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Radiotherapy

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 10 October 2011, Official Report, column 312W, on radiotherapy: South-West England and pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2013, Official Report, column 290W, on radiotherapy, what new radiotherapy services were provided from the £13 million funding for expanding radiotherapy capacity in 2011-12 and in which parts of the country those services were commissioned; what new radiotherapy services have been provided to date from the £22 million funding in 2012-13 and in which parts of the country those services were commissioned; and what plans he has for allocating the £41 million remaining from the total fund of £150 million. [139653]

Anna Soubry: ‘Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer’, published on 12 January 2011, set out our commitment to expand radiotherapy capacity and extend proton beam therapy services by investing over £150 million in additional funding up to 2014-15. The following table breaks down the funding allocation over the four-year period.

 £ million

2011-12

13

2012-13

22

2013-14

32

2014-15

42

The remaining £41 million of the £150 million total is funding to expand the proton beam therapy overseas programme.

Radiotherapy funding is allocated to all primary care trusts (PCTs) through their recurrent revenue allocations. Recurrent revenue allocations are currently made to PCTs on the basis of a weighted capitation formula used to determine PCTs' target shares of available resources to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need. Funding for specific services is not identified at PCT-level. It is for PCTs to decide how to use their funding to commission services, including radiotherapy services, to meet the health care needs of their local populations, taking account of local and national priorities. From 1 April, the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for the allocation of resources to clinical commissioning groups.

In terms of linking our investment in expanding radiotherapy to increased treatment activity, the report ‘Radiotherapy in England 2012’, published by the Department in November 2012, sets out that radiotherapy episodes increased by 7.5% from 2009-10 to 2011-12 and attendances increased by 8.9% in the same period. A copy has already been placed in the Library. Data on activity in 2012-13 have not yet been published. Data on radiotherapy activity by provider are available through the cancer commissioning tool kit which can be accessed by commissioners, providers and other stakeholder organisations.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 719W

Royal Brompton Hospital

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions he has visited the Royal Brompton Hospital since the announcement of a review of the safe and sustainable decision on its future; if he will make it his policy to meet medical staff in the paediatric department during a visit to the Royal Brompton Hospital as part of the current review; and if he will make a statement. [140286]

Anna Soubry: No Health Minister, in their official capacity, has made a visit to the Royal Brompton Hospital since 4 July 2012, when the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) made its decision on the future pattern of children's congenital heart surgery.

We know that some are disappointed with the JCPCT's decision and want to see children's congenital heart surgery continue at their local hospitals. However, the Safe and Sustainable review was an NHS review, independent of Government.

In these circumstances, and given legal proceedings and a review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel are under way, it would not be appropriate at this time to comment further or to visit the paediatric cardiac surgery unit at the Royal Brompton Hospital.

Tobacco: Packaging

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to announce the Government's decision on proposals for standardised packaging on tobacco products. [139822]

Anna Soubry: The Department is currently in the process of collating and analysing all the responses received following the closure of the ‘Consultation on standardised packaging of tobacco Products’. The Government has an open mind on this issue and any decisions to take further action will be taken only after full consideration of the consultation responses, evidence and other relevant information.

A summary report of the consultation will be published in due course.

Home Department

Crime

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences of (a) domestic violence, (b) rape, (c) other serious sexual violence and (d) hate crime were committed in England (i) in total and (ii) by region in (A) 2010-11 and (B) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [139430]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The available information requested is given in the tables; this excludes figures for hate crime in 2010-11 as these were first collected by the Home Office in 2011-12.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 720W

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have collected data on the number of hate crimes recorded by police since 2009 and this information can be found at:

http://www.report-it.org.uk/hate_crime_data1

Due to differences in the collection, these figures are not directly comparable with the figures collected by the Home Office.

Number of domestic violence incidents in England by region(1)
Number
Regions2010-112011-12

North East Region

56,234

55,619

North West Region

71,026

120,080

Yorkshire and the Humber Region

82,380

85,154

East Midlands Region

53,614

58,161

West Midlands Region

81,973

70,922

East of England Region

71,129

76,368

London Region

121,421

118,169

South East Region

107,943

107,917

South West Region

52,150

52,715

England

697,870

745,105

(1) A domestic violence incident is not an offence in its own right. It is defined by ACPO as any incidence of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. Notes: 1. All data are provisional and unverified by forces. 2. Figures for Gloucestershire are not available for 2010-11 and 2011-12 (South West region) and figure for Greater Manchester is not available for 2010-11 (North West region).
Selected sexual offences recorded by police in England by region
Number of offences
 2010-112011-12
RegionsRapeMost serious sexual crime(1)RapeMost serious sexual crime(1)

North East Region

693

1,206

632

1,158

North West Region

1,932

3,503

1,929

3,414

Yorkshire and the Humber Region

1,467

2,503

1,390

2,315

East Midlands Region

1,284

2,534

1,234

2,137

West Midlands Region

1,591

2,925

1,576

2,981

East of England Region

1,379

2,580

1,526

2,597

London Region

3,283

5,184

3,335

5,078

South East Region

2,031

4,383

2,024

4,072

South West Region

1,490

2,711

1,598

2,702

England(2)

15,150

27,529

15,244

26,454

(1) Excluding rape offences. (2) Figures for England excludes British Transport police.

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29 Jan 2013 : Column 722W

Numbers of offences flagged as a hate crime in 2011-12
Number
 Monitored hate crime strand(1) 
RegionsRaceReligionSexual orientationDisabilityTransgenderTotal(2)

North East Region

1,091

37

89

50

5

1,272

North West Region

5,330

288

636

271

49

6,574

Yorkshire and the Humber Region

2,839

59

147

169

11

3,225

East Midlands Region

2,523

121

307

206

20

3,177

West Midlands Region

4,006

71

349

143

20

4,589

East of England Region

2,676

106

307

316

53

3,458

London Region

8,039

610

1,239

122

75

10,085

South East Region

3,994

156

508

169

34

4,861

South West Region

2,601

78

290

151

26

3,146

England(3)

33,099

1,526

3,872

1,597

293

40,387

(1) In 2007, the police, Crown Prosecution Service, Prison Service (now the National Offender Management Service) and other agencies that make up the criminal justice system agreed a common definition of monitored hate crime which included the following five strands: disability, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation and transgender identity. Only notifiable offences are included. (2) The totals are not a count of crime as more than one form of hate crime can be assigned to an offence. 37 out of the 39 police forces in England were able to provide data that included multiple hate crime strands being assigned to a single offence. (3) Figures for England excludes British Transport police.

Deportation: Armed Forces

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many current or former Commonwealth soldiers have been deported because of disciplinary offences in the Army in each year since 2006. [140167]

Mr Harper: Information on the service and work histories of people removed from the UK are only held at the level of coordinated paper case files or within the notes section of the UK Border Agency's Case Information Database (CID).

These data sources are not aggregated in national reporting systems, which would mean this question could only be answered through a disproportionately expensive manual case search to collate the data.

Driving Under Influence

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have (a) been breathalysed for drink driving, (b) failed a breathalyser test for drink driving and (c) failed a breathalyser test and been more than twice the legal limit in each year since 2000. [139798]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Breath tests 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’. The latest internet-only release is available via:

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

Available data relate to the number of roadside breath tests conducted by police to determine whether motorists are driving with alcohol in their body, and the combined number of positive or refused tests. The Home Office does not ask forces to provide separate figures for positive and refused tests, or for breathalyser readings.

Data for the period 2000 to 2010 are provided. The next ‘Police Powers and Procedures’ release is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2013 and will contain data for 2011.

Number of breath tests and positive/refused tests: England and Wales, 2000 to 2010
 20002001200220032004200520062007200820092010

Total number of tests

714,750

623,881

570,236

534,285

578,000

607,368

601,740

599,752

711,658

814,207

733,088

Positive or refused tests

94,623

99,548

103,476

106,349

103,020

104,284

103,730

97,590

91,666

93,232

83,932

Notes: 1. Figures for ‘total breath tests’ show a large increase from 2007 to 2009 due to a new digital breath test system being implemented by many police forces. Previously, with paper reporting, negative breath tests tended to be under-reported by forces. 2. Figures for ‘positive/refused tests’ between 2000 and 2008 contain some prosecutions data for failing a breath test, where shortfalls were found in the data supplied to the Home Office.

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been caught drink driving during each month for each of the last five years. [139993]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The information requested is not available from the police recorded crime data collected by the Home Office.

Intelligence Services

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2013, Official Report, column 419W, on intelligence services, on how many occasions the QUAD forum has met in each of the last 10 years; and on how many of each of these occasions British (a) Ministers or (b) officials have been present. [140064]

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Mr Jeremy Browne: The QUAD forum was a quadrilateral initiative between Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and the UK. No meetings of the forum have been held since 2005. Prior to that, it met irregularly to discuss operational deconfliction on drug trafficking issues. We do not have any record of UK Ministers attending the forum.

Police Community Support Officers: West Midlands

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers there were in the (a) City of Birmingham and (b) West Midlands in each of the last five years. [140112]

Damian Green: The number of police community support officers in Birmingham basic command unit and west midlands police force area, in the last five financial years are shown in the table.

The number of police community support officers in Birmingham basic command unit and west midlands police force area(1, 2, 3, 4)
31 MarchBirmingham basic command unitWest midlands police force area

2008

278

748

2009

319

812

2010

320

811

2011

307

758

2012

(1 )This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2 )The number of police community support officers for 31 March 2008 to 2010 for Birmingham basic command unit are the sum of west midlands D1-D3, E1-E3 and F1-F3 basic command units. (3 )The number of police community support officers for Birmingham basic command unit for 31 March 2011 are the sum of Birmingham east, Birmingham north, Birmingham south and Birmingham west & central. (4 )Figures at basic command unit level ceased to be collected from 2011-12 following Lord Wasserman's assessment.

Police ICT Company

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police and crime commissioners had agreed that their police force would participate in the proposed police ICT company by 15 January 2013. [138403]

Damian Green: Police and Crime Commissioners have been briefed on the Police ICT company and the opportunities to get involved as the company develops, but have not yet been formally invited to participate.

Police: Surveillance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to accept in full the recommendations of Mr Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, in his report on the use of embedded undercover police officers in groups that are non-violent and which exercise their democratic rights to protest, published on 23 January 2013, that (a) there should be a judge-led public inquiry into the case of Mark Kennedy and other related cases and (b) any such inquiry should give a voice to the women concerned and other victims and pave the way for reparations; and if she will make a statement. [139998]

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Damian Green: The use of undercover officers remains an important investigative tool for the police in preventing and detecting serious and violent crime. The tactic has been independently reviewed by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the specific issues arising from the case of Mark Kennedy are currently the subject of litigation in the High Court and in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. We therefore have no plans to hold a judge-led public inquiry into this or related cases.

UK Border Agency

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases the UK Border Agency's Case Assurance and Audit Unit has. [138131]

Mr Harper: In his letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 18 December 2012 the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency stated that, as of 19 November 2012, there were 40,900 live legacy cases. The figure includes 33,900 asylum cases and 7,000 migration cases.

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what timeframe cases handled by the Case Assurance and Audit Unit of the UK Border Agency are expected to be completed. [138132]

Mr Harper: In his letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 18 December 2012 the Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency stated that, as of 19 November 2012, there were 40,900 live legacy cases. The figure includes 33,900 asylum cases and 7,000 migration cases.

It is not possible to set a deadline for the conclusion of these cases, they are complex and require detailed consideration The UK Border Agency is concerned that the final checks made on these cases should be thorough and that they should not be rushed to meet an artificial deadline. In some cases conclusion will not be possible due to circumstances beyond the UK Border Agency's control.

Young Offenders: Greater London

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the Metropolitan Police area who were arrested were aged (a) 17, (b) 16, (c) 15, (d) 14, (e) 13, (f) 12, (g) 11 and (h) 10 in each year from 1997 to 2012. [140280]

Damian Green: Police forces are asked to supply the Home Office with arrests data according to the age groupings ‘under 10 years’, ‘10-17 years’, ‘18-20 years’, 21 years and over’ and ‘age unknown’. While the arrests data collection began in 1999-2000, it is only possible to present data broken down by age grouping and police force area from 2000-01. Latest available information therefore relates to arrests for notifiable offences of persons aged between 10 and 17 years for the financial years 2000-01 to 2010-11, and is shown in the table. Data for 2011-12 are scheduled to be published in the spring of 2013.

Arrests(1) of persons aged 10 to 17 years: Metropolitan Police Service, 2000-01 to 2010-11
Financial yearNumber

2000-01

43,737

2001-02

41,221

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2002-03

37,394

2003-04

39,297

2004-05

40,027

2005-06

43,534

2006-07

50,384

2007-08

45,617

2008-09

42,379

2009-10

42,468

2010-11

42,064

(1) For notifiable offences

International Development

Jamaica

Mr Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the purpose was of the UK's loans to Jamaica in 1987 and 1993 on which £3.5 million is still owed; and whether these loans were tied to purchasing goods or services produced partly or wholly in the UK. [139464]

Mr Duncan: Records from this time are held in the archives and cannot be obtained in time for the deadline to this question. DFID has requested the relevant records to be retrieved. I will provide an answer as soon as the requested information is available.

Metropolitan Police

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding her Department allocated to the Metropolitan Police in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; how much she plans to allocate in future years; and if she will make a statement. [139426]

Mr Duncan: Since 2006 DFID has provided funding to the Metropolitan Police's Proceeds of Corruption Unit. They investigate cases of corrupt individuals using the UK to launder money stolen from developing countries. The money recovered can then be returned to the developing country concerned.

The following table shows funding DFID has provided in the two previous financial years. The Department is currently considering what further support we can provide for future years.

Financial yearActual funding (£)

2010-11

702,000

2011-12

760,000

UK Membership of EU

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contingency plans her Department (a) has made, (b) is making and (c) plans to make for UK withdrawal from the EU; whether those plans will be published; and what estimate she has made of the likely cost of implementing those plans. [140289]

Mr Duncan: The Department has not made any plans for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 726W

Scotland

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140083]

David Mundell: Declarations of interest are made by non-executive directors at the beginning of board meetings if appropriate. No declarations have been made by non-executive directors since the departmental board was enlarged to include non-executive directors.

Plants

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on indoor and outdoor plants and trees since his appointment. [139949]

David Mundell: Since 30 May 2010, the Scotland Office has spent £156.98 on indoor and outdoor plants and trees. All expenditure incurred is in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139981]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has incurred no expenditure on advertising job vacancies within the Department since May 2010.

Transport

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2013, Official Report, column 296W, on High Speed 2 railway line, what estimate his Department made of (a) how many properties the Government would own as a result and (b) what the cost to the Exchequer would be of issuing a property bond along the route of High Speed 2 when such a measure was under consideration. [140224]

Mr Simon Burns: The Government have used various modelling assumptions in order to assess HS2 property compensation policy options against each other on a consistent basis. It would not be in the public interest to provide details of key modelling assumptions and related outputs, because such details are likely to be misrepresented and to mislead prospective property buyers. This would risk undermining local property markets and creating unnecessary property blight.

Large Goods Vehicles

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) with reference to the research study by Huddersfield university on the use of heavier, longer HGVs on UK roads, published in November 2012, whether his Department will be producing a reviewed impact assessment on the use of such vehicles; [139331]

29 Jan 2013 : Column 727W

(2) what discussions officials from his Department have had with the authors of the Huddersfield university research study on the use of heavier, longer HGVs on UK roads, published in November 2012. [139332]

Stephen Hammond: The Department responded on 22 November 2012 to the letter of 7 November 2012 from David Leach, the lead author of the report. This set out the Department's position, including that it has already undertaken thorough research, a feasibility study and an impact assessment.

The preferred 25.25m option of the Huddersfield report was ruled out in the research done by TRL for the Department. The TRL analysis was that these longer lorries would require a large capital investment, for example to adapt parking areas; result in increased CO2 emissions, mainly due to an expected shift from rail to road; and also have safety and infrastructure risks such as related to overtaking and junction blocking.

The research showed that the 18.75m/44 tonne option was likely to give the greatest net benefit. They indicated there would be few, if any, additional safety risks or need to adapt parking facilities, a lower risk of mode shift from rail to road and less need for investment and regulatory changes.

Therefore the trial of longer semi-trailers is based on the 18.75m/44 tonne lorries, and a shorter variant. The trial will validate whether the expected benefits of these longer trailers are realised.

The Huddersfield report quotes as one of its main sources the TRL report, which was also the basis of our own analysis and impact assessment. The Department will therefore not be producing a reviewed impact assessment in the light of the research study by Huddersfield university.

Motorcycles: Driving Tests

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, in formulating its proposals for an integrated motorcycle driving test, his Department has given consideration to the issue of Driver Standards Agency driving examiner liability in the event of an on-road manoeuvre causing a road traffic accident; and if he will make a statement. [140313]

Stephen Hammond: Yes. In deciding whether to implement an on-road test, the Department will take into consideration legal issues relating to driving examiners.

The Department has not yet formulated any firm proposals for making changes to the motorcycle test. A final decision on whether or not to take forward any changes will be taken after the research has concluded and the findings have been fully considered.

There will be a full public consultation on any proposals for changing the motorcycle test.

Rescue Services

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he plans to take to ensure that the public interest is protected in the proposed privatisation of the helicopter search and rescue service; and if he will make a statement; [139603]

29 Jan 2013 : Column 728W

(2) what efforts are being made to ensure the retention of specialist skills within the helicopter sea and rescue service following privatisation of that service; and if he will make a statement; [139608]

(3) what arrangements his Department has made to consult the public on plans to privatise the helicopter sea and rescue service; and if he will make a statement. [139609]

Stephen Hammond: Helicopter search and rescue is not being privatised. The service under the future contracts will continue to be managed by HM Government, and tasking will remain a state activity. Bidders for the contracts have sustainable long term strategies for recruitment and skill retention to ensure today's high standards are maintained. Contracted helicopter search and rescue services have been operating very successfully in the UK since 1983. Extending the contracted arrangements to cover the whole of the UK will not lead to any change in the level of service delivered to the public. Public consultation was therefore neither appropriate nor necessary.

Roads: Accidents

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured was on roads where average speed reduction cameras were deployed between 2008 and 2010. [139600]

Stephen Hammond: This information is not centrally held by the Department for Transport.

The Department commissioned PA Consulting to carry out an evaluation of the effectiveness of safety cameras between 2000 and 2004. The latest evaluation report is available at

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/road-safety-guidance-/4_year_evaluation.pdf

However, this evaluation did not specifically address average speed reduction cameras.

Since the 2004 report, evaluation of safety cameras has been for the individual Safety Camera Partnerships, local authorities and police forces which operate the cameras. All data for safety cameras, including cameras operated by the Highways Agency, are made available on partnership websites.

Further information on safety cameras, Safety Camera Partnerships and evaluations can be found in the House of Common's Library briefing note: "Roads: speed cameras" SN/BT/350 which is available at:

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN00350

Rolling Stock

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to replace Pacer rolling stock units on rail services in the north of England; and if he will make a statement. [140419]

Mr Simon Burns: Rolling stock deployment is a matter for the train operators with the Government's role primarily focused on ensuring that this represents value for money when the taxpayer's interest is involved.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 729W

It is therefore for Northern Rail and future franchise bidders to determine rolling stock requirements for routes within the franchise area.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of Pacer rolling stock units in use on rail services in the North of England. [140420]

Mr Simon Burns: Northern Rail operates a total of 102 Class 14X ‘Pacer’ units.

Information on the number of rolling stock is available from a number of industry publications such as ‘The Rolling Stock Guide’ by Ian Allan Publishing and associated trade magazines.

Youth Select Committee

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will respond to the Youth Parliament's Select Committee Report of 5 November 2012. [140166]

Norman Baker: The Government will respond to the Youth Select Committee’s report, Transport and Young People, very shortly.

Treasury

Personal Allowance

17. Nadhim Zahawi: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of increases in the personal allowance. [139728]

Danny Alexander: Since 2010, the Government have announced successive increases in the personal allowance totalling £2,965.

Taken together, these changes will benefit 25 million individuals and provide a real-terms gain of £443 to most basic rate taxpayers in 2013-14. Over 2.2 million individuals, with low incomes, will be taken out of income tax altogether.

Shale Gas

18. Mark Menzies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fiscal steps he plans to take to ensure that local communities benefit financially from any extraction of shale gas. [139729]

Sajid Javid: The Government are currently consulting on the tax regime for shale gas and will provide an update at Budget 2013.

The Prime Minister has made clear that any future shale gas production would have to meet stringent safety and environmental standards and follow deep consultation with local communities. As has been demonstrated in the United States, a successful shale gas industry can benefit local communities in terms of jobs and investment.

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Funding for Lending Scheme

19. Margot James: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the level of support for small businesses provided through the funding for lending scheme and other initiatives. [139730]

Greg Clark: Funding for lending is helping bring down the cost and increase the availability of loans for small businesses.

Net lending by the 35 participating banks increased by £500 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Cost of Living

20. Oliver Colvile: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to help people with the cost of living. [139731]

Danny Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to my earlier response to questions 4 and 5.

City Deals

21. Duncan Hames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent progress he has made on the second wave of city deals. [139732]

Greg Clark: We invited 20 cities to put forward their proposals for a city deal with Government. We have worked closely with the cities over the last three months and on 15 January, I received initial proposals from all 20 cities. We are currently reviewing the propositions, and will be able to announce a decision shortly.

Bank Lending

22. David Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect on economic growth of the level of bank lending to businesses. [139733]

Greg Clark: Funding for Lending, which began in August last year, is helping improve credit conditions for businesses by reducing interest rates, and improving the availability of credit to small businesses.

Infrastructure Investment

24. Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent steps he has taken to increase the level of infrastructure investment. [139735]

Danny Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave earlier today.

Corporate Tax Avoidance

25. Ian Swales: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to curb corporate tax avoidance. [139736]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 731W

Companies

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to improve transparency and information sharing amongst UK companies. [140049]

Mr Gauke: The UK is committed to increasing international tax co-operation and exchange of information. The UK's G8 Presidency will focus on strengthening international tax standards and working on greater international tax information exchange to tackle tax havens. This will build on the work that is already underway in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and maintain the momentum set by the G20.

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140085]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury's non executive board members must declare to the Permanent Secretary, any personal or business interest which may, or may be perceived to influence their judgement in performing their functions and obligations. These interests include personal direct and indirect pecuniary interests and any such interests of close family members and/or of people living in the same household as the non executive or their close family members.

Non-executives are obliged to declare interests as they arise. However, declarations are formally sought and confirmed on an annual basis as part of the preparation of the Treasury's annual report and accounts.

In line with the Corporate Governance Code, the Treasury publishes in the “Governance Statement” included in the annual report and accounts how any identified conflicts, and potential conflicts, of interest of board members have been managed.

Interests declared by Baroness Sarah Hogg are as published by the Houses of Parliaments website. Subject to Data Protection Act guidelines, information held within the Register of Interest on Treasury's non executive board members will be released on request.

Excise Duties: Fuels

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to introduce a rural fuel duty rebate for rural parts of North Yorkshire. [140302]

Sajid Javid: Motorists on the Scottish islands and the Isles of Scilly are benefitting from the 5 pence per litre discount on pump prices since the Government introduced the rural fuel rebate pilot scheme last year.

The Government will consider whether to seek EU approval for an extension of the scheme to other remote parts of the UK that are likely to display similar cost characteristics to the islands.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 732W

Government Actuary's Department

Tim Farron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the increased GAD rate will apply. [140216]

Sajid Javid: The change announced at autumn statement is subject to legislation being passed by Parliament as part of Finance Bill 2013. The Government published draft Finance Bill legislation on 17 January. It would allow individuals to choose to receive drawdown pension income up to 120% of an equivalent annuity for all drawdown pension years starting on or after 26 March 2013.

Housing: Construction

George Galloway: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider making available additional ring-fenced and time-limited capital funds for house-building to local authorities for the purposes of stimulating the economy. [139612]

Danny Alexander: This Government have made available additional funds to boost housing supply, including £4.5 billion investment in affordable housing to deliver 170,000 new homes over the course of this Parliament and a new and innovative £10 billion debt guarantee to support the building of private and affordable rented homes, alongside an additional £300 million to build 15,000 new affordable rented homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use.

Interception Warrants

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions HM Revenue and Customs was given warrants to (a) intercept private personal emails and (b) listen to telephone calls in each of the last three years; and on how many occasions in each year it carried out such surveillance. [140096]

Mr Gauke: The Interception of communications commissioner (loCC) produces an annual report to the Prime Minister which is then presented to Parliament, and which includes a confidential annex. There is no breakdown of warrant statistics to individual public authorities in the public section of this report. loCC's inspectors visit HM Revenue and Customs twice a year to provide reassurance to the general public that our activities in sensitive areas such as warrants are overseen by an independent person who has held high judicial office. His reports are published on his website:

http://www.ipt-uk.com/default.asp

Limited Liability

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many exchange of information requests concerning limited liability partnerships or their members were received from each country or territory in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13 to date. [140307]

Mr Gauke: Some of our treaty partners regard information about the number of requests made by them or to them as sensitive. I have therefore asked my

29 Jan 2013 : Column 733W

officials to write to the relevant states to ascertain their views, and I will write to the hon. Member with additional detail in due course.

The database recording this information notes only whether the request concerned a limited liability partnership and does not record whether the request concerned a member of a limited liability partnership.

The total figures for requests received from all states about limited liability partnerships, for each of the years questioned are as follows:

 Number of requests

2010-11

48

2011-12

43

2012 (to 24 January 2013)

41

Money Laundering

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many revocations of fit and proper person status relating to individuals working in each of

29 Jan 2013 : Column 734W

the categories where such revocations can be made were made in

(a)

2010-11,

(b)

2011-12 and

(c)

2012-13 to date; [140308]

(2) with reference to pages 1 and 2 of HM Revenue and Customs' 2010-11 Anti-Money Laundering report, (a) how many penalties were levied on each of the categories of operators listed under the supervisory population section and (b) what the value was of such penalties in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13 to date; and what other sanctions were taken against each such category of operation; [140311]

(3) with reference to page 12 of the HM Revenue and Customs 2010-11 Anti-Money Laundering report, how many MLR145 reports were produced in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13 to date; and to whom such reports were submitted. [140309]

Mr Gauke: There were 11 revocations of fit and proper status in 2010-11, 11 in 2011-12 and 34 to date in the current year.

The number and value of penalties imposed by HMRC under the Money Laundering Regulations is shown in the following table:

 2010-112011-122012 to date
SectorPenaltiesValue (£)PenaltiesValue (£)PenaltiesValue (£)

Accountancy Service Providers

82

19,010

166

42,904

121

39,616

Accountancy Service Providers also registered as Trust & Company Service Providers

3

621

10

4,716

13

1,717

High Value Dealers

10

2,610

48

24,605

37

18,485

Money Service Businesses

9

9,818

28

35,000

10

10,729

Trust & Company Service Providers

4

1,386

18

5,672

5

1,889

Total

108

33,445

270

112,897

186

72,436

There were 65 MLR145 reports submitted in 2010-11,198 in 2011-12 and 169 in the current year. These reports contain information that HMRC supervisory staff need to pass on to others in HMRC or to external law enforcement bodies, depending on the nature of the material. The reports are handled by HMRC's Risk and Intelligence Service, who deal with intelligence flows within HMRC and to other law enforcement agencies.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) prosecutions were made by HM Revenue and Customs and (b) convictions were made (i) under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and (ii) in relation to any other money laundering offences in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13 to date. [140310]

Mr Gauke: The number of prosecutions commenced in each year and the number of convictions in each year in relation to money laundering offences investigated by HMRC is shown in the following table (the prosecution is brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and not by HMRC). The figures for convictions/acquittals shown for each year do not necessarily relate to prosecutions commenced in that year.

Financial yearType of offenceNo. of defendants/prosecutions commencedNo, of convictions in yearNo. of acquittals in yearNo. of individuals receiving a custodial sentence including suspendedNo. of individuals receiving a non-custodial sentence

2010-11

Money Laundering Regulations

0

0

0

0

0

 

Money Laundering other

24

18

5

18

0

       

2011-12

Money Laundering Regulations

0

0

0

0

0

 

Money Laundering other

39

4

4

4

0

29 Jan 2013 : Column 735W

29 Jan 2013 : Column 736W

       

2012-13

Money Laundering Regulations

3

0

0

0

0

 

Money Laundering other

14

5

2

5

0

Non-domestic Rates

Richard Graham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has given any consideration to freezing business rates. [139537]

Mr Gauke: Tax is a matter for the Budget. The Government's commitment to the annual RPI cap means that there has been no real terms increase in national non-domestic rates (NNDR) since 1990.

Personal Income

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a distributional analysis of the effects on household income for each income decile of all the measures he has implemented since 2010. [139559]

Mr Gauke: In line with Government's commitment to transparency, HM Treasury published its distributional analysis of effects on household income of the measures implemented since 2010 in the Autumn Statement 2012 document and supplementary document Distributional Analysis, available at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2012_documents.htm

HM Treasury has published this analysis at each fiscal event since June Budget 2010.

The analysis contains changes to all the personal tax, welfare and public spending policy decisions (that can be modelled) since the June Budget 2010. As previously, the analysis is on a cumulative basis and so includes measures from each fiscal event since June Budget 2010. It also includes changes that were announced before June Budget 2010 which are being implemented by the Government. The autumn statement analysis shows the impact of tax and benefit changes by income and expenditure decile for 2013-14.

Looking at the cumulative impact since June 2010 Budget of tax, tax credit and benefit reforms, households in the top 10% see the greatest reduction in their income, whether looking across the income or expenditure distribution. This is true both in cash and as a percentage of net income or expenditure.

Revenue and Customs

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of staff in HM Revenue and Customs' business tax units are over the age of 55. [139346]

Mr Gauke: The Business Tax Line of Business in HMRC has over 4,000 staff across the UK, delivering services for HMRC’s business customers. It also manages the design and delivery of taxes and duties that business customers pay.

In the Business Tax area 18.02% of employees are over 55 years of age. The comparable figure in HMRC as a whole is 22.02%.

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many separate leadership and management courses HM Revenue and Customs provides for its staff. [139347]

Mr Gauke: HMRC uses the full range of leadership and management products provided by Civil Service Learning (CSL).

Products on the Civil Service Learning curriculum include information guides, on-line tutorials, one day courses and development programmes. In total there are 4,526 products available for leaders/managers.

New leaders and managers are required to undertake a pre-determined set of learning products in order to equip them with the skills and knowledge that they need to be excellent leaders and managers.

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the recent appointments to the management board of HM Revenue and Customs. [139351]

Mr Gauke: Appointments of non-executive directors to HM Revenue and Customs' main board are subject to regulation by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. All appointments follow the principle of selection based on merit and the use of an open and transparent recruitment process.

The recently appointed non-executive directors were selected following the outcome of the public appointments process to identify appointable candidates for the posts of the Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and a number of other board level non-executive posts.

The responsibility for public appointments rests with Ministers. In the case of HMRC (as a non ministerial Department), the Office of the Commission for Public Appointments (OCPA) requires the Exchequer Secretary of the Treasury to make these regulated appointments from a recommended appointable list.

I, as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, conveyed to the panel my views about the expertise, experience and skills of the candidates after reviewing the reports from the selection panel and through dialogue with the Public Appointments Assessor.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 737W

I, as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, informed the Chancellor of the Exchequer of my decision before advising the Prime Minister.

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs on appointments to executive boards. [139354]

Mr Gauke: The Chancellor, the Chief Executive and the Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs meet regularly to discuss a range of topics.

Revenue and Customs: Training

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many training courses were provided by HM Revenue and Customs in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [139340]

Mr Gauke: The number of training courses provided by HM Revenue and Customs for their staff in 2010-11 was 6,351. This figure is drawn from departmental learning management system and included both face to face courses and those delivered using virtual classroom technology.

The number of training courses provided in 2011-12 was 6,764.

Mr Gibb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs spent on training and development in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [139345]

Mr Gauke: The amount spent on training and development in HMRC in 2010-11 was £96.50 million. This is the figure reported by the National Audit Office and covers the total costs of the development and delivery of learning. This includes costs for e-learning, face to face learning, and an estimated cost of coaching and mentoring.

The service is delivered by a combination of learning staff within HMRC and by accessing the cross-Government Civil Service Learning offer.

The amount spent on training and development in 2011-12 was £92.09 million, based on the same calculations used in 2010-11.

Tax Avoidance

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what costs have been recovered from PwC following the court decision in the case of Howard Peter Schofield v. the Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. [122865]

Mr Gauke: The court has made an order for HMRC to recover costs from the taxpayer, not the taxpayer's representatives.

Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to paragraph 2.105 of the 2012 autumn statement, what the result was of the consultation exercise on the use of the procurement

29 Jan 2013 : Column 738W

process to deter tax avoidance and evasion and the proposed definition of any concepts; and if he will make a statement. [139520]

Mr Gauke: Cabinet Office and HMRC will shortly commence discussions with stakeholders on proposals to use the public procurement process to promote tax compliance.

Welfare Tax Credits

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints of each type from customers on tax credits HM Revenue and Customs has received in each (a) year and (b) month since 2010; and if he will make a statement. [136521]

Sajid Javid: Information about the number of complaints received by HM Revenue and Customs is not available in the format requested.

Information on the number of complaints received in HMRC Benefits and Credits in each year and month since 2010 is shown in the following tables.

 Number

April 2009

1,800

May

2,000

June

2,200

July

2,200

August

1,800

September

2,000

October

2,000

November

1,900

December

1,300

  

January 2010

1,300

February

1,300

March

1,400

Total

21,200

 Number

April 2010

1,300

May

1,100

June

1,500

July

1,600

August

1,900

September

2,300

October

1,800

November

1,700

December

1,100

  

January 2011

1,300

February

1,400

March

1,500

Total

18,500

 Number

April 2011

1,200

May

1,600

June

2,000

July

1,900

August

1,900

29 Jan 2013 : Column 739W

September

2,100

October

2,000

November

1,800

December

1,300

  

January 2012

1,500

February

1,600

March

1,700

Total

20,600

 Number

April 2012

1,400

May

1,900

June

1,700

July

1,800

August

2,200

September

1,800

October

2,000

November

2,000

December

1,300

Note: Rounded figures

Wales

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140086]

Stephen Crabb: Non-executives must declare, to the Secretary of State or Director of the Wales Office, any personal or business interest which may, or may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgment in performing their functions and obligations. These interests include (without limitation), personal direct and indirect pecuniary interests and any such interests of close family members and/or of people living in the same household as the non-executive or their close family members.

According to the Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) Departments are required to disclose the details of company directorships and other significant interests held by board members which may conflict with their management responsibilities.

The Wales Office formally collects information from non-executives alongside other board members. This is carried out in conjunction with our Annual Report and Accounts; additionally non-executive members of the Wales Office Audit and Risk Assurance sub-Committee formally declare conflicts of interests and or potential conflicts verbally at the start of each meeting and annually as a formal agenda item.

The Corporate Governance Code provides that the board should agree and document an appropriate system to record and manage conflicts and potential conflicts of interest of board members. These records are updated on an annual basis. As set out in the Code, the board

29 Jan 2013 : Column 740W

should publish, in its governance statement, how any identified conflicts, and potential conflicts, of interest of board members have been managed.

No incidents of a conflict and or potential conflict have been indentified in relation to Wales Office non-executives.

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has for the UK's fleet of Reaper drones when their current deployment in Afghanistan is complete in 2014. [139558]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 25 January 2013]: The Reaper unmanned system was purchased as an urgent operational requirement for an armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability for Operation Herrick.

It will continue to be operated in support of UK ground forces in Afghanistan until the end of combat operations. No decisions have been taken on the longer term use of Reaper equipment after 2014.

Air Force

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to retain pilot training programmes through the development of additional pilot training contracts with other states; and if he will make a statement. [139602]

Mr Robathan: The requirement for trained pilots is being met within existing flying training programmes without the development of additional training programmes with other states.

However, to maintain specialist skills: the Royal Navy, in partnership with the US Navy, have a programme designed to maintain carrier flying and aviation deck experience; and the Royal Air Force is participating in a ‘Seedcorn’ initiative, which sees Royal Air Force personnel flying routinely with allied maritime patrol forces, in order to sustain skills required for fixed-wing maritime patrol aviation.

Australia

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the treaty signed with Australia on 18 January 2013. [139899]

Dr Murrison: The UK-Australia Defence Cooperation Treaty is the embodiment of the extremely close defence cooperation and collaboration between our two countries. I will lay the Treaty before the House in due course and in accordance with the normal procedures.

Procurement

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of changes to the implementation and effect of the equipment procurement

29 Jan 2013 : Column 741W

and equipment support plans for

(a)

2013-14,

(b)

2014-15 and

(c)

2015-16 that have been occasioned by the Autumn Statement 2012; and if he will make a statement. [139486]

Mr Dunne: The autumn statement made reductions in departmental resource budgets of 1% in 2013-14 and 2% in 2014-15. Because the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has, for the first time ever, included annual unallocated provisions in its budget, and because of exceptional flexibilities agreed with the Treasury, these reductions can be absorbed without impacting on the core defence equipment programme in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The budget for 2015-16 will be set out in the 2013 spending review.

Military Exercises

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel and what assets took part in exercise Steadfast Noon 2012. [139503]

Dr Murrison: Steadfast Noon 2012 was a NATO exercise designed to test procedures for aircraft operating from a deployed base. It is NATO policy not to disclose further details of such exercises.

NATO

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the policies of other NATO member states in respect of the transparency of their equipment procurement programmes; and if he will make a statement. [139484]

Dr Murrison: No assessment has been made of the transparency policies of other NATO member states' equipment procurement programmes.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 742W

We have visibility of allies' procurement programmes through the NATO Defence Planning Process, NATO's Conference of National Armaments Directors, bilateral and multilateral initiatives such as Smart Defence and through international engagement, including use of the Defence Attaché network.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what UK assets and personnel have participated in NATO's Snowcat programme in each of the last two years. [139504]

Dr Murrison: SNOWCAT is Support to Nuclear Operations With Conventional Air Tactics—as such it is not a programme but a term used to describe a range of activities in support of a specific NATO mission.

No UK assets have participated in SNOWCAT related training activities over the last two years. Serving UK military personnel assigned to posts in the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and the NATO International Military Staff work in roles both directly and indirectly in support of SNOWCAT.

Porton Down: Animal Experiments

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2012, Official Report, column 602W, on animal experiments, how many (a) pigs, (b) rabbits, (c) monkeys and (d) rodents were used in procedures at the Porton Down facility in each year between 2009 and 2011. [135892]

Mr Dunne: The figures in the following table represent the number of procedures reported by Dstl involving animals, by type, from 2005 to 2011:

 2005200620072008200920102011

Rodents

20,872

16,866

18,101

12,203

8,177

9,148

9,650

Rabbits

3

0

5

2

30

50

76

Pigs

127

123

74

113

96

140

88

Non-Human Primates

54

52

75

55

149

244

68

Total

21,056

17,041

18,255

12,373

8,452

9,582

9,882

Each of these procedures has been undertaken in strict accordance with the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Dstl Porton Down is licensed to conduct research involving animals by the Home Office.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2012, Official Report, column 621W, on Porton Down: animal experiments, how many procedures have been carried out under the six active project licences funded directly by US defence agencies; how many (a) pigs, (b) rabbits, (c) monkeys and (d) rodents have been used in such procedures; and what the severity level of each project licence is. [135893]

Mr Dunne: Currently, the animal work conducted at Dstl Porton Down that is directly funded by US Defence Agencies is covered by a total of six active Project Licences the earliest of which has been in place since 2009. It should be pointed out that these licences also cover elements of the Ministry of Defence funded research programme.

The number of procedures returned to the Home Office under these licences since 2009 can be summarised as follows:

 PigsRabbitsNon-Human PrimatesRodents

2009

35

0

4

330

2010

66

0

13

319

2011

48

0

0

178

2012

17

0

43

36

Total

166

0

60

863

29 Jan 2013 : Column 743W

In terms of overall severity banding, three of the licences are substantial, two are moderate and one is mild.

Property

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which sites owned by his Department have been sold since 2010; what type of development is planned on each such site; and what the capital receipts to his Department were of the sale of each site. [R] [137229]

Mr Francois: A copy of a list showing the land and property sold by the Ministry of Defence since 2010 will be placed in the Library of the House.

The MOD usually consults with the local planning authorities and other stakeholders to achieve the optimum planning position for any site, particularly where there is redevelopment potential, such as for housing or commercial use, but details on the type of planned development is a matter for the purchaser and local planning authority not the MOD.

The MOD does not normally publish individual sales receipts. The total sale proceeds accrued for each of the last two financial years (FY) is as follows:

FY 2010-11—£50 million

FY 2011-12—£86 million

The figures for FY 2012-13 are still subject to audit and cannot yet be published.

RAF Molesworth

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart concerning the (a) Joint Analysis Center at RAF Molesworth and (b) involvement of the US African Command in this base. [139666]

Mr Robathan: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence, has not recently held discussions with US officials regarding the Joint Analysis Centre at RAF Molesworth or the involvement of US Africa Command at the base.

Education

Adoption

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to improve outcomes for adopted children in (a) Hendon, (b) London and (c) England. [137849]

Mr Timpson: We are determined to eradicate delays in the adoption system across the country. The evidence shows that a child's chances of adoption are reduced by almost 20% for every year they spend in care, and disruption to attachments formed early in life can have a lasting negative effect on outcomes. One of the main reasons for the delays in adoption is the lack of adopters.

To address this issue the Department announced on 24 January that it is proposing to take a new legislative power that would allow the Secretary of State to require

29 Jan 2013 : Column 744W

local authorities to seek approved adopters from other organisations. We will make decisions about the use of that power on the basis of evidence about the extent to which the local government sector is able to drive improvements itself.

In order to improve local performance the Department has already published adoption scorecards for local authorities as part of a tougher approach to address underperformance. The local authority that contains my hon. Friend’s constituency was identified through an analysis of adoption scorecard data as an authority that were not meeting current thresholds for adoption timeliness.

Departmental officials visited the authority, in December to discuss why delays are occurring and what plans are in place to reduce them. The Children's Improvement Board will carry out a diagnostic assessment of this authority's adoption services imminently, to assist them in identifying causes of delays and potential solutions.

Similar visits have taken place at over 30 authorities since May 2012, with diagnostics carried out or imminent in around half of these. I should be clear that in authorities where I have been unconvinced by their ability to improve the service, I have put in place monitoring arrangements and in some cases I have issued an improvement notice. Should councils still not make the necessary changes over the time periods agreed, I am prepared to use statutory powers to intervene formally.

We have also sought to address the issues of delay in the system through the development of a number of significant reforms that we have recently consulted on. These proposals include:

establishing a National Gateway for Adoption;

accelerating adopter assessment;

reducing delays caused by insisting children and adopters are ethnically matched; and

placing children with their potential adoptive parents earlier.

We plan to introduce legislation at the earliest opportunity to implement these proposals.

In addition to the substantial reforms that we are introducing, we are committed to supporting local authorities financially in taking immediate action to address the adopter shortage. We have chosen, therefore, to focus the £150 million Early Intervention Grant top-slice on adoption reform. This is in addition to the £8 million that the Government announced in additional funding in 2012/13, to help councils to implement the reform programme to improve adoption practice and adoption services in their areas.

Jessica Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have greater flexibility in spending their adoption improvement grant within each financial year. [139342]

Mr Timpson: The Government's £8 million Adoption Improvement Grant funding is intended to provide help to councils in their efforts to kick start improvement to adoption practice and adoption services in their areas. It is a one-off grant which is to be spent in the current financial year (2012/13), but which councils can use as they wish to address their immediate priorities in improving adoption services.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 745W

In 2013/14, the Government are making available an Adoption Reform Grant of £150 million to local authorities to use in their children's services, with a specific focus on adoption reform. A total of £100 million of the £150 million funding will not be ring-fenced and LAs will retain the discretion to use this funding to address their highest priority needs. A total of £50 million will be ring-fenced and will need to be spent in the 2013/14 financial year in finding more adopters and addressing structural problems in adopter recruitment.

Apprentices

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much the Young Apprenticeships scheme costs annually per pupil; and what the comparable annual costs are for (a) educating a 14 to 16 year old entirely at school, (b) educating a 14 to 16 year old at a university technical college and (c) funding a 16 year old for a year-long apprenticeship. [139623]

Matthew Hancock [holding answer 25 January 2013]: For each Young Apprenticeship place, before the scheme closed in July 2012, we paid on average £3,200 per pupil annually, on top of standard school place costs. Young Apprenticeships were for young people aged 14 to 16 years old.

Regarding the cost of funding a 14 to 16-year-old entirely at school, we do not set a national funding rate. Each local authority receives Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) funding from the Department for Education. In the 2013-14 financial year the DSG will be formed from three blocks of funding—the Schools block, the Early Years block and the High Needs block. The Schools block relates to funding for five to 16-year-olds in mainstream schools. For the financial year 2013-14, the average Schools block unit of funding in England is £4,550 per pupil.

Funding for University Technical Colleges (UTCs) is the same as all other Academies. Academies receive school core funding which is calculated on a comparable basis to maintained schools in the same local authority. They also receive additional money to cover the cost of education services that the local authority provides to its maintained schools but which Academies are free to secure independently. The average comparable per pupil annual cost of educating a pupil at a UTC in the academic year 2012/13 was £6,370. How much is precisely allocated to 14 to 16-year-olds and between academic and technical subjects is a decision for each UTC and will vary on a school by school basis.

The average cost of a mainstream Apprenticeship for a 16-year-old in academic year 2010/11 (the most recent year for which this information is available) was £3,034 excluding in-kind employer contributions.

29 Jan 2013 : Column 746W

Booktrust

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which Ministers of his Department oversaw or contributed to his Department's decision on Government funding for Booktrust in 2013 to 2015. [139260]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 24 January 2013]: The decision to continue grant funding to Booktrust was taken on its own merits by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education on the basis of advice from officials. The advice was copied to the private secretaries of David Laws and Edward Timpson.

Children in Care

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to improve outcomes for looked-after children in (a) Brigg and Goole constituency and (b) England. [139615]

Mr Timpson [holding answer 25 January 2013]: Improving all aspects of the lives of children in care is a priority for the Government. In October I wrote to all directors of children's services drawing particular attention to the need to improve the support given to care leavers, and again last month to explain the steps being taken to support local authorities in raising the attainment of looked after children. While some local authorities are very effective in the support they provide to their looked after children, too many are not. We want all to come up to the standard of the best.

At the national level, we are taking action a number of key areas. These include reforming the residential care system so that children in children's homes receive high quality care and support; improving the recruitment, retention and training of foster carers; improving the quality of support for care leavers as they make the transition to adulthood; and increasing the speed and number of adoptions.

Children: Day Care

Seema Malhotra: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) single parents and (b) couples that use (i) formal and (ii) informal childcare in (A) Hounslow, (B) London, (C) each region of the UK and (D) the UK. [140045]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 28 January 2013]: The Department's Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents is the main source of estimates on this topic. Table 1 provides estimates of the use of childcare during a term time reference week in England and the English regions. Estimates for the UK or at local authority level are not available. The figures relate to 2010. The 2011 survey will be published on 31 January 2013.

Table 1: Parents of children aged 0-14 saying that they use childcare during a term time reference week by type of childcare, family type and English region 2010
 CouplesSingle parentsAll parents
 FormalInformal (%)Any (%)Formal (%)Informal (%)Any (%)Formal (%)Informal (%)Any (%)

England

52

25

66

45

34

64

50

27

65

London

44

11

51

41

12

47

43

11

50

North East

52

43

71

41

51

76

49

45

72

29 Jan 2013 : Column 747W

29 Jan 2013 : Column 748W

North West

48

24

62

47

34

66

48

26

63

Yorkshire and the Humber

54

34

71

37

40

62

50

36

68

East Midlands

45

21

60

34

34

56

42

24

59

West Midlands

48

24

63

50

39

71

49

28

65

East of England

56

32

71

54

45

72

55

34

71

South East

60

25

75

46

41.

73

57

29

75

South West

60

29

73

49

41

71

57

32

73

Note: The sum of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ childcare percentages can be different to the use of ‘any’ childcare percentage because a proportion of parents report the use of both formal and informal childcare. Source: Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents, 2010.