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Housing: Insulation

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what definition of a hard to treat cavity wall his Department uses; and how many hard to treat cavity walls his Department estimates have not yet been insulated. [110086]

Gregory Barker: Generally for statistical purposes DECC consider the following types of cavity walls to be hard to treat:

Narrow cavity—Masonry cavities that are less than 50 mm wide.

Concrete construction—Prefabricated concrete constructions systems with cavities.

Metal frame construction—Metal frame construction systems with cavities.

Random stone cavity—Uneven cavities formed in walls constructed of natural stone outer leaf and block/brick inner leaf.

Timber frame uninsulated studwork cavity (also has a masonry cavity, which must not be filled).

Too high, more than four storeys tall.

Exposed to severe wind driven rain.

Wall fault in its outer leaf which would need to be remediated before filling.

The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation Impact Assessment and draft Secondary Legislation, due to be published shortly, will set out the types and numbers of cavity walls remaining to be insulated and which of these would be eligible for support through the Green Deal and ECO programmes.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department has made an estimate of the number of empty lofts which have not yet been insulated. [110087]

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Gregory Barker: The latest publicly available estimate of lofts without insulation in Great Britain is 779,000 in 2009. A significant proportion of these lofts are expected to have now been filled, primarily under the carbon emissions reduction target, the community energy saving programme and Warm Front. The Government's latest view of the current number of lofts without insulation will be published in the Green Deal and enegy company obligation Impact Assessment.

Hunterston B Power Station

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on how many occasions the Office for Nuclear Regulation inspected the Hunterston B nuclear plant in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 to date. [109375]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) carries out site inspections in line with its planned inspection programme. The number of planned inspections were:

2010—24 planned inspections;

2011—46 planned inspections; and

2012—nine planned inspections so far.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Office for Nuclear Regulation last inspected the Hunterston B nuclear power plant. [109376]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation's site inspector last visited Hunterston B on 21 May 2012 to carry out safety inspections.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Office for Nuclear Regulation next plans to inspect the Hunterston B nuclear power plant. [109377]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) inspectors visit operating nuclear plants monthly. The next scheduled inspection at Hunterston B will take place in June 2012.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the safety provisions at the Hunterston B nuclear power plant. [109378]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) assessment is that Hunterston B is achieving a satisfactory level of compliance with regulatory requirements, although there are some areas for improvement. These are being followed up as part of normal regulatory business.

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Industry Contact Group On Distributed Energy

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will publish a list of the members of the Industry Contact Group on Distributed Energy, together with the date, agenda and minutes of all the Group's meetings to date. [110667]

Gregory Barker: The Industry Contact Group on Distributed energy has met twice, most recently on 2 February. I will shortly be publishing attendees, agendas and minutes of those meetings that have already taken place, and will do for future meetings, on the DECC website.

Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy that the UK Government delegation to the 35th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in July 2012 should propose an amendment to the proposed revision to Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC to include all the lead authors' responses to review comments in what will be made available to all reviewers on request during the review process. [110599]

Gregory Barker: The proposed revision to the IPCC Procedures is to correct an error which occurred at the 33rd Session of the IPCC by re-insertion of the text

“All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process”.

The details are contained in document IPCC-XXXV/Doc. 11, available on the website of the IPCC

http://www.ipcc.ch/

As all reviewers of the First Order Draft of an IPCC report have the opportunity to see how their comments have been addressed if they opt to review the Second Order Draft, the UK has no plans to propose an amendment to the above revision to Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will make it his policy that the UK Government delegation to the 35th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in July 2012 should propose that the IPCC withdraw its confidentiality decision from its 33rd Session due to its fundamental principle that its assessment process is to be open and transparent. [110600]

Gregory Barker: The IPCC's decision at its 33rd Session balanced its aims for an open and transparent scientific assessment process with the risk of undermining the process through premature public release of draft reports. I am content with that decision and we have no plans to propose that the IPCC should withdraw it.

Departmental Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what target he has set to reduce headcount across his Department and non-departmental

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public bodies in

(a)

2010-11,

(b)

2011-12 and

(c)

2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110238]

Gregory Barker: The planned headcount for DECC and its arm's length bodies

(a) increased by 9% in 2010-11 compared to the previous year;

(b) reduced by 5% in 2011-12 compared to the previous year; and

(c) reduced by 6% in 2012/13 compared to the previous year.

The increase in 2010-11 reflected the fact that DECC was a new Department that was still establishing its corporate functions and developing new programmes. The majority of the reduction in the subsequent two years is because DECC reduced and then ended its arm's length relationship with the Carbon Trust and Energy Savings Trust. DECC continues to work with these bodies on a contractual basis but it no longer finances and funds them. As a result they are no longer considered by the Treasury to be part of DECC for budgetary control purposes. By the end of the current spending review period in 2014-15, staff numbers are planned to fall by 23% for DECC and its arm's length bodies compared to the baseline year of 2009-10.

There are planned increases in staff numbers of 2% in 2011-12 and 4% in 2012-13 as DECC makes the transition from a policy based Department to a delivery based Department. Numbers for DECC and its arm's length bodies (excluding the Carbon Trust and Energy Savings Trust) are then planned to fall by 7% in 2013-14 compared to the prior year and by 8% in 2014-15 compared to the previous year.

The preceding figures exclude the Civil Nuclear Police Authority which is a self-financing body where force numbers are planned to grow in response to increased activity commissioned by nuclear operating companies.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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. [110198]

Gregory Barker: Neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change nor any of the non-departmental bodies for which it is responsible transferred any staff to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 nor plan to transfer any in (b) 2012-13.

Natural Gas

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 681, on shale gas, if he will place a transcript of the seminar on shale gas in the Library. [109722]

Charles Hendry: It is not Government policy to release details of ministerial meetings with external parties as to do so could hinder open discussion between those parties and Government.

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Natural Gas: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 690, what discussions he has had with Ministers in the Welsh Government on hydraulic fracturing in Wales; and whether Ministers in the Welsh Government have requested that they be given responsibility for taking the final decision on whether to grant permission for hydraulic fracturing to take place in Wales. [109119]

Charles Hendry: DECC Ministers have discussions from time to time with Ministers in the Welsh Government on a range of issues, and there is similarly regular liaison between Welsh Government officials and the Department. Representatives from the Welsh Government and other devolved bodies are included in the regular shale gas liaison teleconferences which my officials hold with other key regulators. This includes the Health and Safety Executive, the respective devolved Administrations and their counterpart environmental delivery bodies, such as the Environment Agency, as some environmental regulations are devolved matters.

As with all other proposals for oil and gas developments, proposals for shale gas exploration or extraction are subject to the requirements of the Town and Country Planning Act administered by the planning authority for the area in which the development is located. Planning is a devolved function in Wales and therefore it would be for the relevant planning authority to consider any application in the first instance. However Welsh Ministers have the power to call in an application if they consider it necessary.

The consent of the Department is also required for all drilling or production operations for oil and gas. This is given only once planning permission has been obtained.

Nuclear Power Stations: EU Law

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the European Commission on the extent to which revenue support for new nuclear under his proposals for electricity market reform is consistent with EU law on subsidies for new nuclear power stations. [110542]

Charles Hendry: We are considering how the electricity market reforms interact with State Aid, and are engaging closely with the European Commission to ensure the policy is consistent with the appropriate rules.

Offshore Industry: Safety

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect on safety in the offshore energy sector of the practical difficulties for trade unions of gaining access to workplaces on offshore installations; and if he will bring forward proposals to address such difficulties. [108818]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have recently made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989 and concluded that general compliance with these requirements, which help to ensure workforce involvement offshore, was good. Any practical difficulties that trade unions face in gaining access to workplaces on offshore installations were not raised as issues affecting offshore health and safety standards or specifically as negatively impacting on the effectiveness of existing offshore safety representatives and safety committee requirements. Therefore, HSE is not proposing to bring forward any proposals to address this issue.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guidance he provides to employers in the offshore energy sector on the election of safety representatives; and what his policy is on offshore safety representatives appointed by trade unions. [108819]

Chris Grayling: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides employers and safety representatives with a guide to the Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989, which is available free on HSE's website. This outlines the election process for the appointment of safety representatives on offshore installations. These regulations and the supporting guidance provide for the appointment of safety representatives through a process of election by secret ballot.

To be eligible a person must be willing to stand and must be nominated and seconded by their offshore installation colleagues. HSE recognises that both non-unionised safety representatives and those from trade unions can make an effective contribution to offshore worker involvement in health and safety, which is an important element of effective health and safety management.

Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much was spent on the administration of his Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109839]

Gregory Barker: Administration costs are reported in the Department's published annual accounts. Expenditure was £100.1 million in 2009-10 and £96.9 million in 2010-11. These costs relate only to the core Department. From the start of the current spending review in 2011-12, arm's length bodies were brought into the administration costs regime so costs will not be directly comparable to earlier years. Administration costs for 2011-12 are still draft and subject to audit. They will be published in July 2012 in the DECC Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12 (HC63).

Pay

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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. [110830]

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Gregory Barker: Neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) nor any of the non-departmental public bodies, for which it is responsible, hold this information centrally. Commissioning and collating this information would incur disproportionate costs.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department in each of the last two years. [110514]

Gregory Barker: Updates are sent directly to stakeholders by our communications directorate, by policy teams, and automatically to those signed up to receive website alerts. No central record is kept of these.

The Department has issued the following number of consultations in each of the last two years:

31 consultations between May 2010 and April 2011;

36 consultations between May 2011 and May 2012.

Radioactive Materials

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the licensing process of the National Nuclear Laboratory to refine, sell and export non-prolific nuclear material. [109824]

Mr Prisk: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

I understand your question relates to the substance Americium-241, the export of which requires an export licence issued by the Export Control Organisation (ECO) within BIS. All such export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the ECO against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. A licence will not be issued if to do so would contravene the criteria. The ECO has not received any export licence applications from the National Nuclear Laboratory for this substance therefore no such assessment has been made.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1222W, on heating: radioactive materials, what radionuclides are expected to be present in the returned radioactive waste; what quantities of such radionuclides are expected to be present; what metals are expected to be present; what quantities of such metals are expected to be present; what International Maritime Dangerous Goods code will apply to such material; through which ports such material is expected to enter the UK; by which land transport methods and routes such material will be transported to its end destination; and what the end destination will be for storage or disposal of such material in the UK. [110498]

Charles Hendry: The heat exchangers from the Berkeley Magnox nuclear power plant were shipped to Sweden to maximise the reuse and recycling of redundant materials as a key part of NDA's Low Level Waste Strategy, under supervision of the relevant regulators. The NDA

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anticipate that the returned radioactive waste will contain the same radionuclides that were present in the waste consigned for treatment, predominantly; Carbon-14, Cobalt-60, H-3 (Tritium). The quantities of radionuclides are expected to be comparable to those consigned i.e. ~ 350 GBq. The boilers are constructed from steel. Secondary waste will also contain steel shot from the decontamination process.

The original weight of each boiler was ~ 300 tonnes. The NDA anticipate that less than 10% i.e. 30 tonnes will be returned per boiler, including secondary waste materials.

The 2010 IMDG code would apply. In the past returned secondary waste has been consigned as UN2912 LSA I. The classification of this material will be confirmed once all the secondary waste has been processed and packaged.

The material will return to the UK through a commercial port. The NDA expect this port to be in the North of England for materials destined for the Low Level Waste Repository.

The material will be packaged in IP2 approved ISO containers and transported via rail or road transport as an ADR Class 7 transport.

The NDA advise the end destination to be the national Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR), or management by LLWR along any suitable waste route in accordance with UK National LLW strategy. Some material could be returned to the Berkeley Site if it is not suitable for the LLWR.

Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 671, on feed-in tariffs, what the evidential basis is for the statement that the installation rate is 1.7 times what it was in the same period in 2011. [109723]

Gregory Barker: The statement that the installation rate since the 21p tariff came in was 1.7 times what it was in the same period last year was based on the weekly solar PV deployment statistics published on the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s website, available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/energy_stats/source/fits/fits.aspx

These statistics report the number and capacity of solar PV installations up to 50 kW in size recorded on the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) database by commissioning date.

At 17 May 2012(1), the data showed:

a total of 26,256 solar PV installations were commissioned and registered on the MCS database in the 10 weeks ending 13 May 2012 (that is, the 10 weeks after the tariffs were reduced for new solar PV installations up to 250 kW in size on 3 March)

a total of 15,340 solar PV installations were commissioned and registered on the MCS database in the equivalent 10-week period last year (ending 15 May 2011).

The figures for the 10 weeks ending 13 May 2012 are 1.71 times the figures for the 10 weeks ending 15 May 2012.

(1) Note that the data are revised each week, so the figures above may not match those for the most recent statistics as published on DECC’s website.

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Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department have taken to develop a framework for giving developers comfort in advance of decisions concerning feed-in tariffs with contracts for difference. [109806]

Charles Hendry: The Government has made clear that it is prepared to enter into discussions with relevant developers with a view to considering what form of comfort might be given to support early investment decisions for low carbon plants to progress to timetable wherever possible.

‘Planning our electric future: Technical Update’, published by DECC in December 2011, set out the characteristics which DECC will expect to be exhibited by a project before the Department is able to take a decision as to whether to enter into discussions with a developer and the broad process that the Government will adopt to govern and progress any such discussions. To address any potential investment hiatus prior to the establishment of the enduring regime under the electricity market reform programme, the draft Energy Bill, published on 22 May 2012, contains provisions to enable the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), to give the appropriate degree of comfort to relevant developers or generators under certain conditions.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether any letters of comfort have been (a) sought or (b) given to any developer in advance of decisions concerning feed-in tariffs with contracts for difference. [109807]

Charles Hendry: The Government has made clear that it is prepared to enter into discussions with relevant developers with a view to considering what form of comfort might be given to support early investment decisions for low carbon plants to progress to timetable wherever possible.

No letters of comfort have been issued by DECC, following this commitment.

NNB Generation Company Ltd, a joint venture company owned by EDF and Centrica, has formally expressed its wish to enter into discussions in relation to developing new nuclear at Hinkley Point C. DECC has confirmed its willingness to do so, on the basis that the project fulfils the characteristics set out in ‘Planning our Electricity Future: Technical Update’, published by the Department in December 2011.

We expect other developers of low carbon power generation projects to come forward formally over the coming months.

Steve Brine: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will review the proposed change to the feed-in-tariff rate due to take effect on 1 July 2012. [109930]

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Gregory Barker: On 24 May the Government response to the consultation on solar photovoltaic (PV) tariffs and cost control was published, confirming an effective date of 1 August 2012 for new tariffs to apply instead of 1 July, as had been proposed in the consultation.

Renewables Obligation

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the advanced conversion technology industry of the renewables obligation banding review; and if he will make a statement. [109643]

Gregory Barker: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 19 April, Official Report, column 489W. I can confirm that it remains the Government's policy to encourage deployment of advanced conversion technologies through the renewables obligation given the potential of these technologies for wider and innovative uses. We aim to publish the Government response to the renewables obligation banding review consultation shortly. This will set out our decision on the levels of support that technologies, including advanced conversion technologies, will be eligible to receive from April 2013.

RenewableUK

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether any of the staff working in his Department have previously been seconded to RenewableUK. [109893]

Gregory Barker: There are no staff working for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), who have previously been seconded by the Department to RenewableUK. DECC does not hold details of the previous employment of its staff on a central database.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether any of RenewableUK's (a) directors and (b) other employees have been seconded to his Department. [109894]

Gregory Barker: There are no (a) directors nor (b) other employees working for RenewableUK who have been seconded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether RenewableUK has provided consultancy or advisory services to his Department; and if so, how much it was paid for these services. [109895]

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Gregory Barker: RenewableUK has not provided any consultancy or advisory services to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what meetings his Department has had with (a) directors and (b) other employees of RenewablesUK in (i) the House of Commons and (ii) his Department's buildings. [109896]

Gregory Barker: All meetings between external organisations and DECC Ministers are published on a quarterly basis on the DECC website and are available for download at this link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/registers/registers.aspx

DECC officials have regular meetings with a wide range of external stakeholders from the renewable energy sector, including RenewableUK.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what hospitality (a) he, (b) his predecessor and (c) staff in his Department have received from RenewablesUK since May 2010. [109897]

Gregory Barker: A gifts and hospitality register for DECC Ministers is published on the DECC website and is available for download at this link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/registers/gifts_minister/gifts_minister.aspx

This covers the period from October 2009 to September 2011 and is updated quarterly. The register for October to December 2011 will be uploaded shortly.

Since May 2010 DECC officials have received hospitality from RenewableUK totalling £537.00 through attendance at conferences, seminars and meetings.

Warm Front Scheme

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 674, on Warm Front, how many complaints about Warm Front were made in each of the last 10 years. [109719]

Gregory Barker: Information on complaints about Warm Front is only held for the period from 2005. Complaints are recorded by the year in which they are made. Some complaints registered each year will relate to matters arising in previous years.

Number
 2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Warm Front complaints received

1,029

3,998

5,892

8,019

5,922

5,847

6,548

Complaints upheld on closure

330

1,385

1,386

1,622

1,541

1,509

2,326

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the written answer of 19 April 2012, Official Report, column 491W, on the Warm Front scheme, how many applications for a Warm Front grant from each parliamentary constituency were (a) accepted and (b) rejected in 2011-12. [109853]

Gregory Barker: A table containing the number of Warm Front applications from each parliamentary

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constituency that were

(a)

accepted and

(b)

rejected in 2011-12 will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Wind Power

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what process his Department used to commission BiGGAR Economics to prepare a report on the investment and jobs provided by the onshore wind industry; [109786]

(2) on what date BiGGAR Economics were commissioned to prepare a report on the investment and jobs provided by the onshore wind industry; [109787]

(3) how much his Department paid to BiGGAR Economics for its recent report on the investment and jobs provided by the onshore wind industry. [109788]

Charles Hendry: The report by BiGGAR Economics on ‘Onshore Wind—Direct and Wider Economic Impacts' published in May 2012 was commissioned by RenewableUK through a competitive tendering process run jointly by DECC officials and RenewableUK. Eight organisations with expertise in carrying out economic analysis of the energy sector were invited to tender. Three bids were received and evaluated jointly by RenewableUK and DECC officials. The BiGGAR tender was accepted as it scored most highly against the evaluation criteria set by RenewableUK and DECC.

The contract between RenewableUK and BiGGAR Economics was signed on 27 January 2012.

The project was funded jointly by DECC and RenewableUK. DECC contributed grant funding of £15,000 to RenewableUK for the costs of procuring the research.

Nigel Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department produces its own statistics on numbers of turbines which are operational and in the planning process; and whether such statistics depend on information provided by the trade bodies in the wind industry. [109962]

Charles Hendry: Detailed site level information for operational sites, including installed capacity, is available on DECC's RESTATS database at:

https://restats.decc.gov.uk/app/reporting/decc/monthlyextract

This information is collected and processed by AEA on behalf of the Department and is sourced from planning permission process data rather than trade bodies.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the press release of 7 May on new research on the economic benefit of onshore wind, for what reason the press release is not available on his Department's website. [110497]

Gregory Barker: The report referred to was commissioned by Renewable UK and DECC. The press release was issued by Renewable UK at the time and as a result, both the press release and report were published on that organisation's website. However, as DECC jointly funded the research, it seems appropriate that a link is added to it from our website, and we will undertake to do that at the earliest opportunity.

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Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on onshore wind farms. [110588]

Charles Hendry: The Government is committed to a balanced energy portfolio, including an appropriate level of onshore wind deployment in our energy mix, to maintain our energy security and to help decarbonise our electricity supply. As a mature and cost-effective technology, onshore wind energy reduces UK reliance on imported fossil fuels and supports investment and jobs across the country.

Our policies are set out in the Renewable Energy Roadmap(1) published last summer, which includes a projected central scenario of up to 13GW total installed capacity of onshore wind by 2020. We consider this ambition is manageable. 5GW is already up and running, nearly 6GW has received planning consent and there is a further 7GW in the planning system. Not everything consented will be built, and not everything in the planning system deserves to be consented, so there will be new project proposals to come, but the investment the country needs in this technology is already largely on the table.

We are determined to deliver our objectives in ways that offer maximum value for money for consumer spend, put the least possible pressures on energy bills, and give communities a real say and stake in shaping the development of their local areas.

We are proposing a 10% reduction in the level of support for onshore wind as part of the current renewables obligation banding review to reflect ongoing falling costs of generation to 2020. This also helps ensure that only the most efficient onshore wind projects are brought forward. We will complete the review and issue a Government response confirming support levels before the summer recess. Legislation setting the new bands in law will come into effect on 1 April 2013.

We are taking action to address peoples' concerns over the impact on communities of the siting of wind turbine development in the British countryside. In England, the Government's new National Planning Policy Framework is clear about the importance of protecting the natural environment, while supporting the delivery of appropriately-sited renewable and low carbon energy. Through the Localism Act we have put more power than ever before in the hands of communities to shape their neighbourhoods.

We want local decisions to be plan-led, and driven by local councils, who will be able to identify suitable areas for renewable development.

(1)The UK's Renewable Energy Roadmap was published by DECC in July 2011 and can be viewed at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf

Cabinet Office

Average Earnings

Michael Fallon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average earnings were of (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Sevenoaks constituency,

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(ii) Kent local authority area and (iii) the South East in each of the last two years. [109875]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 24 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average earnings were of (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Sevenoaks constituency, (ii) Kent local authority area and (iii) the South East region in each of the last two years. (109875)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom.

I attach a table showing the median gross weekly earnings for (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Sevenoaks constituency, (ii) Kent local authority area and (iii) the South East region in April for 2010 and 2011, the latest period for which figures are available.

Median gross weekly earnings for full-time male, full-time female, part-time male and part-time female employee jobs(1): (i) Sevenoaks parliamentary constituency, (ii) Kent local authority area and (iii) the south-east region, 2010 and 2011
£
 MaleFemale
 Full-timePart-timeFull-timePart-time

Sevenoaks

    

2010

*570.4

x

**363.7

**151.9

2011(2)

*582.0

x

**386.4

x

2011(3)

*581.7

x

**362.0

**153.6

     

Kent(4)

    

2010

536.6

*153.5

404.4

148.8

2011(2)

545.5

*144.4

415.3

149.4

2011(3)

546.5

*144.4

414.7

147.2

     

South-east

    

2010

574.9

139.2

444.9

159.6

2011(2)

578.5

141.5

454.0

160.2

2011(3)

584.1

141.5

451.5

158.7

(1) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. (2) 2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2000. (3) 2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2010. (4) Kent local authority area comprises 12 local authorities. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5%, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180-220. Key: CV <= 5% * CV >5% and <= 10% ** CV >10% and <= 20% x = unreliable Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National Statistics.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average earnings were of (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Mid Sussex constituency, (ii) West Sussex local authority area and (iii) the South East region in each of the last two years. [110246]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 210W

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck dated 24 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average earnings were of (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Mid Sussex constituency, (ii) West Sussex local authority area and (iii) the South East region in each of the last two years. (110246)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom.

I attach a table showing the median gross weekly earnings for (a) full-time male, (b) full-time female, (c) part-time male and (d) part-time female workers in (i) Mid Sussex constituency, (ii) West Sussex local authority area and (iii) the South East region in April for 2010 and 2011, the latest periods for which figures are available.

Median gross weekly earnings for full-time male, full-time female, part-time male & part time female employee jobs(1) (i) Mid Sussex parliamentary constituency, (ii) West Sussex local authority area and (iii) the South East region, for 2010 and 2011.
 Full-time malePart-time maleFull-time femalePart-time female

Mid Sussex parliamentary constituency

    

2010

(**)511.3

x

(**)458.2

(**)145.9

2011(2)

(**)561.1

x

(**)453.3

(**)187.5

2011(3)

(*)574.9

x

(**)442.6

(**)184.9

     

West Sussex local authority area(4)

    

2010

528.5

(**)140.1

416.0

146.2

2011(2)

525.0

(**)148.1

430.1

(*)150.0

2011(3)

535.4

(**)146.2

425.9

(*)148.3

     

South East region

    

2010

574.9

139.2

444.9

159.6

2011(2)

578.5

141.5

454.0

160.2

2011(3)

584.1

141.5

451.5

158.7

(1 )Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. (2 )2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2000. (3 )2011 results based on Standard Occupational Classification 2010. (4 )West Sussex local authority area comprises seven local authorities. Guide to quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5%, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220. Key CV <= 5% (* )CV>5% and<=10% (** )CV> 10% and <-20% x unreliable Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National Statistics.

Big Lottery Fund

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2012, Official Report, column 763W, on Big Lottery Fund, if he will publish the minutes of the meetings referred to in the answer. [110776]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 211W

Mr Hurd: It is not the normal practice of Government to publish such minutes.

Big Society and Localism Ministerial Group

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to his answer of 11 January 2012, Official Report, column 320W, on what dates the informal ministerial group on big society and localism has met since 11 January 2012; and if he will make a statement. [109098]

Mr Maude: The big society agenda has moved beyond its initial stages of development and co-ordination is now run through standard channels such as the Cabinet Committee structure.

Big Society Capital

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what strategic or transitional risk registers relating to Big Society Capital are held by his Department; if he will publish any such registers; and if he will make a statement. [110738]

Mr Hurd: Big Society Capital (BSC) operates independently of Government and is therefore responsible for managing its own risk profile; this includes maintaining any risk registers.

Billing

Michael Dugher: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of payments made by his Department to small and medium-sized enterprises have been paid late since May 2010. [107792]

Mr Maude: Information held by the Cabinet Office on its payment performance does not distinguish between the size of supplier. To obtain the information requested would incur disproportionate costs.

The Department's prompt payment performance is published in the Annual Report and Accounts available on:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-annual-reports-and-accounts

Cancer: Males

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which are the most common cancers in men in England. [110297]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking which are the most common cancers in men in England. [110297]

The latest available figures for the most common cancers in England are for the year 2009. Please note that these numbers may not be the same as the number of people diagnosed with cancer, because one person may be diagnosed with more than one cancer.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 212W

The table below provides figures for the three most common cancers for males in England, in 2009. These account for more than half of newly diagnosed cases of cancer. This table is published annually as part of the Cancer Statistics Registrations, England (Series MB1).

The latest published figures on incidence of cancer in England are available on the National Statistics website:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/no--40--2009/index.html

Detailed tables of cancer incidence by site (anatomical location of the tumour) and by sex and age group are presented in this publication.

The data for 2010 is due to be published on 13th June 2012.

Table 1: The three most common cancers for males in England, 2009(1)
ICD-10Site descriptionNumber of registrations% of total malignancies

1 C61

Prostate

34,593

25.7

2 C34

Lung

18,492

13.7

3 C18-20

Colorectal

18,227

13.5

Total

 

71,312

53.0

    

All malignancies(2)

 

134,636

100.0

(1) Figures are for cases diagnosed in 2010 and exclude non-residents. (2) Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (ICD-10 C44). Source: Office for National Statistics

Charities Act 2006 Review

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the review of the Charities Act 2006 led by Lord Hodgson has cost to date; how much it is expected to cost; what remuneration he is expected to receive; and if he will make a statement. [109000]

Mr Hurd: The Review of the Charities Act 2006 commenced on 8 November 2011 with the appointment of Lord Hodgson as the reviewer, in line with the requirements of s73 of the Act.

Lord Hodgson is undertaking the review on a voluntary basis and receives no remuneration.

The total cost of the review is expected to be around £40,000, and has cost £28,328 to date.

Civil Service Learning Contract

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many contracts have been awarded to small and medium-sized businesses under the Civil Service Learning contract since its inception. [110740]

Mr Maude: At 25 May 2012, the total number of contracts awarded by Capita to deliver CSL services was 69. 55 (80%) of these were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises for ongoing delivery.

Companies: Newton Abbot

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) manufacturing and (b) construction firms are located in Newton Abbot constituency. [108150]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 213W

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 18 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many (a) manufacturing and (b) construction firms are located in the Newton Abbot constituency. [108150]

Annual statistics on the number of enterprises are available from the ONS release: UK Business: Activity, Size and Location at

www.statistics.gov.uk.

These estimates relate to the count of live businesses in March of each year.

The following table provides the latest statistics on the number of manufacturing and construction enterprises in the parliamentary constituency of Newton Abbot.

Count of VAT or PAYE based manufacturing and construction enterprises in Newton Abbot as at March 2011
IndustryCount

Manufacturing

175

Construction

460

Note:

The above figures have been rounded to avoid disclosure

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much his Department spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [107489]

Mr Maude: Since May 2010, my Department's annual spend on consultancy has fallen dramatically. The cost in 2010-11 to the taxpayer was around a third of what it was in 2009-10.

Overall spend on consultants (including, but not specifically identifying management consultants) is published in the ‘Cabinet Office Resource Accounts' available on the Department's website:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk

Accounts for 2011-12 will be published in due course.

Efficiency and Reform Group

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many staff were assigned to the Efficiency and Reform Group in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; how many staff are currently assigned to the Group; what salaries they receive; how many and from which departments such staff are seconded; and where such staff are located. [109427]

Mr Maude [holding answer 24 May 2012]: To address the record deficit which this Government inherited in May 2010 my Department formed an Efficiency and Reform Group.

Since May 2010 the Group has helped Departments make billions of pounds of cash savings which have been corroborated by auditors including the NAO. This has never been done before. While the Group saved the taxpayer £3.75 billion in 2010-11, the savings for 2011-12 are anticipated to be even higher and around £5 billion. During this period the core cost of running the Group fell by 38%, demonstrating that this Group is leading by example.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 214W

In June 2010 the Group employed 598 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. By the end of March 2012, this had reduced to 437 (FTE).

Staff are based in London and also in Norwich. At present 16% of staff are on loan from other Government Departments reflecting the need to ensure that we have the right expertise to deliver our priorities.

As part of this Government's transparency programme, an organogram for my Department has been published online since October 2010. In addition charts of senior and junior staff salaries are published so that—unlike in the past—this information is freely available for all.

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what meetings members of the Reward, Efficiency and Reform Group have attended in each region; and what expenses were claimed in relation to each meeting. [109428]

Mr Maude [holding answer 24 May 2012]: There is no Reward, Efficiency and Reform Group within my Department.

However, to address the record deficit which this Government inherited in May 2010 my Department formed an Efficiency and Reform Group.

Since May 2010 the group has helped Departments make billions of pounds of cash savings which have been corroborated by auditors including the NAO. While the group saved the taxpayer £375 billion in 2010-11, the savings for 2011-12 are anticipated to be even higher and around £5 billion.

Efficiency and Reform Group staff are based in London and also in Norwich.

Expenses incurred by senior officials are published online.

Employment

Michael Fallon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of employees in (a) Sevenoaks constituency and (b) the South East were employed in the public sector in each of the last five years. [109866]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many and what proportion of employees in (a) Sevenoaks constituency and (b) the South East were employed in the public sector in each of the last five years. (109866)

Public sector employment statistics for local areas can be calculated from the Annual Population Survey (APS). Individuals in the APS are classified to the public or private sector according to their responses to the survey. Estimates of public sector employment are not available for the Sevenoaks constituency.

Table 1 shows the number and the percentage of employees who were employed in the public sector in the South East. Estimates have been provided for October 2010 to September 2011, the latest period for which data is available, and October to September of the previous four years.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates is given in Table 1.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 215W

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: The number and percentage of employees who were employed in the public sector in the South East
12 months endingThousandPercentage

September 2007

874

25

September 2008

909

26

September 2009

923

26

September 2010

921

26

September 2011(1)

*924

26

(1 )Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates, as described below: Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 ≤ CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 ≤ CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 ≤ CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ≥ 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source:

Annual population survey

Michael Fallon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people were employed by (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses in (i) Sevenoaks constituency and (ii) Kent local authority area in each of the last two years. [109867]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office, for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning- how many people were employed by (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses in (i) Sevenoaks constituency and (ii) Kent local authority area in each of the last two years. 109867

Annual statistics on the number of employees are available from the ONS release Business Register Employment Survey (BRES) at:

www.ons.gov.uk

Figures by small and medium-sized businesses are not available. The table contains the latest statistics available, which show the number of employees in Sevenoaks constituency and Kent local authority county area in 2009 and 2010.

 20092010

Sevenoaks

33,900

33,400

Kent

540,800

547,800

The employee estimates shown above are taken from BRES. The 2010 estimates are liable to revision.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people were employed by (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses in (i) Mid Sussex constituency and (ii) West Sussex local authority area in each of the last two years. [110244]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 216W

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many people were employed by (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses in (i) Mid Sussex constituency and (ii) West Sussex local authority area in each of the last two years. 110244

Annual statistics on the number of employees are available from the Business Register Employment Survey (BRES) at:

www.ons.gov.uk

Figures by small and medium-sized businesses are not available.

The table contains the latest statistics available, which show the number of employees in Mid Sussex constituency and West Sussex local authority area in 2009 and 2010.

 20092010

Mid Sussex parliamentary constituency

43,145

42,168

West Sussex local authority area

327,339

340,799

Every Business Commits Scheme

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the Answer of 24 January 2012, Official Report, column 231W, on the third sector, what performance indicators his Department uses to assess the effectiveness of the Every Business Commits scheme; and if he will make a statement. [109088]

Norman Lamb: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Every Business Commits brings together a wide range of activity across Government to enable UK business to get involved in responsible business practices, either through their normal business operations or their corporate responsibility programmes. The overarching objective is to increase the capacity and capability of business to get involved in these initiatives, which will vary both between initiatives and businesses. An example of these initiatives is Trading for Good—a new digital platform developed by business for business that will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to showcase what they are doing around the five main challenge areas of Every Business Commits. Trading for Good is able to track what SMEs are doing to grow the message of responsible business practice. Trading for Good launches in July 2012.

Food Waste

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 23W, on food waste, if he will meet with relevant experts to discuss how to implement a food waste hierarchy in managing nine tonnes of food waste generated by his Department and the Prime Minister's Office. [109968]

Mr Maude: The lead official in my Department is willing to meet with relevant experts.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 217W

However as stated in my previous answer of 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 23W, there is already a food waste strategy in place.

Complaints

Mr Donaldson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many applications have been made under the internal disputes resolution procedure within Government departments; and how many such applications have been resolved in favour of the applicant. [109996]

Mr Maude: Internal disputes resolution procedure most commonly relates to pensions. Answering on this basis, the information about the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme's internal disputes resolution procedure is contained in the Resource Accounts for Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation. This includes numbers of complaints investigated and resolved. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when Government procurement card spending for each department will next be published on data.gov.uk; and what guidance his Department issues on the frequency with which such transparency data should be updated. [109744]

Mr Maude: Prior to the last general election information on procurement spending, including through Government Procurement Cards, was not proactively published.

As part of this Government's transparency agenda, the Prime Minister wrote to Secretaries of State last July committing to publish online all spend over £500 on Government Procurement Cards. This information is updated regularly by Departments.

Hay Group

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether his Department has any staff seconded from Hay Group; what the terms of their engagement with the Reward, Efficiency and Reform Group are; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of producing the local pay map. [109471]

Mr Maude [holding answer 24 May 2012]: My Department has one contract with Hay Group which was initially let in January 2010 for the value of £159,000 (excluding VAT) over three years.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Steve Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the red-amber warning given in the Major Projects Authority's report on High Speed 2. [109252]

Mr Maude: All major projects are reviewed at every stage of their development to ensure that they are delivered as efficiently as possible and provide the best possible value for taxpayers' money. The MPA report on HS2 made a number of recommendations to help ensure successful delivery. These recommendations were accepted and are being acted upon.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 218W

Investment and Contract Readiness Fund

Ann McKechin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what discussions and correspondence he has had with (a) the Scottish Government, (b) the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, (c) the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations and (d) other civic society organisations in Scotland on the establishment of the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund. [110582]

Mr Hurd: The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund itself is for England only. As such, key stakeholders representing the sector in England were consulted on how it could best provide support to social ventures based there.

Lost Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many items of equipment valued at £10,000 or more his Department lost in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108921]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office have had no items of equipment valued at £10,000 or more reported lost in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12.

Departmental Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what target he has set to reduce headcount across his Department, its non-departmental public bodies and Executive agencies in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110242]

Mr Maude: In 2010 I said that we expected to reduce the size of the Cabinet Office by 20% over the spending review period.

At 31 March 2012 my Department had already achieved a 24% reduction in staffing since the 2010 general election.

The closure of the National School for Government and Central Office of Information in March 2012 will result in further headcount reductions.

Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office on what dates (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in his Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) the Child Poverty Action Group, (v) ResPublica, (vi) the Centre for Social Justice and (vii) Policy Exchange; and if he will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. [108977]

Mr Maude: Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings-external-organisations

11 Jun 2012 : Column 219W

Details of the most senior Cabinet Office officials' meetings with external organisations are published at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-permanent-secretaries%E2%80%99-meetings-external-organisations

No central record is kept of other departmental officials' meetings.

Migration

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will estimate the level of net migration per annum which would be required to stabilise the population of the UK below 70 million. [109561]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for an estimate of the level of net migration per annum which would be required to stabilise the population of the UK below 70 million (109561).

The most recent national population projections, based on the resident population at the middle of 2010, were published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 26 October 2011. Under the principal assumption of long-term annual net migration of 200,000, the UK population is projected to surpass 70 million people by 2027. ONS have not carried out any analysis to determine what level of net migration would be required for the population to stabilise below 70 million over the projection period to 2110. However, ONS has produced a number of variant projections based on alternative assumptions of net migration. Under the assumption of long-term annual net migration of 100,000 or less, the UK population would not exceed 70 million by 2035.

The assumptions underlying national population projections are demographic trend based. They are not forecasts and do not attempt to predict the impact that factors such as future government policies or changing economic circumstances might have on the population. The projections also become increasingly uncertain the further they are carried forward in time.

National Commissioning Academy

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer of 19 December 2011, Official Report, column 1010W, on departmental responsibilities, how many graduates of the National Commissioning Academy there will be in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [109534]

Mr Maude: The Commissioning Academy programme is being piloted during 2012. As part of the pilot process, we will consider what number of commissioners we should take through the Academy programme each year.

The Academy will bring commissioners from different parts of the public sector together to learn from the most successful commissioning organisations.

New Businesses

Michael Fallon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses have been created in (i) Sevenoaks constituency and (ii) Kent local authority area in each of the last two years. [109876]

11 Jun 2012 : Column 220W

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 24 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many new (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses have been created in (i) Sevenoaks constituency and (ii) Kent local authority area in each of the last two years. [109876]

Annual statistics on the number of enterprise births are available from 2002 onwards in the ONS release on Business Demography at:

www.statistics.gov.uk

The table below contains the latest statistics, which show the number of enterprise births by employee size band in the constituency of Sevenoaks, district of Sevenoaks and the county of Kent for 2009 and 2010.

Count of enterprise births by employee size band in the constituency of Sevenoaks, district of Sevenoaks, and the county of Kent for 2009 and 2010
 Constituency SevenoaksDistrict SevenoaksKent county
 0-49 small50-249 medium0-49 small50-249 medium0-49 small50-249 medium

2009

455

0

575

0

5,435

5

2010

485

0

595

0

5,375

5

Note: The figures have been rounded to the nearest five, to avoid disclosure.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses have been created in (i) Mid Sussex constituency and (ii) West Sussex local authority area in each of the last two years. [110245]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 24 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many new (a) small and (b) medium-sized businesses have been created in (i) Mid Sussex constituency and (ii) West Sussex local authority area in each of the last two years. [110245]

Annual statistics on the number of enterprise births are available from 2002 onwards in the ONS release on Business Demography at:

www.statistics.gov.uk

The table contains the latest statistics, which show the number of enterprise births by employee size band in the constituency of Mid Sussex, district of Mid Sussex and the county of West Sussex for 2009 and 2010.

Count of enterprise births by employee size band in the constituency of Mid Sussex, district of Mid Sussex, and the County of West Sussex for 2009 and 2010
 Constituency Mid SussexDistrict Mid SussexWest Sussex County
Year0-49 Small50-249 Medium0-49 Small50-249 Medium0-49 Small50-249 Medium

2009

450

0

635

0

3,210

5

2010

515

0

665

0

3,195

5

Note: The above figures have been rounded to the nearest five to avoid disclosure.

11 Jun 2012 : Column 221W

Patients: Death

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the number of deaths in English hospitals caused by (a) malnutrition, (b) dehydration and (c) pressure sores in each year from 2005 by strategic health authority. [110123]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 11 June 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what estimate has been made of the number of deaths in English hospitals caused by (a) malnutrition, (b) dehydration and (c) pressure sores in each year from 2005 by strategic health authority. (110123)

Table 1 provides the number of deaths in hospitals where the underlying cause was (a) malnutrition, (b) dehydration (volume depletion or lack of water) or (c) pressure sores (decubitus ulcers), for strategic health authorities in England between 2005 and 2010 (the latest year available).

Table 2 provides the number of deaths in hospitals where (a) malnutrition or effects of hunger, (b) dehydration (volume depletion or lack of water) or effects of thirst or (c) pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) were mentioned on the death certificate, either as the underlying cause or as a contributory factor, for strategic health authorities in England between 2005 and 2010 (the latest year available). Where an individual had more than one of the conditions mentioned above, they will be included in the table more than once.

All of the data in Table 1 is included in Table 2, so you the figures cannot be combined to produce an overall number of deaths.

Copies of the tables will be placed in the Library of the House.

Those who die with the conditions specified above are usually already very ill. For example, someone with malnutrition may have cancer of the digestive tract, which means they cannot eat properly or cannot absorb nutrients. In these cases, malnutrition, dehydration or pressure sore will be recorded on the death certificate as a condition that has contributed to the death, but it will not be

11 Jun 2012 : Column 222W

the underlying cause. Therefore two sets of figures have been provided: the first showing deaths where one of these conditions was the underlying cause of death, and the second where the condition was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, either as the underlying cause or as a contributory factor.

Moreover, internationally accepted guidance from the World Health Organisation requires only those conditions that contributed directly to death to be recorded on the death certificate. Medical practitioners and coroners are not supposed to record all of the diseases or conditions present at or before death. Whether a condition contributed is a matter for their clinical judgement.

The figures provided show the number of deaths that occurred in English hospitals. They do not show how or where the specified condition was acquired.

The number of deaths registered in England and Wales each year by sex, age, cause and place of death are published annually and are available at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html? definition=tcm%3A77-27475

Pensioners

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people of pensionable age there are in Leicester South constituency. [109693]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 24 May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many people of pensionable age there are in Leicester South constituency (109693).

There were 13,637 people of pensionable age in Leicester South constituency at mid-2010. This is the latest year for which population estimates are available.

This estimate gives the number of women aged 60 and over, and men aged 65 and over, which is the closest available approximation to state pension age at mid-2010 that can be obtained for population estimates by parliamentary constituency.

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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 11 June 2012

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the role of Pakistan in facilitating an orderly NATO exit from Afghanistan. [109063]

Alistair Burt: Pakistan recognises that a stable Afghanistan is crucial to its own long-term prosperity and security. We welcome Prime Minister Gilani's public support for an Afghan-led political process. Progress on this, and Afghan National Security Forces sustainability is the key to success in Afghanistan.

Arms Trade: Treaties

Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that human rights provisions are included in the UN's Arms Trade treaty. [110577]

Alistair Burt: The UK has played a leading role in international efforts since 2006 to secure a robust and effective, legally-binding Arms Trade treaty. As we approach the UN Diplomatic Conference in July to conclude negotiations on the treaty, Ministers and senior officials regularly raise the issue bilaterally and multilaterally with key states to build support for a treaty which will set the highest possible common standards for the international trade in conventional arms, including strong provisions on human rights and international humanitarian law.

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage further implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. [110090]

Alistair Burt: There are currently 165 states parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). 31 countries remain outside the convention. The UK supports universality of the convention and played a key role in persuading two new states parties, Burundi and Mozambique, to join in 2011. We also ensured that the Seventh Review conference in December 2011 gave greater impetus to promote the convention’s universality and agreed a more action-oriented intersessional work programme to enhance implementation of the convention.

The Government helped shape a new EU Council Decision on the BTWC, which was cleared by the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee on 9 May. The Council Decision will help implement the decisions of the convention’s Seventh Review conference in December 2011.

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British Nationals Abroad: Pensions

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on which occasions he and Ministers in his Department have met their counterparts from (a) Australia and (b) Canada to discuss indexation of UK state pensions paid to recipients permanently residing in those countries since May 2010. [108861]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), discussed this with his Australian counterpart Bob Carr shortly after he took office earlier this year. He also discussed this with his Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Baird, in February this year, and with Baird's predecessor, Lawrence Cannon, in July 2010. In these meetings, the Foreign Secretary reiterated our longstanding position that the UK only pays annual index-linked increases where there is a legal requirement, and that this does not apply to British pensioners living in Australia or Canada. We have no plans to change the current arrangement.

Data Protection

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely benefits to the UK derived from the EU exchanging classified information with the US under the terms of EU Council Decision 2007/274/JHA. [109874]

Mr Lidington: EU Council Decision 2007/274/JHA concerns a data-sharing agreements between the EU and the United States. This Decision establishes rules for the sharing of sensitive information. An assessment of this Decision was made by the then Government at the time of its adoption.

The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 that have not been amended or replaced. All of the aforementioned measures fall within the scope of that decision. Officials are undertaking a full analysis of all those measures, which will be reviewed carefully by Government.

There are a number of similar data-sharing agreements between the EU and third countries which are in the table.

I have already answered similar questions, related to the Agreements with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 26 Mar 2012, Official Report, column 977W, Ukraine 21 May 2012, Official Report, column 447W and am today also answering questions on Croatia, Iceland, and Switzerland.

 DecisionOfficial Journal of the European Union Reference

2004

Bosnia and Herzegovina (Council Decision 2004/731/EC of 26 July 2004)

OJ L 324, 27.10.2004

2004

Norway (Council Decision 2004/843/CFSP of 26 July 2004)

OJ L 362, 09.12.2004

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2005

The Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Council Decision 2005/296/CFSP/JHA of 24 January 2005)

OJ L 94, 13.06.2005

2005

Ukraine (Council Decision 2005/481/CFSP of 13 June 2005)

OJ L 172, 05.07.2005

2006

Croatia (Council Decision 2006/317/CFSP of 10 April 2006)

OJ L 116, 29.04.2006

2006

Iceland (Council Decision 2006/467/CFSP of 21 November 2005)

OJ L 184, 06.07.2006

2007

The United States of America (Council Decision 2007/274/JHA of 23 April 2007)

OJ L 115, 03.05.2007

2008

Switzerland (Council Decision 2008/568/CFSP of 24 June 2005)

OJ L 181, 10.07.2008

2009

Russian Federation (Council Decision 2010/348/EC of 17 November 2009)

OJ L 155, 22.06.2010

Democratic Republic of Congo

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Richmond Park of 23 March 2012, Official Report, column 756W, on the Democratic Republic of Congo, if he will assess the compatibility of drilling for oil in the Virunga National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site in Democratic Republic of Congo with international agreements on nature conservation and world heritage; and if he will make a statement. [109050]

Mr Bellingham: The EU is financing a study of the potential impacts of oil exploration in Virunga. We fully support this work, which we are part funding through our direct contributions to the EU. The decision on whether oil exploration should be allowed to go ahead in Virunga is for the Congolese Government. It is also their responsibility to decide whether drilling for oil in the Virunga National Park is compatible with international agreements on nature conservation and world heritage. We expect countries which have signed up to international conventions to abide by their obligations under them. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), made this clear to President Kabila when they met in April.

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department takes to monitor the extent to which UK companies trading in minerals from conflict-affected areas of Democratic Republic of Congo, or whose products include components with such minerals, undertake due diligence on their supply chains. [109095]

Mr Bellingham: We are working with the international community to find practical and sustainable solutions to the problem of conflict minerals. The UK has played a key role in lobbying for a coordinated approach to developing due diligence guidance. The UK has fed into, supported and promoted the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) guidance for supply chain due diligence and has funded

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a feasibility study by the OECD on a mechanism to monitor due diligence. We encourage British companies to adhere to these guidelines. The UK is playing an active role in the current stage of the process, which is developing supplementary guidance on gold and other minerals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also developed an online tool to help British companies who may be trading in minerals sourced from conflict-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or whose products include components that include such minerals.

The UK, alongside the World Bank, is also funding the PROMINES programme, which aims to increase accountability and transparency in the DRC minerals sector. This will help legitimise the trade in minerals and ensure the proceeds stay out of the hands of armed groups.

Disclosure of Information

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the likely benefits to the UK derived from the EU exchanging classified information with Iceland under the terms of EU Council Decision 2006/467/CFSP; [109264]

(2) what assessment he has made of the likely benefits to the UK derived from member states of the EU exchanging classified information with Croatia under the terms of EU Council Decision 2006/317/CFSP. [109354]

Mr Lidington [holding answer 24 May 2012]: EU Council Decisions 2006/467/CFSP, 2006/317/CFSP and 2008/568/CFSP concern data-sharing agreements between the EU and Iceland, Croatia and the Swiss Confederation, respectively. These decisions establish rules for the sharing of sensitive information. An assessment of these decisions was made by the then Government at the time of their adoption.

The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 that have not been amended or replaced. These measures fall within the scope of that decision. Officials are undertaking a full analysis of all those measures, which will be reviewed carefully by Government.

Egypt

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to increase its public diplomacy and people-to-people contacts in Egypt. [109671]

Alistair Burt: We have an active public diplomacy programme in place in Egypt, using culture, sport and education as a common platform for engagement. The British Council runs a range of engagement programmes, including 'Young Arab Voices,' which focuses on developing debating societies; the Active Citizens programme, which connects organisations and people around the world

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and helps them get involved in local community initiatives; and the Young Creative Entrepreneur programme, to support and connect innovative entrepreneurial leaders in the creative and cultural industries. In Egypt the UK also offers Chevening Scholarships to support study at UK universities

We are planning a number of events to promote the Olympic legacy, including through the British Council's International Inspiration programme, which will provide opportunities for involving young people in physical education and sport. This will be in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, National Sports Council, Egyptian Olympic Committee and Egyptian Para Olympic Committee.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on abuses of the rights of women from religious minorities in Egypt. [109860]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of reports of abuses affecting women from religious minorities in Egypt. We maintain an open communication channel with representatives of the Coptic Church and other religious minorities through our embassy in Cairo and meetings in the UK.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the scale of abuses of the rights of women from religious minorities in Egypt. [109862]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of reports of abuses affecting women from religious minorities in Egypt. We maintain an open communication channel with representatives of the Coptic Church and other religious minorities through our embassy in Cairo and meetings in the UK.

We have raised the issue of sectarian violence with the Egyptian authorities, and urged them to revisit policies which discriminate on the basis of religion and enshrine the freedom of religion for all faiths in the new Constitution and in law. We have not discussed specific cases of abuses of women with the Egyptian authorities, but we raise women's rights issues as part of our wider dialogue on human rights.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Egypt on the abuse of women from religious minorities. [109864]

Alistair Burt: UK Ministers have raised the issue of sectarian violence in Egypt on a number of occasions with the Egyptian authorities. We have urged them to revisit policies which discriminate on the basis of religion, establish the conditions for pluralist and non-sectarian politics, and enshrine the freedom of religion for all faiths in the new Constitution and in law.

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We have not discussed specific cases of abuses of women with the Egyptian authorities, but we raise women's rights issues as part of our wider dialogue on human rights.

Empty Property

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list the empty or largely empty buildings owned by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [110843]

(2) how many buildings owned by his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible have been empty for more than two years; and if he will make a statement. [110861]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office runs an estate comprising more than 5,000 properties in 250 locations worldwide. Our portfolio is regularly reviewed to ensure we are getting value for money and maintaining a fit-for-purpose estate.

We currently have eight properties in seven locations that have been empty for two years or more. Three of these properties are for sale; the other properties may be sold or recycled pending the resolution of either security or administrative issues.

The following table lists the locations:

PostProperty

Colombo

Old compound

Berlin

House (currently negotiating sale)

Portimao

Old office (for sale)

Palma

Old office (currently negotiating sale)

Algiers

Old embassy

Iraq

Former British embassy (outside of International Zone)

Russian Federation

Two residential flats