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Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has offered assistance to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo on issues relating to (a) war crimes and (b) organ trafficking in the last five years. 
Nick Harvey: The UK supports the investigations into war crimes and organ trafficking by the EU Rule of Law Mission as part of its wider mandate. Our active support includes a contribution to EU funding of the mission and the provision of a number of secondees, including the Deputy Head of Mission.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) weapons and (b) rounds of ammunition for which (i) his Department has and (ii) the armed forces have responsibility have gone missing since June 2009. 
Nick Harvey: The following table provides details of the number of Ministry of Defence owned weapons reported as lost/stolen from June 2009 to date, showing, as appropriate, where recovery has been effected. These figures include reported losses in-theatre.
|2009( 1)||2010||2011( 2)|
|(1) June to December.|
(2) To date.
(3) This figure includes 59 Minimi machine guns, the loss of which is the subject of a Royal Military Police investigation.
Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to publish the protocol developed by his Department and the Victim Support National Homicide Service. 
Mr Jeremy Browne:
We have no current plans to publish the agreement between Victim Support National Homicide Service and our Consular Directorate. However,
I have passed a copy to the non-governmental organisation 'Support After Murder and Manslaughter' (SAMM) Abroad, and am arranging for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House of Commons.
This agreement ensures that consular staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office notify Victim Support National Homicide Service of the murder of a British national abroad if the bereaved family are resident in England or Wales. Consular staff will then advise the family of the service provided by Victim Support and, with the family's consent, a Victim Support caseworker will contact them to arrange a meeting.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had discussions with his Commonwealth counterparts on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The UK opposes discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people. We believe that human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Government Ministers and officials raise the rights of LGBT people during meetings with Commonwealth counterparts. As previously mentioned in my response to my hon. Friend on 1 February 2011, Official Report, column 708W, I recently visited Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, and raised LGBT equality during discussions with government officials and non-government organisations.
In July 2010, the Prime Minister launched a programme of work which will ensure the UK continues to push towards LGBT equality both at home and abroad. This includes a commitment to proactively question those Commonwealth countries which retain homophobic legislation and to push for unequivocal support for LGBT rights internationally.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's communications directorate was staffed as follows during 2009-10. Headcount has reduced by about 18% since the beginning of this financial year and communications is under review. There are also embedded communications staff within Directorates and staff overseas with a communications remit, but details of these are not available except at disproportionate cost.
The British Council's centralised communications function was staffed as follows in 2009-10. There are also staff overseas with a communications remit, but details of these are not available except at disproportionate cost.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the looting of the Egyptian Museum, Cairo on 28 January 2011; what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Egypt about protecting the contents of the Egyptian Museum; and if he will make a statement. 
We have not raised the protection of the contents of the Egyptian Museum with the Egyptian Government, but understand that the army was asked to take responsibility for the protection of public properties, including museums, on 28 January 2011.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received from Transport for London on progress towards recovering outstanding London congestion charge payments from diplomatic missions. 
Mr Bellingham: The Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) receives some information from Transport for London (TfL) about the Congestion Charge and diplomatic missions. Acting on statistics provided by TfL, in March 2010 the FCO wrote individually to those diplomatic missions and international organisations which do not pay the Congestion Charge advising them to pay. The FCO has now received updated statistics from TfL and will shortly be writing to those missions which still have outstanding Congestion Charge debts.
Every June, the FCO publishes a written ministerial statement listing all diplomatic missions in the UK which have outstanding Congestion Charge debts of £100,000 or more. This list is published on behalf of TfL.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress he has made in efforts to (a) encourage the release of and (b) allow Red Cross access to Corporal Gilad Shalit. 
Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many passport applications have been received by the regional passport processing centre in Hong Kong in the last six months; and what the average time between application and issue was. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The regional passport processing centre in Hong Kong received 13,058 applications between 1 August 2010 and 31 January 2011. We do not record the average time between application and issue. However, 95% of these applications were processed and dispatched back to the customer within 10 working days of the application's arrival at the passport centre. Our advertised time from receipt of applications to delivery to the customer is four weeks for renewals and six weeks for first time applications.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the report of the UN Panel of Experts to the 1718 Sanctions Committee on co-operation between Iran and North Korea in the development of ballistic missiles. 
Alistair Burt: We share the assessment of the UN Panel of Experts to the 1718 Sanctions Committee who published a report in November 2010 indicating that Iran and the Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK) were co-operating in the development of ballistic missiles. The DPRK's network of proliferation activities, including to countries such as Iran, is a threat to regional and international security.
We strongly support the tough sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, which are designed to curb the range of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and conventional arms related proliferation activities undertaken by the DPRK. UN Security Council Resolution 1929 also requires countries to take steps to ensure that shipments of weapons and proliferation sensitive goods on route to Iran are stopped. We continue to work closely with international partners to ensure that these measures are robustly implemented.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of EU sanctions on Iran since December 2010; and if he will make a statement. [R] 
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether his Department has made any recent representations to the Iranian government on its approach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; 
Alistair Burt: The UK opposes all discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances. We believe human rights are universal and apply equally to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We are concerned by the harsh punishments for homosexual activity in Iran. My officials expressed concerns about this issue and about the specific cases of two individuals, alleged to have been sentenced to death for homosexual activity, to the Iranian embassy in London on 19 January 2011, after we received reports of the cases.
David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of steps taken by (a) Algeria, (b) Morocco, (c) Tunisia and (d) Lebanon in implementing the requirements to promote trade and co-operation with other countries in the region, including Israel, in their association agreements with the EU. 
Alistair Burt: While we have not held discussions with EU counterparts specifically on using the Association Agreement to encourage these countries to recognise Israel, regional integration and co-operation are important parts of European Union Association Agreements and the wider Neighbourhood policy. The External Action Service and European Commission undertake assessments of progress against association agreements. This includes information on regional co-operation.
The EU-Lebanon Action Plan, which implements the Association Agreement, includes an objective that furthers development of co-operation between the EU and Lebanon in the context of the Middle East Peace Process, which is pursued on the ground and in Brussels.
"The EU recalls that peace in the Middle East should be comprehensive and reiterates the importance of negotiations on the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon tracks. Peace should lead to the full integration of Israel in its regional environment, along the lines set out in the Arab Peace Initiative".
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department plans to provide to the government of Pakistan in order to strengthen institutions to (a) reduce levels of corruption and (b) uphold human rights. 
Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) works closely with partners across Government to support the Government of Pakistan in strengthening democratic institutions and promoting good governance. The Department for International Development has a £665 million four-year development assistance programme, which includes support for economic growth and governance. Funding streams from the interdepartmental Conflict Pool (£901,000 for Pakistan internal projects) and the Bilateral Programme Fund (£100,000) are also used to focus on projects designed to provide assistance to the Government of Pakistan in addressing corruption and upholding human rights. The FCO engages with the Government of Pakistan on the issues of corruption and human rights both bilaterally and with our partners in the European Union.
Alistair Burt: Ambassadorial posts in senior management grades are appointed through competition open to all Government Departments. Posts in other grades are open to members of the Diplomatic Service. Recruitment through external competition may be considered in exceptional cases where external candidates can offer essential skills not available within the civil service.
Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the treatment of alleged ex-combatants in Sri Lanka by the police and the military. 
Alistair Burt: The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister informed our Acting High Commissioner on 1 February 2011 that 4,666 of the original 11,696 former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters remained in detention. He stated that the rest have been released and re-integrated into their communities and all former child fighters have been released. We continue to seek regular updates on the treatment of former fighters from the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation.
We hope that the interim recommendations of the Sri Lankan Government's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation
Commission, seeking a speedy resolution of cases relating to detainees and information on their whereabouts, can be acted on promptly.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Sudanese counterpart on the implementation of the result on the referendum on Southern Sudan. 
Mr Bellingham: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Sudanese Vice President Taha on 13 January 2011. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary welcomed the constructive statements made by the National Congress Party regarding the likely outcome of the referendum. We continue to urge both parties to resolve the remaining Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues including citizenship rights, borders and Abyei.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding his Department has contributed to the Turks and Caicos Special Investigation and Prosecution Team since its creation. 
Mr Bellingham: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) covered the initial costs of the Turks and Caicos Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT). These were approximately £660,000 in the financial year ending March 2010.
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms are in place to maintain oversight of UK financial contributions to the UN for the purposes of ensuring good governance. 
Mr Bellingham: The Government closely scrutinise UN activity and expenditure and requests for funding. This is done in a number of ways, including through active participation by the UK in the Fifth Committee (Budget/Administration) of the UN General Assembly.
Budget issues are also examined by the UN Advisory Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Questions. This is made up of independent experts, currently including one expert from the UK. Other bodies play a vital oversight role, particularly the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and the UN Board of Auditors, on which the UK National Audit Office currently sits.
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms are in place to maintain oversight of recruitment of international staff to UN posts for the purposes of ensuring fair and transparent process. 
Mr Bellingham: The UK is committed to ensuring recruitment to UN posts is based on the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, as set out in the Charter of the UN, and reiterated by the General Assembly, most recently in December 2010 in Resolution A/RES/65/247. The UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services investigates and reports regularly on compliance with resolutions, regulations, rules and policies, including on recruitment issues.
Mr Bellingham: There has been considerable economic progress in Zimbabwe since the formation of the Inclusive Government in 2008. But there has not yet been political reform on anything like the same scale. It is clear that there is still a long way to go before the country can be considered stable and democratic. The constitutional reform process, which has itself been marred by some apparent intimidation, and the setting up of Media, Electoral and Human Rights commissions are encouraging signs. But a number of key provisions of the Global Political Agreement remain unimplemented. The general conditions necessary for free and fair elections have yet to be established. Moreover, President Mugabe continues to make unilateral appointments to important offices.
There has been a considerable reduction in the severity and frequency of human rights abuses since the formation of the Inclusive Government. However the recent constitutional reform process has shown that State actors still have a capacity for violence and intimidation and we remain concerned about ongoing abuses, particularly recent examples of politically-motivated violence apparently tied to potential elections. We call on the Zimbabwean authorities to resume the downward trend in human rights abuses.
In the absence of a roadmap to credible and properly monitored elections, the Inclusive Government continues to offer the only credible means of transforming Zimbabwe and of delivering basic services to its people. But to succeed, it needs a clear commitment from all parties to work together to implement the reforms set out in the Global Political Agreement.
We will continue to engage with our international partners, including South Africa and the Southern African Development Community, in considering how best to work with reformers in Zimbabwe and the region, to improve prospects of reform and to prepare for credible and properly monitored elections.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health 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 Simon Burns: The data we hold on the type of role performed by communications staff does not correspond exactly with the descriptions the hon. Member requested. However, information on the disciplines of all of the communications staff in the Department is contained in the following tables. Table one provides figures for staff working in the Communications Directorate, table two provides figures for staff working elsewhere in the Department.
The source of the data in table 1 and 2 is the Cabinet Office commission 2009-10 to meet the needs of the Treasury's Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) Corporate Functions Benchmarking programme, for 2009-10.
The Department also grants funds to a wide range of voluntary and charitable organisations to provide services relating to health and healthy living. It is not possible to provide this data without incurring disproportionate cost.
|Table 1: Central communications staff, accounts for all staff working in the Communications Directorate. Data from February 2011|
|Table 2: Embedded communications in the Department. Accounts for all staff working in the Department in policy teams. Data from April 2010|
|Communications||Figures (WTE) as at:||(a) Press officers||(b) Internal Comms officers||(c) External Comms officers||(d) Comms strategy officers|
|(1) Appointments Commission has one post holder who undertakes all Communications activity and it is not possible to determine the split between the roles (a)-(d).|
(2) Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has one post holder who undertakes all Communications activity and it is not possible to determine the split between the roles (a)-(d).
(3) Health Protection Agency has a total of 30 staff who work across all these disciplines. It is not possible to isolate staff into individual categories as they cross all of them.
(4) Executive Agency
Mr Simon Burns: Passes may be issued to those who are required to make frequent visits to specific Government sites, subject to the usual security checks. For security reasons it would not be appropriate to provide details of individuals who hold such passes.
Mr Simon Burns: This information is not available. Unlike those who come into the United Kingdom under Tier 2 of the points based system, Tier 1 migrants do not need a job offer before they arrive in the UK.
The Home Office records the number of entry clearance visas issued out of country. In the first three quarters of the financial year 2010-11, 12,470 visas were issued under Tier 1 of the highly skilled migrant category of the point based system.
Mr Simon Burns: This information is not collected centrally. It is for individual national health service trusts to identify gaps and ensure their service rotas are designed and staffed appropriately.
Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the potential effects on staffing gaps in hospital rotas of the extension of the European Working Time Directive to junior doctors; 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department does not collect data of the potential effects on staffing gaps in junior doctors' rotas. It is a requirement that local organisations collect and assess whether their data are accurate in measuring compliance with the working time directive.
Mr Simon Burns: The Government's response to the consultation 'Liberating the NHS: Legislative framework and next steps' summarises the responses received to the consultation on the White Paper 'Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS', and associated consultations, including 'Commissioning for Patients'. A list of organisations which responded to the consultation is available on the Department's website at:
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has assessed the risk that patients may be refused care that they were previously entitled to following the implementation of the provisions of the Health and Social Care Bill. 
Mr Simon Burns: The requirement to promote a comprehensive health service free at the point of use, first set out in the NHS Act 1946, is unchanged by the provisions of the Health and Social Care Bill.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will have discussions with the chief executive of university hospital Coventry on its contract with ISS Facility Services; what the date was on which renegotiation of the contract started; what the name was of the person who took the decision to renegotiate the contract; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will assess the effects of the renegotiation of the contract between university hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire and ISS Facility Services on (a) car park charges, (b) catering and (c) cleaning; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr Simon Burns: University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) does not have a contract directly with ISS. This is held between Coventry and Rugby Hospital Company (CRHC) and ISS. CRHC is the private company that is contractually required to market test 'soft' FM services (catering, cleaning, car parking etc) at regular intervals on behalf of the trust under the private finance initiative (PFI) contract, and to manage the tendering process.
During the initial stage of this process in the first half of 2010, CRHC, on behalf of their sub-contractor (ISS), was asked to submit data to the trust, in order for it to carry out a benchmarking exercise. The trust commissioned work from independent consultants which demonstrated that the existing ISS service costs were within market range. Based on this the trust considered renewing the existing service provider. At the same time the trust was offered a cost reduction package, which included significant reductions within the contract of over £1 million per annum and the part-absorption of a number of annual cost pressures, at the supplier's risk, up to 2018. These factors were considered by the Trust
Board on 28 July 2010 and the decision taken to instruct CRHC to extend the ISS contract to 2018 on these terms.
The contract between CRCH and ISS has been continued with the same output specifications and service agreements in terms of the standard and quality of services ISS are required to deliver. So despite the cost reduction programmes, it is not expected patients and staff will experience any changes in these services. Ministers are satisfied that the trust has therefore secured overall value for money from its renegotiation of this contract and do not therefore intend to discuss this issue with the chief executive of the trust.
Where national health service hospitals renegotiate existing contracts, relevant business cases and other supporting information should be publicly available for discussion, subject to the commercial interests of the NHS. Final and approved documents must also be published, for example under a trust's Freedom of Information publication scheme, which is again subject to commercial considerations.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he made in October 2010 of the appropriateness of the proposed launch date for the 2010-11 seasonal influenza advertising campaign. 
Mr Lansley: Decisions on seasonal flu related advertising campaigns were taken prior to October 2010. As in previous years, local national health service organisations continued to run targeted communications to people who were eligible for a free flu vaccination.
In response to data on rising rates of flu infection in England, I received and considered advice over the Christmas period on whether to launch the Catch It Kill It Bin It campaign. This campaign is designed to encourage behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes and regular hand-washing, that are likely to slow the spread of flu. The campaign was launched on 1 January 2011.
David T. C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has received recent reports on the use of counterfeit pulse oximeter sensors in hospitals. 
Grahame M. Morris:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the future regulation of (a) salaries, (b) bonuses and (c) pensions of employees of
(i) Monitor, (ii) the National Health Service Commissioning Board and (iii) commissioning consortia. 
Mr Simon Burns: The proposals outlined in the Health and Social Care Bill would require that Monitor and the National Health Service Commissioning Board must obtain the Secretary of State's approval to its policies on remuneration, payment of pensions and other allowances for employees.
The Bill also proposes that each commissioning consortium is to be a corporate body which may appoint employees on such terms and conditions (including remuneration) as it determines. The National Health Service Commissioning Board may publish guidance for consortia on the determination of remuneration for employees. Consortia would also be required to publish prescribed information in relation to the remuneration of their employees.
Mr Simon Burns: The remuneration level for the chairman of the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts (Monitor), has been advertised as up to £57,000 for two days a week. No appointment has yet been made.
|Date of meeting||Ministers in attendance|
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to assign a role to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the provision of advice to pharmaceutical companies. 
Mr Simon Burns: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) currently offers a scientific advice service to pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers about products they have in development and we expect this work to continue. NICE charges a fee for its scientific advice.
Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Commissioning Board will act in shadow form as a special health authority during 2011-12 and, subject to parliamentary approval, it will be established as a non-departmental public body from April 2012.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether patients are to be informed of the costs of the treatments they are offered following the implementation of the provisions of the Health and Social Care Bill. 
Jon Cruddas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has any plans to revise arrangements for data collection on waiting times for (a) operations and (b) diagnostic tests and for publication of such data. 
Mr Simon Burns: There are no plans to revise the data that are collected on referral to treatment waiting times and waits for diagnostics tests. These data will continue to be published on the Department's website at:
Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of attendances at general practitioner surgeries by men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence published Clinical Guideline in February 2008 regarding the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, which includes recommendations for the care and management of men with prostate cancer in primary care.
Health care professionals should ensure that mechanisms are in place to allow men with prostate cancer and their primary care providers to gain access to specialist services throughout the course of their disease.
Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the future of the coal industry in Wales; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) and I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a range of issues affecting Wales including the coal industry.
Wales is leading the way by using its natural resources including clean coal, to help tackle one of the greatest challenges facing the global economy-climate change. New technologies being developed mean there is a real prospect of reducing coal emissions to a level comparable to gas, and there are further benefits to be gained from carbon capture.
This, in addition to our continued support for the plans for an open cast operation at Tower Colliery near Hirwaun and a new deep mine on the Port Talbot Steelworks site, means that coal continues to have a future in Wales.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales 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) her Department, (ii) its agencies and (iii) each other non-departmental public body sponsored by her Department on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the role of higher education in Wales in attracting inward investment; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales and I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a range of topics including the role of higher education in attracting inward investment to Wales.
Higher education plays a major role in attracting investment into Wales. It is vital that Wales offers a skilled and innovative workforce that is able to attract large international companies to locate and invest there.
My right hon. Friend and I remain committed to working with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers to look at ways to encourage more inward investment to Wales in future. My right hon. Friend has also invited the Welsh Assembly Government to be represented on her Business Advisory Group which focuses on ways to boost trade, investment and the economy in Wales.
Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the future of higher education in Wales; and if she will make a statement. 
Following the conclusion of the Browne Review in England the Welsh Assembly Government have also recognised the need to raise tuition fees in order to make higher education affordable and sustainable in Wales.
Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the future of the steel industry in Wales; and if she will make a statement. 
The steel industry in Wales continues to contribute significantly to the Welsh economy and support Welsh Jobs. For example, there are some 7,000 people employed in Wales by Tata and many times that number employed by the wider economic community of contractors, suppliers and other partners. We continue to work with Tata and the Welsh Assembly Government to take forward the company's plans for a deep mine on the Port Talbot site which could create hundreds more much needed jobs.
We are committed to supporting the development of Wales's science and innovation base. We welcome, in particular, funding announced last month from the Welsh Assembly Government, which will help support British Petroleum's new £400 million university science campus in Swansea.
The new campus is intended to allow academic researchers to collaborate with companies such as Rolls-Royce so they can commercialise ideas. This is good news for Wales, helping to create thousands of jobs and put more than £3 billion into the regional economy over 10 years. It is a significant boost to the Welsh economy as we begin the return to growth and prosperity.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development 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 O'Brien: The latest figures on communications staff were collated as part of a review of the communications networks within the Department for International Development (DFID). This showed that in April 2010 there were 109 full time equivalent (FTE) staff working in communications roles across the Department. This included staff in both the UK and in overseas offices.
(a) 20.6 press officers
(b) five internal communications officers
(c) 0 external communications officers
(d) 20 strategic communications officers
(e) 14.6 other positions with a communications remit, including 10.6 digital communications officers
Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to help assist in increasing food production in the developing world; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr O'Brien: In 2010-11, the Department for International Development (DFID) invested £65 million in agricultural research aimed at increased food production, including £36.7 million through support for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Evidence suggests that for every $1 invested in this global partnership at least an additional $9 worth of additional food is produced in developing countries (Raizer 2003).
"food production will have to increase by 70% and 100% just to keep up with demand".
This will be hugely challenging for the global food system. DFID and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will be jointly assessing the recommendations to determine what follow up action to take.
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have current plans to support the development of the bond market for emerging market sovereign issuers. Before the financial crisis a number of emerging market and low income countries were issuing or exploring bond issuances. The financial crisis reduced the level of interest in these markets.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has contributed to the Turks and Caicos Special Investigation and Prosecution Team since its creation. 
DFID has provided short term financial support to TCI, now totalling lending of £27.3 million with another £2.6 million available, while finalising a medium term financial package of support for the Territory.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Prime Minister what meetings he has had with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry since his appointment with whom he met in each case; and what the (a) purpose and (b) location was of each such meeting. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the list of official meetings by Ministers with external organisations. This list was published for the first time in October 2010 and is published on a quarterly basis, in accordance with the new ministerial code.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2011, Official Report, column 284W,
on animal products: imports, what proportion of her Department's budget for paid-for communication about illegal imports will be spent on (a) print press, (b) television, (c) internet and (d) poster material in each of the next four years. 
Mr Paice: The UK pesticides regulatory body-the Health and Safety Executive's Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD)-has liaised with other EU regulatory authorities that have imposed restrictions on the use of these pesticides. It also reviews developments on how risks to bee health from the use of pesticides are assessed and monitored. CRD scientists attended the 10th International Symposium of the International Commission for Plant-Bee Relationships (ICPBR) on Hazards of Pesticides to Bees, in October 2008; no new scientific evidence was presented at this meeting, or more recently, to suggest a need for changes to current UK pesticide authorisations.
Ministers have also considered scientific advice, including views of the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides, on a report issued last year by a number of environmental organisations-the Buglife report "The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on bumblebees, honeybees and other non-target invertebrates (2009)2. The report highlighted a need for data on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on overwintering of bees in the risk assessment process. This issue had already been identified by regulators and is being addressed through changes to the EU regulatory data requirements. Government scientists have continued to keep up to date with emerging findings and we are supporting further work in this area.
The Government have regularly considered the available evidence in this area and there is no need for an additional review. CRD would act on any substantive evidence should incidents occur in the UK and will continue to monitor research and developments in other EU member states and elsewhere to see if they are relevant to the UK.
Richard Benyon: We want reform of the Common Fisheries Policy to provide the right framework to deliver healthy fish stocks, and a sustainable living for fishermen. To achieve this, we need radical reform to simplify and decentralise fisheries management, building in the right incentives for fishermen to operate sustainably and profitably, and cutting the terrible waste of discards.
Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what senior civil service staff moves there have been in her Department since May 2010; and what the (a) name and (b) salary is of each person (i) moving posts within and (ii) leaving her Department. 
Individual names and salaries cannot be disclosed, but the following table shows the number of staff involved whose salary (either current or at the point of departure) falls within each bracket of £20,000:
Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what senior civil service staff have left her Department since May 2010; and what (a) contractual and (b) non-contractual payments were made in each case. 
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have had 17 senior staff leave the Department since May 2010. 11 of these have left following retirement, (five of which recently left under our early retirement scheme), two have resigned, two
have transferred to other Government Departments and a further two have left as their Fixed Term Appointments have expired.
No contractual or non-contractual payments were made to these leavers on normal retirement, resignation or end of FTA, other than their final salary and any outstanding annual leave that they may have had. However, for those staff that left the Department under our early retirement scheme, they received a lump sum payment as part of the terms of the scheme.
Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to commission future local environment quality surveys of England; and if she will make a statement. 
Richard Benyon: Since 2001, the charity Keep Britain Tidy has carried out the Local Environment Quality Survey of England (LEQSE) on behalf of DEFRA. Preparation for the next survey (2010-11) is under way with results expected to be published in the autumn. The LEQSE provides valuable information on levels of cleanliness in the public realm across England, and I expect surveys along these lines to continue through the spending review period.
Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the development of policies to enhance the local environment and reduce litter; and how many staff of her Department she expects to be allocated to work on such issues in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. 
Richard Benyon: The Government believe that we need to protect our environment and improve our quality of life and well-being. In particular, the Coalition's programme for government includes the aim of working to reduce litter, a key aspect of local environment quality. DEFRA is working closely with local authorities, business, civil society and others, to develop the "Love Where You Live" behaviour change initiative which it expects to launch publically in the spring.
Policy development on litter and local environment quality forms part of the work of the Atmosphere and Local Environment Programme in DEFRA. Currently, two members of DEFRA staff work on these issues and, according to current plans, an allocation on broadly this scale is likely to continue through the spending review period. In addition, as part of the spending review settlement, the Government have announced continuing grant support to DEFRA's delivery partner on local environment quality issue, Keep Britain Tidy.
Richard Benyon: Grant aid for projects in the fisheries sector is available under the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) programme for 2007-13. Fish farming falls under Axis 2 of the scheme, intended for investments in aquaculture and processing and for marketing of fishery and aquaculture products. The EFF promotes the purchase and use of gear, and methods that reduce the impact of aquaculture production on the environment and improve the quality of produce and conditions in terms of human and animal health.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of likely trends in the amount of timber logged from Forestry Commission land under her proposed reforms to the forest estate. 
Mr Paice: No significant impact is expected on the amount of timber being produced. Any new owner would be expected to manage their woodland sustainably in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard and would be subject to normal felling controls.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to announce the results of the consultation on her proposals on the sale of the public forest estate in England before Royal Assent to the Public Bodies Bill; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr Paice: The results of the consultation on the future of the public forest estate will be published as soon as the responses have been fully assessed. This is likely to be in the summer. The date of Royal Assent depends upon the progress of the Public Bodies Bill through Parliament.
Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many acres of land in Christchurch constituency are owned or managed by the Forestry Commission; what proportion of such land is open to public access; and what proportion is classified as (a) heritage and (b) community forest and woodland. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 7 February 2011]: The Forestry Commission manages approximately 1,211 hectares of land in the Christchurch constituency, the majority of which is freehold and most of this dedicated for public access on foot under the provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
Of the 116 hectares that is in leasehold ownership more than half is subject to a formal access agreement to allow public access. The remainder has access on public rights of way and although there is no formal agreement, public access is tolerated by the freeholder.
The land has been given an indicative categorisation on the map that accompanies the consultation on the future of the public forest estate in England. There are
557 hectares of heritage woodland, 428 hectares of multi-purpose woodland and 226 hectares of small commercial woodland.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what her Department's policy is on the role of the private sector in delivering a national litter campaign; 
Richard Benyon: "Love Where You Live" is a new behaviour change initiative on litter announced at the National Litter convention in December 2010. Its aim is to work towards a substantially cleaner England by 2020 through encouraging partnerships between business, local authorities and other land managers, communities and civil society. Businesses are expected to play a key role in the development and use of the single anti-littering message, as well as contributing to behaviour change campaigns.
DEFRA's delivery partner on local environment quality and litter is the charity Keep Britain Tidy who will receive grant-in-aid from Government of £4 million in 2011-12. They will have a central role in co-ordinating work on "Love Where You Live".
Keep Britain Tidy is a charity independent of Government and was established following a campaign in the 1950s by the National Federation Of Women's Institutes. There are no plans for a public consultation on the future of Keep Britain Tidy.
Mr Paice: Crayfish plague is not a notifiable disease in England and Wales and is therefore not subject to any formal controls. However, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) does investigate all reported mortalities of crayfish. It also provides advice to other agencies and stakeholders on the most effective ways to contain the disease in the case of a confirmed outbreak. It is believed that most populations of signal crayfish in Great Britain are likely to carry the pathogen causing this disease, and so efforts to prevent the spread of the disease have concentrated on preventing the spread of the carrier species.
Outbreaks of crayfish plague have been rare in recent years, but to reduce the risk, several measures have been put in place by the Environment Agency (EA). For example, fish movements are licensed through Section 30' consents: through this licensing procedure, the EA is careful to ensure that fish from waters that contain signal crayfish are not moved to those where native crayfish occur. There is an agreed protocol with Natural England to protect protected wildlife sites containing native crayfish.
Richard Benyon: There is no reliable estimate of the red squirrel population in the UK. It is difficult to obtain an accurate figure as the number of squirrels per hectare varies considerably, due to environmental factors such as food supply, weather conditions and breeding success.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for the carrying out of the capacity building activities of the Sustainable Development Commission following its abolition. 
Mr Paice: In November 2010 the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs wrote to the Environmental Audit Committee and Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) explaining that she will transfer some elements of the Commission's capability building expertise back into DEFRA and officials are in the process of agreeing the details of this with the SDC. The Government will announce their wider plans for mainstreaming sustainable development in the near future.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her
Department has any plans to introduce legislative proposals on wildlife crime. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA is currently reviewing the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997, in light of a review of European Regulations in this area as well as developments in domestic enforcement trends and techniques since the regulations were last amended.
A decision has yet to be made whether to pursue an order under section 45 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 to make possession of pesticides containing certain ingredients an offence.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Attorney-General 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. 
|Department||Press officers||Internal communications officers||External communications officers||Communications strategy officers||Other communications officers||Total|
|(1) Includes Heads of Communication for the CPS and NFA|
(4) Covered by AGO press office
All posts are given as full-time equivalents. This table does not include public inquiry, correspondence or FOI teams.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the names and company affiliations of employees of banks and financial institutions wholly or partially owned by the Government who have received bonuses of £1 million or more in 2010. 
The Government have taken robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses. The Financial Services Authority has revised the Remuneration Code and new rules came into force on 1 January 2011, requiring
bonuses throughout the banking industry to be deferred and linked to performance and imposing a strict limit on the amount of cash payable upfront.
In addition, the FSA has also introduced a remuneration disclosure regime requiring banks to issue a report containing qualitative information on pay policies and detailed aggregate quantitative information on the remuneration paid to significant risk takers. The new rules came into force on 1 January 2011 and the banks will have to issue a report at least annually, starting in 2011 in respect of the 2010 financial year.
Mr Hoban: Under the Banking Act 2009, appointments as a Governor or Deputy Governor are for a period of five years and a person may not be appointed as Governor or Deputy Governor more than twice. At present, there are no plans to amend this arrangement.
Chris Williamson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of households that will cease to be eligible for child benefit as a result of the change in the higher rate income tax threshold; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The change to child benefit announced at the spending review does not change the eligibility criteria for child benefit payments. Where a person is currently entitled to receive child benefit they will continue to be entitled to receive payments regardless of whether they or their partner is a higher rate taxpayer, in these circumstances, it is the responsibility of the higher rate taxpayer to notify HMRC that their household is in receipt of child benefit, which will then be recovered through the tax system.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of savings which will accrue to the Exchequer as a result of reducing the rate of childcare support from 80% to 70%. 
|Saving (£ million)|
Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to promote credit unions in the last 13 years; and what plans he has for further such steps in the next five years. 
"bring forward detailed proposals to foster diversity, promote mutuals and create a more competitive banking industry"
The Legislative Reform (Industrial and Provident Societies and Credit Unions) Order will enable credit unions to broaden their membership and offer interest on deposits, for example. This will be re-laid in Parliament before Easter.
The Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act will improve the corporate governance of all Industrial and Provident Societies, including Credit Unions, by applying the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and other aspects of company law. These sections will be commenced over the coming months.
Government have recently consulted on an electronic communications in the mutual sector, which will help make the mutuals sector, including credit unions, more efficient. The order will be laid before Easter.
The Government are also planning to bring Northern Ireland credit unions under FSA regulation. This will provide members of these credit unions with access to the Financial Ombudsman Service and Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Karen Lumley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will take steps to ensure that residents of Redditch constituency continue to receive independent advice on debt management following the ending of the Financial Inclusion Fund; 
Justine Greening: In preparing their preliminary estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the ONS made it very clear that the fall in GDP was driven by the extreme weather in December, and estimate that without this disruption GDP would have been flat in the fourth quarter.
Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the consolidated statement on the use of EU funds in the UK for 2008-09, what steps he is taking to reduce the level of EU payment disallowances. 
Justine Greening: Significant improvements have been made in the administration of the Single Payment scheme within DEFRA which accounted a significant element of disallowances and we are committed to further improvements to the governance, financial controls and IT systems used in its operation. In addition, we will continue to pursue simplification of the complex EU rules that lead to some errors being made, and have also developed clearer and more comprehensive guidance for Departments on accounting for EU funding.
The Statement and accompanying audit report strengthen parliamentary scrutiny of the UK's use of EU funds. It helps us detect weaknesses in the UK's management of these funds so that these can be more effectively and rapidly tackled, improving management of EU funds across the board.
The Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) has always been due to close in March 2011. The Government have not yet taken a decision on the future of the projects currently funded from the FIF. In the meantime, the Government have worked with the delivery agencies
to understand the potential scale of any redundancies and has taken steps to ensure that any redundancy costs can be met from project funds rather than affecting the viability of those organisations.
Karl McCartney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of the postholder of (a) chief executive officer, (b) managing director of wholesale and institutional markets, (c) managing director of the retail markets business unit and (d) managing director of supervision at the Financial Services Authority; 
(2) what mechanisms are in place to (a) assess and (b) review the qualifications and skills required for the position of (i) chief executive officer, (ii) managing director of wholesale and institutional markets, (iii) managing director of the retail markets business unit and (iv) managing director of supervision at the Financial Services Authority; 
(3) what mechanisms are in place to assess how the postholder of (a) chief executive officer and (b) managing director of supervision at the Financial Services Authority fulfil their responsibilities. 
The appointment of executive directors is a matter reserved to the board of the FSA. The standard contracts are continuous contracts of employment which contain provision for 12 months prior notice of termination on either side. The appointment of individuals to the board of the FSA is a matter for the Treasury.
At selection stage for CEO and managing director roles there is a rigorous appointment process using a panel drawn from senior external assessors, FSA non executive directors, in addition to either the chairman or CEO as appropriate.
Performance assessments of the managing directors are carried out by the chief executive officer and the performance assessment of the CEO is carried out by the chairman. Performance is judged against three key sets of criteria-personal objectives, leadership objectives and achievement of FSA statutory objectives.
Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's assessment is of (a) the practical implications of and (b) the annual level of revenue which would be generated by implementing a tax on financial transactions. 
Mr Gauke: The issue of intergenerational equity is already addressed through supplementary guidance to the Green Book. The guidance, "Intergeneration Wealth Transfers and Social Discounting", is available online:
The guidance advises that, in cases which involve the very long term (at least fifty years), and which involve substantial and irreversible wealth transfers between generations, a sensitivity calculation should be carried out on the discount rate.
The sensitivity calculation should exclude the 'pure time preference' component of the discount rate. This reflects society's preference for consuming the benefits of policies sooner rather than later so, in some part, reflects impatience. It is not ethically defensible for the pure time preference, or impatience, of the current generation to lead to decisions which do not take full account of the welfare of future generations.
The other components of the discount rate reflect such factors as the expected growth in consumption (the fact that, if people are expected to be better off in the future than they are now, an extra unit of consumption is generally taken to be worth less), which should continue to be allowed for in long term policy assessments.
Justine Greening: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. The OBR published its latest economic forecast on 29 November 2010, which can be found online at:
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