5 July 2012 : Column 731W

5 July 2012 : Column 731W

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 5 July 2012

Home Department

Animal Experiments: EU Law

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the implementation of EU directives on animal experimentation; and if she will make a statement. [115217]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government welcomes the new Directive, which will strengthen the protection of animals used in scientific procedures, harmonise the regulations across all 27 EU member states, and promote the development of alternatives to the use of animals in research. We believe it will provide a practical framework for the regulation of animal testing in Europe, setting a benchmark for the rest of the world.

In line with Government policy on the implementation of European legislation, we propose to “copy out” most of the provisions of the directive. There are, however, a number of areas in which we intend to retain current stricter United Kingdom standards. For example, we propose to retain special protection for dogs, cats and horses as well as non-human primates and to retain all current United Kingdom care and accommodation standards that are stricter than those set out in Annex III to the directive. All are justified on animal welfare grounds or to maintain public confidence that animals used in experiments and testing will continue to receive a very high level of protection.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour injunctions were issued in (a) England and Wales, (b) Nottinghamshire and (c) Ashfield constituency in the last three years. [114847]

James Brokenshire: Data on antisocial behaviour injunctions granted under Section 153 of the Housing Act 1996 to social landlords in England are shown in the table. The total numbers of injunctions issued in England includes those issued to local authority (LA) landlords and to private registered providers (PRP) which own or manage more than 1,000 units of stock. However, data on injunctions issued to PRP landlords are collected at national level, but not at local authority level so the figures provided for Nottinghamshire refer only to injunctions issued to LA landlords. No data are yet available for the financial year 2011-12.

The Welsh Government collected information centrally on antisocial behaviour injunctions up to 31 March 2011 covering injunctions granted to social landlords in Wales against their tenants. These include all injunctions granted for reasons of antisocial behaviour under Sections

5 July 2012 : Column 732W

152 (local authorities) and 153 (local authorities and RSLs) of the Housing Act 1996. Social landlords were granted 121 injunctions in 2009-10 and 134 in 2010-11. No data are available for the financial year 2011-12.

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many intervention orders were issued in (a) England and Wales, (b) Nottinghamshire and (c) Ashfield constituency in the last three years; [114851]

(2) how many individual support orders were issued in (a) England and Wales, (b) Nottinghamshire and (c) Ashfield constituency in the last three years. [114785]

James Brokenshire: The number of individual support orders (ISOs) attached to antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued at all magistrates courts in England and Wales was 71 in 2009 and 40 in 2010. In 2009 and 2010, no ISOs were attached to ASBOs issued by any magistrates courts in the Nottinghamshire police force area. Data for 2011 are planned for publication on 18 October 2012.

Centrally held data on ASBOs and ISOs are not collated below police force area level.

In 2009 and 2010, a total of four intervention orders (IOs) were reported to the Ministry of Justice as being attached to ASBOs issued by courts in England and Wales. None were issued by courts in the Nottinghamshire police force area.

Antisocial Behaviour: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) prosecutions were brought and (b) fixed penalty notices were issued for antisocial behaviour in Barnsley Central constituency in each of the last 10 years. [115322]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not hold the information requested.

Essex Police Authority

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Essex Police Authority has received since 2010; how many such requests were (a) agreed to and (b) refused in each of those years; how many refusals were subject to appeal to the Information Commissioner in each of those years; how many such appeals were successful; if she will place in the Library copies of the material subsequently provided in each case; and if she will make a statement. [114763]

Nick Herbert: This is a matter for Essex Police Authority. Information on freedom of information requests received by police authorities is not collected centrally.

Firearms: Licensing

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has any plans to review the charges that police forces may levy for firearms licences. [114546]

5 July 2012 : Column 733W

Nick Herbert: The Government is considering information submitted by the police on the cost of issuing firearms certificates.

Immigration

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) letters, (b) emails and (c) other types of correspondence on immigration her Department has received in the last year. [115507]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not routinely collect statistics on the number of inquiries made by members of the public and these could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However figures are published annually by the Cabinet Office on inquiries from Members of Parliament. In 2011 the UK Border Agency received 48,712 inquiries by letter or email.

Knives: Crime

Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many projects funded by her Department aimed at reducing knife crime have been the subject of evaluation reports since 2008; whether such reports were made available to the public; if she will place in the Library a copy of each such report which is not available online; what her policy is on evaluation of such projects in the context of further round funding; and if she will make a statement. [114986]

James Brokenshire: The Tackling Knives Action Programme was taken forward by the previous Government. That programme has ended and all information relating to it can be found on the National Archives website.

This Government's programme to tackle knife crime is set out in the Ending Gang and Youth Violence Report published in November 2011 (Command Paper No. Cm8211, available from the Vote Office).

The report provides information on our Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund. Section 4 of the report sets out how we will monitor progress.

Manchester Declaration

Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent contribution her Department has made to implementation of the 2005 Manchester Declaration. [114817]

Damian Green: The 2005 Manchester Ministerial Declaration provided the basis for an eGovernment Action Plan, which formed part of the EU's i2010 Strategy, and was completed in 2010. The UK contribution to the action plan was managed and coordinated by the Cabinet Office and supported by the Home Office.

The Manchester Declaration has now been superseded by the Malmo Declaration and eGovernment Action Plan (2011-15) and the broader Digital Agenda for Europe. The Home Office contributes to its implementation and is represented on various working groups including the group on European (and International) Interoperability. The UK contribution to the eGovernment Action Plan is again being led by the Cabinet Office.

5 July 2012 : Column 734W

National Policing Improvement Agency

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what total amount was spent on redundancy payments at the National Policing Improvement Agency in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [114239]

Nick Herbert: For 2010 the cost of compulsory redundancies was £195,000. There were no voluntary redundancies.

For 2011 the cost of compulsory redundancies was £280,000 and the cost of voluntary redundancies was £270,000.

There have been no redundancies in 2012 to date.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will list the occasions since May 2010 on which her Parliamentary Private Secretary has travelled overseas with her or on her behalf. [115457]

Damian Green: The Home Secretary's Parliamentary Private Secretary has not travelled overseas with her or on her behalf on any occasion since May 2010.

Police

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of introducing compulsory fitness tests on police forces; and what plans she has to adapt the test to differentiate according to age; [114102]

(2) what plans she has to introduce compulsory fitness tests for police officers; and what procedures she plans to introduce for officers who fail the test. [114103]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 28 June 2012]: The recommendations on fitness testing in Tom Winsor's Independent Review of Police Officer and Staff Remuneration and Conditions have been referred to the police negotiating machinery for consideration, where I would expect these issues to be discussed in detail before a recommendation is made.

Tom Winsor included this recommendation in the Policy Equality Statement in his report which states that, in his view, the test is justifiable because it is job- related and does not have a detrimental effect on people on the grounds of age or sex.

The Home Secretary will consider carefully the potential equality impact of any recommendations on annual fitness tests for officers in accordance with her legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to reduce the pay of police officers who are not on the frontline; how many officers she expects to leave the police as a result of these plans; and what assessment she has made of the effect of her plans on the (a) efficiency and (b) response time of police forces. [114104]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 28 June 2012]: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May),

5 July 2012 : Column 735W

has referred recommendations on police officer pay from the final report of Tom Winsor's independent review to the police negotiating machinery. She will consider the recommendations of the police negotiating machinery very carefully in line with her statutory responsibilities.

Police: Information and Communications Technology

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what total amount was spent on mobile technology by each police force in England and Wales in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; [114238]

(2) what total amount was spent on mobile technology by the National Policing Improvement Agency in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [114240]

Nick Herbert: Information on the total spent by each police force on mobile technology is not held centrally. The recent report by the National Audit Office identified that expenditure from the 23 forces that responded to its survey was £9.82 million in 2010-11 and £4.43 million in 2011-12.

The total amount spent by the National Policing Improvement Agency on mobile technology in 2010-11 and 2011-12 was £10.33 million and £3.14 million respectively. These figures include both the Mobile Information programme and MobileID project.

Staff: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of people employed by her Department in Scotland. [115486]

Damian Green: There were 634.47 full-time equivalent paid civil servants employed by the Home Office (including its executive agencies) in Scotland at the end of May 2012.

Tim Larkin

George Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the evidence she considered in taking her decision to make an exclusion order against Tim Larkin; and if she will make a statement. [115487]

Damian Green: It has previously been confirmed that Mr Larkin has been excluded from the UK. It is Home Office policy not to comment any further on individual cases.

Northern Ireland

Parades

Mel Stride: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent representations he has received on parades in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [114382]

Mr Paterson: The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), and I have regular and ongoing

5 July 2012 : Column 736W

discussions with a range of organisations and individuals with an interest in parades. This includes the Orange Order, local politicians, community representatives, the PSNI and the Parades Commission itself.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list any occasions since May 2010 on which his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf. [115350]

Mr Paterson: My parliamentary private secretary has not accompanied me on overseas visits, nor has he deputised for me on any such visits.

Ulster Bank

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions he has had with Ulster Bank on its plans for dealing with the technical problems affecting account holders in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement; [115378]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effects of the technical problems at Ulster Bank on Northern Ireland. [115379]

Mr Paterson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), to the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) on 4 July 2012, Official Report, column 901. I have discussed the situation about Ulster Bank with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), and the Minister of State has also spoken to the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel. The Minister then spoke on our joint behalf to Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman of RBS, and impressed on him that the systems failure at Ulster Bank has caused significant distress and problems to many of its customers—including some of my staff who not have received their salaries. Sir Philip has assured us that RBS is addressing the technical issues as quickly as they can, that resolving this issue is their top priority and that significant resources have been moved to Ulster Bank for that purpose.

Sir Philip has also assured the Minister of State that Ulster Bank will treat their customers properly and fairly and that they will be compensated fully for financial loss.

HM Treasury and the FSA are carefully monitoring the situation, as am I, and the Minister of State will receive an update on progress from Sir Philip on Monday.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Cyprus

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the reunification of Cyprus. [115435]

5 July 2012 : Column 737W

Mr Lidington: The UK is committed to supporting the UN's efforts to achieve a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions. This is a process that is by Cypriots for Cypriots. As and when it is appropriate I raise the issue with my fellow EU counterparts.

Egypt: Israel

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Egypt on the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. [115405]

Alistair Burt: Throughout the period of transition we have pressed the Egyptian authorities to respect the existing obligations already agreed by Egypt.

We want Egypt to continue to act as a force for regional peace and stability, including by maintaining a productive relationship with Israel. We were encouraged by Dr Mohammed Morsi's first speech as the new President of Egypt on 24 June in which he stated that Egypt would respect all international conventions and obligations already agreed by Egypt. We will follow closely the development of the new Egyptian Government's foreign policy, including relations between Egypt and Israel.

Embassies: Members

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason his Department's consulate in Malaga refuses to accept emails or faxes from hon. and right hon. Members. [115315]

Mr Lidington: The Malaga consulate, and other overseas posts, routinely respond to emails or faxes from hon. and right hon. Members. Due to consular confidentiality, however, posts cannot always share full details of consular cases with third parties, including hon. and right hon. Members, if not authorised to do so by the individual who is receiving consular assistance.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on hon. and right hon. Members raising constituency issues directly with British consulates (a) in Spain and (b) elsewhere overseas. [115316]

Mr Lidington: Hon. and right hon. Members are welcome to raise constituency issues directly with any of our overseas posts. Due to consular confidentiality, however, posts cannot always share full details of consular cases with third parties, including hon. and right hon. Members, if not authorised to do so by the individual who is receiving consular assistance.

European Union: Legislative Competence

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Coalition Agreement, page 19, what components are being covered as part of his Department's work to examine the balance of the EU's existing competences; how many of his Department's officials are working on this objective; and when he expects to publish its outcome. [115032]

5 July 2012 : Column 738W

Mr Hague: The examination of these issues draws on existing resources. Extensive preparatory work is progressing and an announcement will be made to Parliament at the appropriate time.

Middle East

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets from Gaza in June 2012. [R] [115448]

Alistair Burt: On 20 June the Al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing rockets for the first time in over a year. They said that the attacks were in response to the death of one of their members in an Israeli air strike. We have condemned indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Southern Israel and urged all sides to exercise restraint and prevent civilian casualties and loss of life. We believe it is in no one's interest to see further violence in Gaza.

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the extent of arms smuggling into Gaza. [R] [115449]

Alistair Burt: There continue to be credible reports of smuggling of significant quantities of weapons, particularly rockets, into Gaza via the tunnels. The UK recognises that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded whilst believing that the current Israeli restrictions on Gaza do tremendous damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza and do not serve Israel's long-term security interests.

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure Hamas accept and abide by the Quartet Principles. [R] [115450]

Alistair Burt: We do not talk to Hamas. It remains our position that Hamas must make credible movement towards the Quartet Principles of renouncing violence, recognising Israel and accepting previously signed agreements. This remains the benchmark against which its intentions should be judged. If, through the reconciliation process with Fatah, Hamas supports a new Palestinian government which rejects violence and pursues a negotiated peace then that may be a good first step. But we will judge them by their actions as well as their words.

Morocco

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities the case of Hamdi Etarfaoui found dead in the Saguia El Hamra River in El Aaiún on 30 May 2012. [115012]

Alistair Burt: Our ambassador to Morocco has not raised this specific case with the Moroccan authorities. We will keep this under review.

5 July 2012 : Column 739W

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct HM Ambassador to Morocco to raise with the Moroccan authorities the circumstances surrounding the burial of Said Dunbar and the closure of Khat Eramla Cemetery in El Aaiún, Western Sahara on 4 June 2012. [115013]

Alistair Burt: Officials from the British embassy in Rabat visit Western Sahara on a regular basis to discuss human rights concerns, including with the local authorities. Our ambassador to Morocco also maintains a close dialogue with the Moroccan authorities on human rights cases.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on which occasions his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf since May 2010. [115345]

Mr Lidington: As set out in the Ministerial Code, Departments publish, at least quarterly, details of all travel overseas by Ministers. Foreign and Commonwealth Office information can be found at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/publications-and-documents/transparency-and-data1/hospitality/#Ministers

As also set out in the code, at paragraph 3.11:

“Where it is proposed to take a Parliamentary Private Secretary on an official visit overseas, the Prime Minister’s approval is required. Official overseas travel by a Parliamentary Private Secretary should be exceptional.”

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has not been accompanied by his parliamentary private secretary on any visits overseas. Nor has my hon. Friend the Member for Broadland (Mr Simpson), travelled overseas on his behalf.

Press Releases

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many press releases his Department has issued in the last 12 months. [115533]

Mr Lidington: This information is not held centrally and there would a be disproportionate cost to provide a definitive figure. Our available records indicate that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London issued 613 press releases in the last 12-month period. This figure does not include some press releases sent out of hours, press releases issued locally by our Posts overseas, or other material supplied to the press, or published in part for their use, such as operational notes and digital news and publishing on the FCO website.

Public Expenditure

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to reduce expenditure by his Department. [115506]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is determined to deliver the best possible service to the UK taxpayer at the lowest possible cost, while

5 July 2012 : Column 740W

contributing to the Government's goal of reducing the budget deficit. The spending review (SR) settlement for the FCO requires a 10% real reduction in the budget by 2014-15. In response, the FCO has drawn up a programme to reduce its administration costs by £100 million per year from 2014-15. The FCO will reshape its work force (including by reducing the number of junior staff being posted overseas), restructure its estate (by reducing the costs of office and residential accommodation) and restructure its corporate services (by consolidating finance, HR and purchasing functions into country or regional hubs and replacing UK-based staff with local staff where it is cost-effective to do so). One year in, the FCO is on target to deliver these planned savings by the end of the SR period. Spending on IT will also fall. These changes are being implemented carefully and monitored closely. They will allow us to live within the necessary financial constraints and to provide the diplomatic network we need for the future.

Scotland

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list any occasions since May 2010 on which his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf. [115353]

Michael Moore: There have been no such occasions.

Cabinet Office

Twitter

Hilary Benn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance he has issued to Ministers on their use of Twitter to announce or discuss departmental businesses. [115389]

Mr Maude: The standards of conduct set out in the Ministerial Code apply to all forms of official communication, using any medium.

Copies are available in the Library of the House and can be accessed on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/ministerial-code-may-2010.pdf

Prime Minister

Peerages

Frank Dobson: To ask the Prime Minister how many of the people elevated to the peerage since May 2010 who take the Conservative party whip (a) worked and (b) are working in the financial sector. [115376]

The Prime Minister: Information on people elevated to the peerage since May 2010 is in the public domain.

5 July 2012 : Column 741W

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Finance

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much and what proportion of funding from the affordable housing programme for 2011-15 has been set aside for funding schemes committed to by the Homes and Communities Agency under the spending review 2008-11. [113444]

Grant Shapps [holding answer 25 June 2012]:£2.3 billion of public funding had been committed under the previous spending review.

However, to place this answer in context, I note that the last Administration's spending plans would have involved cuts to the overall DCLG budget. DCLG and local government were not protected budgets under the last Administration's plans (HM Treasury, Pre-Budget Report 2009, p.8) and the last Administration was planning spending cuts of £52 billion by 2014-15, with £14 billion of cuts falling in 2011-12 (HM Treasury, Spending Review 2010, October 2010, p.78).

I also observe that the last Prime Minister remarked in April 2010 that

‘housing is essentially a private sector activity... I don't see a need for us to continue with such a big renovation programme’

(BBC Newsnight, 30 April 2010).

By contrast, the coalition Government's affordable housing programme will lever in £19.5 billion of public and private investment from 2011 to 2015, thanks to innovative programmes like Affordable Rent.

Council Tax

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by how much the council tax has changed for someone living in a Band D house from 2010-11 to 2012-13; and how much someone living in a Band D house (a) paid in 2009-10 and (b) will pay in 2012-13 and 2013-14. [115395]

Robert Neill: Details of the average Band D council tax in England for 2009-10 to 2012-13, and the change on the previous year, are shown in the following table:

 Average Band D council tax in England (£)Change on previous year (£)

2009-10

1,414

2010-11

1,439

25

2011-12

1,439

0

2012-13

1,444

5

This information is published in a statistical release ‘Council tax levels set by local authorities in England—2012-13’ that can be found on the DCLG website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/localregional/localgovernmentfinance/statistics/counciltax/rates/

Thanks to the Government's council tax freeze, over the last two years, council tax bills have fallen by 4.4% across England in real terms. This is a real help for families and pensioners with the cost of living.

No estimate has been made for the expected level of council tax in 2013-14.

5 July 2012 : Column 742W

Council Tax: Multiple Occupation

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to work with landlord and Valuation Office Agency representatives to simplify regulations governing the council tax treatment of houses in multiple occupation containing bedsits. [113560]

Robert Neill [holding answer 25 June 2012]:The Government has no plans to make such changes.

For the avoidance of doubt, as the Minister for Housing and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), stated in his answer of 27 February 2012, Official Report, column 36W, council tax banding methodology has not changed under this Administration, and the Valuation Office Agency's banding decisions are based on the facts in each case and clear principles laid down in statute and case law.

Excise Duties: Fuels

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has been asked to contribute any underspends to meet the costs of deferring the rise in fuel duty. [115390]

Robert Neill: All Whitehall Departments may routinely accumulate underspends for a number of business reasons; this money may be subsequently redeployed towards other Government priorities. My Department has previously been a beneficiary of this cross-Whitehall process—for example, as illustrated by the extra funding for the Growing Places Fund announced in March 2012.

Consideration of these matters is decided later on in the financial year.

Housing: Construction

Pauline Latham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been built in each of the millennium villages to date. [112610]

Grant Shapps: The Millennium Communities programme was an initiative of the last Administration, launched by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and the then Deputy Prime Minister. The anticipated output was 6,000 completions by 2010 (as cited on 20 March 2007, Official Report, column 820W).

The central programme failed to deliver these targets by 2010. The following table shows what has been delivered to date:

ProjectCompletions as of June 2012

Allerton Bywater

349

Hastings

51

New Islington

200

South Lynn

109

East Ketley (Telford)

147

Oakgrove

121

Greenwich

1,095

Total

2,072

5 July 2012 : Column 743W

While new homes are continuing to be developed on these sites, the central programme has been discontinued. Responsibility for the Greenwich Millennium Village now lies with the Greater London Authority.

Housing: Sales

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to take steps to mitigate the adverse effects of the practice of gazumping in the housing market. [114615]

Grant Shapps: Homebuyers and sellers in England and Wales are free to choose from a range of options, including some which give more certainty that their transaction will be completed. These include ‘lock-out’ agreements, where the seller enters a binding agreement not to accept another offer within a certain period; ‘option to purchase’ where the seller grants the buyer a binding option to purchase the property at the agreed price within a set timescale; ‘conditional contracts’, where buyer and seller enter into a contract as soon as terms have been agreed, subject to certain conditions being satisfied; or ‘costs guarantee’, where both buyer and seller agree to pay the other side's costs, if they withdraw from the transaction.

Given the flexibility of the present system, we have no plans for reform in this area at the present time.

Home Information Packs, introduced under the last Administration, were originally supposed to help tackle gazumping (as stated on 7 June 2004, Official Report, House of Lords, column 85). In practice, they did no such thing as they were not trusted by buyers, and merely deterred sellers from putting their homes on the market. This is why the coalition Government has abolished the requirement to have a Home Information Pack, saving homebuyers and sellers from the unnecessary regulatory cost.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will list the occasions since May 2010 on which his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf. [115455]

Robert Neill: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s parliamentary private secretary has not travelled overseas with my right hon. Friend on any occasions since May 2010, nor has he travelled overseas on the Secretary of State's behalf.

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget that can be reprioritised; what steps he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for reprioritisation; [115133]

5 July 2012 : Column 744W

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible reprioritisation; [115134]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible reprioritisation; and when he plans to report to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115156]

Robert Neill: My Department is working with the Treasury to agree contingency plans as set out in ‘Improving Spending Control’:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_control.pdf

Plans and options for reprioritisation will not be published. They should be “live” plans that are reassessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

EU Agricultural Subsidies

14. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her French counterpart on EU agricultural subsidies. [115227]

Mr Paice: The new French Government was named after President Hollande's election on 14 May. Stephan Le Foll was subsequently nominated as Agriculture Minister and has recently secured a seat through the parliamentary elections in June.

We are very keen to work closely with Minister Le Foll and understand his priorities for CAP reform, and have organised an introductory meeting in Paris this Friday.

High-speed Broadband

18. Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to ensure rural areas have access to reliable and high-speed broadband. [115231]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA is working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Broadband Delivery UK to meet our target to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015. The Government's £530 million rural broadband investment will provide 90% of premises with superfast broadband, and everyone else with standard broadband of at least two megabits per second.

The Government's £20 million Rural Community Broadband Fund provides grant support to enable communities to access superfast broadband in the final 10% of hard to reach locations.

Agricultural Vehicles

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 34W, on agricultural vehicles, where such data are likely to be held; and if her Department will begin to collect these data. [112171]

5 July 2012 : Column 745W

Mr Paice: DEFRA does not hold this information and has no plans to capture it.

Biodiversity

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what priorities she has set for the eleventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. [115101]

Richard Benyon: Our overarching aim for the eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held in Hyderabad, India, October 2012, is to help secure the progress needed to implement the agreements forged at Nagoya in 2010, in particular on the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20, and its effective resourcing. This will require action by all countries and the mobilisation of a wide range of funding, both public and private.

We are working closely with our EU partners and other countries to provide the leadership this will require, and have established a High Level Panel with the support of India and the CBD secretariat to assess the likely levels of investment required at a global level to meet the targets established in Nagoya.

England was also one of the first countries to revise a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with the publication of Biodiversity 2020 in August 2011. The UK has also taken an active role in encouraging other countries to revise their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans by hosting, with Brazil, a global workshop on National Experiences in Implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20. This took place in Brasilia in March 2012, was largely financed by the UK, and was attended by 57 (mainly developing) countries.

Carbon Emissions: Business

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable she has set for the introduction of mandatory carbon reporting for businesses under section 85 of the Climate Change Act 2008. [115178]

Richard Benyon: As the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), announced in her written ministerial statement of 20 June 2012, Official Report, columns 59-60WS, the Government will introduce regulations requiring reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by quoted companies in April 2013. A consultation on the regulations, and the date they should come into effect, will be issued shortly.

We will review the regulations for quoted companies in 2015 before deciding whether to extend the approach to all large companies from 2016.

Dogs: Sales

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has any plans to consult on the introduction of regulations to govern advertising the sale of dogs. [114430]

5 July 2012 : Column 746W

Mr Paice: There are no plans to consult on regulations regarding advertising of the sale of dogs. However, DEFRA supports the work being done by the Pet Advertising Advisory Group to work with the advertising industry and internet service providers to raise standards for advertising the sale of companion animals, including dogs, both in the press and on the internet.

Environment Protection

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what support her Department is providing for Payments for Ecosystem Services pilot projects. [115193]

Richard Benyon: Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are payments to land managers to act to improve ecosystem services where the beneficiaries of these additional services compensate the providers. The Government's role, as set out in the Natural Environment White Paper in June 2011, is to facilitate and encourage further activity by awareness raising, building capacity and removing barriers where appropriate to the use of payments for ecosystem services. In particular, DEFRA is:

Publishing best practice guidance in autumn 2012 for potential practitioners about how to do PES, which will include a large number of case studies showing what has worked for a range of ecosystem services.

Currently funding research pilots to demonstrate proof of concept for potential PES schemes which are still at the evidence-building stage. One with the RSPB builds on a Wessex Water pilot to see if PES can address increased nutrient pollution from development.

Publishing an action plan for taking PES forward by the end of 2012.

Floods: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of flood prevention measures and barriers in the West Midlands. [115113]

Richard Benyon: In the West Midlands conurbation (ie Birmingham and the Black Country) the Environment Agency manages flood defences protecting approximately 2,500 properties from flooding to a minimum standard of protection of one in 100-year event from main river. At the end of March 2012, 98% of these flood defences were in good condition.

Pay

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to introduce regional pay since 20 March 2012; and if she will make a statement. [111538]

Richard Benyon: I refer the hon. Member to the debate on regional pay that took place in this House on 20 June 2012, Official Report, columns 937-86).

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research grants funded from the public purse the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds received, by research project, in each of the last five years. [113079]

5 July 2012 : Column 747W

Richard Benyon: This response reflects research that has been contracted with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) by DEFRA and Network bodies.

5 July 2012 : Column 748W

The following table (Table 1) lists research projects contracted to the RSPB by Core DEFRA.

Table 1
£
Title2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Wetting up farmland for birds and other biodiversity

20,614

0

0

0

0

0

Wetting up Farmland for Biodiversity (Phase 2)

0

15,630

52,991

0

0

0

Management of wet grassland habitat to reduce the impact of predation on breeding waders: Phase 2

25,843

71,726

57,281

0

0

0

Cereal-based whole crop silages: a potential conservation mechanism for farmland birds in pastoral landscapes

6,614

0

0

0

0

0

Modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird populations in pastoral landscapes

121,153

103,974

32,512

0

0

0

Grass silage as a new source of winter food for declining farmland birds

38,630

40,179

9,518

0

0

0

Effects of Environmental Stewardship on the distributions and populations of cirl buntings and other farmland birds in South Devon

0

0

27,736

5,191

0

0

Extension to BD1454: Modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird foraging

0

0

0

80,308

0

0

Utility of lenient grazing of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird foraging (extension of BD5206)

0

0

0

0

74,449

73,051

National and Regional Wild Bird Indicators

52,702

58,239

40,949

19,543

0

0

Means of

18,442

0

0

0

0

0

Modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird populations in pastoral landscapes

121,153

103,974

32,512

0

0

0

Grass silage as a new source of winter food for declining farmland birds

38,630

40,179

9,518

0

0

0

Effects of Environmental Stewardship on the distributions and populations of cirl buntings and other farmland birds in South Devon

0

0

27,736

5,191

0

0

Extension to BD1454: Modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird foraging

0

0

0

80,308

0

0

Utility of lenient grazing of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and bird foraging (extension of BD5206)

0

0

0

0

74,449

73,051

National and Regional Wild Bird Indicators

52,702

58,239

40,949

19,543

0

0

Means of

18,442

0

0

0

0

0

Research Spend with the RSPB via the Joint Nature Conservation Committee is given in Table 3 as follows.

Table 3
£
Activities2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Contribution to project on eradication of Rattus exulans from Henderson Island

0

0

25,000

0

0

Contribution to Marine Species Identification project in Tristan da Cunha

0

0

0

3,000

0

Treasury

Bank for International Settlements

Steve Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on monetary activism announced in Budget 2012 of the findings on the limits of monetary policy in the 82nd Annual Report 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 of the Bank for International Settlements; and if he will make a statement. [114628]

Mr Hoban: The Government notes the Annual Report of the Bank for International Settlements.

As set out in Budget 2012, monetary policy has a critical role in supporting the economy as the Government delivers on its commitment to necessary fiscal consolidation. The independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England has operational responsibility for monetary policy and it is for the MPC to decide how to use its policy tools to meet the inflation target in the medium term. The credibility of the Government's fiscal plan allows the independent MPC to keep bank

5 July 2012 : Column 749W

rate lower than it would otherwise have been and to deliver additional monetary stimulus through quantitative easing (QE).

The Bank of England's analysis, in several publications since 2009, including the Quarterly Bulletin published in September 2011, provides evidence on the effectiveness of QE in supporting demand. In addition, the IMF supports further monetary easing including QE, noting that it can continue to support demand by lowering long-term interest rates and improving banks' liquidity.

In addition to monetary policy and as part of monetary activism as set out in Budget 2012, the Government launched the £20 billion National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) on 20 March to lower the cost of bank loans for smaller businesses and expanded the Business Finance Partnership to £1.2 billion at Budget 2012 to encourage the development of non-bank lending channels for SMEs and mid-sized businesses.

The new Funding for Lending scheme, announced by the Chancellor and the Governor at Mansion House on 14 June, complements the NLGS, and will support credit for the whole economy by making it easier for banks to lend to businesses and families.

Monetary activism is part of a comprehensive strategy that the Government has set out to deal with the challenges we face—fiscal policy, monetary policy, financial regulation, tax reform and structural reform all play their role in delivering our objective of lasting recovery and sustainable public finances. This strategy has reduced the deficit and helped to deliver near-record low interest rates.

Bank Services

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions he has had with the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland on the technical difficulties at Ulster Bank; and if he will make a statement; [115380]


(2) what discussions he has had with the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland on the technical difficulties the bank has experienced; and if he will make a statement; [115381]

(3) what discussions he has had with the Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland on the effect of the technical difficulties on (a) NatWest and (b) Ulster Bank; and if he will make a statement. [115382]

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions he has had with NatWest, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank on provision of customer compensation for (a) bank fines and (b) third-party fines incurred as a result of the recent bank systems errors; [115206]

(2) what discussions he has held with (a) the Financial Services Authority, (b) the Royal Bank of Scotland, (c) NatWest, (d) Ulster Bank and (e) the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel on the bank systems errors affecting customer accounts. [115207]

Mr Hoban: I have spoken to Stephen Hester, the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) about the technical difficulties affecting both NatWest

5 July 2012 : Column 750W

and Ulster Bank, to ensure that RBS are doing everything they can to resolve these issues as quickly as possible and that customers will be properly treated and compensated as appropriate.

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on (a) gas and (b) electricity bills in each of the last 10 years. [113495]

Miss Chloe Smith: The breakdown of spending for 1 Horse Guards road on electricity and gas by financial year, between April 2002 and March 2012, is shown in the following table:

Financial yearElectricity spend (£)Gas spend (£)

2002-03

9,935

1,672

2003-04

167,979

1,225

2004-05

375,881

1,097

2005-06

427,356

1,943

2006-07

482,967

3,475

2007-08

576,245

3,335

2008-09

786,320

4,957

2009-10

619,085

4,996

2010-11

538,414

2,681

2011-12

569,783

3,061

Gift Aid

Jack Lopresti: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the collection of gift aid on charitable donations made (a) as text donations via mobile telephone and (b) using other new technology is easier. [115180]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Government is keen to make gift aid as easy and as accessible as possible for both donors and charities. gift aid is already available on text donations and on other forms of digital giving, subject to the right infrastructure being in place.

HM Revenue and Customs has been discussing with charity representatives how the sector might set up a gift aid database for participating donors and charities to use to eliminate the need for donors to make a gift aid declaration to each charity they support.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the value of gift aid to charities in Scotland in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011 and (f) 2012. [115415]

Miss Chloe Smith: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) records do not separately identify Gift Aid claims by separate countries of the UK.

Amounts of tax repaid to charities in the UK on donations under Gift Aid are published in Table 10.3 on the HMRC website at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/charities/menu.htm

In 2011-12 a total of £1,057 million (provisional figure) was repaid to UK charities under Gift Aid.

5 July 2012 : Column 751W

Inheritance Tax

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised through inheritance tax in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will estimate the amount of revenue lost through non-domicile residents in the UK. [115160]

Mr Gauke: A provisional estimate of the revenue raised from inheritance tax in 2011-12 is published in the HM Revenue and Customs receipts National Statistics table, published on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_receipts/tax-receipts-and-taxpayers.pdf

An estimate of the amount of revenue lost through non-domicile residents in the UK is not available.

LIBOR

Frank Dobson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will ensure that none of the members of his proposed Joint Committee have worked for or advised any of the banks being investigated in the LIBOR fixing scandal. [115452]

Mr Hoban: The composition of this joint committee would be a matter for the Houses of Parliament, not the Government.

All Members of both Houses are required to publish their interests in the respective Registers of Interests for both Houses.

New Businesses: Bexley

Mr Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many new businesses registered for VAT in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each of the last three years. [114987]

Mr Gauke: No estimate is available for the number of new businesses registered for VAT in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each of the last three years.

Previously, the number of new VAT registrations was published by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform but this was discontinued in 2008. It has been replaced by the Office of National Statistics series ‘UK Business: Activity, Size and Location’, which combines VAT and PAYE registered businesses.

The total number of businesses registered for either VAT or PAYE in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency is given in the following table:

 Total number of businesses registered for either VAT or PAYE (at 30 March in each year)

2008

2,725

2009

2,665

2010

2,095

2011

2,585

Changes between the years reflect the net number of new VAT or PAYE registrations and de-registrations.

5 July 2012 : Column 752W

Unpaid Taxes

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was collected by HM Revenue and Customs as a result of investigations into unpaid corporate and personal taxation in each year since 2008. [115037]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 3 July 2012]:HMRC publishes performance data showing the additional revenues it raises from compliance activity within its annual report and accounts. The following table shows the additional revenues raised by the Department in each year from 2008-09. It is not possible to distinguish between revenues raised from investigative activity and revenues arising from other forms of compliance intervention.

HMRCAdditional revenues (£ billion)

2008-09

12.0

2009-10

12.6

2010-11

13.9

2011-12

16.7

Energy and Climate Change

Electricity: Meters

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials in his Department were working on smart meter roll-out in April (a) 2011 and (b) 2012. [115074]

Charles Hendry: There were a total of 27 officials working on smart meter roll-out in April 2011 and 76 officials in April 2012.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average number of working days lost per person was in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last three years. [115666]

Gregory Barker: The Average Working Days Lost (AWDL) per person due to sickness absence in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is shown in the following table.

PeriodAWDL

July 2009 to June 2010

4.3

July 2010 to June 2011

3.1

July 2011 to June 2012

3.6

DECC does not have any agencies for which it is responsible.

Members: Correspondence

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Minister of State plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Weaver Vale of 23 May 2012 on behalf of Mr Mark Radcliffe. [115579]

5 July 2012 : Column 753W

Gregory Barker: I have now replied to my hon. Friend and apologised for the delay in doing so.

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when the Minister of State plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Weaver Vale of 15 May 2012 on behalf of Mr Francis White. [115580]

Gregory Barker: I have now replied to my hon. Friend and apologised for the delay in doing so.

There was no record of receiving this correspondence and we obtained a copy of the original on 4 July 2012 from my hon. Friend’s constituency office.

Mental Health

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to promote good mental health and well-being in his Department. [114678]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) takes its responsibilities to the welfare of its employees seriously. The good management of health, safety and well-being is a key part of this commitment and information and support on well-being and mental health issues is promoted throughout the Department in a number of different ways.

Comprehensive health, safety and well-being policies and information is provided to all staff on the DECC Intranet. This is supplemented by E-learning training courses on Stress Awareness and on use of Display Screens. A range of talks and events to highlight specific issues are also regularly held within the Department and are open to all staff. Recent examples include sessions on Disability awareness, Personal Safety, and Epilepsy.

Natural Gas: Exploration

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration his Department has given to the findings of the joint Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering report on shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing; and if he will make a statement. [115588]

Charles Hendry: We welcome the initiative of the two academies in conducting this study. This review of the evidence is a very valuable addition to public information, since it has been conducted by authoritative bodies independent of the industry and of the regulators.

DECC is considering the report's analysis and findings and will certainly be taking the academies' conclusions into account, both when considering current issues in relation to hydraulic fracturing and with a view to any longer term strategic approach should shale gas eventually move from the exploration to development phase.

Nuclear Power

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans his Department has to receive (a) legal and (b) accounting advice from

5 July 2012 : Column 754W

external organisations in relation to the strike price for nuclear power; and what estimate he has made of the cost of this advice to the public purse. [115482]

Charles Hendry: The Department plans to make use of external legal and accountancy advice to inform its discussions with developers on enabling early investment decisions ahead of electricity market reform, and any subsequent decision on strike prices.

In order to ensure best value for money is achieved, estimates of the costs of procuring external advice cannot be disclosed in advance, but the actual costs incurred will be published in due course in line with the Government's policy on publishing spending data.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries: Visits Abroad

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on which occasions his parliamentary private secretary has travelled overseas with him or on his behalf since May 2010. [115342]

Gregory Barker: There have been no such occasions.

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, (1) what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget which can be reprioritised; what steps he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for reprioritisation; [115748]

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible reprioritisation; [115749]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible reprioritisation; and when he plans to report to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115750]

Gregory Barker: The Department is working with HM Treasury to agree contingency plans as set out in ‘Improving Spending Control’:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_control.pdf

Plans and options for reprioritisation will not be published. They should be "live" plans that are reassessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

Renewable Energy

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of new jobs expected to be created in renewable energy industries and the green economy by 2020; and if he will estimate the likely effect on the number of jobs in the rest of the economy as a result of any increase in energy costs resulting from electricity market reform and the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector. [113979]

5 July 2012 : Column 755W

Charles Hendry: DECC has not made an assessment of the number of new jobs expected to be created in renewable energy industries and the green economy by 2020.

As a result of electricity market reform, household electricity bills are estimated to be, on average, 4% lower over the next two decades than they would otherwise have been. Average bills for businesses and energy intensive industries will also be lower than without reform.

Implementing these reforms will require a significant increase in skilled professionals and will support the creation of jobs in the sector. Initial estimates suggest that the infrastructure investment enabled by these reforms could lead to as many as 250,000 more people being employed in the low-carbon energy sector.

We do not expect the de-carbonisation agenda to have a significant impact on net UK employment over the long' term. All of DECC's policies are consistent with the Government's overarching priority to deliver economic growth and new jobs.

Nigel Adams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will express targets for renewable energy production in terms of the total amount of energy produced rather than installed capacity. [115058]

Charles Hendry: The UK has a target under the Renewable Energy Directive 2009 to produce 15% of its of energy from renewable sources by 2020, calculated on a net calorific basis across the electricity, heat and transport sectors, and with a cap on fuel used for air transport.

We estimated in the Renewable Energy Roadmap (published July 2011) that this would equate to around 234 TeraWatt hours (TWh) of eligible renewable energy generation, based on forecast energy demand in 2020.

The following table sets out a technology breakdown in TWh for a central view of renewables deployment in 2020, based on a total target of 234 TWh across the electricity, heat and transport sectors.

Technology breakdown (TWh) for central view of deployment in 2020(1)
 TWh

Onshore wind

24-32

Offshore wind

33-58

Biomass electricity

32-50

Marine

1

Biomass heat (non-domestic)

36-50

Air-source and Ground-source heat pumps (non-domestic)

16-22

Renewable transport

Up to 48

Others (including hydro, geothermal, solar and domestic heat)

14

5 July 2012 : Column 756W

Estimated 15% target

234

(1)Source: Renewable Energy Roadmap: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf

Staff: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of people employed by his Department in Scotland. [115414]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change has 95 people working in its office in Aberdeen. This information is correct as of 31 May 2012.

Transport

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of the report from the Office of Fair Trading on the cost of car insurance; and if she will make a statement. [114799]

Mike Penning: I welcome the OFT report. The Government has already announced measures to reduce motor insurance premiums including legal reform, tackling uninsured driving and fraud. We continue to work with the motor insurance industry and other interested parties to tackle unjustified practices which increase premiums. The OFT report provides a valuable contribution to this work.

Pay

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average (mean) basic pay is for full-time equivalent (a) men and (b) women in the (i) AA, (ii) AO, (iii) EO and (iv) HEO or equivalent grades in each of her Department's bargaining units outside London. [115173]

Norman Baker: The table below shows the average basic pay for full-time equivalent (a) men and (b) women in the (i) AA, (ii) AO, (iii) EO and (iv) HEO or equivalent grades in each the Department for Transport's bargaining units outside of London.

GradeGenderDfT©MCADVLAHighwaysVOSADSAVCAGCDA

AA

Male

-

£13,987

£15,140

£15,989

£15,950

£16,418

£16,775

-

 

Female

-

£13,022

£15,156

£15,989

£15,987

£16,464

£16,775

-

AO

Male

£20,283

£17,255

£17,786

£18,061

£19,771

£18,846

£20,135

£21,096

 

Female

£20,311

£15,783

£17,887

£18,046

£19,792

£18,902

£20,008

£21,096

EO

Male

£24,946

£23,416

£23,297

£22,189

£24,907

£24,210

£25,390

£23,463

 

Female

£24,626

£20,997

£22,873

£22,032

£24,778

£24,205

£25,737

£23,463

HEO

Male

£30,346

£27,469

£28,255

£26,914

£30,789

£29,769

£33,417

-

 

Female

£30,018

£23,879

£28,275

£26,837

£30,298

£29,860

£35,315

-

5 July 2012 : Column 757W

Rapid Transit Systems

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish a timetable for the Tramtrain pilot project in Sheffield; when she plans the service will be operating; what the end date of the evaluation is; and how consideration will be given, if the pilot is successful, to rolling it out on other routes. [115210]

Norman Baker: The pilot service is planned to commence in 2015 and evaluation will take place after two years. The learning experiences from the pilot will be documented and shared with other promoters considering tram train schemes in their areas.

Rescue Services

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the new national centre at Farnham in Surrey will monitor small boats used by holidaymakers in Scotland that do not have fixed radar location equipment following the implementation of planned closures of maritime rescue and co-ordination centres. [114567]

Mike Penning: The Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) located at Fareham in Hampshire will take responsibility for managing the Coastguard network as a whole ensuring that workload and resources are in balance at all times.

Small boats and leisure vessels can request safety information or raise the alarm if they are in difficulties by means of radio equipment. The modernisation programme for HM Coastguard will not reduce in any way the radio coverage currently provided, therefore there will be no change in the availability of assistance and advice to holidaymakers and small boat users in Scotland. Co-ordination centres in Belfast, Stornoway, Lerwick and Aberdeen will be manned 24/7 by Coastguard Officers. As a result of the modernisation programme additional officers from across the network will be able to reinforce these staffing levels and or take on other important but non-urgent work when incidents occur.

In the future the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be putting more Coastguard Officers into coastal communities and it will be these officers who will develop local contacts and local intelligence. They will be a direct point of contact for the small craft and leisure community.

Transport

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what weighting is given to the (a) economic, (b) social, (c) health and (d) environmental benefits of new transport projects. [113953]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport uses the Transport Business Case when making decisions on transport investments. This is set out in five sections, consistent with the Treasury Green Book, to consider the strategic, economic, financial, commercial and management aspects of a project. Guidance on Transport Business Cases can be found on the DfT website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/transport-business-case/

No weighting is given to any of the individual sections in the overall business case. The Secretary of State considers the evidence presented in the overall business case when making decisions on investments.

5 July 2012 : Column 758W

The economic, social, health and environmental impacts are mainly considered in the strategic and economic sections. DfT's approach to appraising these impacts, including values where appropriate, is published in its transport appraisal guidance (WebTAG). WebTAG can be found on the DfT website at:

www.dft.gov.uk/webtag/

Health

Abortion: Counselling

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to begin his consultation on abortion counselling. [115608]

Anne Milton: The Department is continuing work on this issue, and a document will be published as soon as possible.

Blood: Diseases

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance he plans to issue to commissioners and acute trusts on the development of collaborative care pathways for patients diagnosed with sepsis; [115163]

(2) what consideration his Department has given to the development of a national sepsis registry; [115164]

(3) what steps his Department is taking to measure outcomes and long-term health issues for patients diagnosed with sepsis; [115165]

(4) what steps his Department is taking to improve awareness of sepsis and to encourage early diagnosis; [115166]

(5) what representations his Department has received from health professionals and stakeholder organisations on the development by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of quality standards relating to treatment of sepsis; [115167]

(6) what assessment he has made of the potential effect on patient outcomes of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence quality standard on surgical site infection and sepsis. [115168]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department supports existing international guidance on sepsis and although there is no specific guidance on sepsis this informed the Department's document “Start Smart Then Focus”. A copy has been placed in the Library. This recommends that if there is evidence of bacterial infection, local guidelines should be used to initiate prompt effective antibiotic treatment within one hour of diagnosis (or as soon as possible) in patients with life-threatening infections.

In addition, “Start Smart Then Focus” recommends auditing the time to treatment to ensure effective local performance. Information on sepsis is not collected centrally and there are no plans to develop a registry.

Quality Standards support better outcomes for patients by promoting improvement in the quality of national health service care. Quality Standards are derived from the best available evidence, such as National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance and other evidence sources accredited by NHS Evidence.

5 July 2012 : Column 759W

A Quality Standard for Surgical Site Infection and Sepsis was referred to NICE in March 2012 and is in development.

The Department has received correspondence from the UK Sepsis Group on the development of an NHS Quality Standard relating to the treatment of sepsis. In 2011, NICE jointly with the National Quality Board ran an engagement exercise on the proposed library of NHS Quality Standards. Six organisations provided responses to the public consultation which referred to the treatment of sepsis.

The NHS Commissioning Board will be expected to use these standards to underpin the Commissioning Outcomes Framework which will be used to help raise awareness of this issue, improve patient safety and as the basis for producing guidance for commissioners.

Dementia: Merseyside

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to raise awareness of the early signs of dementia in (a) Liverpool, Walton constituency and (b) Merseyside. [115521]

Paul Burstow: Raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of dementia and improving early diagnosis are key parts of the Prime Minister's Challenge on Dementia. The Department is beginning a behaviour change campaign in 2012-13 to encourage early consultations with general practitioners. This follows a dementia awareness campaign in 2010, which improved public awareness, recognition of symptoms and attitudes to dementia.

Dietary Supplements

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by whom he was represented at the 30 April 2012 meeting of the European Commission's Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health; what views were expressed by his representatives at that meeting on proposals from other EU member states that work be brought forward to set maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements under the provisions of article 5 of the food supplements directive; what his policy objectives are in that area; what steps he plans to take to ensure that UK consumers do not lose access to safe and popular higher potency food supplements; and if he will make a statement. [115194]

Anne Milton: The discussion at the 30 April 2012 meeting of the European Commission Standing Committee on the Food Chain, and Animal Health was regarding an amendment of Regulation (EC) 1925/2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods, where some other delegations expressed their disappointment at the lack of harmonised maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals in food, urging the Commission to undertake this work.

There was no discussion of the setting maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals in food supplements, under the provisions of article 5 of the Food Supplements Directive 2002/46/EC.

The Commission gave no indication of when negotiations will commence on the setting of maximum amounts of vitamins and minerals in food, or food supplements.

5 July 2012 : Column 760W

Any future discussions need to ensure that the legislation is proportionate and based on evidence, so that consumers have confidence in what they buy, while maintaining a wide choice of safe products.

Health Services

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has held with the NHS Commissioning Board on (a) the progress of their review of specialised services and (b) the deadline by which they are expected to announce which services are to be included as specialist services; and if he will make a statement. [115051]

Mr Simon Burns: The NHS Commissioning Board Authority is not undertaking a review of specialised services. A Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) was set up in 2011 to undertake an analysis of the services within the specialised services national definitions set against the four factors on the face of the Health and Social Care Act to identify which services would be more appropriate for direct commissioning by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) from April 2013.

Following CAG's initial recommendations in December 2011, 60 Clinical Reference Groups were set up to undertake more detailed work to enable the service to be separately and directly commissioned by the NHS CB from 1 April 2013.

CAG has recently made its recommendations to Ministers and it is expected that the list of services will be announced in the summer.

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which bodies will have responsibility for commissioning (a) acute services and (b) mental health and learning disability services following the reorganisation of primary care trusts. [115102]

Mr Simon Burns: Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will assume responsibility from 1 April 2013 for commissioning national health service healthcare services, with the exception of certain services (such as primary care and specialised services), which will be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board. The healthcare services CCGs will commission will include acute services, and mental health and learning disability services.

Health: Finance

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what basic principles underlie the formula used in his consultation on the (a) interim recommendations for the preferred distribution of public health resources from the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation, (b) health premium and (c) proposed conditions on the ring-fenced public health grant. [115171]

Anne Milton: The Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), to develop a formula for the allocation of the public health budget to local authorities relative to population health need, based on the principle of enabling action to improve population-wide health, and to reduce health inequalities.

5 July 2012 : Column 761W

A limited number of conditions on the ring-fenced public health grant have been proposed to ensure the appropriate balance between giving local authorities the freedom to spend the grant as they see fit and the need to ensure transparency and accountability in its use.

At the end of the financial year local authorities will be required to confirm that the grant has been spent in accordance with the grant conditions, including reporting any underspends.

The health premium is public health funding that supports non-mandated services. This includes both the core, needs-based allocation, and an incentive component. Local authorities will be rewarded if they make progress in improving the health of the local population, based on elements of the Public Health Outcomes Framework. The incentive will be weighted to areas facing the greatest challenges.

Health: Rural Areas

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health under which Minister's responsibility rural health falls. [115402]

Anne Milton: Responsibility for rural health is shared by departmental Ministers across the range of their responsibilities for the national health service, public health and social care. I represent the Department in bi-laterals with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Ministers on rural health as part of my work on wider cross-government health issues.

NHS: Drugs

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the role of homecare in improving patient compliance and adherence to NHS-funded treatment. [115312]

Paul Burstow: The Department has made no such assessment.

Homecare has two main meanings.

It can mean a social care service, which covers, the provision of personal care—assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing and the preparation and eating of meals—to people in their own homes. It is not a medical or health service. Carers may help service users to take prescribed medication, in accordance with prescribers’ instructions. However, they cannot require service users to comply, with or adhere to treatment regimes.

It can also mean a medicine homecare delivery service, which delivers ongoing medicine supplies and, where necessary, associated care initiated by a hospital prescribes direct to a patient's home with their consent. The

5 July 2012 : Column 762W

purpose of the service, is to improve patient care and choice for clinical treatments. Typically, patients who receive this type of homecare are those with chronic conditions and stable treatment regimens that do not require acute care input.

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has made of the potential role of homecare in the approval and introduction of new drugs. [115313]

Paul Burstow: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has made no such assessment and there are no plans to ask NICE to do so.

When appraising a drug NICE takes account of any relevant costs or benefits associated with the delivery of the drug in different health care settings.