These data are drawn from Hospital Episode Statistics. It should be noted that for each of these measures, the number does not necessarily equate to the number of patients as it is possible for an individual to have more than one admission or attendance within the period.

The data from April 2011 are provisional and may be incomplete or contain errors for which no adjustments have yet been made. Counts produced from provisional data are likely to be lower than those generated for the same period in the final dataset. This shortfall will be most pronounced in the final month of the latest period. It is also probable that clinical data are not complete, which may in particular affect the last two months of any given period. There may also be errors due to coding inconsistencies that have not yet been investigated and corrected.

Mobile Phones: Health Hazards

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the potential public health risk associated with radiation from mobile telephones. [112887]

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1109W

Anne Milton: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) provides advice to Government on health effects from electromagnetic fields (EMF). The HPA's independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) recently undertook a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence relevant to health effects from exposure to radiofrequency EMF, including exposure from mobile phones. AGNIR's report was published by the HPA on 26 April 2012 and is available at:

www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1317133826368

In between the publication of formal review reports, the HPA monitors emerging scientific studies covering EMF and keeps its advice under review.

The Department set up the independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme in 2001 which has funded in the order of 28 projects concerning radiofrequency EMF and health to date, including an ongoing study on the long-term use of mobile phones. Further details of the research programme are available on the MTHR website at:

www.mthr.org.uk/

NHS: Privatisation

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what requirements there are for public and patient consultation before a patient service can be privatised within an NHS hospital. [112804]

Paul Burstow: Charges for any NHS service cannot be levied without the express permission of Parliament.

National health service organisations are obliged, under section 242 of the NHS Act 2006, to involve patients and the public in the planning of service provision, the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and decisions affecting the operation of those services where such proposals impact on the manner in which services are provided or the range of services available to patients.

Where only the provider of NHS services is changing and there is no impact on services available to the public, there are no requirements for public and patient consultation.

Many NHS services are not provided by the public sector.

Patients: Transport

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the recommended maximum journey time is for acute patients travelling to receive (a) percutaneous coronary intervention and (b) thrombolysis. [113029]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has not set out any recommended maximum journey times for acute patients travelling to receive percutaneous coronary intervention and thrombolysis.

Both thrombolysis and percutaneous coronary intervention (also known as primary angioplasty) are effective treatments for heart attack if given within the first two to three hours of onset of symptoms.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1110W

Justice

Community Orders

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will estimate the cost in a full financial year of introducing GPS tracking technology for the surveillance of offenders in England and Wales. [112416]

Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice has invited tenders for the next round of electronic monitoring contracts, which we expect to award early in 2013. It would not be appropriate to give an estimate of the cost of introducing GPS tracking technology while the competition is in progress.

Members: Correspondence

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to reply to the letter of 14 April 2012 from the hon. Member for Blackley and Boughton's constituent, Elizabeth Dunbar. [113080]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: This letter was received in the Ministry of Justice on 16 May. My officials replied to the letter on 20 June.

Prisoners: Females

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many women with home addresses in Swindon who were held in women's prisons between April 2011 and April 2012 committed acts of self-harm during their imprisonment. [109686]

Mr Blunt: The central system for recording incidents of self-harm does not contain home addresses of offenders and therefore the numbers of those self-harming from Swindon are unknown.

Prisons: Shops

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the average annual change was in prices for items listed for sale in prison shops via the canteen list in each year from 2007 to 2012; [112741]

(2) what the average price differential is for items sold in prison shops between the canteen list price and high street price. [112742]

Mr Blunt: The average annual changes in prices for items listed for sales in prison shops for lines excluding tobacco are:

May 2009 to May 2010—4.2%

May2010 to May211—2.9%

May 2011 to May 2012—2.8%

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) Retail Contract commenced on 1 April 2009. Previous Information for 2007 to 31 March 2009 is not held centrally by MOJ and is therefore not provided.

Tobacco, which is excluded from the above, is shown separately as the duty increases have had significant impact on prices. The movement across the three year period of 35.8% was driven primarily by VAT and Duty increases (approximately 60% of the overall increase).

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1111W

The prices charged to prisoners are reviewed every 13 weeks.

The National Product List (NPL) prices set by NOMS are based on two criteria:

Price Marked (PM) items are sold to prisoners at the price marked on the packaging.

Manufacturers Recommended Retail Prices (MRRP) items are priced in accordance with available Manufacturers Recommended Retail Prices.

The average price differential between items sold in the prison shop, the National Product List (NPL) and the high street can vary on a daily basis. Given the number of individual items on the NPL (approximately 800 lines) it is not therefore possible to determine a representative average price differential.

At the beginning of each new NPL. a comparison of a small selection of essential items known as the ‘Shopping Basket’ is undertaken to establish how NOMS cost compares to convenience stores. An average differential of prices compared to the high street for all lines is therefore not available. The average differential for the most recent basket comparison is 5.16%.

Suicide

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the oral contribution by the Minister of State for Policing of 13 March 2012, Official Report, column 53WH, on investigation of suicides, which Government-led, cross-sector forums have discussed sudden deaths. [113021]

Mr Djanogly: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has formed a Coroners Working Group comprising police, CPS and coroner representatives. The group has been established to focus on improving communications between the three parties in the event of a suspicious sudden death.

In February 2012 Ministry of Justice officials convened a meeting with representatives from the Home Office, National Policing Improvement Agency, the CPS and the Coroners' Society of England and Wales to discuss the investigation of non-suspicious sudden deaths.

Home Department

Animal Experiments

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on the use of stray dogs and cats in animal experiments through the transposition of the EU Directive on animal experimentation. [112338]

Lynne Featherstone: The UK does not allow the use of stray dogs and cats in animal experiments. The EU Directive also states that stray animals should not be used. We do not envisage any circumstances under which the use of stray animals will be justified in the future.

European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes is to be implemented in the United Kingdom and other member states from 1 January 2013.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1112W

Article 10 requires that dogs and cats may only be used in procedures if they have been purpose bred. Any exception to this requirement must be justified on scientific grounds. Article 11 prohibits the use of stray and feral animals of domestic species except in essential studies relating to the health and welfare of the animals, or serious threats to the environment or to human or animal health. Where such an exception is to be granted, there must be a scientific justification that the purpose of the procedure can be achieved only by the use of a stray or feral animal.

We propose to implement the requirements of Articles 10 and 11 by means of the standard conditions to be applied to project licences.

Currently, section 10(3) of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 provides similar prohibitions through its requirement for the conditions of a project licence to include a condition to the effect that dogs and cats must be purpose bred and prohibiting the use of wild animals. Section 10(3) also provides for exceptions to these prohibitions, where justified.

As current UK requirements are not stricter than those of the new directive in this regard, it is not possible to place an absolute prohibition of the use of stray dogs and cats on the face of revised UK legislation using Article 2 to the directive. Nevertheless, under the 1986 Act, exceptions relating to the use of feral animals have been extremely rare and no use of stray animals has been authorised. We do not envisage any circumstances under which the use of stray animals will be justified in the future and I therefore propose, as a matter of policy, to continue this effective prohibition on the use of stray animals under revised UK legislation transposing the new directive.

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain for 2011. [112699]

Lynne Featherstone: We plan to publish the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals, Great Britain for 2011 on 10 July 2012 at 10 am.

Castes

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent consideration she has given to using the powers in section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010 to make caste an aspect of race for purposes of the Act. [112761]

Lynne Featherstone: Our consideration of this matter is still ongoing. This is a sensitive issue; any consideration of how best to proceed must balance the perceived need for legislative intervention against this Government's emphasis on challenging red tape and avoidance of additional regulation which may put an unnecessary burden on employers and other businesses.

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received on making caste an aspect of race under the Equality Act 2010. [112762]

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1113W

Lynne Featherstone: We have received, and continue to receive, representations and correspondence on this matter from both individuals and organisations.

Among those organisations are:

Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance

Association for Community Cohesion

British Sikh Consultative Forum

Castewatch UK

Hindu Council UK

Hindu Forum of Britain

The National Council of Hindu Temples UK

National Hindu Students Forum

Odysseus Trust

Voice of Dalit International

Representations have included a number received as part of the Government's Red Tape Challenge spotlight on equalities exercise that was conducted in 2011.

Criminal Records: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for information from the UK's criminal records from other EU Member States have been made for purposes other than criminal proceedings under Article 6(1) of EU Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA in each year since 2009. [112792]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 19 June 2012]: Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA was implemented on 27 April 2012. It replaced Council Decision 2005/876/JHA which had been brought into force in June 2006.

Since 27 April there have been 66 incoming requests for purposes other than criminal proceedings. Of these two referred to Government employment, seven were for firearms licenses and 57 were requests from individuals for their own criminal record. Many of these related to individuals who have lived in the UK and have since returned to their home country.

Deportation

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2012, Official Report, column 63W, on deportation, how many immigrants the UK Border Agency deported in each of the last five years; to which countries; and using what form and class of travel. [111101]

Damian Green: Deportations are a specific subset of removals which are enforced either following a criminal conviction or when it is judged that a person's removal from the UK is conducive to the public good. The deportation order prohibits the person returning to the UK until such time as it may be revoked. Most illegal immigrants are removed under administrative or illegal entry powers from the UK rather than being deported.

It has therefore been assumed that the question refers to the number of enforced removals and voluntary departures from the UK as opposed to the number of deportations.

The table placed in the House Library, shows the total number of removals and voluntary departures by country of destination in each year from 2007 to 2011.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1114W

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK within Immigration Statistics. The data on removals and voluntary departures by country of destination is available in the latest release, Immigration Statistics: January-March 2012, tables rv.06 and rv.06.q, from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science, research and statistics web pages at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

The UK Border Agency seeks to achieve the best value for money when returning nationals with no right to remain in the UK. Ticket costs and a number of other factors are taken into account when deciding on the method and route of return. It is not possible to provide an accurate breakdown of the form and class of travel without examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

DNA: Databases

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals are on the DNA database but have not been charged with an offence. [111019]

James Brokenshire: The information requested is not currently available. The National DNA Database (NDNAD) is designed to match DNA taken from crime scenes with that taken from individuals. It does not hold information on whether those on it have been charged, as this is not necessary for that purpose. As part of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act, work is under way to enable the removal from the NDNAD of the records relating to those without convictions, whether or not charged, in accordance with the provisions of the Act. New software on the Police National Computer will use the information recorded on that system to identify those whose records must be deleted from the NDNAD under the provisions of the Act, and to drive this deletion automatically through a link between the two systems.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will arrange for the hon. Member for Walsall North to receive a reply from the UK Border Agency to his letter of 17 May 2012 about a constituent, ref M7571/12. [113038]

Damian Green: The chief executive of the UK Border Agency wrote to the hon. Gentleman on 19 June 2012.

Women and Equalities

Civil Partnerships: Ceremonies

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities whether the Government Equalities Office has conducted an analysis of the potential effects of plans for same-sex civil marriage on the conduct of marriage ceremonies by religious institutions; and if she will make a statement. [112307]

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1115W

Lynne Featherstone: The Government's consultation on how to enable same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony closed on 14 June.

Prior to, and during the consultation, the Government assessed the potential effects on religious institutions of our proposals. Both myself and my officials have also met with a number of faith groups to hear their views.

No religious organisation will be forced to host ceremonies for same-sex couples as a result of these proposals.

Conditions of Employment

John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities (1) whether she has made an assessment of the working conditions for women in the professional modelling industry; [112835]

(2) what assessment she has made of the extent of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the creative industries. [112836]

Lynne Featherstone: The Department has made no assessment of (a) the working conditions for women in the professional modelling industry or (b) the extent of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation in the creative industries.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1116W

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how many regulations her Department has repealed between 1 February and 31 May 2012; and if she will estimate the potential savings to those affected in each case. [112985]

Lynne Featherstone: As of 1 April 2011, the Government Equalities Office has been part of the Home Office and is no longer a separate Government Department. The information requested will be provided by the Minister for Immigration in response to the hon. Member’s question to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

House of Commons Commission

Theft

Keith Vaz: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many thefts from the Commons part of the parliamentary estate have been reported since 22 March 2012; and what items were reported stolen in each case. [113129]

John Thurso: The following table shows the items reported as stolen from the House of Commons since 22 March 2012:

Items reported stolenNumberNote

iPad

2

One subsequently found

Coat and scarf

1

Wrong coat and scarf inadvertently taken by a visitor to the Public Gallery and not returned

Wallet and contents

1

Property found

Mobile telephone

2

Laptop

7

£723 cash

1

Pre-paid envelopes

1

Arrest made and property recovered

Computer equipment

1

Cabinet Office

Investment and Contract Readiness Fund

Ann McKechin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 59W, on third sector, for what reason it is his policy that only companies based and operating solely within England will be entitled to apply to the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund. [113006]

Mr Hurd: The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund covers England only. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 June 2012, Official Report, column 924W.

Public Sector: Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether Government Departments will be required to publish information on those public sector workers earning more than £150,000 off payroll in their 2012 update. [113143]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 June 2012, Official Report, column 1073W.

Communities and Local Government

Families: Disadvantaged

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what evidential basis he has calculated that there are 120,000 families which should be eligible for the troubled families programme. [112555]

Robert Neill: In December 2011, all upper-tier local authorities were provided with figures on the indicative numbers of troubled families in their area. All local authorities accepted these figures for their own area, which, in aggregate, confirmed a 120,000 figure.

The “Troubled Families Financial Framework”, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, outlines the process for councils to draw up the list of families who will be part of the programme.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1117W

Local Government Finance

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the level of year-end balances of local authorities was (a) in each authority and (b) in total in 2011-12. [112455]

Robert Neill [holding answer 18 June 2012]: The estimated level of year-end balances across England was:

 2011-12(1 )(£ billion)

As at 31 March

 

Estimated schools reserves level

1.7

Estimated other earmarked financial reserves level

7.7

Estimated unallocated financial reserves level

3.1

(1) Budget.

A table has been placed in the Library of the House, showing the figures for 2011-12 end of year balances at individual local authority level.

I would note that these figures are from Revenue Account Budget returns for 2011-12 and are not necessarily directly comparative with Revenue Outturn returns. Typically, authorities record lower figures for end of year reserves in their budget returns (completed at the beginning of each financial year) than their outturn returns (completed at the end of each financial year).

As outlined in my Department's press notice of 30 November 2010, it is the view of Ministers that it is sensible, as part of wider financial planning, for councils to consider drawing on their reserves to address short-term costs and pressures, such as necessary restructuring, and to invest now in order to realise savings in the longer term. Low interest rates have significantly reduced the revenues from council reserves. Councils can then build up their reserves again in the sunnier days to come.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animals: Imports

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will commission research into the potential health effects for the UK human population of the import of exotic pets. [110920]

Mr Paice: There are already rules in place to protect public health from known risks associated with the import of animals. Specifically, there are recognised infectious risks associated with reptiles. We have been working with the Health Protection Agency to alert the public to these risks, while emphasising the importance of safe handling in reptiles and also controlling the importation of potential sources of infection of reptiles. At the present time, with diminishing budgets and other priorities there is no research under way or planned in this area.

Should a new or unknown risk emerge, the Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance (HAIRS) group's key responsibility is to identify and discuss emerging diseases that may post a threat to UK public health.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1118W

The group is chaired by the Health Protection Agency and includes representatives from DEFRA, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, the Department for Health, the Food Standards Agency and the devolved Administrations. The HAIRS group may be able to commission new public health research, if considered appropriate, through its membership.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish all correspondence between her Department and outside organisations on the badger cull. [112931]

Mr Paice: The Department does not routinely publish correspondence that it receives and sends as part of the normal course of business; this is no exception.

E. coli

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the role of antimicrobial usage as a factor influencing the prevalence of E. coli, carrying extended-spectrum beta-lactamases on dairy farms. [111441]

Mr Paice: A pilot research project on antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance from dairy farms with and without extended spectrum beta-lactamase E. coli is due to be completed later on this year.

Eggs: Sales

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effect of falling sales of free-range eggs on poultry farmers. [111981]

Mr Paice: DEFRA does not collect statistics on the sales of free-range eggs. However, statistics are collected on the production of free-range eggs and these figures show the production of free-range eggs has been relatively stable over the last few years:

UK egg packing station throughput
Thousand cases
 TotalIntensiveBarnFree RangeOrganic

2009

     

Q1

6,119

3,519

220

2,121

259

Q2

6,126

3,312

250

2,304

260

Q3

6,111

3,249

287

2,331

244

Q4

6,261

3,364

279

2,381

237

      

2010

     

Q1

6,498

3,386

308

2,555

249

Q2

6,686

3,348

324

2,779

235

Q3

6,920

3,406

355

2,932

226

Q4

6,963

3,382

347

3,017

218

      

2011

     

Q1

6,854

3,343

291

3,007

212

Q2

6,880

3,305

277

3,055

243

Q3

6,632

3,300

248

2,875

209

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1119W

Q4

6,555

3,180

259

2,943

174

      

2012

     

Q1

6,506

3,107

230

3,001

168

Fisheries: North Sea

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Government of Norway on fishing quotas in the North sea. [113070]

Richard Benyon: I have not had direct discussions with the Government of Norway on North sea fishing quotas recently, but DEFRA officials have numerous contacts with Norway and attend meetings with Norway as part of a European delegation. Most recently, officials took part in an EU/Norway meeting in Kirkwell to discuss long-term management plans for cod, saithe and herring. The outcome was a request to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas to evaluate the current plans and to recommend possible improvements.

Food: Exports

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to her Department's document, Driving Export Growth in the Farming, Food and Drink Sector, how much UK food exports have increased since January 2012. [111985]

Mr Paice: Export figures for food, feed and drink for the first quarter of 2012 are £4.324 billion. This compares with £4.217 billion for the equivalent period in 2011. The figures for the second quarter of 2012 are not yet available.

Food: Procurement

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will assess which central Government Departments are compliant with her Department's Government Buying Standards for food and catering services for contracts signed (a) before and (b) after 1 September 2011. [111115]

Mr Paice: The Government Buying Standard (GBS) for food and catering services was published in June 2011 and became mandatory for new contracts in September 2011. Implementation of the Government Buying Standards is the responsibility of each individual Government Department. Departments are seeking opportunities to introduce the food and catering service standards into existing contracts and, as contracts come up for renewal, these should include the Government Buying Standards. Departments are also responsible for appropriate reporting on their adherence to the standards.

Government Departments are now expected to report on their use of Government Buying Standards under the Greening Government Commitments entered into in February 2011. For the first year, 2011-12, we will be

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1120W

looking for reports on a handful of product groups, which will not include the food GBS as it is considered premature to report on this considering its recent introduction, to keep the reporting burden to a reasonable level. However, the number of product groups covered will increase year by year over the duration of these commitments. It is anticipated that reporting on compliance with the food GBS will be included next year.

Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will publish the impact assessment of her decision to make changes to the Gangmasters Licensing Authority; [111966]

(2) what steps the Gangmasters Licensing Authority will take to work with specialist law enforcement agencies using an intelligence-led approach to better target and pursue suspected serious and organised crime; [111967]

(3) what steps she plans to take to reduce the administrative burden of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority licensing regime; [111968]


(4) what representations she has received on her decision to no longer allow the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to regulate apprenticeships, forestry, specialist cleaning contract companies, land agents and voluntary workers; [111969]

(5) when she plans to publish comprehensive proposals for reform of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. [111970]

Mr Paice: Proposals announced on 24 May, which will improve the way the Gangmasters Licensing Authority operates, are the result of the Government's Red Tape Challenge (RTC) review of the authority. This included gaining approval from the Reducing Regulation Committee. An impact assessment was not required under this process. Detailed proposals will be published for public consultation later this year, and will include impact assessments.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) already works closely with a range of enforcement bodies. Our proposed approach looks to build on that sound base by improving intelligence gathering and data sharing and establishing better co-operation between the various enforcement agencies. These include the UK Human Trafficking Agency, the UK Borders Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency and, from 2013, the National Crime Agency. This approach will help ensure the GLA targets suspected serious and organised crime.

In tandem with this we will look to reduce burdens imposed on compliant operators under the GLA's licensing scheme. This includes removing the automatic requirement for an application inspection, and associated fee of £1,850, and introducing a system of earned recognition for those applying for a licence. Combined with proposals to remove from scope of the GLA low risk sectors where there is no evidence of worker abuse. The GLA estimates that this will result in around 150 fewer licensed operators and annual savings to business of circa £360,000.

Confor, the main trade body representing businesses in the forestry sector, has written to DEFRA Ministers supporting the proposal to exclude forestry from scope

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1121W

of the GLA. There have not been any other formal representations received on the removal of low risk sectors since the announcement on 24 May.

Livestock: Antibiotics

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of trends in the levels of antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli and Enterococci in (a) poultry, (b) pigs and (c) cattle since 2000; [111354]

(2) what recent evidence she has received on trends in the level of anti-microbial resistance in E. coli; [111460]

(3) what recent assessment she has made of the dissemination of plasmid-borne antibiotic resistance in food producing animals. [111442]

Mr Paice: The antimicrobial susceptibility of Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella and Enterococci from intestinal contents of pigs and cattle after slaughter were monitored in abattoir surveys in 2003 and the results were announced at a public meeting held at that time. This followed a similar survey performed in 1999-2000.

During 2006-07 turkeys on farms were monitored for E. coli. Later, during 2008-09, broiler chickens were monitored for Campylobacter and E. coli. The results have been published either in scientific journals or by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The Government contributes antimicrobial susceptibility data annually to EFSA for inclusion in the EU Summary Report on Antimicrobial Resistance. This report is published annually on the EFSA website and shows trends in susceptibility for several antimicrobials.

The antimicrobial susceptibility of organisms from clinical diagnostic material submitted to Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) Regional Laboratories provides further ongoing monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility in bacteria of veterinary origin.

Plasmid borne antimicrobial resistance is common in bacteria in food-producing animals and has been for many years. The situation is similar in most countries.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the (a) number of farms and (b) proportion of (i) poultry, (ii) pigs and (iii) cattle testing positive for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase resistant E. coli and salmonella; and when this information was last obtained. [111355]

Mr Paice: Determination of the proportions of farms positive for extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) E. coli has been done for turkeys, where a survey was performed in 2006-07. ESBL E. coli were isolated from 5.2% of turkey meat production farms and 6.9% of turkey breeder farms. The results have been published in the scientific journal, the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Similar studies have not been performed in pigs or cattle.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research (a) her Department and (b) the BBSRC has funded into the relationship between the level of farm antibiotic

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1122W

use and the level of antibiotic resistance in (i) poultry, (ii) pigs and (iii) cattle since 2000; and what the findings were of this research; [111359]

(2) what research (a) her Department and (b) the BBSRC has funded into the use of antibiotics on organic and non-organic farms since 2000; and what the findings were of this research. [111360]

Mr Paice: A pilot research project on antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance from dairy farms with and without extended spectrum beta-lactamase E. coli is due to be completed later on this year.

Research on an organic broiler farm published in 2007 reported that in the four years prior to the study, antibiotics had been administered on one occasion. This study is publishes at:

http://aem.asm.Org/content/73/1/203.long

Between 2005 and 2010, the BBRSC committed an average of £1,854,000 annually to research on antimicrobial resistance. Details of this research can be found in scientific journals.

Poultry: Animal Welfare

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to prevent the import into the UK of eggs laid by illegally caged hens; and if she will make a statement. [111964]

Mr Paice: Risk based surveillance to ensure imported shell eggs from other member states have been produced in compliance with the conventional cage ban is continuing. Inspectors are conducting checks on batches of eggs on a weekly basis at all primary importers using ultraviolet light analysis and by checking against member states' compliant producer lists. The UK's full enforcement strategy is set out in the written ministerial statement of 6 December 2011, Official Report, columns 15-19WS.

Sheep: Tagging

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress her Department has made on changes to sheep electronic identification regulations. [111979]

Mr Paice: In December 2011, DEFRA secured a change to the EU regulations on sheep electronic identification (EID) to delay, for three years, the requirement to include individual ear tag numbers on movement documents for older animals which are not required to be electronically identified. This change will save keepers between £5 million and £14.5 million.

Further changes to the EU legislation are not anticipated in the near future.

Zoos

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether the requirements of the EC zoos directive are being met in zoos in England; how many zoo closure directions under section 16 of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 have been issued since 2005; and if she will make a statement. [111261]

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Mr Paice: The EC zoos directive is implemented through the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 which places responsibility for the administration of the zoo licensing and inspection regime with local authorities. In response to concerns about how local authorities were carrying out this role, DEFRA commissioned research which found, among other things, evidence of an improving situation with respect to implementation of the Act.

The research also noted the need for further improvement and DEFRA is currently updating its guidance for local authorities to assist them in carrying out their functions.

The issue of zoo closure directions is a matter for individual local authorities. Records are not held centrally.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many zoo inspectors are currently employed; how many zoo inspections took (a) less than one day, (b) one day, (c) two days and (d) three or more days in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [111262]

Mr Paice: The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) maintain a list of zoo inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State. There are currently 34 inspectors on the list. Inspectors are not employed by AHVLA or DEFRA but carry out or assist with certain inspections for the relevant local authority.

Information on the duration of inspections is not held centrally. However, these details may be available from individual local authorities.

Transport

Birmingham Cross-City Railway Line

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Garston and Halewood of 14 June 2012, Official Report, column 533W, on railway stations, what discussions she (a) has had and (b) plans to have with (i) Network Rail, (ii) London Midland and (iii) Centro on passenger safety, comfort and service on the Birmingham Cross City Line. [113063]

Mrs Villiers: Ministers meet with Network Rail, passenger transport executives and train operating companies on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of issues.

However, no meetings have been held, or are planned to be held, to discuss specifically the Birmingham Cross City Line.

Cars: Insurance

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had on the use of spy technology in the car to track drivers and reduce insurance costs. [112214]

Mike Penning: The Secretary of State has not had any discussions on the use of spy technology in cars.

On 2 May the Secretary of State for Transport hosted a cross-Government summit with the insurance industry on measures to reduce the cost of premiums.

One measure, especially for young drivers, which the insurance industry is introducing, is the use of telematics or “smartbox” technology which monitors driving behaviour, giving drivers the opportunity to reduce car

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insurance premiums by driving safely and responsibly. Such technology is used with the full knowledge and consent of the person insuring the vehicle.

Consultants

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was to her Department of the use of external consultants in each of the last two years. [110616]

Norman Baker: I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Harrow West (Gareth Thomas) on Monday 11 June, Official Report, column 36W.

Merseyrail

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure that sufficient electric rolling stock is available to operate newly electrified routes in the Merseyside area from 2014 onwards. [112281]

Mrs Villiers: The choice of rolling stock is generally a matter for the relevant train operator, with Government involvement primarily focused on where the taxpayer's interest needs to be protected.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost of car insurance was in each of the last five years. [109676]

Mike Penning: The average cost of car motor insurance premiums for each of the last five years can be considered in two different ways. Data from the AA's “shoparound” survey show the average development in quotes for annual comprehensive car insurance policies. Data from the ABI show the average premium actually paid, based on a sample of insurance companies.

£
Source20072008200920102011

Automobile Association (AA) (October 2011)

463

503

569

792

921

Association of British Insurers (ABI) (annual data)

352

348

340

390

(1)

(1 )Not yet available. Note: The AA figures do not fully take into account the price of the policy finally agreed; and renewals of existing policies may be cheaper than quotes for new policies.

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information her Department holds on the average increase in annual car insurance premiums in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 to date. [110579]

Mike Penning [holding answer 11 June 2012]: I refer the hon. Member to my answer given today to my hon. Friend the Member for Pendle (Andrew Stephenson) UIN 109676.

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Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many regulations her Department has repealed between 1 February and 31 May 2012; and if she will estimate the potential savings to those affected in each case. [112983]

Norman Baker: Ten statutory instruments were revoked between 1 February and 31 May 2012. These are listed in the table below.

Where an Impact Assessment has been prepared for the instrument that contained the revocation, the best estimate of the total benefit to those affected and the best estimate of the total net present value are given.

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These sums relate to the values associated with the introduction of the instrument containing the revocations. It is not possible, except at disproportionate cost, to provide savings attributable solely to the revocations, in particular because of the further analysis that would be required.

Where no benefit figure is given, this is because no Impact Assessment was produced for the instrument containing the revocation. Where given in the Explanatory Note to the instrument, the reason for not producing an Impact Assessment is provided in the table below. In the case of the Dunham Bridge order, it has not been the practice of the Department to produce Impact Assessments for orders of this type that change toll levels.

Statutory Instrument containing the revocationSI NumberMade onStatutory Instrument(s) revokedDate of coming into force of revocationBest estimate of total benefit (present value) based on Impact Assessment £ millionBest estimate total net present value based on Impact Assessment £ millionReason given for no Impact Assessment where applicable

The Street Works (Charges for Occupation of the Highway) (England) Regulations 2012

2012/425

20 February 2012

The Street Works (Charges for Occupation of the Highway) (England) Regulations 2001 SI 2001/4060

14 March 2012

£532.7 over a period of six years

£441.5 over a period of six years

 

The Humber Bridge (Debts) Order 2012

2012/716

5 March 2012

The Humber Bridge (Debts) Order 2011 SI 2011/1718

1 April 2012

  

There was no anticipated impact on the private or voluntary sectors.

The Policing of Aerodromes (Belfast International Airport) Order 2012

2012/837

13 March 2012

The Policing of Aerodromes (Belfast International Airport) Order 2011 SI 2010/575

16 April 2012

  

No additional impact on the costs to business, the public sector, civil society organisations, regulators or consumers to that set out in the final impact assessment on Airport Policing, Funding and Security Planning was foreseen.

The Dunham Bridge (Revision of Tolls) Order 2012

2012/852

15 March 2012

The Dunham Bridge (Revision of Tolls) Order 2007 SI 2007/1455

30 March 2012

   

The Bus Lane Contraventions (Approved Local Authorities) (England) (Amendment) and Civil Enforcement of Parking Contravention s Designation Order 2012

2012/846

21 March 2012

The Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (City of Derby) Order 2006 SI 2006/1445

16 April 2012

  

No impact on the private or voluntary sectors was foreseen.

   

The Road Traffic (Permitted Parking Area and Special Parking Area) (Metropolitan Borough of Solihull) Order 2007 SI 2007/2535

    

The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) Regulations 2012

2012/1017

2 April 2012

The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) Regulations 1995 SI 1995/1054

30 April 2012

£149.7 over a period of ten years

£6.2 over a period of ten years

 

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21 Jun 2012 : Column 1128W

   

The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/1390

    
   

The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) (Second Amendment) Regulations 1997 SI 1997/2912

    
   

The Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 SI 2003/1741

    
   

(also revoked by SI 2012/1017 was regulation 19 of the Civil Aviation (Contributions to the Air Travel Trust) Regulations 2007)

    

Temporary local highways and flying orders were not considered for the purposes of answering this question. This is because they could only have been considered at disproportionate cost. From 1 January 2012 to 31 May 2012 the Department made 835 Statutory Instruments of which 791 were temporary local highways or flying orders.

Rescue Services: Scotland

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure that the remaining coastguard stations in Scotland are able to cope effectively with emergency situations. [113071]

Mike Penning: The new rescue coordination arrangements will deliver a more resilient, nationally-networked service with a national Maritime Operations Centre at its heart, allowing better management of peaks and troughs of demand.

Robust testing will be carried out prior to the closure of both Forth and Clyde Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres to ensure that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is able to maintain at least the same quality of search and rescue service as at present.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what correspondence (a) she, (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) officials in her Department have had with the Scottish Government on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK; and if she will place any such correspondence in the Library; [112631]

(2) what discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) officials in her Department have had with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK. [112641]

Norman Baker: There has been no correspondence or discussions on the consequences of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom between Ministers and officials in the Department and Scottish Government Ministers or officials.

The Coalition Government's position is clear. Scotland is stronger as part of the UK and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it. The Government is not making plans for independence as we are confident that people in Scotland will continue to support the United Kingdom in any referendum.

International Development

Developing Countries: Human Rights

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he decided that all his Department's country programmes would include a short human rights assessment as part of the annual review of country operational plans; and for what reason such assessments have been introduced. [112747]

Mr Duncan: The decision for all DFID's priority country programmes to include a human rights assessment was taken in December 2011, as part of DFID's ongoing efforts to strengthen our approach to human rights. Introduction of short human rights assessments supports the Department's policy on budget support and conditionality, revised in June 2011. This policy includes

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respect for human rights as one of the four partnership principles that DFID applies in deciding whether or not to provide budget support.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development who he intends to consult in preparing human rights assessments in conjunction with annual reviews of his Department's country operations plans; if he will consult national and international human rights organisations in the preparation of such assessments; and what discussions he plans to have with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the participation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the preparation of such assessments. [112748]

Mr Duncan: DFID country offices are encouraged to draw on a range of sources in preparing human rights assessments as part of their annual review of country operational plans. This includes drawing on existing analysis and data, from national Governments as well as local and international human rights organisations.

DFID human rights assessments are being prepared in close collaboration with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), in particular in the countries that are of particular concern to the UK Government.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to set down benchmarks on human rights in his Department's country operational plans. [112753]

Mr Duncan: From September 2012, country operational plans will include a human rights assessment which will highlight the key human rights issues in each country, a judgment on the overall trajectory of the human rights environment, and the implications for DFID programmes. The assessments will not explicitly set down benchmarks.

DFID does however consider respect for human rights as one of the four partnership principles that are applied when assessing budget support to a government.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when human rights assessments prepared in conjunction with annual reviews of his Department's country operational plans will be published; and whether such assessments will be discussed with the Government of each country. [112871]

Mr Duncan: All DFID country offices have been required to draw up human rights assessments as part of their annual review of country, operational plans. These assessments will be published by September 2012.

We expect some DFID country offices to consult and share their assessments with the Governments, and other key actors, prior to publication, although it is for country offices to use their discretion on how they handle the process.

Developing Countries: Polio

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) programmes his Department supports and (b) recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on the global eradication of polio. [112882]

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1130W

Mr Duncan: DFID provides support for polio eradication through the UK's annual contribution to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) which the World Health Organisation hosts in Geneva. The GPEI prioritises the allocation of the funding according to need. I have held no discussions recently with ministerial colleagues on the issue of polio eradication.

Pakistan

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to ensure that aid to the Government of Pakistan is used to support development projects and cannot be used to support terrorist activities. [113072]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: All UK aid to the Government of Pakistan is earmarked to deliver specific outcomes to help the poorest and most vulnerable people and is subject to numerous safeguards. The Department for International Development (DFID) has put in place rigorous monitoring, verification and fiduciary risk assessments, including through independent verification. These systems help to ensure that UK aid reaches its intended recipients, secures value for money and delivers tangible results.

Sri Lanka

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is providing to the Government of Sri Lanka to extend clean water and sanitation to the whole of the population of that country. [113289]

Mr Duncan: DFID has no bilateral programme in Sri Lanka.

Treasury

Capital Allowances

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the use of enhanced capital allowances to support investment in petroleum refineries. [113009]

Miss Chloe Smith: All businesses, including petroleum refineries, are entitled to claim capital allowances on their plant and machinery expenditure at rates of writing-down allowances which broadly align with commercial depreciation.

Monetary Policy

Steve Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 23 November 2010, Official Report, column 275W, on monetary policy, what assessment he has made of the lag between an intervention in the market for loanable funds and its effect on the economy. [112993]

Miss Chloe Smith: The independent Bank of England’s research, notably ‘The transmission mechanism of monetary policy’, 1999, finds that on average it takes about one year for the response to a change in the official interest rate to have its peak effect on demand and production, and that it takes up to a further year for these activity changes to have their fullest impact on the inflation rate.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1131W

Members of the independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank have noted the lags for the transmission of quantitative easing (QE) policy to be of the same order of magnitude, or possibly longer, compared to normal interest rate cuts.

21 Jun 2012 : Column 1132W

The Bank of England estimates in its September 2011 Quarterly Bulletin that the first round of QE, conducted between March 2009 and January 2012, raised UK inflation by around 0.75% to 1.50% and increased real GDP by around 1.50% to 2.0%