six months of collaborative engagement with industry and others on the options for removing barriers to deployment of all types of microgeneration.

On the 25 October 2010, the Government announced up to £60 million to support the establishment of offshore wind manufacturing at ports sites in the assisted areas of England.

DECC has also provided technology support through the Low Carbon Energy Demonstration capital grants scheme (which is not currently open to new proposals). In the course of three calls for proposals under the scheme, support was offered to 16 projects in the wind energy sector, worth a total of over £25 million. Future innovation support programmes for low carbon technologies, including off-shore wind, are being considered with decisions expect in the spring.

Home Department

Asylum: Finance

Malcolm Wicks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much financial support for young asylum seekers she plans to allocate to Croydon council in the next three years; how much such funding she allocated in the last three years; and if she will make a statement. [33673]

Damian Green: Croydon local authority will be allocated funding for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in accordance with grant instructions that are published annually. They can be found at:

Over the last three years Croydon has been awarded funding as follows:

£ Number supported

2007-08

27,848,240

731

2008-09

27,965,341

708

2009-10

26,253,818

594


The amount that will be paid to Croydon council in the future will depend upon the number and age of the children supported, and the national daily rate set for
17 Jan 2011 : Column 484W
the cost of supporting an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. From 2010-11 this is £95 for every under 16 and £71 for every 16/17-year-old.

In addition to the grant for unaccompanied asylum seeking children Croydon receive funding for former UASC who have turned 18 and are eligible for leaving care funding. This is as follows:

Leaving care (£ million)

2007-08

2.4

2008-09

3.1

2009-10

3.9


The UK Border Agency has also offered Croydon additional funding for future years in recognition of their status as a "gateway" authority. This has yet to be agreed with the authority.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many automatic number plate recognition cameras are in use by each (a) police force and (b) of her Department's agencies in (i) England and (ii) Wales. [33222]

James Brokenshire: The number of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in use by police forces in England and Wales varies on a daily basis. The following tables show the number of cameras in use between 5 and 11( )January 2011, by force, based on data held by the National Policing Improvement Agency on the number of such cameras feeding data into the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC) during that period. Information on the number of ANPR cameras that may be in use by other agencies of the Home Office is not centrally collated.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 485W
(i) ANPR cameras i n use in England by force (5- 11 January 2011)

Number

Avon and Somerset

125

Bedfordshire

57

Cambridgeshire

63

Cleveland

62

Cumbria

28

Derbyshire

91

Devon Cornwall

45

Dorset

51

Durham

94

Essex

161

Gloucestershire

60

Greater Manchester

234

Hampshire

57

Hertfordshire

178

Humberside

59

Kent

170

Lancashire

86

Leicestershire

76

Lincolnshire

93

Merseyside

254

Metropolitan and City of London

473

Norfolk

22

North West Motorway Police Group(1)

117

North Yorkshire

72

Northamptonshire

69

Northumbria

48

Nottinghamshire

83

South Yorkshire

247

Staffordshire

35

Suffolk

81

Surrey

122

Sussex

158

Thames Valley

101

Warwickshire

29

West Mercia

70

West Midlands

388

West Yorkshire(2)

-

Wiltshire

66

(1) The North West Motorway Police Group ANPR pool comprises data from cameras covering motorways in the Cheshire, Lancashire, and Merseyside police areas. Cheshire Constabulary feeds all its data into this data pool.
(2) Due to a technical issue, no data was supplied to the NADC by West Yorkshire Police during the period sampled.

(ii) ANPR cameras in use in Wales by force (5- 11 January 2011)

Number

Dyfed Powys

115

Gwent

70

North Wales

101

South Wales

51


Crime

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the principal factors which account for the change in the number of crimes reported to the (a) police and (b) British Crime Survey in each year between 1996-97 and 2009-10. [33221]

Nick Herbert: Any factors affecting either police recorded crime or British Crime Survey (BCS) data are reported on in the published statistics. Since 2001-02 data for police recorded crime and the BCS have been reported together annually in 'Crime in England and Wales', published in July each year.

Prior to 2001-02, police recorded crime data, together with commentary, was published annually in the Command Paper 'Criminal Statistics, England and Wales'.

Results and commentary from BCS sweeps between 1996-97 and 2001-02 were published in Home Office Statistical Bulletins in 2000 and 2001.

Copies of all these publications are available in the Library.

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were notified to the police in England and Wales in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2008-09. [33298]

Nick Herbert: Financial year data are available only from 1998-99 onwards so figures for 1996 are given (the period with greatest overlap with 1996-97). In 1996 there were 5,036,552 offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, and in 2008-09 there 4,702,717 offences recorded.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 486W

Because of the expanded coverage and changes to the counting rules in 1998-99, and the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in 2002-03, these two figures are not directly comparable.

Demonstrations: City of Westminster

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether she has received representations from (a) the police, (b) other agencies and organisations and (c) individuals on the policing and conduct of the demonstrations in central London and elsewhere on 9 December 2010; [31026]

(2) whether she has had discussions with the Metropolitan police service on (a) the containment practices deployed to maintain public order at demonstrations and (b) their assessment of the effectiveness of such practices in policing the demonstration in London on 9 December 2010. [31154]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 16 December 2010]: The Home Office has received representations from both Members of Parliament and the public about the policing of the protest on 9 December, and has also received a report from the Metropolitan police.

Tactics used by the police at this demonstration are an operational matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police. Ministers have had a number of discussions with senior officers about demonstrations in London.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who participated in the protests on (a) 10 November 2010, (b) 24 November 2010, (c) 30 November 2010 and (d) 9 December 2010 were subsequently arrested; and how many were detected from CCTV images. [33434]

James Brokenshire: As of 12 January, the total number of arrests resulting from each of the student protests was as follows:

The Metropolitan police inform me that CCTV did significantly assist in detecting perpetrators for offences committed but it is not possible to break this down into a specific figure.

Departmental Billing

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many invoices her Department processed in the last 12 months for which figures are available; what the average cost to her Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period her Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. [30862]

Nick Herbert: The Home Department processes its invoices through the Ministry of Justice Shared Service Centre.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 487W

From December 2009 to November 2010, 99,465 invoices for the Department were processed.

The average cost (October 2010) of processing an invoice was £2.51 per invoice. This was the cost of the Shared Service Centre teams directly involved with processing the invoice and their share of the overheads.

The proportion of invoices paid electronically during 2009-10 was 98.48% and the proportion paid by cheque during 2009-10 was 1.52%. This is the last full financial year data available.

Departmental Manpower

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many employees of her Department work outside the UK. [33282]

Nick Herbert: There are no Home Department employees whose normal place of employment is outside the UK and we do not keep central records of those who may travel abroad on official business for all or part of their duties. 54 Home Office employees are on loan or secondment to other Government Departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth office. Our records do not show how many of these may be based overseas. To gather and provide this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Departmental Overtime

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on overtime for staff working in the Secretary of State's private office in each of the last five years. [28562]

Nick Herbert: The expenditure incurred by the Department on staff claiming overtime in the Home Secretary's private office over the last five years is as follows:

Overtime expenditure 2006 to 2010
Financial year Expenditure (£)

2006-07

41,748

2007-08

38,079

2008-09

25,099

2009-10

25,084

2010-11 (8 months)

17,004


Departmental Press: Subscriptions

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on press cuttings services in each year since 1997. [28144]

Nick Herbert: Press cutting services are used to inform policy development and parliamentary decisions across a wide range of issues.

The Department's expenditure on press cuttings is set out in the following table. Expenditure on the UK Border Agency (now a Home Office agency) has been excluded to allow comparability of expenditure across the years.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 488W
Financial year Expenditure (£)

2005-06

116,000

2006-07

297,000

2007-08

206,000

2008-09

181,000

2009-10

182,000

2010-11 (expenditure up to November 2010)

105,000


Each year's data is expressed in that year's current prices and therefore do not take account of inflation. Data prior to April 2005 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Figures quoted in the table are inclusive of VAT and all National Licensing Authority Fees. Extracting these costs would be disproportionately costly.

All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Procurement

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) steps she is taking to encourage small businesses to bid for contracts let by her Department and (b) recent guidance she has provided to small businesses on bidding for such contracts. [32025]

Nick Herbert: The Home Department is currently producing a plan in support of the Government's initiative on creating opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and third sector organisations. It builds from the Department's current ability to identify its small business suppliers, which comprises 38% of the suppliers used and represents 9% of its supplier spend. This is complemented by the Department's good record of prompt payment within five days.

The Department is actively contributing to the cross government agenda which is being led by the Efficiency Reform Group.

The Department also assists small businesses in reducing the barriers they face in bidding through simplifying processes and placing lower value contract opportunities on the Supply2.gov.uk national portal. The Department fully supports cross government policy by guiding small businesses to access opportunities which are available via use of the portal.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with voluntary and community groups on bidding for contracts let by her Department. [32026]

Nick Herbert: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has not had any recent discussions with this specific sector. However the Department continues to support both voluntary and community groups in the form of grants contributing to projects and programmes at a local level.

Departmental Travel

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on grey fleet in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. [28843]


17 Jan 2011 : Column 489W

Nick Herbert: The Department's expenditure on grey fleet is set out in the following table:

£000

2009-10

254

2008-09

248


All travel by civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Civil Service Management Code and guidance contained within Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Home Office policy on travel requires staff to obtain authority from their line manager to use a private vehicle for official travel before undertaking any journey.

DNA: Databases

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who will have responsibility for the National DNA database after the National Policing Improvement Agency has been phased out. [32464]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office is currently working with the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), and the wider police service, to determine appropriate arrangements for running those functions that will continue after the NPIA is phased out.

Entry Clearances: Dalai Lama

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what applications for visas to visit the UK her Department has received from the Dalai Lama in the last five years. [33744]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not routinely comment on individual cases.

Entry Clearances: Married People

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made for marriage visas to enter the UK where the intended spouse was resident in the London borough of Bexley in the last 12 months. [33585]

Damian Green: The information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas students have had their visas revoked for breach of their visa conditions in each year since 2001. [33730]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not keep a central record of the number of individuals whose leave was curtailed or application refused for breaching their visa conditions. This information could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 490W

Exclusion Orders: USA

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will refuse a visa to Pastor Jones of Florida on account of his expressed views on Muslims. [31037]

Damian Green: It is not Home Office policy to comment on individual cases.

Extradition

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to report to the House the outcome of her Department's review of extradition. [33184]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 12 January 2011]: In line with the written ministerial statement of 8 September 2010, Official Report, column 18WS, the independent panel undertaking the review of extradition are due to publish their findings in September 2011. Once the Government have considered the panel's report and examined whether changes need to be made to the UK's extradition arrangements, they will report their conclusions to Parliament.

Firearms: Licensing

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firearms licences were granted to people 25 years of age or under in each of the last five years in (a) Newcastle upon Tyne and (b) the UK. [31698]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The total number of firearm and shotgun certificates granted to people aged 25 years or under in each calendar year from 2006 to 2010 are set out in the following tables for: (1) Northumbria police force and (2) England and Wales. The data were extracted from the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) which holds data at the police force area level for police forces in England and Wales. It is therefore not possible to provide data specific to Newcastle-upon-Tyne or for the UK.

Data relating to firearm and shotgun certificates issued by police forces in Scotland are submitted to, and published by, the Scottish Government. The provided data are provisional and subject to revision or change. NFLMS data are normally used for management and operational information only, and are not subject to the detailed quality checks applied to datasets used for National Statistics publications.

Table 1: Number of firearm and shotgun certificates granted to people aged 25 years or under by Northumbria police force in each calendar year from 2006- 10

Number of persons Number of certificates

2006

70

86

2007

72

83

2008

69

77

2009

71

82

2010

70

81

Notes:
1. Some individuals were granted more than one certificate (ie one for firearms and one for shotguns).
2. The figures do not include certificates renewed or already held.
3. The provided data are provisional and subject to revision or change. NFLMS data are normally used for management and operational information only, and are not subject to the detailed quality checks applied to datasets used for National Statistics publications.

17 Jan 2011 : Column 491W

Table 2: Number of firearm and shotgun certificates granted to people aged 25 years or under by all police forces in England and Wales in each calendar year from 2006 - 10

Number of persons Number of certificates

2006

3,400

3,799

2007

3,205

3,516

2008

3,677

4,106

2009

3,648

4,000

2010

3,288

3,592

Notes:
1. Some individuals were granted more than one certificate (ie one for firearms and one for shotguns).
2. The figures do not include certificates renewed or already held.
3. The provided data are provisional and subject to revision or change. NFLMS data are normally used for management and operational information only, and are not subject to the detailed quality checks applied to datasets used for National Statistics publications.

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons convicted of offences for which they have served terms of imprisonment of less than three years hold (a) shotgun and (b) firearm certificates in the (i) Metropolitan Police Service area, (ii) West Midlands Police Service area and (iii) Greater Manchester Police Service area. [32751]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is not held centrally. Court proceedings data collated centrally by the Ministry of Justice include information on defendants and offences committed in England and Wales. No information about the circumstances of offences, including whether or not defendants held firearm certificates, is held unless specified in a statute.

Fixated Threat Assessment Centre

Mr Charles Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what future plans she has for the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre; and if she will make a statement. [32115]

Nick Herbert: The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) is a joint Home Office-NHS funded body. Information about its activities can be found at:

The Home Office will continue to endorse and use the principles developed by FTAC in responding to the serious issue of stalking.

The Home Office expects to continue to financially contribute towards supporting FTAC over this spending period.

Forensic Science Service

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential effects of abolishing the Forensic Science Service Ltd on the forensic science sector. [33303]

James Brokenshire: We made the decision to manage the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in close consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and other partners across the
17 Jan 2011 : Column 492W
Criminal Justice System (CJS). It is their collective view that a managed closure is in the best interests of the system as a whole.

ACPO have been clear that the forensics market can cope with the managed wind-down of the FSS. Feedback from the police and suppliers suggests that a managed wind-down will allow for an orderly transfer of capacity that minimises the cost to the taxpayer and enables us to manage the risks to the CJS.

We are working closely with ACPO, National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and the FSS board to put in place plans to maintain a sustainable operational and research capability within the forensics market both during and after the transition. We are committed to minimising the impact on the CJS and the continued provision of effective forensics is a priority for the Home Office.

Greater Manchester Police: Grants

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police on the effects on that police force of proposed reductions in police grants to Greater Manchester Police Authority in 2011-12. [29634]

Nick Herbert: Ministers have regular discussions with chief constables on a range of issues about policing. Decisions about the number of police officers and other police staff engaged by the Greater Manchester police are a matter for the chief constable and the police authority.

In a recent statement, available at:

the chief constable of Greater Manchester police stated that:

Immigration

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for leave to remain in the UK were made outside the immigration rules in the last 12 months. [33588]

Damian Green: The numbers of applications for leave to remain in the UK made outside the immigration rules in the last 12 months between 1 January and 31 December 2010 was 11,588.

This is internal management information and is subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under the National Statistics protocols.

Immigration: EU Nationals

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate has been made of the number of non-EEA residents who entered the UK after having gained (a) citizenship and (b) indefinite leave to remain in other EU member states in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [33194]


17 Jan 2011 : Column 493W

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not hold this information. When a citizen of the EU enters the United Kingdom, it is not evident from their passport or national identity card how they obtained EU citizenship in another country.

When a non-EEA citizen wishes to enter the United Kingdom, the individual is not required to provide evidence of having obtained indefinite leave to remain in another EU member state, and it may not be evident from their passport that such status was held. This is because at the point of arrival into the United Kingdom, non-EEA passengers must instead provide a valid United Kingdom entry clearance visa.

Immigration: Health

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of non-EU nationals who have been granted temporary leave to remain in the UK on medical grounds in each of the last five years. [33586]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not record the number of all non-EU nationals who have been granted temporary leave to remain in the UK on medical grounds in their standard reports.

To obtain such information for previous years would involve a case by case search or significant report development work at disproportionate cost.

Missing Persons: Dementia

Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of calls police forces received concerning a missing person diagnosed with a form of dementia in the latest period for which figures are available; and the cost to the public purse of responding to such calls. [33305]

Nick Herbert: This information is not held centrally.

Naturalisation

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether time spent in the UK by a foreign national on a student visa counts towards the qualifying period for naturalisation as a British citizen; and if she will make a statement. [33729]

Damian Green: The position has not changed since my response of 21 July 2010, Official Report, column 445W. Time spent in the United Kingdom on a student visa can count towards the residence requirements for naturalisation if a person meets the statutory requirements on the date of application.

Any change to the requirements for naturalisation would require legislative change. There are no plans to do so at the current time.

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Code of Practice A

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the likely effects of the implementation of proposed changes to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
17 Jan 2011 : Column 494W
Code of Practice A on (a) race relations and (b) relations between communities and the police. [25466]

Nick Herbert: The reduction in recording requirements for stop and search was part of the previous government's Crime and Security Act 2010, and as such went through a formal equality impact assessment which was published in 2009. The assessment found that the reduced recording time should help improve the quality of each encounter, which in turn should help improve relations between the police service and the communities they serve.

The proposal to abolish the national recording requirement for stop and account has been assessed and a draft equality impact assessment is due to be published shortly. The proposals make it clear that some forces may wish to continue to monitor the ethnicity of people stopped, where there are local concerns about the use of stop and account.

These changes encourage the police to work closely with their community to ensure they understand and act on local concerns, rather than being directed to collect data from a central source.

Police Community Support Officers: Aberconwy

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers were assigned to duties in Aberconwy constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [31896]

Nick Herbert: Constituency level data of this type are not collected centrally. The latest available data that show police community support officer strength for north Wales by basic command unit, as at 31 March 2010, is provided in the following table:

Police community support officer strength by basic command unit, 31 March 2010( 1, 2)
Police force Basic command unit Full-time equivalents

North Wales

North Wales Central

41

North Wales Eastern

65

North Wales Western

51

Central Services

0

Total

156

(1) These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number Figures include those officers on career breaks and maternity/paternity leave. (2) Source: Home Office using data received from police forces via the Annual Data Requirement.

Police Community Support Officers: Wales

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has for future protection of the budget allocation for recruitment and retention of police community support officers in North Wales Police. [32391]

Nick Herbert: The Government announced on 13 December as part of the police funding settlement that, in recognition of the essential role the police community support officers (PCSOs) play, the Neighbourhood Policing Fund will be maintained over
17 Jan 2011 : Column 495W
the next two years, before being devolved to Police and Crime Commissioners. About 90% of the grant is ring-fenced for PCSOs-contributing up to 75% of their salary costs.

Police: Conduct

Dr Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the responses of police forces to Independent Police Complaints Commission reports on police conduct during investigations of allegations of rape; and if she will make a statement. [32165]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 10 January 2011]: The response by a police force to any report into its conduct by the Independent Police Complaints Commission is a matter for that force and its respective police authority, and such information is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Police: Helicopters

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she issues to police authorities on the criteria to be used in assessing requirements for police helicopters; and whether such criteria include the use of helicopters for (a) missing person searches, (b) safety in coastal areas and (c) other non-criminal uses. [34108]

Nick Herbert: There is no guidance issued to police authorities or police forces on the criteria to be used in assessing requirements for police helicopters. The decision on whether to use a helicopter for missing person searches, safety in coastal areas, and other non-criminal uses is one for chief officers to make in accordance with local priorities.

Prince William: Security

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the annual cost to the public purse of security provided for HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton in Anglesey; and whether she has made an estimate of any change in that amount following the announcement of their engagement. [31723]

Nick Herbert: We are unable to provide detailed information on the cost of security to protected individuals or to confirm which individuals do or do not receive protection. To do so would compromise the integrity of the security arrangements of the individuals concerned.

On the issue of the costs of personal protection, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given on 13 September 2010, Official Report, columns 885-86W.

Radicalism: Internet

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps her Department has taken against websites hosting content which promote violent radical activities linked to Islam. [31953]


17 Jan 2011 : Column 496W

Nick Herbert [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The coalition Government take the threat of online Islamic extremism very seriously. Where unlawful content is hosted in the United Kingdom, the police are able to require its removal under powers provided in the Terrorism Act 2006. In cases where unlawful content is hosted overseas, we work closely with our international partners and the internet industry to effect their removal.

Special Constables

Hazel Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many volunteers are registered to work for each police force. [32124]

Nick Herbert: The most recent figures for the numbers of special constables in each police force area in England and Wales as at 31 March 2010 are contained in the following table. These figures were published in July 2010 in the Home Office statistical bulletin 'Police Service Strength, England and Wales, 31 March 2010', which is available online at:

The Home Office does not collect figures on the numbers of voluntary police staff or voluntary police cadets.


17 Jan 2011 : Column 497W
Special constable strength as at 31 March 2010 by police force area, England and Wales
Police force Total strength

Avon and Somerset

449

Bedfordshire

210

Cambridgeshire

167

Cheshire

300

Cleveland

238

Cumbria

115

Derbyshire

302

Devon and Cornwall

592

Dorset

300

Durham

131

Essex

682

Gloucestershire

167

Greater Manchester

400

Hampshire

449

Hertfordshire

344

Humberside

341

Kent

310

Lancashire

470

Leicestershire

240

Lincolnshire

163

London, City of

79

Merseyside

446

Metropolitan Police

3,177

Norfolk

266

Northamptonshire

180

Northumbria

178

North Yorkshire

184

Nottinghamshire

298

South Yorkshire

227

Staffordshire

334

Suffolk

328

Surrey

327

Sussex

240

Thames Valley

408

Warwickshire

212

West Mercia

233

West Midlands

591

West Yorkshire

421

Wiltshire

250

Dyfed-Powys

171

Gwent

144

North Wales

193

South Wales

248

Total all 43 forces

15,505

Note:
Special constable figures are given as headcount measures.

Terrorism: Islam

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on encouraging Muslim mosque leaders who expel extremists of their obligations to alert the appropriate authorities; and if she will make a statement. [32153]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 21 December 2010]: All institutions and citizens have a responsibility to alert the authorities about any threats to national security or public safety of which they become aware. The Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government actively support local partnerships of the police, local government and other statutory agencies to develop good relationships with community and faith organisations. This helps build the mutual trust and confidence important to creating communication channels in which information of relevance to the protection of the public can be shared.

Any member of the public can also report information to the National Terrorist Hotline and to Crimestoppers.

A review of Prevent is under way and the outcome will be announced in due course.

Communities and Local Government

Gypsy and Traveller Sites

21. Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to withdraw planning circulars 04/2007 and 01/2006 on Gypsy and Traveller sites. [33565]

Robert Neill: The Government have announced their intention to withdraw circulars 01/2006 on Gypsy and Traveller sites and 04/2007 on Travelling Showpeople sites, subject to necessary impact assessments. The circulars will be replaced with a short, light-touch new policy. There will be a full public consultation on our proposed new policy shortly.

Local Authority Spending Details: Online Publication

22. Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have published online details of their spending over £500 to date. [33566]


17 Jan 2011 : Column 498W

Mr Pickles: Our latest assessment is that at least 193 local authorities are publishing their spending data online.

Efficiency Savings

23. Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to reward local authorities for making efficiencies. [33568]

Grant Shapps: This Government believe that efficiency is its own reward.

The public will not tolerate waste and duplication and will, rightly, hold their local authority to account for the decisions they take in relation to how services are managed. More councils should follow the example of authorities like West Oxfordshire and Cotswolds who are already sharing chief executives and a senior manager.

Regulatory Burden

24. Jessica Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals to reduce the burden of regulation on local government. [33569]

Mr Pickles: This Government are committed to radically reducing the burden of regulation on local government. We have already freed councils from the top down controls of comprehensive area assessment and local area agreement targets. The Localism Bill will go further, scrapping regional strategies and housing targets, the Standards Board regime, and the duty to promote local democracy.

Provision of Local Services

Nigel Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to encourage the provision of local services by community groups. [33549]

Greg Clark: The Localism Bill, which has its second reading today, includes a Community Right to Challenge. This will enable voluntary and community bodies, as well as parish councils and local authority employees, to express an interest in running a local authority service, which may trigger a procurement exercise for that service.


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