Renewables Obligation

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reason his Department's impact assessment on the Renewables Obligation Transition published on 29 November 2012 contained no calculations. [131817]

Mr Hayes: The impact assessment contained in the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) package covering the Renewables Obligation (RO) Transition was purely qualitative in nature at this stage of policy development. It is the intention of the Department to consult on the specifics of RO Transition during 2013 and a quantification of the proposed policy will be carried out then. To estimate the impacts, DECC will continue to seek and compile further evidence to inform the response to any RO Transition consultation.

Culture, Media and Sport

Artworks: Loans

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make it her policy to increase the eligibility of participants in the Own Art scheme to include independent artists who exclusively sell their own work. [131081]

6 Dec 2012 : Column 872W

Mr Vaizey: The Own Art scheme is run independently from Government by Arts Council England. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has no intention to review the Arts Council's operation of this scheme.

BBC Trust

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the BBC Trust on severance packages given to (a) departing directors and (b) George Entwistle. [131190]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Maria Miller), has had a number of discussions with the Chairman of the BBC Trust over recent weeks, some of which have included updates from the Chairman on developments following the resignation of the Director-General. However decisions made on severance packages given to departing directors, and the recruitment and appointment of the Director-General and other senior executives are entirely matters for the BBC Trust.


Broadband

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when her Department submitted the correct paperwork to the European Commission in relation to state aid for superfast broadband. [131518]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) submitted its formal notification for state aid approval for its superfast broadband scheme on 5 January 2012. Having reviewed the notification, the Commission raised 31 questions relating to the detailed operation of the scheme on 29 February. DCMS worked closely with Commission officials over the course of the following months to address the concerns that were raised in these questions, to amend the scheme where appropriate and to negotiate on specific details. The notification was approved by the Commission on 20 November.

Broadband Delivery UK

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the administration budget of Broadband Delivery UK was in each year since May 2010. [125829]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 30 November 2012]: The administration budget for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) in 2010-11, was £1 million, and in 2011-12, it was £5.85 million, reflecting its increased workload in delivering the Government's ambitious broadband plans and the ramping-up of its work. BDUK no longer has a separate administration budget from the rest of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press Inquiry

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will assess the impartiality of Sir David Bell in respect of his role in the Leveson Inquiry. [131556]

6 Dec 2012 : Column 873W

Maria Miller: The panel of assessors were appointed under the Inquiries Act 2005. Members of the panel made declarations of interest before their appointment, which are available on the Leveson Inquiry website:

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/people/assessors/

Football: Racial Discrimination

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with representatives of football on the use of racist chanting and abuse in that sport. [131913]

Hugh Robertson: As a result of the Downing street summit in February, the Government have asked the football authorities to publish a clear plan of action on what can be done to tackle racism in the game. We continue to meet with the authorities to check progress with this.

I have also written in the strongest terms to UEFA following the scenes at the England U21 match in Serbia. It is now in their hands and we await their formal judgment.

Football: Sportsgrounds

Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will bring forward proposals to amend the Football Spectators Act 1989 to introduce on a trial basis, limited standing areas at grounds of clubs in the Premier League and Championship who agree to participate in such trials. [131788]

Hugh Robertson: The Government believe that the long standing policy, which requires that stadia of football clubs in the top two divisions be all-seater, remains the best means to ensure the safety and security of spectators at football grounds in England and Wales. The football authorities, police and those responsible for safety all continue to support the current policy and a compelling case has not been made to change this.


Olympic Games 2012: G4S

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she plans to meet the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to discuss the performance of G4S in delivering its obligations in relation to the London 2012 Olympics. [131798]

Hugh Robertson: Officials are in close touch with the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) about progress in concluding their contractual negotiations with G4S, and keep Ministers regularly updated.


Telephone Services: Unsolicited Goods and Services

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to stop cold telephone calls from overseas. [131461]

Mr Vaizey: Cold telephone calls from overseas foreign companies fall outside the jurisdiction of the UK. However, callers from within the UK, or those based overseas calling on behalf of UK companies, are legally required

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not to call numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which is a free service and is provided under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). UK consumers are also protected if they have previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enforces the TPS and considers complaints about breaches. The ICO can issue a fine of up to £500,000 for the most serious breaches of the PECR.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is pressing for more action in this area, with the ICO, Ofcom and TPS working together to make improvements. The ICO has increased the resources devoted to enforcement of PECR and, on 28 November 2012, served penalties totalling £440,000 on two illegal marketers responsible for distributing millions of spam texts. The ICO has also published on its website a list of the most complained about companies that make calls to TPS registered consumers, if the companies fail to remedy their actions, they could face further enforcement action. The ICO is currently considering issuing penalties to three other companies for breaching the PECR.

In addition, Ofcom has improved the information available to consumers online at:

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/telecoms/privacy

which provides clearer advice on how to avoid nuisance calls, texts and e-mails. A new Consumer Guide signposts the correct place to make a complaint:

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2012/10/tackling-nuisance-calls-and-messages

William Shakespeare

Mr Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she has any plans to mark the occasion of the 400 year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare in 2016. [130333]

Mr Vaizey: DCMS does not yet have any specific plans to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, but 2016 provides an opportunity for many organisations, independent of Government, to organise their own celebrations if they wish to.

Transport

Hartlepool-Newcastle Railway Line

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the punctuality rate for the Northern Rail service from (a) Hartlepool to Newcastle and (b) Newcastle to Hartlepool in each of the last five years. [132244]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not hold this level of information; however, the following table shows Northern Rail's PPM and MAA data over the last five years. The ORR Performance website which breaks down Northern Rail routes into categories can be found at the following page:

http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/displayreport/report/html/ca69234d-b613-4ec8-a3ba-d3ca77f883cf

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Northern Rail five-year annual PPM
 PPM MAA (%)

2008-09

89.6

2009-10

91.2

2010-11

91.1

2011-12

90.8

2012-13

91.7

M1: Accidents

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the time taken to resolve the closure of the M1 between junctions 5 and 4 southbound on 3 December 2012; and if he will make a statement. [131825]

Stephen Hammond: The incident on the M1 between junctions 5 and 4 on 3 December 2012 was a police led incident as it involved fatalities and potential criminal behaviour. I have asked for a full debrief to take place into the incident. This will include the Highways Agency, the police and the other emergency services involved. The investigation will assess all the aspects of the incident including the time taken to re-open the carriageway.

Motorcycles: Driving Tests

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have taken the Direct Access motorbike test in each of the last five years. [131980]

Stephen Hammond: The Direct Access Scheme (DAS) is a training route which allows riders of 21 years or over to train under the supervision of a certified instructor before taking the category A practical motorcycle test. The Driving Standards Agency does not collect data on the route people follow when taking a category A test, although it is likely that the majority of people do follow the Direct Access route.

The number of people who have taken a category A practical motorcycle test in each of the last five financial years and in the current year to 31 October 2012 are:

 Number of people that have taken a category A practical motorcycle test

2007-08

50,920

2008-09

59,144

2009-10

28,019

2010-11

28,694

2011-12

32,565

1 April 2012 to 31 October 2012

23,664

Northern Rail

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether class (a) 317 and (b) 319 units will be introduced on the Northern Rail franchise; and if so, by what date; [131782]

(2) what classes of rolling stock will be introduced on the Northern Rail franchise in the next five years. [131783]

Mr Simon Burns: The Northern Rail franchise is due to end in April 2014, and the franchisee is not understood to be planning to introduce more rolling stock into

6 Dec 2012 : Column 876W

service before that date. No decisions have been taken on rolling stock after April 2014, but options could include class 317 and 319 electric trains subject to wider rolling stock discussions with our industry partners.

Official Cars

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2012, Official Report, columns 538-40W, on official cars, whether Ministers are allocated specific cars from the Government Car Service. [131846]

Stephen Hammond: With the introduction of a departmental pool car service on 1 April 2012, individual Ministers are no longer allocated specific cars from the Government Car Service.

Roads: Accidents

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents have involved both a vehicle and wildlife in each of the last five years. [132014]

Stephen Hammond: The Department only collects information relating to personal injury road accidents, and therefore does not include damage-only accidents in its statistics.

The number of accidents where animals (including wildlife, livestock and pets but excluding ridden horses) were a hazard in the carriageway for the last five years are given in following table:

Number of reported personal injury road accidents where an animal was carriageway hazard, GB: 2007-11
Number of accidents
 FatalSeriousSlightTotal

2007

7

123

870

1,000

2008

7

127

735

869

2009

6

128

700

834

2010

1

126

737

864

2011

8

126

717

851

It is not possible to say whether the animal was struck by a vehicle in the accident or caused the accident.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor accidents there have been involving (a) coaches, (b) rickshaws and (c) quad bikes in each of the last five years. [132022]

Stephen Hammond: The Department is unable to identify rickshaws and quad bikes separately as there are no specific codes for these vehicle types in our accident data. They are included in the “other vehicle” category which also includes vehicles such as motor caravans, fire engines, ambulances and mobile cranes among others.

The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving buses/coaches for the last five years is given in table RAS20001, published in annual report entitled “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: annual report 2011”. The table is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/10136/ras20001.xls

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A copy of the report is also deposited in the Library of the House.

Rolling Stock

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he can take under franchising agreements to ensure that train companies provide modern rolling stock for their services. [132245]

Mr Simon Burns: Rolling stock decisions are a matter for train operators and this includes the type of rolling stock they operate and whether it is refurbished or new.

Thameslink Railway Line

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) numbers of carriages and (b) category of rolling stock are that will cascade to other franchises following completion of the Thameslink rolling stock contract; and when this cascade will be complete. [131779]

Mr Simon Burns: It is estimated that up to 800 electric multiple unit (EMU) vehicles, mostly in four car sets, will have been released by the operator of the newly-combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise by the time the Thameslink rolling stock contract has been fully delivered in 2018.

Justice

Community Orders

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to enable the courts to seize the assets of offenders who are given community orders. [131573]

Jeremy Wright: The Government sought views in their “Punishment and Reform” consultation on whether to introduce a new sentencing power for courts to order the confiscation of assets from offenders given a community order. In the light of consultation responses, the Government have decided not to introduce such a power at this time.

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of individual community order requirements in reducing re-offending. [131599]

Jeremy Wright: The proven reoffending rate for adults subject to court orders(1) was 34% in the 12 months ending September 2010.

The Ministry of Justice has also published research which examines the relative effectiveness of community order requirements at reducing reoffending, for offenders with similar characteristics.

The study used propensity score matching to explore the impact of different community order requirements on the reoffending rate and frequency of reoffending within two years of the initial offence. The analysis used data from the Offender Assessment System, probation and reoffending records and administrative data on employment and benefit receipt.

The research is published on the MOJ website and can be located on the following webpage:

6 Dec 2012 : Column 878W

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/research-and-analysis/moj-research/niesr-report.pdf

(1) Including pre-Criminal Justice Act 2003 community sentences, new community orders and suspended sentence orders.

Court Orders: Alcoholic Drinks

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what penalties he proposes for offenders who breach compulsory sobriety orders. [131574]

Jeremy Wright: An alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement is a new requirement which will be available to the court when making a community order or a suspended sentence order. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduces this requirement.

The penalties available to the courts for breach of an alcohol abstinence requirement will be the same as for breaches of other requirements of community orders or suspended sentence orders.

The alcohol abstinence requirement is not yet in force and we intend, and are legally required by the 2012 Act, to pilot it in advance of any national roll out.

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to bring forward proposals to introduce compulsory sobriety orders for convicted offenders in cases where criminality is linked to excess alcohol. [131578]

Jeremy Wright: The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 introduces an alcohol abstinence and monitoring requirement which will be available to the court when making a community order or suspended sentence order.

The alcohol abstinence requirement is not yet in force and we intend, and are legally required by the 2012 Act, to pilot it in advance of any national roll out.

Knives: East of England

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many and what proportion of people convicted of encouraging violent behaviour involving the use of a knife under the Knives Act 1997 received a (a) fine and (b) custodial sentence of (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months and (iv) 18 to 24 months in (A) Suffolk, (B) Bedfordshire, (C) Cambridgeshire, (D) Essex, (E) Hertfordshire and (F) Norfolk in each of the last three years; [130322]

(2) how many people were found guilty of offences related to the illegal sale and marketing of knives in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk in each of the last three years. [130344]

Jeremy Wright: Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences shows there were no convictions for encouraging violent behaviour involving the use of a knife under the Knives Act 1997, in the requested police force areas, during the period 2009 to 2011 (the latest available).

6 Dec 2012 : Column 879W

The number of offenders found guilty and sentenced at all courts for offences related to the illegal sale and marketing of knives, under section 141A (1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (which prohibits sales of

6 Dec 2012 : Column 880W

knives to those under 18), in the requested police force areas, for the years 2009 to 2011 (latest available), can be viewed in the following table.

Number of persons found guilty and sentenced at all courts, for offences relating to the illegal sale and marketing of knives(1), in selected police force areas in England and Wales, 2009-11(2,3)
 200920102011
Police force areaFound guiltySentencedFound guiltySentencedFound guiltySentenced

Suffolk

0

0

0

0

0

0

Bedfordshire

3

3

0

0

0

0

Cambridgeshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

0

0

0

0

Norfolk

0

0

1

1

0

0

(1) Offences under Section 141A (1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, covering breaches of the law involving sale of knives or bladed article to under-18s. (2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Lincoln Prison

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the average number of staff was at HM Prison Lincoln in each of the last five years; [131596]

(2) what the average number of prisoners was at HM Prison Lincoln in each of the last five years. [131597]

Jeremy Wright: The information requested is set out in the following two tables.

Table 1: Average full-time equivalent staff at HMP Lincoln
 Average full-time equivalent staff

2007-08

378

2008-09

387

2009-10

379

2010-11

337

2011-12

318

Table 2: Average number of prisoners at HMP Lincoln
 Annual average population

2007-08

672

2008-09

693

2009-10

670

2010-11

605

2011-12

655

Notes: 1. The annual average population is calculated using end of month population figures. 2. Staffing information has been presented on a full-time-equivalent basis and represents the mean staff in post on the last day of each month. 3. The figures used in the reply have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Mediation

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consider the introduction of a mandatory mediation for both parents to undertake in child contact disputes which do not involve an allegation of domestic violence involving a police investigation, prior to any such case being presented before the Family Courts; and if he will make a statement. [131910]

Mrs Grant: The Government believe that mediation can play a valuable role in helping parents to maintain an ongoing parenting relationship during and following separation or divorce and is actively encouraging people to seek information as early as possible when considering their arrangements. The process of mediation can also equip parents with the skills needed to communicate and negotiate changes to arrangements for their child in the future.

The coalition Government have no plans, however, to make mediation compulsory in family disputes. Mediation is a voluntary process and as such it would be quite wrong, and would be likely to be counterproductive, for the Government to seek to compel people to mediate against their will. Whether family mediation is appropriate for resolving a particular family dispute depends on a number of factors. Mediation will usually be inappropriate where domestic violence or abuse is an issue but any significant power imbalance between the parties would also make mediation unsuitable.

Under a pre application protocol introduced in April 2011 a prospective applicant in specified types of family proceedings is expected, except in certain specified circumstances, to consider with a mediator whether the dispute could be resolved through mediation. This involves attending a mediation information and assessment meeting (a ‘MIAM’) to receive information about family mediation and how it might help the parties settle their dispute. The MIAM takes place before any proceedings are started in court.

The court will expect all applicants to have complied with the protocol before commencing proceedings (except where any exemption applies) and will also expect a respondent to have attended a mediation information and assessment meeting, if invited to do so. If court proceedings are taken, the court will wish to know at the first hearing whether mediation has been considered by both parties.

We believe that the operation of the protocol needs to be further improved so that consideration of mediation becomes routine and not the exception. The Government's response to the Family Justice review made it clear that

6 Dec 2012 : Column 881W

consideration would be given to a statutory change to make attendance at a MIAM by a potential applicant a prerequisite for starting relevant family proceedings (with limited specified exemptions, for example where there is evidence of domestic violence).

The Government published a draft clause in September to this effect which has been subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Justice Select Committee. The Government await publication of the Committee's report and will consider carefully any recommendations made.

Repossession Orders: Suffolk

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many court orders have been issued for the repossession of homes in Suffolk Coastal constituency in each of the last five years. [131471]

Mrs Grant: The following table shows the numbers of claims leading to orders being made for the repossession of property by mortgage lenders and landlords in Suffolk Coastal constituency between 2007 and 2011. The Ministry of Justice does not hold information at the local level on the total numbers of repossessions of property (including where keys are handed back voluntarily).

These figures represent the numbers of claims leading to orders being made. This is more accurate than the

6 Dec 2012 : Column 882W

number of orders, removing the double-counting of instances where a single claim leads to more than one order. It is also a more meaningful measure of the number of homeowners who are subject to court repossession actions.

These figures do not indicate how many properties have actually been repossessed. Repossessions can occur without a court order, such as where borrowers hand the keys back to the lender. Also, not all possession orders result in repossession. Many orders are suspended and if the borrower complies with the repayment arrangements set out in the suspended order the property will not be repossessed.

The most recent data for claims leading to orders for all regions and local authority areas in England and Wales were recently published on 8 November 2012. This statistical bulletin is available from the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/statistics-and-data/civil-justice/mortgage-possession.htm

In addition statistics on mortgage and landlord possession claims leading to orders made in the county courts of England and Wales, 2000 to 2011—Breakdown by Parliamentary Constituencies—are available in the House of Commons Library.

Number of mortgage(1) and landlord(2,3) possession claims leading to orders made(4,5,6) for properties in Suffolk Coastal constituency(7,8,9)—2007-11
 Mortgage possession claims leading to an order madeLandlord possession claims leading to an order made

2007

55

70

2008

80

55

2009

65

45

2010

55

60

2011

50

90

(1) Includes all types of mortgage lenders. (2) Includes all types of landlord whether social or private. (3) Landlord actions include those made under both standard and accelerated procedures. Landlord actions via the accelerated procedure enable the orders to be made solely on the basis of written evidence for shorthold tenancies, when the fixed period of tenancy has come to an end. (4) The number of claims that lead to an order includes all claims in which the first order, whether outright or suspended, is made during the period. (5) The court, following a judicial decision, may grant an order for possession immediately. This entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant to have the defendant evicted. However, even where a warrant for possession is issued, the parties can still negotiate a compromise to prevent eviction. (6) Includes outright and suspended orders, the latter being where the court grants the claimant possession but suspends the operation of the order. Provided the defendant complies with the terms of suspension, which usually require the defendant to pay the current mortgage or rent instalments plus some of the accrued arrears, the possession order cannot be enforced. (7) Due to constituency boundary changes after 6 May 2010 UK parliamentary general election, the figures prior to 2010 Q1 (January to March) are based on the old boundaries. (8) All figures are rounded to the nearest five. (9) All 2011 figures for Suffolk Coastal are provisional Source: Ministry of Justice

Sentencing

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many community sentence orders have been handed down by (a) magistrates and (b) Crown courts in each of the last four years; and how many custodial sentences have been handed down in each of the last four years; [130554]

(2) how many (a) community sentences and (b) fines were imposed for offences of (i) vandalism, (ii) littering and (iii) anti-social behaviour in Suffolk in each of the last four years. [130565]

Jeremy Wright: The number of offenders sentenced to a community sentence or immediate custodial sentence, by court type, in England and Wales, in the years 2008 to 2011, can be viewed in Table 1.

The number of offenders sentenced to a community sentence or fine for offences relating to vandalism, antisocial behaviour and littering, in the Suffolk police force area, in the years 2008 to 2011, can be viewed in Table 2.

There is no specific criminal offence of ‘antisocial behaviour’, which can be interpreted as a wide range of criminal offences under various Acts. For the purposes of this answer, offences under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998, have been provided, which relate to summary offences of causing harassment, alarm or distress.

6 Dec 2012 : Column 883W

6 Dec 2012 : Column 884W

Table 1: Offenders sentenced to a community sentence or immediate custodial sentence, by court type, in England and Wales, 2008-11(1,2)
Sentenced to:Court type2008(3)200920102011

Community sentence

Magistrates courts

174,832

179,729

170,083

156,344

 

Crown Court

15,339

16,174

19,238

17,090

      

Immediate custody

Magistrates courts

50,348

48,429

48,904

46,035

 

Crown Court

49,177

51,802

52,609

56,663

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice
Table 2: Offenders sentenced to a community sentence or fine for offences relating to vandalism, antisocial behaviour and littering, Suffolk police force area, 2008-11(1,2)
  Sentenced to:
Offence descriptionYearCommunity sentenceFine

Indictable criminal damage offences

2008

65

22

 

2009

50

27

 

2010

33

14

 

2011

29

12

    

Summary criminal damage offences

2008

151

70

 

2009

174

69

 

2010

100

59

 

2011

103

46

    

Harassment, alarm or distress(3)

2008

47

294

 

2009

33

275

 

2010

23

249

 

2011

15

152

    

Depositing litter(4)

2008

0

3

 

2009

0

10

 

2010

0

5

 

2011

0

14

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Offences under S.5 Public Order Act 1986, as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998. (4) Offences under S.87 Environmental Protection Act 1990. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

Victims Commissioner

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he proposes that the responsibilities of the new Victims Commissioner will be identical to those of his predecessor; and whether the new commissioner will have the same degree of independence as his predecessor. [130999]

Mrs Grant: The role and responsibilities of the Victims and Witnesses Commissioner are set out in the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, as amended by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in February 2010.

We have not made any changes to the statutory role and responsibilities of the commissioner.

Work Capability Assessment: Appeals

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department has been of appeals to the work capability assessment in 2012-13 to date. [131814]

Mrs Grant: Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) (decisions in which the work capability assessment is a key factor) rather than appeals against work capability assessment decisions themselves.

The estimated total cost of the 47,282 ESA appeals in which the work capability assessment was a factor disposed of during the period April to June 2012 (the latest period for which data have been published) is £10.78 million.

6 Dec 2012 : Column 885W

These estimated costs were calculated by multiplying the average cost of an individual first-tier tribunal—social security and child support case in 2011-12 (the latest period for which these data are available) by the number of ESA appeals disposed of, in which the work capability assessment was a factor.

Northern Ireland

Olympic Games 2012

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will persuade HM Treasury to use unspent contingency funding for the London 2012 Olympic Games to refund the Big Lottery Fund for its contribution to the Games. [131037]

Sajid Javid: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Treasury.

National lottery distributors, including the Big Lottery, benefit from funds remaining in the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund which are not required for the Olympic and Paralympic programme. They will also be reimbursed for their additional contribution of £675 million to the Public Sector Funding Package (PSFP) from the receipts of sale of land on the Olympic Park, and will receive £71 million from the receipts of sale of the Olympic Village.

The forecast underspend of £377 million in the PSFP for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is held by HM Treasury as part of the Government's contribution to the PSFP. Any financial benefit from the Olympics coming in under budget will be used to pay off debt or help the economy.

Treasury

Banks

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent steps he has taken to reform banking and to redirect banking fines to the public purse. [126888]

Greg Clark: The draft Banking Reform Bill outlining fundamental reforms to the banking sector was published last month and is undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny.

We have tabled amendments to the Financial Services Bill which provide for fine revenues net of enforcement costs to go to the public purse in future. The Bill is being debated today in the House of Lords. Some £35 million of those fines received so far this year will be used to support armed forces charities.

Child Care Tax Credits

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many families in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK claimed child care tax credits for children aged five and over in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average sum claimed was; [131943]

6 Dec 2012 : Column 886W

(2) how many families in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK claimed both disability and child care tax credits for children aged five and over in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average sum claimed was. [131944]

Sajid Javid: Information on the number of families claiming disability and child care tax credits for children aged five and over is available only at disproportionate cost. Information on the average sum claimed for child care tax credits in respect of children aged five and over is not available.

Development Aid

Helen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of whether the UK will meet the Government's target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income being spent on overseas development by 2013. [131859]

Sajid Javid: The Government made a commitment at the 2010 spending review to spend 0.56% of gross national income on Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2011 and 2012 (calendar years) and 0.7% of gross national income in 2013 calendar year and thereafter.

At the 2010 spending review the Treasury provided the Department for International Development (DFID) and a small number of other Government Departments with a spending budget for fiscal years 2011-12 to 2014-15 to meet the 0.7% of gross national income target.

The UK delivered its 0.56% of gross national income target in 2011 and, as announced at the 2012 autumn statement the UK remains on track to be the first G8 country to spend 0.7% of gross national income on ODA in 2013.

Members: Correspondence

Mrs Moon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will investigate the reasons for the delay by the Criminal Investigation Complaints, Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act Team at HM Revenue and Customs in providing a full response to the letters from the hon. Member for Bridgend dated 24 November 2011, HMRC reference 000001/09/2010, and 12 October 2012, reference MM/JH/03/10/2012; if he will now provide a full response to those letters; and if he will make a statement. [131463]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) apologises for the long delay in dealing with this matter. The complainant asked for the return of documents uplifted as part of a complex criminal investigation and HMRC had to examine a large number of boxes of material to establish whether it held the documents requested and to then decide if they could properly be returned to the complainant without compromising the ongoing investigation. This examination is now complete and a formal reply will be sent to the hon. Member as soon as the draft is approved and within 14 days.

Revenue and Customs: Correspondence

Dr Huppert: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) target time is for opening postal mail received by HMRC; what

6 Dec 2012 : Column 887W

proportion of such post has been opened within that target time in the last six months; and how much unopened post there is. [131892]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has a target of opening 96% of post received in 24 hours. In the last six months HMRC regional post rooms opened 95% of post received within 24 hours, the remainder in the next working day. Currently there is no unopened post over 24 hours old.

Taxation: Self-assessment

Dr Huppert: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many personal tax returns for 2010-11 submitted to HM Revenue and Customs have not yet been processed. [131893]

Mr Gauke: HMRC receives on average 5,000 self-assessment tax returns every week for all years before 2011-12 but does not hold the information by specific year.

As at 30 November 2012, the total number unprocessed for 2010-11 and earlier tax years was 11,974.

Temporary Employment: Tax Avoidance

Mr Ward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will take further steps to ensure that temporary and agency workers are not exploited by temporary labour providers operating travel and subsistence schemes; [131867]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure the enforcement of laws that prevent temporary labour providers operating travel and subsistence schemes and pay day by pay day tax avoidance models; and if he will take steps to ensure that firms operating such schemes face robust action; [131868]

(3) if he will provide an update on the estimate of HM Revenue and Customs in 2008 that unlawful travel and subsistence tax avoidance schemes would cost the Exchequer £650 million a year in lost tax revenue by 2013. [131869]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the House on 19 November 2012, Official Report, column 273W, and 30 October 2012, Official Report, column 210W.

The estimate made in the 2008 consultation was of the cost to the Exchequer of travel and subsistence schemes used in temporary labour. Many of these schemes operate within the rules and this estimate does not take into account the changes to the National Minimum Wage regulations in 2011 or HMRC's increased compliance in this area to prevent loss through unlawful schemes.

Tobacco: Smuggling

Stephen Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his Department spent on salaries for full-time equivalent staff allocated to tackling tobacco smuggling (a) in total, (b) engaged in detection, (c) engaged in investigations and (d) working on intelligence matters in 2011-12; [131507]

(2) what HM Revenue and Customs spent on the Tackling Tobacco Smuggling strategy in 2010-11; how many of his Department's staff worked on implementing

6 Dec 2012 : Column 888W

the strategy in 2010-11; and how many of those were engaged in

(a)

detection,

(b)

intelligence-gathering and analysis,

(c)

investigations and

(d)

the provision of legal advice; [131508]

(3) what HM Revenue and Customs spent on publicity campaigns to prevent tobacco smuggling in 2010-11. [131509]

Sajid Javid: It is not possible to provide a detailed breakdown of the total HM Revenue and Customs spent on salaries for full time equivalent staff allocated to tackling tobacco smuggling in the way requested. To the extent that HM Revenue and Customs is able to break down expenditure on tobacco related activity, this is detailed as follows.

2011-12
HM Revenue and Customs activitySalary cost (£)

Investigation (includes detection, criminal investigation, and specialist civil investigation)

25,636,005

Risk and Intelligence

8,143,109

Other

3,102,567

Total

36,881,681

I refer the hon. Member to the replies given to him on 20 March 2012, Official Report, column 620W, regarding the number of HM Revenue and Customs staff that worked on the Tackling Tobacco Smuggling strategy, and money spent on publicity campaigns to prevent tobacco smuggling in 2010-11.

Welfare Tax Credits: Suffolk

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in Suffolk Coastal constituency were in receipt of (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit in each of the last five years; and what the cost was of providing each such tax credit in Suffolk Coastal constituency in each such year. [131409]

Sajid Javid: The information for the 2011-12 tax year has not yet been published (it is due to be released in May 2013). However, information for the 2006-07 to 2010-11 tax years is available.

This information is published in the HMRC publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised annual awards. Geographical analysis’.

Information for the 2010-11 tax year can be found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/fin-geog-stats/geo-analyses.xls

Information for previous tax years can be found at:

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

In these publications, the number of families in receipt of child tax credit (CTC) and working tax credit (WTC) in Suffolk Coastal constituency can be found in Table 3.

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

6 Dec 2012 : Column 889W

6 Dec 2012 : Column 890W

Table 3: Average number of benefiting families in Suffolk Coastal parliamentary constituency, last available five years
  In-work families (thousand) 
  With childrenWith no children 
 Total out-of work families (thousand) Receiving CTC only  
 Receiving CTC onlyReceiving WTC and CTCMore than the family elementFamily element or lessReceiving WTC onlyTotal families (thousand)

2010-11

1.3

2.4

1.2

2.6

0.6

8.1

2009-10

1.4

2.3

1.2

2.7

0.6

8.2

2008-09

1.3

2.2

1.1

3.0

0.5

8.1

2007-08

1.3

2.0

1.1

3.2

0.4

8.0

2006-07

1.3

2.0

1.1

3.3

0.4

8.1

The information on the administrative costs of providing tax credits in Suffolk Coastal constituency is not available.

Communities and Local Government

Advantage West Midlands

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether land previously owned by Advantage West Midlands at Birmingham Eastside was (a) transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency or (b) sold. [131677]

Mr Prisk: All land previously owned by Advantage West Midlands at Birmingham Eastside was transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency with the exception of units 1 and 2, Queensway Trading Estate, which were sold to Birmingham city council in September 2011.

Anti-Semitism

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the trends in the reporting of incidents of anti-Semitism in November 2012. [131912]

Mr Foster: Individual police forces collate and analyse intelligence on the number of anti-Semitic attacks, in order to inform local operational decisions and to provide adequate protection at times of demand. In addition, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) analyses this intelligence to inform forces of any emerging challenges.

ACPO's National Community Tension Team (NCTT) did see an increase in protest activity linked to events in Israel/Gaza in November 2012. Historical precedents point towards the potential for such an increase as NCTT saw with the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2008-09. Updates from police members of the NCTT anti-Semitic Hate Crime Working Group indicate that no significant tensions or changes in levels of hate incidents have been noted through standard Tension Monitoring processes. However, the Community Security Trust (CST) who monitor anti-Semitic incidents have highlighted a number of hate crime incidents that they believe have occurred due to current events in Israel/Gaza. CST has indicated that anti-Semitism had potentially doubled in the London area in one week compared to the previous week. Most reports were of verbal anti-Semitic abuse, graffiti and inflammatory postings on Facebook and Twitter. In light of this NCTT has reminded all police forces of the potential for an increase in anti-Semitic incidents and they have been asked to take proactive measures where appropriate and to report any critical changes to NCTT as a matter of urgency.

Bellwin Scheme

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding has been (a) claimed by and (b) paid out to local authorities under the Bellwin scheme as a result of flooding in each financial year since 2007-08. [131866]

Brandon Lewis: The level of funding over time is causally linked to the scale of flooding: the floods of 2007 were particularly widespread, with over 55,000 properties affected.

Prior to the flooding of earlier this year, the last severe flooding was in 2009 and concentrated in Cumbria; this is why there was no spending in 2011-12.

The Bellwin Scheme operates by local authorities retrospectively claiming spending back. As I informed the hon. Member in my answer to her of 19 October 2012, Official Report, column 450-451W, we only received claims for 2012 in October.

The following table sets out amounts claimed by local authorities and paid by DCLG under the Bellwin scheme for flood related incidents in financial years 2007-08 to date. Payments for the June and July 2012 scheme will be made in the week commencing 10 December 2012.

Bellwin flood related payments 2007-08 to 2012-13
£
 Bellwin claimedOutside scope of schemeBellwin grant paid

2007-08

22,787,812

5,279,000

17,508,812

2008-09

1,956,316

20,635

1,935,681

2009-10

1,344,666

0

1,344,666

2010-11

1,133,696

244,155

889,541

2011-12

0

0

0

2012-13 (to date)

697,106

Total

27,919,596

5,543,790

21,678,700

Note: Payments may not necessarily be in the same financial year as the incidents occurred. The amount claimed is net of threshold and grant rate.

Pay

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many employees in his Department were paid (a) between £80,000 and £100,000 per year and (b) in excess of £100,000 per year in each of the last five years. [131848]

6 Dec 2012 : Column 891W

Brandon Lewis: The number of employees in the Department for Communities and Local Government being paid between £80,000 and £100,000 per year, and in excess of £100,000 per year as at 31 March of each of the last five years is as follows:

Number
As at 31 March£80,000 to £100,000£100,000 +

2008

23

24

2009

25

24

2010

18

19

2011

17

16

2012

14

15

As at 30 November 2012, the latest date for which information is available, the Department had 14 staff earning between £80,000 and £100,000, and 12 staff earning over £100,000.

Regeneration: Morecambe

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when (a) he and (b) the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) were made aware of the wish of Lancaster City Council to drop the requirement to match fund the £1.9 million allocated by the HCA for the regeneration of Morecambe; what his policy is on this matter; and if he will make a statement. [131700]

Mr Prisk: I know my hon. Friend has been campaigning on this matter, as is evident from the petition and his speech of 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 696, on the Regeneration of Chatsworth Gardens.

As the documents deposited in the answer to him of 25 October 2012, Official Report, column 994W, indicate, Lancaster City Council bid for the Clusters of Empty Homes Programme with a commitment to provide matched funding.

Lancaster City Council have been allocated £1.9 million of central funding from the Programme. I understand that they have now confirmed that they will be providing their match funding, as required by the Programme.

Regional Development Agencies: Assets

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assets previously held by (a) Advantage West Midlands, (b) the East of England Development Agency, (c) the East Midlands Development Agency, (d) the Northwest Development Agency, (e) One North East, (f) the South East England Development Agency, (g) the South West Regional Development Agency and (h) Yorkshire Forward have been sold by the Homes and Communities Agency since it acquired the assets of former regional development agencies; [130851]

(2) how much has been received from the sale by the Homes and Communities Agency of former regional development agency assets. [130852]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 29 November 2012]: The lists of land and property assets transferred by each Regional Development Agency to the Homes and

6 Dec 2012 : Column 892W

Communities Agency on 19 September 2011 are available on the Homes and Communities Agency website at the following link:

http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/ourwork/economic-assets

These assets were bought by the national tax-payer and therefore it is right that ultimately the receipts are used nationally. This programme uses the Local Stewardship Model which recycles money to improve sites to create local benefits.

A list of the assets disposed or part disposed of by the Homes and Communities Agency since August/September 2011, and details of the associated receipts, have been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much from the sale of former regional development agency assets by the Homes and Communities Agency will be spent within the region in which the asset originated. [130853]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 29 November 2012]: Receipts of £34.9 million have been achieved to date from the disposal by the Homes and Communities Agency of land and property assets of the former regional development agencies.

Of these, £7.6 million relates to the disposal of coalfield land and property assets. Although the former regional development agencies held the coalfield assets, English Partnerships/the Homes and Communities Agency paid for their remediation, and it was agreed under the last Administration that any receipts would go back to the Homes and Communities Agency accordingly.

The remaining receipts will be spent on meeting the legal commitments that we have inherited from the former regional development agencies. In total, the current estimate of commitments is equivalent to £310.3 million (for example, in the hon. Member's own locality, the cost of the former North West Regional Development Agency's commitments is currently an estimated £64.4 million).

These commitments are a consequence of the land-banking and asset management of the former agencies (rather than the abolition of the agencies, as such), and relate to steps that are necessary to help the regeneration of these sites.

As illustrations, such commitments include:

Tipner site, Portsmouth: honouring the land remediation contract to remove pollutants from the soil so that new development can start on the site.

Gosport: Demolition of dangerous buildings and site infrastructure (water, sewerage, electric supply).

Bradford: Stripping out asbestos, and further structural support, to make the Odeon site fire safe.

Northfleet, Kent: paying a contractor to raise the level of the land to comply with Environment Agency flood requirements.

Wolverhampton: Removing pollutants and old structures on a former copper works site.

6 Dec 2012 : Column 893W

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Common Agricultural Policy

11. Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress he has made on reforming the common agricultural policy. [131736]

Mr Heath: We want an efficient and responsive agricultural sector in the EU and globally and this round of CAP reform must help achieve this. We need regulations that are implementable, administratively simple and continue the path of reform.

Last week the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs attended the Agriculture Council, where we continued to hold negotiations on the proposed CAP reform regulations. Progress on some technical details has been made and we hope for agreement amongst member states under the Irish presidency.

Live Animal Exports

12. Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on live animal exports from the UK; and if he will make a statement. [131738]

Mr Heath: The Government's position is that we would prefer animals to be slaughtered as close as practicable to their point of production; a trade in meat and meat products is preferable to the long distance transport of animals.

However, the live export trade is a lawful trade when welfare in transit is complied with. We cannot ban it. This has been proved in the High Court and in the European Court of Justice.

Sky Lanterns

14. Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to investigate the effect of sky lanterns on livestock and crops. [131741]

Mr Heath: The Government are aware of concerns about the impacts of sky lanterns on animals, crops and property and have taken steps to raise public awareness and encourage people to think carefully before using them. The Government have now commissioned an independent study to assess the risks that sky lanterns pose and to see if any further action is needed to address the concerns that people have about them.

Rural-proofing Government Policy

15. Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on rural-proofing Government policy. [131742]

Richard Benyon: The Government's Rural Statement published in September reaffirmed Ministers' commitment to the policy and practice of rural proofing. We are developing new guidelines on rural proofing to support all Government Departments to examine the evidence of rural need. Departments must consider the impacts

6 Dec 2012 : Column 894W

of their policies on rural communities and businesses and, where appropriate, adjust policies accordingly. The new guidelines will be considered by Ministers in all Government Departments before being published.

Water Bills: South-west

16. Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to lower water bills in the south-west. [131743]

Richard Benyon: The Government have decided to fund South West Water to enable it to cut bills by £50 per year for all household customers. We will start making this payment from April 2013 and have committed to continuing it through to the end of the next spending review period. We have also issued guidance for water companies to enable them to introduce social tariffs to reduce the bills of customers who would otherwise struggle to pay.

Food Production: Slave and Trafficked Labour

18. Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to remove slave and trafficked labour from the supply chains of food-producing companies. [131745]

Mr Heath: The Gangmasters Licensing Authority plays a key role in protecting workers who may be exploited in the agriculture, shellfish, and food processing and packaging industries.

The Government intend to focus the authority’s remit on suspected serious and organised crime, working more closely with the Serious Organised Crime Agency and other specialist law enforcement agencies.

Agriculture: Exports

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made in promoting British exports from the agricultural sector. [131737]

Mr Heath: DEFRA continues to work with industry to promote exports. We have made significant progress towards the shared goals in our action plan ‘Driving Export Growth in the Farming, Food and Drink Sector’, published in January. Thanks to the Prime Minister's intervention, Russia lifted its ban on beef and lamb and poultry meat—potentially worth up to £35 million this year. We have also opened China to pork meat, estimated to be worth £50 million a year.

Livestock: Transport

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to prevent further animal deaths as the result of the live animal export trade. [131705]

Mr Heath: The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) is responsible for implementing EU rules on the protection of animals during transport (Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005).

6 Dec 2012 : Column 895W

It has taken a number of recent measures, including an increase in the inspection of animals and vehicles at the point of loading.

The checks at the point of loading, undertaken by AHVLA inspectors, include consignment details, transporter/driver details, journey details and a separate checklist of 33 questions on the suitability of the vehicle and the welfare of the animals being transported. Any non-compliance is recorded and the necessary action taken by AHVLA inspectors.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he intends to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 3 October 2012 concerning a constituent. [130341]

Mr Heath: Lord de Mauley replied to the hon. Member's letter on 26 November 2012.

Defence

Armed Forces: Cadets

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Cadet Force establishment is in (a) West Sussex and (b) East Sussex in (i) schools and (ii) detachments. [129183]

Mr Francois: The Sea Cadet, Army Cadet and Air Cadet units in East and West Sussex do not have an establishment, however the figures for the number of cadets for the county of Sussex is shown in the following table:

Cadet ForceStrength

Army Cadet Force

1,287

Air Training Corps

762

Figures for the Sea Cadets are only available for the whole of southern area, covering Dorset to Kent, as far north as London, for which the strength is 2,710 cadets.

Combined Cadet Forces (CCFs) do have establishments. There are seven CCFs in West Sussex schools which are shown in the following table:

SerialSchoolEstablishment

1

Ardingly College

125

2

Chichester High School for Boys

122

3

Christ's Hospital

255

4

Hurstpierpoint College

236

5

Lancing College

195

6

Seaford College

200

7

Shoreham College

125

There are four CCFs in East Sussex schools which are shown in the following table:

SerialSchoolEstablishment

1

Brighton College

310

2

Eastbourne College

335

3

Longhill School

75

6 Dec 2012 : Column 896W

4

William Parker Sports College

120

Armed Forces: Crime

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what alleged offences against a senior rank made by a junior rank can be reported outside the chain of command; to whom the allegation can be reported; and if he will make a statement. [130549]

Mr Francois: It is very important that all service people feel free to exercise their right to make an allegation without fear of victimisation or other inappropriate behaviour. Provision has therefore been made in legislation to protect this right. As such, any allegations, both of criminal and non-criminal misconduct, can be reported to the service police without requiring any referral by the chain of command, and individuals are also protected by their right to report any allegations of criminal misconduct to the civilian police. In addition, service personnel of all ranks can also make service complaints. These will be dealt with outside of the immediate chain of command where the alleged misconduct pertains to that chain.

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of its 2006 report on Quantitative and Qualitative Research into Sexual Harassment in the Armed Forces; and if he will make a statement. [129422]

Mr Francois: The information will take time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available.

Danny Nightingale

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there will be any impediment to Sergeant Danny Nightingale resuming his military career on release from detention. [130866]

Mr Francois [holding answer 30 November 2012]: The decision of the appeal court to reduce Sergeant Nightingale's sentence to a 12 month detention, suspended, means that he has now been released from detention albeit subject to the terms of that suspension. The Court also granted leave to appeal the conviction and therefore it would be inappropriate for me to comment until that appeal has concluded or been abandoned.

Defence Procurement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 21 May 2012, Official Report, column 438W, on defence procurement, how many of the urgent operational requirements delivered, or planned for delivery, later than originally approved are projected to be more than (a) six months, (b) 12 months, (c) 18 months and (d) 24 months later than the original date. [117481]

6 Dec 2012 : Column 897W

Sir Gerald Howarth [holding answer 16 July 2012]:The information requested is currently being verified. I will write to my hon. Friend when this has been completed.

Substantive answer from Philip Dunne to Stephen Barclay:

In response to your parliamentary question of 3rd September 2012, (Official Report, column 45W) seeking further information about the length of delay to the UORs referred to in his answer of 21st May 2012, my predecessor undertook to write to you with the information you requested. As some time has now passed I wanted to explain the reason for the delay.

The Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) process was intended to allow the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to purchase rapidly or modify equipment to address urgent and unforeseen capability gaps in support of a current or imminent military operation. The process has been an undoubted success, with over £5.5 billion spent on equipment to meet emerging requirements in Afghanistan since the operation began. The process has evolved over several years and continues to change in relation to, among other things, the types of UOR being procured, the way Defence is organised and the databases on which the information is held. As a result of this evolution in the way the MOD manages the process, there is currently no single repository of information on UORs to draw from, although work is in hand to address this.

When the Ministry of Defence answered your original question of 21st May 2012, (Official Report, column 439W) officials did so to the best of their ability. In preparing the answer to your latest question about how late some UORs were compared to their original approvals, discrepancies between the current bespoke UOR database and other records were discovered. I would like to

6 Dec 2012 : Column 898W

resolve these before formally responding to your question and have asked for this work to be completed as soon as possible.

I am sorry for this delay and will provide an answer to you as soon as the checks are completed and the information verified.

Devonport Dockyard

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what investment in infrastructure and machinery was made by his Department in HMNB Devonport dockyard in each year from 2008 to 2010. [129484]

Mr Dunne [holding answer 22 November 2012]: The Ministry of Defence does not hold centrally details of how much has been invested in Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport in each year from 2008 to 2010. The information will need to be collected from the relevant teams and will take some time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member when the figures are available.

Substantive answer from Philip Dunne to Oliver Colvile:

On 26th November 2012, (Official Report, column 23W) I undertook to provide a substantive reply to your Parliamentary Question with regard to information about the amount of investment in infrastructure and machinery made by the Ministry of Defence at Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport in each year from 2008 to 2010.

The information you requested is shown in the following table.

Table of investment in HMNB Devonport
£ million
InvestmentsApril 2008 to March 2009April 2009 to March 2010April 2010Total

Project Armada(1)

19

20

2

41

New Works and Floating Assets

1

2

0

3

Functional Machinery

1

1

0

2

Long Term Fleet Time Docking Project

9

3

0

12

Nuclear Facilities Estate Investment

33

44

3

80

Defence Storage and Distribution Agency Plymouth

1

0

0

1

Total(2)

63

70

5

138

(1) The Armada project is a private finance initiative project that provides single living accommodation for 1,650 Royal Navy personnel. (2) The sum of the figures for the individual investments in the period from April 2008 to March 2009, when rounded to the nearest £ million, produce a variance of £1 million.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent work has taken place under the Nuclear Facilities Estate Investment at HM Naval Base Devonport. [131569]

Mr Dunne: The investment in the Nuclear Facilities Estate at Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport involves modernising the long-term docking and decommissioning and lay up facilities for Trafalgar Class submarines. This includes replacement of the reactor access house for removing fuel from the submarines, along with a number of safety improvements.

HMS Clyde

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing HMS Clyde in each year to 2018. [131196]

Mr Dunne: The annual cost of leasing HMS Clyde until 2018 is £3.5 million. This figure excludes contractor logistic support costs.

Meetings

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what meetings (a) the right hon. Member for North East Hampshire and (b) the hon. Member for Harwich and North Essex have had with (i) Ministers, (ii) civil servants and (iii) senior military personnel in his Department since May 2010; and what was discussed at each such meeting. [123920]

Mr Philip Hammond: The following table details the meetings which have taken place between Ministry of Defence Ministers and my right hon. Friend the Member for North East Hampshire (Mr Arbuthnot) and my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) since May 2010.

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Date of meetingName of MinisterName of MPPurpose of discussion

22 June 2010

Right hon. Dr Liam Fox (SofS)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

Introductory call

24 November 2010

Right hon. Andrew Robathan (Min DPWV)

Bernard Jenkin MP

Blueforces Ltd

13 June 2011

Right hon. Dr Liam Fox (SofS)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC), Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and National Security Strategy (NSS) issues

14 November 2011

Right hon. Philip Hammond (SofS)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot

HCDC, SDSR and NSS issues

12 October 2011

Peter Luff (Min DEST)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

Nimrod MRA4

29 November 2011

Right hon. Philip Hammond (SofS)

Bernard Jenkin MP

Defence issues

31 January 2012

Peter Luff (Min DEST)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

White Paper National Security Through Technology Cm8278

1 February 2012

Right hon. Philip Hammond (SofS)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

HCDC issues

24 April 2012

Peter Luff (Min DEST)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

Helicopter capability

9 May 2012

Right hon. Philip Hammond (SofS)

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

HCDC issues

25 June 2012

Nick Harvey (Min (AF))

Right hon. James Arbuthnot MP

Defence issues

16 October 2012

Right hon. Philip Hammond (SofS)

James Arbuthnot MP

HCDC issues

17 October 2012

Philip Dunne (Min DEST)

James Arbuthnot MP

Introductory meeting with Chairman and HCDC members

I also attended and spoke at the Electronic Infrastructure Summit chaired by James Arbuthnot on 14 May 2012, and spoke to him in the margins of the event. Records of this and other such meetings in the margins of events and the business of the House are not retained.

Information on any meetings between the two MPs and military and civilian members of staff is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Military Aid

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to which foreign staff colleges the UK attaches instructors. [129477]

Mr Francois [holding answer 22 November 2012]: The UK has instructors at staff colleges in Australia, France, Germany, the United States of America, Canada, Kuwait, Italy, South Africa, Brunei and Germany, in addition, instructors are routinely posted to UAE and Jamaica, although there are no current incumbents in these posts.

Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration has been given to the flexible tasking proposals prepared by the Ministry of Defence Police in determining future security provisions at Ministry of Defence establishments; and if he will make a statement. [130743]

Mr Francois: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 31 October 2012, Official Report, columns 295-96W, to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark).

Nuclear Submarines

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many active Z-Berths are in UK waters and where such berths are located; how many times such berths have been used in each of the last five years; and how many nuclear-powered submarines such berths can accommodate at any one time; [131571]

(2) how many X-Berths there are at UK Royal Navy bases; where such berths are located; and how many nuclear-powered submarines such berths can accommodate. [131579]

Mr Dunne: HM Naval Base Devonport has four alongside X Berths, each capable of accommodating two nuclear powered warships (NPW), and two Z Berth mooring buoys, each of which can accommodate a single NPW.

HM Naval Base Clyde has six alongside X Berths and one alongside Z Berth, all of which can accommodate one NPW. Clyde also has one Z Berth anchorage, which is currently in the process of being re-authorised.

Public Consultation

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations are being conducted by his Department. [131044]

Mr Francois [holding answer 30 November 2012]: Public consultations are recorded on the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) website and can be found at:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/ConsultationsandCommunications/PublicConsultations/

MOD does not hold a central list of its external engagements which fall short of a full public consultation and to create such a list would incur disproportionate cost.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules of engagement govern the use of UK armed drones. [131717]

Mr Robathan: Any weapon released by the UK's Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft System is done so under the command of a pilot bounded by Rules of Engagement which are no different to those used for manned UK combat aircraft. Targets are always positively identified as legitimate military objectives, and strikes are prosecuted in accordance with the Law of Armed

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Conflict and UK Rules of Engagement. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the geographic and psychological distance between the operator of an armed UK drone and its target makes attacks more likely to be launched. [131718]

Mr Robathan: The geographical distance between the operator of an aircraft and a target, whether the pilot is in the aircraft or remote, does not affect the legal position of an attack. All UK forces operate in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict and UK Rules of Engagement which apply no matter the location of the pilot. Additionally, pilots of all aircraft types follow the same procedures for attacks, which include an emphasis on minimising the risk of civilian casualties.

Regarding psychological considerations, experience of operating the Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) suggests that far from being detached from the reality of the situation, Reaper aircrew are just as, if not more, connected to the situation on the ground as compared to operators of other aircraft types. The increased information available to RPAS operators and subsequently ground commanders, the endurance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft and the substantial operational experience of RPAS crews, who fly missions over Afghanistan for years at a time, result in an unrivalled depth of knowledge. Therefore, RPAS makes a significant contribution to the safety and security of UK and coalition forces in Afghanistan, while also minimising the risk to civilians.

Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether belief in the accuracy of drone sensors and cameras may lead commanders to order strikes with a higher

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risk of causing civilian casualties than would previously have been the case. [131719]

Mr Robathan: UK Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are flown by professional military pilots and follow the Law of Armed Conflict and UK Rules of Engagement in exactly the same way as pilots of other aircraft types.

The fidelity of RPAS sensors is similar to those of other aircraft types. Experience in Afghanistan indicates that the ability of UK Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to loiter and build up an intelligence picture over long periods enhances the ability of commanders to positively identify legitimate military targets and minimise the risk to civilians.

Craig Whittaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of whether the unmanned nature of armed UK drones makes it more likely that attacks will be launched. [131720]

Mr Robathan: UK Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are anything but unmanned—professional pilots remain in full control of the aircraft at all times and follow the Law of Armed Conflict and UK Rules of Engagement in exactly the same way as pilots of other aircraft types.

Our experience of operating the Reaper RPAS in Afghanistan suggests that Reaper aircrew are just as, if not more, connected to the situation on the ground as compared to operators of other aircraft types. The increased information available to RPAS operators and subsequently ground commanders, the endurance of Remotely Piloted Aircraft and the substantial operational experience of RPAS crews, who fly missions over Afghanistan for years at a time, result in an unrivalled depth of knowledge. Therefore, RPAS make a significant contribution to the safety and security of UK and coalition forces in Afghanistan, while also minimising the risk to civilians.