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14 July 2011 : Column 425W

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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 14 July 2011

Scotland

Andy Coulson

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by Mr Andrew Coulson since 21 January 2011; [66067]

(2) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by Mr Andrew Coulson between 12 May 2010 and 21 January 2011. [66068]

Michael Moore: As has been the practice of previous Administrations information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement to the House of 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 311-14.

Ministerial Meetings

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by (A) representatives, (B) journalists and (C) other employees of (1) News International and its subsidiary organisations including newspapers, (2) News Corporation and its subsidiary organisations and (3) BSkyB since 12 May 2010. [66060]

Michael Moore: As has been the practice of previous Administrations information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement of 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 311-14.

Departmental Lost Property

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what property has been (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost of replacement was. [66570]

Michael Moore: In the last 12 months, one item has been reported as lost. The Scotland Office incurred a cost of £125 to replace this item.

Devolution

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on a referendum on independence in Scotland. [66145]

Michael Moore: I have regular discussions with the Prime Minister on a range of policy matters.

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Lloyd Banking Group: Redundancy

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had recent discussions with representatives of Lloyds Banking Group on planned redundancies in Scotland. [66144]

Michael Moore: I met with representatives of Lloyds Banking Group on 4 and 7 July 2011.

Olympic Games 2012

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent assessment he has made of the benefits to the economy of Scotland of the London 2012 Olympics. [66087]

David Mundell: Scotland stands to gain from the wide range of opportunities created by the Games, through businesses winning Games-related work, increased tourism and cultural celebrations.

As of June 2011, 25 Scottish businesses directly involved in the construction programme have supplied the Olympic Delivery Authority, to the value of almost £24.5 million. This figure does not include the value of contracts further down the supply chain.

Trade Groups

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) who will be members of the Scottish Trade Group announced on 8 July 2011; and what criteria will be set for membership; [66161]

(2) what powers will be provided to the Scottish Trade Group announced on 8 July 2011; and what funding the Government plans to provide to the group. [66162]

Michael Moore: Overseas trade and investment is vital to the economic recovery and it is essential that Scotland plays its part. On 8 July 2011, I established the Scottish Trade Group to examine ways in which the UK Government can do more to help Scottish companies do business overseas.

This is a non-statutory group which will provide advice to me in my capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland. Its purpose is to serve as a direct channel for companies and others in Scotland to share views with the UK Government on their trade and investment priorities.

We are working in partnership with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), who will provide secretariat support and hosting facilities. The Group will draw on the expertise of UK Trade and Investment, Scottish Development International and SCDI who are working hard to help Scottish companies do more trade across the globe. The Group will include representatives from a range of industry sectors from across Scotland, drawing on SCDI's broad membership.

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Defence

Cybercrime

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent assessment is of the threat faced by the UK from cyber attack; and what his policy is on how to respond to that threat. [64842]

Dr Fox: The Government take cyber security very seriously and has recently announced additional funding of £650 million to protect the United Kingdom and to respond effectively to threats from cyberspace.

The national cyber security programme went live in April 2011 and is managed by the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA). The OCSIA supports the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), and the National Security Council in determining priorities in relation to securing cyberspace. The unit provides strategic direction and coordinates action relating to enhancing cyber security and information assurance in the UK.

Within the Ministry of Defence (MOD) there are technical, organisational, procedural, and physical measures in place to protect against and mitigate the impact of cyber attacks. We do not comment on the specific detail of cyber security incidents or threat assessments.

The MOD is leading on work to develop a cyber security and information risk management regime under the auspices of the pan-Government Information Communications Technology (ICT) strategy to apply to all major ICT projects and common infrastructure and services

The MOD reviews the adequacy of its overall protection on an annual basis to inform its planning round process.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for delivery of each programme funded through his Department's allocation to cyber security. [64907]

Dr Fox: The Defence Cyber Security Programme, which is responsible for delivering the Defence element of the National Cyber Security Programme in the Ministry of Defence, will deliver its objectives by 2015.

Cybercrime: Manpower

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military and (b) non-military serving personnel are assigned to cyber security tasks; and what the rank or position is of each such person. [64908]

Dr Fox: Cyber security is the responsibility of all personnel within the Ministry of Defence, and we are taking action to mainstream it into the way we conduct operations and business.

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In doing so, we draw on a wide range of specialist personnel. Details of their numbers, ranks or positions, are being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account when deciding to relocate the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. [65049]

Peter Luff: In 2009, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) completed a programme of site rationalisation which reduced its footprint from 17 to three core sites: Porton Down, Fort Halstead and Portsdown West. I have interpreted this question to refer to the subsequent decision which I announced on 17 June 2011, Official Report, columns 87-88WS, to further rationalise DSTL’s footprint and relocate staff from Fort Halstead to Porton Down and Portsdown West. The following factors informed that decision:

Capability

The majority of the capabilities based at Fort Halstead will benefit from relocation because of potential synergies of skills and facilities with capabilities already based at the other DSTL sites. No capabilities will be disadvantaged by such a move.

Flexibility

Focusing on a smaller number of sites will increase DSTL’s ability to flex resources between capabilities in response to changing customer demand and priorities—including any potential future draw-down.

Career development

Staff will have greater opportunity to develop their careers by moving within DSTL without needing to move home.

Smith review

Nearly 800 civil service posts will be relocated out of the south-east of England.

Sustainability

Much of the building stock and infrastructure at Fort Halstead is old and not carbon efficient. The move will enable DSTL to significantly improve its performance against its sustainability targets.

Finance

DSTL will save about £1 million of operating costs per month.

Departmental Pay

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what salary each Minister in his Department received in 2010-11. [64568]

Dr Fox [holding answer 7 July 2011]: On 13 May 2010 this Government introduced a 5% reduction in ministerial salaries compared to Ministers in the last Government.

Salaries paid to Ministers in the Ministry of Defence for financial year 2010-11 are as follows:

  Period:  
Ministers From To Salary to 31 March 2011 (£)

Dr Liam Fox MP

12 May 2010

31 March 2011

61,056.18

Nick Harvey MP

13 May 2010

31 March 2011

29,187.29

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Gerald Howarth MP

14 May 2010

31 March 2011

20,894.13

Andrew Robathan MP

14 May 2010

31 March 2011

20,894.13

Peter Luff MP

26 May 2010

31 March 2011

20,129.71

Lord Astor of Hever

26 May 2010

31 March 2011

0

Disclosure of Information

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the inquiry established to determine responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure of the letter from the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister published in The Daily Telegraph on 28 September 2010 has cost to date. [65514]

Dr Fox [holding answer 12 July 2011]: There has been no net additional cost, as it is being undertaken by staff as part of their official duties that are already resourced.

Electronic Data Systems

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department paid to EDS between 1997 and 2010; and how much his Department paid to EDS in compensation for changes to the Defence Information Infrastructure project in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. [63470]

Peter Luff: Payments made by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to EDS Defence Limited are shown in the table.

No compensation payments were made to EDS Defence Limited for changes to the Defence Information Infrastructure project in 2006 and 2007. The necessary project enhancements were effected through the MOD's programme change procedures.

Financial year Payments (£ million)

1997-98

n/a

1998-99

141

1999-2000

116

2000-01

118

2001-02

144

2002-03

179

2003-04

181

2004-05

201

2005-06

336

2006-07

570

2007-08

634

2008-09

775

2009-10

818

n/a = Not available.

Figures are at current prices and exclude VAT.

The payments reported have been extracted from the MOD's central contracts database on which is recorded the majority (about 95%) of all MOD payments. Any payments not processed centrally are not included and may have been made on behalf of other Government Departments, by the MOD's Trading Funds and Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies (which lie outside the MOD's accounting boundary), locally by the Department, through third parties such as prime contractors or other Government Departments and in relation to collaborative projects where the payments are made through international procurement agencies or overseas Governments;

From 2004-05, the individual subsidiaries and joint ventures relating to EDS Defence Limited have been reproduced from the corporate structures published in Table 1.17a of UK Defence Statistics. We have used the Hewlett Packard corporate structure for 2008-09 onwards following their takeover of EDS. Where a contract is novated during the year, annual payments are recorded against the company taking ownership of the contract.

Figures before 2004-05 may not reflect the full holding company structure for EDS Defence Limited owing to data limitations.

Royal Marines

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Royal Marines are configured to operate at brigade level following implementation of the proposals in the strategic defence and security review. [65854]

Nick Harvey: By implementing the proposals set out in the strategic defence and security review, the Royal Marines will be configured to deliver one Lead Commando Group of up to 1,800 personnel.

Military Decoration

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Polar Medals have been awarded since 1997. [65889]

Mr Robathan: 73 Polar Medals and seven Clasps have been awarded since 1997.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are applied to determine the award of the Polar Medal. [66014]

Mr Robathan: The criteria are clearly outlined in the Royal Warrant of 1998 which was published in the London Gazette No. 55252 dated 14 September 1998. All nominations are considered in accordance with the Royal Warrant.

Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the Polar Medal; and if he will make a statement. [66015]

Mr Robathan: The policy is clearly outlined in the Royal Warrant of 1998 which was published in the London Gazette No. 55252 dated 14 September 1998.

Her Majesty the Queen is the final arbitrator of the recommendations received from the Polar Medal Assessment Committee.

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Military Aircraft

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying hours the Sentinel R1 aircraft undertook in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Libya in the latest period for which data are available. [65856]

Peter Luff [holding answer 13 July 2011]: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

Military Police

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many service police are assigned to each location in the (a) Army, (b) RAF, (c) Navy and (d) the Service Police Crime Bureau; [64911]

(2) how many (a) military personnel of each rank and (b) non-military personnel of each grade serve in the (i) Royal Military Police, (ii) Royal Air Force Police, (iii) Royal Navy Police and (iv) Service Police Crime Bureau. [65071]

Mr Robathan: I will write to the hon. Member.

Transport

Business: Billing

Oliver Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of invoices from small and medium-sized businesses were paid by his Department within five working days of receipt in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [63556]

Norman Baker: The percentage of invoices paid within five days by the Department for the 12 months June 2010 to May 2011 is 90.66%. It is not possible to distinguish those which relate to small and medium-sized businesses.

This represents 181,653 invoices paid within five days for the 12-month period out of 200,374 invoices received.

The Department does not currently record and publish information about the size of suppliers as this does not fully reflect the number and size of businesses engaged in supplying goods and services. We do not discriminate by size of business because many SMEs can be found within larger supply chains.

Crown Relocations

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many contracts his Department holds with Crown Relocations; and what the (a) purpose and (b) monetary value of each such contract is. [58640]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport holds no contracts with Crown Relocations.

Cycle to Work Scheme

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to promote the Cycle to Work Scheme in (a) Lincoln constituency, (b) Lincolnshire and (c) the UK. [66148]

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Norman Baker: The Department has traditionally promoted both the Cycle to Work Scheme and the Cycle to Work Guarantee to employers, employees and other Government Departments across the country through a number of Departmental-led promotions and projects. The Department also funds the National Business Travel Network (NBTN). NBTN launched a DFT part funded 'ways2work' tool kit in November 2010 to help people and businesses work more efficiently. The tool kit includes a section on encouraging cycling to work.

Most recently the Cycle to Work Scheme has been promoted through guidance to the members of the Physical Activity Network which is part of the Department of Health-led Public Health Responsibility Deal. I have also provided a foreword in support of the Cycle to Work-Alliance's Behavioural Impact Analysis.

Finally, the results of bids for Tranche 1 of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund were released on 5 July 2011, many of which included elements relating to cycling to work.

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any external consultants have been engaged as part of the planned introduction of free-flow charging on the Dartford Crossing. [65037]

Mike Penning: External consultants have been engaged by the Highways Agency to support the development of the options and business case for the introduction of free-flow charging at the Dartford-Thurrock river crossing.

Departmental Procurement

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provisions in respect of behavioural standards have been included in procurement contracts issued by his Department since May 2010. [61679]

Norman Baker: While the Department for Transport does not require contractors to comply with specific ‘behavioural standards’, where relevant, the standard terms of the Department's contracts include requirements in respect of discrimination, health and safety, the environment, and the protection of employment in the event of a transfer of an undertaking (TUPE).

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the name is of each regulatory measure revoked by his Department between 2 March and 31 May 2011; and what estimate he has made of the potential annual saving to those affected by each revocation. [60574]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport made two statutory instruments (not counting temporary and local ones) that came into force during the period between 2 March and 31 May 2011 and contained revocations. They are listed in the following table. Neither was expected to result in any saving to those affected as the changes to the law were technical.

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Title No. In force

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Trading Fund (Revocation) Order 2011

SI 2011/630

1 April 2011

The Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

SI 2011/650

4 March 2011

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport 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. [64418]

Norman Baker: I regret that the information requested is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

It is my general policy to accede to all requests for meetings requested by hon. Members, irrespective of party allegiance, unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so.

Electric Vehicles

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking with electric vehicle manufacturers to develop a standard electrical connection. [63475]

Norman Baker: This is a matter on which industry leads. Key players, as represented by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' Electric Vehicle Group, the Plugged-In Places and the Institution of Engineering and Technology's Electric Vehicle Group, favour moving to a dedicated plug-in vehicle recharging connector (the IEC62196-2 Type 2) to allow faster recharging rates (up to 32A) than are possible with a three-pin plug. Given this clear direction of travel from industry, the Plugged-In Places will start to install public infrastructure with Type 2 connectors. We will continue to monitor the emergence of standards with industry and internationally.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what analysis his Department has conducted of the merits of (a) charging points and (b) domestic charging of batteries for electric-powered vehicles. [64385]

Norman Baker: As set out in the Department for Transport’s plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy “Making the Connection”, published on 30 June 2011, we want the majority of recharging of plug-in vehicles to take place at home, at night, in a period of off-peak demand for electricity. This will be supported by recharging at workplaces and public infrastructure targeted at those places where they are most likely to be used.

This approach is supported by the findings of the Technology Strategy Board's Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme, one of the largest trials of plug-in vehicles in the world, the Energy Technology Institute's Plug-In Vehicle Economics and Infrastructure programme, Element Energy's work for the Committee on Climate Change and WWFs recent report “Electric Avenues”. These show that recharging at home, at night, is how drivers prefer to recharge. This type of recharging also maximises the environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles by using low carbon night-time generation and is economically preferable, as it allows consumers to take advantage of cheaper off-peak tariffs.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of his policy on charging points on the take-up of subsidies for the purchase of electric-powered vehicles in each of the next four financial years. [64389]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport's plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy “Making the Connection” published on 30 June 2011, sets out the Government's strategy for promoting the installation of recharging infrastructure to support the growth in the plug-in vehicle market that we expect to see up to 2020. As well as this Strategy, the Government are also supporting the growth of the plug-in vehicle market through the Plug-In Car Grant providing a 25% discount (up to a maximum of £5,000) on eligible vehicles. These policies support each other with the aim of maintaining the UK at the global forefront of the plug-in vehicle market.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of (a) the likely take-up of subsidies for the purchase of electric-powered vehicles and (b) number of such vehicles which will be subject to the subsidy in (i) Glasgow, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the UK in each of the next four financial years. [64467]

Norman Baker: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Although the market for these new generation vehicles is growing, it is still at a very early stage. There is a provision of £300 million out to 2015 for consumer incentives. The Government are committed to keeping the scheme under regular review to ensure value for money and to keep in step with market developments.

Manufacturers provide quarterly forecasts of UK supply and sales of eligible vehicles to inform financial planning. However this information and estimates derived from these data are commercially sensitive and cannot be shared.

(b) 10 vehicles are currently eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant with five currently available for purchase anywhere in the UK. When required by ultra-low emission vehicle manufacturers, OLEV will run assessment panels to determine if additional vehicles will be eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what support his Department plans to provide for charging points for electric-powered vehicles in (a) Glasgow, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK in the next four financial years. [64489]

Norman Baker: The Government have made £30 million available through the Plugged-In Places programme to match fund pilot projects in eight areas across the UK, as part of our Carbon Plan commitment to install 8,500 chargepoints. Transport Scotland was awarded £1.2 million

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on 14 December 2010 as part of this programme to install 375 chargepoints in Central Scotland, including Glasgow.

In addition on 30 June 2011, the Government published “Making the Connection: the plug-in vehicle infrastructure strategy”, which set out a range of support that the Government are providing to promote the installation of recharging infrastructure in the UK including:

Removing barriers to the market, such as the requirement for planning permission for public recharging infrastructure and working to enable charegepoint operators to charge the market rate for electricity from public chargepoints;

Producing a conducive environment for private investment by encouraging infrastructure through planning policies, supporting the move to standardisation and, if raising finance proves a barrier, the potential for targeted financial solutions through the Green Investment Bank; and

Helping the consumer by enabling all public infrastructure to be interoperable and improving the provision of information about public chargepoints.

Rail Value for Money Review

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects of the recommendations of the McNulty review on the number of (a) ticket offices and (b) on-board rail staff working (i) at stations and (ii) on trains between Brighton and London. [65719]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport will be working closely with the Office of Rail Regulation and the rail industry over the next few months to analyse Sir Roy's recommendations and to agree proposals for the reform of the industry.

Railways: Halton

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has assessed the feasibility of opening the Halton Curve for scheduled passenger services. [66281]

Mrs Villiers: Merseytravel has carried out a study to establish whether there is a business case for a new local passenger service between Chester/North Wales and Liverpool using an upgraded Halton Curve. In the light of this, it is for Merseytravel rather than the Department for Transport to determine whether this scheme should be a priority for funding.

Rescue Services: Expenditure

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much it cost to run the coastguard station at (a) Bangor, (b) Liverpool and (c) Aberdeen in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [65165]

Mike Penning: The costs for the three Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCC) for the financial year 2010-11 are as follows:

MRCC Costs (£ million)

(a) Belfast (Bangor)

0.70

(b) Liverpool

0.80

(c) Aberdeen

1.40

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Costs include:

Direct costs of Coastguard MRCCs, including operating costs comprising: payroll, running costs and accommodation costs.

Some running and accommodation costs include those relating to other Maritime and Coastguard Agency co-located offices and non-separable district office costs.

Costs exclude:

Running and maintenance of National Information Communication Technology infrastructure such as radio communications networks, masts and towers, as such costs are not held on a site by site basis.

Similarly, capital projects such as IT and equipment refresh are not held on a site by site basis.

Sector managers' pay (those responsible for managing the volunteer coastguard rescue officers (CROs)) and the cost of the volunteer CROs.

Contracts: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of contracts issued by (a) his Department and (b) agencies for which he is responsible were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in (i) Scotland, (ii) South Lanarkshire and (iii) Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [60204]

Norman Baker: The information requested is as follows:

(a) (i to iii) DFT(C) would incur disproportionate costs in trying to obtain this information.

(b) (i) VOSA awarded two contracts—3.63 % of their totals contracts awarded to small and medium enterprises (SME) in Scotland. DSA, HA and MCA would incur disproportionate costs in trying to obtain this information. DVLA, GCDA and VCA have awarded no contracts to SME in Scotland.

(b) (ii) VOSA awarded 0% of total contracts to SME in South Lanarkshire.

(b) (iii) VOSA awarded 0% of total contracts to SME in Rutherglen and West Hamilton.

Shipping: EU Action

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the potential change in costs of inspection of foreign registered vessels calling at British ports arising from the implementation of the European Port State Control Directive. [64099]

Mike Penning: An estimate of the potential cost of inspection of foreign registered ships calling at UK ports arising from the implementation of the European Port State Control Directive is set out in a consultation stage impact assessment. The present value of the monetised cost has been estimated at around £3.2 million over ten years.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Committee

Members: Allowances

Adam Afriyie: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2011, Official Report, column 959W, on Members: allowances, whether the

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Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority intends to make an assessment of the effects on public confidence in Parliament of the bi-monthly frequency of its publication of claims. [64900]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 13 July 2011:

As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority intends to make an assessment of the effects on public confidence in Parliament of the bi-monthly frequency of its publication of claims.

Transparency is central to our efforts to restore public confidence in the manner in which MPs are reimbursed for expenses and business costs. The lack of transparency under the former regime governing MPs' expenses was one of the factors that brought it into disrepute.

A recent survey commissioned by the National Audit Office found that public confidence is increasing: 55% of the general public thought that the situation with respect of MPs' expenses had improved in the last year.

IPSA's view is that our approach to publication needs to strike a balance between cost effectiveness on one hand and public confidence on the other. The evolution is clear—from the declining number of hits with every publication—that everybody is becoming used to bi-monthly publication as a regular feature of our transparency regime. We see no reasons to undertake further research on this issue.

Telephone Recording

Helen Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, for what reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's policy of retaining recordings of telephone calls for more than six years is not stated on its website. [64455]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 13 July 2011:

As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking, for what reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's policy of retaining recordings of telephone calls for more than six years is not stated on its website

It is currently IPSA's policy to retain all digital and electronic records, which include telephone calls, for six years. This policy is currently being reviewed and a revised policy will be published before the end of the year.

Helen Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, for what business reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority considers it may be necessary to retain recordings of telephone conversations after a period of six years has elapsed. [64456]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

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Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 13 July 2011:

As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for what reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's policy of retaining recordings of telephone calls for more than six years is not stated on its website.

We do not envisage that there are business reasons to retain recording of telephone conversations beyond the retention period.

This policy is currently being reviewed and a revised policy will be published before the end of the year.

Helen Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if he will place in the Library a copy of the advice given to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority by the Information Commissioner on the retention of recordings of telephone conversations. [64457]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 13 July 2011:

As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question, if I will place in the Library a copy of the advice given to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority by the Information Commissioner on the retention of recordings of telephone conversations.

We have neither sought nor received such advice. When IPSA first started operations it drew up a draft records management policy which contained a retention policy of six years for electronic and digital files, which include telephone calls.

IPSA is currently reviewing this policy and envisages amending the retention period for a range of records, including recordings of telephone conversations. A revised policy will be published before the end of the year.

Leader of the House

Ministerial Meetings

Luciana Berger: To ask the Leader of the House (1) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by (A) representatives, (B) journalists and (C) other employees of (1) News International and its subsidiary organisations, including newspapers, (2) News Corporation and its subsidiary organisations and (3) BSkyB since May 2010; [66070]

(2) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by Mr Andrew Coulson (A) between 12 May 2010 and 21 January 2011 and (B) since 21 January 2011. [66072]

Sir George Young: As has been the practice of previous Administrations information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement to the House on 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 311-14.

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Health

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by (A) representatives, (B) journalists and (C) other employees of (1) News International and its subsidiary organisations, including newspapers, (2) News Corporation and its subsidiary organisations and (3) BSkyB since 12 May 2010. [66064]

Mr Simon Burns: As has been the practice of previous Administrations information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed. I refer the right hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement to the House of 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 311-14.

Carers

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what procedures regulate the (a) quality and (b) safety of care providers in receipt of personal budget payments; [65664]

(2) what safeguards his Department has put in place in respect of the expenditure of personal budgets on unregistered carers. [65665]

Paul Burstow: Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, all providers of regulated activities as defined in regulations made under the Act, regardless of how the activity is funded, must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and meet and continue to meet 16 essential requirements of safety and quality. Personal care provided by a family member or friend, with no commercial consideration, does not require registration with the CQC.

Where the care is arranged and directed by the person receiving the care, without the involvement of an agency, the provider is not required to register with the CQC. This allows the individual to use the personal budget flexibly and choose whatever arrangements suit them best. If they wish to use a provider that is registered with the CQC, with the assurances that registration provides, then they are free to do so.

Where an individual purchasing support employs someone from an agency, the agency has the responsibility of supplying staff who have had a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check. However, if the individual chooses to employ someone directly they can also request that a CRB check is carried out before they employ that person as a personal assistant.

Adults with capacity to consent to direct payments or a suitable person are not obliged to obtain CRB checks for someone they employ.

In both cases, the council should still inform the direct payment recipient that, while a CRB check is not mandatory, they may still wish to consider obtaining one as part of their overall risk management plan. However, it is ultimately a matter for the individual.

In the case of a suitable person managing a direct payment on behalf of someone lacking capacity who is not a close relative, regulations do require a CRB check for anyone providing care via a direct payment.

14 July 2011 : Column 440W

Dementia: Bexley

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people in the London Borough of Bexley who have been diagnosed with dementia in the latest period for which figures are available. [65566]

Paul Burstow: Data on new diagnoses of dementia are not collected. However the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) collects each year the number of patients on the dementia register in general practices.

The figure for the latest year (2009-10) for Bexley Care Trust (the primary care trust area corresponding to the London borough of Bexley) is 908 patients.

Note:

Coverage of QOF. Patients will only contribute to the figures in QOF if they are registered with a general practice participating in QOF.

Dental Health: Devon

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the level of tooth decay amongst children aged 12 and under in (a) Devon and (b) Teignbridge in the latest year for which figures are available. [64517]

Mr Simon Burns: The ‘NHS Dental Epidemiology Programme for England Oral Health Survey of 12 year old Children 2008/2009’ shows that the average number of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) among 12-year-old children in Teignbridge was 1.06 compared to a DMFT of 0.77 for Devon and 0.74 for England as a whole. In order to address persistent inequalities in oral health the Department is developing a new dental contract based on capitation, registration and quality.

The full results of the survey are available at:

www.nwph.net/dentalhealth/survey-results-12.aspx

The two tables from the survey that include the above data have been placed in the Library.

Health Authorities: Postgraduate Education

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what duties strategic health authorities have in respect of postgraduate education; and which organisations will take on such duties following the abolition of the authorities. [66141]

Anne Milton: Strategic health authorities are responsible for funding, planning and quality assuring the provision of postgraduate education and training, including medical and dental post-graduate training programmes and post-graduate programmes for other healthcare professionals. In line with the recommendations of the Future Forum on education and training, strategic health authorities are working with stakeholders and their local healthcare providers to develop employer-led partnerships to plan and develop their local work force, including planning for relevant clinical post-graduate programmes, when the strategic health authorities close in April 2013.

A new national body, Health Education England, is to be established to provide national leadership for education and training and hold to account the new local arrangements for providing the best quality education

14 July 2011 : Column 441W

and training. The transition will be phased so that provider-led partnerships can take on responsibilities as they are able to demonstrate their capacity and capability against a rigorous authorisation process. We will set out further details in the autumn.

Health Services

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether commissioning groups will decide when to (a) use and (b) prevent a competitive market when delivering certain health services; and if he will make a statement. [66296]

Mr Simon Burns: Our intention is that the application of choice and competition should be driven by patients' needs and expectations, and may vary across different service areas.

As now, it would be for commissioners to take decisions on when and how to use choice and competition in improving services in line with guidance from the NHS Commissioning Board and the mandate and regulations set by the Secretary of State.

The Government's focus is on increasing patient choice as the key driver of higher-quality, more personalised care. However, competitive tendering would remain an option where commissioners decide this is the best way to improve services for patients.

Health Services: Freedom of Information

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that any private companies providing health care services for NHS patients will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [66235]

Mr Simon Burns: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to public authorities and companies wholly owned by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Where national health service commissioners contract with private providers for the provision of health care services, the NHS standard contract would require that the provider must acknowledge that the commissioners are subject to the requirements of FOIA and shall assist and co-operate with each commissioner to enable the commissioner to comply with its disclosure obligations under the FOIA.

Health Inequalities

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on implementation of the recommendations of the Marmot review of health inequalities in England. [66172]

Anne Milton: “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health in England” (Cm 7985) was the Government's response to the Marmot review on health inequalities in England. It adopts a ‘life course approach’ for tackling health inequalities by addressing the social determinants of health, in line with the review's recommendations. This cross-Government approach to tackling health inequalities and the wider social determinants of health was developed with ministerial

14 July 2011 : Column 442W

colleagues through the Home Affairs' Sub-Committee on Public Health. This work continues through the Sub-Committee, and as part of wider discussions in other ministerial meetings.

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the median waiting time for (a) inpatient and (b) outpatient treatments was for patients in York in (i) May 1997 and (ii) May of each subsequent year. [65610]

Mr Simon Burns: Since 1997 the national health service has changed the way it measures waiting times, therefore more than one set of data are provided to answer the question.

Information on median wait times for in-patient (elective care admissions) at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (FT) between June 1997 and March 2010 is shown in the following table:

Month ending Median wait (in weeks)

June 1997

12.2

June 1998

16.8

May 1999

12.9

May 2000

16.2

May 2001

16.4

May 2002

15.9

May 2003

14.8

May 2004

11.5

May 2005

9.9

May 2006

8.8

May 2007

6.4

May 2008

4.9

May 2009

4.7

March 2010

3.5

Notes: 1. No figures are available for May 1997, as waiting times data was only collected quarterly in 1997. Therefore, figures for June 1997 have been provided. 2. Figures on in-patient and out-patient waiting times were only published monthly from June 1998. Therefore, figures for June 1998 have been provided. 3. Data on in-patient waiting lists not collected after March 2010. Therefore, figures for March 2010 have been provided. 4. The figures show the median waiting times for patients still waiting for admission at the end of the period stated. 5. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the position on average waits. Source: Department of Health KH07, Monthly monitoring return.

Information on the median referral to treatment (RTT) waiting time (weeks) for patients completing a pathway for York Teaching Hospitals NHS FT between 2008 and 2011 is shown in the following table.

Admitted (adjusted) pathways completed during month:
Period Median waiting time (in weeks)

May 2008

10.1

May 2009

10.2

May 2010

8.2

April 2011

6.5

Notes: 1. The figures show the median time for patients completing a pathway in the period stated. 2. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the position on average waits. 3. May 2011 figures will be published on 14 July 2011. 4. These figures reflect the total time waited from referral to treatment as compared to in-patient stage of treatment as shown in the previous table. Source: Department of Health Referral to Treatment return

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Information on median waiting time (weeks) for out-patients seen during the quarter May to July between 1997 and 2007 for York Teaching Hospitals NHS FT is shown in the following table.

Out-patients seen during the quarter:
Quarter ending Median wait (in weeks)

June 1997

6.5

June 1998

6.6

June 1999

8.9

June 2000

8.5

June 2001

5.7

June 2002

5.7

June 2003

5.7

June 2004

6.4

June 2005

5.9

June 2006

4.6

June 2007

3.8

Notes: 1. Data on out-patient times waited are only available quarterly, so figures for quarter ending June have been provided. 2. The figures show the median time waited for patients having a first consultant led out-patient appointment in the period stated. 3. Out-patient waiting times are measured from general practitioner referral to first out-patient appointment. 4. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the position on average waits. 5. Figures last published September 2007. Source: Department of Health return QM08

Information on median RTT waiting time (weeks) for non-admitted patients completing a pathway for York Teaching Hospitals NHS FT between 2008 and 2011 is shown in the following table.

Non-admitted pathways completed during month:
Period Median waiting time (in weeks)

May 2008

5.2

May 2009

4.3

May 2010

3.9

April 2011

3.1

Notes: 1. The figures show the median time for patients completing a pathway in the period stated. 2. Median waiting times are calculated from aggregate data, rather than patient level data, and therefore are only estimates of the position on average waits. 3. May 2011 figures will be published on 14 July 2011, 4. These figures reflect the total time waited from referral to treatment as compared to the out-patient stages of treatment waiting time as shown in the previous table. Source: Department of Health Referral to Treatment return

The most recent RTT data will be published on the Department's website on 14 July 2011 at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Statistics/Performancedataandstatistics/ReferraltoTreatmentstatistics/index.htm

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in York waited for more than six months for NHS treatment in each year since 1997. [65611]

Mr Simon Burns: Information on the number of patients waiting over six months for inpatient admission at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (FT) from March 1997 to March 2010 is shown in the following table:

Month ending Number of patients still waiting over six months at month end

March :

 

1997

935

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1998

2,744

1999

1,641

2000

1,752

2001

1,884

2002

1,900

2003

1,711

2004

826

2005

532

2006

0

2007

0

2008

0

2009

0

2010

0

Notes: 1. Since 2006, figures reflect number of patients waiting over 26 weeks. 2. Data on inpatient waiting lists not collected after March 2010. Source: Department of Health KH07, monthly monitoring return.

In addition, since 2007, waiting times on a referral to treatment (RTT) basis have been published. Information on the number of patients who waited over 26 weeks on an admitted RTT pathway at York Teaching Hospitals NHS FT between 2008 and 2011 is shown in the following table:

Financial year Number of admitted patients who waited 26 weeks or more from RTT

2008-09

498

2009-10

622

2010-11

410

Note: Data shown for whole financial year. Source: Department of Health RTT return.

Influenza: Vaccination

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pensioners in the North Yorkshire and York primary care trust area received influenza injections in each year since 2005. [65615]

Anne Milton: The information requested is set out in the following table.

Influenza season Number of people aged 65 or over vaccinated against seasonal influenza

2006-07

110,892

2007-08

111,177

2008-09

113,431

2009-10

113,478

2010-11

114,426

It is not possible to provide data for 2005 as North Yorkshire and York primary care trust was not formed until 1 October 2006.

Medical Records: Databases

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the original estimate, in current prices, was of the cost to the public purse of the electronic patient record system commissioned in 2002; and what the final cost, in current prices, was at the time of completion. [65632]

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Mr Simon Burns: The National Audit Office (NAO) Report (2008) stated that the estimated total cost of the national programme for information technology would be £12.7 billion. The latest NAO report (2011) stated that the Department plans to reduce the overall cost of the programme to £11.4 billion and that, as of 31 March 2011, the Department and the national health service (in England) have spent £6.4 billion on the programme. These costs are based on a 2004-05 price base. Certain elements of the programme have not yet been delivered.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to answer the letter sent to him by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 27 May 2011 with regard to Ms M. Robinson. [65669]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department replied to the right hon. Member's letter of 27 May 2011 on behalf of Ms Robinson on 29 June 2011.

14 July 2011 : Column 446W

Mental Health

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of mental health problems arising from bereavement in the latest period for which figures are available. [66090]

Paul Burstow: There is currently no mechanism for recording whether or not bereavement has been a causal factor contributing to someone's need to be treated for mental health problems.

NHS: Drugs

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for North Wiltshire of 7 March 2011, Official Report, column 896W, on drugs: finance, how much the NHS spent on medicines including primary and secondary care in each year between 2005-06 and 2009-10 as a proportion of total NHS expenditure recorded in the National Programme Budgeting Database. [65663]

Mr Simon Burns: The requested information is detailed in the following table.

NHS medicines expenditure and as a proportion of national programme budget expenditure
  £ million  

Primary care drugs expenditure Secondary care drugs expenditure Total drugs expenditure Programme budgeting expenditure Drugs as a proportion of programme budget expenditure (%)

2005-06

7,235

2,764

9,999

80,185

12.5

2006-07

7,593

2,969

10,562

84,193

12.5

2007-08

7,663

3,274

10,937

93,183

11.7

2008-09

7,749

3,647

11,397

96,815

11.8

2009-10

7,946

3,974

11,920

103,975

11.5

Sources: Prescription Pricing Division of the NHS Business services Authority, England, Department of Health Finance Division, Foundation Trust year-end accounts. Department of Health resource accounts, primary care trust and strategic health authority programme budgeting returns.

NHS: Training

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to the public purse will be of the NHS Bursary Scheme in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [66150]

Mr Simon Burns: The estimated expenditure for the NHS Bursary Scheme in 2011-12 is £525 million. The costs are dependent on the number of students and the package of support available to each student. An estimate of the costs for 2012-13 will be made once further information is available about the number of student places that will be filled in 2012-13.

North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust: Finance

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what resource allocation was made to North Yorkshire and York primary care trust (PCT) in the year it was created and each subsequent year to 2011-12; and what allocation is planned for (a) 2012-13 and (b) 2013-14 in (i) cash terms, (ii) cash terms deflated by the retail prices index, (iii) cash terms deflated by inflation in health care costs and (iv) cash terms deflated by inflation in health care costs and adjusted for demographic changes in the (A) number of people living and (B) age structure of the population which the PCT serves. [65619]

Mr Simon Burns: North Yorkshire and York primary care trust (PCT) was established on 1 October 2006 as a result of a merger between Craven, Harrogate and Rural District PCT; Hambleton and Richmondshire PCT; Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale PCT; and Selby and York PCT. As recurrent revenue allocations had already been made to the predecessor PCTs for 2006-07 and 2007-08, the first allocation made directly to North Yorkshire and York PCT was for 2008-09.

The following tables set out the allocations to predecessor PCTs from 2003-04 to 2007-08, and to North Yorkshire and York PCT from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

Recurrent revenue allocations to PCTs for 2012-13 will be announced later this year. Subject to the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill, the National Health Service Commissioning Board would take over responsibility for the allocation of resources from the Department of Health for 2013-14 onwards. Allocations would be made to clinical commissioning groups. Further detail on allocations and processes will be announced in due course.

14 July 2011 : Column 447W

14 July 2011 : Column 448W

Table 1: Recurrent revenue allocations made to the predecessor PCTs 2003-04 to 2007-08
£000
  2003-04 to 2005-06 allocation round 2006-07 to 2007-08 allocation round

2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Craven, Harrogate and Rural District PCT

166,668

181,585

197,111

235,518

254,740

Hambleton and Richmondshire PCT

91,187

99,349

107,843

129,360

139,918

Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale PCT

138,792

152,118

166,123

198,010

216,805

Selby and York PCT

216,207

235,557

255,791

307,131

335,917

Total

612,855

668,610

726,867

870,019

947,379

Table 2: Recurrent revenue allocations made to North Yorkshire and York PCT 2008-09 to 2011-12
£000
  2008-09 allocations 2009-10 to 2010-11 allocation round 2011-12 allocations

2008-09 recurrent revenue allocation 2009-10 recurrent revenue allocation 2010-11 recurrent revenue allocation 2011-12 recurrent revenue allocation

North Yorkshire and York PCT

999,125

1,076,587

1,139,019

1,151,558

Notes: 1. Allocations for 2006-07 and 2007-08 were announced for 303 PCTs on 9 February 2005. These became 152 PCTs on 1 October 2006 and involved the merger of the four PCTs in Table 1 that became North Yorkshire and York PCT. 2. Allocations are not always comparable between years because of changes to baseline funding. Source: Financial Planning and Allocations Division, Department of Health.

Nurses: Pay

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average pay of an NHS nurse was in (a) cash and (b) real terms in (i) May 1997 and (ii) May of each subsequent year. [65608]

Mr Simon Burns: The average pay of a qualified national health service nurse in England in the period requested is set out in the following table.

Estimated earnings per full-time equivalent member of staff
£
Financial year Cash Real Terms

1997-98

20,830

29,352

1998-99

21,042

29,038

1999-2000

22,329

30,220

2000-01

23,427

31,295

2001-02

24,733

32,317

2002-03

25,702

32,535

2003-04

26,342

32,430

2004-05

27,697

33,176

2005-06

28,784

33,864

2006-07

29,863

33,992

2007-08

31,150

34,469

2008-09

32,335

34,817

2009-10

33,378

35,364

Notes: 1. These figures are estimated using NHS paybill data relating to entire financial years, with further adjustment to deduct employer pension and national insurance costs, and data on work force numbers from the NHS Census taken each September. 2. Real terms figures are based on 2011-12 prices. 3. Estimates relating specifically to May are unavailable for this period. 4. The latest available paybill data relate to 2009-10.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the starting salary of an NHS nurse was in (a) cash and (b) real terms in (i) May 1997 and (ii) May of each subsequent year. [65609]

Mr Simon Burns: The starting salary of a newly qualified national health service nurse in England since May 1997 is shown in the following table.

Qualified nurse starting salary: May 1997 to May 2011
£
Year Starting pay—cash terms (1,2) Starting pay—real terms 2011-12 prices

1997-98

(3)12,230

17,234

1998-99

(3)12,630

17,429

1999-2000

14,400

19,489

2000-01

14,890

19,891

2001-02

15,445

20,181

2002-03

16,005

20,260

2003-04

16,525

20,344

2004-05(4)

17,060

20,435

2005-06

18,698

21,998

2006-07

19,166

21,816

2007-08

(3)19,454

21,527

2008-09

20,225

21,778

2009-10

20,710

21,943

2010-11

21,176

21,790

2011-12

21,176

21,176

(1) Starting pay for a newly qualified nurse is normally the minimum of the grade applicable to basic grade qualified nurses. The annual uplift date (unless staging applied) is 1 April. (2) The grades applicable to basic grade qualified nurses in the years set out in the table are as follows: 1988-89 to 2004-05 D Grade 2005-06 to 2010-11 Agenda for Change Band 5 Figures given are for the minimum of these grades in the year in question, as of 1 May. This excludes any staged increases. (3) Staged increase in the following years: 1997-98—Increased to £12,385 on 1 December 1997 1998-99—Increased to £12,855 on 1 December 1998 2007-08—Increased to £19,683 on 1 November 2007 (4 )The rate given is the D Grade rate as of May 2004, pre Agenda for Change. The effective implementation date for Agenda for Change was 1 October 2004. The minimum of Agenda for Change Band 5 from that date was £18,114.

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Primary Care Trusts: Manpower

David Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent on redundancies at primary care trusts in (a) the North East and (b) England since May 2010; how many previous employees have been rehired elsewhere in the NHS; and how many temporary posts have been created by primary care trusts. [65587]

Mr Simon Burns: Data on the redundancy costs for 2010-11 are not yet available, as work on the accounts and the audit is not yet complete.

The NHS Summarised Accounts are currently expected to be laid before Parliament in early September, and data will therefore be available from that date.

Nationally, an estimated 145 national health service staff were made redundant and subsequently re-employed by NHS organisations on a permanent basis between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011. During the same period, an additional estimated 90 staff were made redundant and subsequently re-employed on a fixed-term contract basis.

Figures are not currently available for those staff made redundant and rehired only from primary care trusts, nor those made redundant and rehired in the north-east due to technical problems with the Department's reporting mechanism. I will write to the right hon. Member very shortly with this information and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

Prime Minister

Andrew Coulson

Helen Goodman: To ask the Prime Minister what the job description of Mr Andrew Coulson was during his employment at 10 Downing street. [66093]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 2 June 2010, Official Report, column 37W.

Helen Goodman: To ask the Prime Minister what the role was of each official who reported to Mr Andrew Coulson during his employment at 10 Downing street. [66094]

The Prime Minister: Mr Andrew Coulson had no line management responsibility for any officials.

Helen Goodman: To ask the Prime Minister whether Mr Andrew Coulson had access to any classified information relating to (a) security matters in Northern Ireland, (b) police policy, (c) police operations and (d) police appointments; and whether he attended any meetings on these subjects. [66143]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 July 2011, Official Report, column 336W.

14 July 2011 : Column 450W

Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation's Perpetual Fund

Mr MacShane: To ask the Prime Minister how much the Government has donated to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation's Perpetual Fund since the fund's inception. [65884]

Andrew Stunell: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Communities and Local Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have each contributed £1 million in 2011-12 to the Auschwitz-Birkenau restoration fund. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will contribute a further £100,000 in 2013. The fund will ensure the consolidation, restoration and long-term maintenance of the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps.

Phone Hacking

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Prime Minister how many conversations (1) he has had with (a) Mr Andy Coulson and (b) Rebekah Brooks on allegations of phone hacking since 11 May 2010; [66086]

(2) when he last met in his official capacity (a) Mr James Murdoch, (b) Rebekah Brooks and (c) Mr Andy Coulson. [66132]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made on 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 313-14 and the answer 1 gave to the hon. Member for Brent North (Barry Gardiner) on 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 321-22.

A list of my official meetings with external organisations is published quarterly and can be found on the No. 10 website:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/transparency/who-ministers-are-meeting/

Justice

Ministerial Meetings

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by (A) representatives, (B) journalists and (C) other employees of (1) News International and its subsidiary organisations including newspapers, (2) News Corporation and its subsidiary organisations and (3) BSkyB since 12 May 2010; [66133]

(2) what (a) meetings and (b) other engagements (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in his Department attended which were also attended by Mr Andrew Coulson (A) between 12 May 2010 and 21 January 2011 and (B) since 21 January 2011. [66136]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: As has been the practice of previous Administrations, information relating to internal meetings, discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

I refer the hon. Member to the Prime Minister's statement to the House on 13 July 2011, Official Report, columns 311-14.

14 July 2011 : Column 451W

Community Orders

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether a financial limit will be placed on contract bids for the purpose of tendering for unpaid work for offenders in England and Wales. [65954]

Mr Blunt: There will be no financial limit placed upon a returned contract bid, but the authority will provide bidders with a contract threshold price. The authority would expect bids to identify cost savings (efficiencies) against existing operational arrangements and to be affordable within MOJ/NOMS budgetary constraints.

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the reasons for probation service confidentiality clauses in respect of the tendering for unpaid work in England and Wales. [65956]

Mr Blunt: All bidders in Community Payback mini-competitions are required to sign the confidentiality undertaking, accepting that they have a fiduciary duty of care to the authority in respect of written and oral information provided during the course of a competition. This is usual practice and necessary to protect the integrity of the competition itself.

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice who will be responsible for providing evidence to the courts of a breach of unpaid work conditions following the completion of the tendering processes for unpaid work in England and Wales. [65957]

Mr Blunt: Following the Community Payback (unpaid work) competitions, probation trusts will continue to be responsible for the presentation of uncontested breaches in court. In single unpaid work requirement cases in which a Community Payback provider is responsible for offender management, they will be required to submit evidence to support the breach action available to the relevant probation trust.

Courts: Enforcement

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any private sector company responsible for criminal court enforcement will be required to conduct risk assessments on offenders. [66053]

Mr Djanogly: Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service are developing a strategy for the enforcement of fines and how best to improve this in the future. This could include forming a partnership with a commercial partner. Details of any partnership with a commercial company to deliver enforcement functions for criminal court fines or how a partnership might be run are not yet known.

Data Protection

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he proposes to take to prevent the unlawful trading of confidential personal information. [66226]

14 July 2011 : Column 452W

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The unlawful obtaining or disclosure of personal data is an offence under s.55 of the Data Protection Act. The Ministry of Justice has been exploring ways of making the illegal obtaining and disclosure of personal data less lucrative, for example, through the use of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, under which unlawfully gained assets can be recovered. This was recently used successfully in connection with the Information Commissioner's prosecution of two offenders who had sold customer information relating to mobile phone contracts. I have also asked the Sentencing Council to consider the production of a sentencing guideline on data protection offences, and we are keeping the question of greater penalties for such offences under review.

I expect that these matters may be of relevance to the inquiry to be chaired by Lord Justice Leveson. Draft terms of reference for that inquiry have been placed in the Library of the House.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will review the penalties provided for in Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. [66229]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Government are keeping the matter of penalties for offences committed under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 under review.

Departmental Compensation

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2011, Official Report, column 972W, on departmental compensation, what steps he is taking to reduce the need for his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies to compensate the public for errors made. [63942]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The following steps are being taken to reduce departmental compensation by the Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies who have made compensation payments.

The amount of claims received, the outcome and the type of error that has been made for each compensation claim is monitored. Feedback and training are given to the staff concerned. Where appropriate, changes to policy, work practices and processes are made to improve service delivery.

Complaints-handling processes have been restructured within the Department to ensure all trends are better captured and that action can be taken quickly to deal with any significant issues that arise. Further work is being done this year to develop this customer intelligence function and to better identify those areas where customer expectations are not being met.

Judicial Review: Costs

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent in each cost category on representation and related costs in relation to completed judicial reviews relating to inquests in each year since 2006-07. [66089]

Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice is not a party to judicial review proceedings which name the coroner as the defendant. Costs incurred during these proceedings will be met by the coroner's local authority and the applicant bringing the proceedings.

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There are, however, some judicial reviews of inquests into deaths in prison custody where the National Offender Management Service is represented as an interested party. It has not, however, been possible to provide expenditure for these cases as this information could only be obtained by going through all invoices sent by the Treasury Solicitor, who represents Government in such proceedings, which would be at disproportionate cost.

Legal Aid Scheme

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to the public purse was of unsuccessful cases supported by legal aid in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. [65911]

Mr Djanogly: The information is shown in the following table:

Financial year Total costs to civil legal aid (£ million)

2008-09

284.50

2009-10

232.76

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of clinical negligence claimants supported by legal aid were identified as disabled in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and 2009-10. [65913]

Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) is able to provide this information and it is shown in the following table. Figures relate to civil representation only.


Proportion (percentage)

2007-08

46.3

2008-09

45.6

2009-10

46.0

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many clinical negligence cases supported from public funds were investigated and not pursued beyond the investigation stage in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and how much was spent in legal aid for such cases in each such year. [65914]

Mr Djanogly: The information requested is shown in the following table:


Volume Costs (£ million)

2008-09

2,401

14.3

2009-10

2,016

13.0

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he made of the effects of the reduction in expenditure on legal aid on the ability of the Immigration Advisory Service to carry out its functions; and if he will make a statement. [66236]

Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission has been working closely with Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) for some time now following an audit which

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raised concerns around the company's financial management and claims irregularities and as such, the Trustees of the IAS decided that the organisation had to enter into administration on 8 July 2011.

The IAS's current position reflects the company's past financial management and claims irregularities and is not a direct consequence of the proposed legal aid reforms, not least because these reforms have yet to be implemented. It is the current and historic financial management failures, that have resulted in significant liabilities which IAS has found itself unable to meet.

During recent negotiations with the Legal Services Commission, the IAS confirmed that they had plans in place to continue to operate after proposed legal aid reforms were implemented and would be in a position to return a surplus of around £500,000 per annum. As such, this makes it clear that it is the debt owed to the LSC that has placed the IAS into administration, not the as yet unimplemented reforms.

Legal Aid Scheme: Immigration

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in how many cases his Department has provided legal aid for advice or assistance in relation to an application for a visa to enter the UK (a) for the purposes of study and (b) under the points based system in each of the last three years; and what the total expenditure was in each respect. [65482]

Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) did not record data on legal aid in relation to visas at a level which would enable them to say whether they were for the purposes of study prior to May 2009. The LSC does not record data on whether the legal advice was provided for an application in relation to someone entering the UK, or to someone already in the UK.

The LSC provided 1,965 acts of assistance in relation to visa applications for the purposes of study in the calendar year 2010; the associated costs were £893,775,

The LSC is unable to provide information on visa applications relating to the points based system, as it does not record information in this way.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to answer the letter sent to him by the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton on 1 June 2011 with regard to Mr W. Howe. [65670]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: A reply has now been sent to the right hon. Member. I apologise for the delay.

Privacy

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will ask the Information Commissioner to update his paper entitled, “What price privacy now?”, as a matter of urgency. [66228]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: I understand that since his ‘What price privacy now?’ report the Information Commissioner has continued to prosecute offenders and raise public awareness of the unlawful trade in personal information.

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The Commissioner is independent of Government, and decisions on producing reports are entirely a matter for him. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, and in addition to his Annual Report, the Information Commissioner may at any time lay reports before Parliament on his functions as he sees fit.

Probation

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the anticipated cost is to each probation trust in England and Wales of tendering for unpaid work. [65955]

Mr Blunt: It is a matter for probation trusts to decide whether to act as a prime bidder for the provision of Community Payback (unpaid work). No separate funds have been made available to probation trusts to support

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this activity and NOMS would expect them to absorb any additional costs within their existing budgets.