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Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will bring forward proposals to require that all puppies offered for sale (a) are examined by a veterinary surgeon and (b) are subject to a health certificate before the sale of the animal; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The independent Dog Advisory Council is currently looking at health problems in dogs. This covers health checks and advice given to purchasers by vendors. I will consider this matter in the light of the recommendations made by the Council.
Mr Paice: The Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, which amended and extended the provisions of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 and the Breeding of Dogs Act 1991, provides protection for dogs used in breeding establishments. Under this legislation, any person who keeps a breeding establishment for dogs at any premises and carries on a business of breeding dogs for sale at those premises must obtain a licence from the local authority. Those people who are not in the business of breeding dogs for sale and produce less than five litters in any period of 12 months-so called "hobby breeders"-do not need to obtain a licence. Local authorities have powers to grant or withhold a licence as well as to inspect a pet shop for standards of welfare.
The sale of dogs may also be regulated under the Pet Animals Act 1951 which regulates anyone who is in the business of selling pet animals. Similar powers for local authorities are provided here as under the dog breeding legislation.
In addition to the specific law on the breeding and selling of dogs, there is also the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which places a duty on those who own or are responsible for animals to ensure their animals' welfare. This includes owners and keepers of dog breeding establishments. Failure to provide for the welfare of an animal could lead to a fine of up £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will bring forward proposals to reduce the levels of commercial breeding of puppies; what recent representations she has received on this issue; what response she gave; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: Possible measures to improve the breeding and health of dogs will be considered by the independent Dog Advisory Council. I will consider any need for Government action to combat indiscriminate breeding in the light of the recommendations of the Council.
From time to time, DEFRA receives correspondence relating to the welfare of dogs at breeding establishments and whether we are proposing to make any changes to the existing controls. I consider that the existing controls provide adequate protection for the welfare of dogs and enable local authorities to take appropriate action, if necessary.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance her Department issues to local authorities on the enforcement of legislation relating to the (a) breeding and (b) sale of puppies; what amendments her Department has made to it in each year since 2005; if she will place in the Library a copy of the guidance; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: Guidance for local authorities on the legislation relating to the breeding and sale of dogs was provided by central Government in 1999 when the legislation was last amended. The guidance has not been subsequently amended. I will arrange for a copy of the guidance to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr Paice: The Government support voluntary identification of pets by microchipping because it increases the chances of lost or stolen dogs being reunited with their owners. A proposal for all dogs to be compulsorily microchipped was included in DEFRA's consultation on dangerous dog legislation. DEFRA received 1,875 responses on this issue, of which 84% were in favour and 16% opposed. We are currently considering the possibility of introducing compulsory microchipping as well as a range of other issues raised in the consultation. No final decisions have been made.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will bring forward proposals to require the micro-chipping of all puppies for sale before they leave their mothers; what recent representations she has received on this issue; what response she gave; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The Government supports voluntary identification of pets by microchipping because it increases the chances of lost or stolen dogs being re-united with their owners. A public consultation on the law on dangerous dogs, which concluded on 1 June 2010, included a proposal that all dogs be microchipped. As a result, numerous letters were received on this subject by DEFRA. We have analysed the 4,250 or so replies to the consultation and a summary of the responses was published on 25 November 2010. A decision about the way forward, including regarding the microchipping of dogs, will be made shortly.
Richard Benyon: The UK is committed to the sustainable management, conservation of sharks, and to bringing to an end the wasteful practice known as shark finning, where shark fins are removed at sea, and the rest of the carcass discarded.
The UK has not adopted a policy of banning the sale of shark fin products. We consider that the most effective means of protecting these species is through working at an EU and international level to better manage fisheries, while where appropriate seeking to ban the international trade in shark products through the Convention on international trade in endangered species (CITIES).
The UK has already taken the strong and proactive decision to ban UK vessels from removing fins from sharks at sea. All UK vessels now have to land sharks with fins naturally attached-a measure that will prevent shark finning. We want this to be the case for all vessels, and so are pushing strongly for EU legislation to be changed, and for international agreement on this issue.
We are also leading the way on shark management in both in Europe, and international fisheries management bodies, by calling for appropriate limits to be set on the numbers of sharks that can be caught, and for total bans on catching endangered species.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department plans to begin collecting data on the number of fish discarded by fishermen as a result of compliance with fishing quotas. 
Richard Benyon: UK fisheries laboratories have been sending scientific observers to sea to record the quantity of fish discarded by fishing vessels since 1975. The data collected during these sampling trips are used to estimate the total quantities of fish discarded. It is then possible to analyse the data further to estimate how much of these discards occur for specific reasons, for example, the amount of fish discarded to comply with quota limits, or for market reasons or because they were undersized.
Mr Paice: The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial Government Department that reports in England to the DEFRA Secretary of State. The Forestry Commission has been closely involved in discussions on the new approach to ownership and management of woodlands and forests.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 293W, on forests, for what reason the 2,700 campaign emails sent via Forest.org were not added to the figure of 800 representations received by her Department on the sale of the public forest estate. 
Mr Paice: As the hon. Member's previous question asked for the categories that we use to record representations, the answer separated the correspondence received on forestry into different types. This was the reason that the campaign emails from Forest.org were listed separately.
Richard Benyon: The impact of hydraulic fracturing on the water environment in England and Wales would be assessed on a site specific basis by the Environment Agency. This would happen via its role as a statutory consultee in the planning process, or as part of its consideration of the need for, and response to, an application for an environmental permit (under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010). The Environment Agency has its own in-house technical expertise which is used to support its role in protecting and managing water quality and resources. This expertise is available to the Government.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to announce her proposals for more widespread and consistent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. 
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the disamenity of litter; and whether she plans to commission further research into the matter. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA has commissioned work on the public's economic valuation of litter, as part of a research project covering a range of local environment quality factors. The work is expected to conclude this spring.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions has she had with the shale gas drilling industry on disclosure of chemicals used in drilling activities. 
Richard Benyon: There is currently one company drilling for shale gas in England and Wales, Cuadrilla Resources, which is operating near Blackpool, Lancashire. It has not yet discharged any chemicals into the ground as it has not started hydraulic fracturing. The Environment Agency has held discussions with the company about its operations. As part of these discussions the company has voluntarily disclosed the names of the chemicals it is intending to use as part of hydraulic fracturing.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the number of (a) cats of each breed, (b) dogs of each breed and (c) other pets of each species abandoned by their owners in each local authority in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: There are no figures held centrally on the numbers of cats and dogs abandoned each year. However, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities are required to keep such records in respect of dogs.
Mr Paice: There are no plans to ban the use of pyrethroids by local authorities. Pyrethroid insecticides are strictly regulated under UK and EU legislation to ensure that they can be used without causing harm to people or to the wider environment. Products have to be assessed and authorised before they are marketed, and it is a legal requirement that all users, including those in local authorities, follow the label instructions which allow the products to be used safely.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations the Environment Agency has made to landowners on mineral pollution in the river system in the North of England. 
Richard Benyon: Water quality in our river systems has been steadily improving for many years. However, there is still work to be done: to tackle pollution from a variety of sources, for example, contaminated land, agriculture and industry, and to meet our obligations under the water framework directive. It is often essential to work with landowners, in order to raise their awareness and enable better management of the land.
The Environment Agency is currently involved in a number of projects affecting rivers in the North East of England. These include: working with the Coal Authority at a number of locations to address the impact of minewater pollution; working with farmers and landowners on initiatives to reduce pollution from sediment entering rivers; and working with developers and landowners to ensure they understand, and are able to prevent, contamination of rivers resulting from regeneration projects.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has made (a) an estimate of the number of damson trees and (b) an assessment of the areas of highest density of such trees. 
Alistair Burt: Our ambassador in Baghdad discussed concerns over the treatment of unions in the Ministry of Electricity with the Electricity Minister in August 2010. The right to form and join trade unions in Iraq is embodied in the Iraqi constitution, a principle to which this Government attaches great importance. Embassy officials maintain a regular dialogue with Iraqi union representatives.
Mr Hague: I remain committed to strengthening the UK's relationship with the Commonwealth and ensuring that we are at the centre of plans to reinvigorate this unique organisation for the benefit of all its current and future members. This ready-made network can further UK foreign policy and economic interests.
Alistair Burt: Our embassy in Tel Aviv raises concerns over the military court system, including administrative detention, on a regular basis at official level. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), met with Palestinian human rights defenders during his visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in November 2010. Officials regularly attend court hearings for human rights defenders.
Mr Bellingham: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), issued a written ministerial statement on 24 January 2011, Official Report, columns 1-2WS. The southern Sudan referendum is a momentous step towards the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). We welcome the positive reactions of the north and of observers as we await the formal results. We will support north and south as they work on the remaining CPA issues. We continue to support efforts to establish a lasting peace for Darfur.
Alistair Burt: It is despicable that, four years on, Gilad Shalit should still be held by Hamas in denial of the most basic of human rights. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met with the Shalit family during his recent visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and reiterated his call for the immediate release of their son.
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the condition of the Hazara population in Pakistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: The Hazara community in Pakistan numbers approximately 500,000. In the past they have reported discrimination because of their ethnicity. Officials from our high commission have met with representatives of the community. I raised the importance of upholding the rights of all citizens with the Minister for Minorities on 10 January.
Mr Hague: My visit, the first by a Foreign Secretary for 17 years, reaffirmed Britain's close relationships with Australia and New Zealand. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence and I agreed with our counterparts new areas of closer co-ordination across foreign policy, security and defence issues. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd took me to his constituency to see the devastation caused by the flooding, and I offered to contribute UK expertise in flood recovery and forecasting, which Australia has accepted.
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Iranian counterpart on the use of death by stoning as a punishment in Iran. 
Alistair Burt: I raised this topic in discussions with the Iranian embassy in London a number of times in 2010, most recently in November when I spoke to the Iranian chargé d'affaires. Our embassy in Tehran also discussed this with the Iranian authorities in December last year. We believe that stoning is a barbaric punishment which has no place in modern society. We continue to urge the Iranian authorities, and all other countries that use stoning as a punishment, to abolish this violent practice forever.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of Iraq on measures to protect civilians living in Camp Ashraf. 
Alistair Burt: The UK has discussed the situation at Camp Ashraf with the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, and the previous Iraqi Human Rights Minister and Iraqi Minister of Internal Affairs. Officials at our embassy in Baghdad also continue to discuss the situation with the EU, US and UN, most recently on 14 January 2011.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to answer the letter sent to him by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 21 December 2010, with regard to Mr P Walsh. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) aims to recruit a talented and diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve and our recruitment policies are designed to encourage applications from the widest possible range of backgrounds. All external recruitment into the FCO is based on merit, and all campaigns must be fair and open.
The FCO also runs and takes part in diversity-related internship schemes. Their main aim is to help ensure that the most talented people from diverse backgrounds, which are currently under-represented in the FCO workforce, are aware of and attracted to a career in the FCO.
The Cabinet Office will publish data on the socio-economic background of entrants to the senior civil service and the civil service fast stream. This will include fast stream applicants who go on to join the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of his Department's senior management staff were educated at (a) Oxford university, (b) Cambridge university and (c) public schools in each of the last four years for which figures are available. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold data centrally on the educational background of senior management staff. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's recruitment policies are designed to encourage applications from the widest possible range of backgrounds. All external recruitment into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is based on merit, and all campaigns must be fair and open. In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's internal promotion and progression schemes are firmly meritocratic, based on objective and consistent criteria against which all candidates are assessed.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of his Department's (a) policy and (b) operational staff entrants were educated at (i) Oxford university, (ii) Cambridge university and (iii) public schools in each of the last four years for which figures are available. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) only holds data centrally on the universities (but not schools) attended by staff who have come in via the Cabinet Office's Fast Stream scheme. The proportions of these who attended Oxford and Cambridge are as follows.
|Percentage Oxford||Percentage Cambridge|
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in countries where persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is enshrined in law. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government are committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as an integral part of its international human rights work. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Ministers and officials regularly raise human rights issues, including the situation of LGBT people, during meetings with international counterparts. Earlier this month I visited Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, and raised LGBT equality during discussions with government officials and non-government organisations.
The UK will continue to play a leading global role in ending inequality and discrimination against LGBT people. In July 2010, the Government published "Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality" to guide the UK's future work in promoting LGBT rights. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office contributed to the international section of the strategy which includes a commitment to pushing for unequivocal support for LGBT rights internationally.
Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the likely effectiveness of the dispute resolution mechanisms proposed for the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Uganda. 
Mr Bellingham: I have made the point to members of both the governing and Opposition parties, including President Museveni and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, that it is crucial for both sides to engage constructively in the election process if it is to be deemed credible.
Ugandan electoral law contains provisions for appeals on the results to be lodged with the Supreme Court within 10 days of election results being announced. The court then has a further 30 days to declare its findings. This process was followed effectively in 2001 and 2006.
Earlier in the process we lobbied for the adoption of a Code of Conduct Bill which would have enabled the Electoral Commission to convene electoral liaison and peace committees across the country to resolve disputes. However the Bill was not adopted. The UK, and other
donors, have funded the Electoral Commission to introduce alternative mechanisms to resolve inter-party disputes (for example, the Inter-Party Dialogue (IPOD)) and a new system for handling complaints.
Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on measures to ensure freedom of speech and freedom of the media in Uganda in advance of the forthcoming elections in that country. 
Mr Bellingham: Uganda has a lively media, and their coverage inspires active public debate on current issues and criticism of government policies. But we are concerned about administrative and legal curbs on freedom of expression. We are aware of reports that some Opposition candidates have faced difficulty in accessing local media in some areas, although this is difficult to monitor in practice.
The UK has supported, via the Deepening Democracy Programme, projects to support a free media to promote accountability (including providing assistance to radio networks, media training and promotion of accurate messaging). We have also discussed the draft Press and Journalist Bill with the Ugandan Minister for Information and National Guidance. We have urged that any new regulation strikes an appropriate and legitimate balance between regulation and protection of the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
Mr Gibb [holding answer 10 January 2011]: Although this information is not collected by the Department and academies are not required to supply it, from information held by the Young People's Learning Agency we understand there are 38 academies that currently operate on split sites.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the (a) total and (b) average annual salary of staff employed on fixed-term contracts in his Department was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Grade band||Sum of annual salary||Average of annual salary|
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2011, Official Report, column 80W, on the education maintenance allowance, how many (a) current students and (b) students who were surveyed as part of the National Foundation for Education Research study into education maintenance allowance were from (i) white, (ii) mixed, (iii) Indian, (iv) Pakistani, (v) Bangladeshi, (vi) other Asian, (vii) Black African, (viii) Black Caribbean and (ix) other ethnic background. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 17 January 2011]: The research undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), working in partnership with Triangle and QA Research, looked at barriers to participation in post compulsory education including financial barriers.
The research included a sample of 2,029 young people, who were chosen to be representative of young people aged 16 and 17 in terms of their gender and attainment, of incidence of learning difficulty or disability and destination in the September after leaving Year 11. This was supplemented by a combination of telephone and face-to-face interviews with young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, parents of young people with LDD, young people in a job without training aged 16 or 17, young people who were not in education, employment or training aged 16 or 17 and teenage parents aged 16-18.
|Table A2: Ethnicity of survey respondents ethnicity|
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students in receipt of education maintenance allowance in (a) Sunderland, (b) the North East and (c) England have gone on to higher education in each year since its introduction. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 17 January 2011]: Neither the YPLA nor the Department for Education currently collects information on how many students in receipt of education maintenance allowance have gone on to higher education.
Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what estimate he made of the average cost (a) per sixth form college and maintained secondary school with a sixth form, (b) per student in a sixth form college or in the sixth form at a maintained secondary school and (c) to the maintained secondary sector of public examinations in (i) 1996-97 and (ii) 2009-10; 
(2) what estimate he made of the average cost to maintained schools and sixth form colleges of a public examination entry in school year (a) 10, (b) 11, (c) 12 and (d) 13 in 2010 prices in academic year (i) 1996-97 and (ii) 2009-10. 
Mr Gibb: The best information the Department holds in relation to examination fees in the secondary sector comes through the section 251 of the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCL) outturn data for local authorities. The response I gave my hon. Friend on 10 January 2011, Official Report, column 83W, provides this information for 2002-03 and 2008-09. Further to that answer, the outturn data for 2009-10 has now been published and is available on the Department's website at the following web address:
This information is available because data is collected on how schools spend their funding. However, owing to the way in which the information in relation to school examination costs is collected, it is not certain whether all school sixth form examination costs (school years 12/13) are included in these figures. For the same reason, it is also not possible to split out the school sixth form examination costs from those for pre-16 (school years 10/11).
Similar information for the further education (FE) sector was collected by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) up to the 2006-07 financial year, but has not been collected since and is no longer collected.
Data supplied by the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) shows that public examinations cost sixth form colleges (SFCs) a total of £25,810,000 in 2006-07, inclusive of any adult examination costs. This means an average cost of £266,082 per SFC and £177 per SFC student (all ages). It is not possible to provide comparable SFC examination cost data for the years preceding 2006-07 because the earlier records are substantially incomplete.
It is also not possible to split out the costs for the school years requested in parliamentary question 027599 from the figures provided above, which also include any adult examination costs. I am therefore unable to provide any detail as to how much SFCs have spent historically on examination fees for school years 10 to 13.
1. The financial information used in the answer to this PQ is taken from the Department's former section 52 data collection. Section 251 of the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 now replaces section 52 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 in England.
2. Examination Fees includes the costs of test and examination entry fees, and any accreditation costs related to pupils (including GCSEs, A/AS levels, GNVQs); administrative costs, e.g. external marking.
3. Pupil numbers used in the calculations include all FTE pupils attending maintained secondary or middle-deemed secondary schools in England in the financial years given.
4. The headcount pupil numbers used are from the 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2010 January School Census (with a 1/3-2/3 weighting applied to give financial year figures).
5. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 17 January 2011.
Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) whether he has made an estimate of the number of free schools which are likely to be established to provide exclusively for children with special educational needs in the next five years; 
Mr Gibb: We have not made an estimate of the number of free schools which are likely to be established to provide exclusively for children with special educational needs in the next five years. Opening any new school is complex and we are aware that there are additional complexities in establishing special free schools. We are considering these issues and intend to provide additional information to potential applicants. We are also considering whether additional criteria are required to assess applications to establish special free schools.
The Schools White Paper-'The Importance of Teaching'-has set out our plans for a new school system. Free schools, including those providing for children with special educational needs (special free schools), will enjoy the same freedoms as academies and special academies. We will be publishing our Green Paper on SEN and Disability in February and this will set out the future relationship local authorities will have with special academies and free schools.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to support education for 16 to 19 year olds in further education colleges in areas where there is no sixth form provision. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 January 2011]: Local authorities have a statutory duty to secure sufficient suitable education and training opportunities to meet the reasonable needs of all 16 to 19-year-olds in their area.
In July 2010, the Secretary of State for Education announced a series of steps to simplify the funding system for 16 to 19-year-olds, including giving local authorities a key strategic leadership role to champion the interests of young people in their area. They may shape provision in their area by identifying gaps, enabling new provision and developing the market.
The needs of young people are much more likely to be met where local authorities have strong partnerships with those who provide education and training. There is
no prescription about how this should be done but, in developing their overview, local authorities will want to work with their key partners, including schools, colleges and other providers, to identify the education needs of young people in their area, the needs of employers and the extent to which those demands and needs are being met overall.
From 2011/12 core 16 to 19 allocation budgets for school sixth forms and colleges will be based on the equivalent of lagged pupil numbers thus ensuring that funding more explicitly follows the young person. We are also devolving responsibility to institutions to decide on their curriculum offer and mix of provision so that they can respond to the needs of individual students.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to support localism and decentralisation in respect of the role of parents in determining the sex and relationships curriculum in primary schools; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 January 2011]: All primary schools have the flexibility to determine their own approach to sex and relationships education (SRE)-including whether to provide SRE-so that they can take account of the views of parents, the needs of the local community and the ethos of the school. Governing bodies of both primary and secondary schools have a statutory responsibility to ensure that they have a sex education policy in place and this must be available to parents on request.
It is important, therefore, that schools consult parents about the content of their SRE programmes and give them the opportunity to comment on content and the manner in which that content will be presented. Schools may decide to amend their SRE programmes if a majority of parents disagree with the content. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from SRE lessons.
In the Schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, published on 24 November, we announced our intention to conduct an independent review to determine how we can support schools to improve the quality of all PSHE teaching, including SRE, and retain the flexibility of teachers to use their judgment about how best to deliver PSHE education.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to increase parental involvement in planning the Personal Social and Health Education curriculum; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 January 2011]: It is our intention to ensure that all schools can deliver PSHE education in a way that meets their pupils' needs, and is informed by the views of parents. The Schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, announced our intention to hold an internal review of PSHE to determine how we can support schools to improve the quality of all PSHE teaching, including giving teachers the flexibility to use their judgment about how best to deliver PSHE education in different contexts.
Sarah Teather: The funding for the School Lunch Grant is part of the schools' baseline funding announced in the spending review, because the Government are committed to healthy school meals. The funding will not be ring-fenced and it will be for schools and local authorities to decide how to spend the money in line with their own needs and priorities including the delivery of statutory nutritional standards.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's list of independent providers who receive funding from his Department for providing 16 to 19 education and training. 
Mr Gibb: I have placed in the Library a copy of the independent providers for 2010-11 who receive departmental funding for 16 to 19 education and training through the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA). The list does not include providers of 16 to 19 apprenticeships who, while funded by the Department for Education, are contracted and paid by the Skills Funding Agency which is part of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The definition we have used for an independent provider is:
"a business in its own right or a charitable voluntary organisation".
Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to make provision to reimburse students for costs incurred through attendance at further education colleges following the ending of education maintenance allowance. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 10 January 2011]: We are committed to making sure that young people from low income households can continue in education and training post-16. We are considering the replacement for the education maintenance allowance and want to ensure that the funds we have are targeted on those young people who most need support to enable them to participate in education.
Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will standardise the rules of audit for large and small businesses after the transfer of the responsibilities of the Financial Services Authority to the Bank of England. 
The requirements for companies to be audited are contained in Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006, which implements EU law. Companies that qualify as small companies under sections 477 to 480 of the Companies Act are exempt from the requirement to
have a statutory audit. The Government are urging the European Commission to bring forward proposals to make audits for some, preferably all, medium-sized, unlisted companies voluntary.
Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to issue guidance to local authorities on the implementation of his proposed all-age careers service. 
Mr Hayes: We will set out more detailed plans for the establishment of an all-age careers service-including to local authorities-shortly. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education are discussing those plans with local authorities, schools, colleges and representative bodies, and a formal advisory group has been established to oversee the implementation of the new service.
Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to ensure that young people with learning difficulties and disabilities in mainstream schools and colleges receive appropriate careers advice under his proposals for an all-age careers service. 
Mr Hayes: Alongside the establishment of an all-age careers service, schools will have responsibility for securing access to independent, impartial careers guidance for all their students, including those young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD). Colleges-which generally operate their own careers guidance services-will also work with the all-age service to ensure young people with LDD receive appropriate careers advice.
Under these arrangements, local authorities will retain their duties to provide young people (and young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities up to the age of 25) with targeted support, including their responsibility for carrying out learning difficulty assessments.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of recent medical advances in the treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis; what plans he has for the funding of research in that field over the period of the Comprehensive Spending Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The MRC is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC's budget for the period of the comprehensive spending review has been set such that their resource expenditure can be maintained in real terms.
The MRC supports research into CFS/ME, and welcomes high-quality investigator-led research applications in this area. In addition to the normal funding mechanism, the MRC has just confirmed a commitment of up to £1.5 million to support research into the causes of CFS/ME. This aims to promote new and innovative partnerships between researchers already working in the CFS/ME field and those in associated areas, such as pain and fatigue. The call will focus on six priority areas which have been identified by the research community and further details will be published by the MRC as they become available. The selection of projects for MRC research funding, submitted through the usual route and to the call, will be determined through peer review.
Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what requirements arising from EU regulations govern (a) the use of annual percentage rates (APR) as the primary cost-of-credit measure for consumer credit products, (b) the disclosure of APR and/or other cost of credit measures in advertising and communications relating to such products and (c) the maximum APR allowable in any segment of the consumer credit market. 
The Consumer Credit (EU Directive) Regulations 2010, SI 2010 No. 1010, which amend the Consumer Credit Act 1974
The Consumer Credit (Total Charge for Credit) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1011
The Consumer Credit (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1013
The Consumer Credit (Agreements) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1014
The Consumer Credit (Advertisements) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1970
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the merits of co-operating with consumer advice organisations to provide consumer advice in deprived communities. 
Mr Davey: This Department is leading work aimed at making the provision of information, advice and education to consumers simpler and more effective. The organisations at the focus of this work are Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland. These are the umbrella organisations for the Citizens Advice Bureaux that have a unique track record in providing advice to citizens, often those who are vulnerable or come from deprived communities. This includes consumer advice. In 2009/10 Citizens Advice helped 2.1 million people with over seven million problems at 3,500 locations in England and Wales.
Mr Davey: Advice on using plain English is provided on the BIS intranet as part of the guidance on producing publications. Staff are encouraged to use clear, simple language for departmental publications, pages for the BIS website and ministerial correspondence. Communications staff follow the Government Communications Network core skills for Government communicators to write clearly, concisely and accurately in plain English for all formats. This includes press officers writing departmental press releases in plain English.
In the months before the launch of the new BIS website in March 2010, content to be migrated from the old site was reviewed and updated. As part of this process, BIS produced guidance on writing for the web. This guidance is very clear on the need for plain English and short, simple sentences. In addition, the Digital Team has held a number of writing for the web workshops for policy colleagues.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2010, Official Report, column 604W, on departmental degrees, whether he has plans to collect information on the number of officials in his Department who have a qualification in an engineering or science subject. 
Mr Davey: We have no plans to collect information on the number of officials with a qualification in a science and engineering subject. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills holds a list of all officials who have identified themselves as part of the science and engineering profession. This ranges from officials in policy roles who have a scientific, engineering or technical background and wish to maintain their analytical skills, to specialists with qualifications and professional experience directly relevant to their current post.
Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the cost to the public purse was of the manufacture and distribution of department-branded drinks coasters in the last financial year for which figures are available. 
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has plans to support UK-based research into new drugs to enhance the treatment of those co-infected with tuberculosis and HIV. 
Mr Willetts: The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. In keeping with the Haldane principle, prioritisation of an individual research council's spending within its allocation is not a decision for Ministers.
The MRC funds investigator-led research in response-mode and encourages research proposals from the academic community. The MRC always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to human health. MRC are funding at least three grants currently in this area, and contributing with DFID to a further grant under the European/Developing Country Clinical Trials Process.
Mr Davey: Through UK Trade and Investment, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has assisted UK companies interested in Afghanistan during the past year by organising an Afghanistan business event and supporting a Department for International Development seminar led by the Afghanistan Minister for Mining. UKTI are working with stakeholders to map a cross Whitehall approach to addressing commercial opportunities in Afghanistan, and plans for a further Afghanistan business event this summer which will include mining as a core focus.
Richard Harrington: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the monetary value of (a) exports and (b) imports including tourism between the UK and (i) Saudi Arabia, (ii) Qatar, (iii) UAE, (iv) Bahrain and (v) Oman in the latest year for which figures are available. 
|UK exports of goods||UK imports of goods|
|UK exports of services||UK imports of services|
Tables 2.10 and 3.10 of 'Travel Trends' give figures for spending in the UK by overseas residents and UK residents' spending abroad. Data are not available for the above countries separately; all are included in the country group 'Other Middle East' (which also includes Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and the Yemen). In 2009, spending in the UK by visitors from 'Other Middle East' was £675 million and spending by UK residents in 'Other Middle East' was £302 million.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of people in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency who have a Post Office Card Account. 
The information is not available in the format requested as data held relate to benefit accounts rather than people. Customers may be in receipt of more than one benefit, pension or allowance which could be paid into one Post Office card account (POca).
Mr Davey: I met Moya Greene on 21 May 2010, as part of the appointment process for the chief executive of Royal Mail Group. This was an informal meeting and there was no set agenda, although discussion focused on Moya's experience of public and private sector organisations, and in particular her time at Canada Post.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what process was used to recruit the Chief Executive of Royal Mail on the last occasion the appointment was made. 
Mr Davey: The chief executive of Royal Mail is appointed by the board of the company, subject to approval from the Secretary of State. For the most recent appointment we understand that Royal Mail used an executive recruitment specialist who conducted a comprehensive search in the UK and overseas to identify the best talent available. Shortlisted candidates were then interviewed by Royal Mail's nominations committee and the preferred candidate was appointed through that process.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the status is of cases where child maintenance arrears are owed to a resident parent, but new child maintenance payments are no longer being pursued, under his Department's proposed transition to a new child maintenance system. 
Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the status is of cases where child maintenance arrears are owed to a resident parent but new child maintenance payments are no longer being pursued under his Department's proposed transition to a new child maintenance system. 
Following the introduction of the new statutory child maintenance scheme, the Commission will continue to pursue non-resident parents for any arrears of maintenance that they may owe. This will include any arrears from the schemes currently in operation.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce its carbon emissions to meet the target of reducing central Government carbon emissions by 10 per cent. by June 2011. 
Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions has been working since May 2010 with its businesses, staff and suppliers to reduce carbon emissions from its offices, adopting a broad range of practical measures. These measures are designed to build on previous successes which have delivered a 23% (53,000 tonnes of CO2) reduction across the entire estate in the last three years.
In June the Department and its estates partner Telereal Trillium jointly launched the 'AWaRE' (Avoiding Waste and Reducing Energy) campaign, an ongoing engagement plan designed to harness the enthusiasm of staff to deliver real improvements at a local level. This began by recruiting site-based volunteer 'Energy Wardens'-providing them with a range of resources to help them foster and maintain good, energy conscious behaviours with their colleagues, with ongoing support including targeted messages and stories using the Department's intranet. To complement this, automatic meter reading facilities have been installed at 600 DWP sites to provide half-hourly data to assist in identifying and resolving excessive energy usage.
To incentivise performance, specific energy reduction targets have been set for the Department's businesses. To provide local ownership where issues arise, the Environment brief is being added to the remit of site Health and Safety (or House) Committees.
A range of 'carbon challenges' were agreed by the Department's executive team in September 2010 for immediate implementation. These included identifying and decommissioning unnecessary electrical equipment, improving alignment of heating and occupancy times, disabling cooling at weekends and also between November and April, and switching off unnecessary external lighting. Following consultation with Estates and IT partners, minimum cooling temperatures in server rooms are being increased to 28°C, significantly reducing the cooling burden during the warmer months.
The Department's HQ building (Caxton House) took part in, and won, the Greening Government competition to reduce energy consumption in October. Focusing attention on, and active participation by, those running and using the building delivered a saving of 22%. Best practice from this competition is being used to develop specific engagement activities, as part of AWaRE, for other large campus sites.
In December 2010 a state of the art combined heat and power plant was switched on at Quarry House in Leeds. This is the largest installation of its kind on the civil estate and will save annually at least 428 tonnes of CO2 and £93,000.
All these measures, together with technical investment in new technology by estates partners, means that the Department is on track to deliver the 10% target. A longer term plan is being prepared with the Carbon Trust, building on the Department's accreditation to the Carbon Trust Standard last year (the largest public sector organisation to hold the Standard).
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in a residential care and nursing home in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands, (c) Dudley borough and (d) Dudley North constituency received disability living allowance in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Miller [holding answer 16 December 2010]: Reliable estimates of total disability living allowance claimants in residential care homes are not available as we are unable to identify accurately DLA claimants who meet the full cost of their residential care.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria are used to assess the eligibility of individuals who are (a) deaf or hard of hearing and (b) blind or partially sighted for disability living allowance payments. 
Maria Miller: Entitlement to disability living allowance is not normally linked to particular disabling conditions, but on the extent to which a severely disabled person has personal care needs and/or walking difficulties as a result of their disability. People with a visual or hearing impairment can claim disability living allowance in the same way as anyone else.
There are two exceptions to this general rule which specifically affect people with sensory impairments. People who are both deaf and blind are taken to automatically qualify for the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance where they have a 100% per cent disability due to blindness and an 80% disability due to deafness and, by reason of the combined effects of their blindness and deafness, are unable, without the assistance of another person, to walk to any intended or required destination out of doors.
From April this year we are also extending automatic entitlement to the higher rate mobility component to people with prescribed categories of severe visual impairment. The Pension Disability and Carers Service, which is responsible for the administration of disability living allowance, is in the process of contacting all existing recipients of the benefit who have a visual impairment and are in receipt of the lower rate mobility component to ensure that those eligible can be reassessed for entitlement to the higher rate mobility component. We expect this measure to assist over 22,000 people from its introduction.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what safeguards he has put in place to prevent misdiagnosis at the medical assessment stage of employment and support allowance claims. 
Maria Miller: The WCA is a functional assessment, which looks at what someone can do rather than basing entitlement on their diagnosis and it is therefore not necessary for health care professionals to make a diagnosis of the customer's reported medical conditions.
The work of all health care professionals is subject to quality audit which is conducted by experienced medical auditors within Atos Healthcare. The quality of Atos Healthcare's audit is validated by senior medical auditors from Atos Healthcare and doctors working for the Chief Medical Adviser to the DWP.
The contract between DWP and Atos Healthcare contains a number of quality targets which are monitored on a monthly basis. Quality and accuracy is also monitored through a variety of other methods including monthly management information, customer satisfaction surveys and feedback from complaints.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefits claimants have been assisted into employment through Jobcentre Plus offices in (a) West Lothian and (b) Scotland in 2010. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about how many benefit claimants have been assisted into employment through Jobcentre Plus offices in (a) West Lothian and (b) Scotland in each month of 2010. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
There are many routes into employment and throughout the customer's journey they may have access to a range of services and help provided by Jobcentre Plus or our Private and Voluntary Sector partners to find work. Therefore the type of help required or provided will vary from customer to customer. As this help is not limited solely to Jobcentre Plus and not every customer informs Jobcentre Plus of the reason why they are leaving benefit we are unable to state the total number of benefit claimants Jobcentre Plus have assisted into employment.
We can provide information for Jobseeker's Allowance customers only and the table below, which is taken from data available from the NOMIS website gives the number of Jobseeker's Allowance customers that have moved into work either with our assistance or through other channels. The numbers only show those Jobseeker's Allowance customers who notified us that they have started work. It does not include those people who flowed off benefit into other destinations, for example claimed other benefits or went into Government supported training.
|West Lothian( 1)||Scotland|
|(1) West Lothian (comprises Bathgate, Broxburn and Livingston Jobcentres). Source: The NOMIS (National Online Manpower Information Service). This is a departmental performance management, data capture and reporting tool. This type of internal management information does Part of the Department for Work and Pensions not form part of the official statistics outputs that are released by the Department in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice.|
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recipients of housing benefit in Great Yarmouth received over £400 a week in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Number of claimants receiving both attendance allowance and pension credit in GB-May 2010|
|All||Aged 65 and over|
1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Total shows both the number of people in receipt of an allowance and those with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
3. For a small number of AA cases no age is recorded.
4. Pension Credit was introduced on 6 October 2003 and replaced Minimum Income Guarantee (Income Support for people aged 60 or over). The vast majority of people who were previously in receipt of the Minimum Income Guarantee transferred to Pension Credit in October 2003. These Pension Credit statistics are produced on a different basis to the Early Estimates. The latter are timelier but operational processing times mean that a number of claim commencements and terminations are not reflected in them.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
Steve Webb: The latest figures available on income from state pension, occupational and personal pensions are in the following tables. Note that the figures are derived from different data sources, and differ in geographical coverage, time period and sample, and are therefore not directly comparable. The first table relates to individuals; the second table relates to benefit units (a benefit unit consists of a single person or a couple).
|Table 1. Average total state pension received in March 2010 (£ per week), men and women in Great Britain reaching state pension age in the 2009-10 tax year|
|Average amount (£)||Number of individuals|
1. Total state pension includes all categories of state pension, and includes increments.
2. Average amounts are rounded to the nearest 1p, numbers of individuals are rounded to the nearest 100.
3. Figures do not include women who reached state pension age in the 2009-10 tax year but were not claiming their state pension in March 2010 because they had deferred.
4. Estimates are not yet available for the 2010-11 tax year.
DWP Information Directorate, 5% sample administrative data
|Table 2. Average occupational and personal pension incomes of recently retired benefit units in United Kingdom, 2008-09, £ per week (2010-11 price terms)|
|Average amount (£)||Number of benefit units|
|"-" There are no estimates of average amounts available separately for single male pensioners and single female pensioners.|
1. "Recently retired" refers to those single women aged between 60 and 64, single men aged between 65 and 69, and pensioner couples where the head is between 65 and 69 if male, or between 60 and 64 if female.
2. Average amounts are rounded to the nearest £1. Numbers of benefit units are rounded to the nearest 50,000.
3. Estimates are derived from survey data and are not yet available for 2009-10 and 2010-11.
DWP, The Pensioners' Incomes Series 2008-09
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of the savings indentified as accruing from the revised timetable for increasing the state pension age is attributable to (a) basic state pension, (b) second state pension and (c) pension credit paid to (i) men and (ii) women; 
|Saving on men||Saving on women|
Steve Webb: Latest data show that in March 2010, the average amount of Additional State Pension plus Graduated Retirement Benefit received by women in Great Britain, who reached State Pension age in the 2009-10 tax year, was around £17.00 per week.
1. Additional State Pension includes pension derived from the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and from the State Second Pension (S2P) scheme.
2. The average has been taken over only those individuals receiving Additional State Pension or Graduated Retirement Benefit.
3. The figure has been rounded to the nearest 10p.
4. The figure includes inherited amounts, and excludes increments.
5. The figure does not include women who reached State Pension age in the 2009-10 tax year but were not claiming their State Pension in March 2010 because they had deferred.
6. The Department does not yet have an estimate for people reaching State Pension age in the 2010-11 tax year.
DWP Information Directorate, 5% sample administrative data
The Government launched the Independent Public Service Pension Commission chaired by Lord Hutton last June to conduct a fundamental structural review of public service pension provision which will report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer before Budget.
Ahead of the spending review Lord Hutton produced an interim report which found that the value of public service pensions had been increasing following dramatic increase in life expectancy at retirement. Current pensioners are expected to spend over 40% of their adult lives in retirement, compared to 30% for pensioners in the 1950s. Most of these extra costs have fallen to employers and taxpayers.
At the spending review, based on the clear rationale set out in Lord Hutton's interim report, the Government announced that they would implement progressive changes to the level of employee contributions to public service pensions that lead to an additional saving of £1.8 billion a year from 2014-1 5, to be phased in from 2012-13. This is equivalent to three percentage point increase on average. In taking this decision, the Government considered a range of factors including the impact on gender equality.
In addition, the Government announced their intention to launch consultations on the discount rate used to set contributions in unfunded public service pension schemes and the Fair Deal policy. Any assessment of the impact on gender equality will be undertaken in due course should there be any proposals to change policy.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2010, Official Report, column 874W, on social security benefits: fraud, where the information on the remaining 362 cases is held. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2010, Official Report, column 874W, on social security benefits: fraud, if he will review the restrictions on
publishing the names and other relevant details of those persons who have had warrants issued against them; and if he will assess the merits of publishing such data to assist in locating such persons and recovering public funds. 
Chris Grayling: The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002-SI 2002/2905, provides for the release of personal data where an elected representative is acting pursuant to a request made by a data subject, usually an individual constituent.
Neither the Data Protection Act 1998 nor article 8 of the European convention of human rights provide a legal gateway for the release of names, last known addresses or other personal information of individuals on whom warrants are held.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 1 December 2010, Official Report, column 874W, on social security benefits: fraud, how many persons with warrants issued against them are (a) non-UK nationals and (b) persons not born in the UK. 
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has plans to reform the benefits available to separated parents with shared custody arrangements as part of his proposals to develop a universal credit. 
Chris Grayling: Since the Government announced their plans for radical reforms of the welfare to work system and the implementation of the Work Programme, as Minister for Employment, I have, along with the Minister for Welfare Reform (Lord Freud), and Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions, frequently met with training providers and associated bodies at which the issue of payment by result may have formed part of the discussion.
The Invitation to Tender (ItT) for the Work Programme was issued to Framework Providers on 22 December 2010. In preparation for this, on 2 December 2010 the Director General for Employment held a meeting with organisations on the Provision of Employment Related Support Services Framework.
On 8 December 2010, a draft of the Work Programme ItT was issued to Framework providers. In addition, an invitation was extended to these organisations to discuss the draft in a meeting with the Minister for Welfare Reform and I on 16 December 2010.
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which recommendations of the Review of the Work Capability Assessment by Professor Malcolm Harrington his Department has implemented; and what the reasons are for those recommendations it has not implemented. 
Chris Grayling: We welcome the first independent review of the WCA, led by Professor Malcolm Harrington. This is a thorough review that has reviewed a substantial amount of evidence. As a result, Professor Harrington has come forward with a wide range of far reaching and challenging proposals which the Government fully supports.
We are committed to taking forward the review's recommendations so that we can make the system fairer and more effective. The Government response to Professor Harrington's review sets out how and when we will implement the recommendations of the review, almost all of which will be in place in time for the national roll-out of the incapacity benefits reassessment programme.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Afghan civilians have been (a) injured and (b) killed through (i) ISAF operations and (ii) Taliban operations in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces were serving a sentence in the Military Corrective Training Centre, Colchester, for having gone absent without leave while under the age of 18 on the first day of each month between January 2009 and December 2010. 
|Date||Number serving in Military Corrective Training Centre|
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable he has set for implementation of the increased compensation payments for those ex-service personnel suffering mental health disorders. 
Mr Robathan: Implementation of the recommendations from the Lord Boyce Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), including the uplift in payments for mental health disorders, will be put into legislation in February 2011. New claimants will be paid the updated amounts from May 2011, and additional payments to those in receipt of previous awards will be made from June 2011 to June 2012.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which schemes will be affected by the proposal to increase payments to ex-service personnel with mental health disorders; and how much funding he plans to allocate to each such scheme; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the proposal to increase payments for ex-service personnel with mental health disorders in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. 
Mr Robathan: The only scheme that will be affected by the proposal to increase payments to ex-service personnel with mental health disorders will be the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), for which financial provision is made by setting aside approximately 2% of the service pay bill each year. The increased payments will be funded through this provision.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultation (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department undertook with armed forces charities in advance of the announcement of increased payments for ex-service personnel with mental health disorders. 
Mr Robathan: During the review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), ministerial and official level consultation was undertaken with the Independent Scrutiny Group (ISG) that supported Lord Boyce. This group included representation from service and ex-service organisations. The Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation (CAC) also met during this period.
A four-week period of public engagement took place between October and November 2009 to seek views on what issues the AFCS review might cover. A further six-week consultation exercise commenced with members of the CAC in November 2010 to seek their views on the proposed amendments to AFCS legislation.
|Non-UK nationals serving in the UK regular forces at 1 December 2010|
The Army does not have a voluntary redundancy programme-there have only ever been compulsory redundancy schemes. As part of the process of determining who should be made compulsorily redundant such schemes would normally invite interested personnel to apply for redundancy. Final decisions would depend on the Army's future manning requirements.
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence takes any loss of information and associated media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place to mitigate against such occurrences. New processes, instructions and technological aids are also being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise awareness of every individual in the Department.
|Lost and stolen CIS 2010|
|Computers||Laptops||USB flash memory devices|
These totals do not include incidents which are currently under investigation but current indications are that they relate to accounting anomalies during force rotation and/or disposal activities.
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