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Heathrow terminal 4: EEA passengers
2009-10

Average queue time

2009

 

April

0:02

May

0:02

June

0:02

July

0:02

August

0:02

September

0:02

October

0:02

November

0:02

December

0:02

   

2010

 

January

0:02

February

0:01

March

0.02

   

Average

0:02

2010-11

Average queue time

2010

 

April

0:04

May

0:02

June

0:03

July

0:04

August

0:03

September

0:04

October

0:03

November

0:03

December

0:03

   

2011

 

January

0:03

February

0:03

March

0:03

   

Average

0:04

Heathrow t erminal 4 : Non-EEA passengers
2009-10

Average queue time

2009

 

April

0:06

May

0:06

June

0:08

July

0:09

August

0:07

September

0:13

21 Jun 2011 : Column 222W

October

0:13

November

0:07

December

0:07

   

2010

 

January

0:10

February

0:06

March

0:10

   

Average

0:09

2010-11

Average queue time

2010

 

April

0:16

May

0:13

June

0:18

July

0:22

August

0:10

September

0:23

October

0:14

November

0:13

December

0:15

   

2011

 

January

0:19

February

0:16

March

0:19

   

Average

0:17

Heathrow terminal 5: EEA passengers
2009-10

Average queue time

2009

 

April

0:03

May

0:02

June

0:03

July

0:03

August

0:04

September

0:04

October

0:04

November

0:03

December

0:04

   

2010

 

January

0:03

February

0:04

March

0:03

   

Average

0:04

2010-11

Average queue time

2010

 

April

0:05

May

0:04

21 Jun 2011 : Column 223W

June

0:05

July

0:05

August

0:06

September

0:06

October

0:05

November

0:05

December

0:05

   

2011

 

January

0:05

February

0:06

March

0:05

   

Average

0:05

Heathrow terminal 5: Non-EEA passengers
2009-10

Average queue time

2009

 

April

0:07

May

0:07

June

0:09

July

0:13

August

0:12

September

0:18

October

0:14

November

0:11

December

0:12

   

2010

 

January

0:12

February

0:12

March

0.11

   

Average

0:12

2010-11

Average queue time

2010

 

April

0:18

May

0:14

June

0:18

July

0:22

August

0:18

September

0:24

October

0:16

November

0:17

December

0:17

   

2011

 

January

0:19

February

0:18

March

0:15

   

Average

0:18

21 Jun 2011 : Column 224W

UN Office on Drugs and Crime: Finance

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the UK contributed to the budget of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in each of the last five years; and how much she plans to contribute in each of the next five years. [60120]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 16 June 2011]:The UK provides funds to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) through both voluntary donations and through its contribution to the UN Regular Budget. Through voluntary donations, the UK has contributed $40,405,400 to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in the last five years. A total of:

Contributed in: $

2006

10,357,603

2007

5,001,401

2008

4,447,026

2009

5,784,127

2010

3,613,835

Since the beginning of 2011 a further $11,201,408 has been donated.

Through the UN Regular Budget the UK contributed the following amounts to the UNODC:

Contributed in: $

2006

1,054,368

2007

1,142,992

2008

1,311,659

2009

1,311,659

2010

1,294,090

2011(1)

1,294,090

(1) Based on current projections

The UK's future contributions to the UNODC through the UN Regular Budget will be dependent on the future allocation of UN Regular Budget funds to the UNODC and on the UN's scale of assessments. The Government continue to support the work of the UNODC and has provided funding this year to support activities assisting partner countries in countering the threats from narcotics and organised crime. We will continue to consider funding options for activity in future years.

Victim Support Schemes

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people on police computer databases are flagged as (a) adults at risk and (b) children at risk. [60893]

James Brokenshire: A specific “at risk” flag common to all national police databases does not exist. However, flags do exist on some databases for example, ViSOR (Violent and Sex Offender Register), and there are other flags that could be considered as indicating an “at risk” status, e.g. suicidal. Furthermore, inclusion on some of the national police databases may in itself be considered indication that the individual is “at risk”, e.g. missing persons DNA database. Not all information from police computer databases is held centrally. These systems are operational tools which are not designed to produce the specific information requested.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 225W

Visas

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many indefinite leave visas were issued in each month of the last three years. [60505]

Damian Green: We have taken indefinite leave “visas” to mean the number of indefinite leave-to-enter visas issued and the number of in-country indefinite leave to remain applications granted. The requested data tables have been placed in the Library of the House.

Cabinet Office

Government Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

Caroline Flint: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office on how many occasions officials of each Government department have been subject to formal disciplinary proceedings since May 2010. [60449]

Mr Maude: This information is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office. This is a matter which is delegated to Departments subject to the conditions set out in Chapter 4 of the Civil Service Management Code.

There has only been one case since May 2010 where a member of staff in Cabinet Office was subject to formal disciplinary proceedings and this was in relation to serious misconduct. However, we do not maintain a central record of formal disciplinary action in relation to minor misconduct, as this is dealt with locally by line managers.

Unemployment: York

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent estimate has been made of levels of unemployment in York. [61375]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated June 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Question asking what recent estimate has been made of levels of unemployment in York. (61375)

The latest available unemployment estimate for the 12 month period ending September 2010 for York is 6,700.

Unemployment: Young People

Tim Farron: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the level of youth unemployment is in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Cumbria and (d) Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. [61104]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated June 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the level of youth unemployment is in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Cumbria and (d) Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. (61104)

21 Jun 2011 : Column 226W

Due to the small samples, estimates of youth unemployment for some of the requested areas cannot be given. As an alternative, Table 1 shows the number of persons, aged 16 to 24, claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, in the requested areas for May 2011, the latest date for which figures are available.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Number of people aged 16-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance In England, the North West, Cumbria and Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency as at May 2011

Level

England

341,710

North West

54,455

Cumbria

2,565

Westmorland and Lonsdale

125

Source: Jobcentreplus administrative system

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information his Department holds on (a) the average amount spent on electoral registration in England and Wales in the latest period for which figures are available and (b) the amount spent in each local authority area that failed to meet the participation standards to promote registration in the latest period for which figures are available. [60435]

Mr Harper: This information is not held by the Cabinet Office. The Electoral Commission has published financial data for each local authority in Great Britain, covering the 2007-08 and 2008-09 financial years. Information on the 2009-10 financial year will be published on their website in July 2011.

The information requested under (a) can be found on the Commission's website:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/performance-standards/financial-information

In respect of (b), the Electoral Commission informs me that 47 electoral registration officers did not meet the participation standard to promote electoral registration in the latest period of data collection. The local authority areas of the relevant EROs are provided in the following list. This information can also be found on the Electoral Commission's website at:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/performance-standards

Adur

Ashford

Barking and Dagenham

Basildon

Blaenau Gwent

Boston

Broadland

Broxtowe

Cannock Chase

Cardiff

Ceredigion

Cherwell

21 Jun 2011 : Column 227W

Chiltern

Christchurch

Corby

Craven

Dacorum

Eastbourne

East Lindsey

East Hertfordshire

Eden

Fenland

Flintshire

Halton

Hambleton

Harrogate

Isle of Anglesey

Kingston upon Hull

Lewes

Luton

Maldon

Middlesbrough

Milton Keynes

Norwich

North Lincolnshire

Portsmouth

Preston

Redbridge

Rugby

Solihull

Spelthorne

Stroud

Sutton

Uttlesford

Wiltshire

Worthing

Wycombe.

EU Law

Julian Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what European directives in force on 1 April 2010 his Department is responsible; and what European directives for which his Department is responsible have come into force since 1 April 2010. [60689]

The Deputy Prime Minister: My office is located within the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 20 June 2011, Official Report, column 70W.

House of Lords: Reform

Mr Dodds: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many representations he has received from individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland on reform of the House of Lords since May 2010. [60635]

Mr Harper: Since May 2010 the Government have received two representations on House of Lords reform from individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 228W

Members: Allowances

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will discuss with the Chair of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority implications for staff budgets for hon. Members arising from implementation of the reduction in the size of the membership of the House of Commons. [60419]

Mr Harper: While the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 provides for the IPSA to determine the expenses scheme, the informal liaison group established earlier this year provides a forum in which Members of Parliament and members of the board and officials of the IPSA can discuss such issues.

Members: Conduct

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress he has made in developing proposals for a power of recall of hon. Members by their constituents. [61044]

Mr Harper: The Government are committed to bringing forward legislation to introduce a power to recall Members of Parliament. We are currently considering what would be the fairest, most appropriate and robust procedure and we will announce further details in due course.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what obligations there are on local authorities in respect of the achievement of carbon reduction targets; [61208]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure local authorities contribute to the achievement of carbon reduction targets. [61209]

Gregory Barker: There are no centrally imposed targets on local authorities in respect of the achievement of national carbon reduction targets.

Local authorities are uniquely placed to provide leadership and vision on climate change action in their local communities. Many are enthusiastic about playing their part in meeting national carbon mitigation targets and have already set in place stretching ambitions and policies for emissions in their area, and are making a difference.

To help build capacity DECC funded a £2.5 million Local Carbon Frameworks pilot programme in 2010-11 and we plan to publish the findings from that later this year. The recently signed memorandum of understanding between DECC and the Local Government Group also supports robust, self regulated action on carbon reduction. And we are working with local government to ensure that all local authorities support the roll out of the Green Deal across their areas.

Departmental Data Protection

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to promote visual data security in his Department; and what training his Department provides to its officials in respect of the management of visual data security. [60908]

21 Jun 2011 : Column 229W

Gregory Barker: DECC includes visual data security training via the staff induction process and promotes correct access of information via mobile devices to all staff via security e-learning processes, the departmental intranet, individual section security briefings and via DECC all-staff communications.

Departmental Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what regulations his Department introduced between 1 March 2011 and 31 May 2011; and what the estimated costs of implementation for those affected were in each case. [60336]

Gregory Barker: The Department has introduced 13 statutory instruments that came into force between 1 March 2011 and 31 May 2011. They are:

The Feed-in Tariffs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) (Amendment) Order 2011

Into force 30 May 2011

No costs

The Electricity (Individual Generation Exemptions) Order 2011

Into force 18 May 2011

No costs

The Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Into force 13 April 2011

No costs

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (Fees) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2011

Into force 6 April 2011

Costs are detailed in the Impact Assessment, available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/727/pdfs/uksiem_20110727_en.pdf

The Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Handling (Finance and Fees) Regulations 2011

Into force 6 April 2011

Costs are detailed in the impact assessment available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/134/pdfs/uksiem_20110134_en.pdf

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (Amendment) Order 2011

Into force 1 April 2011

No costs

The Warm Home Discount Regulations 2011

Into force 1 April 2011

Costs are detailed in the impact assessment, available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/1033/pdfs/uksiem_20111033_en.pdf

The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2011

Into force 1 April 2011

Costs are detailed in the impact assessment, available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/984/pdfs/uksiem_20110984_en.pdf

The Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Into force 30 March 2011

No costs

21 Jun 2011 : Column 230W

The Offshore Chemicals (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Into force 30 March 2011

No costs

The Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Into force 25 March 2011

Costs are detailed in the impact assessment, available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/765/pdfs/uksiem_20110765_en.pdf

The Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources Regulations 2011

Into force 14 March 2011

No costs

The Gas (Exemptions) Order 2011

Into force 1 March 2011

Costs are detailed in the impact assessment, available at:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/232/pdfs/uksiem_20110232_en.pdf

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the name is of each regulatory measure revoked by his Department between 1 March and 31 May 2011; and what estimate he has made of the potential annual saving to those affected by each revocation. [60496]

Gregory Barker: The Department has not revoked any regulatory measures between 1 March and 31 May 2011.

However, DECC remains committed to simplifying the statute book and reducing the burden of regulation on business where possible. Internal reviews of our regulatory stock and engagement with our stakeholders has identified a number of potential repeals and simplifications to date, with the exact process for repealing these currently being explored. We will continue our efforts to identify opportunities to eliminate any unnecessary burden on businesses this year through full engagement with the ‘Red Tape Challenge’.

Energy: Housing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will discuss with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government bringing forward proposals to protect tenants from unfair eviction arising from a request for an energy efficiency upgrade to their homes; and if he will make a statement. [61211]

Gregory Barker: I have raised this issue with my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Local Government and we intend to consider the potential for unfair evictions well in advance of secondary legislation for the private rented sector. Our initial consideration will be informed by a stakeholder working group.

Fuel Poverty

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what obligations there are on local authorities in respect of steps to tackle fuel poverty. [61210]

21 Jun 2011 : Column 231W

Gregory Barker: There are no obligations on local authorities as regards fuel poverty directly.

Local authorities are involved in seeking to maximise the benefits of schemes that are available to assist those who are in, or who are vulnerable to, fuel poverty. For example, such schemes to improve the energy efficiency of households include Warm Front, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and the Community Energy Savings programme.

Fuel Poverty: North East England

Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of households in (a) the North East and (b) North West Durham constituency living in fuel poverty in 2009-10. [61487]

Gregory Barker: In 2008, the latest year for which data are available, there were estimated to be 236,000 households living in fuel poverty in the North East region.

In the North West Durham constituency, the figure was 9,400 households.

Insulation: Housing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward proposals to introduce a national plan for insulating houses in areas of high deprivation; and if he will make a statement. [61212]

Gregory Barker: Green Deal is a national framework which will support the insulation of all homes from 2012. There is no intention to create a separate plan for delivering insulation to deprived areas. However, we are also taking powers in the Energy Bill to introduce a new Energy Company Obligation (ECO) which will have a specific focus on low income and vulnerable households, and will be an important route for the insulation of homes in areas of high deprivation.

Solar Power: Feed-in Tariffs

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of each response to his Department's consultation on the fast-track review of feed-in tariffs received since 22 March 2011. [61243]

Gregory Barker: Responses to public consultations are not generally placed in the Library. However, the non-confidential responses received in relation to the fast-track consultation on the Feed-in Tariffs scheme

21 Jun 2011 : Column 232W

are published alongside the Government response document on the DECC website:

www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/fit_review/fit_review.aspx

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many solar photovoltaic installations with a generating capacity between (a) 50 and 100 kilowatts, (b) 101 and 150 kilowatts and (c) 151 kilowatts and five megawatts were in receipt of feed-in tariffs in the latest period for which figures are available. [61246]

Gregory Barker: At the end of the first year of the Feed in Tariffs scheme (31 March 2011) the following solar photovoltaic schemes were confirmed:

(a) five schemes between 50 and 100 kilowatts;

(b) Zero schemes between 101 and 150 kilowatts;

(c) One scheme between 151 kilowatts and 5 megawatts.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effects of his decision to set new feed-in tariffs for small-scale low-carbon electricity on the UK's development of solar photovoltaics projects. [61252]

Gregory Barker: The recent Government response to the fast-track review of Feed-in Tariffs confirmed the Government's intention to introduce new tariffs for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations of between 50 kilowatts (kW) and five megawatts (MW) and all stand-alone installations. We consider that, under the new tariffs, some schemes will continue to be viable, particularly under the new tariff for 50kW to 150kW projects. This, together with activity at the domestic scale, will contribute to the development of a viable PV industry in Great Britain.

Education

Business Plans

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress has been made on actions (a) 5.1.i, (b) 5.1.ii, (c) 5.2.ii and (d) 5.2.iii of his Department's business plan which were due for completion in March 2011; and if he will make a statement. [58323]

Sarah Teather: An updated business plan for the Department for Education was published in May 2011. Progress updates on actions 5.1.i, 5.1.ii, 5.2.ii and 5.2.iii from the initial Department for Education business plan, published in November 2010, are set out in the following table:

Action Progress update

5.1(i) Develop a Sure Start children's centres reform programme

The reform programme has been developed, and will be articulated and published as part of the Foundation Years policy statement in summer 2011. Further work will continue over the next two years to implement the reform programme.

5.1 (ii) Work with local authorities to develop a plan to increase voluntary and community sector involvement within Sure Start children's centres, improve accountability arrangements, increase the use of evidence-based interventions, and introduce greater payment by results

This action is under way. This is now part of the Foundation Years policy statement and will be articulated and published as part of that statement in summer 2011.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 233W

21 Jun 2011 : Column 234W

5.2(ii) Develop proposals to improve the quality of the early years workforce

This action is under way. This is now part of the Foundation Years policy statement and will be articulated and published as part of that statement in summer 2011.

5.2 (iii) to Explore options for allowing parents greater flexibility to use their early education entitlement

This action is completed. We are working with seven local authorities to trial new approaches to giving parents greater flexibility in how they use their free entitlement to early education. It is anticipated these trials will inform future policy development.

Copies of the updated business plan and structural reform plan progress report for the Department for Education are available at the following link:

http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/transparency/srp/

Child: Poverty

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what resources his Department expects to allocate to the implementation of measures set out in “A New Approach to Child Poverty: Tackling the Causes of Disadvantage and Transforming Families' Lives” in each of the next three years. [57652]

Sarah Teather: The Government's first national child poverty strategy was set against the backdrop of a challenging spending review that placed a high priority on improving the life chances of children and protecting vulnerable families, while also making crucial progress in reducing the nation's deficit. To improve life chances, we will tackle head-on the causes of poverty which underpin low achievement, aspiration and opportunity across generations. To help achieve these goals, the Department has introduced a number of initiatives specifically targeted at the most vulnerable children and families in our society:

the Fairness Premium worth £7.2 billion over the spending review period;

the Pupil Premium worth £2.5 billion a year to 2014-15;

the Early Intervention Grant worth £2,222 million in 2011-12 and £2,307 million in 2012-13;

the 16-19 Bursary Fund which guarantees the most vulnerable 16-19-year-olds bursaries of £1,200 a year.

The Government's localism agenda enables local areas to agree their own tailored and place-based approaches to tackling child poverty. The Child Poverty Act 2010 established a framework for local partners to co-operate to tackle child poverty in their areas, and the sector-led support package should build capability further. In addition, local areas have access to a Child Poverty Core Offer of sector-led support to help them tackle child poverty. As part of this offer, we will be sharing the practice and learning from the Child Poverty pilots that have run in over 70 areas over the last three years.

The roll-out of Community Budgets, payment by results and social impact bonds, together with an increased focus on evidence-based early intervention, will further support local areas to establish innovative approaches to tackling child poverty.

Class Sizes

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the average class size is of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) East Sussex, (ii) Brighton and Hove, (iii) Brighton, Kemptown constituency and (iv) West Sussex in each of the last five years. [59183]

Mr Gibb: The requested information is shown in the table.

Data for 2011, at national and local authority level, will be published on 22 June and will be available at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001012/index.shtml

Maintained primary and state-funded secondary schools (1, 2) : Classes as taught (3) . As at January each year. In East Sussex and Brighton and Hove local authorities, Brighton Kemptown parliamentary constituency and West Sussex local authority
  Average class size
  East Sussex local authority Brighton and Hove local authority Brighton Kemptown parliamentary constituency West Sussex local authority

Maintained primary (1) State-funded secondary (1, 2) Maintained primary (1) State-funded secondary (1, 2) Maintained primary (1) State-funded secondary (1, 2) Maintained primary (1) State-funded secondary (1, 2)

2006

27.5

21.6

27.4

22.8

27.2

23.2

26.6

21.8

2007

27.3

22.1

27.9

22.7

27.2

22.9

26.6

21.5

2008

27.3

21.6

28.1

22.1

27.2

22.1

26.6

21.2

2009

27.2

21.6

27.9

21.7

26.5

21.9

26.9

21.3

2010

27.4

21.9

27.9

22.2

26.6

22.5

26.7

21.1

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. (2) Includes city technology colleges and academies. (3) One-teacher classes as taught during a single selected period in each school on the day of the census in January. Source: School Census

Health Education: Sex

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what recent assessment he has made of the materials used in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools for the teaching of sex education; what plans he has for the use of such material in the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement; [59040]

(2) what guidance his Department issues to schools on the materials used in sex education in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools; what recent representations he has received on this issue from (i) hon. Members

21 Jun 2011 : Column 235W

and (ii) the parents of (A) primary and (B) secondary school pupils; what response was given by his Department in each such case; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such response; and if he will make a statement. [59041]

Mr Gibb: I have received a number of representations on the materials used in primary schools for the teaching of sex education. I believe, however, that schools are best placed to use their professional judgment to determine their own approach to sex education—including the resources they use to support their teaching—so that they can take account of the views of parents, the needs of the local community and the ethos of the school. We have made no assessment of the materials used in primary and secondary schools for the teaching of sex education, and have no plans to do so.

All schools must have regard to the Secretary of State for Education's statutory guidance, “Sex and Relationships Education (2000)”, when teaching sex education. This is designed to protect pupils from teaching and materials which are inappropriate having regard to the age and religious and cultural background of the pupils concerned. Inappropriate images should not be used nor should explicit material not directly related to explanation.

We have received three recent PQs from one hon. Member on the issue of guidance issued to schools on materials used in sex education in primary schools. I refer my hon. Friend to the responses given on 14 March 2011, Official Report, column 50W and on 21 March 2011, Official Report, column 845W. In addition, we have received a number of letters from hon. Members, on behalf of their constituents, and from members of the public on this issue.

A copy of the response to each of these letters can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I have placed in the House Libraries a copy of a response to one of these letters; others would have received a similar reply. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 I have redacted all personal information from this response.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reasons his Department is not undertaking its review of personal, social, health and economic education as part of the review of the National Curriculum. [59416]

Mr Gibb: The remit for the National Curriculum Review is to consider those subjects that are currently part of the National Curriculum. Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is not part of the National Curriculum, and therefore will not be considered by the National Curriculum Review.

However, it is because children and young people can benefit enormously from high-quality PSHE that we announced our intention to conduct an internal review into PSHE. The review will determine how schools can improve the quality of all PSHE teaching, including giving teachers the flexibility to use their judgment about how best to deliver PSHE education.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure that stakeholders can contribute to his Department's review of personal, social, health and economic education. [59518]

21 Jun 2011 : Column 236W

Mr Gibb: I can confirm that when we launch the review of personal, social, health and economic education, we will consult with a range of stakeholders including teachers, parents, faith groups, subject associations and campaign groups.

Pre-school Education

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on what dates his Department has held (a) meetings and (b) discussions with external organisations or individuals on the formulation of his Department's policy statement on early years education; and what the name is of each organisation and individual consulted. [58324]

Sarah Teather: The Department for Education and Department of Health are committed to developing the policy statements on the early years in a wholly collaborative manner. We have engaged a wide range of individuals and organisations in meetings and discussions at ministerial and official level over the past six months. In particular, we are working very closely with a steering group of sector leaders who are advising us on the statements, and a number of other groups focused on specific policy issues. Details of the steering group, including biographies, are available on the Department for Education's website at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/earlylearningandchildcare/developing/b0075088/co-production-steering-group/

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to publish his Department's early years policy statement. [58374]

Sarah Teather: The Department for Education and Department of Health plan to publish the early years policy statement this summer.

Schools: Attendance

Emma Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many parental requests for authorised absence during term time were (a) approved and (b) declined in (i) Walsall education authority, (ii) Bradford education authority, (iii) Stoke-on-Trent education authority, (iv) Wolverhampton education authority and (v) England in each of the last five years. [59000]

Mr Gibb: The Department for Education does not collect data on the number of parental requests for authorised absence during term time. The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 state that head teachers may grant leave of absence during term time. The Department looks to schools themselves to consider each request as they can only be judged on a case-by-case basis taking into account individual circumstances. We would not want to interfere with that process.

The available absence statistics can be found in the “Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2009/10” Statistical First Release at

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000994/index.shtml

21 Jun 2011 : Column 237W

The authorised absence rates for Walsall, Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton local authorities and England for 2009/10 are shown in the table.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 238W

Maintained primary, state-funded secondary and special schools (1, 2, 3) : Pupil absence by type of school 2009/10. In Walsall, Bradford, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton local authorities and England
  Percentage of sessions missed due to authorised absence (4) :

Maintained primary schools (1) State-funded secondary schools (1, 2) Special schools (3) Total

Walsall

5.16

5.74

8.67

5.47

Bradford

4.66

4.82

8.82

4.73

Stoke-on-Trent

4.27

4.65

6.69

4.47

Wolverhampton

5.18

5.61

9.35

5.45

         

England

4.54

5.43

8.30

5.00

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. (2) Includes maintained secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies). (3) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools. (4) The number of sessions missed due to authorised absence expressed as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions. Source: School Census

Schools: Disclosure of Information

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's guidance to schools on giving access to information on a child's progress to both parents where those parents are separated. [60038]

Sarah Teather: The current guidance, “Schools, Parents and Parental Responsibility”, published in 2000, gives advice on the rights, under education law, of non-resident parents to be involved in their child's education. We know however that concerns have been expressed about this guidance. The coalition Government are reviewing schools guidance as part of their commitment to reducing bureaucracy. In reviewing this set of guidance we will seek to improve the clarity. New guidance will help all schools understand their legal obligations to provide information to parents about their child's progress, including that separated parents should be treated equally wherever possible.

Schools: Reading West

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils at each school in Reading West constituency gained three or more A-levels at grades of A to A* in each of the last five years. [58992]

Mr Gibb: The information is as follows:

    Number and percentage of pupils achieving 3 or more A levels at grades A*-A in selected years
Secondary schools in Reading West constituency
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School

Number

(1)

0

(1)

0

0

 

Percentage

(1)

0

(1)

0

0

             

Denefield School

Number

0

0

3

3

0

 

Percentage

0

0

4

5

0

             

John Madejski Academy(2)

Number

n/a

n/a

(3)

(3)

(3)

 

Percentage

n/a

n/a

(3)

(3)

(3)

             

Little Heath School

Number

9

6

17

10

24

 

Percentage

7

4

11

6

14

             

Pangbourne College

Number

6

3

5

8

8

 

Percentage

10

5

10

14

12

             

Prospect School

Number

0

(1)

0

0

(1)

 

Percentage

0

(1)

0

0

(1)

             

Theale Green Community School

Number

7

4

7

9

16

21 Jun 2011 : Column 239W

21 Jun 2011 : Column 240W

 

Percentage

7

12

7

8

14

(1) Figures have not been shown due to very small numbers. (2) Figures for John Madejski Academy are only available from 2008. (3 )Figure has been suppressed due to 10 or fewer students in the institution cohort.

Special Educational Needs

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what arrangements he plans to put in place to protect vulnerable children following the implementation of his planned reform of special educational need statements. [59064]

Sarah Teather: The vision set out in the Green Paper on Special Educational Needs and Disability is to create a system which improves the life chances of the most vulnerable children in society.

The proposed reform of statements of special educational needs will be tested in pathfinder areas. The protections of the current system will remain in place during the testing phase.

Teachers: Training

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the quality of teachers of the withdrawal of funding for Master's-level continuous professional development for teachers. [60211]

Mr Gibb: The single most important determinant of a good education is for every child to be taught by good teachers. We recognise that teachers are our greatest asset and that their professional development is very important.

This Government's approach to teachers' professional development is based on research that shows that teachers learn best from other professionals through observing teaching, being observed, and receiving feedback from peers.

We are creating a national network of teaching schools on the model of teaching hospitals and launching a new scholarship scheme for teachers.

The Government's approach to teachers' professional development is outlined in the White Paper entitled ‘The Importance of Teaching’ published on 24 November 2010.

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many newly qualified teacher placements were advertised by each local education authority in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010 and (d) 2011 to date. [61386]

Mr Gibb: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Regulation

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Farming Regulation. [61230]

Mr Paice: The independent Task Force on Farm Regulation published its report on 17 May. The report makes over 200 recommendations following an extensive review of regulations that affect farmers and producers. We have identified a number of areas from the report where we can take immediate action. The Government will now look closely at the task force's other recommendations and publish an initial response this autumn with a full response early in 2012.

Animal Welfare: Circuses

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) legal and (b) policy advice she received from officials in her Department on the Austrian ban on wild animals in circuses. [57264]

Mr Paice: The Government's legal advice is protected by legal professional privilege and the Government's position is that they do not ordinarily waive the legal privilege attaching to any legal advice received and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs does not propose to do so on this occasion. The formulation of Government policy is not normally disclosed and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

However, legal and policy advice on the Austrian ban on the use of wild animals in circuses has mainly centred on the details of the Ombudsman's and European Commission's investigations following a complaint by the European Circus Association.

Carbon Emissions: Plastic Bags

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the likely effects on levels of carbon emissions of implementation of a duty on businesses to charge for plastic carrier bags. [60022]

Richard Benyon: Figures for the likely reduction in carbon emissions are not currently available. Such calculations would be made as part of an impact assessment for any future policy for the reduction of single use carrier bags.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 241W

Departmental Procurement

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department has made in encouraging small businesses to bid for Government contracts. [60182]

Richard Benyon: The Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental bodies use the Government website Contracts Finder to publish all opportunities greater that £10,000. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to register on this site and are automatically advised of these opportunities.

Many DEFRA agencies and bodies tender contracts using the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) ‘Buying Solutions’ framework contracts. OGC policy encourages small businesses to compete for work under these frameworks.

Droughts

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers she has to direct the manner in which water companies communicate hosepipe bans nationally. [58282]

Richard Benyon: The Water Industry Act sets out the process by which a water company must notify its customers of a temporary use ban. The company must publish information in at least two newspapers which circulate in the area within which the ban is to apply, and it must provide details on its website.

Water companies have statutory drought plans which set out the steps they will take in response to a drought, including the triggers that will lead them to take those actions. The process for preparing the plans includes consultation with customers and other stakeholders.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has powers to specify any matters the drought plan should address. However, it is the responsibility of each water company to develop a plan that will enable it to fulfil its water supply duty in a way that takes account of the particular circumstances of its supply area.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the steps taken by countries with climates similar to the UK to manage the introduction of water restrictions in times of drought. [58339]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA has not commissioned any comparative work on drought measures in different countries in recent years. However, the Department has contributed, through an EU working group, to the development of a report on water scarcity and droughts which was adopted on 18 July. 2008. The reports associated with this provide a comparison between drought measures and actions in different parts of Europe, and this work is continuing.

Following the drought in 2004-06, DEFRA commissioned Waterwise to produce a report on the effectiveness of hosepipe bans and other water use restrictions in managing the impacts of drought. As part of that work Waterwise considered the steps taken

21 Jun 2011 : Column 242W

in other countries to introduce water restrictions. The report was published in November 2006 and its finding taken into account when DEFRA consulted in 2007 on proposals to update the legislative framework for managing drought.

In addition, in the last five years DEFRA and the Environment Agency have jointly funded research comparing drought situations across mainland Europe, as well as the effectiveness of drought measures in the UK in extreme droughts.

Droughts: Horticulture

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department made of the effect on garden centres and the gardening industry of (a) hosepipe bans and (b) prolonged periods without rainfall in 2006. [58187]

Richard Benyon: No separate assessment was made of the impact on garden centres and the gardening industry of the dry spell in 2006.

When water is in short supply, the statutory framework for managing droughts is designed to protect the public water supply for essential domestic uses. Water resources legislation enables Government to manage water abstraction demands, taking account of water availability, and the needs of businesses, consumers and the environment. Temporary restrictions on non-essential uses of water can help defer or avoid the need for more stringent demand restrictions on customers and businesses, and help to protect the environment.

Environment Agency: Pay

Martin Vickers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff of the Environment Agency receive London weighting allowance. [60444]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 20 June 2011]: The May 2011 Environment Agency payroll shows that 385 full-time and 16 part-time members of staff received the London weighting allowance.

Fisheries

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will take steps to reserve for active fishermen the allocation of UK fixed quota; [60232]

(2) what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing tradable permit schemes for fisheries management; [60233]

(3) what her policy is on establishing a register of fishermen that hold fixed quota allocation. [60235]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA is currently consulting on proposals to reform the fisheries management arrangements in England, with the aim of securing a more profitable and sustainable industry. Options being explored include the allocation of tradable fixed quota allocations (FQAs) to fishermen in the English under-10m fleet, and the development of a public register of FQA holdings to help build greater transparency into the system. Views

21 Jun 2011 : Column 243W

have also been received on the issue of the holding of quota by non-active or non-fishing interests.

No decisions have yet been taken on the final reform package. The consultation closes on 30 June, after which all responses will be reviewed in order to determine the next steps for this work.

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with fish producer organisations in Northern Ireland in advance of the forthcoming negotiations for total allowable catches for each fish species; and if she will make a statement. [60826]

Richard Benyon: A scientific briefing session for stakeholders has been arranged for 1 July, where the producer organisations and officials of Northern Ireland will be present. The issue of all fish stocks of interest to the UK will be addressed at this meeting.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions her Department has had with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation on the environmental effects of the cultivation of protein through aquaculture. [60933]

Richard Benyon: The UK participates at Food and Agriculture Organisation meetings on fisheries and aquaculture issues, most recently the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) held in February 2011. The UK recognises the growing global importance of aquaculture for food and nutrition security and supports international initiatives that ensure growth in the aquaculture sector is environmentally sustainable.

Floods: Hertfordshire

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment the Environment Agency has made of the risk of flooding in North East Hertfordshire constituency arising from increased surface water. [60510]

Richard Benyon: Following the Pitt Review, the Environment Agency produced national surface water flooding maps in 2008. These were provided to local resilience forums and gave an initial indication of areas that may be susceptible to surface water flooding.

In March 2010 the Environment Agency published the second generation of these, entitled ‘Flood Map for Surface Water'. These included a number of improvements, such as the influence of buildings and the sewer system.

For a rainfall event with a one-in-30 chance of occurring in any one year there are approximately 2,000 residential properties at risk from surface water flooding within the North East Hertfordshire constituency, and a total of 3,200 buildings.

For a rainfall event with a one-in-200 chance of occurring in any one year there are approximately 4,000 residential properties at risk, and a total of 6,100 buildings (about 10% of the buildings in the constituency).

The Flood Risk Regulations (2009) require lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) to prepare a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA) report of local flood

21 Jun 2011 : Column 244W

risks for their area. The PFRA has to make use of all available information and will include the maps mentioned above. The local authorities will be using the maps and any other local information for the PFRA to make their best assessment of flood risk from surface water and may revise the figures indicated above.

The Floods and Water Management Act requires LLFAs to prepare local flood risk management strategies. Hertfordshire county council is the LLFA in this constituency and will be preparing the strategy in due course.

Food Supply

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to increase the amount of home-grown food consumed in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [59451]

Mr Paice [holding answer 13 June 2011]: As set out in the DEFRA Business Plan, our priority is to support and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production. We will work to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the food chain, including farms and the fish industry, to help ensure a secure and environmentally sustainable supply of food. Currently the UK produces the equivalent of 74% of indigenous foods and 60% of our food overall.

The fruit and vegetable taskforce on increasing consumption and production brought together the whole supply chain to identify and unblock barriers; they reported in summer 2010 and agreed an action plan in October 2010. The action plan was divided into production, supply chain and consumption. Most recommendations, which are fairly technical, have made significant progress and we are looking to produce an-updated progress report later in the year.

We will also work to create an environment where consumers are able to make informed choice, including working with industry for better information provenance and quality of food, e.g. encouraging the whole food supply chain to work together to provide clearer origin information and working with specialist producers to help them apply for registration under the protected food name schemes.

Forestry Commission: Redundancy

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the likely redundancy costs in the Forestry Commission in each of the next four financial years. [58206]

Mr Paice: The Government's clear commitment to tackle the deficit resulted in a tough spending review for all Departments. Although the Forestry Commission (FC) is a non-ministerial Government Department, it receives its budget from DEFRA's Resource Budget. The net costs for voluntary exit and redundancy schemes will be met by DEFRA where there is sound business rationale and value for money. DEFRA has to achieve a reduction of 30% in real terms over the spending review period.

The FC worked closely with Ministers so they could take decisions on an appropriate spending review settlement to ensure the delivery of key outcomes such as biosecurity.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 245W

The FC's settlement, which equates to a reduction of around 25% over the next four years, also took account of FC England's ability to generate income from operating the public forest estate e.g. through timber sales. The restructuring of FC England, FC Great Britain and Forest Research has been based on offering a combination of voluntary exit and voluntary redundancy schemes. The latest estimate of likely costs for these exits in each of the next four years is as follows:

Best estimated cost (1)

£ million

2011-12

2.9

2012-13

8.4

2013-14

0.6

2014-15

0.5

(1) Subject to change dependent on take-up.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Crops

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the European Commission's legislative proposal on member state decision-making on the cultivation of genetically-modified crops. [58199]

Mr Paice: The Government do not support the Commission's proposal. We do not believe that it will provide member states with meaningful discretion to take legally sound national decisions. We are also concerned the proposal would undermine the principle of the single market and move away from regulatory decisions being grounded on a science-based safety assessment.

IBM

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many contracts her Department holds with IBM; and what the (a) purpose and (b) monetary value of each such contract is. [58690]

Richard Benyon: The core Department and some of its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are provided with IT and network services under a single outsourced infrastructure managed service contract with IBM UK Ltd that expires in February 2018.

The annual monetary value of the contract will vary from year to year as it is based on services taken, including projects and consumables.

In the fiscal year 2010-11 the amount paid under this contract to IBM by all areas of the Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies who took services, projects or consumables was £131.324 million. Please note this figure includes some elements of VAT.

Land: Ownership

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has any plans to bring forward legislative proposals on land-owning land maintenance companies. [59763]

Mr Djanogly: I have been asked to reply.

The Government have no plans to change the law of England and Wales in relation to the rights of the

21 Jun 2011 : Column 246W

owners of individual properties, whether freehold or leasehold, against land-owning land maintenance companies, but are keeping the situation under review. The law on these matters in Scotland and Northern Ireland and on housing law in Wales is the responsibility of the relevant devolved Administration.

Plastic Bags

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the European Commission's proposal for an EU-wide ban on plastic carrier bags. [60238]

Richard Benyon: We support the Commission's consultation looking at the possible options for the reduction in the use of plastic carrier bags, including charging and a ban. We are currently assessing all the options and will submit our response to the consultation in due course.

Rivers

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress British Waterways and the Environment Agency have made in removing barriers to fish movement in the River Trent. [60110]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency has identified 15 barriers to fish migration on the River Trent. All can be passed at some flows by salmon with varying degrees of difficulty. Progress in tackling these barriers is at varying stages. In some cases, the design of fish passes has been completed and negotiations have started on implementation. In other cases, further work is needed to determine what fish passage measures are needed.

Some of these barriers are at weirs which are the subject of proposals for hydropower development. For its part, British Waterways is working with a number of hydro-electricity station developers to construct hydro plants at most of the River Trent weirs below Shardlow. All of these plants incorporate a fish and eel pass.

The Environment Agency will also be reviewing all structures along the Trent and its tributaries over the next few years to ensure compliances with the Eel Regulations. This will require eel and elver passage to be enabled at weirs, locks, and all other obstructions.

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to revise river management plans; and what assessment she has made of the compliance of those plans with the EU Water Framework Directive. [60751]

Richard Benyon: The first river basin management plans were published in December 2009 as required by the water framework directive. These are due to be updated by 22 December 2015, in accordance with the directive. The European Commission is currently in the process of undertaking a compliance assessment of the plans, but we believe they meet the requirements of the directive.

Rural Areas: Finance

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her

21 Jun 2011 : Column 247W

Department has provided guidance to

(a)

HM Treasury and

(b)

other Government Departments to assist them in assessing the effects of spending decisions in rural areas. [60581]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 17 June 2011]: DEFRA provided a short guidance note to all Departments in August 2010 to assist them in understanding the differences between urban and rural areas and the importance of rural proofing all policies and spending decisions.

We continue to work closely with all Departments, including HM Treasury, to ensure that they reflect rural needs and interests in their policies, programmes and spending decisions.

Departmental Contracts: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of contracts issued by (a) her Department and (b) agencies for which she is responsible were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in (i) Scotland, (ii) South Lanarkshire and (iii) Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [60205]

Richard Benyon: The Department and its executive agencies, with the exception of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Food, Environment and Research Agency (FERA), are unable at present to identify accurately in their systems all small and medium-sized enterprises and their locations. To provide an answer would require a significant amount of manual effort and would incur disproportionate costs.

The Department and its Executive agencies are working on introducing changes to systems and processes to capture and record improved data on all small and medium-sized enterprises consistent with the needs of the Government policies on transparency and commitments to SMEs.

The proportion of CEFAS contracts placed with SMEs is:

(i) Scotland: 2%

(ii) South Lanarkshire: 0%

(iii) Rutherglen and Hamilton West: 0.09%.

FERA has reviewed expenditure in Scotland and has identified one supplier only in South Lanarkshire that is a SME. It has no suppliers in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency.

Seas and Oceans

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to receive the most recent scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea on total allowable catch; and if she will make a statement. [60140]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA will receive the most recent scientific advice by 29 June. A scientific briefing session for stakeholders has been arranged for 1 July, where the fishing industry will be present. The issue of all fish stocks of interest to England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be addressed at this meeting.

21 Jun 2011 : Column 248W

Seas and Oceans: Ireland

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to improve the water quality of the Irish sea off the coast of England. [60259]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency works in partnership with the Marine Management Organisation to achieve cleaner coasts and healthier seas, including on the Irish Sea Conservation Zone Project.

The quality of waters off the coast of England used for bathing and by shellfish has improved over the last 30 years as a result of significant investment. The National Environment Programme, which forms part of United Utilities' Asset Management Plan for 2010-15, includes schemes designed to improve the quality of shellfish and bathing waters.

The environmental improvements included in the North West and Solway Tweed River Basin Management Plans will help deliver improvements to the water quality of the Irish sea, as required by the water framework directive. The Environment Agency has also completed a review of all environmental permits that could impact on the European designated estuarine and coastal sites adjacent to the Irish sea under the habitats directive. Required improvements will be implemented through changes to environmental permits through the river basin planning cycle of the water framework directive.

Under DEFRA's Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative there are four priority catchments to mitigate diffuse pollution from agriculture and help improve water quality in the areas. Phase 3 of the initiative (which runs from 2011-13) is likely to expand into four further catchments to improve estuarine and coastal waters.

We have implemented the Nitrates Directive (Council Directive EEC/676/1991) by introducing the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008. This legislation is intended to reduce the loss of nitrates from agricultural land (the major source of nitrate in our surface and ground waters) in areas where watercourses are polluted with these.

The Environment Agency also works with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to ensure that nuclear sites such as Sellafield will meet the UK Strategy for Radioactive Discharges. The Environment Agency continues to inspect and audit Sellafield Ltd's arrangements to ensure that best available techniques are used to prevent or minimise discharges to the Irish sea.

31 beaches on this section of the English coast are designated as bathing waters under the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) and there are 14 shellfish waters designated under the Shellfish Waters Directive (2006/113/EC). These directives set water quality standards and are therefore drivers for improvement to coastal water quality.

Single Payment Schemes

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress her Department has made in delivering Single Payment Scheme payments. [60261]

21 Jun 2011 : Column 249W

Mr Paice: The Rural Payments Agency met the EU benchmark to pay 95.238% of the 2010 Single Payment Scheme (SPS) fund value by end of June 2011 during week commencing 16 May 2011. This was reached two weeks ahead of expectations and six weeks ahead of the closure of the payment window at the end of June.

Waste Oil

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information her Department holds on (a) the effects of waste oil on watercourses and (b) theft of waste oil. [60643]

Richard Benyon: Oil and fuels are the second most frequent type of pollutant of inland waters in England and Wales that are reported to the Environment Agency. Oil is a highly visible pollutant that can reduce levels of dissolved oxygen in rivers and affect water abstracted for drinking water, making it unsuitable for use; it can also harm wildlife.

Oil pollution incidents reported to the Environment Agency have halved compared with 10 years ago, since the introduction of the oil storage regulations in England, which put in place robust storage and containment requirements. There are now around 3,000 reported pollution incidents involving oil and fuels every year.

It is not possible to identify offences of theft of waste oil from the police recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office. Anyone transporting, handling or treating waste oil will-need to comply with waste management legislation.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the level of incentives for energy from waste cooking oil. [60653]

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has not had direct discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), or the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne), on the level of incentives for energy from waste cooking oil. DEFRA officials continue to engage with officials in the Department of Energy and Climate Change on their incentives schemes for renewable energy, including the renewables obligation which is currently undergoing a banding review.

Water

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the Natural Environment White Paper, what her timetable is for implementation of measures to deliver investment to meet future water demand and protect ecosystems. [60509]

Richard Benyon: We are currently considering how we can reform the abstraction regime to provide clearer signals to abstractors to make the necessary investments

21 Jun 2011 : Column 250W

to meet water needs and protect ecosystems. Further details will be announced in the Water White Paper, due for publication by December.

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Tobacco

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he holds on addiction rates for (a) alcohol, (b) tobacco and (c) controlled substances in each primary care trust area. [60352]

Anne Milton: The information is not available in the format requested. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 24 March 2011, Official Report, columns 1280-82W, which gives regional, estimates of addiction rates.