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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Colombia

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received about demonstrations in Colombia by the human rights movement known as the Patriotic March. [119169]

Alistair Burt: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), on 4 September 2012, Official Report, column 299W, to the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon).

Gibraltar

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Spanish Government over the incursion by Guardia Civil vessels into Gibraltarian waters on the nights of 23 and 24 May 2012 despite receiving repeated orders from the Royal Navy to leave. [119137]

Mr Lidington: We were deeply concerned by the incursions on 23 and 24 May. We protested formally to the Spanish authorities soon after the incursions took place. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), discussed this with Spanish Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo on 29 May. Spanish agencies do not have any jurisdiction in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). We are confident of UK sovereignty over BGTW and are committed to upholding UK sovereignty. We make this clear to the Spanish Government whenever appropriate.

Nigeria

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of reports of attacks on churches in Nigeria; and if he will make a statement. [119138]

Alistair Burt: Ongoing inter-communal conflict and attacks by violent extremists have caused suffering in both Christian and Muslim communities in Nigeria. Responsibility for many of these attacks, including increasingly those against places of worship, has been claimed by the Islamic extremist group commonly known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram has also claimed responsibility for attacks against political and traditional leaders, as well as members of Nigeria's security forces.

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We assess that such attacks aim to provoke religious divides in an otherwise tolerant nation. The British Government condemn all such instances of violence.

Energy and Climate Change

Arctic: Climate Change

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the data released by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration which indicated that the Arctic sea ice extent reached a record minimum on 27 August 2012; and if he will make a statement. [119355]

Gregory Barker: Observations made by NASA and others show that this summer's Arctic sea-ice extent is already lower than the previous record, set in 2007 and is now close to minimum, which usually occurs around mid-September.

This has been caused by a continuing long-term decline in late summer extent and a reduction in average sea-ice thickness (where measured). This summer, the exceptionally rapid decline was partly due to unusual weather conditions.

Model projections suggest that an essentially sea-ice free Arctic in late summer will be a regular occurrence sometime after 2030 but recent observations do show that sea-ice extent is declining more rapidly than most models have shown to date.

Continued reductions in sea-ice extent will provide a positive feedback on Arctic warming and thus increase the risk of increased methane and carbon dioxide release. This is an area of significant research, which my Department is supporting through the Climate Programme at the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Correspondence

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average time taken was by his Department to reply to correspondence from hon. Members and Peers in the last 12 months; and for what proportion of letters the time taken to send a response was longer than (a) one month, (b) six weeks, (c) two months, (d) three months and (e) six months in that period. [118654]

Gregory Barker: The information is as follows:

Ministerial responses September 2011 to August 2012
QuestionResponse

Average time taken to respond:

12.79 days

(a) Response longer than 1 month - i.e. 1 month to 6 weeks

330 cases or 4.6%

(b) Response longer than 6 weeks- i.e. 6 weeks to 2 months

253 cases or 3.5%

(c) Response longer than 2 months- i.e. 2 months to 3 months

167 cases or 2.3%

(d) Response longer than 3 months- i.e. 3 months to 6 months

69 cases or 1.0%

(e) Response longer than 6 months- i.e. anything over 6 months

2 cases or 0.03%

This report counts every ministerial case (from hon. Members and Peers) between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012.

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Energy

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what comparative study his Department has made of UK energy policy and the decentralised energy generation and ownership model in Germany. [118998]

Gregory Barker: Whilst no comparative study by DECC has been undertaken between the UK and the decentralised energy generation model adopted in Germany, DECC officials have examined German policies on combined heat and power in the process of developing a scheme for the UK.

Energy: Prices

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, column 443, on energy bills, what the evidential basis is for his statement that one million pensioners will receive a £130 reduction in their bills in this financial year. [118635]

Gregory Barker: The Warm Home Discount Scheme Core Group element requires, by law, participating energy supply companies to provide £130 discounts off the energy bills of customers notified to them by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey).

The Government use limited data sharing between energy companies and the Department for Work and Pensions to inform energy companies which customers should receive this discount.

In 2012-13, to be eligible for the Warm Home Discount Core Group, pensioners will need on 21 July 2012 (the qualifying date) to either be aged under 80 and receiving only the guarantee credit element of pension credit or be aged 80 or over and receiving the guarantee credit element of pension credit. In addition, the pensioner, their partner or appointee needs to be named on their electricity bill and to receive their electricity from one of the energy suppliers participating in the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

We know that on 21 July 2012 some 1.4 million pensioners were in receipt of the benefits set out above. We can use information for the 2011-12 Warm Home Discount Scheme Core Group to estimate how many of these pensioners are likely to be found through data matching (and who receive the discount automatically) and how many will not be matched automatically (but are expected to receive a letter informing them that they may be eligible, meet the eligibility requirements for being named on the bill and using a participating energy supplier and then make a successful claim). In 2011-12, a total of over 78% of this group were matched automatically or made a successful claim.

Since there have been no significant changes to the process, we have estimated that at least a similar percentage will be successful for the 2012-13 scheme year. On this basis, we expect around one million pensioners to be notified to the energy suppliers this winter.

Fuel Poverty

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to his Department's document, “Estimated impacts of

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energy and climate change policies on energy prices and bills”, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of fuel poverty of rising energy costs attributable to energy policies. [118643]

Gregory Barker: Each year, DECC measures and publishes estimates of the number of fuel poor households in England. The current definition of fuel poverty means that a household is fuel poor if it would need to spend more than 10% of income on adequate energy services in the home. The latest estimates, which were published by the Department in May 2012, showed that there were 3.5 million fuel poor households in England in 2010 and that this was expected to increase to 3.9 million households by 2012. These estimates reflect all of the key drivers of fuel poverty: energy prices, household incomes, energy efficiency of the housing stock and the effect of Government policies.

The Department has not made an assessment of the aggregate impact of rising energy costs attributable to energy policies in future years on fuel poverty. However, the fuel poverty impacts of particular policies are often produced as part of policy impact assessments, particularly where those policies have particular significance to fuel poverty. As a good example, see the recently published impact assessment of the Green Deal.

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 and the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy 2001, what assessment he has made of his Department's progress towards eradicating fuel poverty for all households in England by 2016. [119152]

Gregory Barker: The coalition Government are committed to doing all that is reasonably practicable to end fuel poverty in England by 2016 and to supporting low-income vulnerable households heat their homes at an affordable cost.

The current definition of fuel poverty means that a household is fuel poor if it would need to spend more than 10% of income on adequate energy services in the home. The latest estimates, which were published by the Department in May 2012, showed that there were 3.5 million fuel poor households in England in 2010 (which was around 0.5 million households lower than in 2009) and that this was expected to increase to 3.9 million households by 2012.

Although the number of households in fuel poverty reduced between 2009 and 2010, fuel poverty remains a huge challenge. This Government have a range of policies to address the contributing factors of fuel poverty, including Warm Front, Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, Warm Home Discount, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments. In the future, the new Green Deal and energy company obligation will be our flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock.

Geothermal Power: Iceland

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, column 446, on geothermal energy, if he will make a statement on the memorandum of understanding with the Icelandic Government on geothermal heat and power. [118636]

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Charles Hendry: I signed a memorandum of understanding with the Icelandic Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism on co-operation in the energy sector on 30 May 2012. In this the two Ministries agreed, “inter alia”, to exchange information and co-operate to support the development of the deep geothermal sector in the UK, including in the supply of heat to district heating networks.

Iceland has considerable knowledge and experience in the deep geothermal sector from which we hope to be able to learn to promote such developments in the UK.

Nuclear Power Stations

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to announce details of the financing and timetable for new nuclear power stations. [119635]

Charles Hendry: The Government are committed to ensuring that conditions are right for investment in new nuclear in the UK and continue to work with interested parties to secure this investment. We have completed our facilitative actions on planning, financing for decommissioning and waste disposal and reactor design and set out reforms to transform the power sector to enable future low carbon investment, including new nuclear. It is for energy companies to construct, operate and decommission nuclear power stations without public subsidy. Industry has set out its plans to develop up to 16GW of new nuclear power in the UK by 2025.

Regulation

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department has made an estimate of the (a) cost and (b) time required for a business to comply with each piece of regulation for which it is responsible. [118679]

Gregory Barker: The cost and time required for a business to comply with new domestic regulation are calculated in line with the one-in, one-out methodology. The Government publish the Statement of New Regulation twice a year; this gives an overview of the net cost to business from new domestic regulation.

Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what date he last had a bilateral meeting with the Secretary of State for Scotland; and what matters were discussed. [119616]

Gregory Barker: DECC Ministers and officials meet regularly with their counterparts in the Scotland Office and other Departments to discuss a range of issues. As has been the case with successive Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Cabinet Office

Civil Service Accountability

10. Neil Carmichael: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to increase the accountability of the civil service. [118541]

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Mr Maude: The Civil Service Reform Plan, published in June, set out first steps to sharpen accountability, including clarifying and making more transparent the responsibilities of accounting officers, and strengthening the role of Ministers in departmental and permanent secretary appointments.

Efficiency and Reform Agenda

12. Gemma Doyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent progress his Department has made on his efficiency and reform agenda. [118543]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Henley (John Howell) at oral questions earlier today.

Voluntary Sector Funding

13. Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the total reduction in funding to the voluntary sector in 2011-12. [118544]

Mr Hurd: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Tyneside (Mrs Glindon) and the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) at oral questions today.

Charity Commission

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office in how many cases the Charity Commission has exercised its power to remove a trustee in each year since 2002. [118826]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the Commission's chief executive to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, dated 4 September 2012:

I have been asked to reply to your Written Parliamentary Question asking in how many cases the Charity Commission has exercised its power to remove a trustee in each year since 2002 (118826).

The Commission exercises its power to remove trustees under section 79 of the Charities Act 2011 and formerly section 18(2) of the Charities Act 1993.

The number of removal orders made in each year was as follows:

 Number of times power exercised

2002-03

1

2003-04

12

2004-05

0

2005-06

6

2006-07

8

2007-08

4

2008-09

4

2009-10

2

2010-11

1

2011-12

0

We do not hold central records for this information prior to 2007/8 the figures shown above for the years 2002/3 to 2005/7 have been obtained from manual searches of information that we still hold and to which we have ready access. There were at least this many removal orders made in each year

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Since 2007/8, we have published information about the number of times we have exercised various compliance and regulatory powers, including suspensions and removals of trustees, in an annual publication called “Back on Track”, which is available to view on our website:

http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Our_regulatory_activity/Compliance_reports/Back_on_TRACK_index.aspx

Prostate Cancer

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many men in England were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; [119786]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of survival rates for men with prostate cancer; and if he will make a statement. [119788]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated September 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent questions.

Detailed information about whether a cancer was advanced at the time of diagnosis is not routinely recorded for individual cancer registrations sent to ONS for processing and publishing as National Statistics.

The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer (incidence) in England are for the year 2010. There were 34,892 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer in 2010.(1, 2, 3)

Table 1 provides the latest one-year and five-year survival estimates for men diagnosed with prostate cancer in England, for men diagnosed in 2005-2009 and followed up to 2010.

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

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html

The latest published figures on cancer survival in England are available on the National Statistics website at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cancer-unit/cancer-survival/index.html

(1) Prostate cancer is coded as C61 in the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10).

(2 )Newly diagnosed cases registered in each calendar year.

(3) Figures for England exclude cancer registrations for non-residents.

Table 1. One-year and five-year relative survival (percentage), with 95% confidence intervals (CI), for males diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005-09, England(1, 2, 3)
Males
 One-year survivalFive-year survival
 Percentage95%CIPercentage95%CI

Age-standardised

93.5

93.3

93.7

81.4

80.9

81.9

(1) Prostate cancer is coded as C61 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). (2) Adult patients aged 15-99. (3) Confidence intervals are a measure of the statistical precision of an estimate and show the range of uncertainty around the estimated figure. As a general rule, if the confidence interval around one figure overlaps with the interval around another, we cannot say with certainty that there is more than a chance difference between the two figures. Source: Office for National Statistics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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Unemployment

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what the average working age unemployment rate was in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) nationally in each of the last five years; [118923]

(2) how many (a) women and (b) men were unemployed in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) nationally in each of the last five years; [118924]

(3) how many (a) men and (b) women were in employment in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) nationally in each of the last five years. [118926]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated September 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions asking what the average working age unemployment rate was in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) nationally in each of the last five years; how many (a) women and (b) men were in unemployment in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) nationally in each of the last five years; how many (a) men and (b) women were in employment in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) nationally in each of the last five years. (118923 118924 & 118926)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles employment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

Table 1, shows the unemployment rate of persons aged 16 to 64 resident in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK. This definition differs from the normal preferred measures of unemployment, which are based on the number of unemployed aged 16+. Figures have been provided for the APS 12 month period April 2011 to March 2012 the most recent period available and previous APS periods ending March for 2008 to 2011.

Table 2 shows the number of persons aged 16+ unemployed by gender, resident in the requested geographies for the APS periods ending March for 2008 to 2012.

Table 3 shows the number of persons aged 16+ employed by gender, resident in the requested geographies for the APS periods ending March for 2008 to 2012.

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

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

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Unemployment rates(1) for people aged 16 -64 resident in Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK in each year since 2008
Percentage
12 months ending:JarrowSouth TynesideNorth EastUK

March 2008

6.6

6.2

6.5

5.2

March 2009

6.3

8.2

8.3

6.3

March 2010

8.4

13.3

10.0

8.0

March 2011

11.7

12.9

10.3

7.7

March 2012

10.9

12.2

11.0

8.2

(1) As percentage of economically active. Source: Annual Population Survey

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Table 2: Number of persons unemployed(1) by gender resident in Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK in each year since 2008
Thousand
 JarrowSouth TynesideNorth EastUK
12 months endingMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale

March 2008

2

2

47

33

902

689

March 2009

4

2

58

44

1,134

786

March 2010

7

3

76

46

1,497

952

March 2011

6

3

79

49

1,425

950

         

March 2012(2)

****—

****—

***6

***3

**84

**52

*1,483

*1,058

‘—’ Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes. (1) Levels of employment are provided for persons aged 16 and over. (2) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality below. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 = CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 = CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 = CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ? 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey
Table 3: Number of persons employed(1) by gender resident in Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK in each year since 2008
Thousand
 JarrowSouth TynesideNorth EastUK
12 months endingMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale

March 2008

21

19

35

32

614

546

15,817

13,412

March 2009

19

19

34

32

609

544

15,712

13,443

March 2010

19

17

32

31

587

535

15,332

13,352

March 2011

20

19

34

31

599

535

15,504

13,388

March 2012(2)

**20

**18

**35

**30

*593

*522

*15,570

*13,446

(1) Levels of employment are provided for persons aged 16 and over. (2) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality below. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 = CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 = CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 = CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ? 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey

Transport

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of automatic number plate recognition cameras in operation by region. [119225]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not hold information of the total number of automatic number plate recognition cameras in operation by region.

Automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) are operated mainly by police forces, the Highways Agency and the DVLA.

The Highways Agency operates 1,100 ANPR cameras at 736 decision points on the network for the purposes of traffic management. A list of camera deployment locations can be found at:

http://www.highways.gov.uk/aboutus/documents/CRS_605073_ANPR_camera_locations_by_journey_time_section.pdf

Aviation: Disability

Mark Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has plans to increase legislative obligations on UK and international airlines to provide wheelchair access to aircraft. [119317]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department for Transport has no plans to increase legislation on this issue. EC Regulation 1107/2006 gives disabled air travellers and persons of reduced mobility access to air travel and assistance when they fly to and from Europe. It imposes legal obligations on airport managing bodies, air carriers and their agents or tour operators.

Aviation: Greater London

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of go-around incidents involving commercial aircraft that have taken place at London airports in each month since January 2002. [118791]

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Mr Simon Burns: The Department for Transport does not hold this information, but any go-around incident which may have endangered the aircraft or passengers must be reported to the independent aviation safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority.

Biofuels

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation mechanism for small and medium-sized enterprises providing biofuel made from UK recycled food waste products. [119080]

Norman Baker: The amended Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 provides additional support to biofuels made from waste by awarding two renewable transport fuel certificates (RTFCs) for each litre supplied. This means that biofuels made from waste now receive double the incentive provided for biofuels made from crops which meet mandatory sustainability criteria.

The value of RTFCs is determined by the market. Demand and prices will fluctuate during the year for various reasons, including the price of oil. We will be reviewing double certification for biofuels made from waste in 2013 to ensure that it is having a positive effect on the biofuel industry.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the sales volume was of biofuels made from recycled food waste products in the UK for road fuel in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will estimate the likely sales in 2012-13. [119081]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport administers the RTFO and produces statistics on the supply of biofuel and biogas in the UK by country of origin and feedstock, and reports performance. Data is available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/biofuels/

In obligation year 2010-11 514 million litres (34%) of biofuel/biogas reported under the RTFO was produced from recycled food waste products. Verified data is not yet available for 2011-12. The latest reported data suggests 494 million litres (50%) of biofuel/biogas reported under the RTFO was produced from recycled food waste products between April 2011 and December 2012. Data for 2012-13 will be available in due course.

Blue Badge Scheme

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to his Department's Personal Independence Payment and eligibility for a Blue Badge consultation, whether the current eligibility criterion of being registered blind will be retained in addition to any new criteria under each of the three options. [119259]

Norman Baker: Yes, I can confirm that the current eligibility criterion for those people who are registered blind will remain and will be unaffected by the proposals in the current consultation.

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Carbon Budgets

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the likely contribution of the transport sector to the second and third carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act 2008. [118858]

Norman Baker: The Government's Carbon Plan, published in December 2011 and available via the website of the Department for Energy and Climate Change, sets out in detail how all sectors, including the transport sector, are expected to contribute to meeting the carbon budgets that have been set under the Climate Change Act 2008. The Government has not set emissions reduction targets for individual sectors, but various possible future emissions scenarios for different sectors including transport are modelled in the Carbon Plan and its analytical appendices.

Cycling: Helmets

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the potential safety benefits of making it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets; and if he will make a statement. [118645]

Norman Baker: The Department commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to review the evidence on helmet wearing and a link to their 2009 report (TRL report 446 “The potential for cycle helmets to prevent injury”) can be found at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/research-and-statistical-reports

The main focus of the TRL report was on the effectiveness of cycle helmets in the event of an accident. The report also undertook a literature review for its real life outcomes, but concluded that it was not possible to quantify the scale, if any, of real life benefit.

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has considered bringing forward proposals to make compulsory the wearing of helmets by cyclists. [118802]

Norman Baker: We have no plans to make the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory. In line with the Highway Code rule 59, we encourage their use by all cyclists and in particular by children.

E-mail

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons his Department does not operate a dedicated e-mail account for hon. Members to send correspondence directly to Ministers; and what plans his Department has to establish such an account. [119201]

Norman Baker: The email addresses for Ministers at the Department for Transport are:

Patrick.McLoughlin@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Simon.Burns@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Norman.Baker@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Stephen.Hammond@dft.gsi.gov.uk

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Equality Act 2010

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant, to the written ministerial statement of 15 September 2010, Official Report, column 49WS, on the Equality Act 2010, when he plans to implement fully section 165 of the Equality Act 2010. [118737]

Norman Baker: We are still considering the case for commencing section 165 of the Equality Act 2010. I intend to make an announcement in the near future.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many fines have been issued to registered keepers of uninsured vehicles since continuous insurance enforcement came into effect on 20 June 2011; [119078]

(2) what estimates he has made of the change in the number of uninsured drivers on the road as a result of continuous insurance enforcement. [119079]

Stephen Hammond: The number of uninsured vehicles in Great Britain has fallen to 1.2 million from 1.4 million in 2010 due to a combination of police enforcement activity (better detection through Automatic Number Plate Recognition equipment and seizure of uninsured vehicles) as well as the continuous insurance enforcement scheme. As these enforcement measures complement each other it is not possible to determine the proportion of the decrease directly attributable to the continuous insurance enforcement scheme.

At 31 August 2012 177,086 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued to registered keepers and 834 cases successfully prosecuted.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of unregistered foreign vehicles in the UK; [119326]

(2) how many registered foreign vehicles there were in the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available. [119327]

Stephen Hammond: The Department has not made any estimates of the number of unregistered foreign vehicles in the UK. However, the Department has estimated that 0.41% of distance driven by vehicles in Great Britain during 2011 was driven by foreign registered vehicles. Vehicles from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands are not counted as ‘foreign'.

Further statistics on foreign vehicles can be found at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics?orderby=title&post_type=table&s=tra32

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many unregistered foreign vehicles that should have been registered have been identified in the UK in each of the last five years. [119328]

5 Sep 2012 : Column 340W

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not hold those data.

There is no central database that records foreign registered vehicles. Foreign registered vehicles temporarily brought into the UK by overseas residents are usually exempt from UK registration and licensing under EU legislation. This exemption allows a vehicle which is compliant in its home country to be used by the visitor for up to six months in any 12-month period, or until the visitor becomes resident in the UK.

Any estimates that we could produce would be extremely inaccurate because there are no reliable tracking methodologies.

In 2010-11 (most recent numbers available), the number of vehicles registered in another country who applied to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to be registered in GB was 99,421.

Parking: Fees and Charges

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with local authorities on the 50% discount on penalty charge notices for payments made within 14 days. [118672]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State has not had discussions with local authorities on the subject of the 50% discounted rate for payment of penalty charges notices within 14 days.

Local authorities have a statutory obligation under part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 to offer a 50% discount for payment of penalty charges made within 14 days of receipt. The Secretary of State advises English local authorities in the Operational Guidance, Parking Policy and Enforcement, that if an informal challenge is received within the discount period and subsequently rejected, the enforcement authority should consider re-offering the discount for a further 14 days.

Advice and legal references regarding the penalty charge discounted rate is obtainable at the following web link:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/tma-part-6-cpe-guidance/parkingenforcepolicy.pdf

Post Offices: Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of the provision of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency services in post offices. [119216]

Norman Baker: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has a five year contract with Post Office Ltd that expires on 31 March 2013. A procurement exercise is currently under way to tender these services as part of a wider front office counter services framework.

As part of the tender evaluation process, DVLA will compare the bids from potential suppliers and the contract will be awarded according to the most economically advantageous tender submitted which includes full consideration of the cost benefits and quality features of the services offered.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 341W

Railways

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the High Level Output Specification announced on 16 July 2012, how much of the funding will be provided by (a) the Exchequer and (b) fare-payers in (i) cash and (ii) percentage terms; and what the effect of this expenditure will be on Network Rail's debt level. [119208]

Norman Baker: Exchequer funding for the railway in England and Wales is set out in Table 1 of High Level Output Specification:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/hlos-2012/railways-act-2005.pdf

Future fare-box revenue is a commercial matter for the train operators and will depend on the bids received for franchise competitions.

The level of Network Rail's debt is a matter for Network Rail within the limits set by its regulator.

Railways: Concessions

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy that 16 to 25 railcards are subject to the same restrictions on time of travel as other railcards. [119143]

Norman Baker: It is for the Association of Train Operating Companies to propose changes to the 16 to 25 Railcard. The restrictions on time of travel for the 16 to 25 railcard are similar to those for the HM Forces Railcard. The restrictions for the 16 to 25 railcard could be argued to be more generous within the London and south East than those for the Senior Railcard.

Railways: Fares

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the potential effect on rail ticket prices of the High Level Output Specification programme for 2014-19. [118986]

Mr Simon Burns: The High Level Output Specification was drawn up on the basis of our current agreed regulated fares policy as set out in the 2010 comprehensive spending review as updated in the autumn of 2011: a rise in 2012 of RPI+1% and RPI+3% for 2013 and 2014, returning to RPI+1% thereafter. The Government are committed, once savings are found in rail and the improvement in the wider economic situation permits, to reducing and then abolishing above-inflation rises in average regulated fares.

Railways: Franchises

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take account of station usage figures when determining timetable specifications for any future rail franchise in Kent. [118578]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department takes account of all relevant data, including station usage statistics, in the development of franchise specifications.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 342W

Renewable Energy

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the likely contribution of the transport sector to the Government's renewable energy target of 15 per cent by 2020 under the Renewable Energy Directive. [118862]

Norman Baker: The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) contains a target for the UK to source 10% of energy used in transport, from renewable sources, such as biofuels, by 2020. We expect much of the progress towards that target to be made through the supply of biofuel.

In implementing the RED in December 2011, we did not increase the targets relevant to biofuel supply set under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation because of uncertainties over the sustainability of certain biofuels and the need to address the issue of indirect land use change at EU level. We will continue to consider what additional measures will be required to ensure that the UK delivers the requirements of the RED in the period 2014 to 2020.

Road Traffic Control

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a decision on proposals to amend requirements placed on traffic authorities that propose and make temporary and permanent traffic orders. [118406]

Norman Baker: We are currently considering the responses from the public consultation and will announce the outcome and way forward in due course.

Roads: Safety

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to measure public perceptions of road safety. [118922]

Stephen Hammond: An indicator about perceptions of road safety is one of the indicators planned for the road safety outcomes framework, contained in the Strategic Road Safety Framework published in May 2011. Research is in progress about developing an accurate and robust indicator.

The annual British Social Attitudes Survey includes a section about public perceptions, including in relation to safety on residential streets, drink and drug driving, the use of speed cameras on roads and the use of mobile phones while driving.

Rolling Stock

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2012, Official Report, column 43W, on rolling stock, for what reason the projected carriage numbers for the Intercity Express Programme rolling stock contract have been reduced since May 2010. [118413]

Mr Simon Burns: The projected number of carriages for the Intercity Express Programme rolling stock contract fell from 950 to slightly more than 750 under the

5 Sep 2012 : Column 343W

previous Administration, but has not decreased substantially since May 2010. A small number of carriages were reallocated in later phases of IEP, rather than in the first phase, and following ongoing reviews of how the train sets can be deployed. Agility Trains proposed delivering a similar level of service with a lower number of carriages as a result of more efficient deployment of rolling stock.

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he will take to ensure that economies of scale in rolling stock purchasing and cascade are maintained in the event of the devolution of rail franchising to the north of England. [119038]

Mr Simon Burns: We are still considering responses from the recent consultation on the possibility of devolving decision-making on passenger rail services in England.

As we said in paragraph 4.65 of the Department for Transport's publication, “Reforming our Railways: Putting the Customer First”, CM 8313, in future the Government will give greater flexibility to franchisees over the rolling stock decisions they make when bidding for franchises.

Treasury

Air Passenger Duty

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to reform air passenger duty; and if he will make a statement. [119233]

Mr Gauke: Changes to the structure of air passenger duty were considered as part of last year's consultation, launched at Budget 2011. The Government's response, published on 6 December 2011, can be found online here:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_airpassenger.htm

Business: Loans

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of likely overall levels of lending under the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. [119203]

Mr Gauke: Over £2.6 billion of loans have been offered to businesses so far under the National Loan Guarantee Scheme.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 344W

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to place a geographical quota on the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. [119204]

Mr Gauke: There are no plans to place a geographical quota on the National Loan Guarantee Scheme.

National Insurance Fund

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the balance was in the National Insurance Fund at the end of each financial year since 1999-2000 setting out (a) the monetary balance and (b) that balance expressed as a proportion of benefit payments in the previous financial year. [119232]

Mr Gauke: The data requested can be found in the National Insurance Fund published Accounts, within the Receipts and Payments Account section.

Further detailed information on the closing balance and benefit payments is contained within the notes to the accounts.

Working Tax Credit

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were awarded working tax credits in (a) England and Wales, (b) the east midlands, (c) Nottinghamshire and (d) Ashfield constituency in each of the last three years. [118990]

Mr Gauke: This information is published in the HMRC publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised annual awards. Geographical analysis’. Information for the last three years available can be found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/final-award-geog.htm

The last three years available are 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. In the publications for each of these years, the number of families benefiting from working tax credit (WTC) in England and Wales and the east midlands can be found in table 1a. The number of families benefiting from WTC in Nottinghamshire is in table 2 and the number in Ashfield is in table 3.

For convenience, these figures have been reproduced in the following table:

Average number of families benefiting from WTC
Thousand
 In-work families 
 With children   
  Receiving CTC only With no children 
 Receiving WTC and CTCMore than the family elementFamily element or lessOf which: lone parentsReceiving WTC onlyTotal in-work families

2010-11

      

England and Wales

1,740

647

1,419

1,060

468

4,274

East Midlands

149

61

128

87

43

381

Nottinghamshire

24.0

10.4

23.3

14.9

7.3

65.0

Ashfield

3.6

1.5

3.1

1.9

1.3

9.5

England and Wales

1,672

637

1,475

1,041

414

4,198

       

5 Sep 2012 : Column 345W

5 Sep 2012 : Column 346W

2009-10

      

East Midlands

144

60

133

85

38

375

Nottinghamshire

23.2

10.3

24.5

14.5

6.4

S4.4

Ashfield

3.5

1.5

3.1

1.8

1.1

9.2

England and Wales

1,598

610

1,575

1,018

345

4,128

       

2008-09

      

East Midlands

138

58

143

84

32

371

Nottinghamshire

22.5

10.0

26.3

14.3

5.4

64.2

Ashfield

      
 

3.4

1.5

3.3

1.8

1.0

9.2

Scotland

Business: Loans

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Funding for Lending Scheme on Scottish businesses. [119235]

Michael Moore: The Bank of England and HM Treasury launched the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) on 13 July 2012. The scheme is designed to provide strong incentives to banks and building societies to boost lending to households and non-financial businesses across the UK, including in Scotland. The scheme will reduce the funding costs of banks and building societies, which will allow them to make loans cheaper and more easily available. Some banks may offer specific business loans and mortgages linked to the FLS, whereas others may reduce interest rates or change the terms and conditions on existing products.

The scheme is already having a positive effect in Scotland. For example, RBS, one of the two major SME lenders in Scotland, has announced that thanks to FLS it will waive fees for every SME granted a loan and reduce SME borrowing costs by 1% on average and 1.6% for smaller SMEs. The Bank of England will publish data on the usage of the FLS along with lending data from the participants on a quarterly basis.

Cabinet

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what bilateral meetings he has had with each of his Cabinet colleagues since May 2010. [119167]

Michael Moore: I have had regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues since May 2010 on a range of issues affecting Scotland. These discussions take place in a number of forums, including bilaterals, Cabinet and Cabinet Committee meetings, and in regular informal discussions.

Construction

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the effect of the recession on the construction industry in Scotland. [119168]

Michael Moore: Official GDP figures for Scottish construction show a 6.9% fall during the first quarter of 2012. While these figures are disappointing, the UK Government are taking firm action through initiatives such as the Funding for Lending Scheme and the new UK Guarantees Scheme, which will dramatically accelerate major infrastructure investment.

The UK Government have already brought forward the means to help with major projects such as the Forth Replacement Crossing. In addition, since the spending review 2010 the Scottish Government received over £1 billion of additional Barnett consequentials. This includes more than £432 million in capital spending alone as part of the autumn statement.

Insolvency

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the recent changes in the level of personal insolvencies in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [119166]

Michael Moore: Official statistics show there were 5,601 personal insolvencies in Scotland in the first quarter of 2012-13. This figure represents a 5.3% increase on the same period in the previous year. Against a challenging economic backdrop, the Government are pursuing policies to support families and return the economy to balanced, sustainable growth.

Unemployment

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the potential effect of under-employment on the Scottish economy. [119236]

Michael Moore: I meet with my ministerial colleagues on a regular basis to discuss matters concerning the economy in Scotland. The latest official Scottish labour market figures for the quarter up to June show an increase of 12,000 in employment and a fall in unemployment. In fact, unemployment has fallen for the fifth consecutive month of reporting. The Work programme is continuing to provide support for people on their way to long-term employment.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 347W

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flood Control

Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £72 million funding from third-party sources for flood defences, which third parties have contributed funding; how much each third party has contributed; and which projects in each parliamentary constituency will receive funds from this source. [116654]

5 Sep 2012 : Column 348W

Richard Benyon: Best estimates indicate that partnership funding should secure around £72 million of external funding on top of the £2.17 billion the Government are investing in flood prevention over this spending period (April 2011 to March 2015). Contributions have come forward from businesses, local authorities and communities.

The following table lists schemes moving into construction this year (2012-13) where there are confirmed external contributions. Schemes commencing construction in future years do not, as yet, have confirmed funding.

Annex 1 Table listing details of schemes proceeding in 2012-13 with external contributions [data accurate as of February 2012]
Project nameMPConstituencyRFCCTotal cost £ millionTotal external contributions £ million

River Mersey Warrington FRM Scheme

David Mowat

Warrington South

North West

28.9

6.6

Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme

Ian Lavery

Wansbeck

Northumbria

21.0

10.4

Sandwich Town Tidal Defences

Laura Sandys

South Thannet

Southern

19.9

10.0

Salmons Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme

Nick Dubois

Enfield North

Thames

8.4

3.9

Littlehampton Arun Tidal Defences East Bank

Nick Gibb MP

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

Southern

11.5

0.7

Godmanchester Flood Defence Improvement Scheme

Jonathan Djanogly

Huntingdon

Anglian Central

8.8

3.7

Chelmsford Flood Alleviation Scheme

Simon Burns

Chelmsford

Anglian Eastern

8.6

5.1

Hatton, Scropton and Egginton, Lower River Dove, Flood Alleviation Scheme

Heather Wheeler

South Derbyshire

Midlands

7.1

2.0

Thames Weirs High Priority Programme Package 2

Nicola Blackwood

Oxford West and Abingdon

Thames

4.3

0.3

Seaton Carew Northern Management Unit Phase 2

Iain Wright

Hartlepool

Northumbria

4.1

0.1

Water End Flood Alleviation Scheme, York

Hugh Bayley

York Central

Yorkshire

3.4

1.0

Newbury Flood Alleviation Scheme

Richard Benyon

Newbury

Thames

2.5

0.3

Beverley Brook at Worcester Park

Paul Burstow

Sutton and Cheam

Thames

2.2

1.3

Lewsey Park Flood Storage Area

Kelvin Hopkins

Luton North

Thames

1.9

0.8

West Wittering Flood Banks

Andrew Tyrie

Chichester

Southern

1.7

0.6

Gilberdyke and Blacktoft Flood Management Project

David Davies

Haltemprice and Howden

Yorkshire

1.2

0.6

Eastrington and Laxton Flood Management Project

David Davies

Haltemprice and Howden

Yorkshire

0.8

0.5

Saddler's Mill Stream Culvert Refurbishment

Andy Lowe

Edmonton

Thames

0.8

0.7

Lubbesthorpe Brook, Lubbesthorpe, Leicester, Flood Alleviation Scheme

Andrew Robathan

South Leicestershire

Midlands

0.7

0.5

Fairford Critical Evaluation

Geoffrey Clifton- Brown

Cotwolds

Thames

0.7

0.7

Roaring Gutter Island bank stabilisation

Laura Sandys

South Thanet

Southern

0.6

0.3

Bridge Road Emsworth, Flood Alleviation Works

David Willetts

Havant

Southern

0.4

0.3

Kirkley Stream

Peter Adlous

Waveney

Anglian Eastern

0.4

0.1

Cranleigh Watercourses

Anne Milton

Guildford

Thames

0.3

0.3

Skidby Appraisal and Construction

David Davies

Haltemprice and Howden

Yorkshire

0.3

0.3

Kerridge Pumping Station Improvement Works

James Paice

East Cambridgeshire

Anglian Central

0.3

0.1

Members: Correspondence

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Basildon and Billericay of 18 June 2012 regarding puppy farming. [119163]

Richard Benyon: I am sorry that my hon. Friend did not receive the reply from my noble Friend Lord Taylor of Holbeach to his letter to the Secretary of State, which was sent on 9 July 2012. I have arranged for a copy to be sent to his parliamentary address.

Milk

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has undertaken on the proportion of milk permeate in supermarket milk; and if he will introduce requirements for producers to make information about the proportion of milk permeate in milk clearly available to consumers. [118460]

Richard Benyon: The Department has not undertaken any research into permeate in drinking milk because under Regulation (EC) 1234/2007 it is against the law to add permeate to drinking milk.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 349W

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what broadband speed her Department defines as super-fast. [119181]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport defines super-fast broadband as having a potential headline access speed of greater than 24 Mbps, with no upper limit.

Correspondence

Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, with reference to the letter from her Department dated 30 September 2011, reference number 181868/dm/24, when her Department plans to contact the constituent of the hon. Member for North West Durham, Mrs Lesley Wearmouth. [119234]

Mr Vaizey: My officials spoke to the hon. Member's constituent on 3 September. It transpired that an email sent to Mrs Wearmouth in October 2011 was not received. The matter has now been fully resolved.

Public Libraries

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what information her Department holds on the number of libraries closed in each local authority area in each of the last three financial years; and how many libraries currently operate in each local authority area. [119186]

Mr Vaizey: Data about the public library sector are published annually by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). Its annual statistics do not provide the number of openings or closures, or the number of libraries that have transferred from the public library service to community management; but instead show the net figure of public libraries open in each year. Data showing the number of public libraries in each library authority in the UK can be found in CIPFA's annual statistics, available in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Department supplements these data by monitoring proposals about changes to library services across England through information gathered via correspondence, media coverage and from relevant bodies such as Arts Council England. From this monitoring over the past year, the Department estimates that around 60 static libraries closed during 2011-12. During the calendar year to date, the Department also estimates that 40 new or significantly refurbished libraries have opened; full details can be seen in a recent letter to Public Libraries News, which can be found at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B9r-dNr4kPL0NWp6NmVBODdtOGM/edit?pli=1

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent steps her Department has taken specifically targeted at building links between schools and public libraries. [119187]

5 Sep 2012 : Column 350W

Mr Vaizey: Building on work already undertaken by some authorities, the Department is working with the Department for Education and Arts Council England to develop a pilot scheme to provide automatic library membership for primary school pupils, to encourage them to use their local public library. During the 2012-13 academic year, we will pilot different approaches to test the most effective ways of making these links between schools and public libraries.

Swimming Pools

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if she will provide additional ring-fenced funding to secure the future of (a) Guisborough, (b) Loftus and (c) Saltburn swimming pools. [119252]

Hugh Robertson: The funding of swimming pool provision is a matter for local authorities. Sport England has a number of tools which local authorities can use to help them make informed decisions regarding the need for and location of sports facilities, including swimming pools. Once local authorities have developed a strategic plan for their facilities, they can apply for sports lottery funding from Sport England, which has a range of capital programmes which could support the refurbishment or re-provision of swimming pools.

Home Department

Autism: Children

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department issues to the police on procedures when dealing with children with aggressive autism. [119153]

Damian Green: There is no specific guidance which covers police procedures in relation to responding to children with aggressive autism. However, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Department of Health issued ‘Guidance on Responding to People with Mental Ill Health or Learning Disabilities’ in 2010. Autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) are covered within this guidance.

British Nationality: Assessments

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when her Department plans to update its document, “Life in the UK: a Journey to Citizenship”; [119197]

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the number of inaccuracies in its document, “Life in the UK: a Journey to Citizenship”; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of such inaccuracies on applicants. [119198]

Damian Green: A new edition of the handbook ‘Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship’ is currently being finalised with the aim of publishing it later this year. We are aware that the existing handbook has some out-of-date information, which will be remedied by the publication of a new edition. In the meantime, questions for the life in the UK test which are no longer valid are in any case removed from the question bank so candidates should not suffer any adverse effects.

5 Sep 2012 : Column 351W

Dorset Police

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect of the damping formula on funding for Dorset constabulary. [119247]

Damian Green: Damping is a means of ensuring stability in funding for police authorities between years. The totality of the Home Office Police Core Settlement and funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government and Welsh Government in 2012-13 has been damped so that every force will face an equal percentage reduction (6.7% cash). This is a transparent and straight forward approach which mirrors the approach taken last year.

In 2012-13, the effect of damping was to reduce the core Government funding to Dorset Police Authority by £2.4 million, compared to what it would receive if the Police Allocation Formula was fully implemented. An informal consultation on damping closed on 29 June 2012. The responses are still being considered, after which a decision will be taken on damping for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Driving Offences: Mobile Phones

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many penalty tickets have been issued for the use of mobile phones while driving (a) nationally and (b) in each police force area in the last three years. [119148]

Damian Green: Available data relate to fixed penalty notices issued by the police in England and Wales between 2008 and 2010 and were published in the most recent Home Office statistical release on Police Powers and Procedures. The data are shown in the following table for easy reference. Data for 2011 are scheduled to be published next spring.

Fixed penalty notices issued for the use of a handheld mobile phone while driving: England and Wales, 2008 to 2010
Police force and region200820092010Total

Cleveland

1,151

1,420

1,481

4,052

Durham

933

953

1,023

2,909

Northumbria

2,056

2,280

2,237

6,573

North East region

4,140

4,653

4,741

13,534

     

Cheshire

3,270

3,776

4,165

11,211

Cumbria

754

1,081

1,050

2,915

Greater Manchester

6,274

6,123

6,020

18,417

Lancashire

3,613

4,827

5,187

13,627

Mersey side

5,506

6,563

6,659

18,928

North West region

19,417

22,370

23,311

65,098

     

Humberside

2,489

2,672

2,489

7,650

North Yorkshire

2,333

2,273

3,290

7,896

South Yorkshire

3,304

3,403

3,712

10,419

West Yorkshire

4,041

4,708

5,128

13,877

Yorkshire and the Humber region

12,167

13,056

14,619

39,842

5 Sep 2012 : Column 352W

     

Derbyshire

2,082

1,480

1,411

4,973

Leicestershire

1,071

1,752

1,729

4,552

Lincolnshire

2,109

1,626

1,526

5,261

Northamptonshire

973

1,543

1,620

4,136

Nottinghamshire

2,045

2,178

2,325

6,548

East Midlands region

8,280

8,579

8,611

25,470

     

Staffordshire

1,148

795

980

2,923

Warwickshire

1,487

1,875

2,109

5,471

West Mercia

4,314

3,408

2,894

10,616

West Midlands

5,373

6,112

5,311

16,796

West Midlands region

12,322

12,190

11,294

35,806

     

Bedfordshire

1,274

1,249

1,185

3,708

Cambridgeshire

2,487

1,964

2,226

6,677

Essex

6,553

7,971

7,411

21,935

Hertfordshire

3,637

3,793

3,626

11,056

Norfolk

1,816

2,350

2,024

6,190

Suffolk

2,607

1,747

699

5,053

East of England region

18,374

19,074

17,171

54,619

     

City of London

551

499

566

1,616

Metropolitan

8,537

7,383

7,611

23,531

London region

9,088

7,882

8,177

25,147

     

Hampshire

5,152

4,037

1,700

10,889

Kent

3,208

4,597

4,877

12,682

Surrey

2,939

2,605

3,388

8,932

Sussex

2,742

3,623

4,250

10,615

Thames Valley

5,836

5,629

4,183

15,650

South East region

19,879

20,491

16,398

58,768

     

Avon and Somerset

2,013

2,094

2,015

6,122

Devon and Cornwall

2,245

2,860

2,937

8,042

Dorset

1,489

1,475

1,129

4,093

Gloucestershire

800

1,183

1,218

3,201

Wiltshire

1,175

1,256

1,886

4,317

South West region

7,722

8,868

9,185

25,775

     

England

111,389

117,163

115,507

344,059

     

Dyfed-Powys

832

1,196

1,906

3,934

Gwent

1,174

1,265

1,864

4,303

North Wales

2,471

2,757

1,885

7,113

South Wales

2,804

3,137

3,566

9,507

     

Wales

7,281

8,355

9,221

24,857

     

England and Wales

118,670

125,518

124,728

368,916