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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 14 November 2011

Scotland

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Advocate-General for Scotland has met representatives of (a) Bell Pottinger Group or (b) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80048]

David Mundell: Since his appointment in May 2010 the Advocate-General has not met with representatives of Bell Pottinger Group or its subsidiaries. The Advocate-General's Office do not hold records for the previous Administration.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in his Department have met representatives of (i) Bell Pottinger Group or (ii) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80049]

David Mundell: Since May 2010 there have been no meetings between Scotland Office Ministers, officials or political advisers and the Bell Pottinger Group or its subsidiaries. We do not hold records for the previous Administration.

Immigration Controls

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has held with (a) Ministers in the Scottish Government and (b) Scottish police forces regarding the border access checks pilot introduced in summer 2011. [80507]

David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I have regular meetings with our Cabinet colleagues, Members of the Scottish Government and the Scottish police force to discuss matters of Home Office policy as they affect Scotland. The daily operation of the border force is a matter for the UK Border Agency.

Culture, Media and Sport

Archaeological Sites

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many Roman archaeological sites there are in (a) each region and (b) each nation; and if he will make a statement. [80108]

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John Penrose: English Heritage's National Record of the Historic Environment database indicates that English Heritage holds data on over 36,000 Roman archaeological sites in England. These are broken down by region in the following table:

Region Number of Roman sites Percentage

East midlands

4,569

12.6

East of England

5,996

16.5

London

1,039

2.9

North-east

2,831

7.8

North-west

2,817

7.8

South-east

7,158

19.7

South-west

6,361

17.5

West midlands

1,569

4.3

Yorkshire and the Humber

3,923

10.8

Total

36,263

100.0

Art Works: England

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many publicly owned works of art are on display in the open air in England; and if he will make a statement. [80107]

Mr Vaizey: In England, no Government Art Collection publicly owned works of art are on display in the open air. This Department does not collate this information for local authority museums or galleries, and to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost limit.

This Department does not hold this information for its sponsored galleries and museums. Accordingly, I have asked their chief executives to write directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the replies will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

Arts

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what recent assessment he has made of trends in access to the arts and culture (a) nationally and (b) regionally; and what steps he is taking to monitor and identify areas of the country which may be vulnerable to decline in the arts and culture sector; [80215]

(2) what assessment he has made of the performance of the arts and culture sector in (a) the UK and (b) other EU member states; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK arts and culture sector performs as effectively as other EU member states. [80216]

Mr Vaizey: This Department's “Taking Part 2011/12 Quarter 1: Statistical Release” provides UK national trends assessment in access to the arts and culture, available at:

http://www.dcms.gov.uk/publications/8462.aspx

Additionally, the CASE Regional and Local Insights provides the culture “Physical Asset data” at:

http://www.dcms.gov.uk/what_we_do/research_and_statistics/7276.aspx

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The “Eurostat Pocketbook on Cultural Statistics 2011” publication comprises a broad set of comparable data related to culture available in the EU-27, EFTA and candidate countries. It describes different aspects of culture: cultural heritage, cultural employment, enterprises in certain cultural sectors, external trade in cultural goods, households' cultural expenditure, and cultural practices. This is available at:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-32-10-374/EN/KS-32-10-374-EN.PDF

The recently published Arts Council England Plan sets out the principal measures to improve the effectiveness of the arts sector.

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in his Department have met representatives of (i) Bell Pottinger Group or (ii) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80062]

John Penrose: A list of meetings between both the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), and the Permanent Secretary with ‘outside interest groups’ has been published on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) website, and can be found using the link:

http://www.transparency.culture.gov.uk/category/other/meetings/

According to the information recorded by the Department, I can confirm that neither Ministers nor political advisers in DCMS have met representatives of the Bell Pottinger Group, or any of its subsidiaries since May 2010. We do not hold centrally information relating to ministerial meetings prior to this date.

The information requested relating to officials for each of the last five years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Creative Industries Council

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his assessment is of the frequency of the current meeting schedule of the Creative Industries Council. [80414]

Mr Vaizey: The frequency of meetings of the Creative Industries Council, set at six monthly intervals up to summer 2012, is entirely appropriate and sensible. It allows time for the groups set up by the council on issues such as skills and access to finance to do some solid work and be able to report to the council on their progress.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to his answers of 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 1051W, on Creative Industries Council, and 7 November 2011, Official Report, columns 84-85W, on arts, at what level his Department has held discussions with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on access to finance for the creative industries; and what discussions he has

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had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills ahead of the next Economic Affairs sub-cabinet committee. [81102]

Mr Vaizey: The time-limited working groups set up by the council, including the one on access to finance capital, are led by industry, and supported by officials from both my Department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The officials therefore meet on a regular basis to discuss how they can work closely together to ensure that the groups can do their work effectively. There have not been specific discussions with the Secretary of State on this subject before the next Economic Affairs Cabinet sub-Committee.

Cultural Heritage

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will make an assessment of the contribution of heritage sites in (a) the South West, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales to the national economy; and what arrangements are in place to monitor the performance of the tourist economy for those areas. [80217]

Mr Vaizey: English Heritage estimates its sites in the South West, not including Stonehenge, contribute around £2.9 million to the economy. Stonehenge is anticipated to contribute £8.4 million in 2011-12. These figures are for revenue generated and do not reflect the costs incurred in caring for and opening the sites to the public.

VisitBritain and VisitEngland maintain regular inbound and domestic data, based on the International Passenger Survey and the Great Britain Tourism Survey.

Tourism and heritage are devolved matters and it is therefore appropriate for the Scottish and Welsh governments to respond.

Design: Costs

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department has spent on design in respect of (a) logos, (b) buildings, (c) advertising, (d) stationery and (e) campaigns in the last year for which figures are available. [80196]

John Penrose: The amount the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has spent on design, in the financial year 2010-11 are set out in the following table:

Spend on design, 2010-11
Area of spend on design £

(a) Logos

5,824.20

(b) Buildings

0

(c) Advertising

5,400.00

(d) Stationery

0

(e) Campaigns

51,484.00

Grant Funding

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the level of funding provided by his Department to organisations based (a) in and (b) outside London. [80194]

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John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides an annual breakdown of its funding and how that funding is distributed by region throughout the UK through its contribution to the Country and Regional Analysis (CRA). The CRA is compiled and published through HM Treasury on their website at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pespb_natstats_oct2011.htm

Within this analysis London is treated as a distinct region.

English Heritage

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding he has allocated to the (a) Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England and (b) English Heritage in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13, (iv) 2013-14 and (v) 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. [80263]

Mr Vaizey: The hon. Gentleman's researchers will find figures from grant in aid to the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, also known as English Heritage, at the following link:

http://www.transparency.culture.gov.uk/

Updates will be published periodically in the same location.

Freeview Service

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what representations his Department has received on channel allocation on the Freeview platform; and if he will place any representations in the Library. [80792]

Mr Vaizey: The Department has received a number of representations about the allocation of channels across all platforms, including Freeview. These have mainly been in response to the consultation on the Government's Local TV proposals and in response to the Department's 'open letter' as part of the Communications Review. Consistent with the Government's code of practice on consultations, responses to the open letter and local TV proposals will be published on the Department's website shortly.

Internet Governance Forum: Security

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department plans any specific measures relating to security issues for (a) intellectual property and (b) other theft within the UK Internet Governance Forum. [80151]

Mr Vaizey: We have no plans to table these issues for discussion in this forum. The next meeting of the UK Internet Governance Forum (UK IGF) will be held on 22 March 2012. Nominet (as the co-ordinator of the UK IGF) invites stakeholders to propose, and lead on, specific issues of concern to them, in particular those issues which are expected to feature in the programme of the global Internet Governance Forum which will be held in Baku in the autumn of 2012.

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Museums and Galleries: Schools

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will make an assessment of the level of access of school children from maintained schools to theatres, galleries, museums and heritage sites in (a) each region, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland; and what steps he is taking to promote such access. [80195]

Mr Vaizey: The Department’s Taking Part Survey 2010-11 is a large national survey of children aged five to 15 and adults aged 16+, which assesses participation in culture across England. Data are not currently available by type of school, and to collate regional data would incur disproportionate cost.

In 2010-11, 98% of children had accessed the arts, with 44% of five to 10-year-olds, and 67% of 11 to 15-year-olds attending theatres. 65% had visited museums and galleries and 72% had visited a heritage site in the last 12 months. The latest child engagement findings can be found at:

http://www.dcms.gov.uk/publications/8398.aspx

From next April, Arts Council England (ACE) will be investing £10 million into a network of new Bridge Organisations to connect arts organisations and schools and help improve the overall delivery of arts opportunities for children. Their 10-year strategic framework “Achieving great art for everyone” commits to ensuring every child and young person has the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts. ACE’s Renaissance programme aims to increase access for children and young people to renaissance museums. The number of visits by children in 2010-11, had more than doubled from 2,533,464 in 2002-03 to 5,173,695.

This Department’s Sponsored Museums’ “Performance Indicators 2010-11” include the number of educational visits made and is available at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/what_we_do/research_and_statistics/8609.aspx

English Heritage’s education team send regular e-newsletters to all state schools within England encouraging them to visit and learn at its properties. They also publish the magazine “Heritage Learning”, which is aimed at supporting teachers, and hold a teachers’ forum. Every effort is made to ensure that all schools are aware of English Heritage’s “Learners Go Free” message.

Culture is a devolved matter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and it is therefore appropriate for their Governments to respond.

News International

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what meetings (a) special advisers and (b) officials in his Department have had with representatives of News International; and whether the BBC licence fee settlement was discussed at any such meeting. [80600]

Mr Vaizey: Details of special advisers' meetings with newspaper and other media proprietors, editors and senior executives will be published on a quarterly basis with effect from the period July to September 2011. Prior to this, and according to the information recorded

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by the Department, I can confirm that no meetings took place solely with News International staff and DCMS' special advisers. News International staff may have been present at meetings between News Corporation and the Department's

(a)

special advisers and

(b)

officials when discussing News Corporation's proposed acquisition of the remaining shares in BSkyB.

Minutes of meetings when the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), was present are available on the Department's website, and can be found using the link:

http://www.transparency.culture.gov.uk/category/other/meetings/

Details of civil servants meetings are otherwise not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

We are clear that at no time was the BBC licence fee settlement discussed in any of these meetings.

Ofcom

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what powers Ofcom has under the Communications Act 2003 to regulate DTT Multiplex Operators Ltd; and if he will make a statement. [80791]

Mr Vaizey: The matter raised is an operational one for the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Ofcom have advised:

“DTT Multiplex Operators Limited does not currently hold a broadcasting licence. Certain of its activities involve the organisation of channel numbering for DTT Electronic Programme Guides. In so far as those activities are carried out on behalf of DTT Multiplex Operators, any regulatory issues would require consideration under the relevant multiplex licences. Pursuant to the Communications Act its activities are also subject to Ofcom's concurrent competition law powers under the Competition Act 1998.”

Royal Parks

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with his (a) Brazilian, (b) Chinese, (c) Indian, (d) Russian and (e) European counterparts on collaboration with the Royal Parks; and if he will make a statement. [80171]

John Penrose: Neither the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), nor I have taken part in any such discussions.

Leader of the House

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Leader of the House whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in his office have met representatives of (i) Bell Pottinger Group or (ii) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80047]

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Sir George Young: Details of Cabinet Office Ministers' and permanent secretaries' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and can be accessed on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-external-organisations

and

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-permanent-secretaries%E2%80%99-meetings-external-organisations

Further detailed information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Duchy of Cornwall

Andrew George: To ask the Leader of the House what the constitutional position of the Duchy of Cornwall is in respect of legislation before the House. [79969]

Sir George Young: It is a long-established convention that where Bills are due to affect the Crown formal prior consent is sought from the Queen for the way in which that Bill will affect the Crown. By convention, when there is a Duke of Cornwall of age, similar formal consent is sought from the Duke of Cornwall. Parliamentary procedure in both Houses requires Queen's consent to be given to a Bill if it affects the Royal prerogative or the interests (hereditary revenues, personal property or other interests) of the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster or the Duchy of Cornwall. In the case of the Duchy of Cornwall, the consent is needed because of the Sovereign's reversionary interest in the Duchy; and currently, while there is a Duke of Cornwall of full age, it falls to be given by the Prince of Wales. Although the Prince of Wales' consent is expressed to the Bill itself, it relates only to the aspects of it that affect the interests of the Duchy.

Legislation: Parliamentary Scrutiny

Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Leader of the House what plans he has to utilise the expertise of Select Committees in the scrutiny of (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation. [79931]

Sir George Young: The Government recognises the value that pre-legislative scrutiny can add, and are committed to seeing more measures published in draft for scrutiny by Select or Joint Committees.

Except when there is specific provision in Standing Orders, it is for Select Committees themselves to decide whether they wish to examine and report on primary and secondary legislation. The Government are currently considering arrangements for scrutiny of certain draft orders under the Public Bodies Bill [Lords] and the Localism Bill and will bring forward proposals in due course.

Private Members’ Bills

Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Leader of the House what recent representations he has received relating to the procedures used for Private Members' legislation. [79930]

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Sir George Young: I have received a range of representations on the House's procedures in respect of Private Members' Bills, including from hon. and right hon. Members during business questions and during the debate on 30 March 2011 on Private Members' days in the current Session.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Food: Hygiene

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to improve (a) the delivery of food to supermarkets and (b) other food resilience mechanisms. [80772]

Mr Paice: The UK has a highly effective food supply chain, providing wide consumer choice. The food industry has robust and resilient business continuity plans against disruption from threats or natural hazards. DEFRA works closely with all parts of the industry and other Departments to ensure that Government provide appropriate support to the sector if required.

Food: Prices

Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on food prices support for British food manufacturing. [79185]

Mr Paice: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has had discussions with BIS in the normal course of business as part of the Government's growth review, and we continue to work with BIS and UKTI to help boost growth in the food sector. The Secretary of State has also recently chaired a round table with a wide range of food industry stakeholders to look at how the Government can help the food and drink sector to grow. Additionally, we continue to work, in the UK and internationally, to promote open global markets, boost trade and ensure a growing population is fed in a way that reduces environmental impacts and supports an environmentally sustainable food sector. The impact of rising food prices are a concern for the Government. While it is not the Government's role to control, or intervene in support of food prices, we know that export bans, stock levels, energy prices and damaged harvests do affect prices, so these are things the Government are keen to address.

Honey: EU Law

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will estimate the potential cost to producers of honey in the UK of a requirement to re-label and test all honey products as a result of the European Court of Justice ruling that pollen should be listed as an ingredient of honey; and if she will make a statement; [80104]

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of honey suppliers and beekeepers who may go out of business as a result of the European Court of Justice ruling that pollen should be listed as an ingredient of honey; and if she will make a statement; [80105]

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(3) what steps she plans to take to protect beekeepers following the European Court of Justice ruling that pollen should be listed as an ingredient of honey; and if she will make a statement. [80109]

Mr Paice: This matter is being discussed at EU level. We are arguing that beekeepers and the honey industry should not be faced with unreasonable costs because of the ruling made by the Court, and want the European Commission to propose a pragmatic solution. DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency are working together on this, and to help make the case for action the UK honey sector has recently been asked for evidence on the potential effects of the ruling.

Poultry: Animal Welfare

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will make it her policy to ban the import of processed eggs incorporated into a food product where the eggs are from hens housed in conventional battery cages that do not comply with the provisions of EU directive 1999/74/EC in other EU member states from 1 January 2012; [79883]

(2) if she will make it her policy to ban the import of egg products derived from hens housed in conventional battery cages that do not comply with the provisions of EU directive 1999/74/EC in other EU member states from 1 January 2012. [79884]

Mr Paice: The Commission is actively working on a practical enforcement solution and the Government will be contributing to ensure that any solution is as tight as possible, to protect our producers.

We are in the process of developing an enforcement strategy which will consider all viable options to protect compliant producers. We are also considering other measures we could introduce swiftly should the Commission fail to find a robust enforcement approach.

Ragwort: Poisoning

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases of ragwort poisoning have been reported in each of the last five years. [75954]

Mr Paice: The Weeds Act 1959 allows the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to take statutory action to control the spread of injurious weeds such as common ragwort. However, DEFRA does not hold figures on the number of animals suffering from ragwort poisoning.

Prime Minister

Brazil: UN Conference on Environment and Development

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Prime Minister whether he plans to attend the Rio Earth summit in 2012. [80980]

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The Prime Minister: UK representation at the Rio Earth summit 2012 has yet to be fully decided. I can confirm that the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), will attend.

Dangerous Dogs

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on dangerous dogs since May 2010. [81041]

The Prime Minister: I have discussions with ministerial colleagues and others on a range of subjects. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark) on 2 November 2011, Official Report, column 921.

Members: Surveillance

Karl McCartney: To ask the Prime Minister what recent assessment he has made of the operation of the Wilson doctrine. [80588]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Jonathan Edwards) on 24 January 2011, Official Report, column 35W.

Written Questions

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Prime Minister whether it is his policy to sign off draft answers to written parliamentary questions tabled to him. [80158]

The Prime Minister: Yes.

Home Department

Animal Experiments: Imports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the location is of each breeding centre overseas which supplies non-human primates to the UK for the purpose of scientific research. [79917]

Lynne Featherstone: The overseas breeding centres that have supplied non-human primates to the UK for the purpose of scientific research during the past two years are located in China, Mauritius and Vietnam.

Antisocial Behaviour: Internet

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps she plans to take to deal with antisocial behaviour and actions on the internet; [80173]

(2) what assessment she has made of the adequacy of laws to deal with antisocial actions and behaviour on the internet. [80174]

James Brokenshire: We have been clear that tackling antisocial behaviour, and protecting vulnerable victims, should be core business for the police and their local partners. That should be the case whether the behaviour in question takes place online or offline.

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A number of the current powers to tackle antisocial behaviour can be used to address both online and offline activity. The Government have consulted on proposals to give the police and their partner a set of streamlined, speedier, more effective powers, and I would envisage that they could be applied to antisocial behaviour online where appropriate.

Asylum

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unsuccessful asylum seekers deported from the UK were refused entry on arrival at the country of their origin and subsequently returned to the UK in each of the last 24 months. [80340]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not record this information on the Case Information Database (CID). To obtain this information would require a case by case search.

Domestic Violence: Immigrants

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2011, Official Report, column 330W, on domestic violence: immigrants, what steps she plans to take to protect victims of domestic violence who have no recourse to public funds and have not been successful in their application for indefinite leave to remain. [79760]

Damian Green: The answer of 11 October 2001, Official Report, column 330W, confirmed that support is currently provided through the Sojourner project to victims of domestic violence who have no recourse to public funds to enable access to a refuge for a limited period while an application for leave for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence is considered by the UK Border Agency. From April 2012, those currently eligible for Sojourner support will be given a short period of leave to enable them to access welfare benefits while their claim for indefinite leave is made and considered.

The support will continue to be limited to those who have entered the UK as a spouse, civil partner, un-married or same-sex partner of a British citizen or a person present and settled in the UK, and who are able to demonstrate that their relationship was caused to permanently break down as a result of domestic violence. There are no plans to extend support to those whose claim to be a victim of domestic violence is ultimately not upheld.

Capabilities Programme

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many full-time equivalent staff work on the (a) chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear resilience and (b) mass fatalities workstream of the Capabilities Programme; and what the staffing level was in each of the last 10 quarters; [79510]

(2) who the lead Minister in her Department is for the (a) chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear resilience and (b) mass fatalities workstream of the Capabilities Programme; [79511]

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(3) what the budget was for the (a) chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear resilience and (b) mass fatalities workstream of the Capabilities Programme in each year since 2005; and what the budget will be during the comprehensive spending review period. [79512]

James Brokenshire: Ministerial responsibility in the Home Office regarding these two workstreams is split across two portfolios. I am responsible for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear resilience (CBRN) while the Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour, my noble Friend Lord Henley, is responsible for mass fatality incidents.

The Home Department does not break down the counter-terrorism budget beyond what is already published for reasons of national security. It has been the policy of successive Governments not to reveal these details. You will also be aware that the CBRN resilience workstream goes wider than just the Home Office contribution.

Locally collated management information, which may be subject to change, indicates that full-time equivalent staff over the past 10 quarters for CBRN was as follows:


Quarter Full-time equivalent staff

2009

Q2

28

2009

Q3

27

2010

Q4

27

2010

Q1

25

2010

Q2

25

2010

Q3

23

2011

Q4

25

2011

Q1

21

2011

Q2

24

2011

Q3

19

The public order unit mass fatalities budget from 2007-08 is shown in the following table.


£

2007-08

1,500,000

2008-09

1,500,000

2009-10

1,500,000

2010-11

1,685,293

2011-12

1,606,280

The provisional budget for the public order unit mass fatalities workstream for 2012-13 is £1,464,000 and for 2013-14 it is £1,604,000. These figures have not been signed off and are provisional indications of the budget for this workstream.

In each of the last 10 quarters there have been three full-time equivalent staff working in the mass fatalities team in the Home Office’s public order unit.

Entry Clearances

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to require a health insurance certificate to be submitted with a visa application. [80583]

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Damian Green: The Government announced their intention to conduct a further review of migrants' access to the NHS on 18 March. The Department of Health will consider whether to introduce a requirement for health insurance tied to visas as part of this review.

EU Law

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many EU directives are pending transposition into domestic legislation by her Department. [79913]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office has three EU directives pending transposition into UK domestic legislation. These are:

Directive 2011/36/EU—Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA;

Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes;

Directive 2008/51/EC amending Council Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons (only insofar as it relates to the amended Article 4. The Directive as a whole has been transposed.)

Financial Services

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) she and (b) her officials have had discussions with (i) the Bishop of London and (ii) the authorities of St Paul's Cathedral on the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest; and if she will make a statement. [79365]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 8 November 2011]: Ministers and officials have received regular updates on the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest. This has included discussions with the cathedral authorities, the City of London Corporation and the police.

Firearms: Licensing

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to curb the flow to criminal gangs of ammunition for illegal firearms. [79912]

James Brokenshire: The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) works with partners in the UK, including the National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) and the UK Border Agency, and in Europe to reduce the possession and use of firearms by organised criminals and by street gangs involved with the drugs trade. Strong international links enable SOCA to prevent the criminal importation of firearms and ammunition, and together with SOCA's collaborative operational activity in the UK reduces the availability and use of firearms on streets in the UK.

Illegal Immigrants

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Iraqi nationals who have no legal basis to remain the UK have been removed to Iraq in each month since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [80985]

14 Nov 2011 : Column 505W

Damian Green: The following table shows the total number of removals and voluntarily departures of Iraqi nationals from the UK to Iraq in each month from May 2010 to June 2011.

Monthly total removals and voluntary departures (1) , nationals of Iraq to Iraq (2) May 2010 to June 2011 (3)

Number of departures

May 2010

13

June 2010

69

July 2010

22

August 2010

36

September 2010

94

October 2010

66

November 2010

26

December 2010

22

January 2011

19

February 2011

39

March 2011

46

April 2011

15

May 2011

8

June 2011

26

(1) Includes enforced removals, persons departing voluntarily after notifying the UK Border Agency of their intention to leave prior to their departure, persons leaving under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by Refugee Action from April 2011 (previously run by the International Organisation for Migration) and persons who it has been established left the UK without informing the immigration authorities. (2) Destination as recorded on source database. (3) Provisional figures. Figures will under record due to data cleansing and data matching exercises that take place after the extracts are taken.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK within ‘Immigration Statistics’. The data on removals and voluntary departures are available in tables rv.01 to rv.08 from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science, research and statistics web pages at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

Quarterly data for July to September 2011 will be published as part of the regular Home Office publication scheme on 24 November.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to ensure businesses are aware of the penalties for employing illegal immigrants. [79775]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency (UKBA) works closely with other Government partners, such as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and trade bodies to provide business-to-business communications, targeting employers with enforcement messaging about illegal working operations and civil penalties. For example, during 2010 we completed a large number of employer awareness sessions, working jointly with HMRC, reaching more than 5,700 delegates.

The Comprehensive Guidance for Employers on preventing illegal working and the shorter Summary Guidance were updated last year and widely publicised. Both documents include clear guidance on the level of civil penalties to be levied on employers found to be employing workers illegally.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 506W

UKBA enforcement teams complete educational visits to employers and the agency works closely with employer organisations to raise awareness of the civil penalty regime.

National and regional media are regularly used to highlight successful enforcement and immigration crime operations, including details of the penalties faced by employers who break the rules.

The agency uses online channels to promote operations, publish names of non-compliant employers and provide guidance on preventing illegal working. This information is provided through the UK Border Agency website, social media channels such as Twitter, and partner channels such as Businesslink.gov.uk. and Direct Gov.

Immigration Controls

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed applicants under the Highly-Skilled Migrants programme have subsequently been deported; and what the average cost of completing deportation proceedings against such people was in the latest period for which figures are available. [80341]

Damian Green: The Highly-Skilled Migrants programme ran from January 2002 to March 2008. 485 failed applicants to the programme have been removed from the UK.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is unable to provide an average cost of completing deportation proceeding as there are many variables, including:

whether the person makes a voluntary or supervised departure;

whether the person has to be detained in order to facilitate their removal;

whether they have to be escorted;

whether we have to apply for a travel document for their return;

whether they are accompanied by dependants, and if so how many;

the destination to which they are being returned;

legal challenges.

Immigration: Scotland

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which airports and ports in Scotland participated in the border access check pilot introduced in summer 2011. [80508]

Damian Green: The pilot of the risk-based controls included the Scottish airports of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Prestwick.

Knives: Crime

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to remove knives from criminals. [79974]

James Brokenshire: The Government have set out a cross-Government plan to tackle gang and youth violence, including knife crime.

The Government’s position is clear: any adult who commits a crime using a knife can expect to be sent to prison and serious offenders can expect a long sentence. The Legal Aid, Punishment and Sentencing of Offenders Bill currently going through Parliament includes a new

14 Nov 2011 : Column 507W

offence of carrying a knife or offensive weapon in a public place or school and going on to threaten or endanger another, with a minimum mandatory sentence of six months custody for those over 18 and a four-month detention and training order for those aged 16 and 17.

The Home Office has already committed £18 million of funding for 2011-13 to support the police, local agencies and the voluntary sector to tackle knife, gun and gang-related violence and prevent youth crime. A further £10 million will be made available to up to 30 areas in 2012-13 to help develop their early intervention response to serious youth violence.

We are introducing a new offence of carrying a knife or offensive weapon in a public place or school, to threaten or endanger another, with a minimum mandatory sentence of six months custody for those over 18 and a four-month detention and training order for those aged 16 or 17.

We are implementing the Coalition Agreement commitment that the Government will make hospitals share non-confidential information with the police, so they know where knife (and gun) crime is happening and can target stop-and-search in crime hot spots.

Licensing Act 2003

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations she has received on reform of the Licensing Act 2003. [80313]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office carried out a major public consultation on proposals to overhaul the Licensing Act 2003 in favour of local communities last year. Over 1,000 responses were received. A detailed analysis of those representations and the Government's response to them was published on 1 December 2010 and is available on the Home Office website on this link:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/alcohol/rebalancing-consultation/

The reforms were included in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. We have since received a number of representations on the reforms representing the wide cross-section of interest in alcohol licensing. Ministers and my officials have met, and will continue to meet with, a number of organisations representing those with an interest in alcohol licensing and work to implement the reforms.

Passports

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps she has taken to reduce waiting times for the issue of new passports. [80963]

Damian Green: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) currently asks customers to allow at least six weeks to process applications from adults applying for their first passport, three weeks to process straightforward properly completed applications, and one week for applications submitted using the Fast Track service. IPS also offers a same day Premium service.

95% of applications for new passports are currently being processed in 10 days, which is well within the IPS published turnaround times.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 508W

Theft: Large Goods Vehicles

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment her Department has made of the extent of theft of and from HGVs: and what steps her Department is taking to reduce such thefts. [79933]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office has made no specific assessment of thefts of and from HGVs. Responsibility for reducing such thefts lies with the police. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service has a dedicated desk tackling road freight crime through intelligence gathering and dissemination, crime prevention and enforcement activity.

Theft: Retail Trade

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps she has taken to reduce levels of retail theft. [80964]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office takes all crimes against businesses seriously and works with a range of organisations and partnerships to tackle retail theft.

The Home Office works closely with the ACPO Acquisitive Crime Programme Board and its sub-groups to deliver across a range of crime types that affect retailers.

The Home Office co-chairs the National Retail Crime Steering Group, the national partnership to tackle crimes against retailers. It is delivering a plan focused on crime priorities affecting retailers. This includes strengthening local partnerships between retailers and law enforcement agencies; taking steps to develop safe working and trading environments; supporting designing out crime techniques; and working with the criminal justice system to ensure that effective sanctions and deterrents to retail crime are available.

UK Border Agency: Stress

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of working days lost by UK Border Agency staff was attributed to stress-related conditions in the most recent year for which figures are available. [80543]

Damian Green: 0.58% of total working days available to UK Border Agency staff for October 2010 to September 2011 was lost to stress-related conditions. (Stress-related conditions are classed as mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression).

UK Border Agency: Telephone Services

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many telephone calls the UK Border Agency helpline has received in the last 12 months. [79923]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency operates four helplines in the UK. The total number of calls received during the period 1 November 2010 and 31 October 2011 is as follows:

14 Nov 2011 : Column 509W

Helpline Number of calls

Customer Contact Centre (Sheffield)

460,606

Immigration Enquiry Bureau

1,549,469

Customer Contact Centre (Liverpool)

807,938

Asylum

58,166

Total calls

2,876,279

The figures provided are based on local management information. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols and should be treated as provisional

Wales

Animal Welfare

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had on the mandate of the National Crime Agency to deal with wildlife crime in Wales. [80611]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office is fully engaged with the Home Office on the development of the National Crime Agency that is expected to be fully operational by December 2013. Wales Office Ministers and officials will feed in issues relating to crime in Wales as part of this process.

Barnett Formula

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many times she has met Treasury Ministers to discuss reform of the Barnett formula since May 2010. [80534]

Mrs Gillan: I have regular discussions with Treasury Ministers on matters relating to Wales. The Government have made clear that their priority is to reduce the deficit, and therefore any change to the Barnett formula must await the stabilisation of the public finances.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether her Department has received any representations expressing concern about the policing of a badger cull in Wales. [80481]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office has received a range of representations on issues related to the eradication of Bovine TB in Wales.

Animal Health and Welfare is devolved in Wales and policing arrangements of any eradication programme in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Government in conjunction with police forces in Wales.

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with Ministers in the Welsh Government on badger culling using shooting. [80482]

Mr David Jones: None. Responsibility for the management of the spread of bovine TB and the method for its control in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Government.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 510W

Business Advisory Council

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice she has received from members of her Business Advisory Council since May 2010. [80487]

Mrs Gillan: The Wales Office Business Advisory Group provides me with an opportunity to hear directly from members about the issues which are affecting businesses in Wales.

The group has had discussions on a range of issues that affect Wales including:

the electrification of the Great Western Main Line;

enterprise zones;

the Growth Review and Budget;

employment;

energy;

research and development;

training; apprenticeships;

inward investment; and

policies aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Wales.

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with her Business Advisory Council on support for (a) the construction industry, (b) the creative industries and (c) manufacturing industry in Wales. [80533]

Mrs Gillan: The Wales Office Business Advisory Group discussed, on an informal basis, a range of issues affecting businesses in Wales across a range of sectors including the construction industry, the creative industries and manufacturing.

Commission on Devolution in Wales

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what budget her Department plans to provide for the Commission on Devolution in Wales. [80479]

Mrs Gillan: The budget for the life of the Commission on Devolution in Wales is around £1 million, funded from existing budgets.

Departmental Assets

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assets with a value of £1,000 or more her Department has bought since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [80616]

Mr David Jones: None.

Departmental Billing

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the average cost to her Department is of processing the payment of an invoice. [80621]

Mr David Jones: The average cost to the Wales Office for processing the payment of an invoice is £4.77.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 511W

Design: Costs

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what contracts her Department has awarded for design services since May 2010; and what information her Department holds on the location of such companies. [80176]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office has awarded no design contracts since May 2010.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much her Department has spent on design in respect of (a) logos, (b) buildings, (c) advertising, (d) stationery and (e) campaigns in the last year for which figures are available. [80211]

Mr David Jones: Nil.

Judicial Review

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what applications for judicial review have been made against her Department (a) in the last Parliament and (b) since May 2010; whether each such application (i) succeeded, (ii) failed and (iii) remains pending; what legal costs were incurred by her Department for each such application; in each failed application whether she applied for costs against the applicant and whether they were (A) awarded and (B) paid; whether her Department (1) paid for and (2) offered to pay for the legal costs incurred by each such applicant; and what the total cost to the public purse was of payment of the legal costs for each such applicant. [80705]

Mr David Jones: There have been no applications for judicial review.

Public Sector: Pay

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many officials in her Department received a bonus in each year since 2007. [80532]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 165-6W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond).

Press: Subscriptions

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much her Department has spent on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines since May 2010. [80580]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office financial information is held in financial years.

In the year 2010-11 the cost of newspapers, periodicals and professional magazines was £14,573.03.

For the period 2011-12 up to the end of September, the latest date for which information is available, the cost is £2,881.15.

The figure for the current year reflects that the Department has significantly reduced the number of titles it purchases.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 512W

Security Vetting

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what level of security vetting is required for the post of (a) head of communications, (b) deputy head of communications and (c) press officer in her Department; [80485]

(2) what level of security vetting is required for (a) civil servants of grade seven or above and (b) special advisers in her Department. [80486]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 167W, to the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Jon Trickett).

Devolution

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with Welsh Government Ministers on the devolution of energy policies to Wales. [80539]

Mrs Gillan: I have regular discussions with the First Minister on a range of issues and he has raised the issue of devolution of energy consents with me informally during these discussions.

A formal request was made by the Welsh Government to the Prime Minister in July and we have responded setting out that there remains no compelling evidence at present to support a change to the current devolution settlement in relation to energy consents.

The Government have established the Silk Commission, which will examine the boundary between what is devolved and non-devolved, and to make recommendations on any modifications to the settlement which are likely to have a wide degree of support.

Drugs

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with Welsh Government Ministers on drug usage in Wales. [80536]

Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), and I have regular discussions with Ministers in the Welsh Government on a range of matters relevant to Wales.

The Government's Drug Strategy 2010, sets out our approach to tackling drugs across England, and in Wales, in the non-devolved areas of policing, criminal justice and the work of the Department for Work and Pensions. The strategy represents a major change to policy and sets out a fundamentally different approach to preventing drug use and in supporting recovery from drug and alcohol dependence.

The Welsh Government have their own approaches to tackling substance use in areas that are devolved in Wales and as a result was consulted during the development of the strategy.

Copies of the strategy are available in the Library and at the link:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/drug-strategy-2010/

14 Nov 2011 : Column 513W

Electrification

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on full electrification of the railway line between London and Swansea. [80535]

Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), and I have regular discussions with Ministers in the Department for Transport, on various issues that affect Wales, including rail infrastructure.

Following our decision to electrify the line to Cardiff, the case for electrification between Cardiff and Swansea remains under review.

Finance

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether her Department has carried out an economic impact assessment for Wales on the effect of the Government's spending reductions. [80574]

Mrs Gillan: The comprehensive spending review delivers a fair deal for Wales and the reduction in the Welsh Government's budget is smaller than the UK average.

Departments across Government inform the Wales Office of all spending plans in Wales but it is for those individual Departments to carry out impact assessments in relation to any spending undertaken in Wales in non-devolved areas. It is for the Welsh Government to make their own impact assessments of spending reductions they make in areas for which they are responsible.

Human Trafficking: Children

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on separated and trafficked children in Wales. [80610]

Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), and I have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on a wide range of issues, including the welfare of children in Wales.

We recognise the importance of tackling the issue of separated and trafficked children and we will be meeting with the Anti Human Trafficking Co-ordinator for Wales before the end of the year.

Inward Investment

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if she will estimate the level of inward investment to Wales since May 2010. [80488]

Mrs Gillan: For the most recent full financial year (2010-11), UKTI recorded 38 investment projects to Wales, with 2,444 new jobs created and a further 1,100 jobs safeguarded. This accounted for 4% of the total number of foreign direct investment projects brought into the UK.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 514W

Joint Ministerial Committee

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when and where the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee will take place. [80576]

Mrs Gillan: The next plenary meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee is expected to take place in late summer 2012. The relevant sub-committees will meet as normal in advance of that meeting.

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when and where the last meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee took place; and what was discussed. [80577]

Mrs Gillan: The Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) annual report, which was issued on 9 June 2011, listed all meetings of the JMC in the previous 12 months and the agenda items discussed.

Legal Opinion

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many officials in her Department work in its legal section. [80613]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 15W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond).

Public Sector: Pay

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many officials in her Department received a pay rise other than by promotion in the last two years. [80617]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 165W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond).

Security

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people are in possession of a security pass for her main departmental headquarters. [80581]

Mr David Jones: There are 58 holders of security passes for the Wales Office's main building.

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what company or Government service is used to undertake security vetting at (a) counter-terrorist check, (b) security check and (c) developed vetting for officials and special advisers in her Department. [80618]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 166W, to the hon. Member for Hemsworth (Jon Trickett).

On 3 October 2011, the Defence Vetting Agency became Defence Business Services National Security Vetting.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 515W

Social Security Benefits

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance claimants there were in Wales in the period for which figures are available. [80614]

Mr David Jones: The latest period for which figures are available is February 2011. These show that the number of incapacity benefit claimants in Wales is 142,260 (figures for incapacity benefit also include those claiming severe disablement allowance), and the number of employment and support allowance claimants in Wales is 42,260.

The information is also available on the Nomis website provided by the Office for National Statistics at this link:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/Default.asp

Strategic Defence and Security Review

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the impact of the strategic defence and security review on Wales. [80537]

Mrs Gillan: Decisions relating to the strategic defence and security review have clearly shown the Government's commitment to retaining a strong military footprint and supporting the defence industry in Wales.

As part of the review, we confirmed our commitment to order 22 A400M, which will come into service as planned in 2014. This is good news for employees of Airbus, including the 6,500 workers based at Broughton in Flintshire. The Scout Specialist Vehicle contract with General Dynamics UK also brings much needed job security to defence industry workers in South Wales.

The decision to retain 160 Brigade at Brecon recognises the strong links that have been built with the forces in this Welsh community over the last century, and we are boosting the defence presence at St Athan.

I will continue to work with the Ministry of Defence to ensure the continued strength of the armed forces and the defence industry in Wales.

Telephone Services

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much her Department has allocated to each public telephone line funded by her Department in 2011-12. [80483]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office does not fund any public telephone lines.

Unemployment

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the level of long-term unemployment in Wales. [80615]

Mr David Jones: The latest unemployment figures were disappointing and highlight the continued fragility of the economic recovery, but the level of long-term unemployment in Wales remains 20% lower than it was in May 2010.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 516W

The Government are determined to tackle long-term unemployment in Wales and across the UK. Our reforms to the benefits system to strengthen work incentives and to make sure that work always pays will have a particularly significant impact in Wales which has suffered so badly from worklessness in the past.

These reforms are complemented by the new Work Programme, the biggest payment-by-results employment programme ever in the UK. This is central to our strategy to deal with the challenge of long-term unemployment by supporting people into the right kind of employment.

The provision of skills and training in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Government and it is therefore important that we work together to ensure people have the skills necessary to re-enter the job market.

Internships

Mr Hain: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many paid internships her Department has offered since May 2010. [80578]

Mr David Jones: I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 16W, to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree (Luciana Berger).

Defence

Service Personnel: Housing

19. Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department is providing to service personnel to access affordable housing. [80087]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence continues to support home ownership for service personnel through its home ownership scheme. We also encourage service personnel to explore the three main schemes available through the Government to help purchase a property. These are First Buy, New Build Home Buy, and Home Buy Direct. Service personnel are now in the highest priority group for access to First Buy schemes.

Defence Reform Review

20. Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made in implementing the recommendations of the defence reform review. [80088]

Mr Philip Hammond: The Department continues to make progress in transforming defence so that we clear up the £38 billion black hole our predecessors left behind and build a defence capability fit for the future. I am determined to put the Department’s finances on a sound footing, with an equipment programme rooted in reality not fantasy.

To date, the MOD has taken forward work on the future of the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation; established a centre of excellence at the Defence Academy to improve leadership and ways of working; confirmed a billion pound upgrade programme for the Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicles; adopted

14 Nov 2011 : Column 517W

a new top-level command structure for the Army in line with Lord Levene’s recommendations; enshrined in law the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant; and launched a further Voluntary Early Release Scheme for 2012 to 2014 for the MOD’s civilian work force.

I intend to take a direct, hands-on role in implementing the transformation policy decision made by my predecessor.

Operation Ellamy

21. John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the armed forces in Operation Ellamy. [80089]

Mr Philip Hammond: Our armed forces, with our Allies, played a vital role in liberating Libya and ending Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal regime.

The outstanding performance of our armed forces has proven that they have the capability to project power and influence at very short notice. The operation has once again highlighted that both our people and equipment are world class.

At its peak, some 2,300 British servicemen and women were deployed on Operation Ellamy. We deployed 32 aircraft including 16 Tornado GR4s, six Typhoons, five attack helicopters, refuelling tankers and specialist surveillance aircraft and helicopters. Over the course of the operation we also deployed eight warships and attack submarines.

I was delighted to have the opportunity two weeks ago to visit our servicemen and women in Gioia del Colle so I could see at first hand the superb work they have done.

Reservists

23. Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what incentives are available to encourage people to become reservists. [80091]

Mr Robathan: There are many reasons why people join the reserve forces, including the desire to serve their country. There are an extensive range of opportunities available which can enhance professional development and personal skills to those that choose to do so. In addition, a good financial package is available when the reservist meets various commitments.

EADS

24. Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department is providing to EADS to win the combat jet tender for the Indian air force. [80092]

Peter Luff: The German Government have the lead on behalf of the Eurofighter partner nations. In supporting them, UK Ministers and senior officials have advocated the benefits of Typhoon to our Indian counterparts. This has included highlighting the operational success of Typhoon in Libya.

The RAF also supported the Luftwaffe in conducting flight evaluation trials as part of the Indian assessment of Typhoon.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 518W

Defence Munitions: Beith

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential effects of changes to Ministry of Defence police staffing levels at Defence Munitions Beith. [80079]

Mr Robathan: We will continue to maintain effective and proportionate levels of security at all our sites. A series of proposals that will help determine the MOD’s future requirement for the MOD police services and capabilities are currently subject to formal consultation. Other adjustments are under consideration, and again any proposals for change will be subject to consultation. I am due to meet with the chairman of the Defence Police Federation on 21 November.

Adam Werritty

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the (a) names, (b) titles and (c) positions were of each individual who attended a meeting he had during an overseas visit at which Mr Adam Werritty was present; and what was discussed at each meeting; [75493]

(2) whether he sought advice from his Department's civil servants before attending any meetings at which Mr Adam Werritty was present. [75494]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 18 October 2011]: I have not attended any meetings at which Mr Werritty was present.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to paragraph 14 of the report by the Cabinet Secretary of 18 October 2011, who offered private office attendance to the then Secretary of State for overseas visits. [76579]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 24 October 2011]: The offer to attend the meetings in Dubai and Israel was made by the member of the Private Office staff of the then Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), who was travelling with him.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Minister for international security strategy sought advice from the permanent secretary of his Department prior to his meeting with Adam Werritty and Stephen Crouch on 27 September 2011. [80157]

Mr Gerald Howarth: This was an early introductory meeting, as was made clear in the Cabinet Secretary's report published on 18 October 2011. As such, I did not raise the issue with the Permanent Secretary before it happened.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Adam Werritty was present during any meetings which his predecessor had with representatives of the US administration at which the Trident replacement programme was discussed. [80227]

Mr Philip Hammond: Not to my knowledge.

14 Nov 2011 : Column 519W

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria he has set to define the end of Operation Herrick. [77526]

Mr Philip Hammond: UK forces deployed on Operation Herrick operate as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition. The National Security Council regularly reviews the UK's operations in Afghanistan. Currently, criteria for the end of the combat element of Operation Herrick are based on ISAF campaign planning and the intention to transition to an Afghan security lead by 2014. The Prime Minister has directed that by 2015 UK forces will no longer be in Afghanistan in a combat role.

The question of the extent to which other assistance currently provided as part of Operation Herrick to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) will continue to be provided after 2014 through ISAF or other means, will be subject to ongoing discussions with GIRoA and other ISAF partners.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent progress he has made towards the deployment of the Foxhound vehicle to Afghanistan. [79776]

Peter Luff: The first Foxhound lightweight protected patrol vehicles are expected to be delivered for training purposes in the UK by the end of the year and to be available for operations in Afghanistan, by personnel trained in their use, from the spring of 2012.

Armed Forces: Training

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training his Department provides to military personnel on responding to emergencies and natural disasters; and how many such emergencies and natural disasters have been responded to since 2008. [79112]

Nick Harvey: Those elements of the armed forces which provide specialist capabilities to the civil authorities are regularly trained and exercised for their role. These include Royal Navy ships, explosive ordnance disposal, search and rescue teams, and counter-terrorist forces.

Other elements of the armed forces will not be involved routinely in responding to emergencies or natural disasters, although they may be called upon to support the lead responders in particularly difficult circumstances. They would be provided with such training as was necessary prior to any such deployment. Defence also takes part in the UK national exercise programme in order to exercise its role in support of the civil authorities. The military chain of command in the regions of the UK also conducts regular training, education and exercising on the nature of military operations in the UK to ensure that staffs are prepared to command Defence support to civil-led operations at short notice if required.

It is difficult precisely to categorise what constitutes an emergency or natural disaster in terms of nature, impact and geographical extent. This answer assumes a definition of crises where a number of lives are at risk, in one or more locations. Since January 2008, the Ministry

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of Defence has responded to approximately 14 emergencies and natural disasters overseas and nine in the UK. These include a wide range of activities from humanitarian assistance following hurricanes and tropical storms overseas to the provision of assistance to the civil authorities during severe weather in the UK. It does not include the routine provision of search and rescue or explosive ordnance disposal in the UK, nor does it include wider Defence operations such as operations in and around Libya.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to identify the underlying causes for the drop-out rate from training for recruits aged below 18 years; and what steps he is taking to address this. [79215]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 7 November 2011]: All leavers are provided the opportunity to complete the recruit trainee survey which contains sections dedicated to the reason why they are leaving. The results from the survey suggest that the most common reasons for those aged 16-18 who choose to leave do so because they judge the lifestyle is not for them or they miss their friends and families. The armed forces continue to monitor drop-out rates and, where possible, address the causes. It is recognised that life in the services, while challenging and offering a great many opportunities, can be a demanding environment that is not right for everyone.

The recent Ofsted report, “Welfare and Duty of Care in Armed Forces Initial Training”, confirms that the armed forces’ work to improve their recruitment and selection procedures is being successful in reducing our trainee drop-out rates.

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in his Department have met representatives of (i) Bell Pottinger Group or (ii) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80061]

Mr Philip Hammond: I refer the hon. Member to the quarterly publications of Ministers' and Permanent Secretaries’ meetings with external organisations (known as ‘outside interest groups’ under the previous Administration) that can be found at the following website:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/FinancialReports/Expenses/

Information for the quarter April to June 2011 will be published shortly; July to September is currently being collated.

The additional information requested for each of the last five years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Counter-terrorism: Research

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what collaborative research on threat reduction is being undertaken by the Atomic Weapons Establishment’s National Security Division and the UK National Nuclear Laboratory. [79520]

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Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence encourages co-operation on nuclear threat reduction between the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and a wide range of expert institutions in academia and industry, both within the UK and overseas. I understand that joint proposals for enhanced co-operation between these two establishments in this important research field are currently being progressed.

Defence Equipment

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Blaydon of 21 October 2011, Official Report, column 1167W, on defence equipment, on how many occasions special couriers were used to transport military kit in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09; what the cost to the public purse was of each delivery; and if he will make a statement; [77529]

(2) what the cost was of using special couriers to transport military equipment in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [77530]

Peter Luff: Information on the number of times special couriers were used to deliver high priority requests and the cost per financial year is contained in the following table. The cost of each delivery is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Financial year Number of movements Cost (£ million)

2006-07

10,336

2.07

2007-08

18,094

3.65

2008-09

11,602

3.38

2009-10

14,595

2.75

2010-11

13,995

2.53

Special couriers are used only for the delivery of urgently required equipment, usually in support of operations, when delivery cannot be guaranteed by other means in the timeframe required. Although only the unit requesting the equipment is in a position to determine the urgency of a request, mechanisms are in place to challenge the validity of this if there is any doubt as to the suitability of using a special courier.

Defence: Finance

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding his Department allocated to research and development expenditure on (a) manned contact aircraft, (b) Future Surface Combatant, (c) next generation helicopters, (d) Future Infantry Soldier Technology and (e) military satellites in 2010-11. [79111]

Peter Luff: Ministry of Defence research and development expenditure statistics are designated National Statistics status and as such the release of the figures for 2010-11 are embargoed until their publication by the Office for National Statistics in March 2012.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of his Department's budget was spent on equipment for the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) RAF in each year since 2005. [79243]

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Peter Luff: Equipment is aimed at meeting an identified capability, which may be delivered by any of the three services, and spend is, therefore, not readily categorised by service. The breakdown requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

From information published in the United Kingdom Defence Statistics at:

http://www.mod.uk

estimated MOD equipment expenditure (including capital expenditure on equipment, equipment support and research and development) as a proportion of Defence spending (outturn) since 2005 is as follows:

Financial year Equipment expenditure as a proportion of final outturn (%)

2004-05

33

2005-06

33

2006-07

34

2007-08

33

2008-09

35

2009-10

33

2010-11

35

Defence: Territorial Waters

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of funding to ensure the effective protection of UK territorial waters. [79108]

Nick Harvey: I am satisfied that the Department has adequate funding to ensure the effective protection of UK territorial waters.

Cyber Taskforce

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel are assigned to his Department’s cyber task force. [78599]

Nick Harvey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the previous Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), on 14 July 2011, Official Report, columns 427-28W.

Marketing

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many consultants were employed to work on marketing by his Department; how much was spent in total by his Department on external consultants to work on marketing; and what the salary was of each such consultant from 1 May 2010 to 1 November 2011. [79653]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 9 November 2011]: There were no bids to engage external consultants to work on marketing in the period from June 2010 to November 2011. Prior to June 2010 there are no records held.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence 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. [77589]

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Mr Philip Hammond: No.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) who the duty Minister in his Department was on each day of August 2011; and what the responsibilities of the duty Minister were; [69703]

(2) which staff were employed in his deployed office and accompanied him on leave in August 2011; [69704]

(3) what hours were worked by staff on his deployed office who accompanied him on leave in August 2011; [69705]

(4) on how many occasions the Secretary of State for Defence has been accompanied by a deployed office while on leave in the last 20 years; [69706]

(5) what costs were incurred under each budget heading by his deployed office which accompanied him on leave in August 2011. [69707]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 7 September 2011]: The Ministry of Defence's Duty Minister for each day in August 2011 was:


Duty Minister

1 August

Nick Harvey MP

2 August

Nick Harvey MP

3 August

Nick Harvey MP

4 August

Nick Harvey MP

5 August

Nick Harvey MP

6 August

Nick Harvey MP

7 August

Gerald Howarth MP

8 August

Gerald Howarth MP

9 August

Gerald Howarth MP

10 August

Gerald Howarth MP

11 August

Gerald Howarth MP

12 August

Gerald Howarth MP

13 August

Gerald Howarth MP

14 August

Gerald Howarth MP

15 August

Andrew Robathan MP

16 August

Andrew Robathan MP

17 August

Andrew Robathan MP

18 August

Andrew Robathan MP

19 August

Andrew Robathan MP

20 August

Andrew Robathan MP

21 August

Peter Luff MP

22 August

Peter Luff MP

23 August

Peter Luff MP

24 August

Peter Luff MP

25 August

Peter Luff MP

26 August

Peter Luff MP

27 August

Peter Luff MP

28 August

Peter Luff MP

29 August

Nick Harvey MP

30 August

Nick Harvey MP

31 August

Nick Harvey MP

The Duty Minister may be required to deal with urgent matters when the Minister responsible is unavailable.

However, some operational issues were not delegated by my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), to the Duty Minister and arrangements were put in place for him to receive secure communications, intelligence updates and advice while overseas to allow him to take key operational decisions in relation to our mission in Libya.

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He was therefore accompanied by a deployed office consisting of a member of his private office, a special adviser, and a communications (equipment) specialist.

The deployed office was run on routine business from establishment of secure communications at 0800 hrs to the completion of work in the evening each day. The team were on call, as the duty private office, at all other times. The deployed staff rotated the on-call duty and managed it together with the additional responsibility of monitoring and safeguarding the secure communications equipment. Dr Fox received regular daily updates at 1000 hrs to 1030 hrs, 1300 hrs to 1400 hrs, and 1730 hrs to 1800 hrs. Urgent issues, of which there were several, were dealt with as they arose.

The costs (rounded to £10) associated with this deployed office were:


£

Car hire 1x14 days

1,040

3* hotel 3 rooms x 14 days

6,230

Flights x6

1,460

Subsistence

490

Miscellaneous travel costs

1,200

Office equipment

170

Secure satellite communications

8,240