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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the number of domestic dogs and cats injured by snares in England in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [72015]

Mr Paice: These figures are not held centrally.

Cattle: Exports

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the European Commission on the granting of subsidies for live cattle exports to non-EU countries. [73849]

Mr Paice: Since December 2005, the only live cattle exports to third countries that qualify for any financial assistance are live female breeding animals that must meet specific criteria in relation to their age and weight. The payment of export refunds is subject to compliance with European Union legislation on the protection of animals during transport.

There have been no discussions between DEFRA Ministers and the European Commission regarding this issue. However, DEFRA officials attend the Monthly Animal Products Management Committee meetings in Brussels and discuss exports and other issues relating to the market in beef and veal, with the European Commission and other member states.

Dogs

Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she plans to bring forward measures to encourage responsible dog ownership; and if she will make a statement. [72986]

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Mr Paice: We appreciate that the issue of irresponsible ownership of dogs is causing concern to many local communities. It is not just a problem of dangerous breeds of dogs, but one of irresponsible dog owners. Those owners need to be held to account and stopped from ruining people's lives. We have been engaged with key interested parties both inside and outside Government, including police and animal welfare organisations, concerning measures to promote more responsible dog ownership. It is essential to make sure that better public protection does not place unnecessary burdens on the vast majority of dog owners in this country who act responsibly and care for their pets. We are considering a range of measures to promote more responsible ownership of dogs and will shortly announce measures to make our communities safer.

Women and Equalities

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Manpower

John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities whether the Government Equalities Office has discussed with officials of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) the employment of (a) interim consultants and (b) non-permanent staff by the EHRC; and if she will place in the Library copies of any correspondence on this matter between her officials and the EHRC. [77013]

Lynne Featherstone: The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) must get its finances in shape, reduce costs, and end its dependence on expensive interim staff. The Government Equalities Office continues to discuss these issues with the Commission.

I do not consider it appropriate to publish the relevant correspondence, as officials need to be able to have full and frank discussions about operational management without fear of disclosure.

Deputy Prime Minister

Departmental Public Expenditure

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he receives any external funding for (a) his ministerial office and (b) his advisers; and what the (i) source and (ii) amount is of any such funding. [77711]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I do not receive external funding for my ministerial office or my official advisers. As a party leader, party staff provide me with political advice.

Attorney-General

Bona Vacantia

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Attorney-General how many calls the telephone inquiry line operated by the Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor's Department received in each of the last five years. [77994]

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The Solicitor-General: The Bona Vacantia Division of the Treasury Solicitor's Department introduced a new automated telephony system from February 2011. The number of calls received by the Bona Vacantia Inquiry Line for the period from February 2011 until the end of September 2011 is 11,429.

Inquiry calls received by Bona Vacantia Division prior to February 2011 cannot be separately identified without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Attorney-General (1) what level of security vetting is required for the post of (a) head of communications, (b) deputy head of communications and (c) head of press office in the Law Officers' departments; and if he will list each person who has held these posts since May 2010; [77940]

(2) what level of security vetting is required for (a) grade six and seven, or equivalent, press officers and (b) ministerial private secretaries in the Law Officers' departments; [77941]

(3) what level of security vetting is required for (a) special advisers and (b) ministerial-appointed policy advisers in the Law Officers' departments; and if he will list each person who has held these posts since May 2010. [77942]

The Solicitor-General: It would not be appropriate to provide details of the levels of security vetting or other information on specific posts within the Law Officers' Departments, as this could highlight who within a Department has access to sensitive material and be used for targeting purposes. The Cabinet Office has issued guidance on civil service security vetting procedures entitled 'HMG Personnel Security Controls', which is published online at:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/hmg-personnel-security-controls

The Law Officers’ Departments do not employ any special advisors or policy advisors appointed by Ministers.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Attorney-General what company or Government service is used to undertake security vetting at (a) counter terrorist check, (b) security check and (c) developed vetting level in the Law Officers' departments. [77943]

The Solicitor-General: When clearance is required at CTC, SC and DV levels the Law Officers' Departments uses the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting. In some specific cases the Attorney-General's Office might also ask the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to conduct this vetting.

All checks are carried out in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines.

Justice

Legal Aid Scheme

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had on the time taken for payment of legal aid fees since the process was centralised. [77655]

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Mr Djanogly: Between February and April 2011 payments of legal aid fees to advocates transferred from individual Crown court centres to the Legal Services Commission. An issue was identified in some cases where the computer system had not been updated correctly to show that the case had moved from the magistrates court to the Crown court. This meant some claims needed to be returned to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service for resolution, leading to delays in making payments. Provisions were put in place to expedite claims in the case of genuine financial hardship as a result of the payment delays. The LSC resolved the system problem at the end of June and a recovery plan was immediately implemented to clear the backlog of cases that had built up as a result of this issue. I understand that payments are now being made in around eight and a half weeks, against a published target of eight weeks. If the volume of claims remains at current levels the LSC expect to process claims within the eight week target soon.

Prisons: Health Services

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which bodies will be responsible for the health care of people in prisons in England and Wales following the closure of primary care trusts. [77625]

Paul Burstow: I have been asked to reply.

Subject to legislation, responsibility for commissioning national health service health care services for prisoners in England will transfer to the NHS Commissioning Board from primary care trusts after April 2013. Health care services for prisoners in Wales are the responsibility of the Welsh Government.

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Reoffenders

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convictions for repeat offenders there were in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (b) London and (c) England in each of the last 10 years. [77541]

Mr Blunt: The table shows the number of offenders convicted and sentenced for indictable offences by area and criminal history, 2001-10. These figures relate to separate sentencing occasions and therefore an offender may be included on more than one occasion, either within an area, across areas, or across time.

Figures for the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency are not available; figures have been provided for Bexley local authority which includes the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency.

Sentencing occasions have been allocated to a location on the basis of the police force that processed the offence, or in the case of Bexley the offender's address at the time of conviction. Repeat offenders are those with a previous conviction or caution anywhere in England or Wales. These figures are a further breakdown of table Q7.5 in ‘Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to December 2010’ which was published on 26 May 2011.

These figures have been drawn from the police's administrative IT system, the police national computer, which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the police.

Number of convictions for repeat offenders dealt with in Bexley local authority, the Metropolitan police and police forces in England, 2001-10 (1, 2)
Sentencing occasions

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Bexley local authority

                   

All offenders

454

461

512

502

553

573

638

722

881

998

Repeat offenders

390

399

453

435

478

499

550

616

763

853

Percentage

85.9

86.6

88.5

86.7

86.4

87.1

86.2

85.3

86.6

85.5

Metropolitan police force

                   

All offenders

43,489

48,757

48,374

45,604

43,608

45,549

47,676

51,696

52,681

55,516

Repeat offenders

35,887

40,257

40,478

37,805

35,792

37,727

39,553

43,272

44,563

46,982

Percentage

82.5

82.6

83.7

82.9

82.1

82.8

83.0

83.7

84.6

84.6

Police forces in England

                   

All offenders

296,998

311,212

313,915

299,922

287,991

284,746

295,734

306,485

302,867

309,355

Repeat offenders

261,217

276,070

279,428

265,098

254,293

252,307

263,512

274,317

271,228

276,596

Percentage

88.0

88.7

89.0

88.4

88.3

88.6

89.1

89.5

89.6

89.4

(1) Repeat offenders are those who had at least one previous caution or conviction. (2) Figures are counts of sentencing occasions.

Education

Children’s Centres

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals he has for future obligations or requirements for the provision of childcare by children’s centres. [76137]

Sarah Teather: The Government have set out a core purpose for Sure Start Children's Centres, focused on outcomes for children and families, particularly the most vulnerable. It is clear that children's centres can best achieve this by providing access to a range of universal and targeted services, which includes high-quality child care and early education such as access to the three and four-year-old entitlement to 15 hours of free early education and the new entitlement for disadvantaged

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two-year-olds. The evidence is clear on the impact that high-quality early learning and child care has on children's outcomes, particularly for the most disadvantaged children.

The Government do not want to prescribe the detail of how local authorities and professionals run local services. However, as set out in the Childcare Act 2006, all children's centres should provide access to child care, either by having it on site or by providing advice and assistance in accessing it elsewhere. Children's centres with early learning and child care on site must meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which set the standards for quality across all early years settings. The Government have recently consulted on their proposals for a clearer, simpler, more effective EYFS. A summary report on the consultation, and the Government's response, will be published later this year.

E-mail

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether any (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) special advisers in his Department use private e-mail accounts for the conduct of Government business. [73215]

Tim Loughton: The Ministerial Code, the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, and the Civil Service Code set out how Ministers, officials and special advisers should conduct Government business.

New Schools Network

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2011, Official Report, column 360W, on New Schools Network, for what reason he has decided not to publish all correspondence between his Department and the New Schools Network; [75387]

(2) when he plans to announce the successful bidder for his Department's competitive grant process in relation to free schools; [75388]

(3) if he will publish representations which he has received from potential providers of free schools on the service provided by the New Schools Network under its agreement with his Department; [75389]

(4) what discussions Ministers and officials of his Department had with the Cabinet Office on the award of funding to the New Schools Network; [75390]

(5) what specific conditions were contained in the grant agreement between his Department and the New Schools Network relating to conflicts of interest. [75392]

Mr Gibb: The Department does not routinely publish correspondence that it receives and sends as part of the normal course of business; this is no exception.

The Department had no discussions with the Cabinet Office prior to the original grant award to the NSN.

The conflicts of interest clause in the original NSN grant letter was based on the Department's model agreement and says:

“NSN will ensure that staff, trustees, volunteers and advisers' conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest are promptly disclosed to the Department and recorded by NSN, and that proper standards of integrity are applied in relation to all its activities”.

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Following an open competitive process the NSN was successful with its bid for grant funding from 1 November 2011.

Postgraduate Education: Finance

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) when his Department decided to reduce support for PGCE students starting in September 2011; what support his Department will provide to such students; and if he will make a statement; [75738]

(2) what estimate he has made of the saving to the public purse following the reduction in support for PGCE students starting in September 2011. [75739]

Mr Gibb: Details of the training bursary arrangements for PGCE trainees starting courses in September 2011 were announced by the Department on 31 January 2011 and set out in a letter from the Secretary of State for Education, the right hon. Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), to the chief executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools on the same date. The letter confirmed that in 2011/12 £9,000 bursaries are available for PGCE trainees in mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering while those on biology, combined/general science and modern foreign languages courses can receive £6,000 bursaries. All PGCE students can apply for the same student support as undergraduate students, including maintenance loans and means-tested grants.

The cost of providing bursaries for postgraduate trainees that started courses in September 2010 is £151.3 million. The cost of providing bursaries for postgraduate trainees that started courses in September 2011 is £59.5 million.

Our discussion document “Training our next generation of outstanding teachers” sets out proposals for reforming initial teacher training, including providing bursaries designed to make training to teach more attractive to the most talented graduates, especially in shortage subjects, from 2012/13. The proposals set out a bursary rate of between £4,000 and £20,000 depending on the degree classification of the trainee and the subject specialism or phase of the postgraduate course. We expect to announce the final arrangements for 2012/13 shortly. The bursaries will continue to be adjusted regularly according to the size of the pool of potential teachers and the demand from schools for new teachers.

Pupil Exclusions

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress has been made on the pilots of a new approach to permanent exclusions; what plans he has to introduce legislative proposals to amend provisions relating to permanent exclusions; and if he will make a statement. [77272]

Mr Gibb: Work on the trial commenced in September in the six local authorities which have so far committed to testing the new approach to school exclusion. These authorities are: Derbyshire, Lancashire, Wiltshire, East Sussex, Sefton and Redcar and Cleveland. The trial will cover at least 3,000 pupils “at-risk” of exclusion and we are currently in discussion with eight more local authorities who are hoping to join.

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The trial authorities are currently working with their schools to establish their own local arrangements and to develop schools' capacity to take on increased responsibilities for commissioning alternative provision.

There will be an in-depth evaluation of the trial which will provide evidence of the impact of this new process on the outcomes for these “at-risk” pupils. Our intention is to consider legislative changes on the basis of this evidence.

Schools: Fire Extinguishers

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the proportion of new build and refurbished schools that comply with Government guidelines on the inclusion of sprinklers; and if he will make a statement. [75798]

Mr Gibb: Information is not held on the proportion of new build and refurbished schools that have installed sprinkler systems.

The decision on whether or not to install sprinklers in schools and the assessment of the risks and benefits of installing sprinklers, is a matter for schools and local authorities.

Social Mobility

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what step his Department is taking to improve social mobility; and if he will make a statement. [76603]

Mr Gibb: This Government have set out an education reform programme in order to drive up attainment for children, regardless of their background, and to keep pace with the highest-performing systems in the world. We have undertaken specific measures to improve social mobility as set out in the Government's “Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility”. These measures aim to ensure life chances are more equal at critical points such as the early years of development; school readiness at age five; GCSE attainment and the choice of options at 16.

Evidence shows that investment in the early years of a child's life makes a difference to their future attainment. We have extended the free entitlement to early education to 15 hours per week for all three and four-year-olds, and we have committed to extend free early education to all disadvantaged two-year-olds by 2013. Funding for places for disadvantaged two-year-olds will rise from £64 million in the current financial year to £380 million by the end of the spending review period and will mean that around 140,000 two-year-olds will in the future benefit from free places.

We have introduced the pupil premium which will provide additional resources to help raise the attainment of pupils from low income families. Total funding for the pupil premium is £625 million in 2011-12, £1.25 billion in 2012-13 and will rise to £2.5 billion a year by 2014-15.

The pupil premium sits alongside a range of reforms that will help to ensure that more pupils achieve higher standards. These include allowing schools greater freedoms and flexibility to use their budgets as they think best, introducing a more rigorous emphasis on phonics in the early years of primary education and reviewing the

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national curriculum and assessment arrangements. We have also introduced a new £50 million pupil premium summer school programme which will provide two weeks of teaching and activities to help the most disadvantaged pupils make the transition from primary to secondary school.

Students: Transport

Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many local authorities have changed their transport subsidies for 16 to 18-year-olds accessing education and training between academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12. [74612]

Tim Loughton: Local authorities are required by section 509AA of the Education Act 1996 to publish a transport policy statement each year which sets out the support they will provide for 16 to 19-year-olds attending further education. The Department for Education is undertaking an exercise to establish whether all local authorities have published transport policy statements as required by section 509AA of the Education Act 1996.

We do not have information on the changes to transport subsidies for 16 to 18-year-olds accessing education and training between academic years 2010-11 and 2011-12. Decisions regarding the extent of transport arrangements, including the provision of any financial assistance, are for local authorities to make following appropriate consultation.

Voluntary Work: Young People

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding he proposes to allocate to the National Citizen Service in (a) 2012-13, (b) 2013-14 and (c) 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. [76288]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 21 October 2011]:Funding for NCS will come from a wide range of sources. 2011 pilot providers have secured funding from a range of sources that includes business donations, in-kind support from providers themselves, private philanthropic donations, local fundraising and small contributions from participants and their families. Discussions are ongoing with providers for the delivery of NCS in 2012. The level of government investment will be dependant on funding secured from other sources.

The Government allocation for 2013 and 2014 is dependant on the level of funding secured from other sources.

Work and Pensions

Job Vacancies

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the ratio of jobseeker's allowance claimants to vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus was in each (a) region, (b) local authority area and (c) constituency in each of the last five years. [78103]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated November 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the ratio of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants per vacancy notified to Jobcentre Plus was in each (a) region (b) local authority area and (c) constituency in each of the last five years. (78103)

In Table 1, we have provided the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) per Jobcentre Plus vacancy for each region, local authority area and constituency for September 2007, September 2008, September 2009, August 2010 and September 2011 which is the latest period available. Figures for September 2010 are not available so as an alternative August 2010 figures have been provided. As the information requested is quite extensive, a copy has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

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

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

International Development

Departmental Buildings

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects his Department plans in (i) the current and (ii) the next financial year; and what the cost will be of each such project. [74358]

Mr O'Brien: I have deposited in the Library a table of our building and refurbishment costs for the current and next financial year. The total building and refurbishment costs for the current financial year is £2.61 million. We do not yet have completed plans in place for our projects in the next financial year so forecast costs are unknown at this stage.

Please find as follows confirmed building and refurbishment costs for the current year:

Location Description Forecast costs for 2011-12 (£)

South Sudan Juba

Construction of a second storey extension to the existing UK Government shared building.

1,700,000

Nigeria Kano

Construction of a new building.

961,000

South Africa Pretoria

Refurbishment of the British high commission building that allows co-location of the Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

(1)

(1) Not known at this time. (Refurbishment project planned, but not yet commissioned for the current financial year)

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development at how many events organised by (a) charities, (b) other civil society groups, (c) businesses and (d) lobbying organisations Ministers

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and senior officials in his Department have given speeches in each month since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [77369]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: As Secretary of State for International Development my responsibilities include meeting and speaking with a wide range of organisations in the UK and overseas about international development. Details of meetings and events undertaken by DFID Ministers can be found on the DFID website

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/Our-organisation/Ministers/

Information on officials is not collected centrally.

Cabinet Office

Third Sector Organisations

9. Alun Michael: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has to increase co-operation between the civil service and third sector organisations. [77760]

Mr Hurd: We refreshed the compact last year and have asked the National Audit Office (NAO) to review how it is being implemented. Current plans are that this report will be published in early December by the NAO.

We are also targeting 30,000 days of volunteering by civil servants per year.

10. Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the potential effects of spending decisions by local authorities on funding for third sector organisations in 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [77761]

Mr Hurd: We are working with strategic partners to monitor the situation.

The new best value guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the refreshed compact, the transition fund and the infrastructure fund have all been put in place to support the sector through a very challenging time.

Public Service Mutuals

11. Richard Graham: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to encourage public sector mutuals. [77762]

Mr Maude: We have announced 21 Mutual Pathfinders to help us understand the best ways to enable and develop mutuals on an ongoing basis. The Mutuals Taskforce will provide advice and challenge to the Government in this area.

We are also putting in place the support that these organisations may need in order to become a success. The Mutuals Support Programme will provide help, advice and guidance to support fledgling mutuals.

Cyber Security

12. Sajid Javid: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his priorities are for the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance. [77763]

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Mr Maude: My priorities include:

Publishing a National Cyber Security Strategy and co-ordinating delivery of the strategy across government and the wider economy;

Overseeing the National Cyber Security Programme, which manages the £650 million investment in transforming the UK's cyber security capability; and

Working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to develop new and innovative partnerships with the private sector on cyber security issues.

Open Government Partnership

13. Claire Perry: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the potential role of the Open Government Partnership in promoting openness and transparency. [77764]

Mr Maude: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr Clappison) at Cabinet Office oral questions earlier today.

Cobra: Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the (a) names and (b) positions were of non-security services civil servants who attended COBR committee meetings since May 2010. [77790]

Mr Maude: Attendance at COBR meetings is determined by the nature of the challenge under consideration, but includes representatives from a range of Government Departments and other organisations and agencies as appropriate. The names and positions of individuals attending internal meetings, such as these, are not normally released.

Construction: Manpower

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people were employed in the construction industry in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the north east and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. [78150]

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 November 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people were employed in the construction industry in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 1997. [78150]

The Business Register Employment Survey (BRES) and it predecessor, the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI), are the most comprehensive sources of employee estimates at a detailed regional and geographical level. Both BRES and the ABI provide employee estimates based on business survey data collected on a specific reference date during each year.

I attach a table showing the numbers of employees engaged in the construction sector in Jarrow parliamentary constituency (available from 2003 onwards only), South Tyneside county district, the North East region and Great Britain from the earliest year available (1998) to the most recent (2010). Unfortunately, a time series is not available for the UK.

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Count of employees 1998 to 2008 (ABI)

Jarrow (parliamentary constituency available from2003 onwards) South Tyneside North East Great Britain

1998

2,800

51,700

1,108,000

1999

3,000

56,400

1,130,600

2000

1,700

55,800

1,127,800

2001

2,200

56,800

1,156,200

2002

2,000

54,400

1,163,200

2003

1,000

1,800

53,200

1,137,900

2004

1,300

2,200

57,500

1,180,900

2005

1,800

2,800

61,800

1,212,900

         

2006

1,400

2,200

59,700

1,258,500

2007

1,300

2,400

58,900

1,290,500

2008

1,400

1,900

58,100

1,268,800

Notes: 1. ABI 2006 discontinuity. Estimates for 2005 and earlier are on a different basis to those from 2006 onwards, mainly due to a change in the survey reference date from December to September. Users should avoid directly comparing employment estimates over the discontinuity, which has been marked on the table with a blank row. 2. ABI 2003 Geographic discontinuity. The 2003 ABI data for aggregate areas is based on 2003 CAS wards which differs from previous years ABI data which was build from 1991 census wards. This will give rise to discontinuities when comparing 2003 data with previous years. 3. ABI 2003 Industrial discontinuity. The 2003 ABI data is based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003 which differs from previous years ABI data. This may give rise to discontinuities.

Count of employees 2008 to 2010 (BRES)

Jarrow South Tyneside North East Great Britain

2008

1,400

1,800

58,800

1,364,200

2009

1,700

2,200

60,500

1,262,700

2010

1,400

1,700

50,000

1,146,700

Note: Care should be taken when comparing the results from BRES with those from ABI as BRES uses different methodology for calculating the estimates and is based on SIC 2007 rather than SIC 2003.

Departmental Assets

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assets with a value of £250,000 or more his Department has bought since May 2010; for what purpose; and if he will make a statement. [77351]

Mr Maude: The assets with a value of £250,000 or more that have been bought by the Cabinet Office during this period all support projects to modernise its central London headquarters at 70 Whitehall and to improve the efficiency of its Information Technology infrastructure. Details of costs can be found at the Cabinet Office transparency website:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/financial-transactions-data-co

Lost Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether his Department has lost any (a) computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) BlackBerrys and (d) other IT equipment since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [77350]

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Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has recorded four laptops, one mobile and eight BlackBerrys lost or missing since May 2010. No classified material was held on these devices.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many applications from employees to run services for which his Department is directly responsible he has received since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [77613]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office is taking forward the Government's commitments to give public sector workers new rights to spin out to form new enterprises and continue to deliver public services, including through new mutuals and cooperatives. These rights will not be uniform across organisations.

Within the Cabinet Office the transformation of My Civil Service Pension is under way. The company has been created, and we are currently in the process of identifying a private sector partner for My Civil Service Pension. As this process is underway at the moment it would be inappropriate to make any further statement at this time.

Telephone Services

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much funding his Department allocated to each telephone helpline funded by his Department in 2011-12; what the purpose is of each such helpline; and how many calls each helpline received in each of the last five years. [77991]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 6 September 2011, Official Report, column 431, to the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith).

Government Departments: Databases

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the effect of the Open Data project; what account he will take of this assessment in determining the future of the project; and if he will make a statement. [77581]

Mr Maude: Transparency is a new way of operating in Government. Central and local government and wider public services have been made more accountable to the public, aided, by the release of over 7,500 datasets (including over 800 geographical linked datasets) via data.gov.uk. These datasets have enabled the public to view and track instances of crime in their area with police.uk having received hundreds of millions of hits since its launch; scrutinise Ministers' expenses, and; interrogate central and local government contracts. Originally targeted at technical experts and software developers, we are reviewing and repackaging data.gov.uk so that it can serve the general public more directly, as well as meet the needs of developers.

The Government launched the Open Data consultation, “Making Open Data Real”, on 4 August. This included an assessment of the positive effects of Open Data, demonstrating that it can have a transformative effect on public services; improving outcomes and productivity

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through informed comparison; driving dynamic economic growth; enabling accountability, and transforming social relationships through empowering individuals and communities. The consultation and the forthcoming White Paper represent the next phase of the Transparency agenda, moving away from a simple accountability model, towards embedding openness and transparency as core operating principles of public services. The White Paper will contain a full impact assessment of policy proposals and the benefits of Open Data.

The Transparency Team in the Cabinet Office is currently leading on an Open Data work stream within the second phase of the Government's growth review, to be released alongside the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn statement on 29 November. In this, the Government will set out Open Data's potential to drive economic growth in the UK economy.

Public Service Mutuals

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to increase the number of community-owned mutuals; and if he will make a statement. [77398]

Mr Maude [holding answer 31 October 2011]:This Government are committed to supporting the creation and expansion of mutuals. Over the last year the 21 Cabinet Office Mutual Pathfinders have provided valuable learning which is being developed into a comprehensive package of support for fledgling mutuals. Many of the pathfinders have developed community engagement and ownership models, leading to responsive services which can innovate to meet local need.

The Cabinet Office is also working with local partners to develop new community focused commissioning models.

Public Bodies Bill

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent representations he has received on the provisions of the Public Bodies Bill [Lords]. [77579]

Mr Maude: The provisions in the Public Bodies Bill provide powers to Ministers to make reforms to a range of public bodies. Where a reform is proposed to a body listed in the Bill's schedules, Ministers are required to undertake a consultation process. Representations are most appropriately made during the consultation process. The Bill has now completed Third Reading in both Houses. During the passage of the Bill, contributions to debates were made by many Members of both Houses and where representations have been made to me I have ensured they are passed to the relevant Department.

Sick Leave

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in the public sector to the same levels as in the private sector. [77041]

Mr Maude [holding answer 27 October 2011]:Cabinet Office hosts a regular cross-sector forum for employers which shares best practice on effective ways to reduce sickness absence.

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In the civil service, the average working days lost (AWDL) per staff year has fallen for the fifth consecutive quarter. The AWDL per person in the civil service now stands at 7.3 days. This compares to a private sector average of 7.1 days per person according to recent reports by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and 5.9 days per person according to the Confederation of British Industry. The figures for the public sector are 9.1 days and 8.1 days respectively.

AWDL in the civil service is currently at its lowest reported figure since 1999.

More information about reducing sickness absence in the civil service can be found at:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/improving/health-and-wellbeing/sickness-absence

Third Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will set and publish targets for the number of new (a) charities, (b) co-operatives, (c) employee-owned mutuals, (d) community-owned mutuals, (e) social enterprises and (f) other third sector organisations in the UK by 2015; and if he will make a statement. [78210]

Mr Hurd: The creation of new civil society organisations is a matter for citizens and communities; it is not for Government to prescribe targets in this respect.

The Government are committed to supporting citizens and communities to play a bigger role in shaping how communities work and how public services get delivered. This includes measures to support the growth of civil society, through making it easier to set up and run a charity or social enterprise, making it easier to work with the state, and getting more resources into the sector.

United Kingdom Statistics Authority: Government Procurement Card

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the (a) date of purchase, (b) amount, (c) supplier and (d) level 3 or enhanced transaction entry was of each transaction undertaken by UK Statistics Authority using the Government Procurement Card from the date of its establishment to May 2010. [73491]

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

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated 1 November 2011:

As Principal Accounting Officer for the UK Statistics Authority (including the Office for National Statistics) I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the (a) date of purchase, (b) amount, (c) supplier and (d) level 3 or enhanced transaction entry was, for each transaction undertaken by the UK Statistics Authority using Government Procurement Cards from the date of its establishment to May 2010. (73491). I am sorry for the delay in my reply.

It is our policy to use the Government Procurement Card as an efficient way of processing low value transactions. All transactions made using Government Procurement Cards are subject to the same stringent controls process and authorisation as in our travel and subsistence and procure to pay systems.

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Tables providing a breakdown of expenditure by (i) the UK Statistics Authority and (ii) the Office for National Statistics using Government Procurement Cards for the period May 2009 - May 2010 will be placed in the House of Commons Library. Information for the previous period requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

We are actively looking at how we can expand on datasets already published to include the publication of Government Procurement Card expenditure over £500.

World War I: Anniversaries

Mr Keith Simpson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what preparations his Department has made for co-ordinating the commemoration of the 100(th) anniversary of the start of the First World War. [76067]

Mr Maude [holding answer 21 October 2011]: Traditionally, we mark the anniversary of the conclusion of a conflict rather than its beginning. So the main commemorations will be on the centenary of the end of the first world war in 1918. However, given the importance of the centenary of world war one a number of anniversaries of key events from 2014 to 2018, including the beginning of the war, will be marked in an appropriate way. The Prime Minister has asked my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison), to act as his Special Representative and Co-ordinator for World War I Commemorations. My hon. Friend will work with international partners to ensure that the UK plays a full and active role; and will co-ordinate the cross-Whitehall effort in respect of the commemorations.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the possible effect of the relocation of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to his Department on the activities of unlicensed gangmasters in the agricultural sector; and when he last met ministerial colleagues from DEFRA to discuss this issue. [78033]

Mr Davey: There are currently no plans to relocate the Gangmasters Licensing Authority from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to BIS. Therefore, no assessment has been made of the effect this might have. I last met with colleagues from DEFRA to discuss this and other issues on 14 September 2010, when we agreed that in the short term our priority should be ensuring that the current enforcement arrangements worked well.

Under the Review of Workplace Rights Compliance and Enforcement we are looking at the scope to streamline activity and increase effectiveness. The review will be looking at a wide-range of different compliance and enforcement models. All options are on the table. As outlined in the ministerial statement of 12 October 2011, Official Report, columns 29-30WS, we will need to consider any eventual outcomes in the light of consultations under the employment strand of the Red Tape Challenge.

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Trade: Developing Countries

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to work towards a conclusion to the Doha round in 2011. [78045]

Mr Davey: While it is now clear that the full Doha development round will not be concluded in 2011, the Government are continuing to press for the best possible outcome at the 8(th) World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in December this year. We are working closely with the European Commission, EU member states and other WTO members to ensure that there is a clear way forward for the Doha round in 2012 which delivers trade liberalisation, strengthens the multilateral system and advances the interests of poor countries.

Departmental Security

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what level of security vetting is required for the post of (a) head of communications, (b) deputy head of communications and (c) head of press office in his Department; and if he will list each person who has held these posts since May 2010; [77860]

(2) what level of security vetting is required for (a) grade six and seven, or equivalent, press officers and (b) ministerial private secretaries in his Department. [77861]

Mr Davey: Please refer to the publicly available booklet HMG Personnel Security Controls, available from the Cabinet Office website at

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/hmg-personnel-security-controls

This booklet describes the circumstances in which a post may require the holder to be the subject of national security vetting checks. It would not be appropriate to confirm which specific posts within this Department

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are the subject of vetting, as this could highlight who has access to sensitive material and be used for targeting purposes.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what level of security vetting is required for (a) special advisers and (b) ministerial-appointed policy advisers in his Department; and if he will list each person who has held these posts since May 2010. [77862]

Mr Davey: Please refer to the publicly available booklet HMG Personnel Security Controls, available from the Cabinet Office website at

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/hmg-personnel-security-controls

This booklet describes the circumstances in which a post may require the holder to be the subject of national security vetting checks. It would not be appropriate to confirm which specific posts within this Department are the subject of vetting, as this could highlight who has access to sensitive material and be used for targeting purposes.

Please refer to the quarterly publication of the list of special advisers which is available in the Libraries of the House and can also be accessed on the Cabinet Office website at

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/special-adviser-data-releases

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what company or Government service is used to undertake security vetting at (a) counter terrorist check, (b) security check and (c) developed vetting level in his Department. [77863]

Mr Davey: National security vetting at counter terrorist check, security check and developed vetting level for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is undertaken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office services.