21 Nov 2011 : Column 1W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 21 November 2011

Church Commissioners

Churches: Aerials

Mr Binley: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, whether the Church Commissioners have received representations on the initiative by Premier Christian Radio to purchase gas beacons to place on church towers. [78394]

Tony Baldry: While the Church Commissioners are aware of the initiative sponsored by Premier Christian Radio, the matter was not the subject of formal consultation.

The Church Commissioners have a number of serious reservations about the proposal to invite churches to place gas powered beacons on church towers to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012. These relate to the potential hazards to personal health, to private property and to the fabric of church buildings of mounting gas cylinders on church roofs, which are often difficult to access by individuals and emergency services, and are structurally unsuited for the purpose.

The Church Commissioners are keen to encourage the Church of England's 16,000 churches to mark the Diamond Jubilee in suitable and appropriate ways. In the case of lit beacons, we would urge churches to ensure that they are placed at a sufficient distance from the church building to minimise the potential for injury and damage to the structure.

Metal Theft

Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what recent representations he has received on trends in metal theft from churches; and if he will make a statement. [81627]

Tony Baldry: The theft of metal from churches continues to be a serious problem. Despite some recent successful prosecutions in Lincolnshire, the Church still finds about 10 of its churches a day suffering from theft. Insurance payouts for theft of metal from places of worship have increased by 70% and are expected to reach £5.5 million by the end of the year. According to ACPO the full cost to the domestic economy of metal theft, across all sectors, is reaching upwards of £770 million.

The Church welcomes English Heritage's assistance in updating their advice on the repair and replacement of roofs, which now allows for the replacement of stolen roofing material with different less valuable alternatives. St John the Baptist church in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire is the first grade 1 listed church in the country to be granted a faculty to replace its stolen roof

21 Nov 2011 : Column 2W

with a fibreglass alternative after the church was targeted seven times in six months despite having installed anti theft measures.

The Church remains convinced that making cash transactions illegal is the single move that will have the greatest impact on reducing this crime and are pleased to see this proposal gaining wider acceptance. The Church of England continues to have conversations with the Home Office, the CPS and others.

Diamond Jubilee 2012

Mr Binley: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church Commissioners have to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. [78395]

Tony Baldry: The main national focus of the Church of England's celebrations will be a service on 5 June at St Paul's Cathedral. Churches across the country are also being encouraged to initiate and participate in a variety of national and local events, including concerts, exhibitions, the ringing of church bells and the Big Jubilee Lunch on 3 June, for which the Bishop of London is writing a special Grace for the Queen.

Leader of the House

Backbench Debates

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Leader of the House what consideration he gave to allocating 16, 17 and 18 November 2011 to backbench business; and if he will make a statement. [80690]

Sir George Young: None. Under the House's Standing Orders, the House will continue not to sit on Fridays other than those on which private Members' Bills have precedence, unless the House otherwise orders. On the days in question right hon. and hon. Members continued to carry out important constituency and parliamentary work.

Women and Equalities

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities at how many events organised by (a) charities, (b) other civil society groups, (c) businesses and (d) lobbying organisations Ministers and senior officials in the Government Equalities Office have given speeches in each month since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [77409]

Lynne Featherstone: From 1 April 2011, the Government Equalities Office became part of the Home Office. Information relating to the Government Equalities Office will be included in the reply of the Minister for Immigration, my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Damian Green).

21 Nov 2011 : Column 3W

Equalities and Human Rights Commission: Finance

John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what the monthly cost is inclusive of VAT of each non-permanent member of staff of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC); and if she will estimate the cost to the EHRC including (a) salary, (b) national insurance and (c) pension contributions of replacing each non-permanent member of staff. [62203]

Lynne Featherstone: The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an arm’s length body; the following is based on information it has provided.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 4W

A table showing the monthly cost, inclusive of VAT and agency fees, of all interim workers in post at 1 November 2011 is as follows.

Also shown is the estimated monthly cost, were these posts to be filled by permanent staff. This includes salary, national insurance and pension contributions.

The Commission also employs a further 24 temporary staff through fixed term contracts, loan or secondment. Monthly costs are not provided as they are all employed within the existing pay ranges at the appropriate grade.

The Government continue to impress upon the Commission the need for it to reduce its dependence on expensive interim staff.

£
Position Monthly charge inc. VAT for interim (1) Salary plus pension plus NI for permanent employee (2)

Group Director, Intelligence and Engagement

21,465.90

13,810.00

Finance Director

21,850.20

11,526.00

Disability and Good Relations Director

12,846.60

11,526.00

Project Manager—Executive Resourcing(3)

8,222.00

3,390.00

Senior HR Change Manager(4)

14,103.60

5,650.00

Project Manager, Finance Operations

16,799.40

7,062.50

Head of the Codes and Guidance Project Team

20,313.00

7,062.50

Head of Employee Relations

16,415.10

7,062.50

Project Manager, Finance

15,152.40

7,062.50

Head of Workforce Reform and Operations

15,783.75

7,062.50

Project Manager, Strategic Communications

16,250.40

7,062.50

Programme and Project Manager

16,470.00

4,935.84

Employee Relations Manager

10,650.60

4,935.84

Interim Head of Internal Equalities Scheme

11,419.20

4,935.84

Senior Business Partner

12,627.00

4,935.84

Senior Employment Lawyer

9,667.23

4,935.84

Programme Manager—Regulatory Reform

9,706.32

4,935.84

Head of Procurement

11,363.86

4,935.84

Resourcing Manager

6,425.72

3,673.74

Procurement Officer

7,828.30

2,878.45

Support Worker(5)

2,014.17

1,585.00

Support Worker

3,606.49

1,585.00

Support Worker

2,583.59

1,585.00

Support Worker

1,840.25

1,585.00

Support Worker

1,607.91

1,585.00

Support Worker

1,642.83

1,585.00

(1) Payments to interim workers vary from month, depending on the number of days worked. The monthly figures for interim workers have been calculated for a typical month, based on 220 working days in a year divided by 12 months (unless specified otherwise, see footnotes 3 and 4). (2) The figures shown for the permanent employees excludes all costs associated with recruiting to these posts. (3) Incumbent contracted for 10 days per month; cost pro-rated accordingly. (4) Incumbent works an average of four days per week; cost pro-rated accordingly. (5) A significant proportion of the costs for the support workers is met by schemes such as Access To Work.

Remploy: Pensions

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities whether a meeting of the Remploy pension trustees and their advisers took place on 4 November 2011. [80420]

Maria Miller: I have been asked to reply.

The Remploy pension scheme trustees are independent, and the Department for Work and Pensions is therefore not informed when the trustees meet their advisers.

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what estimate she has made of the potential cost of winding up the Remploy pension scheme; and whether this includes the commitment of £100 million to eliminate the existing deficit. [80421]

Maria Miller: I have been asked to reply.

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Remploy Pension Scheme trustees have not discussed any proposal involving the winding up of the Remploy pension scheme. The Department for Work and Pensions, Remploy and the Remploy Trustees agreed a deficit recovery plan in June 2011 to eliminate the deficit identified in March 2010.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 5W

Home Department

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) she, (b) any Ministers and (c) officials of her Department have met (i) Mr Michael Hintze, (ii) Mr Tony Buckingham, (iii) Mr Michael Davis, (iv) Mr Poju Zabludowicz, (v) Jon Moulton and (vi) Stephen Crouch; and where any such meetings took place. [78649]

Damian Green: Information on meetings attended with external interest groups is collated by the Cabinet Office and can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/non-personal-data/hospitality-business-expenses/

Information on meetings attended by officials is not held centrally.

Animal Experiments

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many animals were used in procedures regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in Wales in 2010; [81512]

(2) how many regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were carried out in Wales in 2010; [81513]

(3) how many (a) mice, (b) rats, (c) guinea pigs, (d) hamsters, (e) rabbits, (f) horses and other equids, (g) sheep, (h) pigs, (i) birds, (j) amphibians, (k) reptiles, (l) fish, (m) cats, (n) dogs, (o) New World primates and (p) Old World primates were used in procedures conducted in Wales and regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in 2010; [81514]

(4) how many places in Wales had a designation of a (a) supplying establishment, (b) breeding establishment and (c) scientific procedure establishment under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 on 31 December 2010; [81515]

(5) what proportion of the regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 conducted in Wales in 2010 were performed in (a) public health laboratories, (b) universities and medical schools, (c) national health service hospitals, (d) Government Departments, (e) other public bodies, (f) non-profit making organisations and (g) commercial organisations; [81516]

(6) what proportion of the procedures regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 carried out in Wales in 2010 were conducted without anaesthesia; [81518]

(7) how many (a) genetically modified animals and (b) animals with a harmful genetic defect were used in regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 which were conducted in Wales in 2010; [81519]

(8) what proportion of the regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 conducted in Wales in 2010 were carried out for (a) fundamental and applied studies other than toxicology and (b) toxicity tests or other safety and efficacy evaluation. [81520]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 6W

Lynne Featherstone: While figures for Great Britain are published annually, the latest being on 13 July 2011, it would take significant work to run the systems specifically to obtain data for Wales and then to check that none of the data were disclosive or breached any confidentiality guarantees given to respondents. For this reason, I will write to you separately when we have had sufficient time to compile and check the information you requested. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Copies of the latest annual publication are available via the Library of the House and from the Home Office website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/science/research-testing-animals/

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the project licences granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in force in Wales on 31 December 2010 were in the (a) mild, (b) moderate, (c) substantial and (d) unclassified severity banding. [81517]

Lynne Featherstone: During 2010, in Wales, 57% of the project licences granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were in the mild severity banding, 43% in moderate. There were none in substantial or unclassified.

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many infringements of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in Wales were recorded in 2010; and how many such infringements resulted in a prosecution. [81521]

Lynne Featherstone: There was one recorded infringement of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 at a designated establishment in Wales during 2010. It did not result in a prosecution.

Animal Welfare

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what priority the National Crime Agency plans to assign to tackling wildlife crime. [81674]

James Brokenshire: I refer my hon. Fiend to the answer given on 19 July 2011, Official Report, column 776W.

Asylum

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many legacy asylum cases concern asylum seekers resident in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency who are not (a) awaiting prosecution, (b) awaiting removal and (c) subject to ongoing litigation. [81457]

Damian Green: A total of 40 people are resident in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency who do not meet the criteria under (a), (b) or (c) above. These data are sourced from a local management team and should be treated as provisional.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 7W

Asylum: Deportation

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers have been deported under the fast-track process in each of the last 12 months; how many appeals made by such people were upheld following removal in each of the last 12 months; how many failed asylum seekers deported under the fast-track process (a) were removed with (i) 72 hours, (ii) 48 hours and (iii) 24 hours notice in each of the last 12 months and (b) were children in each of the last two years. [80335]

Damian Green: The number of failed asylum seekers that have been removed in the last 12 months is shown in the following table:


Total

2010

 

November

148

December

101

   

2011

 

January

154

February

130

March

148

April

83

May

145

June

128

July

156

August

114

September

133

October

153

Grand total

1,593

Note: All figures quoted are internal management information only and are subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols.

No statutory appeals were upheld following removal in the last 12 months.

No asylum seekers removed under the fast track process were removed with less than 72 hours of initial notice in the last 12 months.

No children were removed under the fast track process in the last two years.

Baton Rounds: Death

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) killed and (b) injured by the use of baton rounds since 1981. [80971]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 November 2011]: The Home Office does not hold this data. Data on number of people killed as a result of the use of police baton rounds since 2004 are held by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). This shows that no individuals have been killed as a result of the police use of baton rounds since 2004. The IPCC does not hold data prior to this period and does not hold comprehensive data about injuries.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 8W

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in her 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. [80053]

Damian Green: Information on meetings attended by Ministers or specials advisers with external interest groups are published by the Cabinet Office and can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/non-personal-data/hospitality-business-expenses/

Information on meetings attended by officials with the Bell Pottinger Group or its subsidiaries is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Bottles: Public Houses

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will conduct a comparative assessment of the sale of (a) glass and (b) plastic bottles in pubs and nightclubs. [80106]

James Brokenshire: There are no current plans to undertake a comparative assessment of the sale of glass and plastic bottles in pubs and nightclubs.

Civil Disorder: Greater London

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the monetary value is of payments made for damage to buildings and contents in the London Borough of Southwark under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 since August 2011; [79950]

(2) how many claims for financial compensation for damage to buildings and contents in the London Borough of Southwark have been made under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 in 2011 to date. [79951]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 10 November 2011]: The Home Office does not hold the detail on the number or value of claims made specifically by individual boroughs of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Community Safety Partnerships: Wales

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding commitments her Department has made to Community Safety Partnerships in Wales in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [80700]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 November 2011]: The following table shows funding allocated to community safety partnerships in Wales in 2011-12. Indicative allocations for community safety funding in 2012-13 have been published (as per table). Final decisions about (i) the levels of funding in 2012-13 and (ii) the recipients of funding in 2012-13 are still to be agreed. From 2013-14, community safety funding will go directly to police and crime commissioners.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 9W

Wales community safety funding

2011-12 2012-13 (1) (indicative)

Blaenau Gwent

88,880

44,965

Bridgend

110,929

56,119

Caerphilly

141,887

71,781

Cardiff

294,493

148,985

Carmarthenshire

96,432

48,785

Ceredigion

57,088

28,881

Conwy

83,791

42,390

Denbighshire

84,712

42,856

Flintshire

98,281

49,720

Gwynedd

79,728

40,335

Isle of Anglesey

60,520

30,617

Merthyr Tydfil

81,375

41,168

Monmouthshire

77,943

39,431

Neath Port Talbot

118,009

59,701

Newport

138,493

70,064

Pembrokeshire

72,089

36,470

Powys

74,927

37,906

Rhondda Cynon Taff

162,776

82,349

Swansea

238,101

120,456

Torfaen

86,837

43,931

Vale of Glamorgan

111,614

56,466

Wrexham

109,419

55,355

Total

2,468,324

1,248,731

(1) Funding levels and recipients are being finalised.

Community Safety Teams

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community safety teams have (a) closed down or (b) reduced in size in each local authority area in England and Wales since May 2010. [77209]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 31 October 2011]: The size or indeed existence of community safety teams is a matter for each local authority to determine.

Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press Inquiry

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any additional resources or staff will be made available to the police for the purposes of supporting engagement with the Leveson inquiry whilst maintaining existing services. [78830]

Nick Herbert: The Government have no plans to provide any additional resources.

Judicial Review

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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

21 Nov 2011 : Column 10W

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. [80703]

Damian Green: Because of the complexity and sensitivity of the issues with which the Home Office deals, its decisions are frequently subject to challenge by judicial review and this has been so for many years.

The total number of judicial review cases opened by the Department (including the UK Border Agency and the Identity and Passport Service) in the last Parliament was 27,622.

Since May 2010, 12,431 judicial review cases have been opened. A judicial review case is opened by the Treasury Solicitor's Department on the date the file was registered on its database by the relevant litigation team. Because of the large numbers of such judicial reviews in the years in question, it is not possible to provide the details of what each judicial review application was about without incurring disproportionate cost.

Information about the outcome of such cases for the years in question, the costs applied for against each applicant and whether these were awarded and paid, is not held centrally. The total number of judicial reviews pending against the Home Office as of 11 November 2011 was 8,918.

The total legal costs (meaning Treasury Solicitor fees, counsel fees and charges) incurred by the Department on judicial review cases opened during the last Parliament is £78,569,601.43. The total legal costs incurred by the Department for judicial review cases opened since May 2010 is £17,886,294.67.

The costs associated with each of these cases may continue to change until the case has been closed. These legal costs are not available on a case-by-case basis.

As regards cases where the Department paid for and/or offered to pay the legal costs of a judicial review applicant, records for the amounts paid by the Department in such cases (so-called 'adverse costs') exist only for the period 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2011 and such costs totalled £7,033,973. This figure includes cases where the Department agreed to pay the costs of the applicant as well cases where it was ordered to do so (there being no separate breakdown available of the figures relating to each type of case).

UK Border Agency: Manpower

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the UK Border Agency and its predecessors spent on (a) permanent and (b) casual staff in each of the last five years. [80542]

Damian Green: The costs of (a) permanent and (b) other staff are set out in the following table:

£ million

Wages and salaries (1) Social security Pension (other) Early retirement Recoveries (2) Total

2010-11

           

(a) Permanent staff

722.2

50

118.3

34.6

-0.7

924.4

(b) Other staff

14.7

0

0

0

0

14.7

21 Nov 2011 : Column 11W

21 Nov 2011 : Column 12W

Total

736.9

50

118.3

34.6

-0.7

939.1

             

2009-10

           

(a) Permanent staff

727

49.1

118

0

-0.9

893.2

(b) Other staff

24.7

0

0

0

0

24.7

Total

751.7

49.1

118

0

-0.9

917.7

             

2008-09 (3)

           

(a) Permanent staff

714.4

46.8

128.8

0

0

889.1

(b) Other staff

18.9

0

0

0

0

18.9

Total

733.3

46.8

128.8

0

0

908

             

2007-08

           

(a) Permanent staff

470.6

34.6

82.8

0

-0.7

587.3

(b) Other staff

23.6

0

0

0

0

23.6

Total

494.2

34.6

82.8

0

-0.7

610.9

             

2006-07

           

(a) Permanent staff

428.6

32.2

76.5

0

0

537.3

(b) Other staff

27.7

0

0

0

0

27.7

Total

456.3

32.2

76.5

0

0

565

(1 )Includes bonuses. (2 )Recovery of costs of outward secondments. (3 )Accounts for 2008-09 were restated in 2009-10 to account for inward machinery of government transfer of functions from HM Revenue and Customs and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Accordingly, the figures for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are for the predecessor Border and Immigration Agency before these functions were taken on.

Public Sector: Pay

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials in her Department received a pay rise other than by promotion in the last two years; and what the average increase was in each such year. [78128]

Damian Green: The Home Office, including its agencies, entered the public sector pay freeze from 2010.

In accordance with Cabinet Office guidance on the pay freeze, in 2010-11 and 2011-12 the Home Office (including UK Border Agency), Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau paid a consolidated increase of at least £250 to all staff earning £21,000 or less per annum.

Also in accordance with the pay freeze guidance, the Home Office (including UK Border Agency) and the Criminal Records Bureau have also honoured a contractual commitment to pay progression.

The following table sets out pay award payments for 2010-11 and 2011-12, where available.

Other than as a result of promotion, no other pay rises have been awarded.

Senior civil servants did not receive an increase in base pay in 2010 or 2011.


Number of staff who received a pay increase Average increase (£)

2010-11

   

Home Office/UKBA

22,198

567.00

IPS

2,837

161.00

CRB

733

589.00

     

2011-12

   

Home Office/UKBA

(1)

(1)

IPS

2,007

135.00

CRB

(1)

(1)

(1 )2011 pay award not yet paid.

UK Border Agency: Redundancy

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people of each grade and role have been made redundant and on what terms by the UK Border Agency in each of the last five years. [80567]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency has not made any staff compulsorily redundant in the last five years.

The number of staff who took voluntary exits over the same period is as follows:


Number

2006-07

(1)

2007-08

(2)62

2008-09

(2)80

2009-10

(3)112

2010-11

(3)1,186

(1) Data not available. (2) Data from manual HR records. (3) Data from UK Border Agency Annual Reports 2009-10 and 2010-11.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 13W

Deportation

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which private security firms her Department has approved to carry out enforcement of deportation orders; which have been contracted to perform such duties; and what the financial value of each such contract will be in each of the next five years; [80337]

(2) what the cost to her Department and its agencies was of employing private security firms to enforce deportation orders in each of the last five years. [80339]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency contract for detention and escorting services (other than removal centres) is with Reliance Secure Task Management Services and includes transportation of immigration detainees within the UK (including to ports for removal), the provision of holding facilities at ports of entry and reporting centres, residential short-term holding facilities at Larne (Northern Ireland) and Manchester, and overseas escorting on both scheduled and chartered flights.

The services were provided by G4S Care and Justice Services prior to May 2011.

Reliance may use, and G4S may have used, sub-contractors. The UK Border Agency also used alternative suppliers prior to May 2011 to manage peaks in demand for its services, which have over the last few years included Serco, GEO Group, and Molynes.

Owing to the commercial nature of the contracts, releasing the element relating to just overseas escorting could prejudice the commercial interests of both the UK Border Agency and it suppliers. However, the total value of the contract with G4S and use of alternative suppliers for all detention and escorting services for the past five financial years were:


Total value of contract (£)

2006-07

35,492,843

2007-08

36,947,442

2008-09

42,330,850

2009-10

45,712,305

2010-11

51,683,916

Our contract with Reliance is demand driven and we are unable to say with any accuracy what we will pay over the coming five years. However, details of all our expenditure with Reliance is published on a monthly basis and can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/transparency/transparency-spend/

Domestic Violence: Drugs

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her assessment is of the links between drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence; and if she will make a statement. [81312]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 15 November 2011] : Intimate partner violence is frequently committed by perpetrators who have been drinking or who have alcohol problems. Victims are less likely to have been drinking, though may have alcohol problems in some cases as a result of victimisation.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 14W

According to the British Crime Survey (2008-09):

around one in four (27%) victims of partner abuse in the past year reported that the offender was under the influence of drink at the time of the (most recent) incident; and

around one in 10 (11%) victims reported that they were under the influence of drink at the time of the incident.

Smaller numbers of perpetrators were under the influence of drugs at the time of the most recent incident. The British Crime Survey (2008-09) says:

around one in 10 (10%) victims of partner abuse in the past year reported that the offender was under the influence of drugs at the time of the most recent incident; and

one in 50 (2%) victims reported that they were under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident compared.

This analysis does not prove a causal link between drugs and alcohol as there may be other lifestyle factors related to both drug use and victimisation which could explain the increased risk.

Drinking Banning Orders

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drinking banning orders were breached in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011 to date. [81087]

James Brokenshire: Figures for drink banning orders (DBOs) issued in 2009, 2010 and 2011 are in the following table:


DBO on application DBO as part of a conditional discharge DBO on conviction Total

2009

0

0

2010

35

0

0

35

2011

8

7

313

328

Source: HM Courts Service (unpublished figures).

Figures for the numbers of breaches are not held centrally and for the Courts Service to collate this data manually at this stage would incur disproportionate costs.

Note:

DBOs have been available as civil orders nationally since 31 August 2009. In April 2010, 25 Local Justice Areas were required to consider making a DBO to offenders on conviction. This provision was rolled out to a further 25 Local Justice Areas in July 2010. The Government are currently considering further roll-out.

Drugs: Arrests

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been arrested for crimes connected with (a) cocaine and (b) heroin use in each constituency in each year since 2005. [81310]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 15 November 2011]: Data held centrally on the number of persons arrested in England and Wales cannot separately identify all crimes connected with drugs use.

Arrest data for ‘drug offences' are collected at police force level only and cannot be broken down by constituency. These data are published annually in chapter 1 of the

21 Nov 2011 : Column 15W

Home Office Statistical Bulletin: Police Powers and Procedures, copies of which are available from the Library of the House and online at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/hosb0711/

Drugs may also have been a factor in arrests for other recorded offences but it is not possible to separately identify these.

Drugs: Crime

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has had any recent discussions with the UK Drug Policy Commission on the concerns they have raised about drug policing capacity. [81355]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 15 November 2011]: The Secretary of State for the Home Department has not discussed with the UK Drug Policy Commission their concerns about drug policing capacity.

As Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Anti Social Behaviour Reduction, my noble Friend Lord Henley met representatives from UK Drug Policy Commission on 8 November 2011. During this meeting the UK Drug Policy Commission presented the findings of their latest research projects, including their recent report “Getting Serious about Stigma: The Problem with Stigmatising Drug Users” and research project “Drug Enforcement in an Age of Austerity”.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department plans to provide to Operation Tarian in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [81399]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office part funds a network of Regional Intelligence Units (RIU), and wholly funds a network of Regional Asset Recovery Teams (RART). For 2011-12, £514,000 has been made available to the Wales RIU and £1,044,846 to the RART—both of which form a part of the Tarian collaboration. A similar amount will be made available in 2012-13. Funding decisions for 2013-14 are still to betaken.

Local operational leaders have discretion, within the bounds of their grant agreement, to use some of the RIU funding to support operational activity such as that conducted by Tarian.

Entry Clearances

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many spousal visa applications have been rejected on the basis of failure to meet English language requirements since 1 July 2011. [81144]

Damian Green: 468 spousal visa applications have been refused on the basis of failure to meet the English language requirement since 1 July 2011.

The data are based on management information. They are provisional and subject to change.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 16W

Gang Injunctions

Meg Hillier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many injunctions to restrict the movement of persons accused of gang membership have been issued in (a) England and (b) London since their inception. [78738]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not collect data on a mandatory basis on the use of gang injunctions by local authorities and the police and so we cannot give a definite number. We know of seven gang injunctions in London, two in Bristol and one in Manchester.

Gang Injunctions: Greater London

Meg Hillier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in which London boroughs gang injunctions have been issued. [79146]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 7 November 2011]:The Home Office does not collect data on a mandatory basis on the use of gang injunctions by local authorities and the police and so we cannot give a definite number. We know of seven gang injunctions in London, including in the boroughs of Southwark, Enfield and Hackney.

Go Safe Partnership

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department plans to provide to the Go Safe partnership scheme in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [81401]

Mike Penning: I have been asked to reply.

Since the end of the National Safety Camera programme in March 2007 this has been a matter for local authorities and devolved Administrations.

Harassment

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people reported alleged offences under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in each of the last five years. [81397]

Lynne Featherstone: The Home Office classification of 'Harassment' includes offences recorded under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. However, such offences cannot be separately identified from other offences recorded within that classification.

In 2008-09 there were 48,363 offences of harassment recorded by the police in England and Wales. There were 52,962 offences recorded in 2009-10 and 51,200 in 2010-11.

Prior to 2008-09, Protection from Harassment Act offences were included with offences recorded under the Public Order Act 1986 and cannot be separately identified.

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of (a) males and (b) females who were victims of stalking in each of the last five years. [81398]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 17W

Lynne Featherstone: Estimates of the number of males and females who were victims of stalking in each of the last five years are provided in the following table. These are based on a self completion module in the British Crime Survey which asks adults aged 16 to 59 questions on their experience of stalking.

Estimated numbers of victims of stalking in the last year by gender among adults aged 16 to 59, 2006-07 to 2010-11— England and Wales, BCS
Number (thousand)
  Male Female

Estimate Range (1) Estimate Range (1)

2006-07

674

603 to 745

951

874 to 1,029

2007-08(2)

2008-09

434

378 to 489

667

604 to 730

2009-10

463

400 to 526

702

632 to 772

2010-11

513

420 to 606

669

573 to 765

(1) The BCS is a sample survey which means that its estimates ere subject to a margin of error. It is possible to calculate a confidence interval around the estimate showing the likely range for the true population value. This has been calculated at the 95% level; meaning that there is a 19 in 20 chance that the true estimate lies within the given range. (2) The 2007-08 BCS did not include questions on stalking.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints about harassment under the terms of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 were not recorded as crimes in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. [81685]

Lynne Featherstone: The National Crime Recording Standard and Home Office Counting Rules for police recorded crime require police forces to record reports from victims about harassment, as set out in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, as notifiable crimes. There were 52,962 incidents of harassment recorded in 2009-10 and 51,200 in 2010-11 by police forces in England and Wales.

Identity Cards

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to ensure that licensed premises accept identification cards containing the PASS hologram as proof of age; and if she will make a statement. [80972]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 14 November 2011]:The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is an initiative of businesses involved in the sale of age-restricted products. The Home Office supports this initiative and encourages licensed premises to accept identity cards bearing the PASS hologram. Acceptance of cards with the PASS hologram will be encouraged in Home Office False ID Guidance to be republished early in the new year. However, the types of identification accepted by a shop, pub or club properly remains a decision for the management of those premises.

Immigration

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration cases are in the controlled archive. [81287]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 18W

Damian Green [holding answer 15 November 2011]: As reported to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 12 September 2011 there are 98,000 cases in the controlled archive.

Interpol: Political Impartiality

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the adequacy of the mechanisms in place for ensuring political neutrality from all member states in line with Article 3 of Interpol's Constitution for the issuing of (a) Interpol Red Notices and (b) Interpol Diffusions; and if she will make a statement. [81186]

James Brokenshire: The Secretary of State for the Home Department has not discussed this matter with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Ensuring Interpol adheres to its constitutional rules on neutrality is primarily the responsibility of Interpol's General Secretariat. The secretariat checks Red Notices for compliance, including with the neutrality rules, prior to publication. Interpol Diffusions are not currently checked by the secretariat but there are plans to introduce this in the future.

Individual cases can be reviewed by the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files, which is an independent monitoring body which operates within Interpol's basic rules.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to answer the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton of 26 September 2011 with regard to Nadia Stern. [79374]

Damian Green [holding answer 8 November 2011]: A reply to the right hon. Member’s letter was sent on 9 November 2011.

Metal Theft

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to ensure that policy regarding metal theft is the responsibility of one Minister. [80258]

James Brokenshire: The Secretary of State for the Home Department has the policy responsibility for metal theft, in close collaboration with her ministerial colleagues across Government.

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to tackle metal theft from public buildings and memorials. [80952]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office supports the wide-ranging plan being delivered by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Metal Theft working group to tackle metal theft, including the theft from

21 Nov 2011 : Column 19W

public buildings and memorials. In addition, discussions are under way across Government on whether legislative changes are needed to tackle metal theft.

Metropolitan Police Professional Standards Division: Complaints

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints from members of the public the Metropolitan Police Professional Standards Division has received in each year since its inception. [81688]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is not held centrally.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is responsible for the collation and publication of annual complaint statistics for the police service in England and Wales. These statistics provide a breakdown of complaint cases by police force and can be found on the IPCC website at:

www.ipcc.gov.uk

Metropolitan Police Service

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers employed by the Metropolitan Police Service have been (a) suspended, (b) disciplined and (c) dismissed following allegations of (i) corruption and (ii) misconduct in each of the last five years. [81667]

Nick Herbert: Information collected by the Home Office shows the number of police officers employed by the Metropolitan Police Service that have been suspended and dismissed from 2006-07 to 2010-11 (full-time equivalent). Reasons behind these suspensions and dismissals are a matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Information on the number of police officers disciplined is not collected centrally.

Number of police officers employed by Metropolitan Police Service that have been suspended and dismissed, 2006-07 to 2010-11 (1)
Financial year Suspended Dismissed

2006-07

20

31

2007-08

21

23

2008-09

21

19

2009-10

28

24

2010-11

23

39

(1) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

Phone Hacking

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has allocated additional resources to the Metropolitan police as a result of the workload arising from the investigation into phone hacking. [80156]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 November 2011]:The Government have not allocated any additional resources.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 20W

Monarchy: Marriage

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 11 May 2011, Official Report, columns 1221-2W, on the Monarchy: marriage, how much the Metropolitan Police Service spent from each of its budgets on the Royal Wedding to May 2011. [81539]

Nick Herbert: The costs of policing the Royal Wedding in April 2011 were met from the Metropolitan Police Authority budget. Information on such police expenditure is not collected centrally. There is no statutory requirement for the Metropolitan Police Authority to provide such information to the Home Department.

Neighbourhood Policing Fund

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department will provide to the Neighbourhood Policing Fund in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [81403]

Nick Herbert: The Neighbourhood Policing Fund will continue as a ring-fenced grant until 2013-14 when it will be consolidated into Home Office Police Main Grant. From 2013-14 it will be for the democratically elected police and crime commissioner, in consultation with the chief constable, to take decisions on the funding and resourcing of neighbourhood policing. (The ring fence does not apply to the Metropolitan Police Authority which has had full discretion on the spending of this funding since 2011-12.)

The following funding has been allocated to the Neighbourhood Policing Fund:

(a) £340,000,000 in 2011-12

(b) £338,000,000 in 2012-13.

Passports: Fraud

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 November 2011, Official Report, column 421W, on passports: fraud, how many of the passport frauds detected were categorised as (a) confirmed, (b) probable and (c) possible in each of the last five years. [81404]

Damian Green: The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) figures for passport frauds detected in the last five years broken down by confirmed, probable and possible frauds are shown in the following table:


Confirmed fraud Probable fraud Possible fraud—identified during examination process Possible fraud—identified during interview process (1) Total

2006-07(1)

6,108

2007-08

199

1,642

7,541

9,382

2008-09

274

1,727

7,253

9,254

2009-10

168

1,138

6,038

7,344

2010-11

273

599

5,397

1,601

7,870

(1) Prior to 2007-08 IPS did not distinguish between possible, probable and confirmed fraud. Prior to 2010-11 IPS did not formally count possible frauds identified during the interview process. In all of these cases no passport is issued and the documents and fee are retained.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 21W

Police

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what community safety funds her Department provides to police authorities in (a) England and (b) Wales. [80699]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 November 2011]: No community safety funding is provided to police authorities in England and Wales.

Police: Crime

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how she proposes that police crime commissioners will interact with Community Safety Partnerships in Wales. [80695]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 November 2011]: Strong partnership working between the police and crime commissioners (PCCs) and other local leaders will be critical to ensuring safer communities in Wales.

Commissioners will have a democratic mandate to respond to the crime and community safety priorities of the public within their force area. They will introduce a new dynamic to local partnership working and it will be in the interests of all local leaders in Wales to maximise collective leadership. This includes the PCC working with the responsible authorities that make up community safety partnerships.

Under the legislation, the PCC and their community safety partners have a duty to co-operate and to have regard to each other's priorities except to matters in respect of which Welsh Ministers have functions.

Police: Dangerous Dogs

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been injured by dangerous dogs since June 2010. [80990]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Sexual Offences: Victim Support Schemes

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much her Department contributed to sexual assault referral centre funding in financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; [81249]

(2) what funding her Department made available for Independent Sexual Violence Advisers in financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; [81250]

(3) what resources her Department made available for the funding of the (a) Rape Crisis and (b) Survivors Trust national head office in financial year (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12. [81251]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government are committed to tackling sexual violence and all forms of violence against women and girls, and the Home Office has allocated £28 million of funding until 2015 for related specialist services.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 22W

This includes £1.74 million to part-fund 87 independent sexual violence adviser (ISVA) posts on a stable basis from 2011-12 to 2014-15. This is an increase from £860,000 (44 posts) in 2010-11.

It also includes £75,000 for each Rape Crisis and Survivors Trust, the same amount was allocated to them in 2010-11.

The Home Office provided £1.35 million for sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) in 2010-11. This has not been continued in 2011-12 as SARCs are local partnerships and local areas are best placed to decide what level of service they require and what model is best to deliver that.

Smuggling: Fuels

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many offences relating to fuel laundering were recorded in each region in each of the last three years; [80385]

(2) what discussions she has had with representatives of the devolved Administrations to co-ordinate steps to tackle fuel laundering and smuggling in the UK. [80386]

Miss Chloe Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The numbers of laundering plants detected by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are in the following table:


Laundering plants

2008-09

 

NI

5

England

1

Total

6

   

2009-10

 

NI

16

Total

16

   

2010-11

 

NI

20

Scotland

1

England

2

   

Total

23

HMRC does not record centrally the number of vehicles detected running on laundered fuel. However, the numbers of vehicles containing illicit fuels that were detected in the last three years are shown in the following table:


Illicit fuel detections

2008-09

3,934

2009-10

3,762

2010-11

3,083

HMRC is a member of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) in Northern Ireland. The OCTF is chaired by the Minister of Justice and brings Government, law enforcement and a range of both UK and Northern Ireland agencies together to set priorities for tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 23W

Stalking

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what guidance her Department issues to police forces in England and Wales on investigating allegations of stalking; [78934]

(2) what discussions she has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers on (a) the creation of a separate offence of stalking, (b) implementation of operating procedures and policy on stalking and (c) training of police officers on prevention of stalking. [78935]

Nick Herbert: Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance can be found at:

www.cps.gov.uk

and

www.acpo.police.uk

The National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) provides support to the Police Service with regard to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 by including relevant training within the Initial Police Learning and Development programme, ensuring that all new officers have the appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding.

Stalking: Scotland

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether an assessment has been made by her Department of the effects on stalking in Scotland of the coming into force of the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010. [78931]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government have not undertaken an assessment of the effects of stalking in Scotland since the Criminal Justice and Licensing Act 2010 came into force on 6 August 2010. However, as part of the consultation on how we can protect victims of stalking more effectively (launched on 14 November 2011) we look at how stalking is tackled in other jurisdictions and, in particular, Scotland.

Steria

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contracts her Department holds with Steria; and what the purpose is of each such contract. [80769]

Damian Green: The Home Department holds one contract with Steria. The Identity and Passport Service, an executive agency of the Home Department, holds this contract which supports delivery aspects of the passport application process.

Terrorism

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions her Department has had with Muslim leaders in the UK on anti-terrorism legislation. [80962]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 14 November 2011]: The Government regularly engage with community groups—including Muslim organisations—to discuss the Government's counter-terrorism strategy and the important contribution they can make to it.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 24W

In respect of discussions about counter-terrorism legislation, the Home Office and some Muslim groups are represented on the police's National Accountability Board which monitors the use of ports stops under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000. The Board has met twice this year, on 3 May and 20 September.

More generally in respect of counter-terrorism legislation, the Government held wide-ranging consultation, including with Muslim organisations, on the review of counter-terrorism and security powers that took place last year. The summary of responses to the consultation (ISBN 978-0-10-180052-5) were published in January 2011 and can be found on the Home Office website.

Terrorism: Wales

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department plans to provide to the Wales Extremist and Counter Terrorism Unit in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14. [81400]

Nick Herbert: 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.

UK Border Agency

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK Border Agency staff she expects to be stationed in Hull in each year between 2012 and 2015. [81093]

Damian Green: Future detailed staffing plans for Hull on a year by year basis are not yet available.

Prime Minister

Immunity Certificates

John Hemming: To ask the Prime Minister how many applications for public interest immunity certificates have been made by each Government Minister in each year since 2000; and how many such applications were granted.[80691]

The Solicitor-General: I have been asked to reply.

No central record of public interest immunity certificates has been maintained for some years and could now be collated only at disproportionate cost. The Attorney-General, in consultation with the Treasury Solicitor's Department, is considering the most effective way in which a comprehensive central record can be re-established.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Judicial Review

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what applications for judicial review have been made against his Department (a) in the last Parliament and (b) since May 2010; whether each such application (i) succeeded, (ii) failed and (iii) remains pending; what

21 Nov 2011 : Column 25W

legal costs were incurred by his Department for each such application; in each failed application whether he applied for costs against the applicant and whether they were (A) awarded and (B) paid; whether his 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. [80717]

Mr Paterson: Comparable figures for the Department as it is now configured are not available following the completion of devolution of policing and justice functions on 12 April 2010.

Since May 2010, four applications for judicial review have been made against my Department, one was refused, one was withdrawn and two are pending.

In relation to the refused application, the applicant was legally aided and costs were not recoverable.

In relation to the withdrawn application, the applicant was not legally aided. Costs were sought. However, the judge exercised his discretion and made no Order for Costs. Counsel costs amounted to £1,183.

Defence

Ministerial Meetings

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Tony Buckingham has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78663]

(2) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Stephen Crouch has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78664]

(3) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Michael Lewis has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78665]

(4) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Poju Zabludowicz has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78666]

(5) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Michael Hintze has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78667]

(6) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Michael Davis has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged; [78668]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 26W

(7) whether (a) civil servants of his Department, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) members of the armed forces have had meetings with any members of companies or organisations in which Jon Moulton has an interest since May 2010; and if so, by whom such meetings were arranged. [78669]

Mr Philip Hammond: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones) on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 229W. These were the only meetings identified between Ministers and the individuals named.

The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on companies or organisations of which these individuals may have an interest.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Michael Lewis is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010; [79242]

(2) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Michael Hintze is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010; [79264]

(3) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Jon Moulton is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010; [79265]

(4) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Poju Zabludowicz is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010; [79266]

(5) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Tony Buckingham is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010; [79268]

(6) whether his Department has agreed any contracts with companies or organisations in which Mr Michael Davis is (a) a director or (b) a significant shareholder since May 2010. [79269]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 7 November 2011]:The Ministry of Defence does not hold information on companies or organisations of which the individuals named are directors or in which they are significant shareholders.

Afghanistan

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 3 October 2011, Official Report, column 1369W, on Afghanistan, on how many occasions (a) the hon. Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), (b) (i) officials and (ii) special advisers of his Department and (c) James Murdoch have visited Afghanistan since May 2010; what the cost to the public purse was of each visit; what the purpose was of each visit; and if he will make a statement. [74969]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 17 October 2011]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has organised and funded one visit to Afghanistan for the hon. Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood) since May 2010. My hon. Friend, in his then capacity as Parliamentary Private Secretary, accompanied my predecessor (the

21 Nov 2011 : Column 27W

right hon. Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox)) on an official visit in August 2010. My hon. Friend travelled by military aircraft and was hosted, with the rest of the party, in military accommodation while in Afghanistan. We are unable to disaggregate the specific costs of the flights and accommodation for my hon. Friend from our overall ongoing operational costs.

The MOD has not organised any visit to Afghanistan for James Murdoch.

Since May 2010, 477 UK MOD civilians have visited Afghanistan, which is the MOD's main effort and, as such, officials from the Department are routinely required to travel there. However, travel is only undertaken if there is a clear departmental requirement and it is done in the way that is most economical both in terms of cost and official time.

Since May 2010, special advisers at the MOD have made a total of nine return trips to Afghanistan. On all but one occasion, special advisers travelled to Afghanistan as part of their duties in support of ministerial visits. On the other occasion, a MOD special adviser visited Afghanistan as part of a cross-Whitehall communications visit. The overall travel costs by commercial aircraft associated with the nine visits were £17,762.53; as above, we are unable to disaggregate the specific costs of the in-theatre flights and accommodation for these officials from our overall ongoing operational costs.

Afghanistan: Ethnic Groups

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the ethnic composition of the (a) Afghan National Army and (b) Afghan National Police Force; and how representative each is of the ethnic composition of Afghanistan as a whole. [79204]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 7 November 2011]: We recognise that building an ethnically balanced Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) will be a key factor in ensuring the cohesion of the future force. The UK does not make its own assessments of the ethnic composition of the ANSF. The following tables have been provided by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and the UK has had no input to their production. These figures from 29 June 2011, rounded to the nearest whole number, show the NTM-A's assessment of the ethnic breakdown of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army (ANA).

ANP
Percentage

Pashtun Tajik Hazara Uzbek Others

Officer

41

47

4

3

5

Non-commissioned officer

31

56

5

4

4

Patrolmen

47

35

4

7

7

Total force

43

42

4

6

5

National population average

44

25

10

8

13

ANA
Percentage

Pashtun Tajik Hazara Uzbek Others

Officer

40

38

7

4

5

21 Nov 2011 : Column 28W

NCO

50

40

7

2

1

Soldier

43

30

12

8

7

Total force

45

33

10

6

5

National population average

44

25

10

8

13

However, the tables suggest that the percentage of Pashtuns is broadly proportionate to their relative representation as part of the population, although recruitment is ongoing to ensure a better representation of southern Pashtuns. Tajiks continue to be over-represented across the force as a whole in both the ANA and ANP while other groups (Hazaras, Uzbeks, etc.) are under-represented, which NTM-A is seeking to address. It should be noted, however, that the ANA and ANP have different approaches to maintaining ethnic balance. The ANA attempts to balance ethnicity in line with the national population, whereas the ANP seeks to maintain a balance that is representative of the local population where each ANP unit operates.

Aircraft Carriers

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much his Department has spent on the carrier variant conversion investigation since the announcement of the strategic defence and security review; and how much it has budgeted to spend up to 31 December 2012; [80366]

(2) which of the planned Queen Elizabeth class carriers will be fitted with the cats and traps system; [80367]

(3) what provision he has made within his Department's budget to cover any additional costs arising from the decision to fit one of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers with cats and traps. [80368]

Peter Luff: No decisions have yet been taken on which carrier will be fitted with catapults and arrestor gear; we expect to conclude work to enable firm decisions on the optimum conversion solution in late 2012. Conversion to carry the Carrier Variant (CV) Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will provide greater capability than the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) JSF and greater interoperability with our allies. The CV JSF has a longer range, carries a greater payload and costs less to purchase than the STOVL JSF.

To date, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has spent around £13 million on investigations into conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth (QE) class aircraft carrier. The MOD has approved expenditure of up to £48 million for study work on conversion up to the end of March 2012.

Costs for the remainder of our investigations—to December 2012—remain under development and are due to be considered by the MOD approving authorities in February 2012.

The National Audit Office's (NAO)'s report on carrier strike capability (published 7 July 2011), suggested a cost range for converting one carrier of £800-£l,200 million. We have made provision in Planning Round 11 consistent with our initial estimates and this is within

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the range identified by the NAO. We therefore consider conversion affordable on the basis of our current understanding. However, as our investigations into the exact costs of conversion are continuing it is possible that we may need to adjust this provision as information matures.

Armed Forces: Germany

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much will be paid to the Government of Germany under the terms of the NATO SOFA Supplementary Agreement on the return of armed forces to the UK; and on what timescale such payments will be made. [81294]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 15 November 2011]: Under the terms of the NATO SOFA Supplementary Agreement, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is responsible in certain circumstances for payment of compensation for damage to property provided by the Federal Republic of Germany. Damages are offset against any residual value from sterling funded investments. These calculations are yet to be undertaken and the timescales are not yet known. However, on the basis of past experience it is anticipated the MOD is unlikely to incur any costs.