21 May 2012 : Column 509W

Social Security Benefits: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions his Department has had with Atos about the effect of myalgic encephalomyelitis on a person's capacity to work. [108407]

Chris Grayling: The most recent interaction between the Department and Atos Healthcare regarding CFS/ME was in March 2012. The Department provided comments to Atos on a distance learning module (learning set) on fatigue that has been developed as part of the Atos Continuing Medical Education Programme for health care professionals for 2011-12.

Social Security Benefits: Disability

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of residents of Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who will become ineligible for disability-related welfare benefits as a result of his plans for welfare reform. [108349]

Maria Miller: It is not possible to break this impact down to smaller geographic locations.

The impact assessment published in January estimates the number of 16 to 64-year-olds in receipt of the personal independence payment to be 1.7 million by March 2016. Without reform 2.2 million 16 to 64-year-olds were forecast to be receiving disability living allowance at that time.

Social Security Benefits: Lone Parents

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) lone parents with children under five and (b) claimants of (i) incapacity benefit, (ii) income support due to illness or disability, (iii) employment and support allowance and (iv) other incapacity-related out of work benefits have been sent a letter warning them that they may be affected by the benefit cap, and suggesting work as a way to prevent the cap applying to them. [108262]

Chris Grayling: The statistics required to answer this question have not already been published by the Department. The Department only publishes statistics in line with the guidelines for publishing ad hoc or official statistics. We will consider the right hon. Gentleman’s request for these unpublished statistics as part of statistics released and published by the Department in due course.

St Mungo’s: Employment Schemes

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons for which the St Mungo’s homelessness charity received no referrals from the three Work programme prime providers with which it had contracts; and if he will make a statement. [108423]

Chris Grayling: There are a number of factors which could affect the flow of business from prime providers to specialist organisations, such as St Mungo’s, including:

21 May 2012 : Column 510W

the difference in provider delivery models, and the relative use of tiered supply chains;

whether voluntary and community sector partners are at tier 1 or 2 for particular primes;

relatively low rates of "disclosure" of homeless status by claimants which may delay or prevent onward referral to specialist partners; and

during the early stage of the Work Programme homeless participants may be supported through the provider's “mainstream” offer before being referred to specialist partners for specific interventions.

In a programme for which the Department has given no guarantees of volumes, it is entirely rational for primes to do the same. Specific reasons for the lack of referrals is a commercial matter between those prime providers and St Mungo’s.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what alternative methods of payment for universal credit he is considering for benefit claimants who do not have access to a mainstream bank account. [108421]

Chris Grayling: We recognise that some claimants do not currently have access to a mainstream bank account. We are working with a range of banking and financial product providers to make financial services more accessible and supportive to low income households. We are exploring options for accounts or alternative financial products which can support budgeting more effectively. We are continuing to work closely with high street banks through the British Bankers' Association (BBA) to explore these options, while also working with credit unions and providers of alternative financial products such as prepaid cards.

Work Capability Assessment

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's evaluation of the Spring 2011 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Medical Assessment Centre pilot of claimant audio recording for the work capability assessment. [108261]

Chris Grayling: The report is available from the Department's website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-recording-pilot-report.pdf

I will also place a copy of the report in the Library.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of people in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency claiming employment and support allowance who are placed in the (a) support group, (b) work-related activity group and (c) fit-for-work group. [108350]

Chris Grayling: Constituency level data are not available.

On 20 April 2012 the Department published data on the outcomes of IB reassessment claims at the regional and local authority level at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc _analysis

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Work Capability Assessment: Appeals

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether he has the power to require the Tribunal Service to publish statistical information on the outcome of appeals to work capability assessment decisions within and between tribunals; [106975]

(2) if he will ask the Tribunal Service to publish statistical information on the outcome of appeals to work capability assessment decisions by tribunal. [106981]

Chris Grayling: Appeals are lodged against decisions made by DWP decision makers on behalf of the Secretary of State. The work capability assessment is one part of the evidence used to inform these decisions. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions does not have the power to require Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to publish this statistical information. HMCTS falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice is looking into what data can be produced at individual level and will consider this proposal as part of that work.

The Ministry of Justice publishes details nationally of the outcome of hearing by benefit type in Quarterly and Annual Tribunal Statistics reports:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/tribunals

The Ministry of Justice is considering whether this information can be made available at a local level.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many young people started an apprenticeship in (a) England, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) the Harrogate district in the last 12 months. [107862]

Mr Hayes: The following table shows the number of apprenticeship programme starts aged under 19 in (i) Harrogate and Knaresborough, Selby and Ainsty, and Skipton and Ripon parliamentary constituencies which comprise Harrogate district, (ii) North Yorkshire local authority and (iii) England for academic year 2010/11, the latest full year for which final data are available.

Apprenticeship programme starts by learners aged under 19 by geography, 2010/11
  2010/11 full year

Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency

1,350

Selby and Ainsty constituency

200

Skipton and Ripon constituency

260

Harrogate district

1,810

North Yorkshire local authority

2,460

England total

131,700

Notes 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 except for the England total which is rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Age is based on age at the start of the programme. These figures include a small number of under 16-year-olds. 3. Geography is based upon the home postcode of the learner. The England total includes some postcodes which are not known. Geographic information is based on boundaries of regions as of May 2010. 4. Harrogate district is comprised of Harrogate and Knaresborough, Selby and Ainsty, and Skipton and Ripon parliamentary constituencies. Figures for Harrogate district are based on the sum of unrounded data for these parliamentary constituencies. Figures may not sum to the total due to rounding. Source: Individualised Learner Record

21 May 2012 : Column 512W

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts by age is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 29 March 2012:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships his Department supported in each occupation in the last year for which figures are available. [108371]

Mr Hayes: Figures are not available on the number of apprenticeships broken down by occupation.

Information is collected on the sector subject area of each apprenticeship. The numbers of apprenticeship starts by sector subject area during the 2010/11 academic year are given in Table 1 as follows:

Table 1: Apprenticeship programme starts by sector subject area, 2010/11, England
Sector subject area Number

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

7,380

Arts, Media and Publishing

1,030

Business, Administration and Law

133,820

Construction, Planning and the Built Environment

28,090

Education and Training

4,070

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

48,970

Health, Public Services and Care

89,970

Information and Communication Technology

19,520

Languages, Literature and Culture

(1)

Leisure, Travel and Tourism

21,590

Preparation for Life and Work

(1)

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

102,770

Science and Mathematics

10

Unknown

Total

457,200

(1) Indicates a base value of less than 5. Notes: 1. Volumes are rounded to the nearest 10 except for the total which is rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Full-year numbers are a count of the number of starts at any point during the year. Learners starting more than one framework will appear more than once. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Figures are also collected on the sector framework of each apprenticeship. These are published in the supplementary tables of the Post-16 Education Statistical First Release (SFR) at the following link:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_supplementary_tables/Apprenticeship_sfr_supplementary_tables/

In 2010/11, the average length of an apprenticeship programme was 13 months. This does not necessarily reflect the guided learning hours or the actual length of time in learning. For these reasons the average length should be seen as contributory information to any broader assessment of the apprenticeship experience and quality.

Further information on apprenticeships is published in the Post-16 Education quarterly SFR. The latest SFR was published on 29 March 2012:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

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Business: Finance

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to promote access to finance from non-bank sources for small and medium-sized enterprises. [107867]

Mr Prisk: It is important that businesses have access to a diverse range of finance sources, other than bank lending, including both equity investment and debt finance.

The Government have undertaken a range of measures to promote a range of non-traditional finance:

To support equity investment in firms, Government have increased their commitment to the Enterprise Capital Funds programme by £200 million over the four years to 2014-15, providing for more than £300 million of venture capital investment.

Notion Capital—is the eleventh, and largest, Enterprise Capital Fund and £62.9 million has already been committed to it from the first funding round. This includes substantial commitments from private investors, the Government and the European Investment Fund (EIF). The Notion Capital fund will target emerging, high-growth cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.

Government have encouraged a better environment for business angel investment through the establishment of the new £50 million Business Angel Co-Investment Fund, which aims to support angel investments into high growth potential early stage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The CoFund recently announced the completion of its first five investments, with a total of £7.2 million committed to SMEs since launching in November 2011. The investments in each business range from £360,000 to £3.6 million and reflect the wide range of businesses that the Angel CoFund can support across stage, sector and location, with £1.4 million of funding from the Government helping to secure a further £5.8 million from other investors.

Government have reformed the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), increasing rate of income tax relief for EIS to 30% and increasing amounts that can be invested in qualifying companies and the size of qualifying companies (subject to state-aid clearance). The new Seed EIS (SEIS) scheme provides income tax relief of 50% for individuals who invest in shares in qualifying seed companies, with an annual investment limit for individuals of £100,000 and cumulative investment limit for companies of £150,000.

The range of accredited Enterprise Finance Guarantee lenders has been expanded, with new non-bank lenders able to provide finance under the scheme.

To support firms' access to finance the Government £1.2 billion Business Finance Partnership will be deployed to stimulate markets in alternative forms of finance.

As part of the Government's “Business in You” campaign, the Government's Business Link website provides advice and guidance for businesses on the range of finance options available and how to apply. This can be found at:

www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk/resources/business-support-finder

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable) also tasked an industry working group, led by Tim Breedon of the Association of British Insurers, to undertake a review into how to expand access to non-bank lending. This group reported at Budget 2012 with a series of recommendations for industry and Government. Government broadly welcomed the recommendations and will report back on progress made against them in due course.

21 May 2012 : Column 514W

Care Homes

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made since the collapse of Southern Cross in 2011 of the business models of companies providing care and nursing home services; and which companies have been assessed. [107523]

Norman Lamb: In social care, a market has been operating successfully for many years. However, Southern Cross highlighted the risks involved should a large, national provider of care and support services fall into financial distress and exit the market. The Government believes that this is a serious issue and has been taking forward work analysing the area.

Responsibility for the regulation and oversight of the residential care sector rests with the Secretary of State for Health, the right hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley). The Department of Health has been leading the work on oversight of the social care market, including publishing a discussion paper, ‘Oversight of the Social Care Market—Discussion Paper' in October 2011. As part of their work, Department of Health officials have been engaging with the sector, including its major providers, to better understand the potential risks to service delivery. Officials in BIS have been providing professional advice to the Department of Health to assist them in this work.

The Government intends to outline its direction of travel in the forthcoming care and support White Paper, scheduled to be published in the summer.

Citizens Advice

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether Citizens Advice will be required to become a non-departmental public body in order to take on statutory responsibilities and resources from the Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Focus; and what assessment he has made of the potential effects of such changes on its current functions. [107563]

Norman Lamb: Consumers need to know who to go to when they have a problem which is why the Government are simplifying the landscape of consumer bodies. Full details of these proposals were set out in the Government response to the consultation “Empowering and protecting consumers” published on 11 April.

Citizens Advice will not be required to become a non-departmental public body in order to receive statutory responsibilities and resources from the Office of Fair Trading or Consumer Focus.

Citizens Advice Bureaux

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many Citizens Advice Bureau offices have closed in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and how many he estimates will close in 2012-13. [107810]

Norman Lamb: There is a difference between bureaux offices and legal entities. A legal entity may cover a number of different offices or branches and some of those may have closed as a result of funding reductions. Citizens Advice, the umbrella body for the service in

21 May 2012 : Column 515W

England and Wales, do not have accurate information of those numbers, as often when a bureau closes a site it will usually replace it with some form of alternative service delivered by way of an outreach through the premises of another organisation in the community.

In 2010-11 a total of four legal entities closed (Cardiff, Melton, Northerly and West Lanes). In 2011-12, a total of two legal entities closed (City of London and Wyre District). In each area advice is continuing to be delivered through the provision of an alternative service.

Citizens Advice are unable to supply figures for anticipated closures in 2012-13 but are aware of bureaux at risk and continue to work with them to see how best services can continue to be delivered in those areas.

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which local authorities reduced funding for citizens advice bureaux (CAB) services in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; by how much funding was reduced in each such case; which local authorities plan to reduce CAB funding and by how much in 2012-13; and whether there are any local authorities that no longer provide any funding for CAB services. [107811]

Norman Lamb: We have validated figures from Citizens Advice on local authority (LA) funding for 315 out of the 355 member bureaux. Of those 315 members, 103 bureaux reported a cut in LA funding averaging around 10% in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11, the remaining bureaux funding would have remained static or in some cases increased.

For 2012-13, 69 bureaux out of the same 315 members reporting have indicated their funding will reduce by 10% or more.

A list of those local authorities who have reduced funding has been placed in the Library of the House.

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who were previously employed in any capacity by the (a) Conservative party or its elected representatives and (b) Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107106]

(2) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who previously held an elected position as a member of the (a) Conservative party and (b) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107107]

Norman Lamb: The Department does not request this type of information as part of its contract award process and as a consequence the Department does not hold this information.

Consumer Focus: Intellectual Property Office

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on the relationship between Consumer Focus and the Intellectual Property Office. [107933]

21 May 2012 : Column 516W

Norman Lamb: The Government has received no representations from third parties on the relationship between Consumer Focus and the Intellectual Property Office. The Intellectual Property Office regularly discusses its relationship with Consumer Focus, as it does with all key stakeholders.

Copyright

Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to publish a response to the copyright consultation. [108106]

Norman Lamb: The copyright consultation closed on 21 March, having run for 14 weeks. The Government is now considering all submissions received and intends to publish its response before the summer.

Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) discussions and (b) meetings officials in his Department have had with officials of the European Commission about the copyright consultation. [108107]

Norman Lamb: The Government receives a wide range of views from many sources in relation to copyright, and has regular discussions with the European Commission on a wide range of copyright and other intellectual property policy issues, including the issues discussed in the copyright consultation. The Government has drawn the attention of the European Commission to both the recommendations of the Hargreaves report and the UK Government's consultation.

Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what organisations he has met to discuss the copyright consultation. [108108]

Norman Lamb: Since its publication on 14 December, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), personally has not met any organisations specifically to discuss the copyright consultation.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, Baroness Wilcox, hosted meetings with a number of key stakeholders across a range of industries during the copyright consultation period. Baroness Wilcox also met with interested parties at stakeholder engagement events she attended in London and Plymouth. The Department's officials have held numerous meetings and exchanges with interested parties throughout the consultation period. The copyright consultation closed on 21 March.

Degrees

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the trends in degree class awarded in the last 10 years, broken down by (a) subject and (b) type of higher education institution. [107729]

Mr Willetts: I have made no such assessment. However, figures on the number of first degree qualifiers from higher education institutions (HEIs) achieving each degree classification, and the percentage achieving this classification, are in the following tables. I understand

21 May 2012 : Column 517W

that the categories requested for part

(b)

of this particular question are either Russell Group or non-Russell Group institutions. Figures cover the last 10 academic years for which data are available.

21 May 2012 : Column 518W

Comparable figures by subject area are not available for 2001/02. In the 2002/03 academic year, both the way in which students were assigned to their subject of study, and the subject classifications changed.

Russell Group and non Russell Group First Degree qualifiers from UK HEIs 2001/02 by degree classification—Numbers and percentages
Number
Institution type First class honours Upper second class honours Lower second class honours Third class honours/Pass Total classified Unclassified

Russell Group

8,945

30,955

12,265

2,285

54,450

5,675

Of which: Oxford and Cambridge

1,860

3,955

725

85

6,620

295

Non-Russell Group

17,510

90,285

74,390

17,335

199,520

14,795

Total

26,455

121,240

86,650

19,620

253,970

20,470

Percentage
Institution type First class honours Upper second class honours Lower second class honours Third class honours/Pass Total classified

Russell Group

16.4

56.9

22.5

4.2

100.0

Of which: Oxford and Cambridge

32.9

56.0

10.6

0.5

100.0

Non-Russell Group

8.8

45.3

37.3

8.7

100.0

Total

10.4

47.7

34.1

7.7

100.0

Notes: 1. Figures are based on a qualifications obtained population and have been rounded to the nearest five. 2. Percentages are based on unrounded figures. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.

UK Equity Markets

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration the Kay Review of investors' fiduciary duties has given to the management of environmental, social and governance risks. [107734]

Norman Lamb: The Kay Review of UK equity markets and long-term decision making, published its interim report in February 2012. The report noted concerns raised by some respondents both about narrow interpretations of fiduciary duties excluding consideration of long-term factors, and about the application of such duties in the investment chain. The report did not make recommendations.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), is taking a close interest in Professor Kay's work and looks forward to receiving his final report with recommendations in the summer. It would not be appropriate for the Government to prejudge the review's recommendations at this stage.

Food: Production

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the potential effects on sustainable food production of intervening with universities, colleges and the research councils to direct research into sustainable food production practices. [108511]

Mr Willetts: Sustainable food production is expected to benefit from research and its translation into food production practices. Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board are sponsoring research and development for sustainable food and participating in a cross-Government Global Food Security programme (GFS) which is addressing the issue of sustainable food production practices.

The complex and inter-related problems of food security can only be tackled through co-ordinated and integrated interdisciplinary research. A main aim of the Global Food Security and other related programmes is to facilitate that research and its translation, and so help to improve the sustainability and security of UK and global food supplies.

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for scrutiny of the work of the Groceries Code Adjudicator by Ministers of devolved Administrations. [108563]

Norman Lamb: The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill is a competition issue, and is therefore a non-devolved matter.

Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have discussed the Bill with representatives of the devolved Administrations during its drafting and will continue to do so as it is considered by both Houses of Parliament.

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had on scrutiny of the proposed Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill by devolved Administrations. [107947]

Norman Lamb: The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill is a competition issue, and is therefore a non-devolved matter. However, BIS officials have discussed the Bill with representatives of the devolved Administrations at several points through its drafting.

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Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) departmental officials have held with counterparts at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Groceries Code Adjudicator. [107973]

Norman Lamb: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), on a number of issues, including the establishment of a Groceries Code Adjudicator. BIS officials have frequently discussed the adjudicator with counterparts at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs throughout the planning and drafting process, and will continue to do so as the Bill goes through Parliament.

Higher Education: Barnsley

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people normally resident in Barnsley East constituency entered university in each year since 1990. [107952]

Mr Willetts: Figures on UK higher education institution entrants from Barnsley East constituency from 1995/96 onwards are shown in the following table. Constituency-level statistics are not available for earlier academic years.

Entrants to UK higher education institutions from Barnsley East constituency 1995/96 to 2010/11
Academic year Entrants

1995-96

295

1996-97

345

1997-98

405

1998-99

445

1999-2000

405

2000-01

465

2001-02

495

2002-03

480

2003-04

470

2004-05

495

2005-06

535

2006-07

515

2007-08

520

2008-09

580

2009-10

660

2010-11

735

Notes: 1. Figures are based on a snapshot as at 1 December and have been rounded to the nearest five. 2. Parliamentary constituency is derived from the student's postcode. Data for 2010/11 is based on the revised boundaries in the 2010 general election. 3. Excludes the Open University due to inconsistencies in their coding of entrants across the time series. 4. Excludes students studying an HE qualification in a further education college. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record

Higher Education: Private Sector

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) with reference to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 518W, on higher education: admissions, what financial controls are in place to limit the amount of public expenditure allocated to private higher education institutions

21 May 2012 : Column 520W

if the Department does not hold an estimate of the average fee level or control the numbers of students who have access to that funding; [107534]

(2) how he controls the amount added to the student loan book by loans and support offered to students enrolled on courses with private higher education providers if he neither caps the numbers nor monitors the average level of fees; [107535]

(3) with reference to the answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 518W, on higher education: student numbers, what the total departmental funding allocation is for the provision of student loans and maintenance support for students enrolled on higher education courses with private providers which are not covered by the cap on student places; [107537]

(4) with reference to the Answer of 19 March 2012, Official Report, column 518W, on higher education: admissions, how his Department budgets for the funding level required to provide student loans and maintenance support for students enrolled with private higher education providers if his Department neither collects data on the average fee level, nor controls the number of students who can access such funding. [107538]

Mr Willetts: The Department closely monitors expenditure on student support, including by private higher education providers, and takes action where necessary to deal with any specific risks of overspending.

The Government set out in the White Paper “Students at the Heart of the System” and the associated Technical Consultation, their intention that all providers that access student support funding will, in future, be subject to student number controls.

The Government are giving careful consideration to how this proposal is to be taken forward.

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 27 March 2012, Official Report, column 1141W, on higher education: private sector, for what reason non-completion rates are not collected from private and for-profit higher education providers whose courses are designated; and if he will make it his policy to collect such information. [108388]

Mr Willetts: Institutions in receipt of grant funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) are required to submit data to the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) as a condition of that funding. These arrangements have been in place since HESA was established in 1993. The condition to submit data to HESA is not placed on institutions not funded by HEFCE.

We are committed to moving towards a more level playing field for all higher education providers.

Information Officers

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010. [108504]

21 May 2012 : Column 521W

Norman Lamb: From May 2010, until May 2012 the total travel and subsistence claims by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) press office was £5,730.26.

This included supporting our large team of Ministers on visits across the country, and around the world to promote British businesses and British higher and further education.

As is the usual practice in the public and private sector, all departmental staff are entitled to be reimbursed for money they have paid out as a result of their duties. There are strict controls on what sort of expenditure can be claimed for and all claims must be approved by a manager before they are paid.

I have asked chief executives of the executive agencies to respond directly to the hon. Member. This information is not held by BIS in respect of non-departmental public bodies.

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 17 May 2012:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 16 May 2012, UIN 108504 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Since May 2010 £816.95 has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by Companies House's press officers: £308.75 in 2010/11 and £508.20 in 2011/12.

The press officers are also responsible for dealing with Social Media and internal communications work for Companies House. The above amounts also include expenses claimed for work carried out in these roles.

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 18 May 2012:

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question asking how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010.

Press officers in The Insolvency Service Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have made no claims for reimbursement of expenses since May 2010.

Letter from John Alty, dated 18 May 2012:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 16th May 2012, to the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office does not employ any press officers directly, with queries going through BIS, as such there were no reimbursement of expenses.

Letter from Heather Foster, dated 17 May 2012:

I write on behalf of Land Registry in response to your Parliamentary Question 108504 tabled on 16 May 2012 which asked the following:

To ask the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010.

Since May 2010 there have been no reimbursement expenses claimed by Land Registry employees in their role as Press Officer.

Letter from John Hirst, dated 18 May 2012:

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 16 May 2012, UIN 108504 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Between 1 May 2010 and 30 April 2012, £2,907 was claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers at the Met Office.

I hope this helps.

21 May 2012 : Column 522W

Letter from Peter Mason, dated 17 May 2012:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 16 May 2012, asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills about the amount of reimbursement expenses claimed by press officers.

NMO does not have any full-time press officer, but there are two members of staff whose duties include those of a press officer. They claimed reimbursement expenses (i.e. Travel and Subsistence) of £777.38 for the period between May 2010 and April 2012.

Letter from Geoff Russell, dated 21 May 2012:

Thank you for your question asking the Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010.

Please be advised that a total figure of £1,369.25 has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in the Skills Funding Agency since May 2010.

Letter from David Williams, dated 18 May 2012:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills asking how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010.

The UK Space Agency became an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 1 April 2011 and nothing has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers during the financial year 2011/12.

Letter from Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, dated 17 May 2012:

As Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to contact you in response to your parliamentary question asking the Secretary of State of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much has been claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers in his Department, its agencies and public bodies since May 2010.

The total amount claimed in reimbursement expenses by press officers at Ordnance Survey since May 2010 is £52.87.

Insolvency Act 1986

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on possible amendments to section 233 of the Insolvency Act 1986. [108311]

Norman Lamb: The issue of possible amendments to section 233 of the Insolvency Act 1986 was raised among other matters by representatives of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) at a recent meeting they held with the chief executive of the Insolvency Service. Apart from this, I have received no recent representations on this subject.

Insolvency Service: Stockton on Tees

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment has been made of the potential effects on (a) travel costs and times for those wishing to use insolvency services and (b) other areas of the proposed closure of the Stockton on Tees Insolvency Service apart from the Insolvency Service report of March 2012. [108269]

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Norman Lamb: No further assessment has been made other than the data as set out in the consultation document of March 2012 (a copy of which can be found in the Libraries of the House). One of the purposes of the consultation is to elicit information on the potential effects and impact of the closure on stakeholders in the wider community, to enable an informed decision to be taken.

Insolvency: Costs

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on (a) a clearer definition and (b) stricter controls of administration expenses when a business enters administration; and if he will make a statement. [108312]

Norman Lamb: The Government are aware of stakeholders' concerns regarding administration expenses and of the importance of these provisions. We have been engaged with a number of stakeholders on this matter and continue to gather evidence from them on the effect of the issue in order to help us assess whether to make any changes.

Legal Profession: Training

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate his Department has made of the cost of extending the availability of student loans and apprenticeship funding to individuals studying to become chartered legal executives; and what assessment he has made of the merits of so doing. [108123]

Mr Hayes: From academic year 2013/14 24+ Advanced Learning Loans will be available to support those aged 24 and over to undertake further education courses at Level 3 and above. The budget available for these loans will be £129 million in 2013-14 and £398 million in 2014-15. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published an impact assessment in July 2011, which included estimates of the overall numbers of learners that could be supported by loans. A final version of the impact assessment is due to be published in May 2012.

BIS has not estimated the potential number of learners with 24+ Advanced Learning Loans that will take individual types of course as this will be determined by the choices of individuals. However, the Level 3 Diploma in Law and Practice will be eligible for 24+ Advanced Learning Loan support from 2013/14.

In order to be designated for the purposes of higher education (HE), courses must, in general, lead to a higher education qualification that is awarded or validated by a body with UK degree awarding powers. Currently, the Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice does not meet this requirement and is therefore not designated for HE student support.

There is currently no apprenticeship framework available for those individuals seeking to become chartered legal executives. Sector Skills Councils are the organisations responsible for developing apprenticeships frameworks. In this instance it would be for the Skills for Justice

21 May 2012 : Column 524W

Sector Skills Council to assess the demand and merit surrounding any future development of a framework for legal executives.

Manufacturing Industries: Reading

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many manufacturing firms are located in Reading West constituency. [107569]

Mr Prisk: According to analysis by the Interdepartmental Business Register there were 140 manufacturing enterprises in the Reading West constituency as at March 2012.

Mutual Societies: Private Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the terms of reference and work programme are of the Independent Adviser on employee ownership in the private sector; and if he will make a statement. [107204]

Norman Lamb: Graeme Nuttall was appointed to advise on this issue on 26 January 2012.

The terms Mr Nuttall accepted are to provide advice on how to make it easier for businesses to adopt employee share ownership models; and on other areas of employee share ownership for which I ask advice.

Since taking up his role in February Mr Nuttall has, with a team of BIS officials to support him, engaged with and collected evidence from employee-owned businesses, legal experts, share plan practitioners, business intermediaries, and others. His working analysis is that a lack of awareness, complexity, and a lack of resources/finance are the main barriers to employee ownership in the private sector.

Mr Nuttall is currently developing recommendations to Government and any other relevant parties on actions to mitigate those barriers and thus promote employee ownership further. As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister set out in his speech at the Mansion House on 16 January 2012, Government will bring together the findings of this work at a summit held in July, and I have invited Mr Nuttall to make his recommendations by that point.

New Businesses: Manufacturing Industries

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of start-ups by women in the manufacturing industry. [108079]

Mr Prisk: We are tackling outdated perceptions of manufacturing, including among women, through our “See Inside Manufacturing” and “Make it in Great Britain” campaigns, to demonstrate how vibrant and rewarding a career in manufacturing can be in the 21st century.

Late last year, BIS asked the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to lead jointly a programme to tackle the long-standing issue of diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). They are taking this forward through their existing and excellent relationships with a diverse mix of STEM institutions and businesses to effect a greater emphasis

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on challenging leadership at all levels to take on responsibility for delivering the change needed to promote equality.

In order to increase the number of start-ups by women in the manufacturing industry, it is vital that we encourage women to set up businesses and provide the support needed to ensure that those businesses thrive. On 23 January, the Prime Minister launched “Business in You”, a major year-long campaign to:

Promote awareness of the wide range of advice and support available to all businesses through a variety of sources, both publicly funded and private sector;

Encourage people to start and grow their own businesses; and

Inspire people through the showcasing of real-life small firms who are thriving despite the current economic situation.

The campaign highlights the package of information, advice and support that the Government has put in place for start-ups and for existing firms. This includes:

Advice and information available at

www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home

our online information service for businesses which we have recently updated and improved. For start-ups we have a tailored section called “My New Business” which includes a range of online information, training modules, and practical guides.

A new national network of experienced business mentors at

www.mentorsme.co.uk/

with over 15,000 experienced business people who want to help mentor those starting out.

Help with raising finance through continuation of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme which has helped thousands of businesses each year to access the funding they need to start and grow their businesses. And support to help businesses to help themselves when trying to access finance, through our “Finance Fitness” campaign.

Overseas Trade: Turkey

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what support his Department offers to small and medium-sized enterprises based in Leicester and the East Midlands to export to and establish trade links with Turkey. [108343]

Mr Prisk: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. Leicester and East Midlands companies wishing to export to Turkey are encouraged to contact UKTI to discuss appropriate support, including through the Passport to Export and Gateway to Global Growth programmes.

UKTI in the East Midlands works closely with a range of partners including the Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Leicestershire Chamber and other local service providers across the region to help companies to identify the right overseas markets for their goods and services and to help them to succeed there.

UKTI has designated Turkey as one of its priority high growth and emerging markets where they are intensifying their efforts and shifting further resources to help UK companies seize opportunities. The UKTI East Midlands team is planning two trade missions to Turkey during this financial year, having organised successful missions to the market in each of the last two years.

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Science: Finance

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department plans to spend on science capital in 2012-13. [107875]

Mr Willetts: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills plans to spend £608.9 million on science capital in 2012-13.

Students: Fees and Charges

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 16 April 2012, Official Report, column 293W, on students: fees and changes, for what reason the figure of £7,500 was used to make the calculation given private higher education providers can only access student loan funding of £6,000 per year; and if he will re-calculate his estimate. [108385]

Mr Willetts: In the original estimate given on 13 March 2012, and as explained in my answer of 16 April 2012, the assumed average fee loan of £7,500 was used to estimate the costs of supporting extra student places at publicly funded institutions. The £6,000 cap for fee loans at private higher education providers is not relevant to this calculation.

The £6,000 cap is not expected to make a significant impact on the overall average fee loan estimate as students at private institutions currently comprise a small proportion of the overall population eligible for fee loans.

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the effects of higher undergraduate tuition fees on postgraduate participation; and if he will involve representatives from the higher education sector in undertaking this assessment. [108386]

Mr Willetts: The Department has taken steps to monitor developments in the postgraduate market as a result of changes in undergraduate tuition fees. We have asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to review participation in postgraduate study, as part of a longer term assessment and evaluation of the impact of funding changes. HEFCE is actively engaging with the higher education sector on this issue and has involved Universities UK (UUK), Guild Higher Education (HE), the sector's mission groups and individual institutions in meetings to gain feedback on its approach.

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with (a) banks and (b) the research councils on postgraduate funding since May 2010. [108387]

Mr Willetts: Since May 2010, I have had no meetings with banks to specifically discuss postgraduate funding. I regularly meet with the research councils to discuss a wide range of issues including all aspects of research funding.

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Summertime

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when the contract was advertised for the study to review the scope, quality and robustness of available evidence concerning putting the clocks forward by one hour in the UK all year round; and when he expects the study to be completed. [107644]

Norman Lamb: The Government decided that a short study should be conducted to review the scope, quality and robustness of the available evidence concerning putting the clocks forward by one hour, the year round, in the UK.

A contract for the study was originally advertised on 16 February 2012 and then re-advertised on 23 March 2012 following a lack of response. The study began this month and is expected to conclude in July 2012.

However, as the Prime Minister has made clear, a change should only occur if there was UK wide consensus

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and the Government would not expect to make any change if there was clear opposition from any part of the UK.

Technology Strategy Board

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much the Technology Strategy Board spent on (a) collaborative research and development project grants, (b) knowledge transfer partnership awards, (c) knowledge transfer network costs, (d) catapult centre operating costs, (e) catapult centre capital costs, (f) Technology Strategy Board contributions to Small Business Research Initiative contracts, (g) SMART and other grants for research and development to (i) individual companies and (ii) small and medium-sized enterprises, (h) Technology Strategy Board administration costs and (i) other costs in 2011-12. [108377]

Mr Willetts: The Technology Strategy Board's latest estimated spend figures for 2011/12 are:

  2011/12 (£000 estimated)
  Total grant spend Total grant to individual companies Total grant to SMEs

Collab. R&D

155,292

126,890

28,402

KTPs(1)

19,900

n/a

n/a

KTN(2)

15,900

n/a

n/a

Catapult centres (operating costs)(3)

20,800

n/a

n/a

Catapult centres (capital costs)(3)

21,500

n/a

n/a

SBRI (contract)

5,200

5,200

3,000

Smart

23,400

23,400

23,400

TSB admin costs

23,568

Other costs

14,891

n/a = Not applicable (1) The grant for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships goes to the academic partner in the project. The companies in the partnerships each contribute in the region of £20,000 per annum with most KTPs being for a three year period. (2) The grant for Knowledge Transfer Networks is in respect of the operating costs of each KTN. (3) The grant for Catapults is in respect of the development of the network of Catapult centres.

Final spend figures for the year will not be known until July when it is expected that all accruals for 2011/12 will have been fully unwound whereby all invoices relating to the year's activity will have been received and paid by the Technology Strategy Board.

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies had (i) part-time and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12. [107369]

Norman Lamb: In 2011-12, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had two trade union representatives with full-time paid facility time arrangements and 35 trade union representatives with part-time paid facility time arrangements.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold this information for its non-departmental public bodies centrally. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse. [107370]

Norman Lamb: The following list shows how many days were used for paid facility time by each trade union representative in Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:

5 reps used less than 1 day each

2 reps used 25 days

4 reps used between 1-2 days each

1 rep used 26 days

1 rep used 2 days

1 rep used 38 days

3 reps used between 3-4 days each

1 rep used 80 days

1 rep used 6 days

1 rep used 153 days

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2 reps used between 7-8 days each

1 rep used 11 days

1 rep used 14 days

1 rep used 18 days

1 rep used 19 days

1 rep used 21 days

2 reps used 220 days

Total of 914 days used

Eight TU representatives did not use any paid facility time.

The cost of the facility time used in 2011-12 was less than £200,000.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold this information for its non-departmental public bodies centrally. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12. [107371]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills allows trade union representatives paid facility time arrangements for industrial relations duties (e.g. attendance at joint meetings with management on departmental restructure) and trade union activities (e.g. taking part as a representative in meetings of official committees of the trade union). The following lists show how many days were used for trade union activities by each trade union representative in the Department.

Number of days used for paid facility time by each TU rep for Trade Union Activities

3 reps used less than 1 day each

3 reps used between 1-2 days each

1 rep used 2 days

2 reps used 3 days each

3 reps used between 5-6 days each

3 reps used between 7-8 days each

2 reps used between 14-15 days each

1 rep used 18 days

1 rep used 25 days

1 rep used 26 days

1 rep used 32 days

2 full-time reps do not apportion their facility time

14 reps did not use any paid facility time

Number of days used for paid facility time by each TU rep for Industrial Relations Duties

4 reps used less than 1 day

6 reps used between 1-2 days each

1 rep used 2 days

2 reps used between 3-4 days each

1 rep used 5 days

1 rep used 6 days

1 rep used 10.5 days

1 rep used 14 days

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1 rep used 20 days

1 rep used 66 days

1 rep used 37.5 days

2 full-time reps do not apportion their facility time

15 reps did not use any paid facility time

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold this information centrally for its non-departmental public bodies. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library copies of the facility time agreements between trade unions and (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies. [107372]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is content to place in the Library of the House a copy of its facility time agreement.

The Department does not hold copies of any facility time agreements in place in each of its non-departmental public bodies.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental bodies have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107373]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not disciplined any trade union representatives for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold this information centrally for its non-departmental public bodies. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental bodies and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. [107374]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the departmental trade unions have regular meetings to maintain effective employee relations. To produce the dates and times for each meeting over the past five years would incur disproportionate costs.

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The Department does not hold this information centrally for its non-departmental public bodies. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions trade union representatives from (a) his Department and (b) each of the non-departmental public bodies have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. [107375]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold central records on how many occasions trade union representatives represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter. This information is kept in the personal case files and to collate this information for each of the last five years would incur disproportionate costs.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold this information centrally for its non-departmental public bodies. To do so would incur disproportionate costs.

The Government will be consulting the civil service trade unions shortly on changes to current practices around facilities time.

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Church Commissioners

Listed Buildings: VAT

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the effect on churches in Denton and Reddish constituency of the imposition of VAT on alterations to listed buildings. [107751]

Tony Baldry: Within the constituency of Denton and Reddish, which spans the Diocese of Manchester and Chester, the Church Commissioners are aware of only one Parish which is in the process of applying for a faculty licence, this is the Parish of St Lawrence, Denton. The project is proposing the internal renovation and reordering, replacement of the drainage system and various architectural restorations to the II* listed church. The project is yet to receive final approval and currently has an estimated cost of £500,000 the majority of which would have been subject to 0% VAT.

Since the announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17 May 2012 regarding the future extension of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (LPWGS), the Church Commissioners believe that the parts of the project which would have previously been eligible for 0% VAT will now be able to apply for funds from the LPWGS which has been extended to cover alterations, repairs and maintenance, with an extra £30 million being ring fenced by the Treasury to support the scheme. We anticipate that these and other future projects will be able to reclaim the full rate of VAT levied on any project of this kind.