Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) press officers, (b) internal communications officers, (c) external communications officers, (d) communications strategy officers and (e) other positions with a communications remit were employed by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
David Mundell: The Scotland Office currently have four members of staff who are responsible for internal communications, strategic planning, website, answering media enquiries and handling the media work of our two Ministers in London and Scotland. They also support the work of the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what Parliamentary ICT's budget is for the provision of IT support for hon. Members in (a) Westminster and (b) constituency offices in 2010-11. 
John Thurso: PICT IT support services are provided to all users of parliamentary IT. The total cost of this support is £1.87 million for 2010-11. The service is not disaggregated for specific user groups. However 60% of the calls derive from Members of the House of Commons and their staff, making the proportionate cost of IT support to Members of the House of Commons and their staff £1.122 million pa.
The IT support service is based at Westminster and provides telephone and face to face engineering support on the parliamentary estate. The service provides telephone and remote handling support to locations away from the parliamentary estate, including constituency offices.
There is no specific funding for IT support to Members in constituencies. When required, emergency support for the repair of loan equipment is provided by an external suppler under the guarantee bought with the equipment. Members are entitled to have broadband connection provided to locations away from the parliamentary estate for up to three locations at a maximum cost of £852 per annum and support for this is provided by the external supplier. Two PICT engineers
(included in the Westminster budget) will travel to a constituency office in exceptional circumstances when these external services fail to resolve a technical problem.
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has no formal guidelines on ensuring that food for official Department functions is of domestic origin. However, it is the policy of our catering provider to work with small local suppliers (accounting for over 65% of its fresh produce) where possible, in order to reduce food miles and support local communities.
The Department's staff handbook states that the offering of hospitality should not be regarded as the normal way of conducting business. On each occasion staff should consider carefully what form and extent of hospitality should be offered and if it can be justified. In addition all official expenditure on hospitality should be made on the basis that it is directly and significantly conducive to the furtherance of the business of the Department.
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not hold this level of skills information about our staff. However, our library services are run by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the 11.8% increase in rail fares by Southeastern for commuters from Tonbridge was almost three times the 3.1% increase in rail fares by First Capital Connect for commuters from Brighton. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 4 February 2011]: The franchise agreement sets out the caps that apply to increases in fares in respect of the maximum increase in any individual regulated fare and a weighted average of all regulated fares. Train operators are permitted to decide increases to individual fares so long as the fares increases are compliant with those caps.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum permissible fare increase for season ticket-holders travelling from (a) West Malling to London with Southeastern, (b) Tonbridge to London with Southeastern and (c) Edenbridge to London with Southeastern on the Uckfield line is under existing franchises and regulation of rail fares. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 4 February 2011]: The franchise agreement sets out the caps that apply to increases in fares in respect of the maximum increase in any individual regulated fare and a weighted average of all regulated fares. Train operators are permitted to decide increases to individual fares so long as the fares increases are compliant with those caps.
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what type and level of written risk assessments have been undertaken in connection with proposed Maritime and Coastguard Agency coastguard station closures. 
The assessment of risk is an integral part of all policy development. In developing these proposals the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has at all stages assessed every element against the systemic risks to delivery of our national Coastguard service.
As these proposals are fundamentally systems-driven and not location orientated, no separate 'risk assessment' has been carried out in respect of each Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre location, although a range of factors was considered in determining our proposed closures or conversions to 'daytime' operation.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of (a) emergency planning and (b) contingency planning in place to deal with major oil spillages off the UK coast. 
Mike Penning: The National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations (NCP) details the UK emergency and contingency planning for oil spillages off the UK coast; this document is regularly refreshed to ensure it remains up to date.
Additionally, contingency planning for dealing with major oil spills is subject to a major review in light of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. The Oil Spill Response Advisory Group (OSPRAG) has been established to undertake this review, which will inform the next refresh of the NCP.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received representations from the government of France on his proposed changes to coastguard coverage; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Penning: We have received representations from the French Government. They were in the context of their concerns regarding the removal of the emergency towing vessel, the Anglian Monarch, which covers the Dover Strait area and is subject to co-funding arrangements with France.
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential barriers to entry for co-operatives within the (a) rail, ( b) bus and (c) ports industry; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker [holding answer 7 January 2011]: The Department for Transport is in the early stages of developing a framework for assessing applications for employee co-operatives. Applications to form employee co-operatives will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
No formal assessment of barriers to entry for co-operatives within the (a) rail, (b) bus and (c) ports industry has been made, though we recognise that many of the undertakings in the transport sector are private companies, and in such cases public sector co-operatives might not be relevant.
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials of his Department are working on the use of co-operative mutual models of service delivery within his Department's (a) International Strategy Directorate, (b) Domestic Directorate, (c) Major Projects and London Directorate and (d) General Counsels Office. 
A small number of officials from the Department's Corporate Group and General Counsel's Office have been involved with this work to date. They are working closely with the Cabinet Office, which is developing central guidance for Departments. Wider involvement of officials across the Department will follow with the finalisation of this guidance.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) rail operators and (b) airlines on the recent severe weather conditions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: Officials in the Department for Transport closely monitor rail performance and are in regular contact with train operating companies. During the recent period of severe weather, officials were in daily contact with train operators to ensure services were being maintained.
During the worst of the weather, Ministers and departmental officials have maintained discussions with affected operators and Network Rail through personal contact and telephone conference. I have been kept informed of the operational status of rail services during the most severe weather conditions.
During this period, the Secretary of State for Transport spoke to both train operating companies and Network rail regarding severe weather issues. He also spoke with Easyjet, the chief executive of the Civil Aviation Authority and with British Airways on three occasions.
I have recently discussed the rail industry's response to the crisis at a meeting with senior representatives of Network Rail and the train operators. I have also chaired a discussion on the performance of airports during the severe winter weather within the South East Airports Taskforce.
Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 265W, on trust ports, what procedures in the Harbours Act 1964 are referred to in the Answer. 
Mike Penning: As indicated in the previous answer to my hon. Friend on 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 265W, the Marine Management Organisation is now responsible for determining harbour revision orders. Guidance and further information on the procedures for obtaining an order are available from this organisation's website at:
Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the role and function of the Marine Management Organisation for the purposes of determining whether a harbour revision order should be used to set aside clauses in the Ports Act 1991 which allow him to require a trust port to change its constitution and enter the private sector. 
Mike Penning: We have no plans to review. The Marine Management Organisation is an executive non-departmental public body established and given powers under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Since 1 April 2010, it has been responsible for determining all new applications for harbour revision and empowerment orders.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many people are employed in the arts sector in each local authority area in the North East; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department does not hold this information. However, Arts Council England has provided figures relating to the number of arts sector staff, in each employment category, in their Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs). The 2009-10 figures for the North East are set out in the following table.
|North East||Permanent full-time||Permanent part-time||Contractual|
Sajid Javid: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will assess the merits of taking steps to assist local authorities in the provision of universal wireless broadband access. 
Mr Vaizey: We have adopted a technology neutral approach to our plans for nationwide broadband access. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) is working with local authorities in England and the devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, to support the development of project proposals including through the production of local broadband plans for possible Government funding. Technology solutions will vary from location to location but are likely to include a mix of technologies including fixed, fixed wireless and satellite broadband.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department plans to monitor broadband projects which have been funded by regional development agencies (RDAs) after the abolition of RDAs. 
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department is taking steps to promote smaller hotels in seaside towns; and if he will make a statement. 
John Penrose: Smaller hotels in seaside towns will benefit both from VisitEngland's (VE's) thematic marketing which will be promoting coastline and coastal resorts, and from activities associated with 'attract and disperse' marketing which will also include coastal resorts. VE's main priority is to grow the domestic tourism market, encouraging more people to take holidays and make visits within this country. Stakeholders across the industry will benefit from this approach.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his policy is on the repatriation to Australia of Australian indigenous human remains held by institutions in the UK. 
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) Ofcom worked wholly on digital economy policy and implementation (i) on the most recent date for which figures are available and (ii) on 1 January 2010. 
However, there are approximately 32 staff in Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and an approximate figure of 40 staff from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills who work across Media and Communications issues as at 1 January 2010.
Two members of Ofcom staff worked wholly on digital economy policy and implementation on the most recent date for which figures were available. No members of Ofcom staff worked wholly on this area on 1 January 2010.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the compound problem gambling prevalence figure was for all forms of remote
gambling taken together, online gambling, online betting, spread betting and betting exchanges, calculated on the basis of the dataset of the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many visitors there were to each (a) art gallery and (b) museum funded by his Department in each of the last 20 years; and what assessment he has made of the effect on visitor numbers of the introduction of free admission to such venues. 
The number of visits to galleries and museums sponsored by the Department for the last 16 years are detailed in the following tables. Figures prior to 1990-91 are not available. Visit data from between 1990 and 1998 are drawn from the Department's annual reports. Data from 1998-99 onwards have been collected by the Department.
|(a) Art galleries|
|National Gallery||National Portrait Gallery||Tate Gallery|
|Museums B-M:||British Museum||Geffrye Museum||Horniman Museum||Imperial War Museum||Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester|
|Museums N-R:||National Maritime Museum||National Museums Liverpool||National Museum of Science and Industry||Natural History Museum||Royal Armouries( 1)|
|Museums S-W:||Sir John Soane's Museum||Victoria and Albert Museum||Wallace Collection|
|(1) Royal Armouries in Leeds opened March 1996|
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport for what reasons he did not meet representatives of trade unions to discuss his plans for the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State has not received a request for a meeting with Prospect, the recognised Trade Union, to discuss the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). I have received one request for a meeting with Prospect.
Since the decision to abolish the MLA was announced on 26 July 2010, the MLA has had ongoing meetings and regular dialogue with Prospect, and in addition kept staff up to date to the best of its knowledge on the Government's intentions for delivering MLA functions in the future. In addition, on 1 December 2010 MLA placed all its employees formally 'At Risk' of redundancy and started a four-month period of formal consultation with staff and trade unions to enable it to reach final decisions as to the future of its staff.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he made of options other than abolition when considering the future of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 
Mr Vaizey: The role of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) has been reviewed on a number of occasions in the past including the MLA Peer Review of 2004 and the Renaissance Review in 2009. The decision to abolish the MLA was made with reference to these previous reviews and within the context of the Government review of public bodies which aims to increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which (a) individuals and (b) organisations he consulted prior to proposing abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 
Mr Vaizey: No formal consultation took place prior to the decision to abolish of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly meet representatives from a wide range of cultural organisations and within the context of these meetings the role and structure of organisations in the cultural sector, including the MLA, has been discussed on a number of occasions.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment of (a) financial liabilities and (b) potential cost savings he made before taking his decision to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 
The decision to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council was taken as part of the Government's review of public bodies which aims to
increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies. The decision was taken on the basis that the potential for cost savings outweighed the potential liabilities. Transferring museums and libraries functions to Arts Council England will ensure work is delivered in a more efficient way with a reduction in back office functions. It will also bring together three areas of cultural policy in a single organisation with a proven track record, giving the Arts Council greater influence in discussions about the power of culture, particularly at a local level.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what equality impact assessment he undertook in advance of his decision to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. 
Mr Vaizey: A formal Equality Impact Assessment was not developed prior to the decision to reform the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. However as the work to transfer MLA functions to Arts Council England progresses we are considering the potential impact on equality issues to ensure that there is no discrimination against any particular group.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of reducing his Department's funding for running costs of lottery funding distributors on (a) the number of applications for lottery funding and (b) the success of such applications. 
John Penrose: None, because the administrative costs of distributing lottery funding are funded from the lottery, rather than from departmental expenditure. However, the relevant distributors were consulted both directly and through the Lottery Forum about our plans to reduce these costs. Reducing administrative costs should release more money for grants, and I am not expecting distributors to report any significant impact on applications.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has assessed the equivalence with telecommunications provision for hearing people of the provision of text relay services for deaf people. 
Mr Vaizey: DCMS is in the process of implementing revisions to the electronic communication framework. These require member states to ensure that access to, and affordability of, electronic communications services for disabled end-users is equivalent to the level enjoyed by other end-users. Implementation of new article 23a in the USD will empower Ofcom to specify, where appropriate, requirements to ensure that disabled end-users:
(a) have access to electronic communications services equivalent to that enjoyed by the majority of end-users; and
(b) benefit from the choice of undertakings and services available to the majority of end-users.
Equivalence is a broad concept and not tied to any particular service. However, Ofcom is currently undertaking a review of relay service provision for hearing-and speech-impaired users of electronic communications. A consultation document will be published in the spring and a research report which will help inform the review was published on 4 February and can be read at
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what central Government grants are available to owners of theatres for (a) maintenance and (b) other purposes. 
Mr Vaizey: This Department does not directly award grants to theatres. Its arms length body Arts Council England provides funding to a number of theatre organisations, including capital grants which can be used for maintenance and other purposes.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what requests he has received from trade unions representing members in his Department's non-departmental public bodies for meetings to discuss the abolition of such bodies. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, has not received any requests for meetings from trade unions representing members of the Department's non-departmental public bodies to discuss their abolition.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2010, Official Report, column 322W, on courts: Sunderland, what progress has been made on the proposed rebuilding of court premises in Sunderland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: HMCS remains committed to the delivery of a new Justice Centre in Sunderland. It has acquired the Farringdon Row site from Sunderland City Council and completed the design to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage D.
HMCS has a portfolio of major build projects, which are at various stages of their development. These are being assessed as part of Government investment and governance procedures and considered against the outcome of the recent spending review. We anticipate the project being able to be progressed towards the end of the spending review period and will include Sunderland in the bid to HM Treasury for the following spending review in order to complete the construction phase.
Mr Djanogly: The recent review of arm's length bodies determined that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority should be retained. The Secretary of State for Justice will continue to support the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in its valuable work in compensating the blameless victims of violent crime.
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) press officers, (b) internal communications officers, (c) external communications officers, (d) communications strategy officers and (e) other positions with a communications remit were employed by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: The figures are set out in the following table and represent communication posts as at 1 February 2011. Roles which encompass more than one communications discipline have been placed in the most suitable category. The Ministry of Justice Press Office also handles media relations for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS).
Communications support access to essential public information about the services it provides. Communication also provides the relevant guidance and support so that citizens can use our services effectively. It is also right that the public, partners and providers know and understand the work of the MOJ and its agencies and have the opportunity to be consulted on any proposed changes. Communications in all its forms is an important element of this.
Staffing levels reflect the size and complexity of the Department and its public bodies and the need to communicate effectively on a wide range of issues and services. The MOJ Press Office, which plays an important role in making sure media outlets have factually correct information, needs to meet the demands of a 24/7 media.
|Press officers||Internal Communications officers||External Communications officers||Communications strategy officers||Other positions with a communications remit|
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much money from the public purse has been provided (a) directly and (b) indirectly through third parties to support legal cases related to (i) immigration and (ii) asylum issues in each of the last five years; and how much has been given to each third party in each such year. 
Mr Djanogly: Legal aid expenditure in immigration and asylum is shown in the table. It is not possible to disaggregate asylum spending from immigration for licensed work in cases funded under a legal aid certificate.
These figures include disbursements from which providers can pay third parties such as interpreters and medical experts. However, expenditure on disbursements is not centrally recorded in such a way as to enable the amounts spent on third party services to be identified from other costs such as travel costs.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many legal practitioners and other representatives of (a) immigrants and (b) asylum seekers received legal aid and other monies from the public purse for the purpose of representing their clients there were in each of the last five years. 
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which 20 organisations or persons have received the largest sums of money from the public purse for the provision of legal services in respect of (a) immigration and (b) asylum cases in each of the last five years. 
Mr Djanogly: The Government are currently consulting on all its legal aid proposals, including the removal of non-detention immigration cases from the scope of legal aid. We have received responses from immigration and asylum representative bodies and members of the public on the immigration proposals, but none of those received as of 4 February have raised the specific issue of stateless people. The consultation will close on 14 February.
Mr Djanogly: The Government are currently consulting on proposals to reform legal aid. We propose to continue to provide publicly funded legal assistance in asylum cases (except asylum support cases). The consultation will close on 14 February.
Mr Djanogly: My noble friend Lord McNally has ministerial responsibility for the Government's participation in the five-year programme of celebrations for the 800th anniversary, launched at an internationally televised event at Runnymede on 12 November 2010.
He is working closely with the Magna Carta Trust to increase awareness of the anniversary both in the UK and overseas in a series of high profile public and media events which will include celebrations in the five Charter Towns-Canterbury, Runnymede, London, St Albans, and Bury St Edmunds-and at other historic venues throughout the UK in the lead up to the anniversary in June 2015.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to his answer of 19 January 2011, Official Report, column 811W, on pleural plaques: compensation, how many of the 6,119 applications are from individuals living in Sunderland. 
Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the Audit Commission's visual identity guidelines produced with the assistance of HSAG Design. 
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the Homes and Communities Agency on the incorporation of quality standards in decisions relating to the funding and development of (a) social rented and (b) other affordable housing developments funded by the agency; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: The Homes and Communities Agency inherited from its predecessor bodies a variety of quality and design standards required when supporting developments of social and affordable housing. The Agency consulted on proposals for a single new set of standards last year, which would have increased some requirements.
We are committed to reducing the burden of regulation on builders and developers, and have also called on the industry to work with Government on developing new proposals for a simplified system, through a local standards framework. As part of this exercise we have decided that the Homes and Community Agency should not proceed with new enhanced standards, instead retaining their existing ones. As a general guide, this has been estimated to save on average some £8,000 per unit.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) press officers, (b) internal communications officers, (c) external communications officers, (d) communications strategy officers and (e) other positions with a communications remit were employed by (i) his Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Robert Neill: All departmental staff employed in communications roles are members of the Department's Communication Directorate, which is comprised of External Communications Division and Corporate Communications Division, managed by the Director of Communication.
External Communications currently employs 41 communications officers working on a combination of press, marketing, strategic planning and digital/social media. This equates to 39.5 full-time equivalent posts, as some members of staff are employed part-time.
Corporate Communications currently employs 25 communications officers working on internal communication, web management, print/publishing and Info4Local. This equates to 23.6 full-time equivalent posts.
No new members of staff have joined the Communication Directorate since March 2010 and a recruitment freeze remains in force. The Communication Directorate expects to reduce the staff headcount by approximately 30% through the Department's restructuring exercise by April 2012.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) certified and (b) chartered librarians his Department and its predecessors have employed in each year since 2000. 
Robert Neill: The numbers of certified librarians (those holding the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) para-professional award), and chartered librarians (those holding CILIP's professional qualification) employed by the Department since 2000 are as follows:
|Certified librarians||Chartered librarians|
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what mechanism he has put in place to ensure that the New Homes Bonus reflects the strategic priority in Planning Policy Statement 3, Housing, for brownfield development before greenfield. 
Grant Shapps: The New Homes Bonus is a powerful, simple, transparent and permanent incentive for local authorities and communities to increase their aspirations for housing growth. The final scheme design of the New Homes Bonus will be published shortly.
The New Homes Bonus will sit alongside the Government's current national planning for housing policies as set out in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3). PPS3 focuses on developing brownfield land for housing as a priority, particularly vacant and derelict sites and buildings, as well as surplus public sector land where possible.
We announced in December the start of work to create a simple and consolidated national planning policy framework covering all forms of development, as promised in the coalition agreement. This will include planning for housing policy.
Greg Clark: Historically central Government have been prescriptive about how councils should serve their communities and virtually every function councils undertake has a legal duty attached to it, set out in numerous Acts of Parliament. The Government are committed to reducing centrally imposed barriers and burdens on local authorities such as legislation, guidance and other forms of prescription.
The Office for National Statistics publishes local government employment statistics for the United Kingdom for the second quarter of each year between 1991 and 1999 and quarterly thereafter. The number of people employed by local government in the second quarter of 1997 was 2,728,000, and the number employed in the second quarter of 2010 was 2,907,000. It should be noted that these figures include local authorities under the devolved Administrations.
Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proposals he has received in respect of the introduction of a fit and proper person test for owners of park home units; 
Grant Shapps: I have received a number of letters from park home residents, some through their Members of Parliament, making representations and proposals for the introduction of a fit and proper test for owners of park home sites.
Robert Neill: The Planning Inspectorate is currently reviewing its systems and staffing levels in response to the spending review, to draw out efficiencies from the proposed abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission and integration of major infrastructure casework and to provide business-as-usual efficiency savings. Enhanced working practices are at the forefront of this change, to provide value for money services while retaining high levels of customer satisfaction and service. Similarly the way in which the Planning Inspectorate delivers its services is evolving and responding to the need to meet the Government's localism agenda.
Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will direct Stoke-on-Trent unitary authority to enforce the ruling by the then Secretary of State for the Environment on 27 October 1993 (ref APP/C/91/N3400/612522 M23/1/04) that land at Copshurst Quarry, Lightwood, Stoke-on-Trent should not be worked for marl extraction from that date or any future date. 
Robert Neill [holding answer 7 February 2011]: Parliament has given local planning authorities the primary responsibility for taking whatever enforcement action may be necessary, in the public interest, in their administrative area. We consider that this should remain so.
The Government take breaches of planning control very seriously, and the Localism Bill includes a number of measures aimed at strengthening local planning authorities' powers to take enforcement action.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to provide powers for local authorities to ensure that housing development and related infrastructure development proceed together. 
Robert Neill: Local planning authorities already have a range of tools available to them to ensure that the infrastructure needed to support development is properly planned for and provided. These will be strengthened by the new Duty to Cooperate in the Localism Bill.
The duty will apply to the preparation of local plans and other activities that support development planning. This might include joint policies and strategies on strategic infrastructure to support economic growth and new housing.
National planning policy expects development plans prepared by local authorities to be supported by evidence of what physical, social and green infrastructure is needed to support the amount of development proposed for the area, taking account of its type and distribution.
In granting planning permission for any new development, local authorities can impose planning conditions and/or use Section 106 Agreements to ensure that new or improved infrastructure of the right standard is provided at the right time.
Planning authorities can use conditions which prohibit the commencement or occupation of development until certain specified actions have been completed, for example provision of infrastructure such as a new bus stop or school.
Community Infrastructure Levy also enables local planning authorities to seek developer contributions. Unlike planning conditions and Section 106 agreements, it can be used to fund infrastructure needs of the wider area, beyond the development site itself. The levy provides a predictable income that offers the certainty local authorities need to plan ahead to ensure infrastructure can be delivered at the right time, for example, by forward funding a necessary project.
The Government are reforming the Community Infrastructure Levy to ensure it is also a flexible system which allows authorities to accept payment in the form
of land whenever it is required, for example, to ensure that land for infrastructure can be secured at the right time.
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what his Department's policy is on the inclusion in local plans of the need for specialist housing for older people; 
Andrew Stunell: National Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing states that Local Planning Authorities should, based upon findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and other local evidence, set out in their local development documents the likely profile of household types requiring market housing. The housing requirements of older people can be included in these assessments.
Based on the housing requirements identified, Local Planning Authorities should develop policies and implementation strategies to ensure that sufficient, suitable land is available to achieve their housing objectives.
We announced in December the start of work to create a simple and consolidated National Planning Policy Framework covering all forms of development, as promised in the coalition agreement. This will include policy on planning for housing.
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the promotion of private sector provision of specialist housing for older people is part of the Government's housing strategy. 
Andrew Stunell: We are putting in place a framework that will promote greater investment in housing, including both general needs housing and specialised provision, such as housing for older people. This will rebalance power from central Government to local authorities and local people so that they can shape development in their areas. It will replace top down targets with fiscal incentives for local authorities to promote development, and it will support private sector growth by reducing regulation on house-builders.
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research his Department is undertaking into the housing needs of elderly people in need of specialist housing. 
Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Boeing full hazard analysis of the flying controls and associated systems that was carried out with reference to paragraph 9 of the Ministry of Defence Military Aircraft Accident Summary 2/89-Aircraft Accident to Royal Air Force Chinook HC1 ZA721. 
Mr Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on which occasions his Department has used the services of the European Defence Agency for procurement purposes for each (a) year and (b) type of equipment procured since the establishment of the Agency; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the level of savings which accrued to its budget through using the services of the European Defence Agency for procurement purposes in each year since that Agency became operational; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what plans his Department has to use the services of the European Defence Agency for procurement purposes to December 2011; what level of savings he expects to accrue to his Department in respect of each equipment type as a result; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The mission of the European Defence Agency (EDA) is to support the European Council and the member states in their effort to improve the EU's defence capabilities in the field of crisis management and to sustain the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
As the EDA is not a procurement agency, it does not undertake a procurement function on behalf of its participating member states. Therefore, we have not used and have no plans to use it for procurement purposes, nor have we estimated savings accrued to the Ministry of Defence's budget.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the 2008 and 2009 Assurance Reports from the Defence Nuclear Environment and Safety Board on safety in the defence and nuclear programmes; and whether he plans to publish the 2010 report of the Board; 
The Ministry of Defence's (MOD) principal safety body, the Defence Environmental and Safety Board, has assessed both the 2008 and 2009
reports. It concluded that the Defence nuclear programmes are being conducted safely and an appropriate programme of work is in hand to deliver continuous safety improvement against the issues raised.
Nick Harvey: There was no requirement for Ministers to approve the Ministry of Defence's contract with O'Brien and Associates, which fell within the approval authority of the British Defence staff in Washington. The contract expired in December 2010.
Dr Fox [holding answer 3 February 2011]: Britain's sea approaches are continuously monitored for any threat to our national security and interests. I am withholding further information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) aircraft and (b) naval vessels will be retired as a result of decisions taken in the Strategic Defence and Security Review. 
|Asset||Anticipated date of withdrawal||Number being withdrawn|
The final number of military assets affected by the SDSR remains subject to the completion of more detailed work during the Ministry of Defence's annual planning round. This will include, for example, the number of helicopters, training aircraft, and minor and auxiliary vessels required to support the new force structure.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|