Chiltern Railway Line

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will review the Chiltern Railways franchise; and if she will make a statement. [109569]

Mrs Villiers: In September 2011 Chiltern introduced a simplified structure for anytime, off-peak and super off-peak fares between London Marylebone and stations north of Banbury to Birmingham. The new structure

11 Jun 2012 : Column 36W

reduced the size of the step between peak and off-peak, which was consistent with Sir Roy McNulty's recommendations.

Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints about the work of her Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [108950]

Norman Baker: The following complaints were recorded in the last three years. These were complaints received and handled through the formal complaints mechanisms:

 2009/102010/112011/12

DfT(C)

12

16

13

DSA

11516

11822

10080

DVLA

11594

12121

12107

GCDA

Not known

0

5

HA

1135

1038

864

MCA

74

52

30

VCA

16

6

8

VOSA

360

1022

1068

NDPBs

Not known

Not known

6

Total

24703

26077

24181

Formal complaints about the work of NDPBs were not centrally recorded in earlier years and obtaining this information would incur a disproportionate cost.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [107505]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport and its seven Executive Agencies spent the following amounts on external consultants, including management consultants:

 £

2010/11

12,333,227

2011/12

7,408,028

By way of further comparison, the figure for consultancy in DfT published in the annual Public Sector Procurement Expenditure Survey (PSPES) for 2009-10 was £115,101,757. This was however based on a very different classification of consultancy work and if we were to re-publish this on the same basis that we use now the figure would be £24,841,258.

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many letters to Ministers in her Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if she will make a statement. [109445]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 37W

Norman Baker: I regret that the information requested is not held in the format requested and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members correspondence. The report for 2011 was published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 30-33WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

Ministers aim to answer correspondence as expediently as possible.

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department spent on the updating of published data in line with the Government's transparency agenda in each month since September 2011. [110722]

Norman Baker: It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate as this work typically involves a small proportion of the time of a number of staff across various business areas and is dealt with in the normal course of business.

Dover Port

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what impact assessment her Department carried out on the privatisation of Dover Port; and whether that assessment considered the potential effect of privatisation on ferry berth tariffs. [109750]

Mike Penning: Any proposal for a sale of the trust port of Dover would be assessed against the criteria published in August 2011 (15 September 2011, Official Report, columns 65-66WS). These include fair competition, whereby the Secretary of State will not approve an application that is likely to deliver an ownership model which results in unsatisfactory levels of competition in the relevant sector.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue her Department estimates the privatisation of Dover port will raise for the public purse. [109751]

Mike Penning: The port of Dover have yet to submit their revised proposal and any proceeds realisable would depend on the structure and nature of any scheme which they submit. In the event that a sale was agreed, the estimate of revenues receivable would depend upon the circumstances at the time. The Secretary of State will not approve an application unless the sale is considered likely to represent good value for money, having regard not only to Exchequer proceeds and market conditions, but also to other benefits including those to the community and the wider economy.

Any authority wishing to undertake a sale would need their financial advisers to provide an independent benchmark valuation of the undertaking prior to the receipt of final bids.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department has considered allowing Dover port to become a community interest company. [109752]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 38W

Mike Penning: As outlined in the revised criteria on trust port sales, published by the Department of Transport in August 2011 (15 September 2011, Official Report, columns 65-66WS), the Secretary of State will not approve an application for the sale of a trust port under the Ports Act 1991 unless the sale is considered likely to deliver an enduring and significant level of community participation in the port.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department will ensure the privatisation of Dover Port will include a clawback mechanism to ensure that any undervaluation of the Port is recouped by the winning buyer. [109935]

Mike Penning: The Minister of State currently has an application under the Ports Act 1991 concerning Dover Port before her, and it would not be appropriate to comment on such matters ahead of that quasi-judicial decision being taken.

Driving under Influence

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timescale is for implementation of proposed changes to the drink drive rehabilitation scheme. [108202]

Mike Penning: The Drink Drive Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) arrangements have been defined and are subject to clearance from the relevant regulatory processes.

We anticipate that the new arrangements will be introduced in March 2013.

Driving: Licensing

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the annual cost to (a) her Department and (b) driving licence holders of introducing the EU third directive on driving licences in each of the next five years. [110693]

Mike Penning: The following table provides the estimated costs of introducing the EU third directive on driving licences in each of the next five years:

 Forecast operating costs (£ million)

2013-14

1.7

2014-15

1.4

2015-16

1.1

2016-17

1.1

2017-18

1.1

Over the two years 2011-12 to 2012-13 there were also £6.3 million development costs, relating to the third directive.

The DVLA is currently undertaking a public consultation on driver licensing fees, which is expected to close on 14 August 2012. The options put forward in the consultation are about covering the increased costs of the system and process changes as a result of the EU third directive. The preferred option in the consultation would see vocational licence holders pay a fee of £20 for their first provisional vocational licence and on the five-yearly renewal of their licence. These fees would apply for the next five years.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 39W

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the cost to driving licence holders of replacing or renewing a driving licence in each of the next five years. [110781]

Mike Penning: The current cost to driving licence holders of replacing or renewing a driving licence is shown in the following table. Future fees are subject to the outcome of a public consultation that is expected to end on 14 August 2012.

Transaction Fees options 2013-14+
 Fees 2012-13123

Driving licence:

    

Renewals from age 70

Free

Free

Free

Free

Renewals for medical reasons

Free

Free

Free

Free

Replacement DL for change of details

Free

Free

Free

Free

Duplicate DL for lost/stolen or destroyed

£20

£20

£20

£20.70

     

Exchange licence:

    

Exchange from overseas jurisdiction

£50

£50

£50

£50

Paper licence traded in for POL DL(1)

£20

£20

£20

£20.70

Remove endorsements

£20

£20

£20

£20.70

‘Vanity’ renewal (photograph change only)

£20

£20

£20

£20.70

10-yearly renewal of POL DL(1)

£20

£20

£20

£20.70

Additional entitlements

Free

Free

Free

Free

Provisional vocational DL (from full DL)

Free

£20

Free

Free

Full vocational DL

Free

Free

Free

Free

Renewal of vocational entitlement

n/a

£20

Free

Free

     

Driving licence renewals:

    

After revocation

£50

£50

£50

£50

High risk offenders after disqualifications

£90

£90

£90

£90

After disqualification

£65

£65

£65

£65

(1) POL DL is ‘Photo on Licence’ Driving Licence

Fraud

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting her Department's spending in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [110168]

Norman Baker: Since 2010, the Department has reported detected fraud and error on its quarterly data summaries. These quarterly data summaries are published on the departmental website:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/business-plan-qds

but they do not take into account estimates of undetected fraud loss. Nor do they split the losses between (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting departmental spend. Estimated figures for uncollected Vehicle Excise Duty are produced on an annual basis and published in the accounts of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, but the loss does not fall to the Department for Transport.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 40W

The Department for Transport is committed to taking action to support the commitments of the Government's Fraud, Error and Debt Taskforce. One of the taskforce's priority areas is a better assessment of fraud and error risk, and measurement of losses, and the Department is working, with support from the Cabinet Office, to identify fraud and error that was previously unknown.

Heathrow Airport

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she intends to take to improve capacity at Heathrow airport. [109410]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 24 May 2012]:In accordance with our programme for government, the coalition has cancelled plans for a third runway at Heathrow. We are pursuing a number of measures to improve our airports and get the most out of existing capacity. These include:

(i) Taking legislation through the House of Commons to reform airport economic regulation, giving the Civil Aviation Authority much more effective powers to intervene to protect the consumer interest if an airport is failing its passengers;

(ii) Going forward with major improvements to surface access including Crossrail;

(iii) Supporting the work under way by CAA and NATS to enhance airspace management, which has the potential to improve reliability and reduce the need for stacking;

(iv) Progress on the Single European Sky project, including the establishment of the Functional Airspace block for the UK and Ireland, which is already delivering operational benefits;

(v) Reform of aviation security regulation to move to an outcome-focused risk-based approach which is expected to enable security checks to be delivered in a more efficient and passenger-friendly way;

(vi) Phase one of a trial of operational freedoms at Heathrow has taken place. We believe that these measures have the potential to improve operational performance at the airport, as well reducing late night departures, stacking and carbon emissions. Phase two is scheduled to commence on 1 July and a careful assessment of potential benefits and impacts will be made based on the evidence produced by the trial and the public consultation follows.

Highways Agency

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many uninhabited houses the Highways Agency owns in (a) Staffordshire and (b) the UK. [109277]

Mike Penning: On behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), the Highways Agency holds property that may be required for the improvement, management or operation of the trunk road and motorway network in England. The Agency does not own any property in its own right.

The Highways Agency holds 60 uninhabited houses in England, two of which are in Staffordshire.

Of those 60:

24 are in the process of being sold

10 are either in the process of being let or are being advertised for letting

15 either have works under way or have works programmed

11 are currently under review for repair or potential sale

11 Jun 2012 : Column 41W

London Airports

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether she plans to conduct a review of the implementation of the Airports Slot Allocation Regulations 2006; [109489]

(2) whether she has considered the merits of referring the matter of the operation of slot allocation at London airports to the European Commission Competition Authority; [109490]

(3) if she will consider bringing forward proposals to amend the Airports Act 1986 to confer upon the Secretary of State the power to intervene in the allocation of slots at London airports in order to maintain the UK's aviation hub status; [109491]

(4) if she will make it her policy to seek to repatriate from the EU the power to intervene in the allocation of slots at London airports during negotiations on the amendment of the EU Slot Regulation. [109492]

Mrs Villiers: European Union regulations govern the allocation, transfer and exchange of slots at London's slot co-ordinated airports, in accordance with EU competition law. EU Regulation 95/93, which follows the International Air Transport Association World Slot Guidelines, provides common rules throughout Europe for slot allocation, which are aimed at providing airlines with fair and equal access to airports across the EU through independent and transparent slot allocation procedures.

We do not propose to depart from the slot allocation processes prescribed by EU law and we have no current plans to review the Airports Slot Allocation Regulations 2006, which transpose the EU Slot Regulations in the UK. However, the EU rules governing slot allocation are under review as part of the European Commission's Airports Package and the Government are engaging with the Commission and others in the debate on these proposals.

Departmental Staff

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants in her Department are expected to (a) retire, (b) be made redundant and (c) be recruited up to 2015. [110068]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport and its seven Executive agencies do not have a mandatory retirement age, though there are 2,590 staff who will have reached the normal pension age between now and the beginning of 2015.

The Department has no current plans to make any compulsory redundancies up to 2015.

The Department is unable to accurately forecast how many and which jobs may become available in the next three years. In addition, the civil service recruitment freeze requires the Department to consider whether it is necessary to replace vacant positions and whether the skills exist within civil service before recruiting from outside of the service.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants in her Department have (a) been made redundant and (b) taken early

11 Jun 2012 : Column 42W

retirement since May 2010; and how much has been paid in severance to staff leaving her Department since May 2010. [110069]

Norman Baker: The following table gives details of the number of civil servants who have left the Department for Transport and its agencies under redundancy schemes in each financial year since May 2010.

Department/agencyNumberCost (£)

2010-11

  

Department for Transport (centre)

164

13,427,732

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

0

0

Driving Standards Agency

<5

38,931

Maritime Coastguard Agency

7

160,932

Government Car and Dispatch Agency

38

1,341,176

Highways Agency

99

4,270,000

Vehicle Certification Agency

0

0

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

54

3,730,544

   

2011-12

  

Department for Transport (centre)

99

4,256,418

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

0

0

Driving Standards Agency

37

1,486,025

Maritime Coastguard Agency

0

0

Government Car and Dispatch Agency

26

522,837

Highways Agency

0

0

Vehicle Certification Agency

0

0

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

36

803,104

These individuals left the Department under a number of separate redundancy schemes, including in 2010-11 under voluntary early retirement schemes. The availability to leave under voluntary early retirement ended with the change in the rules of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme in December 2010.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has made an estimate of the maximum reduction in civil servants her Department could make without diminishing its operational capabilities; and what representations she has made to the Minister for the Cabinet Office on his proposals to reduce civil servant numbers. [110070]

Norman Baker: The Department has established its resourcing requirements to meet business plan commitments and reduce administration spend in the central Department. Where reductions in staff are being made, consultation has taken place to ensure that front-line services are protected and that these can be achieved without diminishing our capability.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 43W

Departmental Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates (a) she, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in her Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) ResPublica, (v) the Centre for Social Justice and (vi) Policy Exchange; and if she will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. [108963]

Norman Baker: Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations are routinely published every quarter and can be accessed via the following links:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/ministerial-transparency/#meetings

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft-permanent-secretary-meetings-with-external-organisations/

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton of 10 April 2012 with regard to Mr S. Jackson. [109012]

Justine Greening: I have responded to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton.

Mobility Scooters

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department plans to take to ensure that users of mobility scooters are properly trained. [109273]

Norman Baker: As part of the Department for Transport's review of the use of mobility vehicles, I have asked officials to undertake further work with the mobility vehicles industry, training providers, public transport operators and user groups on a range of issues including how to make more use of existing specialist training providers and how to develop and promote training courses.

Motor Vehicles: EU Law

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of evidence used by the European Commission on the level of compliance with emissions limits for (a) L class vehicles and (b) commercial vehicles. [109250]

Mike Penning: We are not aware of any evidence of a lack of compliance with existing regulatory requirements on air pollutant emissions in respect of either L category (2 or 3 wheeled vehicles and quadricycles) or commercial vehicles. The European Commission's proposal to revise technical standards for new L category vehicles includes a package of measures to reduce emissions from these vehicles as existing standards are not as stringent as those of other vehicle categories.

The Government's view is that these measures are not fully justified on air quality or cost benefit grounds and we have therefore been seeking amendments to the proposal to reduce burdens on manufacturers.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 44W

The Government's consultation on the Commission's proposal is available at:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2011-26/dft-2011-26-consultation.pdf

and includes the impact assessment. The consultation period started on 5 September and ran for a period of eight weeks until 28 October.

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of evidence used by the European Commission in respect of compliance with roadworthiness regimes for (a) L3 vehicles and (b) commercial vehicles. [109253]

Mike Penning: There is no recent published evidence to assess. We expect the EC to publish a proposal for new EU rules on vehicle roadworthiness testing this summer and we will examine carefully any impact assessment evidence that is published alongside the proposal.

Motorists Forum

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times her Department's Motorists Forum has met since its creation; when it will present its report; and to which Minister it will report. [110076]

Mike Penning: The Motorists Forum was reformed in summer 2011, and has met three times since that point. It engages regularly with Ministers, and its views on individual topics are communicated as part of regular business. The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), attended the forum in person in November.

The forum has also created a sub-group to give specific advice on the Secretary of State's announcement regarding the garage customer experience. The sub-group has met twice and plans to meet a third time before finalising its report. The main forum will consider the report of the sub-group at its meeting in July before reporting to Ministers.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the terms of reference are of the Motorists' Forum; and what its membership is. [110803]

Mike Penning: The membership and terms of reference are available on the DFT website.

Motorways: Emergency Telephones

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure that the emergency telephone network on motorways is equipped with inductive coupler, volume control and text option. [109636]

Mike Penning: The replacement of approximately 6,500 emergency roadside telephones installed on the motorway and all purpose trunk road network in England was completed in July 2011. The new version emergency roadside telephones that were installed as part of the replacement programme are equipped with inductive coupler, volume control and text facility.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 45W

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from her Department, its non-departmental public bodies and Executive agencies work force to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if she will make a statement. [110189]

Norman Baker: No staff transferred from the Department for Transport to a mutual in 2011-12. We remain open to proposals for the future.

Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on Heathrow airport's preparations for increased passenger numbers during the London 2012 Olympics; [110065]

(2) what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on preparations for increased passenger numbers at Heathrow airport during the London 2012 Paralympics. [110804]

Mrs Villiers: Ministers and officials from both Departments have been involved in discussions on preparing for Olympics and Paralympics arrivals and departures at Heathrow and elsewhere over a number of years.

Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on the administration of her Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109835]

Norman Baker: The expenditure of the Department for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 is contained in Core Table 4 of the published Annual Report and accounts:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft-annual-report-accounts/

HM Treasury published the February 2012 forecast outturn for all Government Departments in the 2012 Budget publication. For the Department for Transport this was a forecast department expenditure limit underspend of £0.44 billion, none of which was transferred to 2012-13 as part of the Budget Exchange scheme.

The Department's 2011-12 year-end position is not yet finalised. HM Treasury will provide an update on the expenditure forecasts of all Government Departments in July in the 2012 Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis.

Parking

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the adequacy of (a) legal and (b) other recourses to settle disputes between public and private parking operators. [109739]

Norman Baker: Parking on private land is subject to contract law. It is ultimately a matter for the courts if a contractual dispute cannot be resolved between the parties concerned. A condition of introducing the provisions in schedule 4 (concerning keeper liability) to the Protection

11 Jun 2012 : Column 46W

of Freedoms Act 2012—which will ban the immobilisation and towing away of vehicles in England and Wales without lawful authority—is that the private parking sector must provide a fully independent appeals service which will cover all tickets issued by private parking operators with accredited access to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency vehicle keeper data. The appeals service will be offered as a free service to motorists, and its decisions will be binding on the industry.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by her Department in each of the last two years. [110505]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport including its seven Executive agencies issued 67 new consultation documents in 2010 and 65 in 2011.

Information relating to circulars could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Railways: Freight

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the impact on open cast coal producers from the increases in the cost of rail haulage as proposed by the Office of Rail Regulation. [110783]

Mrs Villiers: Determining the impact of changes in access charges upon various sections of the train operating market is the responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation, which will carry out its assessment as part of the ongoing Periodic Review 2013 process.

Railways: Penalty Fares

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people travelling on the Integrated Kent Franchise received a penalty notice in the last three years for which figures are available; and how many were overturned on appeal. [109908]

Mrs Villiers: The Department does not hold this information.

Rescue Services

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes in staffing levels have taken place in each coastguard station since May 2010; and what staffing level changes she expects to take place at each coastguard station up to 2015. [110074]

Mike Penning: The following table shows the changes in staffing levels at each Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) (full-time equivalent) between:

1 May 2010 and 24 May 2011

24 May 2011 and March 2015 (Steady state operations for the future HM Coastguard structure)

11 Jun 2012 : Column 47W

11 Jun 2012 : Column 48W

Organisation1 May 201024 May 2011ChangeMarch 2015Change

Aberdeen MRCC

29.00

22.50

-6.50

23

0.50

Belfast MRCC

21.14

22.64

1.50

23

0.36

Brixham MRCC

23.00

20.50

-2.50

0

-20.50

Clyde MRCC

28.14

23.57

-4.57

0

-23.57

Dover MRCC

31.00

23.50

-7.50

28

4.5

Falmouth MRCC

27.00

24.00

-3.00

23

-1.0

Forth MRCC

15.00

14.00

-1.00

0

-14.0

Holyhead MRCC

22.00

21.00

-1.00

23

2.0

Humber MRCC

27.00

27.78

0.78

23

-4.78

Liverpool MRCC

21.50

21.50

0.00

0

-21.50

London Coastguard

7.00

8.00

1.00

6

-2.0

Milford MRCC

24.00

22.00

-2.00

23

1.0

Portland MRCC

25.14

20.14

-5.00

0

-20.14

Shetland MRCC

24.14

19.57

-4.57

23

3.43

Solent MRCC

28.65

27.24

-1.41

0

-27.24

Stornoway MRCC

21.22

22.65

1.43

23

0.35

Swansea MRCC

27.00

22.50

-4.50

0

-22.50

Thames MRCC

22.00

20.60

-1.40

0

-20.60

Yarmouth MRCC

23.02

22.78

-0.24

0

-22.78

National Maritime Operations Centre

0

0

0

96

96

Grand total

446.95

406.47

-40.48

314

92.47

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports her Department has received on coastguard stations needing staff cover to maintain watches since May 2010. [110075]

Mike Penning: Watchkeeping levels are routinely managed by local HM Coastguard managers on an ‘Area’ basis. Where shortfalls occur at individual Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCCs) these are mitigated with the use of:

staff moves between watches;

overtime; or

mutual support from the MRCC’s paired station. (The Area Concept of Operations, introduced in 2005, provides ability for paired MRCCs to provide mutual support for operational, business continuity or training purposes).

For example these local arrangements are currently being deployed in the North East Scotland Area (Forth MRCC/Aberdeen MRCC) to manage reduced manning levels at Forth MRCC prior to its planned closure as part of the Coastguard Modernisation Programme.

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations her Department has received from the (a) European Union, (b) European Council, (c) European Commission, (d) European Parliament and (e) other interested parties on the creation of an integrated EU coastguard service. [110109]

Mike Penning: The idea of an European Union Coastguard was included in the Commission's Maritime Green Paper in 2005 but did not feature in the final Integrated Maritime Policy paper of October 2007. There has been no formal proposal for Commission legislation to create such a body to date although the Commission is undertaking a feasibility study this year.

Rescue Services: Northern Ireland

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of co-operation between the Irish Coastguard and search and rescue missions in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement. [109325]

Mike Penning: Joint operational arrangements between neighbouring states, to ensure rapid response to persons in danger or difficulty, are internationally accepted good practice. HM Coastguard makes use of any vessel, aircraft, service or capability that can provide a response to an emergency. UK-based resources also provide reciprocal assistance to the Irish Republic when requested and available.

Risk Assessment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by her Department; and if she will make a statement. [107470]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport holds distinct strategic risk registers with respect to the following policy areas:

The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme

Rail Reform and the Rail High Level Output Statement

Low emission vehicles.

Road Works

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to her Department's Structural Reform Plan, April 2012 Update, for what reason her Department's plan to end the need for Government approval of individual local authorities' permit schemes has not been completed. [109877]

Norman Baker: A statement of the reason for the delay has already been published through the Department's April 2012 Business Plan Update, available at:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/business-plan-2011-2015/progress-update-1204.pdf

Roads: Safety

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to her Department's Strategic Framework for Road Safety, what steps have been taken with respect to point 4.22 of the Framework to develop a further training scheme for older drivers. [109255]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 49W

Mike Penning: In paragraph 4.22 of the Strategic Framework we identified a desire to work with the voluntary sector representing the elderly on this. We will be taking this work forward in due course.

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department has taken in respect of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety to date; and what further steps are planned for implementation of the strategy. [109256]

Mike Penning: Since the publication of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety in May 2011, the Department has taken a series of important steps to implement proposals set out in the framework. They include steps on all three of the thematic chapters of the framework.

1. ‘improving road safety together': preparatory work for the launch of a road safety comparison site, a road safety observatory, a speed limit assessment tool and a revised speed limit circular is well advanced and on track for completion this year.

2. ‘education': we have already made changes to the driving tests and changes to the educational scheme for drink drive offenders are progressing towards implementation.

3. ‘targeted enforcement and sanctions': preparatory work on the introduction of fixed penalty notices for careless driving and increased penalty fines is well-advanced and legislation to create a specific drug impaired driving offence has been published.

The Department will continue implementation of these and other measures as set out in the Strategic Framework.

Rolling Stock

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she decided to reduce the number of carriages as part of the Intercity Express programme; for what reasons the decision was taken; and when Parliament was informed. [110694]

Mrs Villiers: Following the Foster review, the spending review and a subsequent value for money appraisal against the alternatives, the then Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), informed Parliament of the decision to take forward a revised, lower cost proposal for the Intercity Express Programme from Agility Trains on 1 March 2011.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when financial close for the (a) Thameslink contract and (b) IEP contract will be completed. [R] [109630]

Mrs Villiers: The Department expects to conclude the core project agreements for the Thameslink rolling stock with Siemens and Cross London Trains shortly. Financial close is expected during the summer.

Negotiations on the Intercity Express Programme are now in their final stages. We aim to reach financial close for the Great Western Main Line fleet during the summer.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when her Department expects to finalise the location of depots for the intercity express programme fleets for the (a) Great Western and (b) east coast main line. [110071]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 50W

Mrs Villiers: Financial close for the Great Western main line fleet and commercial close for the east coast main line fleet of the intercity express programme (IEP) are being targeted to occur during the summer. The location of depots is a matter for the preferred bidder, Agility Trains, which has already stated publicly that it is planning depots at Swansea, Stoke Gifford, near Bristol, and North Pole in west London along the Great Western main line.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate her Department has made of the minimum order of intercity express programme carriages which would be needed to justify a UK assembly facility. [110072]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport welcomes the decision by Hitachi to build a new factory at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham where the new trains will be assembled. The minimum order of IEP carriages which would be needed to justify a UK assembly facility is a matter for Hitachi, and not the Department, to decide.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department has made representations to the French Government on levies charged on UK-bound trains by the French rail infrastructure manager RFF. [110073]

Mrs Villiers: No—charges levied by the French infrastructure manager Réseau Ferré de France are a matter for it and the users of the French rail network. However, all such charges have to comply with EU legislation.

Shipping

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to respond to the conclusions of the legal working group on application of the National Minimum Wage Act 1988 to seafarers working on non-UK registered vessels travelling between UK ports; and if she will make a statement. [109479]

Mike Penning: A legal working group has now concluded its consideration of the application of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to seafarers working on non-UK registered vessels travelling between UK ports. The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb), will be responding to the conclusions of the working group in the near future.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South (Mr Hancock) of 23 March 2012, Official Report, column 912W, on shipping: EU law, what assessment she has made of the extent to which the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 will prevent social dumping in the (a) shipping and (b) offshore industries; and if she will place in the Library a copy of any such assessment. [109481]

Mike Penning: The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 addresses fair competition and should hinder social dumping through the creation of a level playing field across the international shipping industry.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 51W

The convention provides that ships of non-ratifying countries should have “no more favourable treatment” in the ports of ratifying countries. The impact assessments which we have prepared in support of the proposed UK regulations to implement the MLC, which will be published as part of the consultation package of implementing legislation, will include the impact of applying the convention's provisions to ships of non-ratifying flags.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South (Mr Hancock) of 23 March 2012, Official Report, column 912W, on shipping: EU law, whether UK ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 will result in the MLC applying to all seafarers working on all vessels in UK territorial waters irrespective of (a) seafarer nationality and (b) flag of state. [109482]

Mike Penning: The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 will provide comprehensive rights and protection at work for all seafarers regardless of their nationality and the flag of their ship when working on ships to which the MLC applies, as defined in article II of the convention.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she holds regular meetings with ministerial colleagues in the Ministry of Defence to discuss (a) flagging and (b) employment trends in the Merchant Navy; and when she attended the last such meeting. [R] [109627]

Mike Penning: We do not meet with ministerial colleagues in the Ministry of Defence regularly to discuss either flagging or employment trends in the Merchant Navy. The Government's policies are designed to support a strong UK shipping register and Merchant Navy.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2012, Official Report, column 876W, on shipping: treaties, what legal advice she has received on the Maritime Labour Convention 2006; and if she will place in the Library a copy of any such advice. [R] [109628]

Mike Penning: As a matter of general policy, and in keeping with the approach taken by other public bodies, the Department does not disclose any legal advice it may receive, and does not disclose whether any such advice has been sought or obtained in any particular case.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2012, Official Report, column 876W, on shipping: treaties, with which requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 the UK is already compliant; what recent meetings she has had with (a) the shipping industry and (b) trade unions at which UK compliance was discussed; how many such meetings there have been since May 2010; and on what dates any such discussions have taken place. [R] [109629]

Mike Penning: There are a number of areas in which the UK is already fully compliant with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006; these include Titles 1.2,

11 Jun 2012 : Column 52W

1.3, 2.3, 2.7 and 4.5. In addition, current legislation already complies with a number of provisions within the other Titles. Where amendments to existing legislation or new provisions are required, the Government will consult. A first package of such measures will be issued for public consultation shortly.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency continues to chair meetings of a tripartite working group to keep the shipping industry and trade unions informed of progress with UK implementation of the MLC and to address any concerns expressed by stakeholders. Since May 2010, the working group has met on nine occasions as follows: May 2010, July 2010, September 2010, November 2010, January 2011, April 2011, June 2011, November 2011 and March 2012.

Shipping: Treaties

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on ratification of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea treaty of international rules revising the legal and political framework for maritime carriage of goods; and if she will make a statement. [R] [110634]

Mike Penning: This Government support the principle of consolidating, harmonising and modernising existing rules governing the carriage of goods by sea.

The last Administration set up a stakeholder working group to bring together the various sectors of the UK maritime industry to assist the Government in making the right decision regarding ratification of this convention, commonly known as the ‘Rotterdam Rules’. However, this group was unable to reach any consensus of opinion.

In these circumstances, the Government are continuing to monitor international reaction to this convention, and will review their position if and when other leading maritime and trading nations ratify it. To date, only one state has done so.

Sickness Absence

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many days of sick leave were taken by staff in her Department in each of the last three years. [106445]

Norman Baker: The central Department and its seven executive agencies recorded the following in respect of staff sickness absence during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 calendar years:

 Total absence daysTotal absence days for DfTc

2009

153,992

10,404

2010

146,233

9,189

2011

133,355

7,585

These figures were calculated according to reporting guidelines provided by the Cabinet Office, to whom we report on a quarterly basis.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 53W

South West Trains

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to her Department's press notice of 8 May 2012, entitled Extra carriages mean more seats for commuters, whether the three new South Western Trains AM peak suburban services lengthened from eight cars to 10 cars will be added to the Reading to Waterloo service route. [109965]

Mrs Villiers: No. The three lengthened morning peak services referred to will be two originating from Guildford and one from Woking. Passengers from Reading will benefit from two new eight-car morning peak services that were announced on 23 December 2011.

Thames Estuary Airport

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the effect of an airport in the Thames Estuary on airspace management. [110604]

Mrs Villiers: The Department has made no such assessment since the publication of The Future of Air Transport White Paper in 2003. Prior to that date there was some consideration of airspace issues as part of the study into potential new airport sites in south east England but no detailed assessment was produced by the Department.

We intend to consult in the summer on a draft sustainable framework for UK aviation. Alongside this we intend to publish a call for evidence on maintaining the UK's international aviation connectivity.

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she or her officials have received representations from the French, Belgium and Dutch governments on the potential effect of an airport in the Thames Estuary on French, Belgian or Dutch airspace. [110606]

Mrs Villiers: No such representations have been received. We intend to consult in the summer on a draft sustainable framework for UK aviation. Alongside this we intend to publish a call for evidence on maintaining the UK's international aviation connectivity.

Transport

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment her Department has made of the contribution of the transportation sector to the UK economy. [109851]

Mike Penning: The National Accounts, published by the Office of National Statistics, record and describe economic activity in the United Kingdom, including an analysis of gross value added by industry. The most recent data for 2009 for transport and storage give a value of £61.9 billion.

The most recent publication can be found at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/naa1-rd/united-kingdom-national-accounts/2011-edition/index.html

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Bus Travel: North East

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the volume of passenger journeys in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since 2010; [110144]

(2) what assessment she has made of the level and adequacy of bus services in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK following the reductions in the bus service operator's grant. [110145]

Norman Baker: Statistics on bus passenger journeys, vehicle miles and fares can be found online at

http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/series/buses/

Statistics for 2011-12, will be published in the autumn. Around 78% of bus services are provided commercially, with the remainder generated by local authority tender.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for what reason he proposes to bring forward the start of individual electoral registration from 2014-15. [110521]

Mr Harper: The Government are committed to restoring trust in our political system. There is a widespread concern about electoral fraud in this country—a survey carried out at the end of last year by the Electoral Commission found that 36% of people believed that electoral fraud was a problem. This is a serious issue which we need to address. The Commission's report can be found at:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/146998/2011-Public-Opinion-Winter-Research-Topline.pdf

When we came to office we were not convinced that that previous legislation was the best way to implement Individual Electoral Registration. It would have led to confusion and would have had a very significant cost. By speeding up the move to a new system we think it will be clearer and easier to communicate to people what we are doing, and save a significant sum of money.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he has made an assessment of public perceptions of electoral registration fraud. [110530]

Mr Harper: The Cabinet Office has not made any recent assessment of public perceptions of electoral registration fraud. However the Electoral Commission carried out a survey at the end of last year that found that 36% of people believed that electoral fraud was a problem. While reporting by Association of Chief Police Officers and the Commission indicates that proven instances of fraud are low, public perception remains high and this is a serious issue that we need to address. That is why we are investing to speed up the implementation of Individual Electoral Registration.

The Commission's report can be found at:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/146998/2011-Public-Opinion-Winter-Research-Topline.pdf

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House of Lords: Reform

Guto Bebb: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effect of his proposals for reform of the House of Lords on the relationship between the House of Lords and the devolved administrations. [108801]

Mr Harper: There is no direct constitutional relationship between the House of Lords and the devolved Administrations.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent representations he has received on House of Lords reform. [109329]

Mr Harper: The Government have received more than 2,000 representations since the publication of their White Paper and draft House of Lords Reform Bill in May last year. The majority are concerned with the question of reserved places for Church of England Bishops in a reformed House of Lords.

Prisoners: Voting Rights

Priti Patel: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what steps the Government are taking in respect of the voting rights of prisoners following the judgement given in the Scoppola v Italy (No.3) case by the European Court of Human Rights in May 2012; whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals as a result of the case; and if he will make a statement; [109754]

(2) with reference to the judgement given in the Scoppola v Italy (No.3) case by the European Court of Human Rights in May 2012 to which categories of prisoner he proposes to grant the right to vote; and whether he plans to grant prisoners the right to vote based on the (a) type of offence their conviction relates to and (b) length of time they are serving in custody. [109755]

Mr Harper: The judgment in the case of Scoppola v. Italy (No. 3) was received on 22 May 2012. The Government will consider the judgment carefully, and its implication on the issue of prisoner voting in the UK.

Attorney-General

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General how many letters to Ministers in the Law Officers’ Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. [109434]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is contained in the following tables.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 56W

Non MP correspondence
 Number of lettersNot answeredNot answered within six monthsNot answered within three months

2010

1,240

0

2

2

2011

1,449

0

0

0

2012(1)

710

0

0

0

MP correspondence
 Number of lettersNot answeredNot answered within six monthsNot answered within three months

2010

150

0

0

1

2011

153

0

0

0

2012(1)

86

0

0

0

(1) Up to end of April.

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members’ correspondence. The report for 2011 was published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 30-33WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

Driving Offences: Prosecutions

Karl McCartney: To ask the Attorney-General how many uninsured drivers were prosecuted in (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) 2011. [110675]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of uninsured drivers prosecuted in (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) 2011. This information could be obtained only by examining all of the CPS's cases files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Records held by the CPS identify the number of offences charged under section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (use of a motor vehicle not insured or secured against third-party risks) in which a prosecution commenced rather than the number of defendants prosecuted. The data have been maintained since 2005. Prior to 2005 there were no central data. The number of offences prosecuted by the CPS in 2011 was 63,183. This figure represents only those cases prosecuted by the CPS. The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Specified Proceedings) Order 1999 allows the police to prosecute uninsured drivers without reference to the CPS. The CPS does not maintain a central record of police prosecutions.

Karl McCartney: To ask the Attorney-General what the average size was of each fraudulent insurance claim for which drivers were prosecuted in the years (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) 2011. [110786]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the monetary value of fraudulent insurance claims for which defendants were prosecuted. This information could be obtained only by examining all of the CPS’s cases files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

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Karl McCartney: To ask the Attorney-General how many drivers were prosecuted for making fraudulent insurance claims in the years (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) 2011. [110787]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of drivers prosecuted for making fraudulent insurance claims. This information could be obtained only by examining all of the CPS’s case files, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Empty Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list the empty or largely empty buildings owned by the Law Officers' Departments; and if he will make a statement. [110834]

The Solicitor-General: The Law Officer's Departments do not own any empty buildings.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General how many buildings owned by the Law Officers' Departments and the bodies for which he is responsible have been empty for more than two years; and if he will make a statement. [110872]

The Solicitor-General: None.

Fraud

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General what estimate he has made of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting the Law Officers' Department's spending in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [110183]

The Solicitor-General: In 2010-11 the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lost £18,000 through the misuse of a stolen mobile phone. The CPS had no other instances of procurement or other fraud during the last two financial years. The loss did not have a material impact on CPS spending.

The remaining Law Officers' Departments have not identified any fraud affecting its spending during the last two financial years.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from the Law Officers’ Departments and their Executive agency workforce to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110204]

The Solicitor-General: The information is as follows:

(a) None

(b) There are no plans for staff to transfer to a mutual in 2012-13.

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Northern Ireland

Debts Written Off

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much bad debt was written off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [110211]

Mr Swire: The Northern Ireland Office did not write off any bad debt in 2010-11 or 2011-12.

Departmental Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what target he has set to reduce headcount across his Department and non-departmental public bodies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110232]

Mr Swire: The Northern Ireland Office keeps its staffing levels under regular review. Vacancies are only filled when there is judged to remain a business case to do so.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. Both public bodies are independent of Government and the hon. Gentleman may wish to write to the commissions directly on these matters.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from his Department and its non-departmental public bodies' workforce to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110191]

Mr Swire: No staff in my Department transferred to a mutual during 2011-12. I am not aware of any such transfers which may take place in 2012-13.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. Both public bodies are independent of Government and the hon. Gentleman may wish to write to the commissions directly on these matters.

Pay

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff working for his Department and its non-departmental public bodies are employed through off-payroll engagements costing less than £58,200 per annum; and if he will make a statement. [110828]

Mr Swire: The Northern Ireland Office employs four people through off-payroll engagements costing less than £58,200 per annum.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. Both public bodies are independent of Government and the hon. Gentleman may wish to write to the commissions directly on these matters.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 59W

Scotland

Sovereignty

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions and correspondence he has had with the Scottish Government on the transitional arrangements following the devolution of stamp duty under the Scotland Act 2012. [110583]

David Mundell: The UK and Scottish Governments are working together through the Joint Exchequer Committee to ensure the successful implementation of the measures introduced by the Scotland Act 2012, including the arrangements to devolve stamp duty land tax. The next meeting of the Joint Exchequer Committee will be prior to the summer recess.

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether there was any discussion at the Joint Ministerial Conference held on 23 May 2012 on the transfer of (a) stamp duty, (b) income tax powers and (c) any further devolved powers to the Scottish Government following the passage of the Scotland Act 2012. [110689]

David Mundell: The devolution of stamp duty land tax, the arrangements for a new Scottish rate of income tax and further devolved powers were not discussed at the Joint Ministerial Committee held on 23 May 2012.

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether there was any discussion at the Joint Ministerial Conference held on 23 May 2012 on the recent UK Government consultation on the holding of a referendum on independence for Scotland. [110690]

David Mundell: The UK Government's recent consultation on Scotland's constitutional future was not discussed at the Joint Ministerial Committee held on 23 May 2012.

Linear Park, Invergordon

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Crown Estate about Linear Park, Invergordon; and if he will make a statement. [110584]

Michael Moore: I am aware of concerns in relation to Linear Park, Invergordon and discussions are ongoing with the Crown Estate at official level. I intend to meet my hon. Friend and the Crown Estate on this matter as soon as practicable.

Third Sector

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues in the Cabinet Office on the operation of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund in Scotland. [110581]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 60W

David Mundell: The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund is England only and is funded by the Cabinet Office. A company may apply if they are based in and operate within England only.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a wide range of issues concerning social investment. Recently, the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner (Mr Hard) visited Scotland where he visited a community based social enterprise before speaking to and meeting with delegates at a national event in Perth which looked at social investment opportunities and how the Big Society Capital will operate across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Wales

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many letters to Ministers in her Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if she will make a statement. [109443]

Mr David Jones: None. The Cabinet Office reports on the performance of Departments and their agencies in handling Members' and Peers' correspondence in calendar years. Details for 2011 are set out on 15 March 2012, Official Report, column 31WS. Correspondence statistics for 2010 can be found on 28 March 2011, Official Report, 1WS.

The Wales Office publishes performance on its handling of correspondence as part of the Department's annual reports.

Debts Written Off

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much bad debt was written off by her Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [110207]

Mr David Jones: None.

Empty Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if she will list the empty or largely empty buildings owned by her Office; and if she will make a statement. [110851]

Mr David Jones: None.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many buildings owned by her Department and the bodies for which she is responsible have been empty for more than two years; and if she will make a statement. [110870]

Mr David Jones: None.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 61W

Fraud

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate she has made of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting her Department's spending in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [110166]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office generally uses the procurement contracts awarded by the Ministry of Justice. We have had no evidence of any fraud affecting the Wales Office in 2010-11 or 2011-12.

Departmental Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what target she has set to reduce headcount across her Department in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if she will make a statement. [110227]

Mr David Jones: All staff in the Wales Office are employees of other Government Departments, mainly the Ministry of Justice and the Welsh Government. The Wales Office keeps its headcount under constant review to ensure that the most efficient use is made of public resources.

International Development

Chad

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his most recent estimate is of the number of people living in poverty in Chad. [109524]

Mr O'Brien: According to the latest available data from the World Bank (2003), it is estimated that 62% out of a total population of 11.2 million are living below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many letters to Ministers in his Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. [109450]

Mr Duncan: DFID is not aware of any letters that fall into categories (a), (b) or (c).

I would direct the hon. Member to the annual report to Parliament on the performance of Government Departments in replying to Members' correspondence, which was published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 31-33WS.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government is taking to publicise amongst businesses its online research tool for UK companies trading in minerals from conflict-affected areas of Democratic Republic of Congo, or whose products include components with such minerals. [109096]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 62W

Mr Bellingham: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) launched the conflict minerals website on 29 March 2011 at a trade event for British businesses trading in minerals sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the time of the launch we promoted the site widely, using social media channels and have advertised it periodically on the main FCO web page since then. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' web page covering the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development risk awareness tool has a link to the conflict minerals website.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what meetings he attended during his recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. [110666]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: During my visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) I met with:

1. The Governor of Katanga Moïse Katumbi Chapwe and his Cabinet, to discuss priorities for the province and the UK development programme in DRC.

2. Senior Management from Tenke-Fungurume Mining during a visit to their mine, to better understand constraints in the business environment in DRC.

3. Ciaran Donnelly, Director of International Rescue Committee (IRC) DRC, who led a visit to Nkumanwa village, to show how UK funding is supporting community recovery and have the opportunity to meet with beneficiaries.

4. The embassy and Department for International Development (DFID) teams in DRC, to discuss the UK development programme.

5. The Chinese Ambassador in DRC, to explore opportunities for collaborative working.

6. President Joseph Kabila, President of the DRC, to discuss development priorities in the DRC and promote increased transparency and accountability, especially in the mining sector, and private sector development.

7. Major General Adrian Foster, Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), to discuss the security situation and humanitarian impact of recent operations.

8. A selection of private sector actors from a range of industries (Vodacom, Citibank, Rio Tinto, British American Tobacco, Anglo American, Bralima), to explore the opportunities and challenges in the business environment.

9. Representatives from humanitarian agencies to receive an update on the situation in DRC.

10. Opposition party representatives, Albert Moleka, Thomas Luhaka, Vital Kamerhe and Samy Badibanga, to discuss the elections and the future role of opposition in promoting democracy and accountability in DRC.

Developing Countries: Sanitation

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the outcomes of the sanitation and water for all meeting, what further steps he plans to take to help developing countries meet the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation. [109247]

Mr O'Brien: Access to sanitation is one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In light of this the UK Government have recently announced

11 Jun 2012 : Column 63W

that we will double the commitments on water, sanitation and hygiene that we made last year.

We will focus on providing access to basic services through low-cost technologies such as communal hand pumps and pit latrines. We will achieve this through a range of measures, including challenging charities and the private sector to compete for support on the basis of the value for money they offer.

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the recent Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington. [109738]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: I attended the Sanitation and Water for All high-level meeting in Washington on 20 April 2012. It was attended by more than 60 ministers responsible for finance, sanitation and hygiene portfolios from both developed and developing countries. It led to a number of critical commitments to enhance support for global access to sanitation and water. These included a pledge from the UK to double the commitment on water, sanitation and hygiene that we made last year.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of an announcement that the world had met the Millennium Development Goal target for improved drinking water sources. The attendees noted the success of this achievement but it was evident that much more needed to be done.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many publications have been issued by his Department since May 2010. [109820]

Mr Duncan: Since May 2010, DFID has issued 243 publications on its departmental website

www.dfid.gov.uk

Of these, over 220 were published by DFID at no additional cost, in an electronic only format. Where possible, DFID issues all of its publications at low or zero additional cost.

Sudan: South Sudan

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the humanitarian aid situation in the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains regions between Sudan and South Sudan. [109233]

Mr O'Brien: The latest report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that over 500,000 people have been displaced or severely affected by the conflicts in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan, which includes the Nuba Mountains. Of these, more than 140,000 are refugees in South Sudan and Ethiopia. I was also able to discuss the humanitarian situation with Sudanese Bishop Macram Max Gassis when we met earlier this month. It is likely that without a cessation of hostilities the humanitarian situation will only worsen. We continue to press the Government of Sudan and the rebel militias in these areas to cease hostilities and permit access for humanitarian agencies to those that most need it. DFID remains committed to

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providing humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict, including through contributions to the Common Humanitarian Funds in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Leader of the House

Pensions

Chris Leslie: To ask the Leader of the House what the pension entitlement is of the holder of the post of (a) Lord Chancellor and (b) Secretary of State for Justice; and if he will make a statement. [109608]

Sir George Young: Details of the Lord Chancellor's pension and the pension arrangements for other offices of state are published annually in the Consolidated Fund (CF) Accounts. The Consolidated Accounts for 2010-11 may be found at the following link:

www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1012/hc12/1290/1290.pdf

The entitlement is half of the entitled salary per year and is payable from leaving office for life in accordance with provisions set out in legislation.

The current Lord Chancellor, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), has waived his legislative pension entitlement and has agreed instead to take a pension in line with the benefits paid under the Ministerial Pension Scheme (as set out in the Parliamentary Pensions (Consolidation and Amendment) Regulations 1993).

Where the role of the Secretary of State for Justice is held by the Lord Chancellor, there is no additional pension entitlement as set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (Schedule 6, 17 (3)). Where this is not the case, benefits are paid under the Ministerial Pension Scheme (as set out in the Parliamentary Pensions (Consolidation and Amendment) Regulations 1993).

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to ban multi-buy promotions for alcohol in England and Wales. [110034]

James Brokenshire: On 23 March, the Government launched their Alcohol Strategy, which included a commitment to consult on a ban on multi-buy promotions in shops. The Government will consult on this proposal in the forthcoming months.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many breaches of stand-alone antisocial behaviour orders have resulted in custodial sentences in each of the last five years; [108900]

(2) what sentences were awarded to individuals who breached stand-alone antisocial behaviour orders in each of the last five years; [108905]

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(3) how many stand-alone antisocial behaviour orders have been breached in each of the last five years. [108906]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 22 May 2012]:The number of ‘stand-alone' antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) proved in court to have been breached, together with the type of sentence received, in each year between 2006 and 2010 (the latest year for which data are currently available) can be viewed in the following table.

ASBO data for 2011 are planned for publication on 18 October 2012.

Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) proved at all courts in England and Wales to have been breached for the first time within the periods shown(1) with sentence breakdown, 2006-10
ASBOs having been issued on application:200620072008(2)20092010

Breached(3)

662

636

505

512

484

      

Sentence received:

     

Immediate custody(4)

120

95

114

102

96

Community sentence

284

285

209

223

173

Fine

84

87

72

92

100

Discharge(5)

35

36

35

25

28

Otherwise Dealt With(6)

139

133

75

70

87

(1) ASBOs may be breached more than once and in more than one year. In this table ASBOs are counted once only within the period when they were first breached. Therefore only the sentence received on the occasion that the first breach was proved in court is shown in this table. (2) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August 2008. (3 )This table only counts breaches of ASBOs issued on application by magistrates courts acting in their civil capacity and county courts. These are sometimes referred to as ‘stand-alone' ASBOs. Breaches of ASBOs issued following conviction are not included in this table. (4) Includes: Detention and Training Orders; Young Offenders Institute and unsuspended imprisonment. (5) Discharge includes absolute and conditional discharges. (6) The category Otherwise Dealt With (ODW) includes; one day in police cells; disqualification order; restraining order; confiscation order; travel restriction order; disqualification from driving; hospital order; recommendation for deportation; and other miscellaneous disposals. Note: ASBO breach data are compiled by matching records of ASBOs issued with ASBOs breached. The nature of this matching process means that previously published ASBO breach data are subject to minor revision. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.