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Health: Screening

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he has any plans to include testosterone tests as part of the assessment of diabetes risk in the men's health check; [84259]

(2) whether he has any plans to update the range of tests conducted under the NHS Health Check programme. [84287]

Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Health Check programme is based on guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence—which reviews the clinical and cost-effectiveness of interventions in medicine and advises on how to improve people's health and prevent illness—and on economic modelling undertaken by the Department. We continue to keep the components of the NHS Health Check under review as new evidence emerges.

NHS Trusts: Finance

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) debt and (b) revenue budget balance has been of each NHS hospital trust in England outside of London in each of the last four years. [84265]

Mr Simon Burns: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 123W

NHS Trusts: Private Finance Initiative

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what payment would have to be made to enable the relevant health care trust to exit each private finance initiative contract signed by his Department between 1997 and 2010. [84347]

Mr Simon Burns: Under a private finance initiative contract, national health service trusts may terminate the contract with notice at any time, without having to prove right and regardless of any prejudice to the private sector. Under these circumstances, compensation would be payable to the contractor on a trust default basis, the financial calculations of which aim to put the contractor in a position that is equivalent to that had the contract run its full length. The size of the agreed payment will thus be specific to individual schemes.

NHS: Negligence

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many clinical negligence claims involving a fatality were made in each year since 1997-8; and what the monetary value was of payments made against such claims in each year. [84345]

Mr Simon Burns: The following table shows the number of clinical negligence fatality claims by the year in which they were notified to the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), the number of claims closed in each year, and the damage paid in each year since 1997-98.

    Claims closed
NHSLA notification year Number of claims received Number Closed Damages paid ( £)

1997-98

223

223

14,275,129

1998-99

659

659

24,600,103

1999-2000

458

457

25,733,683

2000-01

514

514

23,769,768

2001-02

655

653

25,776,260

2002-03

697

697

27,311,964

2003-04

628

624

19,674,262

2004-05

645

638

19,111,752

2005-06

654

643

25,501,204

2006-07

640

622

26,154,377

2007-08

712

663

27,143,395

2008-09

758

612

19,259,740

2009-10

903

565

13,792,949

Source: NHS Litigation Authority, 2011

NHS: Pensions

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS paid in employer contributions to NHS pensions in each financial year since 1997-98 in respect of (a) senior managers, (b) general practitioners and (c) nurses. [84342]

Mr Simon Burns: It is not possible to segregate pension contributions by job type in respect of senior managers, general practitioners (GPs) and nurses from 1997. Employers pay contributions for all their employees

5 Dec 2011 : Column 124W

and do not break down the contributions to job type level. Analysis of this data would involve disproportionate costs.

Data relating to GPs and employer contributions are available from 2009. The following table provided by the NHS Pensions Agency illustrates the sum of contributions paid by GPs between 2009-11.

£000
GP contributions to the NHS Pension Scheme 2009-10 2010-11

Employer contributions

463,000

470,754

Employee contributions

365,858

317,225

Total contributions

829,426

787,979

Source: The NHS Pension Scheme and NHS Compensation for retirement Scheme Resource Accounts.

GP practices are required to pay the 14% employee contribution for all staff who are members of the NHS pension scheme, including GP partners who own the practice itself. As part of the new contractual and payment arrangements agreed with the GPs Committee of the British Medical Association in 2004, GP practices are provided with the necessary funding to fully meet the required employers pension contributions.

Contributions made by and on behalf of GPs are to pay for pension promises being built up and are assessed by the Scheme Actuary using SCAPE methodology (Superannuation Contributions Adjusted for Past Experience).

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of retired members of the NHS pension scheme who are in receipt of £33,000 or more per year as part of their NHS pension. [84343]

Mr Simon Burns: The number of retired members of the NHS Pension Scheme who are in receipt of over £33,000 per year, and excluding any lump sum payments or any pensions arrears is as follows:


Pensioners

2010-11

25,531

2009-10

23,499

2008-09

20,057

The data were provided by the NHS Pensions Agency.

NHS: Public Bodies

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date each (a) foundation trust, (b) NHS social enterprise, (c) pathfinder clinical commissioning group, (d) practice-based commissioning groups and (e) pathfinder health and wellbeing board in England was established; for each such body which has since ceased to exist, what the date of closure was; and which constituencies each such body serves. [84346]

Mr Simon Burns: Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) has authorised 141 national health service foundation trusts. A table listing the organisations and their authorisation dates (as at 1 December 2011) has been placed in the Library.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 125W

Since its introduction in 2008, 40 social enterprises have been established under the Right to Request policy by NHS staff working in primary and community care. These social enterprises comprise approximately 10% of community staff and 11% of the community services budget. A table listing the organisations and their go-live dates (as of 30 November 2011) has been placed in the Library.

The pathfinder clinical commissioning group (CCGs) programme is about testing the principles of our proposals for clinical commissioning groups. As such pathfinder CCGs will be able to change their composition, as they work to find the most appropriate configuration for improving care for their patients, before they apply to the NHS Commissioning Board for to be established. With the announcement of Cohort 6 of the pathfinder programme 266 pathfinder CCGs were in existence.

A complete list of those CCGs is available on the Department's website at:

http://healthandcare.dh.gov.uk/context/consortia/

The cohorts were announced as follows:

Cohort 1: 8 December 2010

Cohort 2: 17 January 2011

Cohort 3: 2 March 2011

Cohort 4: 1 April 2011

Cohort 5: 7 July 2011

Cohort 6: 10 October 2011

Information on practice based commissioning groups is not held centrally.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 126W

It is for partners in local areas to establish their own arrangements and time scales for setting up health and wellbeing boards.

Obesity: Children

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on tackling childhood obesity; and if he will make a statement. [84378]

Anne Milton: The Government have recently published “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A call to action on obesity in England”. This sets out how obesity among children will be tackled in the new public health and national health service systems, and the role of key partners.

The Government have set a new national ambition for reversing the trend in the level of excess weight in children by 2020. The call to action sets out a number of initiatives to tackle childhood obesity, this includes the Change4Life Programme, the National Child Measurement Programme, the school games and Change4Life sports clubs.

A copy of the call to action has already been placed in the Library.

Patients

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been treated by the NHS in each of the last 10 years. [84327]

Mr Simon Burns: The available information is shown in the following table.

Out - patient and in - patient hospital activity, England (provider based)
  Out - patients In - patients

1st attendances seen Subsequent attendances seen Total attendances seen Elective general and acute FFCEs Non-elective general and acute FFCEs Total general and acute FFCEs

2001-02

12,612,615

31,062,363

43,674,978

5,286,086

3,967,192

9,253,278

2002-03

12,878,799

30,886,026

43,764,825

5,413,638

4,013,308

9,426,946

2003-04

13,430,530

31,689,082

45,119,612

5,549,737

4,289,573

9,839,309

2004-05

13,370,173

31,397,428

44,767,601

5,529,668

4,549,542

10,079,210

2005-06

13,726,838

31,494,275

45,221,113

5,762,285

4,781,500

10,543,785

2006-07

13,600,443

31,109,612

44,710,055

5,964,409

4,895,313

10,859,722

2007-08

14,214,277

31,488,416

45,702,693

6,499,121

4,974,598

11,473,719

2008-09

15,536,590

33,176,698

48,713,288

6,778,017

5,205,350

11,983,367

2009-10

16,412,534

34,327,011

50,739,545

6,951,646

5,364,563

12,316,209

2010-11

16,954,190

35,498,064

52,452,254

7,211,663

5,499,325

12,710,988

Notes: The out-patient attendances are for all specialties. The in-patient First Finished Consultant Episodes (FFCEs) are for general and acute specialties only. General and acute does not include maternity, mental illness and learning disability. Source: Department of Health Quarterly Activity Return (QAR) for outpatient attendances and Monthly Activity Return (MAR) for In-patient FFCEs.

Postcodes

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department uses postcodes for purposes other than the postage of mail. [84188]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department uses postcode information in a wide range of analytical and statistical systems, typically as a means to link datasets together or to relate data to larger geographical areas such as local authority areas and the output areas defined by the Office for National Statistics for use in reporting census data and other statistical products.

For example, in calculating primary care trust target revenue allocations, the Department obtains data from national health service systems on the number of patients registered with general practices by postcode. This information is used to estimate the number of general practice registrations in output areas for which other information is available, such as estimates of levels of deprivation. Departmental outputs are not typically published at postcode level.

A full listing of all uses of postcode data could be provided only at disproportionate cost. We are also unable to identify the very wide use of postcode data within the NHS, except at disproportionate cost.

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Pregnant Women: Coventry

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what services are provided by his Department to partners of expectant mothers in Coventry. [84087]

Anne Milton: Local national health service organisations develop health services to meet the needs and priorities of their populations. To help this process the Department recently launched three resources: “Preparing for Birth and Beyond”, “Reaching out: Involving fathers in maternity care” and “Top tips for involving fathers in maternity care”.

These publications have been placed in the Library.

Radiotherapy

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which hospitals provide Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Treatment (SBRT) for cancer patients; and how many (a) early stage lung cancer and (b) prostate cancer patients were treated with SBRT in each hospital in the last year for which figures are available; [84003]

(2) on what date the National Clinical Director for Cancer informed him of the need to develop a stereotactic body radiotherapy tariff; who in his Department is responsible for the development of the tariff; what progress his Department has made in developing the tariff; and when he expects to make the national tariff for stereotactic radiotherapy available to commissioners; [84004]

(3) pursuant to the answers of 27 June 2011, Official Report, column 536W, of 10 October 2011, Official Report, columns 311-12W and of 2 November 2011, Official Report, columns 636-7W, on radiotherapy, whether commissioners are able to spend the extra £150 million allocated for new radiotherapy services on services unrelated to radiotherapy or the treatment of cancer. [84021]

Paul Burstow: The £150 million additional funding is included in overall primary care trust (PCT) baseline allocations. These allocations are not broken down by service or policy area. It is for PCTs to commission services using these funds to meet the health care needs of their local populations, taking account of local and national priorities.

The National Cancer Director has made no recommendation to the Secretary of State for Health, the right hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), concerning the need to develop a tariff for stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). We have said work is under way nationally to develop radiotherapy tariffs and this will include consideration of a tariff for SBRT in due course. The development of tariffs is the responsibility of the Department's Payment by Results team.

Hospital episode statistics are unable to provide data concerning the total number of patients receiving SBRT or those receiving SBRT for either early stage lung cancer or prostate cancer. There is only one clinical coding available for identifying SBRT and this is for stereotactic radiosurgery on tissue of the brain. However, we understand that SBRT is already available to patients on the national health service in over a quarter of all radiotherapy centres in England.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 128W

Social Services: Fees and Charges

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the Department for Communities and Local Government on the possible extra costs for the NHS of local authorities introducing changes to the criteria governing eligibility for social care; [84704]

(2) what estimate he has made of the possible extra costs which will be incurred by the NHS in each region as a result of local authorities introducing changes to the criteria for eligibility for social care. [84705]

Paul Burstow: In the spending review, Government recognised the pressures on the adult social care system within a challenging settlement for local government, and took the decision to prioritise adult social care by allocating an additional £7.2 billion to the system over the four years to 2014-15 to support local authorities in delivering social care.

When combined with a rigorous local authority focus on efficiency, this additional £7.2 billion means that there is funding available to protect people's access to care and deliver new approaches to improve quality and outcomes.

Social Services: Standards

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure consistent levels of provision of social care support across the country. [84086]

Paul Burstow: Local authorities are responsible for providing or arranging care services for their populations. Their funds are derived from local taxation and funding from central Government. The great majority of this funding is provided without condition. It is for local authorities to decide how best to manage their resources, according to local priorities.

In the spending review, the Government recognised the pressures on the adult social care system within a challenging settlement for local government. They took the decision to prioritise adult social care by allocating an additional £7.2 billion to local authorities over the four years to 2014-15 to support them in meeting their social care commitments.

When combined with a rigorous local focus on efficiency, this additional money will mean that there is funding available to protect people's access to care and deliver new approaches to improve quality and outcomes.

Tuberculosis

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he has made in preventing the spread of tuberculosis. [84472]

Anne Milton: Provisional data for 2010 show there were 7,862 cases of tuberculosis (TB) in England, a decrease of 7% on the corresponding number of cases in 2009, which is encouraging. However, it is too early to say whether this is the beginning of a downward trend. Sustained action by national health service organisations and their partners is needed to improve detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB. Final data for 2010 will be published by the Health Protection Agency later this month.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 129W

The Department and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have published guidance to help the NHS in commissioning and providing effective TB services. We are also funding the TB national charity, TB Alert, to raise public and professional awareness of TB.

Defence

Stephen Crouch

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) he, (b) officials of his Department and (c) special advisers in his Department have met Mr Stephen Crouch on official business since May 2010; and how many such meetings took place (i) on his Department's premises and (ii) elsewhere. [78848]

Mr Philip Hammond: 1 refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 21 November 2011, Official Report, columns 25-26W, to the hon. Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas).

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to provide additional minutes of free talk time above normal allocations over the Christmas and new year period for armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan. [84466]

Mr Robathan: Armed forces personnel serving abroad on operations routinely receive an extra 30 minutes free talk time during Christmas week from the MOD. This is in addition to their regular weekly allocation, which is a minimum of 30 minutes, dependent on tour length. These allowances are provided under the WelComE (Welfare Communications Everywhere) project, which forms part of the deployment welfare package. This year personnel will also receive an additional 45 minutes from Paradigm, the communications company responsible for providing the WelComE service.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the proportion of Christmas cards and gifts sent to British service personnel in Afghanistan which arrived in time for Christmas in 2010. [84616]

Mr Robathan: This information is not held. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson) on 13 December 2010, Official Report, columns 452-53W.

All mail received at the British Forces Post Office sorting depot by 3 December 2010 was delivered to Afghanistan in time for Christmas.

Air Force: Military Bases

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2011, Official Report, column 993W, on Air Force: military bases, what the (a) names and (b) positions held are of those attending the meetings on 11 January and 26 May 2011. [77318]

5 Dec 2011 : Column 130W

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 31 October 2011]: At both meetings, the previous Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox), was supported by a private secretary, and by a special adviser.

Armed Forces: Crime

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many arrests have been made by the Ministry of Defence Police since May 2010; and how many of those arrests resulted in prosecutions. [84002]

Mr Robathan: The Police national computer records that the Ministry of Defence Police has held 528 arrest summons reports within England and Wales, since 1 May 2010. The prosecution result of these arrests could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Health Services

Jack Lopresti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the use of depth therapy for the physical and psychological rehabilitation of wounded service personnel. [84611]

Mr Robathan: The policy of the Defence Mental Health Services is to provide psychotherapies that have a proven evidence base for their use in the UK. “Depth therapy” is a name given to one of many varieties of psychoanalytic therapy, but it is not one which has been specifically approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for use in the UK. NICE only approve treatments which have been rigorously scientifically investigated and represent an acceptable risk-benefit intervention.

NICE guidance on treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder indicates that two psychotherapeutic interventions are known to be effective; these are Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Both of these are available through the Ministry of Defence's military Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH), and are delivered by appropriately trained and supervised practitioners.

Armed Forces: Injuries

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to make information about injured service personnel more accessible to the public. [84687]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence is committed to making public a range of information on the numbers of service personnel injured on operations. We publish the numbers of personnel categorised as very seriously injured and seriously injured as a result of Operation Herrick on our website at:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistan BritishCasualties.htm

The figures are updated fortnightly.

In addition, we publish on a quarterly basis the numbers of service personnel who have suffered limb amputations as a result of injuries sustained while on operational deployment, and Defence Analytical Services

5 Dec 2011 : Column 131W

and Advice (DASA) published figures up to 30 September 2011 in November 2011. However, in order both to protect the identities of small numbers of patients and to maintain operational security for the effectiveness of our protective countermeasures, we do not routinely publish very serious injury and serious injury sub-classified by other types of physical injury.

DASA also publishes the UK Armed Forces Mental Health Report four times a year (plus an annual digest), which summarises all episodes of care of service personnel to the MOD's Departments of Community Mental Health for out-patient care, and new admissions to the MOD's in-patient care contractor.

All DASA health and medical reports can be found on the DASA website www.dasa.mod.uk under “Other Publications” and “Health/Medical Statistics”. This website includes the annual Defence Statistics publication that provides health related information in chapter three. This publication includes operational fatalities and injuries tables.

Armed Forces: Members

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations his Department has received from (a) civilian and (b) military sources concerning the (i) operations and (ii) sponsorship of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme in the last five years. [80925]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 15 November 2011]: In the last five years, the Ministry of Defence has received eight parliamentary questions, five letters from hon. Members and one letter from a member of the public. The MOD has also received 20 freedom of information requests. Other representations may have been received, but are not held centrally or are not identifiable.

There have also been various discussions between military officers and Ministers.

Armed Forces: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of (a) current and (b) former members of the armed forces who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. [84962]

5 Dec 2011 : Column 132W

Mr Robathan: The following table shows the number of patients attending a Ministry of Defence (MOD) Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) who were initially assessed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the period 1 April 2007 to 30 June 2011, the latest date for which verified data is available.


PTSD cases

2007-08

174

2008-09

142

2009-10

195

2010-11

253

1 April-30 June 2011

59

Figures up to June 2009 are for each first referral of an individual to a DCMH. Since July 2009, each new episode of care has been recorded, meaning that individuals who have been previously treated and discharged from care, but subsequently re-referred, will be counted again. Equivalent verified data prior to 2007 are not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

This answer incorporates data from the latest UK Armed Forces Mental Health Report (issued on 30 September 2011) which includes statistics on PTSD. This information can be found on the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) website www.DASA.mod.uk under “Other Publications” and “Health/Medical Statistics”. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House.

Ex-service personnel who require treatment for PTSD will receive it through their local NHS provider, and no central record is maintained of the numbers diagnosed with the condition. However, we continue to work closely with the Department of Health to improve the whole range of mental health care available to former servicemen and women.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Repairs and Maintenance

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK armoured vehicles have undergone major repair and overhaul in the last five years; what proportion of the fleet this represents; and where the repairs were undertaken. [82724]

Peter Luff: The information requested is shown in the following table:

Vehicle Geographical location of repair Base overhaul/economic base repair (last five years) Percentage of fleet as at 22 November 2011

Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle

Bovington

40

50

Challenger 2

Bovington

37

11

Warrior

Donnington

458

58

Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)

Donnington

432

37

FV430/Bulldog

Bovington

795

89

Base overhaul involves the complete disassembly/reassembly of the vehicle, including qualification of the hull, to design specification. Economic base repair involves selective disassembly/reassembly of the vehicles including qualification of the hull, to design specification.

The figure does not include repairs such as assembly changes, modification programmes, ad hoc repairs, overseas repairs and urgent operational requirement programmes. This information is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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AWE Aldermaston: Committees

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the remit of the Atomic Weapons Establishment's Local Liaison Committee includes consideration of classified information relating to matters which fall within the Committee's remit. [84836]

Peter Luff: The remit of the Atomic Weapons Establishment's Local Liaison Committee (LLC) relates principally to safety and the environment.

Written material provided to LLC members is not classified, and classified material is not routinely discussed at LLC meetings. However, LLC members are required

5 Dec 2011 : Column 134W

to hold Government security clearances to allow discussions of a lower level classified nature, should that be necessary.

Charities

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what grants his Department made to charitable organisations in each of the last five years. [79081]

Mr Robathan: Funding provided through grants in aid to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in each of the last five years is shown in the following table. A grant in aid is typically used to fund part or all of the administration costs of the recipient body.

Body 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 (final outturn)

Air Training Corps

33,005

34,000

34,850

35,721

36,614

Armed Forces Memorial

113,113

205,612

National Memorial Arboretum

250,000

189,220

371,296

346,950

433,942

Army Families Federation

291,444

293,190

300,093

332,100

366,558

Army Sports Control Board

307,245

417,195

434,032

425,744

458,960

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

32,392,094

34,199,339

36,601,286

47,844,871

44,641,049

Council of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations

57,489,076

59,369,448

63,490,300

62,758,836

Council of Voluntary Welfare Work

125,469

80,448

85,273

77,793

144,803

Duke of York’s Royal Military School

154,469

Fleet Air Arm Museum

593,724

614,000

631,000

(1)

(1)

Gurkha Welfare Trust

679,010

988,000

1,077,000

938,000

1,421,000

National Army Museum

5,292,879

5,489,000

5,734,850

5,515,222

6,312,403

National Museum of the Royal Navy

3,237,466

2,797,046

Naval Families Federation

149,220

92,620

185,000

223,000

248,601

RAF Museum

6,774,110

7,019,000

7,989,309

7,367,000

7,552,000

RAF Sports Board

165,923

65,865

149,837

288,387

160,770

Royal Marine Museum

740,788

765,480

783,000

(1)

(1)

Royal Navy Museum

895,502

873,000

1,045,000

(1)

(1)

RN Sports Board

272,907

RN Submarine Museum

561,997

575,708

591,000

(1)

(1)

Royal British Legion Polish Ex-servicemen

81,567

141,000

120,000

110,181

80,000

Royal British Legion War Widows

65,665

61,000

61,000

62,220

(2)

Royal Hospital Chelsea

9,232,000

9,554,000

10,487,000

10,824,000

10,838,000

Royal Irish Home Service Benevolent Fund

124,179

64,246

Royal Navy Marine Society and Sea Cadets

8,228,969

9,300,419

8,941,426

9,450,215

9,224,094

Scott Polar Research Institute

35,000

35,000

35,000

35,000

35,000

Skill Force

2,502,000

1,000,000

500,000

250,000

(3)

Victoria & George Cross Reunion Association

30,000

40,000

40,000

(1) The National Museum of the Royal Navy has provided funding to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Royal Marines Museum, the Royal Navy Museum and the Royal Navy Submarine Museum since 2009-10. (2 )The Royal British Legion did not arrange any pilgrimages in 2010-11. (3 )Skills Force is now funded by the Department for Education and Skills.

A breakdown of expenditure including grants as well as grants in aid could be provided only at disproportionate cost as the grant funding mechanism is delegated locally and we do not currently identify discretely those grants which relate to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. We also provide funding to the sector through commercial contractual arrangements for specific services.

In my answer to the hon. Member for Vale of Clwyd (Chris Ruane) on 7 June 2011, Official Report, columns 26-28W, I gave the provisional outturn figures for 2010-11. This answer updates those figures to final outturn, corrects the 2007-08 and 2009-10 balance of funding between the Armed Forces Memorial and the National Memorial Arboretum and shows the RAF Sports/Sports Control Board as a single line entry. I apologise for the errors and for the delay in answering this question.

Cyprus: Armed Forces

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) to which local authorities service personnel currently stationed in Cyprus will return; and how many such personnel will return to each such local authority; [83359]

5 Dec 2011 : Column 135W

(2) how many service personnel currently stationed in Cyprus will return to the UK; and when any such return will take place. [83360]

Nick Harvey: As part of the Army's routine unit rotations: the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN) and The 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) are the two infantry units currently stationed in Cyprus.

2 R ANGLIAN are due to return to the former Royal Air Force station at Cottesmore, in Rutland county council, in July 2012. This will see the move of approximately 620 service personnel and their families.

2 YORKS are due to move from Cyprus to Elizabeth Barracks, in Surrey county council, in July 2013. This will also see the move of some 620 service personnel and their families.

These moves are routine and troop numbers in Cyprus will therefore remain unchanged; both 2 R ANGLIAN and 2 YORKS will be replaced by other infantry battalions. The Royal Air Force will continue to rotate individuals out of Cyprus as part of routine postings.

Defence Acquisition Independent Review

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which recommendations from the Gray Review of Defence Acquisition the Government (a) has implemented and (b) plans to implement. [83351]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence accepted the majority of the Gray Review's recommendations, as set out in “The Defence Strategy for Acquisition Reform (CM 7796)” published in February 2010. The resulting actions have either been progressed, taken into defence reform more broadly or are being reconsidered as part of the forthcoming Materiel Strategy.

Defence: Finance

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the £4.3 billion new front-line savings identified in the Strategic Defence and Security Review have been made to date. [83358]

Mr Philip Hammond: Non front-line savings have been built into the budgets delegated to the Ministry of Defence’s top level budget (TLB) holders. The Department monitors TLBs’ performance against their budget on a monthly basis, and their implementation of non front-line savings and efficiencies quarterly.

Detailed analysis of our performance against these measures will be reported annually, after the departmental accounts have been audited.

Defence: Procurement

Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of the (a) cost and (b) delivery timescale of the Falcon Increment A Project; what the budget was for the project; and if he will make a statement. [80927]

Peter Luff [holding answer 15 November 2011]:The anticipated costs of Increment A of Project Falcon are projected to be £272 million; the budget for Increment

5 Dec 2011 : Column 136W

A is £324 million as stated in the 2010 Major Projects Review. The delivery timescale of the project is currently under review.

Food Procurement

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the same standards of animal welfare for whole eggs apply to imported liquefied eggs procured by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible; [83775]

(2) what proportion of food sourced by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available; [83776]

(3) what steps (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible are taking to ensure that they meet the Government’s buying standards for food and catering. [83777]

Peter Luff: Catering for Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian personnel employed at UK Defence establishments is provided through regional prime contracts or under multi-activity contracts. Armed forces personnel ‘in barracks’ are primarily catered for through a number of catering, retail and leisure (CRL) and other multi-activity contracts.

Information on the procurement of liquefied eggs obtained from outside of the UK and on the proportion of food procured under these contracts from UK suppliers, is not held.

Contractors appointed under these arrangements are obliged to source on the open market consistent with meeting EU competition rules and quality standards.

For armed forces personnel not covered by these contractual arrangements and those serving on operations and overseas exercises, there is a single food supply contract with Purple Foodservice Solutions Ltd (PFS). PFS lists approximately 1,150 different food-related items for the armed forces in the core range price list. Currently, they estimate that approximately 60% of lines listed (excluding fresh produce) are sourced from suppliers within the UK. The percentage figures for previous years, for which figures are readily available, are shown in the following table.


Percentage

2006-07

43

2007-08

59

2008-09

62

2009-10

60

The percentage of UK produced goods changes regularly as a result of seasonality; value for money incentives; and changes of supplier. Some products are manufactured using a number of ingredients from various countries including the UK while others, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, are sourced seasonally from a variety of countries.

All food procured through the PFS contract, including whole eggs, is produced to UK and EU production and farm assurance standards or equivalent. We do not procure liquefied eggs under this contract.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 137W

The MOD is fully committed to supporting the Government Buying Standards (GBS) except where operational requirements make this impractical. MOD food provision in terms of the operational arena and in circumstances of extreme training conditions is exempt from those GBS which may adversely affect the nutritional status and well-being of personnel. In these circumstances, it is recognised that the personnel are operating under very different circumstances to those which the GBS criteria were developed to meet.

Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on special advisers in 2010-11; how much has been allocated for 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [79200]

Mr Philip Hammond: In financial year 2010-11, the Ministry of Defence spent around £160,000 on salaries for special advisers. The cost of special advisers is treated as one part of the cost of the private office, as such there is no separate allocation for special advisers.

Procurement

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has audited the framework agreement technical support process in the last 12 months; and if he will make any such audit public. [82029]

Peter Luff: In January 2011, Defence Internal Audit was commissioned to produce a report on the Framework Agreement for Technical Support. This was issued on 4 November 2011 and I will place a copy in the Library of the House.

EU Defence Policy

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what officials from his Department will attend the European Defence Agency's conference on European Defence Co-operation on 31 January 2012. [84365]

Peter Luff: On current plans, the European Defence Agency's conference on European Defence Co-operation will be attended by the MOD's Head of Defence International Acquisition Policy.

European Defence Agency

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last met the Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency; and what was discussed at that time. [84363]

Peter Luff: The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), has not yet had the opportunity to meet the chief executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for Aldershot (Mr Howarth), met with the chief executive at the EDA Steering Board in Defence Ministers formation in Brussels on 30 November 2011, at which a range of issues were discussed including pooling and sharing, operations and partnerships.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 138W

Ex-servicemen: Employment

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what tailored training and advice is made available by his Department to help veterans of the armed forces find work; [83822]

(2) what support his Department makes available to help those leaving the armed forces to find work; and at what cost such help is made available. [83824]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 29 November 2011]: All service leavers are entitled to some form of resettlement advice, whatever their rank and length of service. Further support is available to eligible personnel through the Career Transition Partnership (a partnership between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Right Management) through training courses, which are free from tuition fees; career transition workshops; employment and future career advice; assistance with CV writing and job preparation; vocational training; and a job-search/recruitment facility. In addition, lifetime job finding support is available from the Officers' Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.

Each jobcentre district has an armed forces champion who has up-to-date knowledge of armed forces issues in the local area and will also provide support to veterans. Welfare benefits are a matter for the Department for Work and Pensions but advice and assistance in accessing benefits is available from the MOD's Veterans Welfare Service.

The contract with the Career Transition Partnership is currently valued at some £9 million each year.

Germany: Armed Forces

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) to which local authorities armed forces personnel returning from Germany by 2015 will return; and how many such personnel will return to each such local authority; [83356]

(2) how many armed forces personnel will return from Germany by 2015. [83357]

Peter Luff: As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Ministry of Defence aims to return half of its personnel based in Germany to the UK by 2015. On 10 November, the Army announced the return of some 1,800 personnel and their families to Cottesmore, Pirbright and Abingdon as part of a preliminary moves package. The local authorities concerned in these cases are Rutland county council, Surrey county council and Oxfordshire county council respectively.

Further work is currently ongoing into the future size and structure of the Army and this is expected to provide the detail of the estate requirements for the remaining units returning from Germany. Until work is complete, it is too early to identify precisely which local authorities will be affected.

Guided Weapons

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many air sorties were flown in the Afghanistan campaign in each month of the two years to the end of October 2011. [82725]

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Mr Philip Hammond: The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Harrier Aircraft: Costs

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the per unit purchase cost of GR9 Harriers was when the aircraft first entered service. [84366]

Peter Luff: The Harrier GR9 was not purchased from new but was an upgrade of the previous Harrier GR7 aircraft. This aircraft was itself an upgrade of the Harrier GR5 which was introduced into service in 1989. The upgrade to GR9 standard was achieved through a series of incremental steps implemented during normal maintenance periods under the £500 million joint upgrade and maintenance programme.

Including the historical cost of the Harrier GR5, as recorded in the Ministry of Defence's fixed asset register, and subsequent upgrade costs, the average cost of a Harrier GR9 was some £21.5 million.

Overall the sale of the Harrier fleet and associated running and maintenance costs will save around £1 billion.

Lockheed Martin

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) total monetary value and (b) type was of each contract between his Department and (i) Lockheed Martin and (ii) Northrop Grumman in the financial year 2009-10. [77186]

Peter Luff: There were 159 extant contracts in place with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman during financial year 2009-10 against which payments were made by the Ministry of Defence. This number includes contracts with companies that are subsidiaries of the respective holding companies and some which are part of joint ventures with other companies.

The values are provided in the following table:

Contract value banding Number of Lockheed Martin contracts Number of Northrop Grumman contracts

Over £500 million

2

1

£250 million to £500 million

1

0

£100 million to £250 million

3

1

£50 million to £100 million

6

1

£25 million to £50 million

7.

0

£10 million to £25 million

10

1

£5 million to £10 million

7

1

Under £5 million

68

50

Total contracts

104

55

The types of contracts are given in the following table:

5 Dec 2011 : Column 140W

Industrial Grouping Number of Lockheed Martin c ontracts Number of Northrop Grumman c ontracts

Aircraft and Spacecraft

10

2

Computer services

21

3

Data Processing Equipment

2

0

Electricity, Gas and Water

2

0

Electronics

3

26

Financial Services, Business Activities, Education, Health, and Other Service Activities Not Elsewhere Classified (NEC)

32

0

Transportation Activities

1

0

Manufacturing N.E.C

9

10

Motor Vehicles and Parts

1

1

Other Electrical Engineering

3

4

Precision Instruments

7

7

Real Estate and Renting

1

0

Telecommunications

2

0

Weapons and Ammunition

9

2

Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles

1

0

Total

104

55

Pitcairn Islands

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department’s officials have visited the overseas territory of the Pitcairn Islands in each of the last 10 years. [83208]

Nick Harvey: There are no records of any Defence officials visiting the Pitcairn Islands in the last 10 years.

RAF Leuchars

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an assessment has been made of the effect of the proposed transfer of the Typhoon force from RAF Leuchars to RAF Lossiemouth on flying hours per squadron per year as currently maintained at RAF Leuchars. [83904]

Nick Harvey: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, the hon. Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), on 3 November 2011, Official Report, columns 694-95W.

Territorial Army

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel are on active service; and how many are expected to be on active service during the Christmas period. [85023]

Mr Robathan: As at 23 November 2011, there were 630 Territorial Army (TA) personnel who have been mobilised on active service, most of whom are supporting the UK's Regular Forces in Afghanistan. We expect the figure for those who will be on active service over the Christmas period to be similar.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 141W

Communities and Local Government

Business Rates

21. Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to introduce a scheme for businesses experiencing financial difficulties to defer payment of business rates from April 2012. [84515]

Robert Neill: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), announced in his autumn statement that the Government will give businesses the opportunity to defer 60% of the increase in their 2012-13 business rate bills as a result of the annual Retail Prices Index uprating, to be repaid equally across the following two years.

I also refer my hon. Friend to my written ministerial statement made today on local government finance, which further highlights this Government’s support for business.

Tottenham Regeneration

22. Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to support regeneration in Tottenham; and if he will make a statement. [84516]

Mr Pickles: We are providing £20 million for the Mayor to support the regeneration of Tottenham and Croydon through the London Enterprise Fund. The Mayor will be making an announcement about the use of this funding, together with additional funding from the Greater London Authority, in the new year. Funding from the Riot Recovery Scheme and High Street Support funding have also been made available.

Government Procurement Card

23. Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to increase transparency in the use of the Government Procurement Card by his Department. [84517]

Mr Pickles: We have opened up these taxpayer-funded corporate credit cards to the sunlight of transparency.

My Department has published details of every single transaction from the beginning of 2011 back to 2006.

That openness has helped us identify waste and inefficiency, saving taxpayers’ money.

Home Ownership

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to support home ownership. [84501]

Grant Shapps: On 21 November we published our Housing Strategy which sets out an ambitious programme to support home ownership, including support for up to 100,000 prospective buyers with small deposits to buy a new home and increasing Right to Buy discounts to up to 50%, benefiting up to 100,000 current tenants.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 142W

Third Sector

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effect on the third sector of reductions in funding for local authorities. [84511]

Andrew Stunell: Local spending decisions are a matter for local councils but there is no excuse to target the voluntary sector disproportionately.

We are working closely with the third sector to assess capacity and provide support, for example through the Transition Fund and Big Society Capital and we are looking together at opportunities for the voluntary and community sector from increased local authority commissioning.

Council Tax Benefits

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has held with local authorities on the timescale of the introduction of his planned local authority-based schemes for council tax benefit support. [84054]

Robert Neill: Officials from the Department regularly meet with local government representatives to discuss a range of issues. During the consultation on proposals for the localisation of support for council tax the Department held 16 engagement events with local authorities and other interested groups.

Policy Announcements

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions during the present session of Parliament new policy announcements have been briefed to the media by (a) him and (b) other Ministers in his Department before they were made to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [84761]

Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to him on 29 November 2011, Official Report, column 911-12W. I would add that during parliamentary recess, on those occasions where policy announcements need to be made, we ensure that hon. and right hon. Members are updated when the House returns in the form of a post-recess written ministerial statement; details of such announcements are documented in the Official Report.

Empty Property

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to return empty homes to use. [84500]

Andrew Stunell: We have put in place powerful tools and incentives to support local communities to tackle empty homes. The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister published “Laying the Foundations”—A Housing Strategy for England on 21 November which sets out our plans for dealing with empty homes.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 143W

Green Belt

Mr Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures his Department has put in place to protect the Green Belt from housing developments. [84372]

Robert Neill: We have clearly stated our commitment to maintaining strong protections for the Green Belt. National policy on Green Belt protection—in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2: “Green Belts”—is being updated as part of the National Planning Policy Framework. The draft Framework includes rigorous policies for the continued protection of Green Belt from inappropriate development. We are now considering all responses received to our consultation on the draft Framework. Our proposed abolition of the unpopular Regional Strategies would remove top-down pressure on councils to review the extent of their Green Belt in 30 areas across England.

Housing: Carbon Emissions

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the basis was for his decision to introduce a zero carbon requirement for all new homes from 2016 instead of a nearly zero carbon requirement from 2021. [84040]

Grant Shapps: The previous Administration set the target for all new homes to be zero carbon from 2016 following a consultation launched in December 2006. The consensus following that consultation was that the 2016 date provided a realistic timetable. This Government endorsed that objective and timetable after we came in to office. The Government recognises that the 2016 target is challenging and we have redefined the zero carbon homes standard in a way which is much more practical and cost effective and is supported by the sector, in particular through the invaluable work carried out by the Zero Carbon Hub. The requirement for new homes to be nearly zero energy by 31 December 2020 comes from the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive recast, which was adopted in May 2010.

Housing: Fire Extinguishers

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment was made in developing the Building Regulations 2000 of the merits of requiring installation of automatic fire suppression systems in new residential premises with respect to (a) comparative evidence from other countries, (b) the effect on the environment of a reduction in the size of fires, (c) the effect on the economy of a reduction in the size of fires, (d) the effect on firefighter safety and (e) the risk of fire for an ageing population. [84552]

Robert Neill: The last review of the fire safety aspects of the Building Regulations was completed in 2006. The Final Regulatory Impact Assessment was published on 13 December 2006. This sets out the details of the assessments made at that time and refers to the cost benefit analysis that formed part of a 2005 study into the effectiveness of residential sprinklers. This study

5 Dec 2011 : Column 144W

relied extensively on US data where UK data were not available. The Impact Assessment and the 2005 report can be found on the Department website at:

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/regulatoryimpactassessment10

and

www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/pdf/rpts/partb/sprinkler_section6.pdf

Housing: Older People

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to ensure house building schemes take into account the needs of older people. [84649]

Robert Neill: Part M (access to and use of buildings) of the building regulations already includes a number of provisions including level thresholds, downstairs toilets and accessible switches and sockets that help to make all new homes more accessible and age friendly. In addition, the Housing Strategy published on 21 November sets out the Government’s view that new housing developments need to make further suitable provision for the ageing population by ensuring a mix of property types, including lifetime homes, which help to provide the diversity and choice needed to support longer term independent living. Future needs will vary considerably at a local level and we believe that decisions on the number of lifetime homes within each development should be made at a local level, in proportion to local need and aligned with other local housing support and information services. We are exploring how research undertaken by DCLG can be used to support local authorities in developing proportionate and effective policy at a local level.

The draft national planning policy framework asks local councils to plan for a mix of housing based on current and future demographic trends and the needs of different groups in the community, including older and disabled people. The draft framework makes clear that councils should have a robust understanding of housing requirements in their area, and that they should produce local plans, in consultation with people in the local area.

Local Government: Pensions

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has undertaken an economic impact assessment in respect of the proposed changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme on members in (a) the West Midlands, (b) Coventry and (c) Coventry North East constituency. [84489]

Robert Neill: I refer the right hon. Member to the answers given on 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 23W, to the hon. Members for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) and Stoke-on-Trent Central (Tristam Hunt).

Planning Permission: Biodiversity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department plans to provide to local planning authorities on suitable indicators for monitoring the

5 Dec 2011 : Column 145W

protection and restoration of biodiversity through the planning system. [84025]

Robert Neill: In our consultation on the draft National Planning Policy Framework we asked for views about supporting guidance and who could provide it. We are carefully considering all of the submissions that have been made to the consultation before announcing our intentions.

The Natural Environment White Paper in setting out the Government's proposals for monitoring, including for biodiversity, explained that existing national indicators will be reviewed and streamlined. A new set of key indicators will be developed for spring 2012 including a new set of biodiversity indicators for the Biodiversity Strategy for England.

Rural Areas: Finance

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what weighting he gives to the additional cost of delivering services in rural areas when calculating formula grant. [84695]

Robert Neill: The following table shows the judgmental sparsity top-ups, which reflect the additional cost of delivering services in rural areas, included in the relative needs formulae in the 2011-12 settlement.

Relative needs formula Percentage allocated using judgmental sparsity top-up

Local authority education functions

12.5

Older people’s personal social services

0.43

Police

0.5

District-level environmental, protective and cultural services

3.7

Social Rented Housing

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of tenants of social landlords who are of working age and whose homes will be deemed to be underoccupied on 1 April 2013 in (a) England and (b) Stockport constituency. [83570]

Andrew Stunell: The latest available estimate is that 8% of social rented sector households with a working age tenant were under-occupying their accommodation in 2009-10. This estimate is a three-year average based on data from the 2007-08 Survey of English Housing and the 2008-09 and 2009-10 English Housing Surveys. Under-occupation is measured according to the Bedroom Standard. Households are said to be under-occupying their accommodation if they have two or more bedrooms more than they need according to the Bedroom Standard. An estimate for April 2013 is not available.

Data are not available at the constituency level.

Social Rented Housing: Offenders

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will issue guidance to local housing authorities to facilitate the exclusion from publicly-funded social housing

5 Dec 2011 : Column 146W

provision of persistent and prolific offenders; and if he will make a statement. [84630]

Grant Shapps: Currently, with certain limited exceptions, anyone is eligible to be allocated social housing. The Localism Act 2011 will give local authorities the power to determine who qualifies or does not qualify to go on their housing waiting list. Local authorities will be able to use this power to exclude persistent and prolific offenders from social housing, if they so choose.

We will shortly be issuing for consultation new statutory social housing allocations guidance to local authorities which will encourage them to make full use of the new and existing flexibilities within the allocation legislation.

We have also recently finished consulting on proposals to speed up the process for evicting persistent ‘neighbours from hell’ and to allow social tenants to be evicted where they have been convicted for offences related to violent disorder beyond their local neighbourhood.

Social Rented Housing: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions his Department has had with the third sector on provision of social housing in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Coventry. [84651]

Andrew Stunell: As part of the affordable homes programme, the Homes and Communities Agency has undertaken a number of meetings and seminars for registered providers (mainly housing associations) in the West Midlands area. The Homes and Communities Agency also attends the quarterly regional committee meetings held by the National Housing Federation—the trade association of housing associations.

The Homes and Communities Agency has held regular meetings with partners to ensure optimum delivery in Coventry. In the Coventry and Warwickshire area, the Homes and Communities Agency is now working with 13 registered provider partners to sign contracts under the affordable homes programme. To date, contracts have been signed with eight registered provider partners to deliver homes in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Of these contracted offers, registered providers have confirmed the level of firm and indicative units they will provide in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. In Coventry specifically, the current level of planned affordable homes delivery stands at 525 units. The Homes and Communities Agency is still in the process of signing contracts with registered providers and figures may change.

The Homes and Communities Agency is also discussing with partners in Coventry the opportunities through the empty homes and community-led development funding, with them being encouraged to work with local authorities and the Homes and Communities Agency to bring forward further delivery in this area.

Third Sector: Finance

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the effect on the third sector of reductions in funding for local authorities. [84495]

5 Dec 2011 : Column 147W

Andrew Stunell: Local spending decisions are a matter for local councils but there is no excuse to target the voluntary sector disproportionately.

We are working closely with the third sector to assess capacity and provide support, for example through the Transition Fund and Big Society Capital and we are looking together at opportunities for the voluntary and community sector to benefit from local authority commissioning.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to publish a new planning policy statement on Traveller sites to replace circulars 01/2006 and 04/2007. [84841]

Robert Neill: The Government published their draft new planning policy for Traveller sites for consultation in April. The consultation closed in August. We are currently considering the consultation responses and intend to publish the new policy as soon as possible.

Parliamentary Written Questions

Mr Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he intends to respond to the question tabled by the right hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich on 21 November 2011 regarding home starts. [R] [84371]

Grant Shapps: The question tabled by the right hon. Member for Greenwich and Woolwich was answered on 1 December 2011, Official Report, column 1025W.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to introduce a bonus for each new apprenticeship in a small business. [84014]

Mr Hayes: Government are committed to helping small employers take on an apprentice. That is why we recently announced that small employers will be eligible for an incentive payment of £1,500 to take on a new apprentice aged 16-24. Funding will be available for up to 40,000 apprentices.

The National Apprenticeships Service are finalising the detailed implementation of this new scheme, and we expect to announce final eligibility criteria, and details of how to access the programme soon. We expect the scheme to commence by April 2012.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential effect of (a) staff reductions and (b) organisational changes in his Department occasioned by savings requirements on the delivery of programmes for the National Apprenticeship Service in each Government office region. [84762]

5 Dec 2011 : Column 148W

Mr Hayes: This Government have funded record levels of growth in apprenticeships. We are committed to further growth in the number of apprenticeships across the country.

The restructuring of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has had no effect on the delivery of the apprenticeship programme by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS). However, the National Apprenticeship Service is housed within the Skills Funding Agency and is contributing to the overall 33% administration savings target which has been set for the agency by the end of the spending review period. The chief executive of the NAS and the chief executive of Skills Funding are working closely together to continue to secure effective delivery of apprenticeships. These administrative savings will enable them to operate more efficiently while safeguarding the delivery of the apprenticeships programme.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he proposes that the new apprenticeship proposals outlined under the Government's youth contract scheme should be delivered through the National Apprenticeship Service's existing regional structures. [84763]

Mr Hayes: On 25 November the Government announced as part of the Youth Contract that they would increase the number of incentive payments available to small employers for taking on apprentices aged 16-24 to 40,000. The National Apprenticeships Service has been asked to work up a detailed implementation plan for the incentives scheme—which will commence by April next year.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) whether his Department plans to provide additional (a) staff and (b) other resources to the National Apprenticeship Service to assist the delivery of apprenticeships for young people aged between 16 and 24 years; [84764]

(2) whether his Department plans to provide additional (a) staff and (b) other resources to the National Apprenticeship Service to assist in the delivery of apprenticeship places from the Government's Youth Contract scheme. [84765]

Mr Hayes: The Department expects the National Apprenticeship Service to deliver the new initiatives within existing staff resources in line with the Government's objective to prioritise support for young people.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff the National Apprenticeship Service (a) had in 2010-11 and (b) has in 2011-12; and how many staff he expects it to have in (i) 2012-13 and (ii) 2013-14. [84766]

Mr Hayes: The Department can report that the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) had 370 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in the 2010-11 financial year.

In respect of the 2011-12 financial year, the NAS currently has 280 FTE staff.

The Department expects the NAS to have a maximum of 308 FTE staff by 2012-13 and maintain this number during 2013-14.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 149W

Data as at 31 March 2011: NAS staffing peaked at over 400 staff during the year, following the transfer of National Employer Service staff from the Skills Funding Agency.

Data as at 31 October 2011 include 29 staff who transferred in from UK Skills.

Business: Pilot Schemes

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions his Department had with learning providers on the employer choice pilot prior to the Prime Minister's announcement of the initiative. [85012]

Mr Hayes: The UK Commission for Employment and Skills developed the initial vision for employer ownership, which directly helped shape the announcement of the pilot. The UK Commission is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) and commissioners comprise a social partnership that includes leaders from business, unions, third sector organisations and the further education (FE) and higher education (HE) sector. In developing the thinking of employer ownership, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the UK Commission engaged with a range of stakeholders that included representatives from the FE sector as well as business, unions and academics.

BIS will continue to engage with a range of stakeholders to help shape the pilot going forward.

Business: Voluntary Organisations

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration he has given to opportunities for voluntary mentoring schemes to operate alongside his Department's planned business mentoring scheme. [84571]

Mr Prisk: Voluntary mentoring schemes are an integral part of this Department's work on mentoring. Just last month I announced new grant funding of £1.2 million to recruit and train 10,000 volunteer business mentors through the “Get Mentoring” project via the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI). This is on top of the 5,000 volunteer business mentors already announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on 4 November 2011. Boosting the number of mentors by another 15,000 will help more businesses get this valuable help and broaden the range of experienced people available through the mentoring network.

The “Get Mentoring” project will build on the work we began with the British Bankers Association (BBA) in July when we launched Mentorsme, by helping to raise awareness of mentoring and increase the supply of experienced business people, who will then be accessible via mentoring organisations on Mentorsme.co.uk. With almost 11,000 business mentors already available through

www.mentorsme.co.uk

the “Get Mentoring” project will bring the total number of business mentors available through the mentoring portal to at least 26,000 by September 2012.

5 Dec 2011 : Column 150W

Credit

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many firms have been removed from the Consumer Credit Public Register because the Office of Fair Trading has (a) withdrawn and (b) suspended their licence in each of the last five years. [83043]

Mr Davey: The following table shows, for the last five complete financial years, the counts of all consumer credit licences which have been surrendered ("withdrawn") or revoked. (Section 32 of the Act allows for the suspension of a licence as well as revocation but this specific power has not been used in the five years reported on). For the revocations, if no appeal was received, the determination- to-revoke date itself was used to decide which year to count them under. If an appeal was made, then the appeal decision date is used. Any cases with ongoing appeals are not included.

In addition under section 37 on the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act), a licence held by one individual (as a sole trader) terminates if he (a) dies, or (b) is adjudged bankrupt, or (c) becomes a person who lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) to carry on the activities covered by the licence. I have not been able to collate the data in time. However, in the last two years, a link to the Insolvency Service data have been used which has seen a significant increase in terminations of type (b), to 200+ per year.

Number

Licences revoked Licences surrendered

2006-07

14

932

2007-08

12

338

2008-09

16

357

2009-10

27

476

2010-11

39

515

Food Procurement

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on food procurement in each year from 1997 to 2011. [80315]

Mr Davey: The Department’s catering services are contracted to BaxterStorey and the purchasing of food supplies is BaxterStorey's cost as it is a commercial contract.

Departmental Pay

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many civil servants in his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible earned more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year for which figures are available. [76594]

Mr Davey: The total number of staff that earned more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year is 267. This reply covers core BIS only and the figures have been based on basic salary and permanent allowances. Our agencies are

5 Dec 2011 : Column 151W

replying separately, to obtain a reply from all our other partner organisations would incur disproportionate costs.

224 earned between £65,000 and £95,000

34 earned between £95,001 and £140,000

Seven earned between £140,001 and £175,000

Two earned over £175,001.

L etter from Stephen Speed, dated 3 November 2011:

The Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question how many civil servants in his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible earned more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year for which figures are available.

The Insolvency Service has 20 staff who earned more than £65,000 per annum in the last year, 18 of which fall into category (a) and two staff within category (b). No staff earn salaries within category (c) or (d).

Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 2 November 2011:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 19 October 2011, UIN 76594 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Companies House employed three civil servants who earned more than £65,000 and one who earned more than £95,000 in the last year for which figures are available. We do not employ anyone earning more than £140,000.

Letter from John Alty, dated 14 November 2011 :

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 19 October 2011, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office is an Executive Agency of BIS. These figures are based on base pay and permanent allowances received for the tax year 2010/2011.

The figures are:-

(a) 39 people earned above £65,000.

(b) 2 people earned above £95,000.

(c) 0

(d) 0

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 3 November 2011:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (formerly National Weights and Measures Laboratory) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 19 October 2011 (reference 2010/7227) to the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, asking how many civil servants in his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible earned more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year for which figures are available.

In the National Measurement Office there were two civil servants whose earnings were more than £65,000 in the financial year 2010/11. There were none with earnings more than £95,000.

Letter from Emma Lord:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform asking how many unpaid and expenses-only internships (a) his Department and (b) each arm’s length body for which he is responsible employed in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 78368

I am responding on behalf of the Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency (an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). The UK Space Agency has not employed any unpaid and expenses-only interns in the last 12 months.

Letter from Dr Vanessa V . Lawrence, dated 3 November 2011:

As Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to reply to your question on the number of civil servants at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

5 Dec 2011 : Column 152W

and its associated bodies earning more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 with the information for Ordnance Survey.

The information below is for the financial year 2010/11 and shows earnings determined as base pay plus permanent allowances:

a) 7 (excluding those falling under groups b, c and d)

b) 4 (excluding those falling under groups c and d)

c) 0 (excluding group d)

d) 2

Letter from John Hirst, dated 9 November 2011:

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 19 October 2011, UIN76594 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The information you asked for is contained in the following table.

2010-11
Earnings (1) Number of staff

More than £65,000

46

More than £95,000

3

More than £140,000

2

More than £175,000

1

(1) Includes basic pay plus any permanent allowances, overtime and performance related-pay

Letter from Geoff Russell, dated 2 December 2011:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills asking the Skills Funding Agency (the Agency) how many civil servants in his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible earned more than (a) £65,000, (b) £95,000, (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year for which figures are available.

Please be advised that the figures provided are for the year 1/4/2010 - 31/3/2011. In total, 167 civil servants were employed by Agency within the period who received (or where they terminated prior to 31/3/2011 had an annual earnings equivalent) within the pay bands quoted.


Number of employees

(1) £65,000 to £94,999

151

(2) £95,000 to £139,999

15

(3) £140,000 to £174,999

1

(4) £175,000 and above

0

Letter from David Evans, dated 15 November 2011:

You tabled the following Parliamentary Question in the House on 21 October.

“To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many civil servants in his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible earned more than (a) £65,000 (b) £95,000 (c) £140,000 and (d) £175,000 in the last year for which figures are available”.