Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason the Government's expert advisory group on obesity has been disbanded. [83068]

Anne Milton: The Government have made public health a priority and as such we are bringing in a new approach to obesity, as set out in “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Call to action on obesity in England” which was published in October. In light of our new approach we are bringing in new advisory arrangements for obesity. A copy of the “Call to action” has already been placed in the Library.

Dr Susan Jebb, who chaired the expert advisory group, is continuing in her role as science adviser to the Department on obesity. There will be a new National Ambition Review Group on obesity, which will bring together key partners and experts from the academic and scientific field. Public Health England will also play a crucial role in providing robust intelligence and evidence to local areas.

25 Nov 2011 : Column 631W

Skin Cancer

Pauline Latham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether, following the pilot of the collection of data on metastatic breast cancer, he plans to collect data on metastatic melanoma; [82613]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of clinical nurse specialists for metastatic melanoma; and if he will make a statement; [82637]

(3) how many (a) elective and (b) emergency admissions were recorded for patients with a diagnosis of (i) skin cancer and (ii) metastatic melanoma by primary care trust in the latest year for which figures are available. [82639]

Paul Burstow: “Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer”, published on 12 January, made the collection of data on secondary breast cancer a priority for 2011. Pilot projects are already under way and we anticipate that routine collection will begin in April 2012. It is our intention that the learning from this exercise will be applied to the collection of information on other forms of metastatic cancer in the future. No decisions regarding the next steps for metastatic data collection have been made at this time and are unlikely to be made until the routine collection of secondary-breast cancer data has been properly established and quality assured.

The “2010 Census of Cancer Specialist Nurses (CNSs) in England” reported that there were 2,164.2 whole time equivalents CNSs in the 28 English cancer networks of which 119.68 worked in skin cancer and in the 2010 Cancer Patient Experience Survey 75% of skin cancer patients reported having a CNS.

The survey also showed that cancer patients who have support from a CNS have an overall better experience of care. We expect the national health service to consider this in developing their policies to improve patient experience. To support the NHS to develop the CNS work force, the strategy sets out our intention to build the evidence base for the benefits and-costs savings that CNSs can offer. This follows an independent report we published in December 2010 that showed that, in many scenarios, the costs of additional support roles are likely to be outweighed by the savings that can be achieved.

Data concerning the number of elective and emergency admissions for patients with a diagnosis of skin cancer or metastatic melanoma in the latest year for which figures are available by primary care trust have been placed in the Library. These data should not be described as a count of people as the same person may have been admitted on more than one occasion. To protect patient confidentiality figures between one and five have been replaced with an asterisk, and where it was still possible to identify numbers from the total the next smallest has been replaced.

International Development

Developing Countries: Biodiversity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of UK aid to developing countries is intended to improve the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. [80283]

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Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK increased its direct aid allocation to biodiversity from £37.6 million in 2008 to £39.4 million in 2009. The objective of ensuring environmental protection is now mainstreamed throughout DFID's programmes. The UK has further also allocated £2.6 million overseas development aid (ODA) this year towards supporting the Darwin initiative. More widely, we will increase our support to environmental initiatives as the International Climate Fund (2011-15) is implemented through programmes in areas such as forestry, climate-resistant agriculture and water resource management.

Through the ICF, the UK will help to protect the world's forests and the livelihoods of 1.2 billion people who depend on them. The proportion of ICF spend currently allocated to forestry is £600 million of the total £2.9 billion which reflects how the UK prioritises the importance of ecosystems.

Developing Countries: Remittances

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of diasporas to international development through remittances and diaspora volunteering. [83105]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: World Bank data shows that 200 million people live outside their country of origin. In 2010 international migrants remitted $325 billion (three times the level of overseas development assistance). A report “Making Migration Work for Development” (2010) by the DFID-funded Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, housed at the University of Sussex, shows that remittances are a relatively stable source of foreign exchange earnings and can boost growth in developing countries by financing investment, consumption and production growth. A joint study by DFID and the United Nations, “Impact of Remittances on Poverty” (2009), found that a 10% rise in remittances reduced the poverty headcount ratio by 3.9% in developing countries where remittances account for more than 5.0% of gross domestic product.

Between 2008 and 2011 DFID provided support to diaspora volunteering organisations to help them increase the impact of their work in the countries and continents of heritage of diaspora communities. In 2011 DFID completed a project completion review which concluded that the project had achieved its outcome in establishing a functioning body to provide ongoing support for diaspora volunteering groups and through successfully supporting 15 diaspora organisations to provide high quality volunteering opportunities.

Diaspora Communities

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the mechanism and framework within his Department is for consultation of diaspora communities on international development matters. [83106]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Ministers and Department for International Development (DFID) officials regularly meet and consult with diaspora organisations both directly and through networks. In the past three weeks alone, there have been meetings and events with Somali diaspora groups in Cardiff and the Pakistani diaspora

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in Glasgow as well as a roundtable discussion on "Harnessing the diaspora to drive investment enterprise development and jobs in Africa".

The Under-Secretary of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Mr O'Brien) spoke at the launch of Africa-UK in February 2011, a new national initiative dedicated to enhancing the contribution of the diaspora to Africa's development. DFID also works with Comic Relief through the Common Ground Initiative to increase support to small and diaspora organisations, creating real and sustainable change in some of the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Africa.

Horn of Africa

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to improve the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa. [83103]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Horn of Africa is facing the most serious humanitarian situation in the world today. Across the region, more than 13 million people require emergency assistance. The British Government was one of the first to step forward with significant funds and we continue to be at the forefront of the world's response, as the second largest bilateral donor to the crisis behind the US.

The UK is supporting a range of interventions to alleviate the immediate crisis, and our support is already showing results. For example, in Ethiopia in June and July we provided food to 2.4 million people. UK support has also provided 247,000 people in Somalia with food and nutritional assistance, and almost 900,000 children have been vaccinated against measles—eventually over 1.3 million children will be vaccinated.

Longer term solutions are vital to help communities and agricultural systems become more resilient. The UK is providing small farmers in Somalia with seeds, fertilisers and animal health assistance, and helping pastoralist communities in Ethiopia to protect their assets. We are also supporting the African Union's programme to boost agricultural productivity and improve food security.


Departmental Audit

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many internal audits have taken place (a) in his Department and (b) in the non-departmental bodies for which his Department is responsible in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [82540]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: During the financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12 (to end October), Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Internal Audit and Assurance completed (a) 26 internal audits in MOJ core and (b) 381 internal audits in the arm’s length bodies for which the Department is responsible. Reports are published internally.

Note :

The figures reported above include the full years' audits completed in 2010-11.

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Official Photographs

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many official photographs have been taken of (a) Ministers and (b) senior officials in his Department for use in Government publications since May 2010; how many staff of his Department are expected to undertake photography of the ministerial and senior leadership team as part of their duties; and if he will make a statement. [82569]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: 100 official photographs have been taken—in 10 sessions—since May 2010. Of these, 85 were of (a) Ministers and 15 of (b) senior officials.

Nine members of the MOJ can undertake photography but it forms a minor part of each of their roles.

Detainee Inquiry

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress has been made by Sir Peter Gibson's Detainee Inquiry. [83060]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made to the House on 6 July 2011, Official Report, column 100WS. The Detainee Inquiry remains in a preparatory phase pending the outcome of related police investigations.

Employment and Support Allowance: Appeals

Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of employment and support allowance appeals lodged in each quarter from the second quarter 2010-11 to date were determined (a) within six weeks, (b) between six and 12 weeks, (c) between 12 and 18 weeks, (d) between 18 and 26 weeks and (e) more than 26 weeks after submission. [82676]

Mr Djanogly: The following table shows the time taken from the date of a disputed Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision for employment and support allowance (ESA) being lodged with DWP to the date of clearance by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

Number of appeals (1)

Fewer than 6 weeks 6 to 12 weeks 12 to 18 weeks 18 to 26 weeks More than 26 weeks



Quarter 3






Quarter 4









Quarter 1






Quarter 2






(1 )This case data has been rounded to the nearest 10 or 100 unless the numbers are too low for this rounding protocol to apply.

ESA appeals take an average of 8.13 weeks from the date of lodgement with DWP to arrive at the tribunal, as at September 2011 (the latest period for which data is available).

The introduction of ESA, together with other changes in the welfare system, has led to significant increases in appeals. HMCTS has taken strong measures to increase

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capacity and 60% more social security and child support appeals were cleared in September 2011 compared to September 2009. In each of the 11 months to September 2011 more ESA and incapacity benefit appeals were disposed of than received.

Employment Tribunals Service: Fees

Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans his Department has to introduce fees for workplace tribunals. [83536]

Mr Djanogly: The Government will be consulting on proposals to introduce fees into the employment tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal shortly. The consultation document will set out the options for proposed fee structures and the indicative fee levels which might be applied. No decision will be made on the level of fees to be paid until that consultation has been completed.

Metal Theft

Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many successful prosecutions have been brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in cases involving metal theft. [83264]

Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings Database holds information on offences provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought but not all the circumstances of each case. It is therefore not possible to identify from these centrally held data those proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 involving metal theft.


Work Programme

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the impact in Scotland of the proposal to introduce compulsory community work programmes for those who have completed the Work programme. [83179]

David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I are in contact with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), on a range of issues relating to the Government's welfare reform agenda, including the Work programme.


Air Travel Organisers Licensing Reform

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of new travel businesses which will be required to apply for an ATOL certificate under her Department's proposals. [74095]

Mrs Villiers: The Government consulted on proposed reforms to the Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) scheme between 23 June and 15 September 2011.

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The Impact Assessment that formed part of the consultation estimated that an additional 600 businesses would be brought into the ATOL scheme, if the proposed reforms were implemented.

Under the proposed reforms, all these businesses would be required to provide an ATOL certificate to consumers on purchasing an ATOL protected holiday or flight as a means of improving clarity to consumers about their entitlement to protection under the ATOL scheme. All existing ATOL licensed businesses would also have this obligation.

Aviation: Security

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish all correspondence between her Department and (a) airport operators and (b) airline companies concerning border checks in the last 12 months. [81166]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 15 November 2011]: The Department has no record of correspondence with airport operators or airline companies on border checks in the last 12 months. Airport operators and airlines, however, have raised passenger facilitation aspects of border controls with Ministers and departmental officials on a number of occasions over the last 12 months, not least in the South East Airports Taskforce, which I chaired, and in the regular Facilitation Stakeholders Forum, which officials chair.

Chiltern Railways

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to determine the application for the Chiltern Railways (Bicester to Oxford Improvements) Order. [80744]

Mike Penning: The Inspector who conducted an inquiry into the proposals in this application endorsed them in most respects but recommended that the Order should not be made. This was because of the likely lack of a licence from Natural England to carry out works which would affect the habitat of bats. Following the close of the inquiry we understand that the applicants (the Chiltern Railway Company Limited) and Natural England have been in discussions with a view to agreeing measures to protect bats and great crested newts which would also be affected by the proposals. On 15 November officials wrote to the applicants to ask what progress has been made. Once we know the outcome of those discussions, we will make every effort to conclude the statutory processes as soon as is reasonably possible.

Growing Places Fund

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether Ministers in her Department made public mention of (a) the Growing Places Fund, (b) the money which was subsequently to be allocated to the Growing Places Fund and (c) the stated intention of the Growing Places Fund prior to the official announcement of the policy on 7 November 2011. [82510]

Norman Baker [holding answer 24 November 2011]: The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander), announced on 18 September plans to establish a new £500 million Growing Places Fund to support local infrastructure projects which unlock housing and economic growth.

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I refer the right hon. Member to the statement by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 12 October 2011, Official Report, column 445, and to the answer by the Minister for Decentralisation and Cities, the right hon. Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark), of 25 October 2011, Official Report, column 124W. The Secretary of State for Transport, the right hon. Member for Putney (Justine Greening), also made reference to the Fund at the Transport Select Committee on 19 October 2011.

The announcement of 7 November 2011 was the publication of the Fund's prospectus and the indicative allocations to individual Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Work and Pensions

Cold Weather Payments: Northern Ireland

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the contribution by the Minister of State for Pensions of 22 November 2011, Official Report, column 193, how many homes are affected by the recent decision to change the cold weather station in Northern Ireland from inland Ballykelly to Magilligan on the coast; and what estimate he has made of the number of homes that are covered by this station situated further inland than the cold weather station itself. [83242]

Steve Webb: Decisions on the weather stations to use in the Northern Ireland Cold Weather Payment Scheme are for the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland. However I am aware that the Cold Weather Payment scheme in Northern Ireland was reviewed this summer following the closure of the Ballykelly weather station.

Employment and Support Allowance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether claimants of contributory employment and support allowance in the Work Related Activity Group whose benefit is time-limited, and who are then subsequently placed into the Support Group following later assessments but do not meet the income related conditions and have not accrued further years of contribution since they were time-limited, will receive contributory employment and support allowance. [83075]

Chris Grayling: People could re-qualify for contributory employment and support allowance if they are subsequently placed in the Support Group after their contributory benefit has been time limited where they received contributory employment and support allowance for at least one day in the tax year prior to the benefit year in which the new claim is made. This is in addition to where claimants leave benefit for work and accrue the necessary contributions, or remain or become entitled to income-related employment and support allowance.

Work Programme: Scotland

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Executive, (b) COSLA, (c) the Scottish Trade Unions Congress and (d) Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations on his plans to introduce compulsory community work programmes for those who have completed the Work programme. [83178]

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Chris Grayling: Even with the improved support offered in the Work programme some jobseeker's allowance claimants may reach the end of their time on the programme and remain on benefits and looking for work.

To understand how best to support very long-term unemployed jobseeker's allowance claimants who may reach the end of the Work programme from 2013, the Department is running a small-scale trial in four Jobcentre Plus districts in England to test whether, with an increased level of support and opportunities to gain work experience, longer-term claimants have greater success in finding and staying in employment.

The evaluation of the trials as well as future discussions with key stakeholders, including many listed, will help influence the design and delivery of the national programme in 2013.

Housing Benefit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the effects of changes in private sector rents on local housing allowance in each region since May 2011. [83246]

Steve Webb: The information is not available.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the percentage change has been in local housing allowance caseload made up by people in employment (a) nationally and (b) in each local authority area since May 2010. [83247]

Steve Webb: The following table sets out the number of housing benefit (local housing allowance) claimants in Great Britain in employment and not in receipt of income support, jobseekers allowance (income-based), employment and support allowance (income based), or pension credit (guaranteed credit) in May 2010 and in August 2011.

LHA tenants Number/percentage

May 2010


August 2011


Percentage difference


Notes: 1. A very small proportion of individuals whose housing benefit claim has been passported (claimants in receipt of one of the benefits listed in the answer above) may also be earning some income from employment. However, the employment status of these individuals is not collected. 2. Recipients are as at second Thursday of the month. 3. Local housing allowance tenants may include a small number of non-LHA cases making a new claim since 7 April 2008. 4. This will include recipients in caravan accommodation. 5. Case load figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 6. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. 7. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. 8. The data is available monthly from November 2008 and August 2011 is the latest. 9. Local housing allowance was introduced in the private deregulated sector from April 2008.

The local housing allowance (LHA) case load by local authority area is currently unavailable. We are aware of an inconsistency in the data which affects the distinction between LHA and non-LHA private sector tenants. We are working towards resolving this issue. It affects some local authority areas, but makes little difference at GB level.

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Jobcentre Plus

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many local entrepreneur mentors have been recruited by Jobcentre Plus (a) in each local authority area and (b) by gender since May 2011. [78579]

Chris Grayling: Jobcentre Plus does not recruit local entrepreneur mentors.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of contribution-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA) were deemed ineligible for income-based JSA when their contribution-based JSA ended; how many such claimants paid a national insurance contribution within one month of their income-based JSA claim being disallowed; and how many of those initially deemed ineligible received income-based JSA within six months of their initial income-based JSA claim being disallowed, for each month in the last two years. [83079]

Chris Grayling: The information is not available.

Pensioners: Housing Benefit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in each region were receiving housing benefit in October 2011; and how he proposes that housing benefit will be paid after it is no longer administered by local authorities. [83244]

Steve Webb: These are the latest data available:

Housing benefit recipients aged 65 and over, by region—August 2011


Great Britain


North East


North West


Yorkshire and Humberside


East Midlands


West Midlands


East of England




South East


South West






Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

Housing benefit will be replaced by a new element of pension credit, the housing credit, to provide support for pensioners with their rent. The housing credit will broadly follow the current rules that apply in housing benefit, including payment arrangements.

Youth Unemployment

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects youth unemployment in Walsall North constituency to be substantially reduced; and if he will make a statement. [83061]

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Chris Grayling: The most recent forecast from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility is for unemployment to level out and then fall from the second half of 2012. There is no separate forecast for youth unemployment but this would be expected to follow a broadly similar trend.

The Government are investing in policies to support young people to remain active in their job search and help them to engage in real work with employers. This is supported by access to work experience opportunities and referrals to apprenticeships and sector-based work academies.

This help ensures that most young people flow off jobseeker's allowance quickly. Nationally, of young people who make a claim for JSA, 60% leave within the first three months and 80% within six months. Those who need more intensive support or who become long-term unemployed are referred to the Work Programme at three or nine months.

Universal Credit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the costs that will be incurred by local authorities with contracts for benefit delivery where those contracts extend beyond the introduction of universal credit. [83245]

Chris Grayling: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is working with Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the devolved Administrations and the local authority associations to understand the full impact of the introduction of universal credit and housing costs for pensioners on current local authority benefit services.

The specific impact on the contractual arrangements of the local authorities and associated costs will only be understood when the detailed migration schedule of housing benefit claimants to universal credit (working age) and pension credit (pension age) is defined.

Work Capability Assessments

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the contract under which work capability assessments are conducted will expire. [83076]

Chris Grayling: The current Medical Services Contract will expire on 31 August 2015 unless the Department takes up the option to extend to a maximum of 31 August 2017.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average duration in (a) days and (b) weeks is of the employment and support allowance assessment phase for incapacity benefit claimants who are being reassessed. [83077]

Chris Grayling: Claimants who are converted to employment and support allowance as part of the incapacity benefit reassessment process do not have an assessment phase, they receive the relevant component from the first day of conversion.