Foreign national prisoners discharged from determinate sentences by sentence length, England and Wales

Less than or equal to six months Six months to less than 12 months 12 months to less than four years Four years or more All

2001

2,593

359

1,164

601

4,717

2002

2,802

429

1,355

662

5,248

2003

3,141

483

1,775

843

6,242

2004

3,777

518

1,642

1,145

7,082

2005

3,919

734

1,871

860

7,384

2006

4,489

865

1,644

652

7,650

2007

4,659

1,055

1,613

750

8,077

2008

5,693

1,187

1,761

876

9,517

2010

5,676

1,097

2,282

781

9,836

Prisoners: Mass Media

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many times (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have authorised prisoners serving a sentence for each type of offence to contact the media in each of the last five years; [61753]

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that prisoners contacting the media without authorisation are given sanctions; [61754]

Mr Blunt: Prisoners are required to seek permission for contact with the media only if doing so by telephone or face to face interview and in consultation with Ministry of Justice Press Office. They do not require permission to contact the media by written correspondence. Prior to a change in policy in July 2010, all decisions on applications for contact by telephone or face to face interview were made locally by governors and no central records were collated. This information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since July 2010 only applications for face to face interviews have had to be referred to the Ministry of Justice Press Office for approval on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice. There have been no decisions to allow an interview in this time.

Prisoners who breach the rules relating to contact with the media will be dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures and face additional monitoring of their communications.

Prisons: Discipline

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to enable records of disciplinary action taken against prisoners for breaching prison rules and other behavioural matters while in custody to be (a) published in the public domain and (b) made available to victims of their crimes. [61752]

Mr Blunt: The overall figures for prison disciplinary proceedings are published annually in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics. There are over 100,000 proven prison disciplinary offences each year. In addition, prisoner behaviour may be dealt with under the incentives and earned privileges scheme and local systems of minor reports.

Details of disciplinary action and behavioural matters are held in individual prisoner records. This information is not collated centrally as there is no operational need for this, and to do so for the purposes of publication would incur substantial additional cost.

Victims who opt into the statutory Victim Contact Scheme operated by Probation Trusts for victims of certain serious violent and sexual offences, where the offender receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, or where certain mental health disposals have been given, do receive information about key stages in the offender's sentence. Such key stages include when offenders are moved to open prison conditions, and when they are released. Personal information about the prisoner, such as their custodial behaviour, is not disclosed. There are no plans to make changes to the type of information provided to victims under the scheme.

Prisons: Education

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the name is of each course of study available to prisoners; and how many prisoners have (a) undertaken and (b) completed each such course in each of the last five years. [62547]

Mr Blunt: This information is not centrally collected and could be gained only at disproportionate cost.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much the education programme in prisons cost in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [62613]

Mr Blunt: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 20 June 2011, Official Report, column 105W, to the right hon. Member for Tooting (Sadiq Khan).

Prisons: Employment

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information he plans to publish on (a) value and (b) price in respect of the contracting of unpaid work. [62774]

Mr Blunt: We would intend to publish the name of the winning bidder and total contract price.

Prisons: Gyms

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what contracts his Department has to provide gymnasium facilities in prisons. [62549]

28 Jun 2011 : Column 713W

Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice does not hold any current contracts relating to the provision of any outsourced gymnasium facilities in HM Prisons.

However the Ministry of Justice holds two national contracts for the supply of gymnasium equipment and associated sports equipment to HM Prisons in England and Wales. The details of the contracts are as follows:

Supply of physical education gymnasium equipment and provision for supporting servicing and maintenance

Contract ref: ST02 10/139/9

Expires 30 September 2011

Suppliers: Servicesport and PSLT t/a Physique Sports Ltd

Supply of sports equipment and sportswear

Contract ref: 0278-Operational Goods

Expires 30 April 2015

Supplier: Newitt and Co Ltd

The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defence are currently tendering this requirement collaboratively for the next generation of contracts for gymnasium equipment. The resultant contracts will be available in autumn 2011.

Prisons: Video Games

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many video games consoles were purchased by prisons in each of the last five years; and at what cost. [62550]

Mr Blunt: Prison Service Instruction (PSI) 32/2008, Restricting Prisoner Access to Games Consoles/Games, issued on 23 July 2008, instructed Governors in the adult estate to ensure that all games consoles and console games are purchased at prisoners' own expense. No public funds must be used by establishments to purchase games consoles and equipment. Access to games consoles is restricted to prisoners who are on the enhanced level of the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme.

Information on games consoles purchased before that date is not available and could be obtained only as disproportionate cost. There is not a central cost category for games consoles and this would require manual examination of the records in every prison.

PSI 32/2008 is available in the Library of the House.

Probation: Harassment

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what training probation officers receive on supervising persons convicted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. [61771]

Mr Blunt: All staff qualifying as probation officers under the Probation Qualifications Framework (2010) or previous training arrangements, have received training to honours degree level and vocational qualification level 5, which specifically includes supervising persons convicted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The training provides a full working understanding of the Equality Act (2010) in which harassment is specifically included, in addition to the practical skills to work effectively with offenders who present a high risk of harm to others. This includes stalking, racially motivated offenders and those convicted of domestic violence. All

28 Jun 2011 : Column 714W

qualified probation officers must have demonstrated skills in assessing the risk of harm presented by such offenders and have supervised a number of high risk offenders.

Sentencing

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to taking into account an act of deliberate deception by a suspect during a police interview in his proposals for reduced sentencing in recognition of early guilty pleas by defendants. [61918]

Mr Blunt: We have no plans to alter the arrangements for reducing sentences in recognition of early guilty pleas.

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to the implications for his Department's policy of the judgement of the Court of Appeal in R. v. Round and R. v. Dunn in respect of anomalies in sentencing legislation; and if he will make a statement. [62050]

Mr Blunt: The anomalies highlighted in these cases affected prisoners serving a combination of sentences subject to the release provisions of different Acts; that is, where the Criminal Justice Act 1991 applied to one or more of the sentences while the Criminal Justice Act 2003 governed release from the other sentence(s). The problem with such mixtures of sentences had been that there is no clear provision to combine them together into a single sentence as happens when the sentences all fall under a single Act. This produced an anomaly in eligibility for Home Detention Curfew (HDC), with those serving multiple sentences under just one Act having eligibility dates based on the total combined length of all the sentences whereas those serving 'mixed Act' sentences were eligible only on the last of the sentences handed down by the court.

This issue was addressed by the Court of Appeal in the case of Round and Dunn but was subsequently taken forward and resolved by the Supreme Court in the case of Noone. In its judgment of 30 June 2010, the Supreme Court concluded (contrary to the previous Court of Appeal judgments) that mixed Act sentences were not being correctly applied. The court therefore interpreted the 2003 Act Commencement Order in such a way as to make clear that consecutive mixed Act sentences of under 12 months and 12 months or over should be aggregated as if they were all subject to the 2003 Act release arrangements.

As a result of this judgment, the relevant dates for all prisoners serving mixed Act sentences were required to be recalculated to ensure they were brought in line with the Supreme Court's ruling. The Ministry of Justice therefore issued a Prison Service Instruction (PSI)—number 55/2010—on 13 August 2010 to inform prisons of the action they were required to take. This resulted in the anomalies highlighted by these cases being removed.

Further steps to address this issue and to put the statutory position beyond doubt are being taken through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, introduced on 21 June 2011. We intend to simplify the existing release and recall provisions and to ensure that all future sentences are subject to the same regime.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 715W

Sentencing: Legal Aid

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the statement of 21 June 2011, Official Report, columns 465-67 and the written ministerial statement of 21 June 2011, Official Report, columns 9-12WS, on sentencing reform: legal aid, what information on the policy proposals contained in the Statement was given to media representatives in advance of (a) the oral statement and (b) the delivery to the House of the text of the written ministerial statement; how many (i) media outlets and (ii) journalists were contacted by his Department for the purposes of providing information on such proposals; and on what days such contacts were made. [62701]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: I have been assured and I am satisfied that no information was given by my Department which was not already in the public domain with the exception of the Government's proposals on legal aid for squatters resisting eviction. This was discussed with a journalist from The Daily Telegraph as part of a wider conversation about issues which were already outlined in the Green Papers.

Squatting

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposals to reform the law on squatters on vulnerable people who squat. [62502]

Mr Blunt: We are aware of arguments that tougher laws to tackle squatting could have an effect on vulnerable people, but there are options open to those who need shelter which do not involve occupying somebody else's property without permission. Our proposed consultation exercise on tackling squatting will encourage views from charities and other organisations which have regular contact with the homeless and other vulnerable people. We will consider all the responses carefully before reaching a final decision on the shape of any future legislation.

Young Offender Institutions

Karl Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what changes are to be made to the (a) physical fabric and (b) staffing of HM Young Offender Institution Stoke Heath as a result of the decision to re-role it as a adult category C prison. [61993]

Mr Blunt: Stoke Heath was constructed as a male category C adult prison and is maintained to category C standard. Therefore, there are no plans to carry out any physical changes to the fabric of the buildings. The only planned change on the site is to introduce additional fencing.

A review of staffing will take place to establish appropriate levels to take account of the change to the offender profile.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Animal Experiments

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress he has made in implementing the recommendation of the Weatherall report on the use of non-human primates in

28 Jun 2011 : Column 716W

research that

(a)

consideration should be given to the creation of UK centres of excellence for non-human primate research and

(b)

a systematic review of the outcome of research using non-human primates over the last decade should be conducted by the major funders of such research. [59946]

Mr Willetts: In its report on the use of non-human primates in research, the expert group chaired by Professor Sir David Weatherall made 16 recommendations.

The fourth recommendation was:

“As part of their ongoing programmes to assess the outcomes of their research, the major funding organisations should undertake a systematic review of the outcome of all their research using non-human primates supported over the last decade”.

I am informed that the results of a review jointly commissioned and funded by the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council, Wellcome Trust and the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research are due to be published in late July.

These results should provide the evidence base for work on Professor Weatherall's fourteenth recommendation, namely that:

“The major funding bodies, together with the government, other stakeholders, scientists, primatologists, vets, and welfare specialists, should give careful consideration to the creation of UK centres of excellence for non-human primate research”.

Apprentices: Kent

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships were started in (a) Dartford constituency and (b) Kent in each year since 2005. [61943]

Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts for Dartford parliamentary constituency and Kent local authority in academic years 2005/06 to 2009/10, the latest years for which full year data are available.

Table 1: Apprenticeship programme starts by geography, 2005/06 to 2009/10

2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10

Kent local authority

3,060

3,700

4,440

4,310

5,020

Dartford constituency

240

280

330

330

330

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Geography information is based upon the home postcode of the learner. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 23 June 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Banks: Loans

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions he has met the Federation of Small Businesses to discuss the cost of bank finance. [62208]

Mr Prisk: As with all key stakeholders and partners, I meet with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) frequently both bilaterally and through forums such as

28 Jun 2011 : Column 717W

the Small Business Economic Forum which I chair and which meets quarterly, bringing together Ministers and small and medium-sized enterprise representative bodies together with other ad hoc participants such as the banks. My discussions with the FSB encompass a broad range of subjects, including the cost of bank finance.

Business: Regulation

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed by his Department and its predecessor cited regulation as an obstacle to growth in (a) each year since 2005 and (b) 2011 to date. [61887]

Mr Prisk: BIS surveys do not collect information on the proportion of small and medium-sized businesses (SME) citing regulations as an obstacle to growth. However, the BIS Small Business Survey provides information on the percentage of SME employers (with one-249 employees) that cite i) regulation as the biggest single obstacle to business success and ii) cite regulation as a general obstacle to business success. The survey was conducted in 2005, 2006/07, 2007/08 and 2010 only and therefore data for these years are shown in table 1 of this answer.

Data for 2011 are available from the February 2011 BIS Business Barometer Survey and is shown in table 2 of this answer.

Table 1
Year of survey Percentage of SME employers citing regulations as the biggest single obstacle to business success Percentage of SME employers citing regulations as general obstacle to business success

2005

12

39

2006/07

14

60

2007/08

12

59

2010

7

47

Source: BIS Small Business Surveys
Table 2
Month/Year of survey February 2011 : Percentage

Percentage of SME employers citing regulations as the biggest single obstacle to business success

8

Percentage of SME employers citing regulations as general obstacle to business success

47

Source: BIS Business Barometers

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed by his Department and its predecessor indicated that they believed their concerns were taken into account by the Government in (a) each year since 2005 and (b) 2011 to date. [61889]

Mr Prisk: The BIS Small Business Survey asked SME employers whether they felt that the Government takes into account the concerns of small businesses. The following table shows that in 2007/08 (the latest survey which asked this question), 10% of SME employers agreed that Government took into account their concerns “very much” or “quite a lot”.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 718W

Extent to which businesses felt Government takes into account the concerns of small businesses
Percentage

2005 2006/07 2007/08

Not at all

37

34

35

A little

48

50

50

Quite a lot

8

9

9

Very much

1

1

1

Don't know

5

5

5

Source: BIS Small Business Surveys 2005 - 2007/08, SME employers only

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what indicators he plans to (a) monitor and (b) report on in determining the effectiveness of his policies on (i) encouraging small business growth, (ii) improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and (iii) developing better regulation. [62219]

Mr Prisk: The Department has published a set of performance indicators in its business plan. This is available on the transparency section of the Number10.gov.uk website.

The indicators will be reported in the departmental annual report and through a quarterly data summary. Both of these will be published shortly.

Business Link

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the level of market penetration achieved by Business Link in each financial year since 2003-04. [61107]

Mr Prisk: The regional development agencies who manage the Business Link regional service in England have reported the following levels of business assisted (i.e. businesses receiving at least two hours of tangible support), for each of the financial years since responsibility for delivering the service was devolved to them. This information has enabled BIS to assess the market penetration quoted as follows:

Financial year Number of businesses assisted Number of businesses in England Estimated market penetration (1 ) ( % )

2004/05

491,349

n/a

n/a

2005/06

554,513

n/a

n/a

2006/07

610,334

n/a

n/a

2007/08

590,079

n/a

n/a

2008/09

733,722

n/a

n/a

2009/10

756,908

3,839,835

19.7

2010/11

584,197

3,883,875

15.0

(1) Market penetration is calculated by dividing the number of businesses assisted by the number of businesses in England at the start of each year.

In addition, the national Business Link website provider has since 2006 has produced estimates of market penetration achieved through the web based on regular telephone surveys of 6,000 businesses by an independent market research agency. These are as follows:

Financial year Estimated market penetration (1) ( % )

2005/06

6

2006/07

11

28 Jun 2011 : Column 719W

2007/08

11

2008/09

12.5

2009/10

14

2010/11

20

(1) Market penetration, was defined by the national Business Link website provider as ‘owner-managers’ of existing businesses between 2005 and 2010, and in 2011 this definition was extended to include; other individuals within a business and pre-starts or self-employed.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what levels of customer satisfaction were recorded in Business Link operator customer satisfaction surveys in each financial year since 2003-4. [61890]

Mr Prisk: The regional development agencies who manage the Business Link regional service in England have reported customer satisfaction rates (%) since 2003-04 as follows:


Satisfied ( % )

2003/04

86.1

2004/05

89.6

2005/06

90.7

2006/07

90.8

2007/08

89.7

2008/09

88.9

2009/10

89.1

In addition, the national Business Link website provider has since 2006 reported customer satisfaction rates (%) for the web as follows:


Satisfied ( % )

2005/06

74

2006/07

88

2007/08

92

2008/09

91

2009/10

93

2010/11

97

Business: Debts

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the level of demand for debt finance among small and medium-sized enterprises. [62028]

Mr Prisk: The Department has recently published its Small Business Survey for 2010 which is available on the Department's website.

The survey shows that 26% of small and medium enterprises employers (ie excluding sole traders) had tried to obtain external finance in the previous 12 months. It also shows that medium-sized businesses (40%) were much more likely to seek finance than small (33%) or micro businesses (25%).

Of those that applied for finance, 40% applied for a bank loan and 35% for a bank overdraft. 9% each sought a grant or leasing/hire-purchase, and 6% a mortgage for property purchase or improvement.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 720W

Business: Finance

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the (a) Regional Venture Capital Fund and (b) Investment Readiness Pilots. [62216]

Mr Prisk: The Department has published two evaluations reports on the Regional Venture Capital Funds (RVCF) and Early Growth Funds (EGF), which are available on the Department's website: “RVCF and EGF interim evaluation: qualitative research paper” (2009), and “RVCF and EGF interim evaluation: recipient businesses and stakeholder surveys: summary paper” (2010).

The Department has also published an assessment of the 2004 Investment Readiness Pilots in the report “Evaluation of the investment readiness demonstration projects and fit4finance”, also available on the Department's website.

This led to the design of a Solutions for Business product known as the Understanding Finance for Business product, which has recently been evaluated in the “2010 Solutions for Business—Cross-product monitoring survey”.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to reduce variations in levels of access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises between disadvantaged and other areas. [62217]

Mr Prisk: The Government have established a £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund to help those areas and communities that are currently dependent on the public sector make the transition to sustainable private-sector led growth. The Regional Growth Fund has approved, subject to due diligence, a contribution of £30 million to a £60 million wholesale fund for the community development finance sector that make small loans to small and medium-sized enterprises particularly from disadvantaged groups and communities.

The 2011 Budget also announced the Government's intention to continue the Community Investment Tax Relief scheme which encourages investment in businesses in disadvantaged communities.

Business: Government Assistance

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed by his Department and its predecessor indicated that they were satisfied with Government services for businesses in (a) each year since 2005 and (b) 2011 to date. [61888]

Mr Prisk: The BIS Small Business Survey asks small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) employers that had had contact with Government and its agencies during the previous 12 months about their satisfaction with the way the contact was handled, in relation to several different processes.

Table 1 as follows shows the proportion of SME employers saying they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their Government contact, for the years when the Small Business Survey included this question. These data are not available for 2010 or 2011.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 721W

Table 1: Proportion of SME employers ‘satisfied' or ‘very satisfied' with the way government handled contact relating to various processes
Percentage

2005 2006/07 2007/08

VAT processes

74

69

71

Other taxes

67

65

65

Claiming grants

57

47

54

Companies House

80

80

82

Patenting

69

63

71

Obtaining business advice

64

69

72

Regulation enforcement

56

60

59

Consultations or surveys

64

64

61

Employee related

69

73

77

Source: BIS Small Business Surveys 2005-2007/08, SME employers only

However, in the BIS Business Barometer survey for November 2010 SME employers that had received general information and advice about running their business in the past 12 months mainly from the public sector were asked how satisfied they were with the information they found. Data for November 2010 are shown in Table 2 as follows.

Table 2: Satisfaction with information found for SME employers, who received advice mainly from the public sector

Percentage

Very satisfied

26

Fairly satisfied

37

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

16

Fairly dissatisfied

15

Very dissatisfied

6

Source: BIS Business Barometer, Nov-10, SME employers

Business: Loans

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2011, Official Report, column 391W, on business: loans, what definition of a stretch lending target he uses. [60654]

Mr Prisk: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Nottingham East (Chris Leslie) on 22 June 2011, Official Report, column 344W.

Business: Regulation

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to (a) provide information on and (b) increase levels of satisfaction with sources of advice and support for small and medium-sized businesses on compliance issues. [61886]

Mr Prisk: The Government are improving www.businesslink.gov.uk to provide online business information and tools tailored to businesses needs, including better, clearer information on Government regulation. The independent Anderson Review of Guidance addressed the question of how the Government should best provide guidance to small and medium-sized businesses on how to comply with the law and reported in January 2009. The report and government response are posted on this Department's website at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/better-regulation/reviewing-regulation/anderson-review-of-guidance-provision

28 Jun 2011 : Column 722W

A revised version of the Government's code of practice was published in October 2009 to reflect the recommendations of the review and is available at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/better-regulation/code-of-practice-on-guidance-on-regulation

The code of practice states what is expected from Departments and Regulators when issuing guidance on how to comply with the law and includes the requirement for a feedback contact to be provided so that guidance can be improved and to assess the level of satisfaction with the guidance.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which employment regulations fall within his proposed moratorium for micro-businesses. [62206]

Mr Davey: The moratorium will exempt micro and start up businesses from new domestic regulation for the next three years. As new employment regulations within the scope of the moratorium are brought forward in this period the exemption will be applied.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effects of employment regulations on micro-businesses; and if he will make a statement. [62207]

Mr Davey: The recent Growth Review considered burdens on business, particularly smaller business, leading to a three-year moratorium on new domestic regulation for micro businesses and start-ups and the launch of the Red Tape Challenge. The Government's Employment Law Review continues to seek to reduce burdens on employers, especially micros and small and medium-sized enterprises.

Companies: Annual Reports

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals for the simplification of the annual reports and financial statements of companies; and if he will make a statement. [61817]

Mr Davey: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills will consult on proposals to simplify the narrative reporting framework in July.

Departmental Buildings

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the address is of each office property occupied by his Department outside Greater London which it (a) owns and (b) rents; what the level of utilisation is of each such property; what the capital value is of each such property it owns; and what the (i) annual rental cost and (ii) length of lease agreement is of each rented property. [61172]

Mr Davey: The table lists the property occupied by the Department outside Greater London. The Department does not own any property, the buildings are either leased or have memorandum of terms of occupation (MOTO) agreements with another Government Departments.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 723W

28 Jun 2011 : Column 724W

Property
Length of Lease Level of utilisation (Sq m) Annual rent (£ + VAT)

Newtown House, Maid Marion Way, Nottingham NG1 7ES

Leased

19 July 2005 to 18 July 2010

26

27,648.00

Queensway House, West Precinct, Billingham TS23 2NF

Leased

1 September 2007 to 23 June 2013

20.03

40,000.00

Alexandra House, Lawnswood Park, Leeds LS16 6QY

Leased

16 July 1990 to 15 July 2015

47.97

95,617.00

Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester M13 BN

MOTO

9 September 2008 to 8 September 2023

10.31

74,819.50

Companies House, Crown Way, Maindy, Cardiff CF14 3UZ

MOTO

1 April 2006 to 31 March 2011

17.98

107,244.88

Exchange House, 60 Exchange Road, Watford WD189 OLL

MOTO

29 September 2009 to 28 September 2012

22.86

94,489.56

Europa Building, 450 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8LG

MOTO

1 January 2010 to 22 December 2016

11.43

105,837.04

2 St Paul's Place, 125 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2FJ

MOTO

1 June 2010 to 31 May 2013

10.08

199,710.00

Departmental Data Protection

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 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. [60903]

Mr Davey: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills takes the protection and security of its data very seriously and takes a number of measures to ensure that sensitive information is protected when being displayed on visual display units (VDUs). These include strict rules regarding: the use of IT equipment outside of the office (including when travelling/working overseas); and the use of mobile phones and similar devices both on and off its estate.

In addition, the Department's VDUs are programmed to ‘lock’ if no activity is detected for a short period and staff are instructed to manually lock their screens when leaving their desks. The need to ensure visual data security is considered as part of any office accommodation moves.

Staff are trained regarding all aspects of data handling and security through a variety of ways including: induction courses; regular briefing and training events; articles on the Department's intranet site and; ad hoc reminders as and when considered necessary.

Domestic Service: Conditions of Employment

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Government plans to ratify the Convention on Domestic Work agreed at the 100th session of the International Labour Conference. [61742]

Mr Davey: The Government take the protection of all vulnerable workers as a matter of the utmost importance. The UK provides comprehensive employment and social protections to domestic workers, and as a rule does not differentiate between domestic workers' rights and those of other workers.

While we fully support the principles in the new convention, the Government have no plans to ratify it. This is because the final text would not provide sufficient flexibility to meet the UK's needs in a few areas, including health and safety law where the UK differentiates for good reason between domestic workers and other workers. For example, the Government do not consider it proportionate or practical to extend criminal health and safety law, including inspections, to private households employing domestic workers. This would place a huge regulatory and administrative burden on individuals, and could have detrimental social consequences: for example, if increased burdens were to prevent elderly or disabled individuals from employing nurses or carers in their own homes.

English Language: Leicester

Jon Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many students were enrolled in English for Speakers of Other Languages courses in (a) Leicester South constituency and (b) Leicester local authority area in each year since 2005-06; [61922]

(2) what funding his Department provided for English for Speakers of Other Languages courses in (a) Leicester South constituency and (b) Leicester local authority area in each year since 2005-06. [61923]

Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows the number of Government-funded learners in Leicester South constituency and Leicester local authority participating on an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course from 2005/06 to 2009/10, the latest year for which full-year data are available.

Table 1: Number of learners participating on ESOL courses in Leicester South constituency and Leicester local authority, 2005/06 to 2009/10

2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 (1) 2009/10 (1)

Leicester South constituency

2,450

2,200

1,910

1,660

1,920

Leicester local authority

6,370

5,970

5,460

4,880

5,500

(1) Figures for 2008/09 onwards are not directly comparable to earlier years as the introduction of demand led funding has changed how data are collected and how funded learners are defined. More information on demand led funding is available at http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/datadictionary/businessdefinitions/Demand+Led+Funding.htm Notes: 1. These data cover participation in Learner Responsive, Apprenticeships, Train to Gain, Adult Safeguarded Learning and University for Industry provision. Further Education/Learner Responsive provision includes General Further Education Colleges including Tertiary, Sixth Form Colleges—Agricultural and Horticultural Colleges and Art and Design Colleges, Specialist Colleges and External Institutions. 2. Volumes are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Geography is based on learners home postcode. Source: Individualised Learner Record

28 Jun 2011 : Column 725W

Information on participation on ESOL courses is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 23 June 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Information on historical ESOL funding at the local geography level is not available. However, the Skills Funding Agency publish information on adult (19 years +) allocations made to individual colleges, providers and employers for each academic year available at the following link:

http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk/providers/programmes/

EU Trade: India

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with representatives of (a) the EU and (b) the Indian government on the proposed free trade agreement between the EU and India. [62171]

Mr Davey: Ministers and officials regularly discuss the EU-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the Indian Government, the European Commission and EU member states. Most recently, on 20 June 2011, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and discussed the FTA and pressed for action on UK priorities with Anand Sharma, India's Minister of Commerce.

Enterprise and the Economy in Education Review

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of the Howard Davies Review of Enterprise and the Economy in Education. [61102]

Mr Prisk: The Review of Enterprise and the Economy in Education was published in 2002. It recommended that every pupil spends five days gaining experience of enterprise, that work experience undertaken by 15 and 16-year-olds provides more enterprise and business experience, and that every school links up with local businesses.

The top-down and directive way in which these recommendations were implemented has not been effective. That is why I have already announced a new strategy for engaging young people in school, further education and university in real enterprise activities. The strategy will support:

expansion of the Tenner Tycoon scheme;

development of resources to enable teachers to create and extend school businesses;

access for schools to local enterprise champions; and

creation of student enterprise societies in every university and the majority of further education colleges.

Convention on Domestic Workers

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what legal advice he received prior to the abstention of the UK from the vote on the International Labour Organisation Convention on Domestic Workers; and if he will make a statement. [62693]

Mr Davey: As with any negotiations on an international agreement, the Government obtained legal advice in relation to the International Labour Organisation Convention on Domestic Workers.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 726W

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether any UK legislation contravenes the provisions of the International Labour Organisation Convention on Domestic Workers. [62696]

Mr Davey: The Government take the protection of all vulnerable workers as a matter of the utmost importance. The UK provides comprehensive employment and social protections to domestic workers, and as a rule does not differentiate between domestic workers' rights and those of other workers.

While we fully support the principles in the new convention, the final text would not provide sufficient flexibility to meet the UK's needs in a few areas, including health and safety law where the UK differentiates for good reason between domestic workers and other workers. For example, the Government do not consider it proportionate or practical to extend criminal health and safety law, including inspections, to private households employing domestic workers. This would place a huge regulatory and administrative burden on individuals, and could have detrimental social consequences: for example, if increased burdens were to prevent elderly or disabled individuals from employing nurses or carers in their own homes.

Investment Trusts: New Businesses

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many equity investments there were in start-up and early-stage businesses (a) in each year since 2005 and (b) in 2011 to date. [62026]

Mr Prisk: The British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) publish statistics on the number of Early Stage Venture Capital investments in the UK made by their members in their annual activity report. Collating the figures suggests the following number of investments each year:


Number

2005

491

2006

500

2007

502

2008

455

2009

285

2010

323

Care should be taken in interpreting the figures due to changes in methodology between different surveys; for instance, 2009 and 2010 figures specifically exclude later stage venture capital which may be included in the earlier figures.

Metals

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2011, Official Report, column 629W, on metals: imports, what the results were of his Department's monitoring of issues across Government concerning rare earth metals; and what representations he has received from industry on this matter. [62169]

28 Jun 2011 : Column 727W

Mr Prisk: The Government as a whole are actively working to monitor the issues surrounding access to and supply of strategic metals including rare earth metals. This Department and DEFRA are continuing to discuss resource risks with a wide range of UK businesses to help shape Government policy, and UK interventions at EU and international level.

New Businesses: Finance

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of small businesses reported to his Department difficulties in obtaining finance for start-up and growth in (a) each year since 2005 and (b) 2011 to date. [62027]

Mr Prisk: The Department undertakes periodic large scale telephone surveys of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) called the ‘Small Business Survey’. The figures on the proportion of small business employers unable to access finance taken from the three most recent surveys are set out in the following table.

No Small Business Surveys were conducted at the height of the credit crunch. However, during 2008 and 2009 the Department undertook smaller but more regular surveys of SMEs called the SME Business Barometer. These resurveyed 500 SME employers from the Small Business Survey to get regular feedback about the issues they face.

The Small Business Survey and BIS Barometer survey results are available at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/enterprise-and-business-support/analytical-unit/research-and-evaluation/cross-cutting-research

Small Business Survey Of those seeking finance, % unable to obtain any finance from any source % of all SME employers that can not obtain any finance

2010

21

5

2007/08

8

2

2006/07

9

2

Self-employed: Industrial Health and Safety

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if his Department will assess the merits of implementing the recommendation of the Davidson Review that the Health and Safety Executive that the self-employed should be exempted from certain health and safety legislation in low-risk sectors. [62599]

Mr Prisk: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 20 June 2011, Official Report, column 114W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Simon Kirby).

Small Businesses

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of small businesses were engaged in research and development in each year since 2005. [61116]

Mr Willetts: The following table sets out the percentage of small businesses that were engaged in research and development (R and D) in each year since 2005. A small

28 Jun 2011 : Column 728W

business is defined as one with 0-49 employees and the percentages are of the total population of small businesses. Figures are provided by the Office for National Statistics, whose usual practice is not to provide specific numbers. This is because in cases where there are a very small number of respondent firms with a particular answer, it may be possible to identify those firms.


Proportion of small businesses engaged in R&D (percentage)

2005

0.5

2006

0.6

2007

0.7

2008

0.6

2009

0.7

Notes: 1. Data come from the UK Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) survey. This is an annual sample survey based on a continually updated register of R and D performers conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 2. R and D and related concepts follow internationally agreed standards defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published in the ‘Frascati’ Manual. R and D is defined as “Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”. 3. The BERD survey goes to a sample of the R and D population, consisting of known R and D performers. This population is refreshed each year from filter questions on the biennial Community Innovation Survey and the Annual Business Survey. The percentages provided above have been obtained from the BERD data and the Inter Departmental Business Register data for the relevant size bands and industries.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of small businesses in the (a) manufacturing and (b) services sector were engaged in research and development in each year since 2005. [61117]

Mr Willetts: The following table sets out the percentage of small businesses that were engaged in research and development (R and D) in the manufacturing and services sectors in each year since 2005. A small business is defined as one with 0-49 employees and the percentages are of the total population of small businesses. Figures are provided by the Office for National Statistics, whose usual practice is not to provide specific numbers. This is because in cases where there are a very small number of respondent firms with a particular answer, it may be possible to identify those firms.

Proportion of small businesses engaged in R and D
Percentage

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Manufacturing

2

2.4

2.7

2.6

2.7

Services

0.5

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

Notes: 1. Data come from the UK Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) survey. This is an annual sample survey based on a continually updated register of R and D performers conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 2. R and D and related concepts follow internationally agreed standards defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published in the ‘Frascati’ Manual. R and D is defined as “Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”. 3. The BERD survey goes to a sample of the R and D population, consisting of known R and D performers. This population is refreshed each year from filter questions on the biennial Community Innovation Survey and the Annual Business Survey. The percentages provided above have been obtained from the BERD data and the Inter Departmental Business Register data for the relevant size bands and industries.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 729W


Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of businesses with (a) fewer than 10 employees, (b) between 10 and 99 employees and (c) between 100 and 499 employees were engaged in research and development in each year since 2005. [61118]

Mr Willetts: The following table sets out the percentage of businesses that were engaged in research and development (R and D) in each year since 2005, split by number of employees. The percentages are of the total population of businesses of the respective size band. Figures are provided by the Office for National Statistics, whose usual practice is not to provide specific numbers. This is because in cases where there are a very small number of respondent firms with a particular answer, it may be possible to identify those firms.

Proportion of businesses engaged in R and D
Percentage

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Less than 10 employees

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

10 to 99 employees

2.5

3.6

4.1

3.6

4.1

100 to 499 employees

14.5

17.2

18.3

15.6

17.6

Notes: 1. Data come from the UK Business Enterprise Research and Development {BERD) survey. This is an annual sample survey based on a continually updated register of R and D performers conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 2. R and D and related concepts follow internationally agreed standards defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), published in the ‘Frascati’ Manual. R and D is defined as “Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”. 3. The BERD survey goes to a sample of the R and D population, consisting of known R and D performers. This population is refreshed each year from filter questions on the biennial Community Innovation Survey and the Annual Business Survey. The percentages provided above have been obtained from the BERD data and the Inter Departmental Business Register data for the relevant size bands and industries. 4. R and D data for 2010 will be published in December 2011.

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to assist small business start-ups in Beckenham. [61136]

Mr Prisk: Promoting enterprise is part of the Mayor's Economic Development Strategy for London and is supported by the Greater London authority (GLA) in conjunction with the pan-London Local Enterprise Partnership, which the GLA is in the process of establishing together with London business and the London boroughs.

This year, the GLA has launched of a programme of Business Bootcamps, in partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Capital Enterprise which will support around 1,000 London entrepreneurs to access sector-specific support targeted at the needs of their start up business. The Mayor has also funded the British Library Intellectual Property centre to help it continue its work supporting London's small businesses start-ups.

BIS are also undertaking a major programme to change the way people can get the information, guidance and support they need to start and run a business. These will be available to start-ups across England and include:

a dedicated ‘Getting Started area' providing online training within a revamped Business Link website;

28 Jun 2011 : Column 730W

a contact centre to help those who cannot find the information they need on the web or who are not connected to the internet;

working alongside the British Bankers Association and mentoring providers to establish a network of business mentors offering practical advice to those who want to start or grow a business;

establishing a new Business Coaching for Growth Programme to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with high growth potential to realise their potential; and

a renewed and streamlined portfolio of publicly-funded business improvement products through the Solutions for Business portfolio providing focused support to SMEs and start-ups.

Small Businesses: Loans

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the level of bank lending to small businesses in Wales. [58978]

Mr Prisk: Figures published in May by the Bank of England show that the UK's five largest banks lent £16.8 billion to UK Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the first quarter of this year, against a target of £76 billion of new lending in 2011. This means they are currently not on track to meet the targets agreed to in Project Merlin—a situation which the Government will continue to monitor closely to consider whether it is necessary to take any further action.

SME lending data collected by BIS and published by the Bank of England in “Trends in Lending” shows that demand for credit remains at historically low levels, but that credit availability had increased slightly for businesses overall. The Bank of England's Credit Conditions Survey 2011 Q1 noted that SMEs overall were experiencing tighter conditions than large corporates, though for those with strong asset positions or cashflows they had improved.

The Department does not, at present, collect information by region and country, but we are not aware of any disparities. The British Bankers Association (BBA) has committed to funding an independent quarterly survey of SMEs on access to finance and also to publish a more detailed dataset on lending. The results of the first survey will be available in July 2011, and the survey should provide more qualitative information on regional lending. The first enhanced dataset on lending should be published in the autumn and will provide more quantitative information on regional lending. In both cases, regional breakdowns will be made available.

We also continue to monitor the level of lending through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, which is aimed at small businesses without collateral or a track record. In Wales, since January 2009, 635 businesses have been offered loans through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, with a total value of £56.15 million. Of these, 550 have been drawn down, totalling £47.77 million.

South East England Development Agency

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which sites are owned by the South East England regional development agency within the boundaries of (a) Basingstoke and Deane borough council, (b) East Hampshire district council, (c) Eastleigh borough council, (d) Fareham borough council, (e) Gosport borough council, (f) Hart district council and (g) Havant borough council. [62309]

28 Jun 2011 : Column 731W

Mr Prisk: South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) owns the following sites within the boundaries of:

(d) Fareham borough council

Deadalus (part), Lee-on-the-Solent.

(e) Gosport borough council

Deadalus (part), Lee-on-the-Solent

Gosport Business Centre

Frater Gate Business Park, Gosport.

(g) Havant borough council

Land at Harts Farm Way, Havant.

No sites owned by SEEDA are within the boundaries of Basingstoke and Deane borough council; East Hampshire district council; Eastleigh borough council or Hart district council.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which sites are owned by the South East of England regional development agency within the boundaries of (a) Adur district council, (b) Arun district council, (c) Chichester district council, (d) Crawley borough council, (e) Horsham district council, (f) Mid Sussex district council and (g) Worthing borough council. [62311]

Mr Prisk: South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) own the following sites within the boundary of Adur district council:

Ropetackle, Shoreham; and

Adur Business Centre, Shoreham.

No sites owned by SEEDA are within the boundaries of Arun district council; Chichester district council; Crawley borough council; Horsham district council; Mid Sussex district council and Worthing borough council.

Communities and Local Government

Audit Commission

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 May 2011, Official Report, column 663W, on the Audit Commission, if he will place in the Library a copy of the itemised bill for the Audit Commission Board dinner at Bentley's Seafood restaurant. [61764]

Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to respond to my hon. Friend direct.

Letter fro Eugene Sullivan, dated 28 June 2011:

Your parliamentary question outlined above has been passed to me for reply.

The Commission does not hold an itemised bill for this event.

Audit Commission: Flowers

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Audit Commission spent on the purchase of flowers for display between January 2007 and May 2010. [61800]

Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to respond to my hon. Friend direct.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 732W

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 28 June 2011:

Your parliamentary question has been passed to me for reply.

The Audit Commission spent £6,535.13 on the purchase of flowers for display between January 2007 and May 2010. We purchased the flowers for reception areas in our London, Bristol and Leicester offices. We stopped buying flowers for the Leicester office in July 2009. We stopped buying flowers for the Bristol and London office in September 2010. A breakdown of flower purchases for each office is shown below:

£
Office January to Dec ember 2007 January to Dec ember 2008 January to Dec ember 2009 Jan uary to May 2010 Total

London

1,710.00

1,560.00

1,559.88

649.95

5,479.83

Bristol

122.81

418.34

198.22

15.93

755.30

Leicester

(1)

(1)

300.00

0.00

300.00

Total

1,832.81

1,978.34

2,058.10

665.88

6,535.13

(1) Records no longer available

Commission for Local Administration in England

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) complaints were considered, (b) complaints were resolved within three months and (c) members of staff were employed by the Local Government Ombudsman in each of the last five years. [59991]

Robert Neill: The data in the following table relate to the number of complaints forwarded to the Local Government Ombudsman's investigative teams for investigation.

    Complaints determined within 13 weeks  

Complaints investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman Number Percentage Average full time equivalent number of staff employed by the Local Government Ombudsman

2006-07

13,069

6,221

46.6

201

2007-08

13,458

7,362

54.7

190

2008-09

11,687

6,241

53.4

185

2009-10

10,309

5,856

56.8

187

2010-11

9,983

5,411

54.2

224

Employment Law

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with (a) officials in his Department, (b) the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and (c) outside organisations on the potential effects of changes arising from the review of employment law on matters within his Department's responsibilities. [60705]

Robert Neill: Ministers within the Department for Communities and Local Government regularly meet colleagues from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to discuss a range of matters. Similarly, discussions are had with officials and Ministers on the whole range of departmental responsibilities.

28 Jun 2011 : Column 733W

So far as I am aware, Ministers in this Department have had no recent discussions with outside organisations on this specific topic.

Council Tax: Rates and Rating

Mr Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what criteria the Valuation Office Agency applies in determining the order in which valuation appeal hearings are to be heard. [61896]

Robert Neill: The arrangement for the listing of appeals is a statutory duty of the President of the Valuation Tribunal for England—Regulation 5 of The Valuation Tribunal for England (Council Tax and Rating Appeals)(Procedure) Regulations 2009—and not the Valuation Office Agency. Appeals are listed within six weeks of the Valuation Office Agency's target date under the programming scheme they adopt.

Departmental Buildings

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the address is of each office property occupied by his Department outside Greater London which it (a) owns and (b) rents; what the level of utilisation is of each such property; what the capital value is of each such property it owns; and what the (i) annual rental cost and (ii) length of lease agreement is of each rented property. [61173]

Robert Neill: The Department's office properties are leased so there are no capital values to report. Details of the leased properties outside of Greater London, including the address, the annual rental value, length of the lease and the utilization figures are set out in the following table.

In the last year the Department has taken action to dispose of its residual property liabilities as quickly as possible. We have reduced running costs by over £4 million per annum through the assignment and sub-letting of surplus accommodation. By the end of September 2011 the Department will have completed the surrender of three major buildings delivering an additional £6.3 million per annum in savings.

The Department holds office property outside of London for three purposes:

1. Accommodation for continuing functions including the ERDF programmes, resilience, internal audit, town planning.

2. Accommodation for back office services carried out by Finance (Hemel Hempstead) and Records Management (Hastings).

3. Buildings comprising the Government Office Network residual property estate are held pending disposal.

The Department also holds two specialised non-office properties previously occupied by the Fire Experimental Unit at the Fire Service College, Moreton-in-Marsh and Hanger 97 at Little Rissington airfield, Gloucestershire. Again these properties are held pending disposal.

Belgrave Centre, Nottingham

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

4,095

Space being marketed (m(2))

0

Annual rent (£)

1,690,594

Note: The lease expires in July 2011

28 Jun 2011 : Column 734W

Cunard Building, Liverpool

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

3,507

Space being marketed (m(2))

0

Annual rent (£)

381,294

Note: The lease expires in September 2011
Queen Street, Leeds

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

3,302

Space being marketed (m(2))

1,996

Annual rent (£)

670,023

Note: The lease expires in 2014
77 Paradise Circus Queensway, Birmingham

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

3,463

Space being marketed (m(2))

1,800

Annual rent (£)

681,778

Note: The lease expires in 2014
Mast House, Plymouth

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

1,645

Space being marketed (m(2))

1,461

Annual rent (£)

323,257

Note: There is a lease break in 2016
Westbrook Suites 8, 9 and 10 Cambridge

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

602

Space being marketed (m(2))

602

Annual rent (£)

128,304

Note: The lease expires in 2013.
Bridge House, Guildford

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

3,587

Space being marketed (m(2))

2,748

Annual rent (£)

786,676

Note: The lease expires in October 2015
Citygate, Newcastle

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

6,095

Space being marketed (m(2))

48

Annual rent (£)

1,438,865

Note: The lease expires in 2019
Lateral, Leeds

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

5,612

Space being marketed (m(2))

2,875

Annual rent (£)

1,516,099

Note: The lease expires in 2022
5 St Philip's Place, Birmingham

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

6,024

Space being marketed (m(2))

1,630

28 Jun 2011 : Column 735W

Annual rent (£)

2,039,878

Note: The lease expires in 2020
Eastbrook Centre, Cambridge

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

5,195

Space being marketed (m(2))

2,500

Annual rent (£)

1,793,119

Note: There is a lease break in 2018
2 Rivergate, Bristol

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

6,440

Space being marketed (m(2))

1,128

Annual rent (£)

1,853,766

Note: There is a lease break in 2022
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester—Sharing with Tenants Services Authority

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

104

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

93,600

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Arpley House, Warrington—Sharing with Homes and Communities Agency

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

328

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

174,420

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Vulcan House, Sheffield—Sharing with Home Office

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

77

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

27,584

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Cumberland House, Nottingham—Sharing with Homes and Communities Agency

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

280

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

147,405

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Longbrook House, Exeter—Sharing with HM Revenue and Customs

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

120

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

28 Jun 2011 : Column 736W

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

27,106

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Lysnoweth, Truro Sharing with HM Revenue and Customs

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

104

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

17,574

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Princes Parade, Liverpool —Sharing with the Charities Commission

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

250

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

100,143

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Temple Quay House Bristol—Sharing with the Planning Inspectorate

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

574

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual rent (£)

165,212

(1) All used Note: The occupation agreement can be terminated on 12 month's notice at any time.
Hempstead House, Hemel Hempstead

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

1816

Space being marketed (m(2))

580

Annual rent (£)

276,000

Note: The lease expires in 2013
Ashdown House, Hastings

m (2)

Total floor area (m(2))

350

Space being marketed (m(2))

(1)

Annual charge for rent rates, utilities and services (£)

50,438

(1) All used Note: Leave after a minimum one year's notice served before 31 March in each year.

Departmental Data Protection

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. [60905]

Robert Neill: The principal holding of visual data in DCLG is the visual product of CCTV systems. Such data are managed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act. The data are handled by security guards who have achieved the appropriate Security Industry Authority endorsed qualification (Level 2 award

28 Jun 2011 : Column 737W

in CCTV Operations—public space surveillance) and who are licensed by the Security Industry Authority to handle such data.

Departmental Manpower

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make it his policy to publish monthly information on changes in the numbers of employees of his Department's agencies, categorised by (a) seniority, (b) voluntary redundancy, (c) natural wastage and (d) involuntary redundancy. [61707]

Robert Neill: The Government are committed to transparency and the availability of data and are currently exploring options for the more frequent publication of this type of work force management information across the civil service and its agencies.

The Department and its agencies already publish detailed headcount data, senior salaries and organograms and financial, property and procurement information with the Office for National Statistics and in conjunction with the wider commitment to publish data via HM Treasury for publication on the data.gov.uk website.

EU Grants and Loans: Yorkshire and the Humber

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2011, Official Report, column 50W, on EU grants and loans: Yorkshire and the Humber, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the funding from the European Regional Development Fund allocated to Yorkshire and the Humber and not yet committed is spent within the region; and over what period the €326,521,131 not yet committed is available. [62702]

Robert Neill: My Department monitors the progress of European Regional Development Fund programmes in meeting their annual spend targets. The Yorkshire and Humber Development Fund programme has, so far, met its annual spend targets and we will continue to monitor its progress in meeting the 2011 target. The programmes have until 31 December 2015 to complete spending the funds.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications from Yorkshire and the Humber for funding from the European Regional Development Fund are under consideration. [62703]

Robert Neill: A total of 101 applications for funding from the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund programme are currently under consideration.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to facilitate the transition from the regional development agency to his Department of the decision-making process on applications to the European regional development fund from Yorkshire and the Humber. [62704]

28 Jun 2011 : Column 738W

Robert Neill: We are retaining the European regional development fund team, currently employed by Yorkshire Forward, to ensure continuity in the process of appraising and approving projects.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in his Department will be handling applications to the European Regional Development Fund from Yorkshire and the Humber in that region from 1 July 2011. [62705]

Robert Neill: The final figure will not be known until 1 July, the date of transfer, but our current expectation is that 27 staff will be managing the European Regional Development Fund in that area.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential for delay in the decision-making process on applications to the European regional development fund from Yorkshire and the Humber; and what steps his Department is taking to minimise any such delay. [62706]

Robert Neill: We anticipate minimal delay in the decision-making process on European regional development fund applications, because we are retaining the development fund team, currently employed by Yorkshire Forward.