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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Transport

British Transport Police

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of British Transport Police time was allocated to investigation of each category of crime in each of the last five years. [134140]

Mr Simon Burns: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at: British Transport Police, 25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN, E-mail:

parliament@btp.pnn.police.uk

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on ensuring effective co-operation between the British Transport Police and other police forces. [134141]

Mr Simon Burns: Effective co-operation between the British Transport Police and other police forces is an operational matter which is dealt with by the respective chief constables. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport does not get involved in such matters.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of areas for potential improvement in co-ordination between the British Transport Police and other police forces. [134142]

Mr Simon Burns: Assessment of potential improvements of co-ordination between the British Transport Police and other police forces is an operational matter which is dealt with by the respective chief constables. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport does not get involved in such matters.

Bus Services: Halton

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated for the provision of bus services in Halton Borough Council area in each financial year since 2009-10. [133925]

Norman Baker: Halton Borough Council can procure tendered local bus services where commercial routes are not viable. As funding is provided through the main Local Government Formula Grant, an unhypothecated block grant allocated by the Department for Communities and Local Government, it is not possible to say how much is allocated to Halton Borough Council for the provision of bus services.

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The Department for Transport allocated Halton Borough Council £39,582 in 2009-10 and £40,597 in 2010-11 in Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) for the provision of additional local bus services to rural communities. In line with the Government's drive to simplify local funding, RBSG payments ended in 2010/11. In 2010/11 and 2011/12, the Department made two payments of £6,766 with the aim of kick-starting and supporting community transport as part of the Supporting Community Transport Fund.

Bus operators running local registered bus services in the Halton Borough Council area are able to claim Bus Service Operators Grant. Although data relating to the amount claimed by operators are not available broken down by local authority area, the following links provide information on payments made to individual operators for claims covering the periods up to (i) 31 March 2010 and (ii) 31 March 2011:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110504135837/http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/regional/buses/busgrants/bsog/661224

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/3258/bsog-qrants-paid-2011.pdf

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which EU directives his Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives his Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector; [133713]

(2) which regulations his Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations his Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133714]

Stephen Hammond: A table giving details of regulations which were introduced as a result of European Union (EU) legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 has been placed in the House Library, and sent directly to my hon. Friend’s office. The Explanatory Memorandum to each regulation states which directive it transposes.

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new EU measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business. The statement will include a list of regulations that will be introduced for the period between 1 January 2013 and 30 June 2013.

Directives we expect to transpose after 30 June 2013 include those listed in a table which I have also placed in the House Library and sent to my hon. Friend’s office. This information is inevitably less complete as work on transposition of measures is generally less advanced than for those in the nearer future and further measures are likely to be agreed with implementation dates before the end of 2015.

Estimates of the cost of regulation to the private sector and the public purse are detailed in the Impact Assessments which are published on the

www.legislation.gov.uk

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website for regulations that were introduced in 2011 and 2012. The table listing regulations includes links to the relevant Impact Assessments in the right hand column. These Impact Assessments show the impact in the UK of transposed directives. In some cases, for example where more than one set of regulations is produced, there may be more than one Impact Assessment. In such cases, the impact of the directive will be the sum of the relevant Impact Assessments.

For regulations of EU origin to be introduced in 2013 and beyond Impact Assessments are normally published with consultation documents although the costs detailed on these are subject to change as a result of the consultations.

Great Western Railway Line

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what payments his Department expects to receive from the operator of the Great Western rail franchise over the next three years. [133726]

Mr Simon Burns: The payments over the next three years will initially comprise those payable under the current First Great Western franchise agreement. Payments after that franchise agreement terminates will depend on how continuity of train services is secured. That will depend on the Department for Transport’s response to the Brown Review, which is due to report by the end of December.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he or officials in his Department have met representatives of FirstGroup to discuss granting that company an extension to its Great Western rail franchise. [133727]

Mr Simon Burns: Exploratory discussions have been held about the options for securing continuity of train services after the current First Great Western franchise terminates on 31 March 2013. Decisions on the future of this franchise will depend on the Department for Transport’s response to the Brown Review, which is due to report by the end of December.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to extend the Great Western franchise with First Group without a franchise competition; and if he will make a statement. [133737]

Mr Simon Burns: The Great Western franchise Invitation to Tender published on 27 July said that the new franchise would start on 21 July. This implied an extension of four four-weekly periods to the current First Great Western franchise after its current termination date of 31 March 2013. The First Great Western franchise agreement provides that the Secretary of State for Transport may call an extension of up to seven four-weekly periods. Decisions on the longer-term future of this franchise will depend on the Department for Transport's response to the Brown review, which is due to report by the end of December.

Immigration

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the additional cost of the delivery of those public services for which his Department is responsible arising from inward migration since 1997. [134296]

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Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has made no estimate of these costs.

Official Cars

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Ministers in his Department have been allocated Government cars; and what the last dates were on which such cars were used by each Minister for (a) individual and (b) pool car use. [133796]

Stephen Hammond: With the introduction of a departmental pool car service on 1 April 2012, individual Ministers are no longer allocated Government cars. The Secretary of State and Minister of State use the pool cars on a daily basis.

I use the pool cars occasionally and also use the top-up service as business requires it.

The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), used the car on an extremely occasional basis for journeys of less than three miles, the last date being 20 November 2012.

Railways: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on agreeing management contracts for the operation of rail franchises for more than 13 months without a tendering competition; and if he will make a statement. [133734]

Mr Simon Burns: Once the Secretary of State for Transport has received the Brown review, the Department expects to refresh its Statement of Policy on the Exercise of the Secretary of State's Power Under Section 26(1) of the Railways Act 1993, which sets out the Department's policy on award without tendering for the operation of rail franchises.

Railways: Norwich

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions bus transport replaced rail for all or part of the journey due to (a) routine and (b) non-routine maintenance of the Norwich to London Liverpool Street railway line in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012 to date. [133992]

Norman Baker: The Department does not hold this information. Engineering possessions are managed between Network Rail and the train operator, and mitigations are implemented on a case by case basis, and may not necessitate bus replacement services. Where bus replacement services are necessary, it is the responsibility of the Train Operator to procure and advertise the services to passengers.

I personally hold Network Rail and Train Operating Companies to account at monthly Performance meetings and I have recently asked Network Rail to look at how well it has managed possessions.

Roads

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the maintenance backlog of (a) roads and (b) pavements on the non-strategic highways network in England; and if he will make a statement. [134201]

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Norman Baker: No assessment has been made. Roads and pavements on the non-strategic highway network in England are managed by, and are the responsibility of, local highway authorities. It is for individual authorities to assess maintenance needs and prioritise accordingly.

The Department for Transport does, however, recognise the importance of the local highway network and is providing over £3 billion to local highway authorities from 2011 to 2015 for highways maintenance. We also provided a further £200 million in March 2011 for them to repair potholes on the local road network damaged by the severe winter weather at the end of 2010.

As announced in the December 2012 Autumn Statement, the Department for Transport will be providing an additional £333 million capital funding over the next two financial years to 2015 for essential highways maintenance on both the strategic and local highway network. Details of allocations to local highway authorities have been announced today.

The funding provided by the Department for Transport provides local highway authorities with the flexibility to use their local knowledge and experience to decide how to prioritise expenditure.

Roads: Snow and Ice

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will estimate the cost of gritting roads in winter 2012-13; [133858]

(2) what steps he has taken to ensure sufficient salt is available for road gritting in winter 2012-13. [133859]

Norman Baker: Based on the data within the Department for Communities and Local Government National Statistics release “Local Authority Revenue Expenditure and Financing England 2011-12 Final Outturn” published on 27 November 2012, the total gross expenditure for winter service, including salting roads, by local authorities in England was £175 million. Information for 2012/13 is not yet available.

The overall cost of winter maintenance activity, including salting roads, by the Highways Agency who are responsible for the strategic road network, is estimated to be around £20 million for winter 2012-13.

I refer to my previous answer to him on 28 November 2012, Official Report, column 5340W, in which I explained that I had written to all hon. Members on 23 November 2012 setting out the steps that the Department for Transport and the wider transport sector have taken in advance of any possible severe winter weather. This letter that has been placed in both Libraries of the House highlights the steps we have taken with respect to road salt for this winter period.

In a survey conducted by the Department at end November 2012, total salt stocks for England, including strategic salt stockpiles, is approximately 1.8 million tonnes of salt. This highlights that highway authorities are continuing to hold robust salt stocks.

Transport: East of England

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of average spending per head of the population by his

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Department in

(a)

Suffolk,

(b)

Norfolk,

(c)

Essex,

(d)

Cambridgeshire,

(e)

Bedfordshire,

(f)

Hertfordshire,

(g)

Kent and

(h)

Greater London. [134468]

Norman Baker: The most recent data available for total public expenditure on transport are given in HM Treasury's Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses for 2011/12. Counties (a) to (f) equate to the East of England region and the identifiable expenditure on transport services there is £278 per head, (g) Kent is part of the South East region where the expenditure on transport services is £207 per head. (h) Expenditure on transport services in London is £644 per head. Equivalent data are not available below regional level.

West Coast Railway Line: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the implementation of the recommendations of the Laidlaw Review to be complete. [133723]

Mr Simon Burns: I refer the hon. Member to the Department’s response to the Laidlaw Inquiry report, which has been deposited in the Libraries of the House. The Department has started implementing the recommendations of the Laidlaw Inquiry. Some elements of this work are dependent on the final findings of the Brown Review. The Department will set a time scale for implementation when it has received the report of the Brown Review.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether Sam Laidlaw carried out a full trawl of departmental emails during the compilation of his final report. [133724]

Mr Simon Burns: There was insufficient time for a full e-mail capture and review to be carried out by the Laidlaw Inquiry team due to time pressures. However, the Inquiry team did review a number of e-mails made available by the Department, including e-mails captured for the purpose of the Department’s HR investigations. In his report, Sam Laidlaw states that he is satisfied that he was provided with a proper evidential basis for making the findings set out in his report.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to his Department was of the work done to compile the (a) interim and (b) final report of the Laidlaw Review. [133725]

Mr Simon Burns: The Laidlaw Inquiry was commissioned as a single piece of work therefore it is not possible to disaggregate the cost attributed to the interim report and final report. The cost of the Laidlaw Inquiry are yet to be finalised as not all of the invoices relating to the review have been received. The Department’s best estimate of the final cost of the Laidlaw Inquiry is £3.55 million.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether he or his officials received advice on the risk of legal action by (a) the EU Commission and (b) bidders in the cancelled franchise competition

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for the Intercity West Coast Mainline following his decision to agree a management contract with Virgin Rail. [133732]

(2) Whether he consulted the European Commission before deciding to extend the management contract negotiated with Virgin Rail to operate the Intercity West Coast mainline. [133740]

Mr Simon Burns: The Secretary of State for Transport carried out his duties and obligations within the Railways Act 1993 and within domestic and European procurement law. The UK Government do not normally comment on their dealings with the European Commission or other European institutions. Any such discussions or dealings, whenever they do take place, are confidential.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the taxpayer is of the fee agreed by his Department with Virgin Rail for the running of the Intercity West Coast Mainline as a percentage of revenue. [133733]

Mr Simon Burns: The fee that we have agreed to pay Virgin Rail Group is 1% margin on revenue earned.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on (a) external legal advice and (b) other external consultancy on negotiating the management contract with Virgin Rail for the Intercity West Coast Mainline. [133738]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department has not yet been billed for all of the work undertaken by external advisers in support of its negotiations with Virgin Rail. The Department will monitor these costs closely and be fully transparent in keeping the House informed when the final costs become available.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value is of the premium payments he expects to receive from Virgin Rail in (a) the first year and (b) the remaining period of the operation of the Intercity West Coast management contract. [133739]

Mr Simon Burns: The expected premium for the part year from 9 December 2012 to 31 March 2013 is £7.3 million. The amount of premium for the remainder of the operation of the contract has not yet been set and will be agreed or determined as part of the annual budget setting process.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the terms of the deal with Virgin Rail on operating the Intercity West Coast Mainline allow the fee agreed for the first year to rise in the second year of the contract. [133751]

Mr Simon Burns: The agreement that has been reached with Virgin Rail Group (VRG) and West Coast Trains Limited (trading as Virgin Trains) is that they will receive 1% margin on revenue for the term of the franchise through to November 2014. The new franchise agreement acknowledges that, subject to both parties agreeing, the commercial terms could be re-negotiated

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to transfer greater risk to VRG and Virgin Trains; this negotiation could include VRG and Virgin Trains earning a higher margin.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of implementing in full the recommendations of the Laidlaw Inquiry, December 2012. [133801]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department will be able to estimate the cost of implementing the recommendations of the Laidlaw Inquiry when this work has been scoped.

Home Department

Databases: EU Countries

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 5 December 2012, Official Report, column 65WS, on the Justice and Home Affairs Council, what report was made by the EU presidency at the Council meeting regarding information exchange in the context of the Prüm treaty. [134384]

James Brokenshire: As reported in the written ministerial statement of 13 December 2012, Official Report, columns 58-62WS, at the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 6 and 7 December, the presidency provided a general report on obstacles related to effective information exchange but focused on the Swedish initiative on police information rather than the Prüm arrangements pertaining to DNA, vehicle registration and fingerprint data. However, on 7 December 2012, the Commission published a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of Council Decision 2008/615/JHA establishing the arrangements for operating data exchange under Prüm. This was deposited with the European Scrutiny Committee on 13 December (document COM(2012) 732); an Explanatory Memorandum setting out the Government position will follow.

Entry Clearances: Indian Subcontinent

Nadine Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the reasons for the difference in refusal rates of visa applications from Indian nationals and from Pakistani nationals in 2011. [133590]

Mr Harper: All cases are decided on their individual merits. The Immigration Rules apply universally to those seeking to come to the UK, and the types and nature of application will depend on individuals themselves and their particular circumstances. The refusal rates reflect the nature of the applications the UK Border Agency receives.

Entry Clearances: Iran

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 19 December 2011, Official Report, columns 924-5W, on entry clearances: Iran, what steps her Department has taken to implement the proposals with a third state; and if she will make a statement. [129572]

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Mr Harper: Sweden was appointed the UK's protecting power in Iran on 10 July 2012, but is limited to only providing emergency consular assistance to British Nationals in Iran and managing the staff and property of the British embassy in Tehran.

Between 19 and 20 December 2011 UK Border Agency staff, with the assistance of the German embassy, were able to retrieve all passports and supporting documents from the Visa Section in Tehran. The UK Border Agency staff contacted all affected applicants to inform them to collect their documents from a temporary office located at the German embassy. Over 2,000 passports were collected and only five Iranian passports remained uncollected and were returned to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in February 2012. The applicants were notified of this.

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which EU directives her Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives her Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133705]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office did not transpose any EU directives in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012.

The Home Office expects to transpose the following EU directives in (i) 2013:

Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes;

Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA;

and (ii) the next two years:

There are a number of directives currently under negotiation or which have yet to be adopted, including the European investigation order and the directive on attacks against information systems. It is possible that the Home Office will transpose these directives in the next two years, but it is not possible to say until they have been adopted.

Details of projected costs arising from the transposition of the directive on the protection of animals for scientific purposes can be found in the impact assessment:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/transposition-protection-animals/protection-animals-scientific-ia?view=Binary

The accompanying Explanatory Memorandum to the human trafficking directive states that the estimated cost of implementing the directive in the UK is £810,000 per year.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which regulations her Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations her Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133706]

James Brokenshire: The following regulations were introduced by the Home Office in (a) 2011:

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Statutory Instrument 2011 No. 1247 (2011) the Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2011. This amendment included changes to reflect the ECJ ruling in Metock (C-127/08);

and

(b) 2012:

Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 1547 the Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2012. This amendment included changes to reflect the ECJ rulings in Lassal (C-162/09), Dias (C-325/09), Ziolkowski (C-424/10), McCarthy (C434/09), Chen (C-200/02) and Ibrahim (C-310/08) and Teixeira (C-480/08).

Statutory Instrument 2012 No. 2560 the Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2012. This amendment included changes to reflect the ECJ rulings of Ruiz Zambrano v. l'Office National de l'Emploi (C-34/09) and Rahman (C- 83/11).

Council Regulation (EC) No 380/2008 of 18 April 2008 amending Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals.

We do not believe that statutory instruments No. 1257, No. 1547 nor No. 2560 have significant financial implications. Details of projected costs, arising from the transposition of the biometric residence permit regulation can be found in the impact assessment, which is publicly available. The overall cost, including rollout, is estimated at £103 million. It is not possible to say what regulations the Home Office expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years. However, there are a number of ongoing negotiations, including EURODAC and the Dublin (III) regulations, that may require the Home Office to adopt further regulations within the next two years.

Human Trafficking

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK Border Agency targets specific flights as part of its strategy to tackle human trafficking. [128544]

Mr Harper: Combating human trafficking is a high priority for Border Force. As part of its wider strategy to combat organised crime, Border Force targeting teams use a variety of automated and manual systems in order to select a person for examination at the border. Through eBorders, Border Force have the ability to track around 55% of inbound and 60% of outbound passenger and crew movements; equating to approximately 138 million passenger movements a year on over 4,200 routes, including all aviation routes starting outside the EEA.

In addition to this tracking ability, Border Force relies on intelligence and profiles that are up-to-date in order to identify those movements worthy of further attention.

Analysis of this data and intelligence provides Border Force the ability to try to identify and target in advance those people known to pose a threat, including human traffickers.

ICT: Expenditure

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent on (a) strategy and planning, (b) design and build, (c) hosting and infrastructure, (d) content provision and (e) testing and evaluation for her Department’s websites in each of the last two years; and how much has been allocated for each such category of expenditure in 2012-13. [132120]

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James Brokenshire: The following information provided outlines spend in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

The spend in these years falling under each of the categories (a) strategy and planning, (b) design and build, (c) hosting and infrastructure, (d) content provision and (e) testing and evaluation is as follows:

2010-11:

Home Office

(a) £76,974

(c) £760,548

(d) £18,883

(e) £4,700

UK Border Agency

(c) £336,833.03

2011-12:

Home Office

(c) £635,076.17

(e) £42,921.00

UK Border Agency

(c) £446,119

2012-13:

Home Office

(c) £791,716.74

UK Border Agency

(c) £400,788.71

Figures for the Home Office for 2010-11 and 2012-13 and UK Border Agency for 2011-12 can be found in the GDS Government on the internet data transparency held on the Cabinet Office website.

These figures reflect the fact that much of the testing carried out is done ‘in house’. The testing carried out by suppliers is wrapped up in overall project or service management costs and would be difficult to extract.

Mousa Abu Maria

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis Mousa Abu Maria was granted an entry visa to the UK for his visit in November 2012. [131823]

Mr Harper [holding answer 6 December 2012]:Due to its obligations under the Data Protection Act, the UK Border Agency is unable to comment on an individual case.

The Government take very seriously any suggestion that the presence of a particular person in this country might not be conducive to the public good. All applications for visas are considered on their individual merits in line with the Immigration Rules.

Police: Stun Guns

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police forces in England and Wales have deployed tasers beyond the specialist role. [133731]

Damian Green: Taser can only be used by Authorised Firearms Officers and Specially Trained Units in accordance with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) policy and guidance.

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Students: Demonstrations

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the cost was of additional policing and crowd control measures put in place for the student protest march in London on 21 November 2012; [133862]

(2) what the cost was of additional policing and crowd control measures for all protests in Greater London in the last 12 months. [134007]

Damian Green: The Home Office does not hold this information.

UK Border Agency

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library the contact details of UK Border Agency officials who could be contacted by hon. Members outside the working hours of the MPs' hotline. [134028]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency's Command and Control Unit, based in Manchester, is the 24/7 contact point for such inquiries and undertakes this responsibility when the MPs' Hotline is not manned. Its contact number is 0161 261 1640.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether UK Border Agency staff have been made aware of the Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002. [134030]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency staff are regularly reminded of their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 and are required, every year, to undertake training which supports this.

The UK Border Agency staff who deal regularly with elected representatives specifically covered by the Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002 are aware of the provisions of this Order.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is given to UK Border Agency staff on dealing with representations by hon. Members; and if she will make a statement. [134032]

Mr Harper: Staff in the UK Border Agency who are responsible for dealing with representations by hon. Members receive training on the job as required. They also have access to regularly updated guidance materials to help them draft replies to MPs’ correspondence.

UK Border Agency: Correspondence

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency intends to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Ilford South of 30 August and 15 October 2012 concerning his constituent Mrs Malik and the Home Office case reference M1145772; and if she will make a statement. [134097]

Mr Harper [holding answer 17 December 2012]: The UK Border Agency replied to the hon. Member on 13 December 2012.

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Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Rural Areas

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that broadband companies are fairly charging rural customers who can only get low speeds of broadband. [133730]

Mr Vaizey: Through effective regulation, the UK has one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world. 92% of households are connected to a local loop unbundled exchange, and wholesale access is available on all lines. This offers real competition and choice for consumers, including on price and quality of service. All internet service providers (ISPs) are encouraged to sign up to Ofcom's Code of Practice on broadband speeds, ensuring the consumer is aware of the speed of the broadband service they will receive at the point of sale.

Mobile Phones

Mr Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to appoint a supplier for the Mobile Infrastructure Project. [134276]

Mr Vaizey: I expect to appoint a supplier for the Mobile Infrastructure Project in the spring.

Tourism

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she plans to support tourism business improvement districts in each city in England. [134280]

Hugh Robertson: Government recognised the importance of business improvement districts in the recent Portas review. Business improvement districts are very much partnership arrangements between local authorities and the business community. The Department for Communities and Local Government are currently reviewing legislation in order to allow for tourism business improvement districts and expect regulations to come in force in spring 2013.

Tourism: North East

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will undertake an impact assessment of the potential effect of Scottish independence on tourism in the north-east. [134279]

Hugh Robertson: The Department has no current plans to undertake an impact assessment of the potential effect of Scottish independence on tourism in the north-east.

UK Fashion and Textile Association

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she next plans to meet the UK Fashion and Textile Association. [134281]

Mr Vaizey: The Creative Industries Council is the main forum for discussion between Government and the creative industries. The Creative Industries Council

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is chaired jointly by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Creative Industries Council met twice in 2012, in January and in June, and its next meeting is scheduled for January 2013.

In addition, the Secretary of State and I each met with various representatives from the UK fashion industry last year. All meetings with external organisations are declared quarterly, and details can be found on the DCMS website using the following link:

www.transparency.culture.gov.uk/category/other/meetings

Treasury

Charities: Bank Services

Derek Twigg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will hold discussions with the chief executive of HBOS on the decision by Halifax to withdraw some current and savings accounts for charities; [133984]

(2) if he will estimate the number of charities who have been required to close current and savings accounts as a result of the decision by Halifax to withdraw some of these accounts. [133985]

Sajid Javid: Ministers and officials, as part of the process of policy development and delivery, have meetings with and receive representations from a wide variety of organisations and individuals in the public and private sector. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings and representations.

The decision to offer bank accounts, and the terms and conditions of these accounts, are for individual financial institutions to make on a commercial basis.

Child Benefit

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of the correspondence and communication exercise with taxpayers in respect of forthcoming changes to child benefit policy. [133474]

Mr Gauke: The estimated cost for customer information for the high income child benefit charge was published in the Tax Information and Impact Note at Budget 2012:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/tiin-0620.pdf

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of taxpayers affected by the introduction of the higher rate changes to child benefit who had elected to complete a new self-assessment for tax by the deadline of 5 October 2012 in respect of the current financial year. [133477]

Mr Gauke: At Budget 2012, HMRC estimated that as many as 40% of those affected by the high income child benefit charge may go into self-assessment. It is expected that the percentage will be lower, but no new estimate has been made at this time.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 685W

Ann Coffey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level the weekly rate of child benefit will be for (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013 for the (i) first child and (ii) second and subsequent children, if it had risen by the retail prices index in every year in (A) 2011, (B) 2012 and (C) 2013. [133774]

Sajid Javid: The following table details the weekly child benefit rates if rates had been increased by RPI in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

£
 First childSubsequent child

2011-12

21.25

14.00

2012-13

22.45

14.80

2013-14

23.05

15.20

Fairness is a fundamental aspect of the Government's plans to reduce the deficit and protect the economy by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. The change from RPI to CPI uprating and the measures announced at autumn statement 2012—5 December 2012, Official Report, columns 871-82—should therefore be considered alongside other decisions taken since the June 2010 Budget.

The 2012 autumn statement builds on the Government's commitment to ensure that it pays to work; to support pensioners and those most in need; and to deliver a progressive tax and welfare system that is affordable, fair and encourages growth. The Government is providing support for those on low and middle incomes by increasing the personal allowance by a further £235 in April 2013, meaning 2.2 million people will have been taken out of tax by the Government's increases in the personal allowance.

Furthermore, the Government are continuing to help people with the rising cost-of-living through measures such as cancelling the fuel duty increase that was planned for 1 January 2013, and deferring the 2013-14 increase to 1 September 2013.

Dairy Farming: Government Assistance

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any Barnett Consequentials will result from the establishment of the new Dairy Fund for England. [134447]

Danny Alexander: There will be no Barnett Consequentials arising from the establishment of the new Dairy Fund for England. This is being funded from within DEFRA's existing resources.

Ford Motor Company

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and others on the EIB loan to Ford Otosan; [127541]

(2) what meetings (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and others on the EIB loan to Ford; on what date each such meeting took place; and who was present at each such meeting. [127542]

18 Dec 2012 : Column 686W

Greg Clark: The staff of the EIB take forward analysis associated with prospective EIB lending, including discussions with project promoters and partners. In these activities, they act in accordance with the rules and objectives of the EIB. The EIB’s Management Committee supervises the EIB staff in conducting these functions.

PAYE

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 596W, on PAYE, whether HM Revenue and Customs is able to calculate the accuracy rate of hash matching in the pilot; and if so, how. [134382]

Mr Gauke: HMRC's systems record the number of real time information (RTI) records submitted with a hash and the number of records where a hash has been submitted and has been matched.

HMRC are working closely with those involved in the RTI pilot to ensure the information submitted is in line with the published RTI guidance. As part of this, HMRC will be liaising with software providers to analyse possible causes of hash non match and ensure that payroll software generates the hash cross reference in the correct way.

Revenue and Customs: Washington, Tyne and Wear

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2012, Official Report, column 437W, for what reasons he does not plan to publish the feasibility study considered by Ministers in respect of the decision to close Weardale House; for what reasons he will not be placing the equality impact assessment conducted to inform the decision to close Weardale House in the public domain; and if he will take steps to ensure that nearby offices have the capacity to effectively accommodate staff working in Weardale House after it has closed. [134432]

Mr Gauke: The feasibility report on Weardale House contains personal information about staff location preferences and commercial in confidence details on building costs. For this reason, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publishes headline information only, on the Department’s intranet site. The information on Weardale House is planned for early 2013.

With the introduction of the 2010 Equality Act, there is no longer a requirement to produce equality impact assessments. In their place, to meet its public sector equality duty, HMRC produces equality analysis documents for buildings which close or are due to close in the year 2013-14 onwards. There is no legal requirement on HMRC to place these documents in the public domain. However, they are published on its intranet site for staff reference.

As outlined in the answer of 20 November 2012, Official Report, column 437W:

“HMRC constantly reviews its office requirement as its business activities alter so that it can continue to accommodate the right number of people in the right locations.”

18 Dec 2012 : Column 687W

Senior Civil Servants

Jesse Norman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the ages are of the (a) Permanent Secretary, (b) Second Permanent Secretary and (c) other managing directors of his Department. [132151]

Sajid Javid: The ages of the Permanent Secretary is 53, the two Second Permanent Secretaries are both 43 and the managing directors are: 43, 44, 45, 48 and 57.

Surveys

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of his Department's most recent staff survey; which organisation carried out the survey; and what the cost of the survey was. [132109]

Sajid Javid: HM Treasury conducts an annual people survey as part of a civil service wide survey co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office.

The survey for 2012 was conducted between 1 October 2012 and 31 October 2012 and the estimated cost of the survey is £11,217.

All Departments must publish their results externally by 31 January 2013, in line with the time scale determined by the Cabinet Office. The results will then be available to place in the Library of the House.

Taxation: Football

Andrew Bingham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Premier League footballers are registered in the UK for purposes of taxation. [132972]

Mr Gauke: All Premier League footballers are under PAYE under the rules of the Football Association and Premier League. Every footballer who earns more than £100,000 per annum must apply to register for self-assessment and a tax return is issued to them. HMRC proactively reviews all of the football population and ensures that all footballers earning more than £100,000 are issued with SA tax returns.

Working Tax Credit

Ann Coffey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the level of the basic element of working tax credit in 2013-14 if it had risen by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013; [133776]

(2) if he will estimate the level of the couples element of the working tax credit in 2013-14 if it had risen by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013; [133777]

(3) if he will estimate the level of the 30-hour element of working tax credit in 2013-14 if it had risen by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013; [133778]

(4) how much working tax credit will be received in 2013-14 by a single person aged over 25 years, working 35 hours a week and earning £217 a week, with no other income or savings; [133779]

(5) if he will estimate how much working tax credit would be received in 2013-14 by a single person aged over 25 years, working 35 hours a week and earning

18 Dec 2012 : Column 688W

£217 a week, with no other income or savings if each element of the credit had risen by the retail prices index in April

(a)

2011,

(b)

2012 and

(c)

2013; and if the earnings taper had remained at 39 per cent; [133780]

(6) how much working tax credit will be received in 2013-14 by a couple with one child where one partner works for 35 hours a week, earning £217 a week, where the couple have no other income or savings; [133781]

(7) if he will estimate how much working tax credit would be received in 2013-14 by a couple with one child where one partner works for 35 hours a week, earning £217 a week, where the couple have no other income or savings, if each element of working tax credit had risen by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013; and if the earnings taper had remained at 39 per cent. [133782]

Sajid Javid: The annual value of the basic, couples and 30-hour elements of working tax credit for 2013-14 would be as follows if they had risen by the retail prices index in April 2011, 2012 and 2013:

 Maximum rate (£ per year)

WTC Basic element

2,185

WTC Couple element

2,155

WTC 30-hour element

905

A single person aged over 25 years, working 35 hours a week and earning £217 a week, with no other income or savings would receive approximately £710 in working tax credit (WTC) in 2013-14, based on the value of WTC elements as they stand following autumn statement 2012, 5 December 2012, Official Report, columns 871-82.

A single person aged over 25 years, working 35 hours a week and earning £217 a week, with no other income or savings would receive approximately £1,185 in working tax credit (WTC) in 2013-14 if each element of WTC had risen by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013 and if the earnings taper had remained at 39%.

A couple with one child where one partner works for 35 hours a week, earning £217 a week, where the couple have no other income or savings would receive approximately £5,955 in tax credits in 2013-14, based on the value of tax credit elements as they stand following autumn statement 2012.

A couple with one child where one partner works for 35 hours a week, earning £217 a week, where the couple have no other income or savings would receive approximately £6,615 in tax credits in 2013-14 if each element of WTC had risen, by the retail prices index in April (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013 and if the earnings taper had remained at 39%.

Fairness is a fundamental aspect of the Government's plans to reduce the deficit and protect the economy by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. The change from RPI to CPI uprating and the measures announced at autumn statement 2012 should therefore be considered alongside other decisions taken since the June 2010 Budget.

The 2012 autumn statement builds on the Government's commitment to ensure that it pays to work; to support pensioners and those most in need; and to deliver a progressive tax and welfare system that is affordable, fair and encourages growth. The Government are providing

18 Dec 2012 : Column 689W

support for those on low and middle incomes by increasing the personal allowance by a further £235 in April 2013, meaning 2.2 million people will have been taken out of tax by the Government's increases in the personal allowance.

Furthermore, the Government are continuing to help people with the rising cost-of-living through measures such as cancelling the fuel duty increase that was planned for 1 January 2013, and deferring the 2013-14 increase to 1 September 2013.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to answer questions 127543, 127542 and 127541 from the hon. Member for Streatham, tabled on 5 November for answer on 7 November 2012 [134441]

Greg Clark: These questions were answered today.

Northern Ireland

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) which EU directives her Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives her Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector; [133709]

(2) which regulations her Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations her Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133710]

Mike Penning: In the period 2011 to 2012 to date, my Department transposed the Identification and Traceability of Explosives (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2012—this partly transposed EU directive 2012/4/EU.

On present plans my Department expects to transpose in the next two years the Identification and Traceability of Explosives (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2013. (This will fully transpose EU directive 2012/4/EU).

There is no cost to the public purse arising from the directives that have been transposed to date. The cost to the public purse for the Identification and Traceability of Explosives (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2013 is expected to be minimal; there is no definitive estimate at present of cost to the private sector but initial indications are that it would be less than £100 per set of regulations.

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union (EU) measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

Scotland

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which EU directives his Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives his Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the

18 Dec 2012 : Column 690W

next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133711]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office delivered the Scotland Act 2012 in May of this year. In addition, each year, the Scotland Office takes forward a programme of Orders under the Scotland Act 1998. Generally, Scotland Act Orders make changes to the law in England and Wales, Northern Ireland or the reserved law of the UK which are outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and many of these changes are consequential to provisions made in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scotland Office has not been responsible for transposing any EU directives in 2011 or 2012. We do not currently have plans to transpose any EU directives in 2013 or the next two years.

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union (EU) measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which regulations his Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations his Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133712]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office delivered the Scotland Act 2012 in May of this year. In addition, each year, the Scotland Office takes forward a programme of Orders under the Scotland Act 1998. Generally, Scotland Act Orders make changes to the law in England and Wales, Northern Ireland or the reserved law of the UK which are outwith the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and many of these changes are consequential to provisions made in Acts of the Scottish Parliament.

In 2011, the Scotland Office brought forward the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2011 (S.I. 2011/2298). This was brought forward as a result of the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and included provision to implement the Council of European Union Framework Decisions 2008/675/JHA and 2008/978/JHA. There were no implementation costs associated with this Order.

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union (EU) measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

Wales

Pneumonia

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will ask the Welsh Minister for Health to publish the figures for deaths from hospital-acquired pneumonia at University Hospital Wales Cardiff in each of the last five years. [134202]

Mr David Jones: I will write to the right hon. Lady with this information.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 691W

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animals: Exports

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider banning live animal exports from the UK. [134110]

Mr Heath [holding answer 17 December 2012]: While the Government would prefer a trade in meat and germ plasm to a trade in live animals, it cannot ban a legal trade. This has been demonstrated in the courts (both here and in Brussels) on a number of occasions during the 1990s. A key High Court judgment was that of Lord Justice Simon Brown in the 1995 joined cases of R v. Dover Harbour Board (ex parte Gilder), R v. Associated British Ports ex parte Plymouth City Council and the European Court of Justice case C - 1/96 R v. MAFF ex parte CIWF.

Ash Dieback Disease

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many ash tree new planting sites are still to be surveyed in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales, from tracking forward from tree nurseries and planting stock infected with Chalara fraxinea. [133048]

Mr Heath: The Forestry Commission and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) are carrying out trace forward surveys. The number of sites identified is continuing to increase.

The Forestry Commission currently has 472 sites in England, 241 sites in Scotland and 363 sites in Wales to survey. A total of 690 sites in England and Wales are still to be surveyed by Fera.

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his control strategy for Chalara fraxinea ash dieback will include removing infected trees from new planting sites and tree nurseries for the purposes of reducing threats to the wildlife of the wider countryside and reducing the rate of spread of ash dieback. [133053]

Mr Heath: Diseased plants and trees in nurseries will be traced and destroyed, as once young trees are infected they succumb quickly. For recently planted trees from potentially infected source, we will continue with the exercise to trace sites as an interim measure. We will continue to use our statutory control powers to contain recently planted infected sites and to restrict the movement of infected material from the site. We will only require infected stock to be destroyed where it represents a significant threat of spreading the disease to uninfected ash trees.

Common Fisheries Policy

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress he has made on negotiations for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement. [132601]

18 Dec 2012 : Column 692W

Richard Benyon: Since the agreement of the General Approach on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy by Fisheries Ministers at June Council, I have been working to influence the European Parliament's consideration of the dossier.

Discussions in the European Parliament are currently at the Committee stage, with a key vote on the basic regulation expected on 18 December 2012. In advance of that vote I will be encouraging Members of the European Parliament to support radical reform of this failed policy.

I do not expect negotiations between the Council and Parliament to conclude until well into 2013.

Dogs: Animal Breeding

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures he is taking to prevent the battery farming of puppies in the UK. [133440]

Mr Heath: There is already legislation in place to deal with the welfare of dogs in dog breeding establishments. Local authorities have powers to respond to concerns about the welfare of dogs in breeding establishments through specific legislation that regulates commercial dog breeders and through the Animal Welfare Act 2006. In addition, the independent Dog Advisory Committee is working with interested parties to improve the standards of welfare in dog breeding establishments. DEFRA is also working with the independent Pet Advertising Advisory Group to see how dogs can be advertised and sold in a responsible way.

Food: Prices

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the effect of changes in the price of oil on the prices of food. [133643]

Mr Heath: A DEFRA commissioned study found that oil prices are one factor affecting the price of food in the UK. Other important factors include global food commodity prices and exchange rates, with global prices being the most important:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu &Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0&Project ID=17286

Oil prices have risen since 2007 and are expected to remain high, increasing the cost of transport and manufacturing. Global agricultural commodity prices have experienced a series of spikes since 2007, and in the absence of further shocks, prices are expected to fall in the coming years, but not to pre-spike levels. This is in large part because of the higher oil price, which affects a number of agricultural inputs such as fertiliser.

Communities and Local Government

Alarms

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost of providing free audible (a) carbon monoxide detectors and (b) dual carbon monoxide and smoke alarms in accordance with the same guidelines as the provision of free smoke alarms. [134274]

18 Dec 2012 : Column 693W

Mr Foster: We have made no such estimate of providing free carbon monoxide alarms or dual carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to discuss with representatives of the construction sector the effects of extending the provisions of the Smoke Detectors Act 1991 to include audible (a) carbon monoxide detectors and (b) dual carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. [134275]

Mr Foster: The Smoke Detectors Act 1991 was repealed with the introduction of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in October 2006. Article 53 and associated schedules (2 and 4) refer. I also refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 December 2012, Official Report, column 179W.

Conditions of Employment

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of officials in his Department have requested (a) part-time, (b) job-share or (c) other flexible working arrangements in each of the last five years; and how many such requests were granted. [133656]

Brandon Lewis: My Department is committed to enabling staff to work flexibly, as this provides a way for staff to combine their career with their personal life. The Department encourages managers to be supportive of this where possible subject to business need.

Requests for flexible working in my Department are agreed by individual line managers, therefore a central record of the number of requests made is not held.

However, my Department's human resources system records agreed changes to officials' hours of work, and this has been used to calculate a proportion of total granted requests for officials in the Department for each of the last five year calendar years as follows:

Calendar yearProportion of officials recorded as changing hours (%)

2008

3

2009

4

2010

5

2011

4

2012

4

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which EU directives his Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives his Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector; [133693]

(2) which regulations his Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations his Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133694]

18 Dec 2012 : Column 694W

Brandon Lewis: The Energy Performance of Buildings Recast Directive of 2010 is due to be implemented in January 2013 by the Building etc (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2012. The impact assessments for these measures will be published and will detail the costs, benefits and other impacts.

The Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2011 consolidated and updated earlier instruments which implemented the environmental impact assessment directive. The main changes included an inclusion for sites for the geological storage of carbon dioxide which were amendments required by the directive on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Directive 2009/31/EC).

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

Flood Control

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of grants for lead local flood authorities in England will be provided through the business rate retention system in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [133927]

Brandon Lewis: It is proposed that in both 2013-14 and 2014-15 the amount of the Lead Local Flood Authorities Grant to be transferred into the Business Rate Retention Scheme will be £21 million.

ICT: Theft

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) BlackBerrys and (d) other pieces of IT equipment were lost or stolen from his Department in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [132197]

Brandon Lewis: The following items were lost or stolen during 2010-11 and 2011-12.

 2010-112011-12
ItemLostStolenLostStolen

Computers

2

19

0

5

Mobile telephones

0

3

0

0

BlackBerrys

8

3

3

143

As previously explained in the answer of 22 March 2012, Official Report, column 832W, the single theft of 141 BlackBerrys during 2011-12 was a matter we took with great seriousness. The BlackBerrys were new, had not been activated and did not provide potential for access to the Department's systems or data. The police were called in and undertook a thorough investigation. Departmental security procedures relating to the storage of IT equipment were also reviewed in detail and strengthened as a consequence of this incident.

All departmental IT is fully security encrypted.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 695W

Internet

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on (a) strategy and planning, (b) design and build, (c) hosting and infrastructure, (d) content provision and (e) testing and evaluation for his Department's websites in each of the last two years; and how much has been allocated for each such category of expenditure in 2012-13. [132127]

Brandon Lewis: The departmental spend on its main website in 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and allocation for 2012-13 is shown in the following table:

£
 2009-102010-112011-122012-13

(a) strategy and planning

0

0

0

0

(b) design and build

70,000

36,190

42,000

0

(c) hosting and infrastructure

372,000

350,350

359,000

285,011

(d) content provision

0

0

0

0

(e) testing and evaluation

3,000

6,221

0

0

Pay

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in his Department in each of the last two years. [132861]

Brandon Lewis: The information is as follows, including comparative figures for 2009-10:

£
Performance yearYear endIn-yearTotal

2009-10

832,491

181,426

1,013,917

2010-11

580,050

113,830

£693,880

2011-12

247,750

296,500

544,250

With effect from 1 August 2011, my Department abolished Annual Performance and Special Performance Bonus schemes, replacing them with a new Exceptional Performance scheme. This scheme applies to all staff below the senior civil service and under it individuals or teams can be recognised for exceptional performance or achievements through awards of up to £600.

This Government have limited senior civil service bonuses to the top 25% of performers. My Department has exercised further restraint by limiting the value of bonus payments to 90% of the civil service-wide maxima.

Public Appointments

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many public appointments (a) regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and (b) not regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments have been made by his Department since 2007; and in how many such cases the services of recruitment consultants were retained. [132794]

18 Dec 2012 : Column 696W

Brandon Lewis: Since November 2010, details of all DCLG exceptions to Government spending controls, including recruitment, have been published on the Department's website. These data include all appointments made by our non-departmental public bodies and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government/series/dclg-exceptions-to-spending-controls

Information relating to public appointments prior to November 2010 is not held centrally.

With the exception of the Local Government Ombudsman, all public appointments for our non-departmental public bodies are regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The ombudsman, together with our executive agencies take into account the Commissioner's Code of Practice as best practice when making any public appointments.

Right-to-Buy Scheme

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 10 January 2012, Official Report, column 61W, on Right-to-Buy Scheme, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of funding the difference between the income raised from the 50 per cent discounted sale of social housing and the cost of the land and construction of a one for one replacement dwelling; and under what budget heading such expenditure was accounted for in his Department's accounts. [133838]

Mr Prisk: We have not made any estimate of such costs. Social landlords generally provide new homes by borrowing against future rental income from letting the property, a contribution from their own resources including land, and grant funding from the Government. Under our aim to provide a new affordable home for each additional property sold under the Right to Buy, Government grant funding will be replaced by the receipt from the Right to Buy sale. There is, therefore, no associated expenditure line in my Department's accounts.

Work and Pensions

Atos Healthcare

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary of his Department to the Public Accounts Committee of 19 November 2012, HC 744-i, Q164, what proportion of Atos Healthcare health care professionals have English as a first language. [131954]

Mr Hoban: Data on ‘English as a first language’ are not held by Atos Healthcare on any of their employees. All health care professionals who carry out assessments in respect of benefit claims speak English.

Atos Healthcare operates strict recruitment criteria, which includes the assessment of an applicant's oral communication skills during a formal interview conducted by experienced medical and administrative managers.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 697W

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary of his Department to the Public Accounts Committee of 19 November 2012, HC 744-i, Q161 and Q162, how many (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) physiotherapists have been employed by Atos Healthcare for the purposes of the work capability assessment in (i) the UK and (ii) each region in each month since May 2010. [131958]

Mr Hoban: Data on the number of staff employed by Atos Healthcare to work specifically on the work capability assessment (WCA) are not available. Atos Healthcare headcount is recorded nationally against the DWP Medical Services Contract which extends beyond delivery of the WCA.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary of his Department to the Public Accounts Committee of 19 November 2012, HC 744-i, Q163, what the acceptance rate of those who apply for the role of healthcare professional with Atos Healthcare was in (a) the UK and (b) each region in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012. [131960]

Mr Hoban: This information is not available in the format requested.

To provide a response to this question would involve the undertaking of a detailed review of all applications for the role of healthcare professional to track each healthcare professional through induction, training and approval. This is not currently reported on and would exceed the disproportionate cost limit of £800 for parliamentary questions.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to section 14, page 18 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Third Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, if he will publish the report by Atos Healthcare into the impact of reducing the National C grade target for employment and support allowance from five % to four %. [131962]

Mr Hoban: Atos Healthcare have written to the Department providing them with their report into the impact of reducing the National C Grade target for employment and support allowance from 5% to 4%.

This is currently being considered by the Department and is therefore “Commercial in Confidence”.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to section 13, page 18 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Third Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, how long each online training session lasts; and how often each healthcare professional must undergo online training. [131963]

Mr Hoban: Every health care professional's training need is different. All health care professionals can volunteer for the training or will be specifically directed to the training if a training need is identified. Each session lasts as long as is required until the specific skill being taught is mastered.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 698W

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to section 15, page 18 of the Government's response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Third Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, when data on Atos performance and quality will be published. [131964]

Mr Hoban: The Department plans to publish the first set of statistics in April 2013. Quality assurance and publication plans are in progress to ensure that any figures meet the standards for official statistics.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to recommendations of Annex B of the Government's Response to Professor Malcolm Harrington's Third Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment, published in November 2012, how many unannounced visits have been made to Atos assessment centres by (a) Professor Harrington and (b) officials of his Department since May 2010 by region. [131966]

Mr Hoban: Since May 2010, Professor Harrington and his officials have made three unannounced visits to Atos Assessment Centres. During 2010, Professor Harrington made unannounced visits in Balham and Bristol. In 2012 he and officials made an unannounced visit in Marylebone.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary of his Department to the Public Accounts Committee, 19 November 2012, HC 744-i, Q50, how many invoices were submitted by Atos Healthcare in each month since May 2010; and how many such invoices were verified by his Department in each such month. [131967]

Mr Hoban: A table detailing the number of invoices submitted each month by Atos Healthcare since May 2010 will be placed in the Library.

From May 2010 to date 187 invoices have been submitted, all of which have been verified.

For the purposes of answering this question the term ‘verification’ is assumed to mean ‘gaining assurance that the goods and/or services supplied by Atos Healthcare were delivered as specified on the invoice’. Further verification activity, such as ensuring the unit prices quoted on an invoice are correct, that the arithmetic of the invoice, i.e. volumes multiplied by unit prices, is correct and an overall aggregate level check that the volumes quoted on the invoice matches to DWP expectations are completed as a matter of routine on all Atos Healthcare invoices.

From May 2012 an additional verification process was introduced to gain better assurance that the goods and/or services received by the Department from Atos Healthcare were valid. To date this process has been applied to 133 of the above invoices all of which have passed verification with no errors identified.

Employment and Support Allowance

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of annual assessments for claimants of

18 Dec 2012 : Column 699W

employment and support allowance with

(a)

long-term illnesses,

(b)

chronic illnesses and

(c)

congenital disabilities. [132320]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available as annual assessments are not necessarily undertaken.

Housing Benefit

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the potential effect on low-income families of planned changes to housing benefit eligibility in respect of under-occupancy in the social rented sector. [133612]

Steve Webb: An impact assessment of the effects of the under-occupancy measure on working age claimants, whether on full or partial housing benefit, in the social rented sector can be found at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

The equality impact assessment is available at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/eia-social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011.pdf

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) refuges for victims of domestic violence and (b) supported housing projects for young people which do not satisfy the definition of supported exempt accommodation and are therefore not covered by the exemption from the benefit cap announced in the Autumn Statement. [134448]

Steve Webb: This information is not available.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he will exclude payments for supported housing from the benefit cap, including for refuges and young people's accommodation, which are not currently classified as exempt accommodation. [134449]

Steve Webb: The Chancellor announced in his autumn statement that housing payments for those in supported exempt accommodation will be disregarded for the purpose of the benefit cap.

The definition to be used for exempt accommodation is that currently used in the assessment for housing benefit and the definition will continue broadly unchanged within universal credit.

Housing Benefit: Edinburgh

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much he expects to be paid in discretionary payments of housing benefit to social housing tenants in Edinburgh North and Leith constituency; and for what period such payments will be made. [133933]

Steve Webb: In 2012-13, the Department for Work and Pensions has made available £573,486 towards discretionary housing payments awarded by the City of Edinburgh council.

18 Dec 2012 : Column 700W

The Department for Work and Pensions does not hold details of payments made to any particular type of housing benefit tenants. This information is retained by individual local authorities.

Details of individual local authority's allocation of the Government funding towards discretionary housing payments for 2013-14 will be finalised and published in January 2013.

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households in (a) Edinburgh and (b) Edinburgh North and Leith constituency he expects to be required to move house as a result of the Government's new rules on under-occupancy in social housing. [134175]

Steve Webb: The new rules on under-occupancy in social housing do not require those claimants affected by the restrictions to move. Claimants have a number of choices available to meet any shortfall of housing benefit in meeting the cost of their rent, for example, some might take up work or increase their hours in work, others may take in a lodger and some may choose to move. We do not know how tenants or landlords will respond to the new rules. For these reasons, the information requested is not available.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what tailored support is provided to jobseekers diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. [132408]

Mr Hoban: DWP Jobcentre Plus training provides our advisers with the skills required to support a range of claimants. Recognising that individuals may have conditions or circumstances that require different levels of support, our advisers will discuss with the claimant how significantly they are affected by their disability or health condition, including health conditions such as Crohn’s disease. This is specifically in relation to employment. Our approach to helping jobseekers back to work is based on providing personalised support.

If claimants require additional support, they may be referred to, or can ask to be referred to a disability employment adviser. Disability employment advisers support those facing more complex work situations because of their disability, or health condition. They know about the programmes and services, including specialist disability programmes and services available for disabled people locally. They can also refer claimants for an occupational health assessment, or seek the help of work psychologists, advocate on behalf of the claimant with prospective employers and aim to identify work solutions that will overcome or minimise any difficulties, related to an individual’s disability in the workplace. They can also provide information about Access to Work. This is a specialist disability service delivered by DWP Jobcentre Plus which can fund the additional work-related costs faced by a disabled person, or their employer.

Jobcentre Plus

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 17 October 2012, Official Report, columns 344-6W, on Jobcentre

18 Dec 2012 : Column 701W

Plus, what each of the figures in the tables is as a proportion of the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants in each region in each year. [134455]

Mr Hoban: The following table shows the number of claimants in each region (group from 2011-12 to present), the number of complaints as reported in PQ 123145 and the proportion of complaints against the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants in each region or group from 2008-09 to September 2012.

 CaseloadComplaintsPercentage

2008-09

   

National

1,421,941

4,430

0.3

East Midlands Region

103,236

145

0.1

East of England Region

111,060

234

0.2

London Region

190,385

801

0.4

North East Region

83,952

163

0.2

North West Region

185,621

369

0.2

Scotland Region

124,951

438

0.4

South East Region

139,086

479

0.3

South West Region

91,575

392

0.4

Wales Region

79,385

311

0.4

West Midlands Region

166,993

437

0.3

Yorkshire and The Humber Region

145,697

348

0.2

    

2009-10

   

National

1,582,580

5,149

0.3

East Midlands Region

110,201

161

0.1

East of England Region

122,322

340

0.3

London Region

235,173

839

0.4

North East Region

89,602

223

0.2

North West Region

207,807

365

0.2

Scotland Region

146,444

429

0.3

South East Region

156,269

527

0.3

South West Region

95,437

365

0.4

Wales Region

74,180

272

0.4

West Midlands Region

181,508

578

0.3

Yorkshire and The Humber Region

163,637

373

0.2

    

2010-11

   

National

1,480,642

7,616

0.5

East Midlands Region

100,481

226

0.2

East of England Region

112,209

360

0.3

London Region

223,782

1,257

0.6

North East Region

87,100

332

0.4

North West Region

188,712

514

0.3

Scotland Region

148,109

965

0.7

South East Region

140,101

521

0.4

South West Region

86,249

391

0.5

Wales Region

75,756

225

0.3

West Midlands Region

163,684

666

0.4

Yorkshire and The Humber Region

154,459

389

0.3

    

2011-12

   

National

1,591,004

7,344

0.5

18 Dec 2012 : Column 702W

Central England Group

316,625

1,287

0.4

London and the Home Counties Group

270,113

2,000

0.7

North East England Group

304,242

763

0.3

North West England Group

206,793

670

0.3

Scotland Group

261,278

1,105

0.4

Southern England Group

148,076

873

0.6

Wales Group

83,877

250

0.3

    

2012-13

   

National

1,463,152

6,416

0.4

Central England Group

294,639

649

0.2

London and the Home Counties Group

244,508

1,106

0.5

North East England Group

284,251

494

0.2

North West England Group

187,680

2,210

1.2

Scotland Group

248,203

563

0.2

Southern England Group

126,216

753

0.6

Wales Group

77,655

137

0.2

Source: The caseload is provided by MISP (Management Information System Project and the complaints is provided by the Jobcentre Plus Customer Complaints Level 1 and 2 2008-09 to date.