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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprentices are working in his Department and its agencies; of those, how many are (a) paid and (b) completing a qualification as part of the apprenticeship; and how many are aged (i) 16 to 18, (ii) 19 to 24 and (iii) 25 years and over. [137144]

Jo Swinson: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its agencies currently have 79 apprentices. All of these are paid and all are completing a qualification as part of the apprenticeship. Between the ages of 16-18 there is one apprentice, between 19-24 there are nine, 25+ there are 35. The ages of the remainder are unknown as these data are not currently recorded centrally.

Apprentices: Kingston upon Hull

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships were commenced in Hull in 2012; in what sectors; and how many of those apprenticeships were (a) offered at a junior level and (b) first advertised on the National Apprenticeship Service website. [137046]

Matthew Hancock [holding answer 15 January 2013]: Table 1 shows the provisional number of Apprenticeship programme starts in Kingston upon Hull local education authority by sector subject area and age for the 2011/12 academic year. It was produced using the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) which is the comprehensive source of all Government-funded apprenticeship starts in England.

The ILR does not record how each apprenticeship was advertised so information on which of the apprenticeships shown in Table 1 were advertised on the National Apprenticeship Service website is not available.

Table 2 shows the numbers of apprenticeship vacancies located in Kingston upon Hull posted on the National Apprenticeship Service apprenticeship vacancies online system by sector subject area between August 2011 and December 2012 (as at December 2012). This system can only capture information on vacancies made available by registered employers so figures may not be comprehensive.

Table 1: Apprenticeship programme starts in Kingston upon Hull by sector subject area and age, 2011/12 (provisional)
Sector subject areaUnder 1919-2425+Total

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

10

10

20

Arts, Media and Publishing

10

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Business, Administration and Law

370

300

510

1,180

Construction, Planning and the Built Environment

150

40

10

200

Education and Training

40

40

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

200

80

150

430

Health, Public Services and Care

70

130

380

580

Information and Communication Technology

50

10

20

80

Leisure, Travel and Tourism

30

30

20

80

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

160

190

260

610

Science and Mathematics

Unknown

Total

1,040

800

1,390

3,230

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. ‘—’ Indicates a base value of less than five. 3. Age is based on age at the start of the programme. 4. Geographic breakdowns are based upon the home postcode of the learner. 5. Figures are based on the geographic boundaries as of May 2010. 6. Provisional data for 2011/12 should not be directly compared with data for earlier years. Source: Individualised Learner Record
Table 2: Apprenticeship vacancies posted in Kingston upon Hull by sector subject area, August 2011 to December 2012, as of December 2012
Sector subject areaAugust 2011 to July 2012August 2012 to December 2012

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

Arts, Media and Publishing

Business, Administration and Law

170

90

Construction, Planning and the Built Environment

20

Education and Training

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

100

10

Health, Public Services and Care

30

50

Information and Communication Technology

20

10

Leisure, Travel and Tourism

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

40

30

Science and Mathematics

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Unknown

Total

380

200

Notes: 1. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. ‘—’ indicates a value of less than five. 3. Geographic information is based on the location of the apprenticeship vacancy. 4. All apprenticeships vacancies adverts posted on the Apprenticeship vacancy website are open to individuals of all ages, therefore none are offered at ‘junior’ level. Source: National Apprenticeship Service Apprenticeship Vacancy Reports (as at end of December 2012)

Business: Advisory Services

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many business mentors are currently available through the mentorsme.co.uk portal. [137143]

Michael Fallon: Mentorsme.co.uk, Britain's online mentoring portal, which is funded and operated by the British Bankers Association, now provides a single point of access to over 114 mentoring organisations. Latest official figures, announced at the MADE festival in September, indicate that there were around 22,000 business mentors accessible via the portal and this number continues to grow.

Business: Billing

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to speed up payments for services made by larger companies to small and medium-sized businesses; and if he will make a statement. [136802]

Michael Fallon: I understand the pressures that businesses experience through late payment and we have been actively working with business and the finance community to understand where Government intervention can be helpful.

Businesses overwhelmingly tell us that they do not want new legislation as they rely upon their relationships with customers, and resorting to legal action might generate payment but at a cost to that relationship in the longer term. So we are working to educate businesses and to change the culture of late payment.

I have written to the chief executives of all companies in the FTSE350 list urging them to sign up to the Institute of Credit Management's Prompt Payment Code. The code's signatories must pay their bills on time to maintain membership and are required to give two supplier references before they can be accepted. The code gives small and medium-sized businesses confidence when dealing with larger suppliers that they are publically committed to paying promptly.

The Department is currently reviewing the responses of the FTSE350 companies contacted. I intend to publicise shortly those firms which still choose not to be signatories to the Prompt Payment Code.

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Comet Group

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with executives of Comet and its owners since May 2010; at how many such meetings the future of the firm's UK operations were discussed; and on what dates any such meetings took place. [137142]

Jo Swinson: All Ministers' meetings with external organisations are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website, which the hon. Member can access using the following hyperlink.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills/series/bis-quarterly-publications-april-to-june-2012

Information on any meetings between officials and Comet is not held centrally.

Foreign Investment in UK: North East

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UK Trade and Investment inward investment delegations have visited the north east since May 2010; and what companies were represented in those delegations. [137194]

Michael Fallon: A wide and diverse range of national, regional or private organisations regularly visit regions including the north east. Such visits by delegations indirectly support overall delivery. UK Trade and Investment records show that from April 2010, 145 foreign direct investments have been made within the north east of England generating 17,632 jobs of which 10,462 are new to the region.

During 2012/13 to date, 69 foreign investors have shown a keen interest in investing exclusively in the north east. Some 40% of these opportunities originate from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Since April 2012, the top sectors for foreign investors in the north east have been software and computer services, automotive and mechanical, and electrical and process engineering.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what measures and programmes UK Trade and Investment has to attract inward investment to the north east. [137195]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), through a range of services assists overseas companies to bring high quality investment to the UK. It promotes a UK first approach working with local partners to present the strengths of the UK as an investment location.

UKTI is engaging closely through offices in the region with the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Tees Valley Unlimited, (on behalf of Tees Valley LEP) to maximise opportunities for collaboration across the region. This includes: working interactively to identify local strengths and opportunities for potential foreign investors and developing local propositions in response to specific opportunities. At present there is particular interest in the software and computer services, automotive and mechanical, and electrical and process engineering sectors in the north east of England. The LEPs are in turn working with local authorities to

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provide services to foreign investors including property relocation advice, market research, business development and support.

Foreign Students: EU Countries

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether UK students studying in universities in other EU member states are eligible for student financing; and if he will make a statement. [137394]

Mr Willetts: Maintenance loans and grants are available to English students undertaking a period of study abroad, provided that period of study forms a part of the course that they are taking at a higher education institution within the UK. For example, Erasmus students studying abroad for a year (or part of a year) remain eligible for maintenance support. The Government also supports other students studying for up to a year abroad—these students remain eligible for a tuition-fee loan and remain eligible to receive maintenance grants and loans.

UK students have the freedom to attend a university anywhere in Europe and benefit from whatever fee support that country offers to its ‘home’ students.

There are no student support arrangements in place in England for those students seeking to study their whole degree outside the UK. Therefore students in England that choose to study at higher education institutions outside the UK are not eligible to receive student support, including maintenance grants and loans, from Student Finance England.

New Businesses

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many premises in each region are available under the Start Up Spaces scheme. [136738]

Michael Fallon [holding answer 14 January 2013]: Officials from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Government Property Unit continue to work on our commitment to provide vacant Government space to SMEs to help them grow. Government Departments identified 24 locations with potential, and contract negotiations are currently taking place between Departments and preferred bidders to run some of these buildings in the first phase of this initiative. Issues such as location and the date by which firms will be able to access premises under the scheme are dependent on the conclusion of those negotiations. Until that point the work continues to be commercially sensitive.

Patents

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UK manufacturers have indicated to his Department that they will use patent boxes; and if he will make a statement. [136384]

Jo Swinson: The Patent Box legislation commences on 1 April 2013 and a company has two years from the end of their accounting period to elect into the Patent Box regime. It is not until this point that Her Majesty's

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Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will be in a position to know how many UK manufacturers will use the Patent Box.

HMRC and BIS are actively promoting the Patent Box and encouraging companies to consider whether they can benefit from making a Patent Box election.

Some companies have indicated to the Intellectual Property Office that they may increase patent filings as a result of the tax break being introduced and anecdotal comments from others suggest that some companies who have not previously engaged with the patent system are considering doing do as a result of Patent Box implementation.

Regional Growth Fund: Yorkshire and the Humber

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the monetary value was of payments made from the Regional Growth Fund to businesses located in Hull and East Yorkshire by 1 January 2013. [137047]

Michael Fallon: A total of £28,200,000 has been paid from the Regional Growth Fund to applicants located in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire by 1 January 2013.

Royal Mail: Pensions

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many members of the Royal Mail Pension Plan are resident in Scotland; and how many such members are (a) employee members, (b) early leavers with a deferred pension entitlement and (c) pensioner members; [137239]

(2) what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of Royal Mail Pension Plan liabilities which apply to Scotland. [137240]

Michael Fallon: The Royal Mail Pension Plan is the operational responsibility of Royal Mail and the Government does not play a role in the ongoing administration of this scheme.

As this is an operational matter I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Moya Greene, to respond directly to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Supermarkets: Unfair Practices

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the recent Which? report on misleading supermarket offers. [137013]

Jo Swinson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 January 2013, Official Report, column 746W.


Trade Promotion: India

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) who has led trade delegations to India since May 2010; [136633]

(2) how many trade delegations have visited India since May 2010. [136634]

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Michael Fallon: There have been 55 UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) sponsored trade missions to India since May 2010. These trade missions to India have been led by UK Ministers (the Prime Minister; the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable); the Minister for Universities and Science, the right hon. Member for Havant (Mr Willetts); and my noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint); devolved Administration Ministers (Northern Ireland First Minister, Peter Robinson; and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness) as well as officials from UKTI headquarters and regional teams.

Treasury

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in his Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137099]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers abide by the rules on the use of air miles as set out in the Ministerial Code.

The Code is available from:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/409215/ministerialcodemay2010.pdf

Bank Services

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the issue of dormant bank accounts was first (a) given consideration and (b) raised in public by his Department. [136223]

Greg Clark: The Government are not accountable for events which took place under a previous Administration.

In May 2010, the Government announced that the English portion of dormant account funds will be allocated to the new Big Society Bank this will provide an important source of finance for neighbourhood groups, charities, and social enterprises.

Business: Loans

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider introducing a loan guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises to increase lending from commercial banks. [137484]

Greg Clark: The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme offers a Government guarantee that enables commercial banks to provide additional debt finance to small and medium-sized enterprises that lack sufficient security but can demonstrate that they have capacity to repay a loan in full. £200 million of loans were supported in 2012. Further information on the scheme is available on the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions each Minister in his Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137110]

Sajid Javid: This information is not held. Ministers handle official information in accordance with Government guidance.

Gift Aid

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the contribution from the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office of 8 January 2013, Official Report, column 68WH, on Charities (Donation), if he will consider introducing a tendering process at the end of each financial year to allow claims to be made by charities for any unclaimed Gift Aid. [136930]

Sajid Javid: Gift Aid allows charities to reclaim the basic rate tax on a donation made by a UK taxpayer who has paid sufficient income or capital gains tax that year to cover the amount being claimed.

To operate Gift Aid as a tax relief, the donor must knowingly give permission for their donation to have Gift Aid claimed upon it. Government have no information about the donations on which Gift Aid could be, but has not been, claimed. Not all donors can, or want, to donate under Gift Aid.

The Government work with charities to identify ways to facilitate uptake of Gift Aid, both by making it easier for donors to give their informed consent, and making the administration of Gift Aid simpler for charities. For example, HMRC is introducing a new IT system to allow charities to claim Gift Aid online, simplifying and speeding up the claims process. The Government also announced at the autumn statement that they would examine whether the administration of Gift Aid can be improved to reflect new ways of giving money to charity, in particular digital giving.

Income Tax: Rebates

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost to HM Revenue and Customs is of making individual income tax refunds (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. [136888]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

(a) The cost of making individual income tax refunds electronically is:

(i) Via BACS £0.009

(ii) Via CHAPS £0.25

(b) The cost of making individual income tax refunds by payable order (cheque) is: £0.29

The costs shown above are the transaction charges levied by HMRC's bankers (and print and post costs for payable orders). They do not include other costs associated with making the payments such as system development/maintenance, depreciation of assets, and staff time.

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Stephen Mosley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many income tax refund payments of (a) under £1, (b) under £10 and (c) under £100 were made in the latest year for which figures are available. [136889]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is available only at a disproportionate cost.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Raab: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Chief Secretary to the Treasury intends to reply to the letter 24 October 2012 from the hon. Member for Esher and Walton with regard to Mr Richard Catling. [137403]

Danny Alexander: I have replied to the hon. Member.

NHS Commissioning Board: Pay

Tessa Munt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he approved the salaries of the (a) Chief Executive, (b) Non-Executive Chairman and (c) the National Directors on the Executive Board of the NHS Commissioning Board. [136783]

Sajid Javid: The Chancellor does not routinely approve senior salaries in the public sector.

They are subject to scrutiny and approval from the appropriate Secretary of State. In May 2010, it was announced that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, my right hon. Friend the Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander), would be required to sign-off any new appointments, in areas under ministerial control, with a salary over a full-time equivalent of £142,500.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many Civil Service posts have been made redundant by his Department in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of redundancies in each such year; [135470]

(2) how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of those redundancies in each such year. [135471]

Sajid Javid: Within HM Treasury, redundancy or voluntary redundancy applies when a group or team is restructured or when work ceases to exist and staff are in a displaced situation. Staff may be offered voluntary redundancy if they are not redeployed within HM Treasury or another Government Department.

No posts have been made redundant in HM Treasury since 1999.

On 31 October the Asset Protection Agency (APA) ceased. During the period leading to the closedown 19 staff were offered voluntary exit, voluntary redundancy and compulsory redundancy. The cost of these exits was £1,085,000.

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Since 2011 details of HM Treasury recruitments and redundancies are published in its latest annual report and accounts (HC 984).

Revenue and Customs

Kate Hoey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what support HM Revenue and Customs provides to disabled people when completing self-assessment tax return forms; [136875]

(2) what provision is made by HM Revenue and Customs to assist people with ADHD to complete self-assessment tax return forms. [136879]

Mr Gauke: HMRC provides a self assessment telephone help line which helps customers with queries about completion of self assessment tax returns. There is also extensive guidance for customers on the HMRC internet site.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps are taken by HM Revenue and Customs to make its services accessible to people with disabilities; [136876]

(2) what steps HM Revenue and Customs takes to assist service users with autistic spectrum disorders. [136880]

Mr Gauke: The HMRC website provides full details of specific services that are offered by HMRC to customers with disabilities. HMRC also ensures that all of its internet products are accessible to people with disabilities using accessibility software.

HMRC provides alternative printed or audio format products to help people with a range of disabilities. The Department also provides a range of contact channels to help customers with different needs. These include telephone help lines and face-to-face meetings.

HMRC continues to work with a range of voluntary sector organisations to understand the needs of disabled customers and to ensure services are as accessible as possible. The Department also supports the voluntary sector to help disadvantaged and disabled customers through the provision of grant funding.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how HM Revenue and Customs ensures it makes reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 to self-assessment tax return forms for those with disabilities; and if he will make a statement. [136877]

Mr Gauke: All HMRC forms are accessible and available in alternative formats as reasonable adjustments for those with disabilities. Self-assessment returns can also be made online which helps many people with disabilities who have access to the internet.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assistance HM Revenue and Customs gives to people with ADHD when completing working tax credit claim forms. [136878]

Mr Gauke: HMRC provides extensive help on its internet site and a telephone help line to help tax credits claimants.

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Kate Hoey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what training HM Revenue and Customs provides to staff on dealing with people with disabilities; [136881]

(2) what training HM Revenue and Customs provides to staff on dealing with people with autistic spectrum disorders. [136882]

Mr Gauke: Disability training in HMRC does not cover specific disorders, such as people with autistic spectrum disorders, although training helps HMRC equip staff with the skills to understand and address the needs of disabled colleagues and customers.

All staff in HMRC receive mandatory diversity training which covers disability. A specific training package on disability is also available to managers. For customer- facing staff, a "Just Ask" disability awareness training package is aimed at helping them assist disabled customers.

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer further to recommendation 26 of the 16th Report of the Treasury Committee, Session 2010-12, HC 731, entitled Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs, what steps HM Revenue and Customs has taken to examine its processes for call handling and for referring complex tax issues to suitably qualified and experienced staff. [137006]

Mr Gauke: Following the success of the Closer Working Project in tax credits, which has allowed contact centre staff to deal with a greater range of complex issues, HMRC has expanded this approach into taxes. This includes introducing improvements to the way they answer employer, PAYE and self-assessment queries.

HMRC contact centre staff receive appropriate training to enable them to handle the majority of calls received. This is reinforced with regular quality reviews and improved guidance to help staff identify calls that need to be referred to technical specialists. HMRC continues to examine its escalation processes to reduce referrals. This work will continue across the SR10 period and beyond.

Revenue and Customs: Training

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether and when training modules covering (a) commercial understanding and (b) complex case working skills have been introduced by HM Revenue and Customs for its staff. [137030]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has a number of commercial awareness learning products developed for specific HMRC business areas:

Customer insight: Strengthening commercial insight—available from 2009

Commercial Awareness Foundation for VAT, excise and international trade—available from 2003

Commercial understanding: Increasing financial awareness workbooks 1 and 2—available from 2008

Debt management—financial and commercial awareness pre course reading—available from 2003

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In addition, as part of the civil service wide core skills development offering, commercial awareness modules are available to HMRC staff via Civil Service Learning.

HMRC tax professionals engaged in complex case work will all have successfully completed a rigorous four-year training and development programme and have completed challenging work assessments too.

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role-specific in-depth training for non-technical skills has been put in place by HM Revenue and Customs; and when such training was put in place in each case. [137031]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

Role specific non technical skills

HMRC has 21 professions, including our tax profession, each one having a professional curriculum available for all technical skills and knowledge as well as standard setting and accreditation where this is required.

Non-technical training is provided by Civil Service Learning (CSL).

HMRC, along with the rest of the civil service, moved onto the Civil Service Learning framework in April 2011.

Taxation: Self-assessment

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies completed (a) electronic and (b) paper format corporation tax self-assessment forms in each of the last five years. [136884]

Mr Gauke: The information is held in relation to financial years running from 1 April to 31 March. The numbers of returns received by HMRC, rounded to the nearest 5,000, were as follows:

 Filed electronicallyFiled on paper

Year to 31 March 2008

155,000

1,335,000

Year to 31 March 2009

260,000

1,340,000

Year to 31 March 2010

425,000

1,175,000

Year to 31 March 2011

690,000

985,000

Year to 31 March 2012

1,505,000

60,000

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individuals paying income tax completed (a) electronic and (b) paper format self-assessment tax forms in each of the last five years. [136885]

Mr Gauke: Self-assessment is not exclusive to income tax payers and includes a number of customer groups. The information requested about income tax payers is available only at a disproportionate cost.

VAT: Tower Hamlets

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on listed buildings in Tower Hamlets of applying the full rate of VAT to approved alterations to listed buildings. [137178]

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Mr Gauke: A Tax Impact and Information Note setting out the Government's assessment of the impacts of the policy at the national level was published on Budget Day 2012. This is available on the HMRC website at the following link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/tiins.htm

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on self-storage businesses in Tower Hamlets of applying the full rate of VAT to self-storage businesses. [137179]

Mr Gauke: A Tax Impact and Information Note setting out the Government's assessment of the impacts of the policy at the national level was published on Budget Day 2012 and is available on the HMRC website at the following link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/tiins.htm

Transport

Automatic Number Plate Recognition: Garages and Petrol Stations

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made on plans to introduce automatic number plate recognition cameras to petrol stations in order to stop uninsured drivers from filling their cars with petrol. [137037]

Stephen Hammond: The idea to introduce automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at petrol filling stations is innovative and has merit. However, further work is needed to establish how it could work in practice and work alongside existing enforcement measures.

Under the Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme, we are able to identify uninsured vehicles from database comparison without relying on having to catch sight of vehicles in use.

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in his Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137094]

Norman Baker: The Information is not held. Air miles and other benefits earned through travel paid for from public funds are treated in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Official Cars

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on providing a government car for the Leader of the Opposition since September 2010. [137218]

Stephen Hammond: The cost incurred by the Cabinet Office for the provision of a government car to the Leader of the Official Opposition since September 2010 is as follows:

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 £

1 September 2010 – 31 March 2011

33,592.71

1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012

56,645.05

1 April 2012 – 31 December 2012

45,032.74

On top of this figure, a proportion of the cost is paid by the parliamentary Labour party. The above amounts also exclude VAT. This is consistent with the practice for the previous Leader of the Official Opposition.

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the date of each occasion on which the Leader of the Opposition has booked use of a government car, the destination of travel on each such occasion, and the total mileage recorded as a result of such journeys since September 2010. [137220]

Stephen Hammond: The government car service provides an allocated car for the Leader of the Official Opposition. No other cars have been booked for use through the government car service since September 2010. This is consistent with the practice for the previous Leader of the Official Opposition.

The allocated car is managed by the Leader of the Opposition's Office and the requested information is not held by the government car service.

Rescue Services

Mr Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress his Department has made towards the awarding of the new Search and Rescue helicopter contract; how the proposed timescale for the awarding of the contract will effect the existing interim contract; and if he will make a statement. [136831]

Stephen Hammond: There has been no change to the schedule, and contract signature for the new Search and Rescue (SAR) service is still scheduled for spring.

The new arrangements will ensure service continuity, both when the MOD withdraws from SAR in 2016 and when the MCA helicopter contracts expire in 2017.

Traffic Commissioners

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the budget of the Office of the Traffic Commissioners is for 2012-13; and what the comparable figure is for the Office of Rail Regulation. [136908]

Stephen Hammond: The Office of the Traffic Commissioners budget for 2012-13 is £7 million and the Office of Rail Regulation budget for 2012-13 is £30.7 million.

Unemployed People: Travel

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will assess the effectiveness of the Bus for Jobs initiative. [137468]

Norman Baker: Bus for Jobs is a commercial concession offered by participating operators in Great Britain. The Department for Work and Pensions worked with the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK and Greener Journeys to design, implement and announce the initiative.

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I am encouraged that bus operators are taking part in Bus for Jobs in January 2013, and look forward to the industry's initial assessment about how it has worked at the Bus Partnership Forum later this month.

Wind Power: Seas and Oceans

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to prevent the building of offshore wind farms in the waters and shipping lanes between the Isle of Man and Heysham Port. [136809]

Stephen Hammond: As statutory consultees on offshore wind farm developments, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and General Lighthouse Authorities ensure that navigational safety concerns are considered prior to any planning consent being granted. In the case of the Celtic Array development project, no planning application has yet been submitted by developers in the North of their zone which includes the waters between Heysham and Isle of Man.

Northern Ireland

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in her Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137096]

Mrs Villiers: The Northern Ireland Office does not keep records of air miles accrued by Ministers. Departmental travel policy stipulates that any awards arising out of membership of frequent traveller schemes should be utilised where possible for future business travel and not for private purposes.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions each Minister in her Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137117]

Mrs Villiers: This information is not held. Ministers handle official information in accordance with Government guidance.

Energy and Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the total of greenhouse gas emissions was for (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) Wales in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and what the forest carbon sink in each area represented as a proportion of those emissions. [136709]

Gregory Barker: The UK compiles an annual inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The most recent inventory was

16 Jan 2013 : Column 768W

published in April 2012, and covers the period 1990-2010. Each year the inventory is updated to include the latest data available. Improvements to the methodology are backdated as necessary to ensure a consistent time series. UK figures for the 1990-2011 inventory will be published mid-January 2013, with the breakdown by devolved Administration published in April 2013.

Note that under agreed reporting criteria, emissions of greenhouse gases are reported by calendar year (rather than financial year as requested in the PQQ), and that the most recent data available are for 2010.

Using the 1990-2010 Greenhouse Gas inventory, the total net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2010 were as follows:

 MtCO2e

UK

568.78

England

448.44

Scotland

53.24

Northern Ireland

20.46

Wales

46.64

The total forest carbon sink (expressed as a negative emission value) for 2010 with the percentage of the total net emissions provided in parenthesis was as follows:

 MtCO2ePercentage

UK

-10.55

1.86

England

-2.12

0.47

Scotland

-7.58

14.24

Northern Ireland

-0.54

2.64

Wales

-0.32

0.69

This forest carbon sink contains carbon stock changes in living and dead biomass and soils but not the harvested wood products pool in accordance with UNFCCC reporting requirements.

Natural Gas: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which locations in Wales he has identified as possible sites for shale gas development. [136529]

Mr Hayes: It is for the holders of petroleum licences to decide which locations within their licensed areas they regard as suitable for exploration for any kind of petroleum, and to seek planning permission and other consents accordingly. The areas of the UK currently subject to petroleum licences can be seen at:

http://og.decc.gov.uk/assets/og/data-maps/maps/landfields-lics.pdf

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what recent assessment he has made of the potential value of shale gas assets in Wales; [136530]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be created in Wales if shale gas is extracted on a commercial basis. [136692]

Mr Hayes: Exploration for shale gas is at a very early stage in the UK, and no estimate can yet be made of the size of any economic reserve which may exist, or of the economic benefits which might flow from its exploitation.

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Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received from the Welsh Government on the exploitation of Welsh shale gas resources. [136531]

Mr Hayes: No such representations have been received.

Renewable Energy: Heating

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has to include domestic boilers over 45kw in the renewable heat incentive. [137180]

Gregory Barker: The Government have consulted on proposals for a domestic RHI, the consultation closed on 7 December. In the consultation we set out that we planned to exclude installations over 45 kWth from the scheme as these installations are not currently covered by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).

In the consultation we asked for views on these proposals and gave respondents the opportunity to suggest changes. We are currently reviewing responses as we finalise the policy.

Sick Leave

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2012, Official Report, column 772W, on sick leave, if he will make an assessment of the contribution mindfulness-based practice can make to reducing workplace stress and staff absences in his Department. [136210]

Gregory Barker: We previously advised in our answer given to the hon. Member on 18 December 2012, Official Report, columns 772-74W,

“DECC understands that mindfulness-based therapies can be used as a treatment for depression and recognises that this can be one of the factors involved in staff ill health absences. However if this is the case, DECC would leave the treatment to the medical profession, using our Occupational Health partners to advise us of the most appropriate approach.”

We do not employ medically qualified staff who could make such an assessment and will continue to use our Occupational Health partners, and if appropriate refer any staff requiring this type of treatment to the appropriate professional.

Wales

Enterprise Zones

11. Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on enhanced capital allowances for enterprise zones in Wales. [136395]

Mr David Jones: My Department was in discussions with Treasury prior to the autumn statement of 5 December 2012, Official Report, columns 871-882. The Welsh Government proposed for two additional enterprise zones in Wales to benefit from enhanced capital allowances and I am delighted that following those discussions both were announced in the autumn statement.

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Energy Costs

12. Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the effect of energy costs on the cost of living for people in Wales. [136396]

Stephen Crabb: The Government are ensuring that millions of households will be moved to the best energy deal for them and by summer 2014 customers will be on the cheapest tariff that meets their preferences.

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in his Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137093]

Stephen Crabb: During 2012 no air miles were accumulated by Ministers in the Wales Office.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions each Minister in his Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137103]

Mr David Jones: This information is not held. Ministers handle official information in accordance with Government guidance.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [137011]

Mr David Jones: I had a very useful meeting with the four Welsh Police and Crime Commissioners this week and will continue to meet them on a regular basis.

Police and Crime Commissioners have an important role to work with the police to cut crime, give the public a voice at the highest level, hold forces to account and help restore trust.

Remploy

Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with trades unions and disability and carers' organisations on securing employment for the most vulnerable past and present employees of Remploy plants in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [137000]

Mr David Jones: The UK Government have had discussions about the closure of Remploy factories with trade unions and disability organisations on a number of occasions, at meetings, stakeholder events, and during visits to the sites affected. The Remploy People Help and Support Package delivers tailored support to those disabled people who have left Remploy. During an 18-month transition period, after leaving Remploy, every disabled individual has access to a Personal Case Worker,

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a personal budget and additional support. The UK Government have also set up a Community Support Fund to provide grants to local organisations to support the individuals affected by the Remploy factory closures.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what part he expects women's civil society organisations to play in the building of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. [136629]

Alistair Burt: We expect women's civil society organisations to play a full role in contributing to building peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. We will continue to make clear to the Government of Afghanistan that any political process should be inclusive and address the concerns of all Afghan citizens. We continue our dialogue with the Afghan Government, Afghan institutions, international partners and national and international civil society groups to engage with, and support each other, in our work to implement UNSCR 1325 in Afghanistan.

British Indian Ocean Territory

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the Government plans to commence discussions with the US administration on the renegotiation of the current agreements on the use of Diego Garcia. [137367]

Mark Simmonds: The 1966 Exchange of Notes with the US provides that the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), including Diego Garcia, shall be available to them until 2016 and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated by either Government in the period 2014-16. There have been no substantive discussions to date with the US on the future of their presence in BIOT post-2016, but we look forward to discussing this with them in due course.

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US military and government on the modalities of enabling Chagossian people to live again in the British Indian Ocean Territory; and if he will make a statement. [137409]

Mark Simmonds: Now that the litigation in the European Court of Human Rights is concluded, the Government is taking stock of our policy towards the resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory, as we have always said we would. Chagossians have always been able to apply for work on the US facility on Diego Garcia. A small number of Chagossians have been employed on Diego Garcia in recent years.

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how he plans to engage with Chagossian groups and other interested parties with respect to identifying and settling difficulties concerning the resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory. [137410]

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Mark Simmonds: Now that the litigation in the European Court of Human Rights is concluded, the Government is taking stock of our policy towards the resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) and options are currently being considered. There are fundamental difficulties with resettlement in BIOT, but we will be as positive as possible in our engagement with Chagossian groups and all interested parties.

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people are resident on Diego Garcia, by nationality. [137411]

Mark Simmonds: There are no permanent residents in Diego Garcia. As of 1 January 2013 there were 2,973 people working in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions each Minister in his Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137111]

Mr Lidington: This information is not recorded. Ministers handle official information in accordance with government guidance.

Embassies

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security of UK embassies and consulates against cyber attack. [136869]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) takes the protection of its information, including electronic information, very seriously, and complies with the Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework, which covers all areas of security, including technical, physical, procedural and personnel security. The FCO adopts an approach to the security of its IT systems, both in the UK and at overseas posts, which encompasses all these areas of security. This is a continual process with regular testing of security controls in place and remedial action taken where necessary.

Eritrea

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with the Government of Eritrea and civil society groups concerning human rights in that country. [136926]

Mark Simmonds: Bilaterally in London and Asmara and as part of the EU, we have made clear that we expect Eritrea to make concrete and rapid progress on their international human rights obligations. I raised our human rights concerns with the Eritrean presidential adviser at UNGA in September. Most recently, on 11 December last year, our ambassador, with EU counterparts, raised the full range of our human rights concerns, including the detention of political prisoners, journalists and religious minorities, with senior representatives of the Eritrean Government. In December,

16 Jan 2013 : Column 773W

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials in London discussed human rights issues and called for access for UN special rapporteurs with the Eritrean ambassador.

FCO officials in London meet regularly with representatives of the Eritrean diaspora and civil society.

Gibraltar

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to his EU counterparts to ensure that, in the EU decision-making process on aviation measures, full consideration is given to the decision by the government of Gibraltar to spend £80 million on a new air terminal to comply with its commitments under the Cordoba Agreement. [136468]

Mr Lidington: Yes, the UK will ensure that others are aware that Gibraltar fulfilled its commitment to build a new airport terminal. The construction of a new air terminal was a commitment made by Gibraltar under the Cordoba Agreement of 2006. As part of this Agreement, Spain committed to include Gibraltar airport in all future EU aviation measures. The UK will do all it can to protect Gibraltar's aviation interests and hold Spain to its commitments under the Cordoba Agreement.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that Spain complies with its obligations under the Cordoba Agreement. [136469]

Mr Lidington: As part of regular diplomatic engagement, the UK continues to encourage Spain to comply with its commitments under the 2006 Cordoba Agreement, which represented a significant step forward in co-operation between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar. The UK continues to recognise the value of dialogue and supports a return to a trilateral process in which Gibraltar is actively involved. The UK makes this position clear to Spain whenever it is appropriate to do so.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that Gibraltar Airport is not excluded from EU aviation measures. [136470]

Mr Lidington: As part of the Cordoba Agreement, Spain committed to including Gibraltar airport in all future EU aviation measures. The UK, working closely with the Government of Gibraltar, will do all it can to protect Gibraltar's aviation interests across a range of legislation and hold Spain to its commitments under the Cordoba Agreement.

Israel

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many electoral observers from the UK he proposes will be present during parliamentary elections in Israel scheduled for 22 January 2013. [136556]

Alistair Burt: The UK is not sending any official observers for the parliamentary elections in Israel on 22 January 2013. The British embassy in Tel Aviv will continue to follow the elections closely by including, visiting polling stations on the election day.

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Jordan

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many electoral observers from the UK he proposes will be present during the parliamentary elections in Jordan scheduled for 23 January 2013. [136559]

Alistair Burt: The official EU Observer Mission for the Jordanian parliamentary elections is being headed by one British national and includes another. In addition, members of the British embassy will be accredited by the Jordanian Independent Elections Commission (IEC) and will be unofficially observing the elections on the day.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Jordanian Government on the upcoming parliamentary elections in that country. [136561]

Alistair Burt: The forthcoming parliamentary elections in Jordan on 23 January have been an important subject in the Government's recent discussions with King Abdullah and the Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour. This includes during the King's visit to London on 11 December 2012 and my visit to Amman on 18 November 2012. We agreed on the importance of free, fair and inclusive elections resulting in a parliament and government able to undertake the political and economic reforms necessary for Jordan's long-term stability and prosperity.

Pakistan

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) nature and (b) monetary value was of counternarcotics assistance given by his Department to the Pakistani government in each of the last six financial years; and what expenditure in each category of assistance is planned in the (i) current and (ii) next financial year. [136546]

Alistair Burt: We provide counternarcotics assistance to a range of international partners, including Pakistan. We do so to tackle the international drugs trade and minimise the threat it poses to the UK. However, it is our policy not to disclose details of that work where it relates to national security and protection of operational information, as to do so may reduce its effectiveness.

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken in providing financial support to the Pakistani Anti Narcotics Police, to ensure that no such support can contribute in any way to Pakistani efforts to impose capital punishment on those arrested for drug offences. [136547]

Alistair Burt: We take human rights very seriously and strongly oppose the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, including for drugs offences. The Government published Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance in 2011, which provides clear guidance to officials and law enforcement officers to help them identify human rights risks. Under OSJA guidance, where human rights risks are identified, the

16 Jan 2013 : Column 775W

Government seeks to mitigate risks by a range of methods. For instance we can seek assurances that UK co-operation will not lead to torture or prosecutions that result in the death penalty, and have a clear exit strategy if the assurances are not met. This ensures that any assistance we provide supports our values and is consistent with our international obligations, including on capital punishment.

Syria

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to (a) support and help the Syrian opposition and (b) enable greater support for the protection of civilians in Syria. [136690]

Alistair Burt: We are providing both political and practical, non-lethal support to the Syrian opposition. We are working with the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and opposition forces to build their capacity as a credible alternative to the current regime. Our practical support, now totalling £9.4 million, includes communication equipment, power generators and water purification kits. We are building the capacity of local activist networks to provide essential services where the regime is no longer in control and we are training human rights activists and journalists. Following the December meeting of the Friends of Syria in Morocco support for the opposition coalition continues to grow with over 130 countries now recognising it as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), announced to Parliament on 10 January, he attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 10 December 2012 along with my EU counterparts, where the EU agreed language noting that “the current situation is unsustainable and does not allow adequate protection of civilians”. We will hold further discussions with EU member states shortly on options to support and help the opposition and to enable greater support for the protection of civilians in Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions Ministers and officials in his Department and UK diplomatic staff have had with representatives of the Iranian Government on the situation in Syria since the closure of the British embassy in Tehran in 2011. [136925]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), discussed Syria with Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi in the margins of the Heart of Asia Conference on 14 June 2012. In July 2012, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN discussed the issue with his Iranian counterpart.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consular arrangements he has put in place to enable residents in (a) Syria and (b) Iran to access UK officials. [136927]

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Alistair Burt: The UK embassies in Iran and Syria have suspended all services and we continue to advise against all travel to both countries.

When we withdrew our staff from these embassies we identified Protecting Powers to represent our interests and provide consular assistance to any British nationals requiring it. In Iran, any British nationals seeking consular assistance can approach the British interests office at the Swedish embassy in Tehran. In Syria, our Protecting Power was Hungary but they have since withdrawn due to the deteriorating security situation. In their absence, any British national in Syria may approach any EU mission in Damascus for assistance.

British nationals should continue to check travel advice on the FCO website for any updates.

Culture, Media and Sport

Artworks

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what works of art are on display in (a) her and (b) her ministerial colleagues' offices; and what recent valuation has been made of such artworks. [135282]

Mr Vaizey: A table of the information you have requested has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

It is not possible to give an accurate estimate of the value of the Government Art Collection, which has no current market valuation. The current monetary value of a work of art can be accurately assessed only at the time of purchase or sale or by professional valuation.

The Government Art Collection (GAC) helps promote British art and history while contributing to cultural diplomacy by displaying its works in Government buildings including Downing street, the Home Office and British embassies and residences in nearly every capital city across the globe. The works are seen by the many thousands of visitors to these locations. Approximately two thirds of its 13,500 works are on display at any one time.

An example of public demonstration of the GAC is the exhibition 'Revealed: The Government Art Collection' at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which brings together nearly 200 of the GAC's works spanning the breadth of the Collection from 16(th) century to the present. It runs until 24 February 2013 and then tours to Ulster Museum, Belfast from 15 March to 9 June 2013.

The GAC frequently loans works to public exhibitions. In addition the Collection works with local schools on literacy projects and has worked with the London Metropolitan University on its 'Curating the Contemporary' MA course. The Collection runs approximately three group tours per month and each year takes part in Museums at Night and London Open House weekend. The GAC website provides extensive access to the Collection containing, as it does, details of approximately 10,700 works of which nearly 10,000 have images. The Collection also generates an income through licensing its copyrighted images for commercial reproduction.

16 Jan 2013 : Column 777W

Broadband

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many households receive 2Mbps broadband (a) in rural areas and (b) in urban areas. [137177]

Mr Vaizey: The Ofcom Infrastructure Report update, published on 16 November 2012, estimates that 2 Mbps broadband was available to 89.9% of UK premises at that time, but a split between rural and urban households was not available. The £530 million Government investment programme, combined with a similar level of local authority investment, aims to increase availability of superfast broadband to 90% of UK premises and universal access to a minimum service of 2 Mbps.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions each Minister in her Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137113]

Hugh Robertson: This information is not held. Ministers handle official information in accordance with Government guidance.

Gyms

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what consideration she has given to preventing local authorities from competing with private providers for provision of gyms and similar services. [134989]

Hugh Robertson: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Maria Miller), has not given specific consideration to this matter. Local sport and recreation facilities are delivered by local authorities. It is for each local authority to determine provision of sports services for members of its community.

Mobile Phones: Transport

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps the Government is taking to improve the mobile infrastructure to cover existing mobile coverage gaps on main transport routes. [137007]

Mr Vaizey: My Department and the Department for Transport are working with the mobile and rail industries to seek to remove barriers to providing improved mobile coverage on the rail network. We are also working with the mobile industry to invest £150 million in infrastructure to improve mobile coverage in areas with poor coverage, as well as along 10 key roads.

Scotland

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in his Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137095]

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David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not record the number of air miles accumulated by Ministers while on Scotland Office business.

Business

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland with reference to Coalition: Our programme for government, published in May 2010, what steps his Department is taking to meet the Government's commitment that 25 per cent of Government business goes to small and medium-sized enterprises. [136911]

David Mundell: Other than minor or bespoke purchases, the Scotland Office does not undertake direct procurement or tendering projects. It utilises existing service contracts between suppliers and the Scottish Government or the Ministry of Justice. Since May 2010, only one contract has been issued directly by the Scotland Office, and this was issued to the Royal Mail for the purposes of the Scottish parliamentary elections.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions each Minister in his Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137105]

David Mundell: This information is not held. Scotland Office Ministers handle official information in accordance with Government guidance

Food Banks

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has visited a food bank in Scotland since May 2010; and whether he has any plans to visit a food bank in Scotland. [136982]

David Mundell: Scotland Office Ministers regularly meet with a range of individuals and organisations.

Industry

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Government's industrial strategy; and what assessment he has made of the effect on Scotland of the planned publication of specific sector strategies. [136909]

David Mundell: This Government are committed to supporting all UK industry, including in Scotland. The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), is in regular and frequent contact with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), on matters relating to business including the industrial strategy.

Recently the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the hon. Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson), attended the Scottish

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Business Board. She outlined the industrial strategy and led a discussion with members on the specific sector strategies.

Official Hospitality

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent for hospitality purposes on events hosted by each Minister in his Department in each of the last 12 months. [136905]

David Mundell: Scotland Office expenditure for hospitality purposes on events hosted by each Minister in each of the last 12 months is as shown in the following table:

£
 Secretary of StateParliamentary Under-Secretary of State

January 2012

525

3,230

February 2012

0

78

March 2012

3,904

470

April 2012

0

0

May 2012

4,103

159

June 2012

6,639

21

July 2012

3,651

0

August 2012

2,434

0

September 2012

0

0

October 2012

262

0

November 2012

4,136

0

December 2012

1,471

0

All expenditure incurred is in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Public Expenditure

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Efficiency and Reform Group on savings within his Department; and what steps his Department is taking to reduce costs. [136910]

David Mundell: Scotland Office officials are in routine contact with the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury officials to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to make saving and reduce costs.

Scottish Business Board

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library copies of the papers supplied by his Department to members of the Scottish Business Board for their meeting of 26 November 2012. [137472]

Michael Moore: I have arranged for a copy of the relevant papers to be placed in the Library.

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An annex to one of the papers has been withheld for reasons of company commercial confidentiality.

Sovereignty

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of the role of the UK and Scottish governments in preparations for the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. [137017]

David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), announced in June of last year, the Government are undertaking a programme of work to inform and support the debate on Scotland's future within the UK. As part of this work my department is working with departments across Whitehall and forthcoming analysis from this work will demonstrate the role that the UK plays in Scotland and Scotland's contribution to the UK.

Surveys

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when his Department last conducted a staff survey; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of the last survey. [137474]

Michael Moore: The Civil Service People Survey co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office took place in October 2012. Departments are due to publish their results by 31 January 2013. A copy will be placed in the Library by the end of the month.

Travel

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost to the public purse was of transport for (a) Ministers, (b) staff and (c) special advisers in each of the last 12 months. [137193]

David Mundell: The cost to the public purse of transport for (a) Ministers, (b) staff and (c) special advisers for the financial year 2011-12 was as follows:

 £

(a) Ministers

63,422

(b) Staff

132,908

(c) Special advisers

26,360

Visits Abroad

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many overseas visits were made by (a) Ministers, (b) staff and (c) special advisers of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost to the public purse was of each such visit. [137191]

David Mundell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 17 December 2012, Official Report, column 506W, to the hon. Member for Glasgow East (Margaret Curran).

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Home Department

Antisocial Behaviour

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the long-term effect of lead in the environment on levels of violence and anti-social behaviour. [136999]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Home Office has not conducted an assessment of the impact of environmental lead levels on criminal behaviour. However, as with a wide range of other factors that may influence crime, we do keep the emerging evidence on this topic under review.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people under 18 years old who were given an anti-social behaviour order were (a) White British, (b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistani origin, (e) Indian origin, (f) Bangladeshi origin and (g) other in each year from 1 April 1997 to 1 April 2012. [136347]

Mr Jeremy Browne: These data are not collected centrally.

Arrests: Young People

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many of those people under the age of 18 who were arrested between November 2011 and November 2012 and whose family were engaged by the state were (a) White British, (b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistani origin, (e) Indian origin, (f) Bangladeshi origin and (g) other; [136348]

(2) how many people under the age of 18 who were arrested between November 2011 and November 2012 were (a) White British, (b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistani origin, (e) Indian origin, (f) Bangladeshi origin and (g) other; [136349]

(3) how many of those people under the age of 18 who were arrested between November 2011 and November 2012 and who were referred to a social worker were (a) White British, (b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistani origin, (e) Indian origin, (f) Bangladeshi origin and (g) other; [136350]

(4) how many of those people under the age of 18 who were arrested between November 2011 and November 2012 and were charged were (a) White British, (b) Black Caribbean, (c) Black African, (d) Pakistani origin, (e) Indian origin, (f) Bangladeshi origin and (g) other. [136351]

Damian Green: Arrests data for England and Wales are collected by the Home Office and published on an annual basis in the National Statistics series 'Police Powers and Procedures'. Data currently available relate to the financial year 2010-11 and are included in the latest internet-only release, which is available via:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/police-research/police-powers-procedures-201011/

Data for 2011-12 are scheduled to be published in the spring of 2013.

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An additional table, relating specifically to the number of arrested persons aged under 18 years by self-defined ethnicity, is provided in the following table (the main publication did not break down figures for self-ethnicity by age). The Home Office's arrests data collection does not include information on whether arrested persons are engaged (employed) by the state, have been referred to social workers or have been charged.

Number of persons arrested aged under 18, by self-defined ethnicity: England and Wales, 2010-11
Ethnicity groupEthnicity categoryNumber of persons arrested

White

White British

157,191

 

White Irish

1,341

 

Other White

6,360

White total

164,892

   

Black or Black British

Black African

8,425

 

Black Caribbean

8,801

 

Other Black

4,256

Black or Black British total

21,482

   

Asian or Asian British

Bangladeshi

2,234

 

Indian

1,302

 

Pakistani

3,381

 

Other Asian

2,460

Asian or Asian British total

9,377

   

Mixed

Mixed African

1,290

 

Mixed Asian

859

 

Mixed Caribbean

6,026

 

Other Mixed

2,271

Mixed total

10,446

   

Chinese or Other

Chinese

192

 

Other

1,772

Chinese or Other total

1,964

   

Not stated

Not Stated

2,522

   

Total

210,683

Bramshill Police College

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what level of capital receipt she expects from the sale of Bramshill Police College; and by what date she expects the sale to be completed. [135024]

Damian Green: The expected value of the Bramshill site is commercially sensitive at this stage. We estimate that the site will be sold by 2014.

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the current market value of Bramshill police training college. [136933]

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Damian Green: The site has significant value, however considerations about this are commercially sensitive at this stage. The Home Office will appoint selling agents who will advise on any guide price to potential buyers.

Crime

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice she received from the Office for National Statistics on the release of partial statistics on 30 December 2012 in relation to crime levels in police authority areas in England and Wales. [136497]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Home Office did not release any partial statistics on 30 December in relation to crime levels in police force areas in England and Wales. Crime levels in police force areas relating to the periods ending June 2010 and June 2012, which formed the basis of percentage changes contained in The Sunday Times article on 30 December, had previously been published on the Office for National Statistics and Home Office websites.

Designated Public Places Orders

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many designated public places orders have been issued in each local authority area since their introduction. [137010]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Home Office does not publish official statistics on the number of Designated Public Place Orders in force. However, data held centrally by the Home Office show that local authorities have so far notified the Home Office of 838 Designated Public Place Orders issued since their introduction in 2001. A table containing the break down of these notifications, by local authority, will be placed in the Library and provided to the hon. Member.

Offences Against Children: Wales

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the anticipated cost of Operation Pallial; and what contribution she expects to be made to funding that operation by (a) the National Crime Agency, (b) the Serious Organised Crime Agency, (c) North Wales Police and (d) other police forces. [134864]

Damian Green: North Wales Police has made an initial assessment of the expected costs of the first phase of Operation Pallial. The Home Office will be providing funding of approximately £683,000 to cover the costs of police forces in the North West Region and North Wales. The support from the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Child Online Exploitation and Protection Centre will be funded from within those organisations' existing budgets.

Work and Pensions

Asbestos

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the Health and Safety Executive to resume its Hidden Killer campaign. [136545]

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Mr Hoban: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) remain committed to ensuring that both employers and employees are aware of the risks of exposure to asbestos and the measures that should be taken to prevent this. HSE is currently carrying out work to consider how best to build upon the success of the Hidden Killer campaign. That work will help inform the development of plans for potential campaign activity later this year.

HSE's website carries lots of practical information about the risks posed by asbestos in the workplace and HSE works with industry and others to raise and maintain awareness of the issues, and to change behaviour.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the amount of employment and support allowance granted to individuals (a) on mental health grounds and (b) for behaviour reasons was in each of the last four years; [135715]

(2) what the number of claims for employment and support allowance on grounds of disability was for each category of disability in each of the last four years; and what the amount of expenditure was for each such category in each such year. [135716]

Mr Hoban: The Department published ad hoc data on employment and support allowance (ESA) expenditure by reported medical condition and phase of claim and can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/index.php?page=expenditure

Data are not available prior to 2010-11. It should be noted that expenditure does not separate mental health and behavioural reasons—these are grouped together in the tables.

Statistics on the number of claimants receiving ESA in each of the last four years by each diagnosis group can be found at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many face-to-face medical examinations of claimants who have been in receipt of employment and support allowance for (a) 0 to six months, (b) six to 12 months, (c) 12 to 24 months, (d) 24 to 36 months, (e) 36 to 48 months, (f) 48 to 56 months and (g) over 56 months have been conducted in each of the last four years; and how many such examinations resulted in the termination of a claim. [135927]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available.

Employment: Young People

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2012, Official Report, column 648W, on employment schemes: young people, when his Department plans to publish the first statistical release of the number of (a) starts, (b) completions and (c) job outcomes from the Day 1 Support for Young People Trailblazer. [137009]

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Mr Hoban: The decision has not yet been taken on when to publish statistics. The Department works to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals have received youth contract wage subsidies since the launch of the scheme. [137490]

Mr Hoban: Following the collection and quality assurance of this data, I expect the first set of Official Statistics on the wage incentive to be available in the early part of 2013. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity.