some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page

8 Feb 2011 : Column 186W—continued

Fuel Oil

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of levels of competition in the domestic oil market; and if he will undertake a review of (a) pricing and (b) transport and delivery costs. [38736]

Charles Hendry: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I gave on 21 January 2011, Official Report, column 55WS, concerning the off-grid energy market. I am keen that the reasons for the high prices and supply issues affecting domestic consumers
8 Feb 2011 : Column 187W
are thoroughly investigated by an independent authority. I therefore wrote to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to ask it to bring forward its competition and consumer study into off-grid energy, and asked the OFT if the study could explore the longer term consumer issues such as lifetime payback, consumer standards and labelling for alternative energy sources or supplies. Such a study would provide an independent assessment of the off-grid market and establish what further action may be necessary to ensure it works properly.

I welcome the independent assessment of the off-grid market to be made by the OFT, and look forward to seeing its conclusions in advance of next winter so the lessons from this winter can be learned and any necessary changes made.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 188W

Home Department

Asylum

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many asylum seekers of each sex were subject to the detained fast track asylum process in each year for which figures are available; and how many asylum seekers of each sex applied for asylum in each such year; [38147]

(2) how many asylum seekers of each sex subject to the detained fast track process were moved to the standard asylum process in each year for which figures are available. [38148]

Damian Green: The information requested is shown in the following tables:

Total asylum intake and applications( 1) accepted into the detained fast track process broken down by gender by year of application 2006-10
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Total DFT Total DFT Total DFT Total DFT Total DFT

Male

16594

1565

16537

897

18674

1283

1658

1674

12736

2061

Female

6994

463

6809

523

7285

517

7930

510

5268

531

Totals

23588

2028

23346

1420

25959

1800

24498

2184

18004

2592

(1) Data provided is based on main applicant, first time applications

Applications( 1) rerouted from the detained fast tract process into the standard asylum process broken down by gender, by year of application 2006-10

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Male

430

274

371

553

618

Female

180

227

229

247

237

Totals

610

501

600

800

855

(1) Data provided is based on main applicant, first time applications
Note:
All figures quoted are internal management information only and are subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what interim benchmarks the UK Border Agency unit dealing with older unresolved asylum cases is using to ensure progress towards its summer 2011 target date. [38785]

Damian Green: The Agency uses benchmarks that come from the various throughput models that have been in place during Case Resolution Directorate's lifespan. These have evolved throughout the programme of work to conclude the legacy backlog alongside monitoring the types of outcomes and forecasts for the future. These have been updated at regular intervals.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of asylum seekers who have not immediately reported themselves to the authorities to claim asylum on entering the UK in each year for which figures are available. [38907]

Damian Green: The following table shows the number of in-country asylum applications received in the UK in each year for which figures are available. These figures may include:

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

Further information on asylum applications are published monthly, quarterly and annually in the Control of Immigration bulletins and monthly asylum applications tables available from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:


8 Feb 2011 : Column 189W
In-country asylum applications( 1) received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, 1984 to Quarter 3 2010

Applications in-country

1984

2,550

1985

2,705

1986

3,015

1987

3,055

1988

3,140

1989

5,440

1990

17,200

1991

35,815

1992

16,930

1993

15,050

1994

22,600

1995

29,555

1996

17,205

1997

15,915

1998

22,670

1999

41,700

2000

54,380

2001

46,160

2002

57,570

2003

35,685

2004

26,410

2005

21,485

2006

20,030

2007

19,795

2008

23,210

2009(2)

22,475

Q1 toQ3 2010(2)

11,920

(1) Figures rounded to the nearest five.
(2) Provisional figures.

Control Orders

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons are for the time taken to reply to question 33326, on control orders, tabled on 10 January 2011 for named day answer on 13 January 2011; and whether her Department routinely keeps statistics on (a) the number of control orders issued and (b) the number of those subject to control orders and subsequently charged with offences relating to terrorism. [38297]

Nick Herbert: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 35W.

Departmental Libraries

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) certified and (b) chartered librarians her Department has employed in each year since 2000. [37659]

Damian Green: The information requested is not held for each year since 2000. Our current records show that there are eight staff members in the Home Office who are employed as librarians.

These staff are required to have a Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) recognised qualification in library and information management, graduate or post-graduate qualification in library and information management or records management, it is not a requirement to have Chartered status.

The Home Office may also employ further staff members with these qualifications in roles that do not require these skills specifically and hence records are not kept of their numbers.

Departmental Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which persons not employed by Government Departments or agencies hold passes entitling them to enter her Department's premises. [39263]

Damian Green: Passes may be issued to those who are required to make frequent visits to the Home Office Headquarters, subject to the usual security checks. For security reasons it would not be appropriate to provide details of individuals who hold such passes.

Entry Clearances: Married People

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many spouse visas were refused on grounds of failure to meet the maintenance requirements set out in paragraph 281 (section 8) of the Immigration Rules in each year since 1997; how many
8 Feb 2011 : Column 190W
spouse visas were refused as a result of implementation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 in each year since 2007; and what estimate she has made of the proportion of applicants who were interviewed by entry clearance officers before being granted a spouse visa in each year since 2005. [39027]

Damian Green: The information requested by the right hon. Member regarding unsuccessful spouse visa applications is not held centrally and could be obtained by checking individual records only at a disproportionate cost.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Emma Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many students from outside the European Economic Area were (a) admitted into the UK on study visas and (b) granted post-study work visas in 2009-10. [38360]

Damian Green: The latest available information is given in the following table. The table shows statistics for a) student admissions (excluding dependants and student visitors) in 2009 and b) entry clearance visas issued and grants of leave to remain in the United Kingdom under the tier 1-post study route (excluding dependants) 2009 to Q3 2010.

Out of country visas to the United Kingdom issued, admissions and in country extensions of leave( 1, 2) , by selected category, excluding dependants, 2009 to Q3 2010( 4)
Category 2009 2010 January to September

Students admitted to the UK (excluding Student visitors)( 4)

Students

82,100

(8)-

Tier 4

188,000

(8)-

Tier 1-post study( 5,6)

Out of country visas issued(7)

4,245

3,890

In-country grants of leave to remain

34,180

25,195

(1) Individuals could be counted in both entry clearance visas issued and grants of an extension of leave to remain if the issue and grant occurs within the same year.
(2) Excludes EEA and Swiss nationals.
(3 )Provisional figures.
(4) Figures rounded to three significant figures.
(5) Entry clearance visas issued and grants of an extension of leave to remain should not be summed.
(6) Figures rounded to the nearest 5 .
(7) Management information.
(8 )Not available.
Source:
Home Office, Migration Statistics.

Statistics for visas issued, admissions and grants of leave to remain are published in tables 1.1, 1.2 and 4.2 respectively in the "Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary United Kingdom July-September 2010". This Home Office statistical bulletin is available from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

A copy has been placed in the House Library.

Admission statistics for the first half of 2010 and statistics for visas issued and grants of leave to remain for the fourth quarter of 2010 are scheduled for publication on 24 February 2011.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 191W

Human Trafficking

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to share knowledge and resources with the relevant authorities in India in order to address human trafficking. [38854]

Damian Green: The UK Government are committed to working with international partners to address the problem of human trafficking. Through the EU, we continue to encourage India to ratify and implement the UN convention against transnational organised crime and its protocol on people trafficking. We will continue to raise the most pressing human rights issues through the EU-India human rights dialogue.

The EU has run three projects during the period 2000-10 on human trafficking in India, focusing on both inter-state trafficking in India and regional trafficking in South Asia.

Illegal Immigrants

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK Border Agency screens vehicles entering the UK for the purposes of detecting (a) illegal immigrants and (b) prohibited goods entering the UK where those vehicles have been screened or checked for such purposes in other EU member states prior to arriving in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [38909]

Damian Green: The strategic aim for the UK Border Agency is to protect our border and national interests by tackling border tax fraud, smuggling and immigration crime.

Within the BF South and Europe region, UK Border Force officers and their counterparts screen 100% of vehicles for the purpose of detecting illegal immigrants and preventing them from entering the UK. All UK bound vehicles are screened by means of a multi-layered regime, utilising a combination of detection technologies to ensure the security of the common border.

All vehicles entering the UK for the purpose of prohibited goods are screened on an intelligent risk-based analysis at the ports.

All our activities at our borders takes place with cognisance as to whether vehicles are pre-screened in other EU member states, as illegal immigrants can enter a vehicle at any point during their journey through any borders.

Illegal Immigrants: Asylum

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons who have been returned to their country of origin have subsequently (a) applied to enter the United Kingdom, (b) been granted permission to enter the UK and (c) been found to have entered the UK illegally in each year for which figures are available. [38930]

Damian Green: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained by checking individual records only at a disproportionate cost.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 192W

Immigration Controls

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to increase levels of immigration control at border entry points. [38326]

Damian Green: We are continually strengthening and modernising our border controls, to improve our ability to prevent those who do not qualify for entry to the UK from doing so, while continuing to welcome those who wish to travel to the UK legitimately to visit, work or study. Measures we have already taken include maintaining the strength of our visa regimes; maintaining immigration liaison officers at airports overseas and the juxtaposed immigration controls in France and Belgium; as well as the continued development of e-borders and evolution of the points based system. We will also create a dedicated border police command, as part of the new National Crime Agency, to enhance national security, improve immigration controls and crack down on the trafficking of people, weapons and drugs.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place at each port in the UK to detect (a) illegal immigrants and (b) prohibited items from entering the UK. [38913]

Damian Green: UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers carry out detection duties at ports and airports across the UK and at our juxtaposed controls in France and Belgium. Officers have at their disposal hi-tech search equipment.

Specially trained officers deploy an array of search techniques including the use of body detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors and heartbeat monitors as well as visual searches to find those seeking to enter the UK clandestinely

UK Border Agency officers work at the frontier to detect and disrupt smuggling of a wide range of goods. UKBA take a targeted risk-based approach to intervention that is intelligence led and use a variety of detection technologies to scan and examine baggage, vehicles and freight. This includes up-to-date x-ray and trace detection technology coupled with the use of detector dogs.

Litigation

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments (a) her Department's agencies and (b) the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible paid to persons other than employees in lieu of litigation in each of the last three years. [38589]

Damian Green: The information, at the requested level of detail, cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Department does disclose the total number and amount of special payments made within the published Resource Accounts. However, this disclosure includes all types of special payment (i.e. payments made in lieu of litigation as well as those directed by a court). Separately identifying payments made in lieu of litigation on an individual case basis would incur disproportionate cost.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 193W

The total of all special payments made throughout each of the years for the consolidated Home Office (core and agencies) is set out in the following table:

Number of special payments Value of special payments (£ million)

2009-10

1,913

13.491

2008-09

744

3.242

2007-08

1,155

2.668


Police: Manpower

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the contribution by the Minister for Policing on 16 November 2010, Official Report, column 211WH, what definition her Department uses for (a) back office, (b) middle office and (c) frontline police roles; and what the title is of each role in each such category. [26080]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 23 November 2010]: There is no formally agreed definition of frontline, middle office and back office services, although these are terms in relatively common use across the police service. Consideration is being given, with the police service, to the establishment of a common definition. Although no fixed definition exists, frontline officers and staff are generally those directly involved in the
8 Feb 2011 : Column 194W
public crime fighting face of the force. This includes neighbourhood policing, response policing and criminal investigation. Middle office services include a variety of functions which provide direct support to the frontline, such as police training and criminal justice administration. Back office services are those which keep police forces running smoothly such as finance and HR. Forces should focus on maintaining and improving frontline services, while reducing costs as much as possible in middle and back office support functions, consistent with supporting frontline services. Police forces can also maintain and improve frontline services by enabling frontline officers and staff to work more efficiently and effectively.

Hazel Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each police force hold positions classified as (a) operational, (b) operational support and (c) organisational support. [32125]

Nick Herbert: The most recent figures, on the numbers of officers in these three categories in each police force area in England and Wales as at 31 March 2010, are contained in the following table. The functional group categories were introduced in 1999 and definitions of each category are provided in note 2 of the table. The functional group data have not been published as National Statistics; they are provisional and have not been confirmed with police forces.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 195W

8 Feb 2011 : Column 196W
Police officer strength( 1) as at 31 March 2010 by functional group( 2)

Operational( 2) Operational support( 2) Organisational support( 3) Total strength( 3)

Avon and Somerset

3,072

152

77

3,301

Bedfordshire

1,168

64

14

1,246

Cambridgeshire

1,289

89

93

1,471

Cheshire

1,840

247

68

2,155

Cleveland

1,342

298

84

1,724

Cumbria

1,176

44

18

1,238

Derbyshire

1,942

107

25

2,074

Devon and Cornwall

3,335

177

45

3,556

Dorset

1,276

196

15

1,486

Durham

1,358

82

67

1,507

Dyfed-Powys

1,081

70

44

1,195

Essex

3,479

107

20

3,606

Gloucestershire

1,168

135

6

1,309

Greater Manchester

7,153

825

170

8,148

Gwent

1,283

10

144

1,437

Hampshire

3,297

346

104

3,748

Hertfordshire

1,992

107

31

2,130

Humberside

1,856

140

61

2,058

Kent

3,424

263

100

3,787

Lancashire

3,293

282

74

3,649

Leicestershire

2,113

156

48

2,317

Lincolnshire

1,131

44

32

1,206

London, City of

814

19

20

852

Merseyside

4,029

342

146

4,516

Metropolitan Police

25,507

7,037

823

33,367

Norfolk

1,550

89

23

1,662

Northamptonshire

1,281

41

21

1,343

Northumbria

3,916

247

24

4,187

North Wales

1,430

121

39

1,590

North Yorkshire

1,371

89

26

1,486

Nottinghamshire

2,310

85

14

2,409

South Wales

2,798

290

60

3,148

South Yorkshire

2,782

82

89

2,953

Staffordshire

1,951

161

48

2,160

Suffolk

1,209

29

8

1,246

Surrey

1,723

76

91

1,890

Sussex

2,962

134

118

3,213

Thames Valley

3,760

432

242

4,434

Warwickshire

901

64

8

973

West Mercia

2,232

140

20

2,391

West Midlands

7,857

626

143

8,626

West Yorkshire

5,577

156

26

5,759

Wiltshire

1,008

149

24

1,181

Total of all 43 forces in England and Wales

126,035

14,347

3,352

143,734

(1) Full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between the totals and the sums of the constituent items.
(2) Numbers of officers with predominant function in one of the three functional groups, which are defined (see below) according with how directly the officer's function is meeting the overarching aims of the police service. The functional group figures are not published, and should be treated as provisional as they have not been verified with police forces (unlike the total strength figures-see note 3 below).
Operational: any member of staff, including covert staff, whose primary role (ie over 50% of their time) is directly to deliver the overarching aims of the police service. To 'directly deliver' the role must involve routine and immediate interface (either face to face or by telephone) with the public, including covert operational staff in such roles can be considered as frontline service providers.
Operational support: any member of staff whose primary role is to support the delivery of the overarching aims of the police service.
Organisational support: any member of staff whose primary role is to service the internal needs of the organisation.
(3) The total strength figures have been verified with police forces, and are published in the Home Office statistical bulletin "Police Service Strength England and Wales, 31 March 2010", available online at:
www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs10/hosb1410.pdf
Source:
Home Office (from ADR 571 return received from police forces).

Roads: Accidents

Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many road traffic accidents involving (a) serious injury and (b) fatality were recorded in each police authority area in each of the last five years. [37996]

Mike Penning: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is given in the following table:


8 Feb 2011 : Column 197W

8 Feb 2011 : Column 198W
Reported personal injury road accidents, by severity and police force: Great Britain: 2005-09
Accidents
Serious Fatal
Police force 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Great Britain

25,029

24,946

24,322

23,121

21,997

2,913

2,926

2,714

2,341

2,057

Avon and Somerset

630

559

561

451

421

69

77

68

67

62

Bedfordshire

218

218

218

209

198

27

30

27

25

20

Cambridgeshire

467

398

386

365

406

61

58

72

52

23

Cheshire

608

565

491

557

501

68

59

43

56

37

City of London

39

58

44

49

41

1

1

2

2

2

Cleveland

184

222

163

170

163

19

18

15

17

12

Cumbria

311

233

203

208

204

35

49

42

24

21

Derbyshire

468

476

490

441

466

57

45

46

40

42

Devon and Cornwall

476

509

559

432

342

95

86

79

72

56

Dorset

308

294

356

363

313

36

36

31

32

24

Durham

224

222

196

176

203

32

29

28

19

17

Essex

916

927

851

708

692

84

90

75

69

55

Gloucestershire

185

193

200

198

185

,44

36

37

30

18

Greater Manchester

894

785

778

740

664

81

86

89

57

69

Hampshire

722

724

774

747

816

79

67

87

65

41

Hertfordshire

447

411

431

379

321

54

39

49

32

34

Humberside

530

486

504

470

405

61

48

44

40

35

Kent

597

604

587

540

555

97

81

91

61

64

Lancashire

829

917

844

765

736

85

61

51

70

48

Leicestershire

288

279

265

277

286

56

66

61

53

44

Lincolnshire

280

259

269

243

342

59

55

65

49

44

Merseyside

598

531

462

448

465

57

43

29

42

41

Metropolitan Police

3,138

3,363

3,224

3,012

2,787

204

220

209

194

174

Norfolk

398

366

336

304

291

59

61

54

38

49

North Yorkshire

554

632

595

491

449

81

60

71

49

40

Northamptonshire

413

319

348

343

304

38

68

51

32

31

Northumbria

471

491

483

482

504

47

57

39

37

40

Nottinghamshire

629

581

572

538

505

60

65

51

44

36

South Yorkshire

539

497

552

464

439

42

68

45

51

37

Staffordshire

301

298

285

231

225

57

72

64

45

46

Suffolk

297

274

236

309

281

33

40

36

29

37

Surrey

459

440

455

424

467

57

46

55

43

39

Sussex

784

817

849

827

804

97

96

64

75

61

Thames Valley

789

876

846

767

775

130

132

111

89

78

Warwickshire

310

291

312

264

238

37

40

39

43

26

West Mercia

521

461

476

393

378

86

67

73

64

69

West Midlands

920

914

955

856

846

82

92

67

56

65

West Yorkshire

884

923

928

937

801

92

102

94

63

77

Wiltshire

258

300

235

267

253

36

37

57

39

31

Dyfed-Powys

281

275

270

270

258

41

50

43

31

37

Gwent

168

153

168

164

129

23

17

26

25

14

North Wales

165

187

246

323

293

37

41

36

37

20

Northern

171

134

135

116

120

24

27

34

33

24

South Wales

338

386

339

305

265

53

42

42

36

45

Central

142

121

122

148

109

18

19

8

11

10

Dumfries and Galloway

101

116

133

85

104

14

19

11

9

9

Fife

143

162

120

95

100

11

17

10

13

6

Grampian

217

165

171

337

284

48

56

35

29

28

Lothian and Borders

407

405

374

340

328

35

40

41

37

30

Strathclyde

781

869

720

882

734

85

95

87

86

68

Tayside

231

260

205

211

201

29

20

30

29

21


Sexual Offences: Bradford

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provision of specialist support for males (a) nationwide and (b) in Bradford who have been subject to rape. [32427]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 10 January 2011]: The Home Office does not assess specific provision of support services for male victims of sexual violence at either a national or local level.

In 2010-11, the Home Office has, in partnership with the Department of Health, allocated over £2.2 million to support the creation and operation of new and existing Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) around the country. These centres provide crisis support and medical care for victims in the immediate aftermath of rape and are open to men and women above 14 or 16 years of age with some centres also providing services for children. They enable victims to access services anonymously, including a forensic examination if they wish, and to consider making a report to the police in a supportive and caring environment. SARCs also provide follow-up care, and often refer victims on to other forms of specialist local provision.

In addition, the Home Office has made available £860,000 in 2010-11 to support Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). ISVAs work with victims of recent and historic serious sexual crimes to enable them to access the services they need in the aftermath of the abuse they have experienced. They provide impartial advice to the victim on all options open to them, such as reporting to the police, accessing Sexual Assault Referral Centres, seeking support from specialist sexual violence organisations and other services like housing or benefits.

In launching the cross-Government vision for tackling violence against women and girls on 25 November 2010, the Secretary of State for the Home Department confirmed Home Office funding of more than £28 million for specialist services until 2015. Of this, £1.72 million will be available each year to support ISVAs in both the specialist voluntary sector and in SARCs.

Specialist services are provided for male victims. Details of these services can be accessed at:

and


8 Feb 2011 : Column 199W

Sojourner Fund

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding her Department has allocated to the Sojourner Fund pilot for (a) 2011-12 and (b) each subsequent year in which the pilot will be in operation. [38875]

Damian Green [holding answer 7 February 2011] : The Home Office has allocated £2.4 million for funding of the Sojourner Pilot for 2011-12. No specific amount of funding has been allocated beyond that date because work on a long-term solution is under way.

Education

Pupil Numbers

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on what modelling his Department's projections of school numbers in primary and secondary schools are based. [33172]

Mr Gibb: The Department makes projections for the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools in England. They are based on population estimates and projections from the Office for National Statistics together with actual pupil numbers collected as part of the school census.

The most recent set of projections for the number of pupils in schools was published in December 2010 in Statistical Release 31/2010-National Pupil Projections: Future Trends in Pupil Numbers. This includes technical notes which provide information on the projection method:

Schools: Asbestos

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what information his Department holds on the number of head teachers who have completed training on asbestos in schools in the last 10 years; [34642]

(2) what guidance his Department issues to schools on asbestos; [34643]

(3) what recent estimate he has made of the health risk to (a) teachers, (b) support staff and (c) pupils from asbestos in schools. [34658]

Mr Gibb: The Department does not hold any information on the number of head teachers who have completed training on asbestos in schools in the last 10 years. However, many local authorities, as duty holders under the Control of Asbestos Regulations, have provided training to school staff and governors. Those who have responsibility for the maintenance of school buildings must be aware and have knowledge of the effective management of any asbestos containing materials.

The Department's guidance to schools on asbestos management is located on the Teachernet website at:

There is extensive guidance and information on managing asbestos on the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's) website, including a guide on the Management of Asbestos in Non-Domestic Premises, available at:


8 Feb 2011 : Column 200W

Partnerships for Schools is currently working with HSE and asbestos training providers to produce training for head teachers to make sure they are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities.

Asbestos containing materials should be managed in accordance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 and HSE guidance. So long as asbestos is effectively managed there is no significant risk in leaving it in place. Asbestos which is in good condition and unlikely to be disturbed or damaged is better left in place and managed until the end of the life of the building as this presents less risk of exposure to the occupants than the process of removing it. Asbestos which is in poor condition, or which is likely to be damaged or disturbed should be sealed, enclosed or removed.

The Department has not commissioned any special study into the health risks to teachers, support staff and pupils from asbestos in schools. Evidence indicates that school teachers, as an identifiable occupational group, are no more at risk from contracting asbestos related diseases than the general population. Asbestos in the majority of local authority schools is being satisfactorily managed and HSE is continuing to promote the need for competence and vigilance on the part of those who have responsibility for the maintenance of school buildings, and take action where they find non compliance.

Sixth Form Education: VAT

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2010, Official Report, column 89W, on academies: VAT, whether sixth form colleges will be able to recover VAT incurred to support their non-business activities; and if he will make a statement. [35772]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 24 January 2011] : As independent institutions sixth-form colleges are liable to pay VAT but are not eligible to reclaim the VAT on goods and services. This is the same position as for further education colleges and we have no current plans to change this.

Cabinet Office

Civil Servants: Redundancy Pay

Alison McGovern: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether his Department has undertaken an equalities impact assessment in respect of his policy on tapered redundancy payments for civil servants over 60. [33381]

Mr Maude [holding answer 20 January 2011]: The purpose of the compensation scheme is to provide an appropriate and proportionate level of support for the loss of office or, where suitable, to cushion the transition to retirement. Those members of staff at or over their normal pension age (60 for most current members of the civil service) will have immediate access to an unreduced pension, the majority of which is funded by the taxpayer.

In designing the new scheme I have had due regard to its fairness and its impact in relation to equality. It is, of course, for individual employers to ensure that their
8 Feb 2011 : Column 201W
selection for exits-whether voluntary or redundancy-is carried out in a way which does not give rise to claims of unlawful discrimination.

Collective Worship

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of people participated in a regular weekly act of worship in each of the last 10 years. [38507]

Andrew Stunell: I have been asked to reply.

We are not aware of any source of data on the number or proportion of people who have participated in a regular weekly act of worship in each of the last 10 years. The Citizenship Survey, does, however collect data on the proportion of people aged 16 years and over in England and Wales who consider that they are practising a religion. Data are available for 2003, 2005, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10. Table 1 shows the proportion and estimated number of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales who considered that they were practising a religion.

Table 1: The percentage and estimated number of people aged 16 and over who considered they were practising a religion, England and Wales, 2003 to 2009-10

Percentage Estimated number (Thousand )( 1)

2003(2)

27

11,274

2005(3)

29

12,666

2007-08

30

13,121

2008-09

30

13,274

2009-10

29

13,127

(1) Estimated numbers are calculated by applying proportions from the Citizenship Survey to the Office for National Statistics Mid-Year Population Estimates (England and Wales) for people aged 16 and over. (2) In the 2003 Citizenship survey all respondents were asked 'Do you actively practise any religion now'? (3) From 2005 onwards all Citizenship Survey respondents who said that they had a religion were asked, 'Do you consider that you are actively practising your religion?' The estimate shown is as a proportion of all people, including those with 'no religion'.

In 2009-10, 29% of people were actively practising a religion in England and Wales. Levels are unchanged on all previous comparable years (back to 2005 when the new question format was introduced).

It should be noted that estimates on religious practice are derived from questions which ask respondents whether they consider that they are actively practising their religion. Respondents are not provided with any guidance on what constitutes 'actively practising' and they are not asked what their active practise consists of in terms of regularity or type of activity. The measure will include people who participate in a regular weekly act of worship but will also include other types of, and frequency of, religious practice.

Departmental Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which persons not employed by Government Departments or agencies hold passes entitling them to enter his Department's premises. [39273]


8 Feb 2011 : Column 202W

Mr Maude: Passes may be issued to those who are required to make frequent visits to my Department's premises; subject to the usual security checks. For security reasons it would not be appropriate to provide detailed information about specific individuals who have been issued a pass.

Government Departments: Telephone Services

Alok Sharma: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance his Department issues to Government Departments and agencies on the use of (a) national and (b) premium rate telephone numbers as contact points for members of the public. [36401]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave on 20 December 2010, Official Report, column 1058W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Mary Macleod), and 20 December 2010, Official Report, column 1059W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Glamorgan (Alun Cairns).

In May 2009 the Cabinet Office Contact Council published a guide to number ranges for public sector organisations and updated this guide in February 2010. This guide includes a recommendation that Government Departments should consider the cost of accessing the service to make sure that citizens on low income can afford to make contact.

We will be looking into tightening procedures in the near future.

Internet

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate the Office for National Statistics has made of the number of households in each socio-economic group which have a home computer. [38369]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated February 2011:


8 Feb 2011 : Column 203W
Number of households with a home computer, by National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) of the household reference person, 2009
Thousand

Households with a home computer Number of households in the population

Large employers and higher managerial

1,160

1,200

Higher professional

1,680

1,700

Lower managerial and professional

4,630

4,900

Intermediate

1,370

1,520

Small employers

1,280

1,460

Lower supervisory

1,530

1,740

Semi routine

1,640

1,990

Routine

1,170

1,470

Long term unemployed(1)

330

510

Students

430

470

Occupation not stated(2)

4,380

9,000

All households

19,580

25,980

(1) Includes those who have never worked
(2) Includes those who are economically inactive
Note:
Individual figures have been rounded independently. The sum of component items does not therefore necessarily add to the total shown.
Source:
Living Costs and Food Survey, Office for National Statistics

Life Expectancy: Females

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the life expectancy is of a woman born in 1954. [39204]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated February 2011:

Social Trust

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what information his Department holds on trends in the (a) number and (b) size of self help groups in the last 20 years. [38375]

Paul Burstow: I have been asked to reply.

The organisations Alcoholics Anonymous (Great Britain) and Gamblers Anonymous UK both run a number of nationwide 'meetings' for those with alcohol problems and addictions to gambling. We do not collect information of these meetings centrally.


8 Feb 2011 : Column 204W

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what measures his Department uses to assess levels of social trust; and what assessment has been made of trends in levels of social trust in the last 20 years; [38376]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of levels of social trust in (a) adults and (b) teenagers. [38378]

Andrew Stunell: I have been asked to reply.

Data from the Citizenship Survey provide the percentage of all adults (aged 16 years and over) who trust institutions (Parliament, police, council) and who think that many people in their neighbourhood can be trusted, over the last 10 years. Citizenship Survey data also provide recent data on levels of trust by teenagers on these measures (aged 16 to 19 years).

Table 1: Percentage of all adults (aged 16 years and over) in England who trust institutions (Parliament, police and local council) a 'lot' or 'fair' amount, by year
Percentage

Parliament Local council Police

2001

36

52

80

2003

38

54

80

2005

37

57

79

2007-08

35

60

81

2008-09

34

61

82

2009-10

29

62

82

April to September 2010

36

63

84


Table 2: Percentage of all adults (aged 16 years and over) in England who think that many people in their neighbourhood can be trusted, by year
Percentage

2001 2003 2005 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

Many of the people can be trusted

40

47

49

47

50

50

Some can be trusted

36

37

36

36

34

34

A few can be trusted

22

14

14

15

14

14


Table 3: Percentage of all teenagers (aged 16 to 19 year) in England who trust institutions (Parliament, police and local council) a 'lot' or 'fair' amount, 2009-10( 1)
Percentage
2009-10 Parliament Local council Police

Teenagers (16 to 19)

44

68

78

(1) Figures are based on the 2009-10 full year data, rather than the most recent April to September 2010 data due to the small sample size for this age group.

Table 4: Percentage of all teenagers (aged 16 to 19 years) in England who think that many people in their neighbourhood can be trusted, 2009-10( 1)
Percentage
2009-10 Many of the people can be trusted Some can be trusted A few can be trusted

Teenagers (16 to 19)

36

41

21

(1) Figures are based on the 2009-10 full year data, rather than the most recent April 2010 to September 2010 data due to the small sample size for this age group.

8 Feb 2011 : Column 205W

Volunteering

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what information his Department holds on average levels of volunteering by teenagers in each of the last five years; [38367]

(2) what estimate he has made of the proportion of adults in each ethnic group who participated in voluntary activity in the latest period for which figures are available. [38379]

Andrew Stunell: I have been asked to reply.

Data from the Citizenship Survey provide information on the percentage levels of volunteering by teenagers (aged 16 to 19 years) over the last five years and information on the percentage of adults participating in regular voluntary activity by ethnic group for the latest period for which figures are available (April to September 2010), in England.

Table 1: Percentage of teenagers (aged 16 to 19) participating in formal and informal volunteering (at least once a month) in England, by year
Percentage

Formal volunteering Informal volunteering

2005

32

50

2007-08

28

41

2008-09

26

39

2009-10

26

36


Table 2: Latest data (April to September 2010) on the percentage of adults (aged 16 years and over) who participated in formal and informal voluntary activity (at least once a month) by ethnicity, in England
Regular volunteering (at least once a month)
April to September 2010 Formal volunteering Informal volunteering

White

25

28

All Asian

17

20

Indian

21

21

Pakistani

16

21

Bangladeshi

10

19

All Black

20

22

Caribbean

22

26

African

20

21

Mixed race

19

38

Chinese/Other

13

18

Ethnic minority group

18

22

White

25

28


The Citizenship Survey definition of formal volunteering is 'Giving unpaid help through groups, clubs or organisations to benefit other people or the environment'. This excludes giving money and activities related to job requirements.

Formal volunteers are those who have given unpaid help through any UK groups, clubs or organisations via the following activities:


8 Feb 2011 : Column 206W

The Citizenship Survey definition of informal volunteering is 'Giving unpaid help as an individual to people who are not relatives'.

Informal volunteers are those who have given unpaid help to someone who is not a relative via the following activities:


Next Section Index Home Page