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27 Jun 2012 : Column 255W

27 Jun 2012 : Column 255W

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Justice

Children: Protection

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what assessment he has made of the report by Action for Children, Keeping children safe: The case for reforming the law on child neglect; and if he will make a statement outlining the Government's response to that report; [113955]

(2) if he will consider reviewing Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 for the purposes of assessing the effectiveness of the Act for tackling and preventing child neglect. [113956]

Mr Blunt: The Ministry of Justice has noted the content of the report. The Government is already addressing many of the concerns raised. We continue to shift the focus onto earlier intervention, recognising that the earlier that help is given to vulnerable children and families, the more chance there is of turning lives around and protecting children from harm. Early intervention is key to addressing problems in their early stages to prevent them escalating and so to protect vulnerable children from neglect and cruelty.

The Government is undertaking a number of reforms to strengthen social work practice. This includes improving the social work degree and developing further the skills of existing social workers in critical areas such as child protection. We have advertised for and intend to appoint a Chief Social Worker, who will work with the new College of Social Work and the newly designated Principal Child and Family Social Workers in local authorities to drive improvement and raise standards. On 12 June the Department for Education published its revised training resources and guidance ‘Childhood neglect: Improving outcomes for children The framework' and ‘Childhood neglect: Improving outcomes for children—Guidance for trainers’ to assist practitioners from all key disciplines to develop the knowledge, skills and values required to work effectively as part of a network of support and protection.

The offence of child cruelty under section 1 of the 1933 Act covers a wide range of behaviour and while some of the language in the 1933 Act may now be considered old fashioned the courts interpret the elements of the offence in the light of contemporary understandings.

The Ministry of Justice has not been made aware of any difficulties experienced by prosecutors in using section 1 of the 1933 Act, nor of any indication that they think it needs to be amended.

The Children and Young Persons Act 1933 is part of a comprehensive legislative framework for protecting children and keeping them safe from harm. Other relevant legislation includes the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and the Education Act 1996. Given the provisions of the legislative framework as a whole, there are no plans at present to amend the 1933 Act.

27 Jun 2012 : Column 256W

Data Protection

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what categories of data will be shared between the UK and other EU member states as a result of the Government's decision not to opt out of the Proposal on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences (COM 2012 10). [113992]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Article 3 of the proposed directive sets out the categories of data that fall within the definition of data subject. Accordingly, ‘data subject' can mean any person who can be identified by a data controller or by any other person by reference to one of the following characteristics: identification number, location data, online identifiers or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that person. In this context ‘personal data' means any information relating to a data subject.

Article 8 sets out provisions relating to processing of special categories of personal data. This provides that member states are prohibited from processing personal data that reveals race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religion or beliefs, trade union membership, of genetic data or of data concerning health or sex life, except where the following apply:

the processing is authorised by a law providing appropriate safeguards; or

the processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another person; or

the processing relates to data which are manifestly made public by the data subject.

The current arrangements under the 2008 Council Framework Decision on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters allow for the processing of special categories of data only to the extent that the processing is strictly necessary and where the national law provides adequate safeguards.

Therefore, the draft directive does not require the UK to share any categories of data that are not already being shared. Rather, it proposes new rules for how that sharing should happen.

Defamation Bill

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions his Department had with stakeholders in preparing his legislative proposals in the Defamation Bill. [114034]

Mr Djanogly: In developing the provisions in the Defamation Bill we have met with a range of stakeholders including members of the legal profession, including both claimant and defendant lawyers, non-governmental organisations, internet organisations, media representatives and members of the scientific community.

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many procurement card holders in his Department were (a) paid off-payroll, (b) employed

27 Jun 2012 : Column 257W

on a part-time basis and

(c)

employed as a non-permanent employee in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12; [113346]

(2) on which dates his Department has published Government procurement card spending over £500 since May 2010. [113365]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The information requested is as follows:

(a) I can confirm that there are no MOJ Government Procurement Card (GPC) holders who are paid off payroll.

(b) GPC cards are issued in response to a business need in line with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) GPC policy that is published on the MOJ website. The policy does not distinguish between part-time and permanent staff and therefore records are not kept. To obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost.

(c) GPC cards are issued to non-permanent staff on a fixed term contract on receipt of an approved business justification. These staff are on the MOJ payroll. Cards are not issued to agency/interim staff or consultants. Records of the number of cards issued to non-permanent staff are not kept and to obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost.

Details of all GPC transactions of £500 and above have been published on the MOJ website in accordance with Cabinet Office instructions since September 2011. The dates on which data have been published are as follows:

Data covering periodDate published

April to June 2011

27 September 2011

July 2011

31 October 2011

August 2011

31 October 2011

September 2011

30 November 2011

October 2011

30 December 2011

November 2011

31 January 2012

December 2011

29 February 2012

January 2012

30 March 2012

February 2012

30 April 2012

March 2012

14 June 2012

Human Trafficking: Victim Support Schemes

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) nationality and (b) gender was of each suspected victim of trafficking referred to the Trafficking Victim Support scheme operated by the Salvation Army in (i) March and (ii) May 2012; in which region each of the suspected victims was found; and which agency referred each case to the scheme. [113330]

Mr Blunt: In March 2012 there were 38 referrals to the Government-funded support service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales administered by the Salvation Army. In May there were 70. Details are provided in the following table:

NationalityGenderRegionReferring agency

March 2012

   

Albanian

Female

South East

NGO

27 Jun 2012 : Column 258W

Albanian

Female

South East

NGO

Albanian

Female

South East

Self-referral

Albanian

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Albanian

Female

South East

UKBA

Bangladeshi

Female

South East

Local authority

Bulgarian

Female

East

NGO

Cameroonian

Female

North West

Legal representative

Chinese

Female

South East

NGO

Czech

Male

South East

NHS

Czech

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

Gambian

Female

South West

NGO

Hungarian

Female

South East

Police

Hungarian

Female

North East

Police

Hungarian

Female

North East

Police

Hungarian

Female

North East

Police

Hungarian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Kenyan

Male

Yorkshire

NHS

Namibian

Female

North West

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

North West

NGO

Nigerian

Female

South East

Social services

Nigerian

Female

South East

Legal representative

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

West Midlands

Self-referral

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

West Midlands

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

South East

Police

Not known

Female

East Midlands

UKBA

Pakistani

Female

East

UKBA

Romanian

Male

West Midlands

Police

Tanzanian

Female

South East

NGO

Ugandan

Female

South East

NGO

Ugandan

Female

South East

Police

UK

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Vietnamese

Female

East

Legal representative

Vietnamese

Male

South East

Legal representative

    

May 2012

   

Albanian

Female

South East

NGO

Albanian

Female

North West

UKBA

Albanian

Female

South East

NGO

Albanian

Female

West Midlands

UKBA

Chinese

Male

North East

UKBA

Czech

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Equatorial Guinean

Female

South East

NGO

Ethiopian

Female

North West

UKBA

Ethiopian

Female

North East

UKBA

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

NGO

Hungarian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Hungarian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Indian

Male

Not known

Not known

Indian

Male

Not known

Not known

Indian

Female

West Midlands

UKBA

Kenyan

Female

South East

NGO

Lithuanian

Male

South East

NGO

Lithuanian

Male

East Midlands

Police

27 Jun 2012 : Column 259W

Lithuanian

Male

East Midlands

Police

Lithuanian

Male

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

North West

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

South East

SOCA

Nigerian

Female

South East

SOCA

Nigerian

Female

South East

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

South East

NHS

Pakistani

Female

North West

UKBA

Pakistani

Female

South East

Social services

Philippine

Female

Yorkshire

NGO

Polish

Male

West Midlands

NGO

Polish

Male

South

Police

Polish

Male

South

Police

Polish

Male

South

Police

Polish

Male

South

Police

Polish

Male

South

Police

Polish

Female

South East

GLA

Polish

Female

South East

GLA

Polish

Male

South East

GLA

Polish

Male

South East

GLA

Polish

Male

South Cast

GLA

Polish

Mate

South East

GLA

Polish

Male

South East

GLA

Polish

Male

West Midlands

NGO

Romanian

Female

South East

Police

Romanian

Female

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Romanian

Female

South East

Police

Senegalese

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Slovakian

Female

South East

Police

Slovakian

Male

North East

NGO

Slovakian

Male

South East

NGO

Ugandan

Female

South East

NGO

Ugandan

Female

South East

Self-referral

Ugandan

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

UK

Male

West Midlands

NGO

Vietnamese

Female

South East

NGO

Vietnamese

Male

South East

UKBA

Vietnamese

Male

South East

Legal representative

Zambian

Female

South West

Self-referral

Judges: Working Class

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1159W, on judges: working class, if he will include social class as a factor when bringing forward proposals to diversify the judiciary. [113631]

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Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Government supports the promotion of a diverse judiciary, which is more reflective of society as a whole.

We are working with the relevant legal professional bodies to support their work on attracting and retaining people from all social backgrounds in the legal professions and on improving availability of data to monitor progress.

Personal Injury: Compensation

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when Professor Fenn's report on the road traffic accident portal system will be published. [113983]

Mr Djanogly: Professor Fenn's report on the road traffic accident process is currently undergoing final clearance. As such, while we still expect to publish the report this summer, no specific publication date has yet been confirmed.

Private Prosecutions

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to the public purse was of expenditure on defendants' costs in private prosecutions in each of the last three financial years. [114021]

Mr Djanogly: Departmental accounting systems do not separately identify the expenditure on defendant's costs where the prosecution had been brought privately from those prosecutions brought publicly.

RSPCA: Prosecutions

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many private prosecutions have been brought before the courts by the RSPCA in each of the last three years. [114008]

Mr Blunt: Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not include the circumstances behind each case beyond the description provided in the statute. It is not possible to identify from this centrally held information the number of private prosecutions brought before the courts by the RSPCA.

Sexual Offences: Victim Support Schemes

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reason his Department has not maintained its commitment to develop a sexual assault referral centre in North Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement. [113520]

Anne Milton: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

North Yorkshire and York primary care trust and North Yorkshire police are working together on the commissioning of a sexual assault referral centre in North Yorkshire. The service is expected to open in early 2013.

27 Jun 2012 : Column 261W

Social Security Benefits: Appeals

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the target time is for a benefits appeal tribunal to hear an appeal after appeal documents have been submitted. [113694]

Mr Djanogly: Before April 2011 a set of primary performance indicators was in place for each tribunal jurisdiction, based upon waiting times from receipt to disposal of an appeal. For the social security and child support (SSCS) tribunal this was based on the percentage of appeals where the final outcome was promulgated within 16-weeks of the receipt at SSCS.

A commitment was made in Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) Business Plan for 2011-15 to publish wider information about the operation of courts and tribunals to assist users to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of these public services.

Therefore, from April 2011, HMCTS no longer uses the primary performance indicators as targets, although information on the percentage of appeals where the final outcome was promulgated within 16-weeks is still published in the quarterly statistics report for the tribunals:

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

and is used for internal planning.

From April 2011 a measure has been published which examines the age of a case when it is cleared or disposed of and gives the point at which 25%, 50% (the median) and 75% were cleared. This can also be found in the quarterly statistics report for the tribunals.

Victim Support Schemes

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how he plans to ensure a minimum quality standard across the UK when victims' services are locally commissioned. [113957]

Mr Blunt: The consultation, ‘Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses' closed on 22 April. We are currently considering the responses received, which included comments on minimum standards for victims' services, and the Government response to the consultation will be published soon.

Young Offenders

Seema Malhotra: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many young offenders there are in young offenders institutions aged (a) 15 years, (b) 16 years and (c) 17 years old; [113987]

(2) what the average length of time spent in a young offenders institution was for offenders aged (a) 15, (b) 16 and (c) 17 years in the latest period for which figures are available. [114035]

Mr Blunt: As at 31 March 2012 the prison population in England and Wales included (a) 61 15-year-olds; (b) 360 16-year-olds; and (c) 961 17-year-olds.

The following table shows the average time served in custody for offenders aged 15 to 17 released from determinate sentences in 2011.

27 Jun 2012 : Column 262W

 Age(1)
 151617

All determinate sentences

3.9

4.7

5.3

Less than or equal to 6 months

2.3

2.6

2.7

More than 6 months to less than 12 months

4.4

4.2

4.6

12 months to less than 4 years

7.5

8.7

9.0

4 years or more

n/a

25.7

27.2

(1) Age at time of discharge. Note: Time served in months and includes any time on remand.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Young Offenders: Bolton

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many juvenile offenders from the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton have been held in a (a) secure children's home, (b) secure training centre and (c) young offender institution in each month since May 2005. [113900]

Mr Blunt: The following table shows the number of young people attached to the Bolton Youth Offending Team (YOT) who have been held in a (a) secure children's home, (b) secure training centre and (c) under 18 young offender institution in each month since May 2005 to April 2012.

These data have been provided by the Youth Justice Board (YJB). The YJB holds data at the YOT area level, not at the local authority level. YOT area data may cover more than one local authority area.

This is based upon monthly population snapshot data. Therefore one young person who is held more than one month in custody will be shown in more than one month in the following table.

The data from April 2011 onwards are provisional and will be finalised when the 2011-12 Youth Justice Statistics are published in 2013.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and can be subject to change over time.

Table 1: Young people (aged 10-17) in custody attached to the Bolton Youth Offending Team (YOT) by establishment type in each month since May 2005
 Secure Children’s HomesSecure Training CentresYoung Offender Institutions

May 2005

3

2

26

June 2005

3

1

25

July 2005

1

0

31

August 2005

2

0

28

September 2005

2

1

25

October 2005

1

2

23

November 2005

1

3

26

December 2005

2

2

19

27 Jun 2012 : Column 263W

January 2006

0

1

22

February 2006

0

0

27

March 2006

0

1

28

April 2006

1

1

23

May 2006

1

2

18

June 2006

1

1

17

July 2006

0

1

18

August 2006

1

1

17

September 2006

1

2

14

October 2006

3

1

13

November 2006

3

1

11

December 2006

3

2

12

January 2007

4

3

16

February 2007

2

3

15

March 2007

3

3

14

April 2007

3

4

21

May 2007

5

4

20

June 2007

5

4

17

July 2007

4

3

21

August 2007

4

3

20

September 2007

2

2

18

October 2007

2

2

13

November 2007

2

1

15

December 2007

2

1

14

January 2008

1

1

13

February 2008

1

1

18

March 2008

3

0

21

April 2008

2

0

24

May 2008

3

0

18

June 2008

2

1

17

July 2008

2

1

20

August 2008

1

0

18

September 2008

1

0

20

October 2008

1

0

19

November 2008

1

0

16

December 2008

1

1

15

January 2009

1

0

14

February 2009

1

0

11

March 2009

1

1

11

April 2009

2

1

16

May 2009

2

0

12

June 2009

2

1

13

July 2009

2

1

14

August 2009

2

1

12

September 2009

1

2

12

October 2009

1

1

10

November 2009

1

0

9

December 2009

1

0

8

January 2010

1

0

7

February 2010

1

0

7

March 2010

1

0

10

27 Jun 2012 : Column 264W

April 2010

1

0

12

May 2010

1

0

12

June 2010

1

2

12

July 2010

1

1

11

August 2010

1

2

8

September 2010

1

0

7

October 2010

0

0

6

November 2010

0

0

5

December 2010

0

0

6

January 2011

1

0

8

February 2011

1

0

11

March 2011

3

0

11

April 2011

2

0

11

May 2011

3

0

8

June 2011

1

1

8

July 2011

1

2

6

August 2011

0

2

7

September 2011

0

1

7

October 2011

0

1

7

November 2011

0

0

8

December 2011

0

0

6

January 2012

1

0

5

February 2012

1

0

4

March 2012

1

0

3

April 2012

1

0

1

Notes: 1. The data comes from the Youth Justice Board's Secure Accommodation Clearing House System (SACHS). 2. These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time. 3. The YJB does not hold data at local authority level. However, it does hold data down to Youth Offending Team area, some of which cover more than one local authority area. 4. The table shows the number of young people aged under 18 attached to the Bolton Youth Offending Team who have been held in a (a) secure children's home, (b) secure training centre and (c) young offender institution in each month since May 2005. 5. This is based upon monthly snapshot data. Therefore one young person who is serving more than one month in custody, may be shown in more than one month in the table. 6. Please note, data from April 2011 onwards is provisional. Data from April 2011 onwards will be finalised when the 2011-12 Annual Youth Justice Statistics are published in 2013 and data from April 2012 will be finalised in 2014.

Northern Ireland

Government Procurement Card

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on which dates his Department has published Government procurement card spending over £500 since May 2010. [113352]

Mr Paterson: My Department has not yet published this information, but plans to do so shortly.

27 Jun 2012 : Column 265W

Wales

Welfare Reform

12. Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the effect of welfare reforms in Wales. [113176]

Mr David Jones: Through the Welfare Reform Act 2012 the Government is introducing the most fundamental reforms to the social security system for 60 years. Our reforms will deliver a system throughout Wales and Britain that is simpler, fairer and ensures that work always pays.

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the effect of welfare reforms in Wales. [113168]

Mr David Jones: Through the Welfare Reform Act 2012 the Government is introducing the most fundamental reforms to the social security system for 60 years. Our reforms will deliver a system throughout Wales and Britain that is simpler, fairer and ensures that work always pays.

National Assembly for Wales

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions she has had with Welsh Government Ministers on the Green Paper on Future Electoral Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales; and if she will make a statement. [113177]

Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), published the Green Paper on future electoral arrangements on 21 May. She has spoken to all four party leaders in the Assembly, including the First Minister, about it.

Police

Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment she has made of the effect of reductions in police budgets in Wales. [113164]

Mr David Jones: We have set a challenging but manageable funding settlement for the police service. It is a matter for the chief constable and the police authority in each force to determine the number of police officers that are deployed within the available resources.

Defence

Armed Forces: Vehicles

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many motorised vehicles of each type are in service in each branch of the armed forces; and where each motorised vehicle is based. [113827]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 25 June 2012]:The Ministry of Defence owns a wide variety of vehicles which are based at a number of locations across the UK, overseas and on operations. The following table

27 Jun 2012 : Column 266W

provides the number of in-service armoured, logistics and engineering vehicles, grouped by role and category, held by the Department:

RoleTotal number in service

Armoured

 

AS90

89

Challenger 2

227

CRARRV

75

CVR(T)

654

FV430 (Mk 2 and Bulldog)

895

Titan

33

Trojan

33

Warrior

781

Mastiff

359

Panther

401

Ridgback

168

Snatch (all variants)

485

Vector

160

Viking

158

Wolfhound

125

Husky

327

  

Engineering

 

Armoured Engineering

66 + 101 Protected Plant

Bridging

177

Bulldozer

35

Dumper Truck

181

Excavator

64

Forklift

457

Route Engineer Plant

274

Beach T/WAY Dispenser

26

  

Logistics

 

Bulk Fuel

705

Cargo

9,288

Container Handler

64

Crane

98

Equipment Transporter

157

Forklift

1531

Medical

905

Recovery

352

Bulk Water Trailers

57

Airfield Support

631

Fire Vehicles

215

Information regarding the branch of the armed forces, and the locations where the vehicles are based, as well as information about other categories of motor vehicles, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK troops are stationed in Bosnia Herzegovina. [110976]

Nick Harvey: The UK currently has seven officers stationed in Bosnia Herzegovina: five are assigned to Operation Althea, the European Union Peacekeeping Mission that is helping to maintain a safe and secure environment; one is the Director of Studies at the Peace

27 Jun 2012 : Column 267W

Support Operation Training Centre in Sarajevo; and one is the Defence Attaché at the UK embassy in Sarajevo.

HMS Ark Royal

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what offers his Department has received for the Ark Royal; what information his Department holds on the proposed purposes to which such purchasers intend to put the vessel; whether the bidding process has ended; and if he will make a statement. [113670]

Mr Robathan: Seventeen proposals have been received to buy HMS Ark Royal. I am withholding the information about the details of individual proposals as disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. No decisions have been made about the future of the ship.

Military Bases

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he made of the cost of transferring the private finance initiative contract for Tornado simulators from RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Marham during the Basing Review. [111920]

Nick Harvey: This question falls under my responsibilities in the Ministry of Defence. The cost of transferring the private finance initiative contract for Tornado simulators from RAF Lossiemouth to RAF Marham during the basing review was estimated at a rough order of magnitude net present value basis as £19 million. The costs would only be incurred if Tornados were to be withdrawn from RAF Lossiemouth before 2014-15.

Reserve Forces

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel from the Army Reserve are available for deployment following a general mobilisation order within (a) one week, (b) two weeks, (c) three weeks and (d) four weeks. [113999]

Mr Robathan: Mobilisation of reservists is authorised for specific operations through a call-out order signed by a Minister of State and laid before both Houses. A recent example of such an authorised call-out order is for the tri-service participation in this summer's Olympic Games.

The Army Reserve comprises officers and soldiers from the Territorial Army and the Regular Reserve. Army reservists will carry out additional training following mobilisation for an operation. The length of time required for this training will depend on the complexity of the operation which may require familiarisation training on equipment which they will be required to operate, and procedural training to prepare for the environment they will encounter. Further preparations may be required such as vaccinations which depend on the environment of the operation and which will affect the length of time between mobilisation and deployment.

Army reservists required for immediate deployment on operations are in the High Readiness Reserve. Currently, 85 members of the Corps of Royal Signals are at high readiness (between 12 and 24 hours notice) to provide communications support to operations in UK.

27 Jun 2012 : Column 268W

Women and Equalities

Female Genital Mutilation

Guy Opperman: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what steps she is taking to tackle cases of female genital mutilation. [114082]

Lynne Featherstone: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an unacceptable form of abuse and violence against girls and women that the Government is committed to eradicating.

In February 2011, the Home Office launched multi-agency practice guidelines for front-line professionals such as teachers, GPs and nurses. The guidelines aim to raise awareness of FGM, highlight the signs of risk that practitioners should look out for and sets out clearly the steps that should be taken to safeguard girls and women from this abuse. In October 2011 we also launched the FGM Fund, a £50,000 fund for front-line organisations who work to prevent FGM to further support their commendable work in strengthening the voice of women to speak about FGM and work to abandon the practice.

Females: Employment

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what assessment she has made of employment prospects for women in the north-east; and if she will make a statement. [112764]

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

Although it remains lower than before the recession the number of women in work in the north-east has risen 7,000 over the last year and the employment rate is up 0.8 percentage points to 61.9% (February to April 2012). Within this overall fall in worklessness, unemployment has risen but inactivity has fallen significantly as more women have been drawn back into the labour market.

New opportunities come up for people who want to get a job, or change jobs, every day. Jobcentre Plus offices in the north-east take over 500 new vacancies every working day and many vacancies come up through other recruitment channels. Through Jobcentre Plus and the Work programme, the Government is doing all it can to help people take advantage of these opportunities.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many meetings he has had in the last month on superfast broadband. [113910]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 26 June 2012]: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), holds weekly meetings to discuss superfast broadband as well as other meetings as required on an ad hoc basis. Between 22 May and 22 June, the Secretary of State held nine such meetings.

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Leveson Inquiry

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library copies of all documents, emails and text messages he submitted to the Leveson Inquiry. [R] [113727]

Mr Jeremy Hunt [holding answer 26 June 2012]: All relevant emails and text messages relating to the News Corporation bid for BSkyB were contained in the evidence I submitted to the Leveson Inquiry and which I have now placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Local Press

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many meetings he has had in the last month on the local newspaper industry. [113909]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 26 June 2012]: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), holds weekly meetings to discuss the upcoming Communications Act, where matters related to the local newspaper industry are discussed. Between 22 May and 22 June, the Secretary of State held three such meetings.

Mobile Phones

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what representations he has received from Freeview on the rollout of 4G, and whether any such representations will delay that rollout; and if he will make a statement. [112726]

Mr Vaizey: I and my officials have received written representations and have met with representatives of all interested parties, including Freeview. Ofcom has undertaken a public consultation, which has recently closed, to seek opinions on how the Government's policy decisions regarding providing support to consumers affected by interference should be implemented.

It is the Government's belief, on the evidence available, that it will be possible to address any interference issues without unduly constraining the rollout of new mobile services or negatively impacting the availability of the digital terrestrial television service to the vast majority of viewers.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Committee

Estimate 2012-13

Mark Field: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, whether the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has reached a decision on IPSA's proposed estimate for 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [113162]

Mr Charles Walker: In accordance with paragraph 22 of schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, the Committee approved IPSA’s draft main estimate for 2012-13 without modification on 18 June 2012.

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Papers relating to the Committee’s consideration of the estimate may be found on the Committee’s webpage:

www.parliament.uk/scipsa

Transport

Bypasses

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions her Department has had with the Welsh Government on proposals to build a bypass at Middletown across the England-Wales border; [114012]

(2) what recent discussions her Department has had with the Welsh Government on proposals to build a bypass at Llanymynech across the England-Wales border. [114013]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has regular discussions with officials from the Welsh Government on cross-border transport issues. No specific discussions on proposals for a bypass for Llanymynech or a bypass for Middletown have taken place recently.

In considering future investment proposals for the strategic road network in England, the Department for Transport and Highways Agency officials would be happy to discuss with their Welsh Government counterparts, the details of specific future investment proposals.

Driving: Licensing

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the target times were for the completion of simple and complex medical investigations for the renewal of a driving licence in each of the last three years; and in what proportion of cases such targets were met in each such year. [113850]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State has set targets for the completion of simple and complex medical investigations for the renewal of a driving licence. These are:

1) to complete 88 per cent of medical applications, where sufficient medical information is provided with the initial application, within 15 days; and

2) to complete 85 per cent of medical applications, where further information is required within 90 days.

In 2009, 2010 and 2011, DVLA exceeded both of these targets each year. The table below shows throughput achieved in each year.

 200920102011

Simple

93%

96%

97%

Complex

93%

91%

91%

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure that the proportion of medical investigations in complex cases for the renewal of a driving licence which are completed within the DVLA's 90 day target is increased. [113851]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State for Transport has set new tougher targets for the completion of medical case investigations for 2012/2013. These are:

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1) to complete 90 per cent of medical applications, where sufficient medical information is provided with the initial application, within 15 days; and

2) to complete 88 per cent of medical applications, where further information is required, within 90 days.

In addition a review is underway of working practices and processes within the Drivers Medical Department to identify opportunities for further improvement and efficiencies.

Pay

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff working for her Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are employed through off-payroll engagements costing less than £58,200 per annum; and if she will make a statement. [110823]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies provide monthly workforce data. The data for April 2012 shows 401 staff employed through off-payroll engagements.

At 23 May 2012, the Department reported a total of 43 staff employed through off-payroll engagements who receive a daily rate equivalent to over £58,200 per annum.

The Department generally uses specialist contracts and interim labour where there are short/medium-term specific skills requirements. Some are obtained through a central contract and currently there are 15 staff employed through this contract whose daily rate is equivalent to less than £58,200 per annum.

There are other off-payroll engagements but it would involve disproportionate cost to establish the precise number whose daily rate is equivalent to less than £58,200 per annum.

Public Transport: Exhaust Emissions

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to promote the use of green vehicles for public transport. [113713]

Norman Baker: The Government's Carbon Plan, published in December 2011, details our plans to deliver reductions in carbon emissions from the transport and other sectors over the coming decades. We are taking several steps to improve the environmental performance of public transport including:

A major programme of rail electrification, leading to significant environmental and other benefits.

A Green Bus Fund, providing some £75 million of support for low carbon buses. Three rounds of the fund have supported the purchase of around 960 new low carbon buses. Each low carbon bus saves operators around a third in fuel costs and emits at least 30 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a comparable diesel bus.

A £1 million fund for targeted air quality improvements in London which will allow around 900 older buses to be retrofitted with pollution reducing equipment.

Roads: North Yorkshire

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make a statement on road funding in North Yorkshire. [114364]

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Norman Baker: Details of the local transport capital funding settlement made to all local highway authorities, including North Yorkshire County Council, for the period 2011-2015 is published on the Department for Transport website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/local-transport-capital-block-funding/

Beyond that, in December 2011 the Department announced £35.9m funding for the A684 Bedale by-pass major scheme, a revised offer which was accepted by North Yorkshire County Council in February 2012. Subject to satisfactory completion of the remaining statutory approval processes, the scheme is due to start construction in Autumn 2014.

Transport

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 634W, on transport, whether there is any timescale or target for resolving the nine outstanding claims for reimbursement of expenses; to which airlines these claims relate; and what measures the Department has taken to make affected passengers aware of the support available. [113687]

Mrs Villiers: Of the nine claims cases with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) mentioned in the answer of 18 June 2012, CAA have now advised that two have been resolved, and seven remain to be resolved. Of these seven, six are still being pursued by the CAA with the airlines. There is no deadline by which these cases must be resolved and the CAA will continue to engage with the airlines to try to achieve positive outcomes wherever possible. With the remaining case, the expense element is now resolved, but there remains the issue of compensation for the cancelled flight under EC Regulation 261/2004. This aspect of the complaint continues to be investigated by the CAA.

Home Department

Animal Experiments

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) accuracy and (ii) reproducibility of in vitro tests for botox toxicity in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [113415]

Lynne Featherstone: The Home Office has not commissioned or evaluated research on the accuracy and reproducibility of in vitro tests for botulinum toxicity in the last 12 months.

We continue to authorise the use of animals for the potency testing of botulinum toxin products as international and United Kingdom regulations relating to the safety and efficacy of medicines require that they are tested for potency. This form of testing is kept under regular review and only licensed where there is no alternative.

The Home Office and all others concerned with conducting and regulating such testing, including the designated laboratories and the Medicines and Healthcare

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products Regulatory Agency, are committed to using alternatives to animals as soon as it becomes practicable to do so.

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which energy supplier supplies her Department with (a) gas and (b) electricity. [113482]

Damian Green: In the main the Home Office is supplied by (a) Corona Energy Ltd and (b) EDF Energy and British Gas Trading Ltd through Government Procurement Service (GPS) energy framework contracts. A small number of sites are being supplied by other arrangements before being transferred to GPS contracts.

Entry Clearances

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for Tier 1 (post study work) visas made before the closure of that route in April 2012 are still being processed; and what proportion of such applications have not been processed within the 28 day standard. [113391]

Damian Green [holding answer 25 June 2012]: Of all in-country applications received before the closure of the Tier 1 (post study work) route in April 2012, 17,000 are still being processed. We received over 14, 000 of these applications in March. Those outstanding have not been processed within 28 days.

Please be aware that the data are based on management information. They are provisional and subject to change.

Essex Police Authority

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many government procurement cards were issued to staff employed by Essex Police Authority in each year since 2007-08; [113098]

(2) how many government procurement cards issued to staff employed by Essex Police Authority were reported as stolen in each of the last six years; and how much was lost as a result of any theft in each case; [113099]

(3) what steps Essex Police Authority (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to prevent any abuse of government procurement cards issued to its employees; [113105]

(4) what steps Essex Police Authority (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to reduce the theft of government procurement cards issued to its employees in the next two years. [113104]

Nick Herbert: The issue of government procurement cards (GPC) to employees of Essex Police Authority, the use of cards by those employees, and the measures taken or planned by the authority to reduce, prevent and detect any theft or abuse of such cards are matters for the authority to determine locally.

Pay

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) UK Border Agency and (b) UK Border Force staff received bonuses in 2011-12; and what the total cost of such bonuses was. [111089]

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Damian Green [holding answer 14 June 2012]:Bonus payments made in 2011-12 were awarded for performance in the 2010-11 performance year when UK Border Force was part of the UK Border Agency. This response therefore provides overall figures for the UK Border Agency only.

5,918 employees received a one-off bonus payment in 2011-12 and the total (aggregate) cost of one-off bonus payments to this group was £3,330,099.

Police

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average life expectancy is of a retired police officer. [113296]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 25 June 2012]: We do not hold the requested data. However, a valuation by the Government Actuary's Department, quoted in the Winsor Review, assessed that the longevity for police officers is not greatly different to other public servants.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress she is making in raising the police retirement age to 60. [113299]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 25 June 2012]: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), wrote to the Police Negotiating Board on 27 March to consult on a proposal for the long-term reform of police officer pensions, which included a normal pension age of 60. Members of the Police Negotiating Board were asked to consider the proposal and respond by 22 June 2012.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Mr Charles Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she has given to police forces on police officers participating and voting in open primaries for the selection of police and crime commissioner candidates. [113660]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 25 June 2012]: The rules for police officers around PCC elections are no different from any other election. The Home Office has advised, when asked, that officers are free to attend open primaries as a member of the public, but should consider carefully any participation beyond that.

Police Officers' and Staff Remuneration and Conditions Independent Review

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to implement the recommendations of the Winsor report that there should be greater harmonisation between the pay of police officers and police staff; and what assessment she has made of the potential effect of implementing such recommendations on the quality of police officers recruited in the future. [113244]

Nick Herbert: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), has referred specific recommendations about police officer and staff pay

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from the final report of Tom Winsor's independent Review to the Police Negotiating Board (PNB), Police Staff Council (PSC) and other relevant bodies. She will consider the outcome of their discussions carefully.

Communities and Local Government

Aerials: Planning Permission

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications were rejected for mobile telecommunications masts in the last five years; how many such applications were subject to appeal; and in how many of such appeals the original ruling was overturned. [113959]

Robert Neill: The number of planning applications and appeals for mobile telecommunications masts is not available centrally.

Green Belt

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how many planning applications for developments in the green belt he has granted permission in each year since 1997. [113616]

Robert Neill: Local authorities are responsible for deciding planning applications including those in the green belt. Information on the numbers of applications granted in the green belt is not centrally available.

Homelessness: Females

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking when developing policy to consider the needs of homeless and vulnerable women. [113156]

Grant Shapps: This Government is committed to tackling and preventing homelessness among all vulnerable groups.

I recently attended St Mungo's parliamentary reception for their Rebuilding Shattered Lives campaign which intends to raise awareness and showcase good practice on the issues faced by homeless and vulnerable women.

I will consider these ideas with my ministerial colleagues at the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness.

Housing: Children

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many children were living in poor housing in the latest period for which figures are available. [113443]

Grant Shapps [holding answer 25 June 2012]: The information is taken from the English Housing Survey 2009-10. It was estimated that around 3.2 million dependent children were living in non-decent homes at that time.

The previous Government set a target that all social housing should by 2010 meet the Decent Homes standard. This was not met, which is why we are providing £1.6 billion

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of funding over the spending review period to help make 127,000 council homes decent, and a further £0.5 billion to stock transfer housing associations.

Social Rented Housing

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to increase the social housing stock in (a) Coventry, (b) Coventry North East constituency, (c) the West Midlands and (d) England. [113664]

Grant Shapps [holding answer 25 June 2012]: We are investing £4.5 billion over the spending review period to deliver up to 170,000 affordable homes in England. This investment will lever in £15 billion of private sector investment, a total of £19.5 billion.

In the Midlands area, through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Homes Programme £469 million is being invested between 2011-12 and 2014-15 to deliver 21,700 affordable homes.

In Coventry, almost £14 million is being invested through the Affordable Homes Programme and existing commitments to provide 550 affordable homes. These figures are subject to change as schemes are finalised.

The New Homes Bonus also rewards councils for helping provide more affordable housing; our empty homes programme will support vacant properties being brought back into use as affordable housing; and the Community Right to Build will help provide low-cost homes for local families and residents.

Information is not available at constituency level.