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Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 11 July 2011

Business, Innovation and Skills

UK Inward Investment Report

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Vince Cable): With my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, I am pleased to announce that UK Trade & Investment today launched the UK Inward Investment 2010/11 Report, giving the national figures for foreign direct investment over the financial year to March 2011.

Investment matters. It is a key priority if we are to secure the economic growth that will deliver future prosperity. The UK’s ability to attract and retain inward investment is at the heart of the Government’s economic recovery plans. These figures demonstrate how important investment is in stimulating growth and creating jobs.

In a year when inward investment is recovering from global uncertainty the UK has recorded a strong performance, attracting foreign investment from 54 countries between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011.

During the year ending March 2011, 1,434 investment projects landed in the UK. This is one of the highest figures ever recorded, although it is down on the previous year. The reduction is largely due to the continuing decline in mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures in a still difficult global marketplace.

These foreign direct investment projects created and safeguarded an estimated 94,598 jobs. This means that over 1,800 jobs were created or safeguarded every week through inward investment in this country. This is a slight (0.3%) increase on the previous year. Of the total, an estimated 41,936 were newly created jobs and 52,662 were safeguarded jobs.

In these results, the existing investor base in the UK has provided a vote of confidence in the UK. Two thirds of the new jobs—over 27,000—were generated by existing investors in the UK. This is a rise of 60% on the previous year.

The UK has to earn its standing in the world, not in isolation but with the whole of Government working together to improve further the UK’s world-leading business environment and our offer to international business.

UK Trade & Investment is the Government Department responsible for supporting international business, working closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and other public and private sector partners. In a year when competition for internationally mobile foreign direct investment is more fierce than ever, UK Trade & Investment is to be congratulated on significantly assisting a record number of foreign direct investment projects, (at 849, more than half of the total projects locating in the UK). UKTI’s inward investment successes have increased very substantially in both quantity and quality over the last three years. I and my right hon. Friend are determined

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that UKTI will continue significantly to increase the positive impact of its inward investment work on the UK economy over the next several years.

I am arranging for a copy of the UK Inward Investment 2010/11 Report by UK Trade & Investment to be placed in the Library of the House.

Culture, Media and Sport

S4C (Funding)

The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Jeremy Hunt): On 14 October 2010, as part of the cross-Government drive to reduce the number and cost of public bodies and to improve their accountability, the Government announced their proposal to reform the funding mechanism for S4C by removing the link with the retail price index (RPI), as set out in section 61 of the Broadcasting Act 1990. The reform is necessary because guaranteed, inflation-proof funding from the Government is untenable in the current fiscal climate, but this does not detract from the Government’s firm commitment to secure the future of Welsh language broadcasting.

It is now the Government’s intention to table an amendment after Second Reading of the Public Bodies Bill which will add the relevant provision for removing the RPI/funding link to the face of the Bill, instead of in schedule 4, as at present. The decision to reduce payments to S4C was taken as part of the comprehensive spending review in line with efforts to reduce the fiscal deficit as early as possible. It predated the requirement to consult on orders which was added to the Public Bodies Bill at Committee Stage in the House of Lords. However, the implication is that the Government would not be able to consult meaningfully in relation to the changes to funding arrangements as would have been required by clause 10 of the Bill.

This amendment does not impact on the Government’s commitment to consult publicly on changes to the governance arrangements to S4C. It is simply a change to the proposed legislative mechanism by which funding changes will be made. Indeed, it gives Parliament the opportunity to debate the change as part of the passage of primary legislation. This amendment will also give greater clarity and assurance on the Government’s commitment to S4C in the long term. The new clause will for the first time set in statute a requirement that S4C receives sufficient funding for it to be able to fulfil its statutory, and vitally important, role as an independent Welsh language broadcaster.

As S4C remains listed in schedule 3 of the Bill, which provides for the power to modify constitutional arrangements, there is still the requirement under clause 10 of the Bill to consult on the order that will change the broadcaster’s governance arrangements. The Government will make an announcement about this consultation in due course. In the interim, discussions with S4C and the BBC Trust on the details of the partnership model are ongoing, and progress is encouraging following the appointment of the new chair of S4C.

I should like to reiterate that there is no change to the Government’s unerring commitment to a strong future for Welsh language programming and to S4C as an independent service. The Government are committed to

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ensuring that S4C will be funded at a level sufficient to ensure that it can fulfil its statutory remit and we intend to put this expectation on the statute book so that it is a legal requirement. Furthermore, the Government have also committed to a review of S4C’s strategy and finances before the end of the comprehensive spending review period, in order to inform future funding levels for S4C and to ensure that the new partnership with the BBC represents the best model for the long-term stability and growth of S4C.


Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Andrew Robathan): Key priorities for 2011-12 have been set for the chief constable/chief executive of the Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency (MDPGA). These priorities are linked to the delivery of the agency’s key outputs of providing an effective policing and guarding service. In brief, the eight key priorities are:

Key Priority 1

To support the secure and uninterrupted operation of the UK s nuclear deterrent

a. To retain substantial assurance from the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Strategic Weapons Project Team (SWPT) and DE&S Principal Security Adviser (PSyA) quality assurance inspection process.

b. To have delivered at least 98% of Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) and Ministry of Defence Guarding Service (MGS) agreed UK customer tasks at nuclear sites.

Key Priority 2

To support the defence main effort in Afghanistan

a. To have achieved 100% of Her Majesty’s Government/Ministry of Defence (MOD) approved requirements for Afghanistan national police capacity building.

b. To have 100% of all Defence community police officers (DCPO) positions occupied.

c. To assist the MOD in the detection and recovery of military materiel theft.

Key Priority 3

To ensure the protection of Defence people, assets, information and estate

a. To have delivered at least 95% of MDP and MGS agreed UK customer tasks at non-nuclear sites including MOD trading funds.

b. To assist the MOD in preventing and detecting fraud and corruption, and any subsequent recovery of losses.

c. To assist the MOD in the investigation of security and data loss.

Key Priority 4

To provide a response to Defence major incidents

a. To have passed the annual Nuclear Guard Force assessment.

b. To provide a police operational and major incident surge capability that meets the Department’s statement of requirement.

c. To achieve the MDP public order standard.

Key Priority 5

To meet the security requirements of all non-MOD repayment customers

To have delivered 100% of MDP and MGS agreed UK customer tasks at non-MOD payment sites.

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Key Priority 6 -

To maintain MDP and MGS operational and professional standards

To have met and maintained 100% of MDP and MGS accreditation and compliance for:

a. MDPNet accreditation;

b. NPIA Firearms Training Licence;

c. MDP Level 2 Investigation Programme;

d. ACPO accreditation for Police Dog Training Instructors;

e. Information Assurance Maturity Model Level 3;

f. National Crime Recording Standards/Scottish Crime Recording Standards;

g. National Standard for Incident Recording;

h. Diversity through incorporation into the MOD’s new Equality Act framework.

External MGS accreditations for:

a. The National Security Industry Gold Standard;

b. Security Industry Authority Standard.

Key Priority 7

To ensure that the agency transition programme is on track

a. To have achieved 100% of agreed agency transition programme milestones for 2011-12.

b. To have achieved a “Your Say” engagement score that exceeds that of the central top level budget parent unit.

Key Priority 8

To ensure that the MPDGA delivers on budget

To deliver specified outputs within 1% of authorised control total.

Service Complaints Commissioner

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Andrew Robathan): I am pleased to place in the Library of the House the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s formal response to the Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC)’s third annual report on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the service complaints system.

The MOD and the services accept the SCC’s four new three-year goals, which are challenging but reasonable. The formal response sets out how we propose to address the SCC’s 20 new recommendations, including as part of the work that we are currently doing to review the complaints process as a whole.

Since the complaints process was introduced in January 2008, the MOD and the services have made considerable improvements to their management of complaints, drawing on the SCC’s valuable input as well as on lessons learned from their own experience of operating the system. While recognising that changes should be given the opportunity to bear fruit, we will maintain and build on the progress made to date to deliver a process that is as fair, effective and efficient as possible.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Republic of South Sudan

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): The Republic of South Sudan became an independent sovereign state on Saturday 9 July. Both it, and the country from which it is seceding, the Republic of Sudan, face many challenges ahead. South Sudan’s independence comes as part of a negotiated settlement which brought an end to long years of civil

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war. This is an African solution to an African problem, and shows how conflict can be resolved through negotiation. We should recall that South Sudan’s independence comes as a result of a widely acclaimed referendum in January 2011 where almost 99% of those voting opted for secession.

We welcome the birth of this new nation. The Prime Minister was pleased to announce that the UK was among the first to recognise the Republic of South Sudan on 9 July. I attended the independence ceremony on 9 July along with many heads of state, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and high-level representatives of many countries and international agencies. This was an historic moment for Africa. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Republic of South Sudan, and helping it on the path towards stability, good governance and prosperity. I commend the Republic of Sudan for not only accepting the result of the referendum but also being the first to recognise its new neighbour.

However, I am concerned that, since January we have seen violations of the comprehensive peace agreement, and outbreaks of violence in Southern Kordofan and Abyei and elsewhere, and negotiations have failed to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries, despite the efforts of the AU-led mediation and the support of the international community. We continue to urge both countries to display the necessary leadership and spirit of compromise to reach a negotiated settlement to all outstanding issues as soon as possible, so that their citizens may enjoy the peace, stability and prosperity they deserve.


Queen's Ambulance Service Medal

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Andrew Lansley): I am pleased to be able to inform the House that Her Majesty the Queen has graciously approved a proposal for the issue of a Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM) to recognise distinguished service by the ambulance service. I am laying before Parliament a Command Paper, Cm 8140, instituting the QAM.

Further information on the criteria for eligibility, along with details on how to nominate individuals for the medal, has been placed in the Library.

Copies of all documents are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. They are also available at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/urgentandemergency care/DH_113435.

Home Department

Security Industry Authority

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Lynne Featherstone): I am pleased to announce that the annual report 2010-11 and accounts of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) will be laid before Parliament and published today.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office.

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Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Kenneth Clarke): I have today published an updated policy on the use of the executive override under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the veto”) as it relates to information that engages the principle of collective responsibility under section 35(1) of the Freedom of Information Act.

The policy sets out the Government’s view that the veto should only be considered in exceptional circumstances and following the provision of a collective view by the Cabinet—a commitment which is consistent with the undertakings made to this House by the previous Administration during the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill. The policy has been updated to set out who would fulfil the role of “accountable person” for papers of this or previous Administrations.

Copies of the updated policy have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. It will also be published online, at www.justice.gov.uk.


The Olympic Route Network

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mrs Theresa Villiers): The Olympic Route Network Designation (Amendment) Order 2011 has today been laid before Parliament. The order comes into force on 8 August.

This order, made by the Olympic Delivery Authority following a three-month public consultation, makes a number of changes to the roads originally designated in a June 2009 order as forming the Olympic route network (ORN). The ORN is a set of roads that will be used during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games to provide safe and reliable transport for athletes, officials, the media and marketing partners (together the “games family”) between sporting and non-sporting venues.

The amendments set out in the order comprise both additions to and removals from the designated roads, and add a net 1.3% to the length of the ORN. The changes reflect the work carried out by the ODA and its delivery partners since the initial designation on the plans for implementing the ORN and for the games more widely—particularly on the movement of vehicles carrying members of the games family on the approaches to the competition venues. The changes aim to secure more effectively safe and reliable transport for the games family and reduce the impacts of ORN operations on normal business. They reflect ODA’s careful consideration of the 43 responses received to the consultation exercise on proposed changes carried out last year.

Staging the games presents a significant challenge to our transport systems. The ORN remains a key part of our plans to ensure successful transport at the games, for those participating, for spectators, and for those going about their normal business. We remain committed to implementing temporary, tailored and proportionate measures on the ORN that meet the games’ needs while minimising the impacts on others. Extensive local engagement by the ODA and Transport for London on

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the detailed plans for implementing the ORN, taking account of the changes set out in this order, is now under way.

A full report on the ODA’s consultation exercise and maps showing the revised ORN will be available on the ODA’s website at www.london2012.com/orn. The ODA will also be writing to all respondents to the consultation exercise to inform them that the order has been laid.

Search and Rescue Interim Contract

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Philip Hammond): On 8 February I informed the House that, owing to irregularities in the bidding process, the Government had concluded that it was not appropriate to proceed with the previously planned joint MOD/DFT PFI procurement for future search and rescue capability.

The investigation into the circumstances that led to the cancellation of that procurement is ongoing. Work is also under way to identify the optimum procurement options for the long-term provision of search and rescue helicopter capability for the UK. However, as the existing Maritime and Coastguard Agency search and rescue helicopter contract that provides services at Portland, Lee on Solent, Shetland and the Isle of Lewis is set to expire, I wish to inform the House of my plans to ensure that search and rescue helicopter services from these locations continue uninterrupted until new long-term arrangements are in place.

To ensure the continuity of services from these locations, the Department for Transport will shortly run a competition to procure an interim service for a period of up to five years. This contract will be similar to the arrangements that are currently in place for these bases and are working well. The contract will be open to all interested bidders able to offer a service that fully meets our requirements and ensures the safety of the public and seafarers.

These arrangements will ensure that search and rescue helicopter services are maintained while the range of options in relation to the long-term future provision of such services are being fully considered. The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will continue to provide coverage from their search and rescue bases as at present, while I consider the options for the long-term provision of search and rescue helicopter capability.

I will inform the House later in the year of the Government’s intentions for the longer term. The procurement strategy we adopt for the longer term will seek to ensure that the Ministry of Defence is able to complete its previously announced intention to withdraw its Sea Kings from service in 2016.

Work and Pensions

Disability Employment Support

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Maria Miller): Following the publication on 9 June of Liz Sayce’s independent review of specialist disability employment programmes, I will today publish the Government’s response, and a consultation on a number of the specific recommendations.

At the time of publication, I welcomed the central theme of the review, that resources should be directed towards disabled people themselves, giving them maximum choice and control over the services they receive.

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The Sayce review makes a range of important recommendations about how to turn this aspiration into reality. Liz Sayce has put forward a new direction for specialist disability employment services that would see Access to Work improved and expanded, using funding released from reform of Remploy and residential training. Over time, the Sayce review recommends moving towards a single specialist disability employment programme built on the Access to Work model, that would sit alongside and complement the services provided through the Work programme.

If implemented in full, the Sayce recommendations would have a significant impact on some of the organisations that currently deliver employment services to disabled people, particularly Remploy and residential training colleges. Before taking decisions in these areas, we are seeking views through a public consultation.

Remploy is now in year four of a five-year modernisation plan. In autumn 2010, the Government confirmed that the modernisation budget over the five-year plan remained unchanged, at £555 million with an additional £111 million to meet the additional costs of restructuring. However, in spite of this significant investment, Remploy has not met the majority of its modernisation plan targets, which have proved to be unrealistic. Liz Sayce found a total consensus among disabled people’s organisations and charities that the Remploy factories were not the model for the 21st century.

I am therefore attracted by the new model for Remploy set out in the Sayce review. This model would see Remploy leaving public sector ownership, with organisations and employees themselves being given the opportunity to create new businesses or acquire existing businesses, where viable. Where businesses were not viable, and could not continue, employees would receive a comprehensive package of support to find alternative employment. Before taking decisions about the future for Remploy, I am inviting views on these specific recommendations as part of the public consultation.

In relation to residential training, I welcome the recognition in the Sayce review of the unique and very valuable function which the colleges perform in supporting disabled people to achieve qualifications and adapt to disability. Through consultation, I am seeking views about whether we should adopt the Sayce recommendation that this provision should no longer be funded through direct employment programme spending and that residential training colleges should be supported to seek a wider range of funding sources. We would not want to lose the expertise the colleges provide and so we are also seeking views about how any transition could best be managed.

The Sayce review sets out how Access to Work could be improved and expanded. I agree that Access to Work has the potential to help more disabled people and to be delivered more effectively. However, a large increase in customer numbers cannot be achieved without additional funding. Decisions about the future strategy for Access to Work will therefore need to be taken in the context of the responses to the consultation. I have already confirmed that the budget for specialist disability employment programmes is protected over the current spending review period and that any resources released from reforms, after investing in support to help those people and organisations affected through the transition, would be used to improve services and help more disabled people enter and remain in employment.

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I have already accepted the recommendation to form a cross-Government ministerial group to oversee a new strategy for disability employment, and the group has now been established.

I will work with disabled people and their organisations to explore the recommendations in the Sayce review.

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The consultation runs to 17 October, and I encourage responses to the consultation from disabled people, organisations of and for disabled people, employment service providers and all those who have an interest in this important topic.