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UN Women

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support he plans to provide to the UN Women agency; and if he will make a statement. [64771]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK has strongly supported UN Women from the outset, lobbying hard for its creation, providing transitional funding as it established itself and agreeing to a senior staff secondment. Following adoption of UN Women's strategic plan on 30 June the UK will provide £10 million in core funding to UN Women for each of the next two years. This will help UN Women achieve results for girls and women that include helping 15 countries adopt legislation to tackle domestic violence, supporting efforts to allow women to participate in political decision-making in 25 countries and holding the UN system to account on gender equality.

Work and Pensions

Bombardier: Redundancy

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on support for those to be made redundant from Bombardier in Derby. [65794]

Chris Grayling: Following the recent announcement by Bombardier that the company was planning to make job losses at its factory in Derby, an Economic Response taskforce has been set up by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It includes Jobcentre Plus, the Skills Funding Agency, Derby city council and representatives of local training providers.

The taskforce had its first meeting on Friday 8 July and is exploring ways in which those facing redundancy can access other skilled jobs in the region.

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Carer's Allowance: Islwyn

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many carers in Islwyn constituency currently in receipt of carer’s allowance will be affected by the planned introduction of the universal credit. [65646]

Chris Grayling: We continue to recognise the contribution made by carers and so carer's allowance is to remain payable as a separate benefit outside of universal credit.

We will have an additional element within universal credit to recognise carers, similar to the carer premium currently payable within income-related benefits.

Entitlement to universal credit will depend on a number of factors (such as earnings, family circumstances, housing costs). Departmental modelling estimates that around three-quarters of households where someone is receiving carer's allowance across Great Britain will be entitled to current benefits replaced by universal credit, or universal credit, in steady-state. However, due to sample size we cannot provide this information at a constituency level.

Departmental ICT

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the original estimate, at current prices, was of the cost to the public purse of the computer system built for his Department by EDS Systems and Microsoft; what the final cost, at current prices, was at the time of completion; and whether additional costs have been incurred since completion. [65625]

Chris Grayling: The information is not available in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. This is because the Department for Work and Pensions has a large number of IT systems to support delivery of the Government's Welfare and Pensions reform agenda, to transact business more efficiently and improve customer service and it is not possible to identify which specific computer system is being referred to.

Disability Living Allowance

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what policies and procedures his Department has put in place to ensure timely processing of (a) applications for disability living allowance and (b) appeal tribunals against decisions made regarding disability living allowance. [64787]

Maria Miller: We are working to remove unnecessary steps in the disability living allowance (DLA) application process as identified by customers and frontline staff. This has led to substantial improvements in timeliness—at the end of June 2011 the average waiting time to process an application for DLA was 21.7 days. This compares to 25.1 days in June 2010.

We are also working together with Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, who has responsibility for appeals tribunals, and the judiciary to improve the appeals process for our customers.

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HMCTS has increased capacity and now clears 38% more appeals in April 2011 than April 2010, and 65% more than April 2009.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of abolishing the upper age limit for claiming the mobility component of disability living allowance. [65706]

Maria Miller: The information is not available.

There are no reliable data available on which estimates could be made of the number of people 65 and over who might be entitled to the mobility component of disability living allowance, if they were to make a claim. Entitlement to the mobility component of disability living allowance can only be established when a claim is made and the actual mobility needs of the individual are assessed.

Disabled: Children

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of disabled children who will have their weekly benefits reduced as a result of his welfare reform measures. [65284]

Maria Miller: With regard to the universal credit, the Government have agreed a package of transitional protection which will ensure that there are no cash losers at the point of change as a direct result of the migration to universal credit, where circumstances remain the same.

With regard to the introduction of personal independence payments, it is our intention, in the first instance, to only reassess individuals of working age—those aged 16-64. We will not extend personal independence payments to new or existing claims for children from 2013. The needs of children are very different to those of adults and we would want to build on our experience of developing and delivering the assessment for claimants of working age before considering children below the age of 16. We will consult on any substantive changes to the arrangements for children.

Employment Schemes: Disability

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to support disabled people into employment. [65647]

Maria Miller: We are committed to ensuring that disabled people have the same employment opportunities and chances as everyone else to find and stay in work, regardless of their disability or benefit status.

As part of this commitment, the Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for a range of employment provision specifically aimed at disabled people:

Work Choice, which was launched in October last year, provides tailored support to help disabled people who face the most complex barriers to employment find and stay in work and

13 July 2011 : Column 351W

ultimately help them progress into unsupported employment, where it is appropriate for the individual. Work Choice is voluntary and available regardless of any benefits being claimed.

Access to Work—provides practical advice and financial support to employed disabled people above and beyond what the employer could reasonably provide, to help them overcome obstacles resulting from disability and thus stay in work.

The Department for Work and Pensions also funds residential training for unemployed disabled adults whose needs cannot be met through any other Government funded programmes.

Last month the Work programme rolled out across Great Britain, providing personalised back-to-work support for unemployed people, including disabled people. Contributory ESA customers will be able to volunteer for the Work programme, and if they wish, remain on the programme after their benefit has come to an end, ensuring that they receive all the support they need to help them return to work.

The Work programme will be complemented by a new Jobcentre Plus offer which will allow more flexibility to Jobcentre Plus managers and advisers to judge which interventions will help individual customers, including disabled customers, most cost effectively and meet local need. Jobcentre Plus will continue to work closely with local health services, supported by disability employment advisers and work psychologists.

The Sayce review, “Getting in, staying in and getting on”, was published on 9 June 2011. At the time of publication, I confirmed that Government would consult before moving to any decisions on the future strategy for specialist disability employment programmes.

The Government's response and a separate public consultation have been launched through a written statement to the House on 9 June 2011, Official Report, columns 45-46WS. A programme of consultation events is planned over the summer, involving a wide range of stakeholders.

Employment Schemes: Richmond

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent progress has been made on the Work programme in Richmond. [65820]

Chris Grayling: The Work programme went live in the contract area covering Richmond from 1 June 2011. The programme is being delivered by three prime providers: Ingeus Deloitte and Reed in Partnership who started delivery on 1 June, Maximus who started delivery on 15 June 2011.

Progress is measured by a range of statistics, including customers referred to provision, as well as the number of sustained job outcomes.

The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity. It is the intention of the Department to publish national statistics on Work programme referrals from spring 2012 and job outcomes from autumn 2012. These timescales take account of the newness of the provision and length of time it will take for sustained job outcomes to be realised.

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Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what responsibility he has for contributing to Government action against human trafficking; and what recent action he has taken in this regard. [65304]

Chris Grayling: The Government are committed to tackling human trafficking, and the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), will shortly publish a robust new strategy, detailing how we will make further progress. We are determined to build on the UK's strong track record in supporting victims and fighting traffickers. The UK implements key international agreements aimed at improving anti-trafficking efforts across the world. This includes the UN's Palermo Protocol and the Council of Europe Convention. Despite the difficult financial climate, Government have also protected funding for victims of trafficking.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), chairs the Social Justice Cabinet Committee, which meets regularly to discuss and reach cross-Government consensus on a number of issues relating to poverty, equality and social justice including the issue of human trafficking.

Jobcentre Plus: Closures

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether any closures of jobcentre offices in (a) the north-east and (b) England are planned. [65785]

Chris Grayling: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh, I have asked him to provide the hon. member with the information requested.

Letter from Darra Singh:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking whether any closures of jobcentre offices in (a) the North East and (b) England are planned. This falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The Government has set out an ambitious programme of reform and transformation. The introduction of Universal Credit and the Work Programme, alongside our plans to improve and personalise the services we offer, will provide both significant challenges and opportunities for Jobcentre Plus. We will become a smaller, leaner and more flexible organisation which delivers more of its services over the telephone and Internet.

As we deliver more, of our services over the Internet, and as unemployment falls, so we will free up capacity in our network. Face-to-face contact will reduce as more services can be accessed online and as we simplify the benefit system. Ultimately, these reforms are aimed at delivering a better service in a more efficient manner.

Our Jobcentres will remain central to our operation. The Government's reforms will transform and strengthen the support for people to get back into work. Our prime concern is to ensure that we have a Jobcentre network that is appropriate to deliver the service our customers need, and of course cost effectiveness and

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productivity will be a factor. Each District has been asked to produce a service delivery plan, mapping how customers in that District will be served in each locality.

No decisions have yet been taken on any closures. Once we have developed our options we will consult with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. We will in addition, undertake full Equality Impact Assessments and actively seek to mitigate, as far as is possible, any potentially adverse impacts. These assessments will be used in our decision making about the future.

Older Workers: Unemployment

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to provide training for unemployed people over the age of 55 years. [65682]

Chris Grayling: Jobcentre Plus advisers offer all jobseekers of all ages a comprehensive menu of help including skills provision and job-search support. Advisers have the flexibility to judge which interventions will help jobseekers at the most appropriate point in their claim, tailoring this to individual need.

From the start of the academic year in August 2011, claimants of jobseeker's allowance or employment and support allowance (work-related activity group) will be eligible for fully-funded training to help them into work. In England, providers will be rewarded for providing short units of accredited training, more suitable for Jobcentre Plus claimants, as well as for full qualifications. Jobcentre Plus will work closely with skills providers at a local level to ensure that the training offered meets the needs of both claimants and employers.

The Work programme provides support for those who are more at risk of long-term unemployment. Work programme providers are free to design support based on the needs of individuals and target the right support at the right time. Work programme providers will be paid for getting people into work and keeping them there, which means that there are strong incentives for delivery partners to provide skills training where that support would help a customer move into work and keep them in work.

Personal Income: Sunderland

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the likely effects on the incomes of people with children of each (a) sex and (b) relationship status in Sunderland of changes in the level of benefits in 2011-12. [65286]

Maria Miller: The information is not available.

The Family Resources Survey (FRS) is the Department's primary source of information for data on incomes and benefit receipt. FRS statistics and the Department's modelling capability of projected tax and benefit changes, which uses the FRS as its base data, do not allow robust estimates of impacts at the level of disaggregation requested. In addition, the latest available publication of the FRS only relates to the 2009-10 survey year.

Poverty: Children

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in York Central were living in (a) absolute and (b) relative poverty (i) in May 2010 and (ii) on the latest date for which figures are available. [65616]

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Maria Miller: Estimates of the number and proportion of children living in poverty are published in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household (rather than family) income adjusted (or ‘equivalised’) for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living.

The sample size of this survey is not sufficient to provide estimates for small areas such as those requested. However, figures at a regional level, for Yorkshire and the Humber are available. Three survey years have been combined because single year estimates are not considered to be sufficiently reliable. Therefore information for part (i) is not available.

Statistics covering 2007-08 to 2009-10 are the most recent available.

The following table below shows (a) the proportion and number of children living in absolute poverty and (b) relative poverty Before Housing Costs (BHC) in the UK, for 2007-08 to 2009-10 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Numbers and proportions of children living in (a) absolute poverty and (b) relative poverty (BHC) in Yorkshire and the Humber
  Absolute poverty Relative poverty
Period Number (million) Proportion (%) Number (million) Proportion (%)

2007-08 to 2009-10

0.2

14

0.3

26

Notes: 1.These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data available at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=hbai_arc 2. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the 2009-10 Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 3. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax, payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 4. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost rather than an After Housing Cost basis. For Before Housing Costs, housing costs are not deducted from income, while for After Housing Costs they are. 5. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 6. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 7. Numbers of children have been rounded to the nearest hundred thousand children. 8. Proportions of children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. 9. Each of the measures is defined as: Absolute poverty: children living in households with equivalised incomes below 60% of 1998-99 median household income held constant in real terms. Relative poverty: children living in households with equivalised incomes below 60% of contemporary median household income. Source: Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2009/10, DWP

Social Security Benefits

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the average take-home income including in-work benefits of households from 2013. [63826]

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Chris Grayling: DWP estimates suggest that for households that are in work the median take-home income, including in work benefits, could be approximately £520 a week in 2013-14 (in 2013-14 prices). £520 is an estimate and the exact amount will depend on actual benefit rates in 2013-14.

The costing model used to make this estimate is DWP's Policy Simulation Model (PSM), which is a static microsimulation model based on data from the 2008-09 Family Resources Survey, uprated to the relevant year's prices, benefit rates and earnings levels. The model is also adjusted for expected changes in the size and composition of the population.

Social Security Benefits: Payments

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost to the public purse was at current prices of the ICL Pathway contract to build a benefits care payment system. [65624]

Chris Grayling: The Benefit Payment Card Project was cancelled by the previous Government in 1999. Up to the date of cancellation the then benefits agency's expenditure on the project totalled approximately £127 million.

Winter Fuel Payments: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in York with at least one person aged 75 years or over received winter fuel payments in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. [65622]

Steve Webb: The information for 2009-10 is available in the document ‘Winter Fuel Payment (Number of Households) 2009-2010 by Parliamentary Constituency’. This is available in the Commons Library and on the internet at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?paqe=wfp

Information for 2010-11 is not currently available.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Common Agricultural Policy

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Wycombe, of 28 June 2011, Official Report, column 636W, on the common agricultural policy, what plans she has to ensure that the condition of chalk streams is taken into account in responding to climate change challenges as part of her Department's negotiations on future common agricultural policy expenditure. [64718]

Mr Paice: The Government are already working to make the existing Environmental Stewardship provisions within Axis 2 of the Rural Development Programme for England more effective through the ongoing ‘Making Environmental Stewardship More Effective’ project.

Negotiations on CAP reform will start later this year. Future CAP expenditure should tackle the key objectives of encouraging a competitive, sustainable EU agriculture sector able to respond to climate change challenges,

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reducing reliance on subsidies and focusing resources on the provision of environmental public goods.

Chalk streams are valued for their unique biological and environmental characters, and many are already designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest or have other protections.

Improving or preserving the condition of chalk streams is already taken into account in national policy through the establishment of river basin management plans which are required under the water framework directive. This allows regional panels, which include local stakeholders, to work together to design suitable management plans for water bodies in their area.

Recommendation 4 of the Government's response to the Lawton review ‘Making Space for Nature’, published in June, outlines measures to protect and improve the water environment:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13537-lawton-response-110607.pdf

Under the water framework directive the UK is required to aim to achieve good chemical and ecological status in all inland and coastal waters by 2015.

Cabinet Office

Behavioural Insights Team

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office by what means the success of the Behavioural Insights Team's initiatives will be measured; and how frequently reviews of its performance will take place. [65380]

Mr Maude: The Behavioural Insights Team's quarterly Steering Board reviews progress on a regular basis. In July 2012, the two year anniversary of the team, the Steering Board will consider the team's progress in the round. Success metrics depend on the policy initiative in question, but will include costs to benefits analysis.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of the Behavioural Insights Team's budget will be spent on marketing. [65381]

Mr Maude: No proportion of the Behavioural Insights Team budget will be spent on marketing.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many press officers are assigned to the Behavioural Insights Team. [65382]

Mr Maude: The team employs no press officers.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much his Department has spent on travel expenses for the Behavioural Insights Team since September 2010. [65383]

Mr Maude: Travel expenses for the team, including travel for unpaid academic advisers, amounted to £8,198.37.

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Carbon Emissions

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he has any plans to generate low-carbon energy from the Downing street estate. [65410]

Mr Maude: There are no plans to generate low-carbon energy from the Downing street estate.

The primary heat source for the estate is the Whitehall District Heating System, which runs from combined heat and power generation equipment. There are no plans to replace this.

Charitable Donations

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress the Behavioural Insights Team has made in developing a charitable project to improve donations. [65378]

Mr Maude: The recently published Giving White Paper

www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/resource-library/giving-white-paper

sets out what the Cabinet Office, with support from the Behavioural Insights Team, is doing to encourage charitable giving.

Deaths: Drugs

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people died of a drug overdose in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust area and (c) England in each year since 1997. [65841]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated July 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people died of a drug overdose in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust area and (c) England in each year since 1997. (65841)

The following tables provide the number of deaths where the underlying cause was (i) drug poisoning (Table 1) and (ii) drug poisoning and any drug controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was mentioned on the death certificate (Table 2), for (a) York unitary authority, (b) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust and (c) England, from 1997 to 2009 (the latest year available).

Table 1. Number of deaths from drug poisoning, York unitary authority, North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, and England, 1997 to 2009 (1, 2, 3, 4)
Deaths (persons)

York unitary authority North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust England

1997

7

36

2,644

1996

9

40

2,811

1999

7

29

2,932

2000

5

31

2,758

2001

13

38

2,884

2002

11

39

2,624

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2003

5

28

2,425

2004

12

32

2,606

2005

7

29

2,589

2006

8

29

2,396

2007

4

21

2,433

2008

6

22

2,734

2009

8

34

2,675

(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) for the years 1997 to 2000 and Tenth Revision (ICD 10) for the years 2001 to 2009. The ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for drug poisoning are shown in Box 1. (2) Based on boundaries as of 2011. (3 )Figures exclude deaths of non-residents. (4 )Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
Table 2. Number of deaths from drug misuse, York unitary authority, North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, and England, 1997 to 2009 (1, 2, 3, 4)
Deaths (persons)

York unitary authority North Yorkshire and York Primary are Trust England

1997

2

17

1,233

1998

4

18

1,389

1999

3

14

1,538

2000

2

19

1,510

2001

10

23

1,697

2002

7

20

1,505

2003

3

15

1,312

2004

8

22

1,417

2005

4

16

1,506

2006

4

17

1,456

2007

2

15

1,590

2008

5

16

1,800

2009

5

23

1,731

(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) for the years 1997 to 2000 and Tenth Revision (ICD 10) for the years 2001 to 2009. The ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for drug poisoning are shown in Box 1. Figures for drug misuse include all drug poisoning deaths where a drug controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was mentioned on the death certificate. (2) Based on boundaries as of 2011. (3) Figures exclude deaths of non-residents. (4) Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
Box 1. ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes for deaths related to drug poisoning
ICD-10 ICD-9 Description

F11-F16, F18-F19

292, 304, 305.2-305.9

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

X40-X44

E850-E858

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60-X64

E950.0-E950.5

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

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X85

E962.0

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

Y10-Y14

E980.0-E980.5

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

Business Regulation

Mr Umunna: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many regulations his Department has introduced (a) in the six months prior to 1 September 2010 and (b) in the six months after 1 September 2010 which it has determined do not impose costs on businesses. [65320]

Mr Maude: (a) Two regulations determined as not imposing costs on businesses were introduced by the Cabinet Office in the six months prior to 1 September 2010.

(b) No regulations determined as not imposing costs on businesses were introduced by the Cabinet Office in the six months after 1 September 2010.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many regulations that impose costs on businesses his Department has (a) introduced and (b) removed since 1 September 2010; what the net effect on the costs on businesses of such introductions and removals was; and what regulations have been excluded from the one-in one-out system because they address (i) emergencies and (ii) systemic financial risks since 1 September 2010. [65337]

Mr Maude: No regulations that impose costs on businesses have been introduced or revoked by the Cabinet Office since 1 September 2010.

No regulations have been excluded from the one-in one-out system because they addressed (i) emergencies and (ii) systemic financial risks since 1 September 2010.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many regulations that impose costs on businesses his Department (a) introduced and (b) removed in the six months prior to 1 September 2010; and what the net effect on the costs on businesses of such introductions and removals was. [65354]

Mr Maude: No regulations that impose a cost on businesses were introduced by the Cabinet Office in the six months prior to or the six months after 1 September 2010.

Food: Hygiene

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress the Behavioural Insights Team has made in relation to food hygiene. [65377]

Mr Maude: The recently published consumer empowerment strategy, “Better Choices, Better Deals”:

www.bis.gov.uk/policies/consumer-issues/consumer-empowerment

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a joint BIS/Behavioural Insights Team publication, sets out how the team has been progressing work on food hygiene. This work is ongoing.

New Businesses: Wales

Simon Hart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new business starts there have been in (a) Carmarthenshire and (b) Pembrokeshire since May 2010. [66290]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated July 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many new business starts there have been in (a) Carmarthenshire and (b) Pembrokeshire since May 2010. [66290]

Annual statistics on the number of enterprise births are available from the ONS release on Business Demography at

www.statistics.gov.uk

However, the information requested is not available as the latest estimates for business births relate to 2009.

Organs: Donors

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress the Behavioural Insights Team has made in relation to levels of organ donation. [65371]

Mr Maude: The Behavioural Insights Team has been working with the Department of Health to trial a new 'prompted choice' for organ donation. The changes to the DVLA website will go live in the near future.

Public Consultation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of the Behavioural Insight Team's budget is allocated to public consultations. [65379]

Mr Maude: No proportion of the Behavioural Insights Team's budget is allocated to public consultations.

Public Sector: Procurement

John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will take steps to ensure that all contracts put out to tender by Government Departments include a social value element. [65652]

Mr Maude: The role of the public procurer is to secure value for money in buying the goods and services that Government needs. Where they represent value for money, social issues can be taken into account in a way that is consistent with procurement law.

Smoking

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress the Behavioural Insights Team has made in relation to reductions in levels of smoking. [65370]

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Mr Maude: The Behavioural Insights Team and the Department of Health are working in partnership with Boots and a leading UK academic in the field of smoking cessation to trial ways to encourage more smokers to successfully quit smoking. Results are expected in 2012.

Communities and Local Government

Clubs: Public Finance

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what date the decision was taken by his Department to authorise public expenditure on an away day at the Brickhouse burlesque club; how much was spent on the away day and on which contractors and firms; what form the teambuilding event took; and what steps have been taken to reduce expenditure on away days. [59209]

Robert Neill: This away day event was authorised by the Department in February 2010, before the coalition Government took office. The booking was made under the last Administration, while the cost of the event was debited via the Government Procurement Card in May 2010.

Poisson Rouge, an events management company, was contracted to provide the venue and the event. The total cost of the event was £4,719.21 which comprised £3,417.71 of payments made to Poisson Rouge and £1,301.50 to the venue, the Brickhouse.

The event involved hire of a room during the day at the venue, for a review of work in internal audit. While I am informed the Brickhouse often features such figures as 'burlesque chanteuse Lady Beau Peep' and 'showgirl sensation Amber Topaz', the event in this instance did not involve civil servants watching, or indeed, performing cabaret or other eclectic entertainment.

No alcohol was consumed at the event. The purpose of the staff event was to review work carried out for 2009-10, identify areas for improvement, agree changes for the forthcoming year to improve service delivery and build the team. However, the final part of the day did involve a team building event involving drumming, organised by Poisson Rouge.

http://www.poissonrouge.co.uk/events-organisers/services/team-building/rhythm.asp

The policy on such events has changed significantly following the arrival of the new Administration in May 2010. Team review events now take place at no or very limited costs, for example through using rooms in the Department. New checks and balances have been put in place, assisted by the discipline of the Department publishing all spending over £500 and greater openness over the Government Procurement Card.

I am aware that Poisson Rouge has been used in the past by a number of public sector clients. Embracing transparency and reducing away day spending is a prime example of how both Whitehall and the town hall can make sensible savings to cut costs, protect frontline services and pay off the deficit inherited from the last administration.

13 July 2011 : Column 362W

Departmental Domestic Visits

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times he has visited (a) Buckinghamshire, (b) Surrey, (c) Liverpool and (d) Dorset in an official capacity since May 2010. [65982]

Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to my written answers of 17 February 2011, Official Report, column 887-888W, and 24 May 2011, Official Report, column 682-684W.

Fire Services

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what costs to the public purse have been incurred at each FiReControl room since it was constructed; what the cost to the public purse per month is of each Control room; how much has been spent on consultancy services for the FiReControl project to date; and what the monthly costs are of consultancy work connected with the regional FiReControl rooms. [58519]

Robert Neill [holding answer 10 June 2011]: In first instance, I refer the hon. Member to the National Audit Office report of 1 July 2011, HC 1272, on “The Failure of the FiReControl project”.

It states:

“The FiReControl project was flawed from the outset because it did not have the support of those essential to its success—local Fire and Rescue Services. The Department rushed the start of the project, failing to follow proper procedures. Ineffective checks and balances during initiation and early stages meant the Department committed itself to the project on the basis of broad-brush and inaccurate estimates of costs and benefits and an unrealistic delivery timetable, and agreed an inadequate contract with its IT supplier. The Department under-appreciated the project's complexity, and then mismanaged the IT contractor's performance and delivery. The Department failed to provide the necessary leadership to make the project successful, over-relying on poorly managed consultants and failing to sort out early problems with delivery by the contractor. The Department took a firmer grip of the project from 2009 and terminated the contract in December 2010 to avoid even more money being wasted. The Department is now trying to minimise the future cost of the project by subsidising Fire and Rescue Services to use the Regional Control Centres” (National Audit Office press release, 1 July 2011).

The total running costs incurred at each control centre building (up to and including April 2011) and the monthly running costs over the last three years are shown in the following table.

£
Control centre building Cost incurred in total (1) Estimated monthly running cost (inc. rent) (1) 2011-12 Estimated monthly running cost (inc. rent) (1) 2010-11 Estimated monthly running cost (inc. rent) (1) 2009-10

London

2,011,773

261,152

(2)268,320

(2)3,359

South East

5,268,002

164,200

171,434

167,684

South West

5,970,324

145,784

156,267

152,517

East of England

4,307,538

155,833

168,338

155,817

East Midlands

6,266,748

144,534

155,835

152,085

13 July 2011 : Column 363W

West Midlands

5,460,625

158,574

169,243

165,493

Yorkshire and Humberside

4,175,2-54

145,725

153,965

144,638

North East

5,894,453

142,647

150,434

146,684

North West

4,534,320

141,241

155,620

150,953

(1) All costs exclude VAT. (2) The building in London was completed on 26 February 2010 and was rent free until 26 November 2010. The 2010-11 figure from December 2010 is the estimated monthly running cost.

The National Audit Office report states on the empty buildings:

“The Department's failure to manage the project as a whole has resulted in the creation of empty regional control centres. The nine regional control centres were purpose-built to house the new computerised equipment and were designed specifically for that purpose. The Department's decision to prioritise the procurement of the centres over the IT system at an early stage meant that the first centres were completed in June 2007, just three months after the IT contract had been awarded” (Full Report, p.8).

A total of £68.6 million has been spent on consultancy services for the FiReControl project to date. There are currently no costs associated with consultancy work on the control centre buildings. Monthly cost comparisons between 2009-10 and 2010-11 are shown in the following table; the project closed in December 2010.

£
Month 2009-10 2010-11

April

413,300

851,300

May

390,500

397,000

June

1,372,500

753,900

July

845,500

773,400

August

2,755,300

495,100

September

937,000

647,800

October

1,088,100

542,800

November

99,400

613,700

December

868,900

512,800

January

702,100

280,000

February

790,400

176,900

March

998,500

38,100

Total

10,480,600

6,082,700

The coalition Government took decisive action and closed down the last Government's costly and flawed project when it became clear that it could not be delivered to an acceptable timeframe. Our aim is to achieve the best possible value for money for the taxpayer from these expensive legacy buildings that we have been handed on by the previous Administration.

We have already reached agreement with the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority to take over the control centre in Merton. Our preference is for Fire and Rescue Services to use the centres as they are highly resilient and built for this purpose. Where we cannot reach agreement for Fire and Rescue Services to move in, we will actively seek suitable tenants for them.

13 July 2011 : Column 364W

Fire Services: Finance

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons his Department has changed the funding formula for fire brigades. [65849]

Robert Neill: Two changes were made to the fire funding formula which are reflected in the current Local Government Finance Settlement. The first was to update the expenditure data and the second was to adopt a new fire risk index with a positive weight for population density. Both updates were made to reflect more up to date data. We took into account all of the views received on the options for change set out in the summer 2010 consultation paper, which concluded two years of work reviewing the existing formula with representatives from fire authorities.

Housing: Fire Extinguishers

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on the fitting of sprinkler systems to all new build domestic accommodation. [65688]

Andrew Stunell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Filton and Bradley Stoke (Jack Lopresti) on 28 March 2011, Official Report, column 6W.

North West Regional Development Agency: Lancashire

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what sites in (a) Hyndburn and (b) Lancashire are owned by the (i) North West Regional Development Agency and (ii) Homes and Communities Agency. [65569]

Andrew Stunell: The regional development agency assets are a matter for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable).

A detailed list of the assets owned by Homes and Communities Agency, broken down by local authority area, are listed on the agency website at:

http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/land-and-property-assets

These assets are a mix in terms of scale and type of land with many being part of ongoing negotiation or at a stage of contractual commitment for development, but are still in the agency's ownership. Others are small non-developable parcels such as grass verges.

Rents

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish the modelling on the effects on the Department for Work and Pensions, including the potential effects on housing benefit expenditure, of his policy on affordable rents. [64637]

13 July 2011 : Column 365W

Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government published a full impact assessment for Affordable Rent in June 2011. This includes indicative estimates of the potential effects on housing benefit expenditure:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/rentimpactassessment

Rough Sleepers

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the number of rough sleepers in York in (a) May 1997 and (b) May of each subsequent year. [65606]

Grant Shapps: The Government have introduced a new more accurate way of evaluating rough sleeping levels in England. Previously only local authorities where there was a known, or suspected, rough sleeping problem were required to provide a count, which led to a large number of existing rough sleepers being excluded from the data. All areas across England now provide counts or robust estimates giving a clear national picture. Latest statistics show 1,768 rough sleepers in England on any one night in autumn 2010. York unitary authority provided an estimate of two rough sleepers in the area. These figures are published at the following link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/1845849.xls

Rough sleeping statistics for previous years are not comparable to the latest figures. However, figures for previous years have been published on the DCLG website and are available at the following link:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/1648099.xls

The Department has no plans to revise its rough sleeping statistics for previous years.

This Government are committed to tackling rough sleeping and preventing homelessness. We have maintained the level of Homelessness Grant, with £400 million for local authorities and the voluntary sector over the next four years. A cross-departmental Ministerial Working Group has been set up to address the complex causes of homelessness and improve support for homeless people.

Travellers: Planning Permission

Hazel Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements he has put in place in respect of the retrospective grant of planning permission to Travellers. [64859]

Robert Neill: The provisions on retrospective planning applications in the Localism Bill will apply to all developers. Clause 108 provides for local planning authorities to decline to determine retrospective planning applications where an enforcement notice has been served. This means that a developer may attempt to obtain planning permission for an unauthorised development by either a retrospective planning application or an enforcement appeal, but not both.

This will allow for the correction of innocent mistakes, such as a householder not realising planning permission was required, whilst clamping down on the intentional abuse of retrospective planning permission.

13 July 2011 : Column 366W

Waste Disposal

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which local authorities collect resident and business waste (a) weekly and (b) bi-weekly. [62371]

Robert Neill: We believe the public have a reasonable expectation that their household waste collections should be weekly, particularly for smelly waste. That is why we have already ditched the last Government's policy of imposing fortnightly collections and we are now going to work with local councils to increase the frequency and quality of rubbish collections. We want to make it easier to recycle, and to tackle measures which encouraged councils to cut the scope of collections.

My Department does not hold centrally the frequency data requested, however, the Government will be working with the Waste and Resources Action Programme to monitor levels of service, and my Department is examining how we can increase transparency to local residents on the frequency and cost efficiency of waste collections, with a view to using best practice to help increase frequency and quality of service.

Defence

Assassination: Armed Conflict

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Government's policy is on the targeted killing of individuals (a) in armed conflict situations and (b) outside armed conflict situations; and if he will make a statement. [64472]

Dr Fox: Any use of force whether in an armed conflict or otherwise will need to be consistent with applicable legal obligations, whether under a UN Security Council Resolution or some other legal mandate. In an armed conflict situation we would comply with the Laws of Armed Conflict. Any use of force outside of an armed conflict should be consistent with that legal mandate and also with English criminal law, for instance, in cases such as self defence, defence of others or prevention of crime.

Defence: Space Technology

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to improve the UK's military space capability. [65975]

Peter Luff: As part of the strategic defence and security review, the Government expressed its intent to develop a national space security policy which will coherently address all aspects of the UK's dependence on space. The Ministry of Defence is currently closely involved in this policy development work, which will set the context for what improvements, if any, may be necessary to meet the UK's future military space capability requirements.

Business Regulation

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulations his Department has introduced (a) in the six months prior to 1 September 2010 and

13 July 2011 : Column 367W (b)

in the six months after 1 September 2010 which it has determined do not impose costs on businesses. [65308]

Peter Luff: All of the regulations introduced by the Ministry of Defence in the six months prior to 1 September 2010 and in the six months after 1 September 2010 were determined not to impose costs on businesses. Defence Ministers signed seven statutory instruments in the first period, and five statutory instruments in the second period. The Government's policy is to consider alternatives to regulation. A list of regulatory measures introduced in the first half of 2011 can be found in the Statement of New Regulation in the Library of the House.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulations that impose costs on businesses his Department has (a) introduced and (b) removed since 1 September 2010; what the net effect on the costs on businesses of such introductions and removals was; and what regulations have been excluded from the one-in one-out system because they address (i) emergencies and (ii) systemic financial risks since 1 September 2010. [65325]

Peter Luff: No regulations that impose costs on businesses have been introduced or removed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) since 1 September 2010. No regulations were excluded from the one-in, one-out system by the MOD because they address emergencies and systemic financial risks since 1 September 2010. The one-in, one-out regulatory management system, although announced in September, did not come into force until January 2011.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulations that impose costs on businesses his Department (a) introduced and (b) removed in the six months prior to 1 September 2010; and what the net effect on the costs on businesses of such introductions and removals was. [65341]

Peter Luff: No regulations that impose costs on businesses have been introduced or removed by the Ministry of Defence in the six months prior to 1 September 2010.

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions a request for a meeting by an hon. Member of each political party has been refused by (a) a Minister in his Department directly and (b) his Department on behalf of a Minister since May 2010. [64430]

Dr Fox: Defence Ministers are committed to an open and regular dialogue with their parliamentary counterparts, however the information requested is not held.

HMS Ark Royal

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the decision to sell HMS Ark Royal. [65156]

13 July 2011 : Column 368W

Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 March 2011, Official Report, column 389W, to the right hon. Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Frank Dobson).

HMS Endurance

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (a) for how long HMS Endurance was leased, (b) how much that lease cost and (c) at what cost it was purchased. [58918]

Peter Luff: The records of these arrangements are stored in archive and need to be retrieved in order to provide a full answer to the hon. Member. I will write to the hon. Member in due course.

Substantive answer from Peter Luff to Angus Robertson:

In my answer of 15 June 2011 to your Parliamentary Question (Official Report, column 830W), I undertook to write to you and provide details of the lease and purchase of HMS Endurance.

In October 1991, the Department leased the Polar Circle, which was subsequently renamed HMS Endurance, for a period of seven months for £3.1 million. The ship was then purchased for £25 million in early 1992.

I am placing a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.

Libya: Armed Conflict

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets that have been used in the Libyan campaign are due for decommissioning under the strategic defence and security review; what elements of that capacity will be replaced; and in what time frame. [64958]

Dr Fox [holding answer 11 July 2011]:Following the strategic defence and security review, a number of assets have been, or are planned to be, withdrawn that have been used in Libya. These are as follows:

the withdrawal from service of the Type 22 Frigate HMS Cumberland in April this year, without replacement;

the withdrawal from service of the three variants of the TriStar transport/tanker aircraft as we transition to the more capable A330 (Voyager) over the next few years;

reducing the role of the VC-10 transport/tanker aircraft to air-to-air refuelling only, with the target of withdrawing it by 2013 as Voyager enters service;

the withdrawal from service of the C-130J Hercules tactical transport aircraft by 2022, as we transition to the larger and more capable A400M aircraft;

the withdrawal from service of the Sentinel aircraft, once these are no longer required to support operations in Afghanistan, and of the Sea King Mk 7 helicopter from 2016. We have a number of manned and remotely piloted aircraft either in-service or forthcoming that will mitigate the loss of these aircraft.

We will continue to have the capability required to continue to support UK activity in Libya pursuant with UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons forces involved in Operation (a) Ellamy and (b) Unified Protector are not eligible for operational pay. [65846]

Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the Statement made earlier today by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox).

13 July 2011 : Column 369W

Military Aircraft

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying hours are provided for in the Sentinel R1 Aircraft basic contract. [65853]

Peter Luff: The Sentinel contractor logistic support contract provides for 3,200 flying hours per year.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has made for the replacement of the capability currently provided by Sentinel R1 aircraft after 2015. [65855]

Peter Luff: The strategic defence and security review announced the decision to delete the Sentinel capability in 2015. The Ministry of Defence is developing plans to address the capability gap and expect to reach conclusions in the autumn. The plans are likely to involve the use of Watchkeeper, an unmanned air vehicle, and future systems such as the Crowsnest programme from 2016, and through the development of Scavenger, an unmanned air system.

Military Decorations

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will recommend an extension to the qualification criteria for receipt of the Diamond Jubilee Medal to allow those who have served for a minimum of five years in the armed forces at any point during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II to apply; [65080]

(2) if he will recommend an extension to the qualification criteria for receipt of the Diamond Jubilee Medal to those currently serving in the armed forces who have been deployed to Afghanistan at any point since February 2007 without having served for a minimum of five years. [65079]

Mr Robathan: We welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), on 28 June 2011 that members of the armed forces (regular and reserves) who have completed five full calendar years of service, and are serving on 6 February 2012, will be presented with a medal to mark Her Majesty's diamond jubilee.

The Ministry of Defence will issue detailed qualifying criteria applying to personnel later this summer, and the points raised by these questions will be taken into consideration during this work.

Military Police

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what elements of the service police in the (a) Army, (b) RAF and (c) Royal Navy operate on a tri-service basis. [64909]

Mr Robathan: Joint service units comprising personnel from the three service police forces operate in the following locations:

Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands;

Defence College of Policing and Guarding;

Service Police Crime Bureau;

Afghanistan;

Diego Garcia.

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Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) duties and (b) priorities of service police in the (i) Army, (ii) RAF and (iii) Royal Navy are; and if he will make a statement. [64912]

Mr Robathan: Each service police force is headed by a Provost Marshal and directed by their respective services. Each force provides different capabilities and is therefore organised differently.

Royal Military Police (RMP)

The duties and priorities of the RMP are twofold; to police the Army and, to provide support to the Army. The first covers the provision of policing and investigative services in a contemporary operating environment at home and while deployed, in order to support the service justice system. The second covers the use of police and investigative skills to support military operations, and includes close protection for designated individuals.

Royal Air Force (RAF) Police

The RAF Police duties and priorities are to provide police, counter-intelligence and protective security support to enable RAF commanders to deliver effective military capability. Their roles include the policing of RAF stations at home and overseas, provision of higher level investigative support, and advising on security and risk management issues. They also provide tactical policing support to military operations including close protection and counter intelligence work.

Royal Navy Police (RNP)

The RNP support operational effectiveness and the delivery of military capability by the prevention, investigation and detection of crime and disciplinary offences across the naval service.

The overriding priority for RNP is to support the Royal Navy on deployed operations and enhance the policing capability to deal with counter-piracy and narcotic operations. Within the UK base port areas, RNP policing priorities are to reduce crime that impacts on military capability and respond to the needs of military communities including concerns over crime and anti-social behaviour.

Military Police: Expenditure

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the costs of administration of the service police, including the Service Police Crime Bureau, were in the latest period for which figures are available. [64910]

Mr Robathan: It is important to note that administrative costs are recorded differently across the service police.

The administration costs of the service police for financial year 2010-11 were as follows:

Royal Military Police—£1,907,954

This figure includes the administration cost of the Service Police Crime Bureau which is met by Provost Marshal (Army) and was £183,831 over the period. The figure does not include the costs of Royal Military Police or civilian personnel involved in administrative duties who are allocated to other military units.

Royal Air Force Police—£4,632,000

The RAF police figure covers all administration costs and includes civilian personnel costs at £2 million.

Royal Navy Police—£246,744

13 July 2011 : Column 371W

This figure does not include administrative costs associated with Royal Navy police on budgets other than fleet, sea-going units, deployed operations, or Tri Service establishments.

Nuclear Disarmament

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what matters were agreed at the meeting of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on nuclear disarmament held in Paris between 29 June and 1 July 2011; and if he will place in the Library copies of papers circulated by attending parties. [65184]

Mr Lidington: I have been asked to reply.

The P5 Conference in Paris was a significant demonstration by the five nuclear weapon states of their determination to make progress against their commitments agreed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference Action Plan in May 2010. A public statement announcing the outcomes of the Conference was issued immediately afterwards and is available on the FCO website:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=PressS&id=627529382

In order to facilitate frank discussions on sensitive issues, participants had agreed in advance that the detail of the discussions and papers circulated at the meeting would remain confidential. The meeting successfully contributed to building mutual trust between the P5; reaching agreement on further work on new confidence-building disarmament initiatives, including the establishment of a working group to enhance understanding of P5 nuclear terminology, and a confidential UK-hosted expert-level meeting later this year to share lessons from work that the UK has led on verification of nuclear warhead dismantlement.

Records of Detention

Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the oral statement of 26 February 2009, Official Report, columns 3294-97W, on records of detention (review conclusions) and the answer of 6 July 2009, Official Report, column 549W, on Afghanistan: detainees, what steps UK authorities took to determine the status, under the Geneva conventions, of the two detainees concerned; whether the two individuals were classified by the UK authorities as (a) prisoners of war, (b) civilians, (c) protected persons or (d) under any other legal classification; in what detention centres in Iraq the two detainees were held by the US prior to their transfer to Afghanistan; and on what date the two transfers to Afghanistan took place. [58497] [Official Report, 11 October 2011, Vol. 533, c. 3-4MC.]

Dr Fox [holding answer 9 June 2011]:These individuals were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba and they were captured as they posed an imperative threat to security in Iraq. They had travelled to Iraq to target coalition forces and the operation launched against them was necessary in order to save lives. Our forces risked their lives to capture such individuals and to ensure the security of Iraq.

They were captured by UK forces in and around Baghdad in February 2004, at the time that the UK was an occupying power in south eastern Iraq, and immediately transferred to US forces in Iraq in accordance with established processes. The reason for this transfer was

13 July 2011 : Column 372W

that the UK did not have its own detention facility close to where the two individuals were captured. The individuals were then held in US detention at Balad and subsequently transferred to a US detention facility in Afghanistan by August 2004.

UK forces did not undertake an assessment of whether or not the individuals were prisoners of war because they were immediately transferred to US forces for detention. As part of the review of the case completed by officials between late 2008 and early 2009, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) considered the status of the detainees and determined that, as there was no information to suggest that they were members of the armed forces of Iraq, they would not have been prisoners of war. They may have been protected persons under the Geneva conventions, subject to certain criteria being satisfied. If they were protected persons, compliance with the Geneva conventions in respect of detainees held by US forces was primarily a matter for the US.

The MOD is co-operating fully with Sir Peter Gibson's Detainee inquiry, the purpose of which was described by the Prime Minister, in July 2010 as to

“examine whether, and if so to what extent, the UK Government and its intelligence agencies were involved in improper treatment of detainees held by other countries in counter-terrorism operations overseas, or were aware of the improper treatment of detainees in operations in which the UK was involved”.

We understand that the Detainee inquiry will consider this case as part of their work.

Service Police: Travel

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was of travel for official purposes of civilian staff of the service police, across the Army, RAF and Navy between May 2010 and 2011. [65283]

Mr Robathan: The travel and subsistence costs incurred by civilian staff supporting the service police was as follows:


£

Royal Navy police

0

Royal Air Force police

1,901.74

It is not possible to provide a figure for the civilian staff supporting the Royal Military Police (RMP) since any travel costs are met by the relevant unit where the RMP are located, therefore this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Education

Children in Care: GCSE

Mr Timpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of (a) looked after children and (b) other children gained five GCSEs or equivalents at grades A* to C in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2010; and how many of those included GCSEs or equivalents in English and mathematics. [64319]

13 July 2011 : Column 373W

Tim Loughton: Information on the percentage of looked after children who achieve five GCSEs, as well as those who achieve five GCSEs including English and mathematics, is available in table 3.1 of the Department's Statistical First Release, Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England, as at 31 March 2010. This shows the percentage of children looked after continuously for 12 months at 31 March who achieved five or more GCSEs (including equivalents) for all years since 2006. Information on years prior to 2006 is not available from this data source. The publication can be found at:

13 July 2011 : Column 374W

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000978/index.shtml

Information taken from table 3.1 is shown in table 1; this follows the current practice of comparing the GCSE performance of children looked after continuously for 12 months with that of all children. Information on the GCSE performance of children who are not looked after can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Key Stage 4 performance of children who have been looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 31 March (1) compared to Key Stage 4 performance of all children, years: 2006-10—coverage: England
    Percentage of children
        Who achieved (GCSE or equivalent)

Number eligible to sit GCSEs (2) Entered for at least 1 GCSE or equivalent Entered for at least 5 GCSEs or equivalent Any pass 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-G 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C 5+ GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics

2006

4,900

62.5

49.0

61.8

40.7

11.8

5.9

2007

4,900

61.8

48.5

61.3

40.8

13.5

6.9

2008

5,000

66.3

53.0

66.3

46.1

16.6

8.5

2009

5,000

68.5

56.0

68.7

49.7

21.1

9.8

2010

5,100

77.6

58.9

78.0

50.6

25.1

11.6

               

All children (3)

             

2006

648,800

92.3

97.5

97.3

90.1

59.0

45.6

2007

655,100

94.4

99.5

98.0

90.9

61.4

46.3

2008

653,000

93.8

99.1

98.6

91.6

65.3

47.6

2009

634,500

98.8

94.3

98.9

92.3

70.0

49.8

2010

639,700

98.8

94.3

99.0

92.7

75.3

53.4

(1) Children looked after continuously for at least 12 months as at 31 March excluding those children in respite care. (2) Number of eligible children based dh those aged 15 at the start of the academic year i.e. 31 August. (3) Figures (or all children are taken from Statistical First Release. GCSE and Equivalent Results in England, 2009/10 (Revised). Figures on GCSE entries are taken from equivalent earlier publications. Note: Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100. Source: CLA-NPD matched data

Information on the GCSE attainment of children looked after continuously for 12 months in 1997 is not available. The earliest data available are for 2000 and relate to all children looked after continuously at 30 September each year. These data include GNVQs but do not include any other GCSE equivalent qualifications. As these data have been derived from a different data source and includes a different cohort of children, the percentages given in table 2 are not directly comparable with those shown in table 1. Information on the percentage of children looked after continuously for 12 months at 30 September who achieved five or more A* to C grade GCSEs including English and mathematics or the percentage of these children entered for GCSEs is not available. The available information is shown in table 2.

Table 2: GCSE performance of looked-after children in Year 11 compared with all children, school years ending 30 September 2000 and 2001, England
Numbers and percentages
  Looked-after children All children (1)
  Numbers Percentages (2) Percentages

2000 2001 2000 2001 2000 2001

Number in Year 11

3,900

4,200

Number who sat at least 1 GCSE or GNVQ(3)

2,100

2,200

53.5

54.1

             

Number who obtained at least:

           

1 GCSE at grade A* to G or a GNVQ

1,900

2,100

40.2

49.6

94

95

5 GCSE's at grade A* to G

1,400

1,400

35.5

33.1

89

90

13 July 2011 : Column 375W

13 July 2011 : Column 376W

5 GCSE's at grade A* to C

280

330

7.3

8.0

49

48

(1) Source: DfES statistical bulletin: GCSE/GNVQ and GCE A/ASA/CE/Advanced GNVQ Examination Results 2000/01—England. Issued May 2002. (2) Expressed as a percentage of all looked after children in Year 11. (3) DfES did not collect this data item for all children.

Children in Care: Reading

Mr Timpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of (a) looked after children and (b) other children achieved the expected standard in reading and writing at key stage 1 in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2010. [64320]

Tim Loughton: Information on the percentage of looked after children who achieve the expected standard in reading and writing in key stage 1 tests is available in table 1.1 of the Department's Statistical First Release, Outcomes for Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England, as at 31 March 2010. This shows the percentage of children looked after continuously for 12 months at 31 March who achieved at least level 2 in reading and writing key stage 1 tests for all years since 2006. Information on years prior to 2006 is not available from this data source. The publication can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000978/index.shtml

Information taken from table 1.1 is shown in table 1; this follows the current practice of comparing the academic achievement of children looked after continuously for 12 months with that of all children. Information on the key stage 1 performance of children who are not looked after can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Eligibility and performance of children who have been looked after continuously for at least 12 months (1) at key stage 1, includes comparisons with all children (2) . Years: 2006-10. Coverage: England
Number/percentage

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Children looked after (1)

         

Number eligible to sit key stage 1 tasks and tests(3)

1,700

1,500

1,500

1,400

1,400

Percentage who achieved at least level 2(4) in the following:

         

Reading

57

55

56

56

58

Writing

50

48

49

49

51

           

All children (2)

         

Number eligible to sit key stage 1 tasks and tests(3)

559,800

545,300

535,800

531,900

551,400

Percentage who achieved at least level 2(4) in the following:

         

Reading

84

84

84

84

85

Writing

81

80

80

81

81

(1) Children looked after continuously for at least 12 months as at 31 March excluding those children in respite care. (2) Figures for all children taken from Statistical First Release, National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 1 in England, 2009/10 (Provisional). (3) Number of eligible children based on those aged six at the start of the academic year, i.e. on 31 August. (4) Expected level for age group. Figures at key stage 1 are based on teacher assessments. (5) All numbers less than 1,000 are rounded to the nearest 10, otherwise they are rounded to the nearest 100. Source: CLA-NPD matched data

Information on the key stage 1 attainment of children looked after continuously for 12 months for years prior to 2006 relates to children looked after continuously at 30 September each year. Please note that because these data have been derived from a different data source and include a different cohort of children, the percentages given in table 2 are not directly comparable with those shown in table 1 above. The earliest year for which this information is available is 2000; this is shown in table 2.

Table 2: Eligibility and performance of looked-after children in key stage tasks and tests, compared with all children, school years ending 30 September 2000 and 2001. England
Number and percentage
  Looked after children All children (1)    
  Number Percentage Percentage Ratio QP7 (2)
Year 2 2000 2001 2000 2001 2000 2001 2000 2001

Number eligible to sit key stage 2 tasks and tests

2,000

2,100

13 July 2011 : Column 377W

13 July 2011 : Column 378W

Number who attained at least level 2(3) in the following:

               

Reading task(4)

970

950

47.6

45.1

83

84

0.6

0.5

Writing task

990

1,100

48.6

50.6

84

86

0.6

0.6

(1 )Source: DfES bulletin ‘National curriculum assessments of 7, 11 and 14 year olds in England—2001’. (2) The proportion of looked after children attaining the target levels or better in each of the tested subjects in the National Curriculum Assessments tests, expressed as a ratio of the proportion of all children at that stage attaining the target level or better in the local education authority. (3) Target level for age group. (4) The ‘all children’ key stage 1 reading task figure is derived by DfES from an average of children attaining level 2 or above in the reading task and pupils attaining level 3 or above in the reading comprehension test, therefore cannot be directly compared with the reading task or reading comprehension test figures for looked after children. There was also a reading comprehension task in 2000. Figures shown for 2000 are for reading task only.

Freedom of Information Requests

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many requests under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department received from (a) hon. Members from each political party and (b) members of the public in each year since the Act's entry into force. [63583]

Tim Loughton: The Department does not collect statistics about the background of individual requesters. This is because the Freedom of Information Act is applicant and motive blind and therefore it is not necessary to record or determine whether a requestor is a Member of Parliament or member of the public.

The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the volume, timeliness and outcome of information requests received by over 40 central Government bodies.

Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what responsibility he has for contributing to Government action against human trafficking; and what recent action he has taken in this regard. [65361]

Tim Loughton: The Department is working closely with the Home Office, other Government Departments and stakeholders on the development of a new human trafficking strategy. I am reviewing guidance which was issued by the previous Government on safeguarding children from trafficking, and am considering improved measures to protect trafficked children going missing from care. We have also provided a grant of £521,360 for 2011-12, and a further grant of £876,360 for 2012-13 conditional on meeting targets, for a Barnardo's project aimed at providing specialist support to sexually exploited or trafficked children. Additionally I sit on the Minister of State for Immigration's inter-departmental ministerial group on human trafficking.

Energy and Climate Change

Climate Change: Satellite Communications

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of Earth observation satellite technology in monitoring (a) climate change and (b) the impacts of climate change. [65812]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) welcomes the assessment and recommendations provided by the 2010 update of the “Implementation Plan for the Global Observing System for Climate in Support of the UNFCCC” on climate observations, including those obtained by satellite technology, prepared by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) secretariat. A UK response to the 2010 Update is currently in preparation.

DECC also welcomes the 2011 update of the satellite supplement to the GCOS implementation plan that is currently under way. The Department is well aware of the importance of Earth observation satellite technology in monitoring (a) climate change and (b) the impacts of climate change, and works closely with the UK Space Agency on such matters.