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Reading: Teaching Methods

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much funding his Department has provided to the year one phonics screening check to date; [143277]

(2) how many meetings he had with teaching unions about the introduction of the year one phonics screening check before its introduction; [143278]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the year one phonics screening check. [143279]

Elizabeth Truss: The costs of developing and piloting the phonics screening check in 2011 were £300,000. The independent evaluation of the pilot cost an additional £75,000. Delivering the national roll-out of the phonics screening check in June 2012 cost £600,000. We have committed a further £280,000 for a three-year, independent evaluation of the national roll-out.

Ministers and officials have consulted with teacher unions, notably NAHT, on many occasions during the design and implementation of the check, including at Education Forum meetings where the phonics check is raised regularly.

The check was piloted with 300 schools in 2011, and an independent evaluation was carried out by Sheffield Hallam university. Following national roll-out in 2012, we have commissioned NFER to evaluate the check over a period of three years. NFER will be looking at administration of the check, and its effect on the teaching of phonics and wider literacy in schools.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and which regulations his Department has repealed between 1 June 2012 and 31 January 2013; and what estimate he has made of the savings which will accrue to those affected by each such regulation as a result of its repeal. [142023]

Elizabeth Truss: In the period 1 June 2012 to 31 January 2013, the Department for Education revoked nine sets of regulations. The Government's aim is to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy on teachers, heads and governors so that they can focus on raising standards, rather than administrative tasks. It is not our intention to estimate the potential cost savings for the revoked regulations; our focus is on making a difference on the ground by reducing unnecessary burdens on our stakeholders and the wider sector and there is no current intention to estimate or measure savings for these revoked regulations.

Details of which regulations have been revoked are set out in the following table. However, as indicated in the third column of the table, in some cases the content of the revoked statutory instrument has been largely replaced.

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ReferenceTitle of revoked instrumentComments

2009/1508

The Childcare (Inspections) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

2010/1920

The Education (Short Stay Schools) (Closure) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

2011/1917

The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Order 2011

Replaced by similar Order in 2012

2010/344

The Schools Forums (England) Regulations 2010

Replaced by School Forum Regulations 2012

2008/1724

The Local Authority (Duty to Secure Early Years Provision Free of Charge) Regulations 2008

Replaced by 2012 Regulations

2010/301

The Local Authority (Duty to Secure Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

As above

2004/3130

The Financing of Maintained Schools (England) Regulations 2004

Replaced by School and Early Years Finance Regulations 2012

2011/371

The School Finance (England) Regulations 2011

As above

2011/778

The School Finance (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2011

As above

Royal National College for the Blind

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department's funding to the Royal National College for the Blind; and what plans he has for future funding. [120121]

Mr Laws: The Department for Education through the Education Funding Agency currently funds approximately 80 placements for young people aged 16 to 25 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. The total placement funding for these 80 young people in relation to 2012/13 academic year is £3.3 million. These placements have been commissioned by local authorities to meet the education, training and support needs for the young people as outlined within their learning difficulty assessment.

The Education Funding Agency undertakes annual moderation of institution accounts to monitor their financial health. The Royal National College for the Blind is assessed as low risk and the Education Funding Agency has no concerns about the college's financial health. My assessment is that the college is adequately funded by the Department for the challenging work it does with those young people who require its specialist services.

From 2013/14 new funding arrangements are being implemented for the college and similar specialist institutions. These arrangements will support the Government's plans to introduce a more integrated approach to assessment and planning for young people with special educational needs from birth to age 25. Local authorities will continue to commission placements at the college for local young people following assessment, and will in future also provide the majority of the college's funding for each student.

School Milk

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children receive free milk at school. [142487]

Mr Laws: The Department does not collect this information.

Schools and nurseries are not required to provide drinking milk to their pupils, but can choose to do so if they wish. The Department of Health's Nursery Milk Scheme provides free milk to children under the age of five in child care settings, including nurseries.

For children over the age of five attending schools or Academies, where the school chooses to provide milk, it must be provided free of charge to pupils who are eligible for free school meals. Schools can charge all other pupils for any milk provided.

Schools which choose to provide milk can also participate in the EU School Milk Subsidy Scheme, which reduces the cost of the milk to parents.

Schools: Sports

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he has taken to maintain minimum standards of physical education in schools in respect of (a) the amount of time schools allocate and (b) the quality of lessons; and if he will make a statement. [141372]

Mr Timpson: The law specifically prevents the Secretary of State for Education from telling schools how much time they should devote to Physical Education (PE), or to any other subject. This is for schools to decide, by using their professional judgment.

We are currently exploring a range of measures to improve the quality of PE, including improving the quality of teaching, and we will be making an announcement shortly.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to promote the playing of traditional British sports in schools. [142486]

Mr Timpson: We published draft programmes of study for all National Curriculum subjects for consultation on 7 February. Our new National Curriculum sets high expectations, and in physical education it aims to ensure that all pupils play a range of competitive sports. Examples given in the draft programme of study of traditional sports that schools can teach include football, cricket, hockey, netball and rugby.

In addition, we are working with other Government Departments to explore a range of options to build on the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to help to create a sporting habit for life for young people. An announcement will be made shortly.

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Secondment

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether any staff in his private office are on secondment. [142428]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 12 February 2013]: None of the staff in the Private Office of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, are on secondment.

Sixth Form Colleges: VAT

Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the level of VAT payable by sixth form colleges. [112577]

Mr Laws [holding answer 18 June 2012]: There has been no direct contact between Ministers in the Department for Education and the Treasury on this matter, but officials in both Departments are looking into this complex issue. We are committed to a fairer and more transparent funding system for 16-19 education.

Social Workers: Training

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) when he will publish the evaluation of the Step Up to Social Work pilots; [143846]

(2) what changes he has made to the Step Up to Social Work courses. [143849]

Mr Timpson: The first evaluation reports on the Step Up to Social Work scheme are currently being finalised and we expect to publish them shortly. The evaluation follows the first Step Up cohort from the start of training in September 2010 to their early experiences in qualified practice up to November 2012.

The evaluation has informed two substantive changes to the recently announced third cohort of Step Up:

We are returning to a centrally run, national recruitment model similar to that used for cohort 1 to ensure the scheme attracts the very best participants.

The qualifying award at the end of the programme will be a postgraduate diploma, removing the previous requirement for participants to commit substantial time at the end of their training to production of a dissertation, and enabling an earlier move into frontline practice.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish details of the contract tendering process for the Frontline Social Work Programme. [143847]

Mr Timpson: No decision on the contract tendering process has been reached.

Special Educational Needs

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what support his Department provides to schools in rural communities to encourage provision for children with special educational needs during school holidays. [143599]

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Mr Timpson: As a general principle the Government aim to give schools as much freedom as possible to take their own decisions on how best to use the funding and resources at their disposal.

In addition, the Government have committed over £800 million for local authorities to invest in short breaks for disabled children between April 2011 and March 2015 through grants which are not ring-fenced. In 2011-12 and 2012-13, an additional £40 million of capital funding per annum was also made available to local authorities to invest in short breaks equipment and infrastructure. Although not specifically targeted at rural areas, this contributes significantly to making sure these vital opportunities are available across the country.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of reductions to local authority budgets on the ability of services included in local offers to be delivered. [144124]

Mr Timpson: The Government published the Children and Families Bill in February 2013. This includes proposals for local authorities in England to publish a local offer of services for children and young people with special educational needs, including those who are disabled. The local offer would enable families to see readily what they can expect from mainstream services across education, health and social care; how to access more specialist support; how decisions are made including eligibility criteria for accessing services where appropriate; and how to complain or appeal.

It would be for local authorities to assess local needs and make sure that appropriate resources are directed to meet them. Local authorities would be required to involve local children, young people and families in discussions about the content of the local offer and about developing the services that are available in their area. This would ensure that their needs and aspirations are taken into account.

The local offer is designed to reflect the services that are available from within existing local resources. Clearer local information on the support that is readily available for families from mainstream services could help reduce the need for parents to invest time and energy in seeking assessments and making appeals to Tribunal in order to get the right support, as well as saving local authorities and local services the expense of this process. The legislation would also require local authorities and health bodies to work together to plan and commission services for children and young people with SEN. This would make better use of all available resources.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to ensure that the needs of pupils currently on School Action and School Action Plus programmes will be met by the local offer. [144125]

Mr Timpson: The Government published the Children and Families Bill in February 2013. This includes proposals for local authorities in England to publish a local offer of services for children and young people with special educational needs, including those who are disabled. The local offer would enable families to see readily what they can expect from mainstream services across education,

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health and social care; how to access more specialist support; how decisions are made including eligibility criteria for accessing services where appropriate; and how to complain or appeal. Local authorities would be required to involve local children, young people and families in developing their local offer to ensure that their needs, and aspirations are taken into account.

Detailed requirements for the local offer will be set out in regulations. These requirements will be informed by the learning and effective practice developed by the pathfinders. They will include information about provision available in mainstream educational settings to support all pupils with special educational needs including those without statements or Education, Health and Care plans.

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) when he expects to publish (a) the regulations concerning the approval of independent special schools and special post-16 institutions as specified in Clause 41 of the Children and Families Bill and (b) a policy statement on this matter; and whether such regulations will be subject to a public consultation; [144689]

(2) when he expects to publish (a) the regulations concerning the preparation, content and maintenance of Education, Health and Care Plans as specified in Clause 37 of the Children and Families Bill and (b) a policy statement on this matter; and whether such regulations will be subject to a public consultation; [144690]

(3) when he expects to publish the Code of Practice specified in Clause 66 of the Children and Families Bill, or a policy statement regarding the same; and whether the Code of Practice will be subject to a public consultation; [144692]

(4) when he expects to publish (a) the regulations governing local offers specified in Clause 30 of the Children and Families Bill and (b) a policy statement on this matter; and whether such regulations will be subject to a public consultation. [144699]

Mr Timpson: Information about the proposed content of regulations associated with the Children and Families Bill and the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice will be provided for Parliament in time for its consideration of the relevant clauses of the Bill in Committee.

Full drafts of the Regulations and the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice will be developed during the passage of the Bill in light of the parliamentary debates, drawing on learning from the 20 local pathfinders established to test the Government's special educational needs reforms, and comments from interested parties. Final drafts will then be published in the autumn for formal public consultation.

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of education funding reforms on independent specialist providers. [144691]

Mr Laws: The funding reforms will enable education, health and social care budgets to be brought together for high needs students, and pave the way for students or their parents to hold personalised budgets and to have a new legal right to express a preference for provision

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that best meets their needs. These reforms will increase opportunities for high quality responsive specialist providers to attract students and the associated funding.

Independent specialist providers for students aged 16 or above will need to agree funding rates with their students' home local authorities. We expect local authorities to acknowledge the valuable contribution that such colleges make in providing the kind of specialist support that some students require at this age if they are to continue their education. As students' places for this autumn are generally not confirmed at this stage in the year it is too early to assess the impact of these changes on providers' student numbers and income for the academic year starting in September 2013. We will monitor the impact of the changes as the year progresses and the Education Funding Agency is prepared to intervene if the viability of any institution is under threat.

Staff

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the full-time equivalent headcount was of officials in the Safeguarding department of his Department in (a) May 2010 and (b) January 2013; and what future such headcount is projected for the period up to the end of the redundancy programme in May 2015. [144673]

Mr Timpson: The Safeguarding Group had 75.74 full-time equivalents in May 2010. In January 2013, the Safeguarding Group had 75.0. The Department's business planning process is on-going and figures for 2015 are still to be confirmed and will be kept under review.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the full-time equivalent headcount was of officials in the Children, Young People and Family division of his Department in (a) May 2010 and (b) January 2013; and what future such headcount is projected for the period up to the end of the redundancy programme in May 2015. [144674]

Mr Timpson: Children, Young People and Families Directorate had 460.96 full-time equivalents in May 2010. In December 2012, Children, Young People and Families Directorate became the Children's Services and Departmental Strategy Directorate. This directorate had 717.1 full-time equivalent staff in January 2013. The Department's business planning process is ongoing and figures for 2015 are still to be confirmed and will be kept under review.

Teachers

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether a Minister from his Department will attend the 3rd OECD/EI International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2013. [R] [144654]

Mr Laws: No Minister from the Department for Education is able to attend the third OECD/EI International Summit on the Teaching Profession in the Netherlands on 13/14 March 2013.

In 2012, the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes) attended the summit, as did the Secretary of State for Education in 2011. Both summits were held in New York.

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Teachers: Training

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what weight will be given to a school's ability to find suitable long-term employment for its teacher trainees in the allocation of future teacher training places. [142395]

Mr Laws [holding answer 11 February 2013]: The School Direct training and salaried teacher training routes provide the means for schools in England to recruit and select the trainees that they think will best meet their school partnership staffing needs.

In determining how many School Direct places to request, schools should have reviewed their previous employment patterns and use any current knowledge on staffing/budgetary issues to make an assessment of future need. This assessment should enable schools to request a number of places that broadly matches the future employment requirements within the school or partnership of schools where the trainee will be based. The Teaching Agency expects the school or partnership of schools to have a clear capacity to employ the trainees when they successfully complete their training programme.

Naturally there will be occasional circumstances that prevent a trainee taking up employment in one of those schools (such as not completing the course, changes to the school structure, outside factors, personal preference) but it should be the school's intention to retain the teachers, based on a reasonable expectation of there being a teaching vacancy.

When assessing future requests from schools for School Direct places, the Teaching Agency may consider how successful the school's previous School Direct trainees have been in securing employment and prioritise schools that have high employment rates.

Travel

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department spent on (a) the Government Car Service and (b) other taxi or car services for ministerial travel in each year since 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. [142634]

Elizabeth Truss: The departmental spend on the Government Car Service is published in the annual written ministerial statements which can be found at:

2009/10:

http://tinyurl.com/cel89qy

2010/11:

http://tinyurl.com/c4qotuu

2011/12:

http://tinyurl.com/c8z38ll

These details are available in the Libraries of both Houses, with the exception of the cost for 2012-13 which will be published later this year.

The announcement by the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond), in 2012, sets out the continuing reduction in the amount spent on official cars for Ministers, available at:

http://tinyurl.com/d3e4h44

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The departmental spend on taxi and car services for ministerial travel could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

UK Council for Child Internet Safety

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many whole-time equivalent officials in his Department worked on the UK Council of Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) in (a) May 2010 and (b) January 2013; and how many such officials are projected to work on the UKCCIS until the redundancy programme in May 2015; [144670]

(2) what the current budget is for the UK Council of Child Internet Safety's department; and what its projected budget is for each year to 2015; [144671]

(3) what the future work programme is of the UK Council of Child Internet Safety. [144672]

Mr Timpson: In May 2010 the staff resource for child internet safety in the Department, including the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) secretariat, was approximately five full-time equivalent staff. In addition, other parts of Government provided staff to the Department for Education to support the work, including two part-time staff, one temporary member of staff, and one seconded, part-time member of staff.

In January 2013 there were approximately seven full-time equivalent staff in the Department for Education working on child internet safety. None of these is currently provided by other Government Departments. However, as child internet safety is a cross-Government priority, officials from the Department for Education work collaboratively with officials from the Home Office and DCMS. The Department's business planning process is ongoing and figures for 2015 are still to be confirmed and will be kept under review.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) is an umbrella group with membership open to any organisation concerned with improving child internet safety. Members agree to pursue the aims and objectives of UKCCIS. The Government strategically direct, support and promote the work of UKCCIS, but it is the members of UKCCIS who take action forward, supported by a secretariat at the Department for Education. The UK Council for Child Internet Safety does not, therefore, directly manage a budget. The Department is currently undertaking comprehensive business planning to determine its priorities and appropriate resources for the period 2013-14 to 2015-16.

The future work programme of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) will be determined by the UKCCIS Executive Board, chaired by three Ministers—the Minister for Crime Prevention, the hon. Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), and myself. The UKCCIS Executive Board keeps the priorities for improving child internet safety under review, and details of the work of UKCCIS members and their achievements are published on the UKCCIS website at:

www.education.gov.uk/ukccis

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Vocational Guidance

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he has taken to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and engineering industries. [142680]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 11 February 2013]: The Government are committed to finding ways to ensure that young people have the opportunity to engage with science subjects, and pursue science and engineering careers, especially among under-represented groups; such as girls and those living in disadvantaged areas. The key to encouraging more young people to take up such careers is to ensure that they are inspired by, and achieve well in, science and technology at school. To encourage this, the Government are investing up to £135 million over the current spending review period to support schools to improve the quality and provision of science teaching. This includes: high quality professional development opportunities; subject knowledge enhancement courses for pre-Initial Teacher Training graduates and teachers without a specialist science qualification; and support for schools to improve participation in GCSE triple science and A level physics. Science GCSEs are also included in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). This is promoting and increasing the number of pupils with science GCSEs, and in turn there is an increase in pupils who progress to take science and physics at A level. For young people wishing to pursue a career in engineering, in November 2012 the Chancellor announced that the Government will be supporting the Royal Academy of Engineering to develop a series of new Engineering qualifications at KS4. These qualifications are for inclusion within the ‘Wolf’ list of high value non-GCSE qualifications to be taught from 2014 and reported in school performance tables from 2016. In addition, physics, which is a key foundation for science and engineering study at university and for many science and engineering careers, is being supported through the Stimulating Physics Network.

Young People: Sports

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the occasions on which his Department has met other Government Departments or outside bodies to discuss the Government's youth sport strategy to create a sporting habit for life; and if he will make a statement. [141374]

Mr Timpson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education met the Minister of State for Sport and Tourism on 28 February 2012 to discuss the youth sport strategy. Since then officials from the Department for Education have had regular meetings with their counterparts in the Departments for Health and for Culture, Media and Sport to discuss a range of issues relating specifically to youth sport strategy.

Young People: Unemployment

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the arrangements being made by local authorities to stay in contact with 16 to 18 year olds not in employment, education or training; and if he will make a statement. [144147]

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Mr Laws: The Department published statutory guidance in 2011 that made clear local authorities' role in tracking young people's participation, and identifying those who were not in education, employment or training. To ensure the transparency of information and increase accountability, the Department makes available on its website data about the proportion of young people whose activity is not known by the local authority.

The proportion of young people whose activity is not known to local authorities is too high. The Department wrote to Directors of Children's Services in 35 local areas in early 2012 to draw their attention to their high ‘not known' rates, followed by individual, visits to the five areas of most concern. This approach will continue in 2013 as part of our wider improvement support arrangements. The Department is also supporting a number of local authorities to develop their arrangements for tracking young people's participation, and events to promote and disseminate effective practice are planned for spring 2013.

Communities and Local Government

Alcoholic Drinks

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the level of alcohol-related absenteeism in his Department; whether his Department has an (a) internal alcohol policy and (b) occupational health strategy; and if he will publish such documents. [143960]

Brandon Lewis: The Department for Communities and Local Government takes the health of its staff seriously. We have an internal alcohol policy and take a positive approach to the treatment of problems caused by alcohol abuse. Individuals are supported by their line manager to seek medical and counselling support and may be referred to our occupational health provider. Counselling is available through our Employee Assistance Provider.

Our sickness absence recording system does not enable us to identify cases of alcohol-related absenteeism. However, high levels of short-term absence are followed up by our Advisory team. The Advisory team would be made aware, by the line manager, of any alcohol abuse that had affected an individual's absence—or conduct or performance—at work.

Buildings

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) total floor space and (b) floor space measured in square metres per full-time equivalent post is of properties used by his Department. [143349]

Brandon Lewis: The total floor area (including areas sub-let to other occupiers) of properties currently used by the Department for Communities and Local Government is 63,346 square metres.

The area occupied by the Department's staff is 20,485 square metres. This equates to 11.96 square metres for each full-time equivalent post.

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The Department is currently planning a number of disposals and consolidations across its estate and as well as reducing costs these will improve the square metres per full-time equivalent ratio. We are also seeking to sub-let out more of our office space, which will further improve the ratio.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the names and locations are of all properties used by officials of his Department;

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whether those properties are

(a)

owned by the Department,

(b)

leased by the Department and

(c)

subject to a private finance initiative agreement; when existing lease agreements relating to such properties are due to expire; and what the total floor space is of each property. [143370]

Brandon Lewis: The Department for Communities and Local Government currently occupies the 19 properties listed in the following table.

PropertyTenureLease break/endTotal floor area (m(2))

Princes Parade, Liverpool

Leasehold

17 May 2015

212.00

Arpley House, Warrington

Leasehold

Break 1 July2013 End 1 July 2016

407.60

Ashdown House North, Hastings

Leasehold

31 March 2015

418.20

Bridge House, Guildford

Leasehold

1 October 2015—DCLG plan to vacate in 2015

3,587.60

Rivergate House, Bristol

Leasehold

24 March 2022—DCLG plan to vacate and dispose of lease in the next three years

6,440.00

Citygate, Newcastle upon Tyne

Leasehold

1 August 2019

6,095.00

Cumberland Place, Nottingham

Leasehold

15 May 2015

323.40

Eastbrook House, Cambridge

Leasehold

Break 1 March 2018 End 1 March 2033—DCLG plan to operate the break and vacate in March 2018

4,691.50

Eland House, Central London

Leasehold

Break 25 November 2016 End 20 November 2020—DCLG plan to vacate on 2016 break option or before via lease surrender

23,002.00

Hempstead House, Hemel Hempstead

Leasehold

15 April 2013

1,816.20

Lateral, Leeds

Leasehold

14 February 2022

5,612.00

Longbrook House, Exeter

Leasehold

31 March 2014

135.00

Lysnoweth, Infirmary Hill, Truro

Leasehold

31 March 2014—DCLG plan to vacate on lease expiry in 2014

116.00

Mast House, Plymouth

Leasehold

Break 25 May 2016 End 24 May 2021—DCLG plan to vacate in 2013 via lease surrender

1,645.60

Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh

Freehold/feuhold/fee simple

DCLG plan to dispose in 2013

1,401.00

Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

Leasehold

4 January 2015

941.70

St Philips Place, Birmingham

Leasehold

22 December 2020

6,024.00

Temple Quay House, Bristol

Leasehold

24 March 2021

400.40

Vulcan House, Sheffield

Leasehold

Break 30 June 2014 End 30 June 2016—DCLG plan to operate break option in 2014

77.00

Over the last 18 months, the Department has had considerable success in reducing the cost of its estate through consolidation and targeted building disposals. This has seen the Department surrender four leasehold office properties through a combination of lease breaks and lease expiries as well as an administrative transfer of a property to another Government Department. This has generated net savings of £6.5 million net per annum over that period. The Department has also successfully sublet surplus space across its leasehold office estate over the same period, reducing the overall property cost by approximately £6.44 million via additional tenant income. At Eland house in Victoria, we have sublet space to Ofwat, the Department for Transport and the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency—as well as providing space for a pop-up shop operated by StartUp Britain.

Council Tax

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been allocated to each unitary and district council to fund a council tax scheme from April 2013; and what formula is being used to calculate those allocations. [143588]

Brandon Lewis: I assume the hon. Member is referring to council tax support schemes. £3.3 billion has been allocated to local authorities in respect of local council tax support. The individual allocations were published with the Local Government Settlement. The process for calculating the individual allocations was set out in detail in the ‘Localising Council Tax Support Funding Allocations Consultation’ last May.

Council Tax Benefits

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he has issued to councils regarding devising schemes for administering council tax benefit from April 2013. [143589]

Brandon Lewis: We have taken a number of steps to ensure local authorities are well placed to implement local council tax support schemes in April 2013:

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We have ensured local authorities received early notice of the requirements of secondary legislation. We published a statement of intent in May, setting out in detail what would be covered by secondary legislation; published draft regulations on the default scheme and prescribed requirements in July for comment; and have laid regulations on the default scheme and prescribed requirements (and an associated uprating instrument), the council tax base, administration and enforcement, transitional arrangements, fraud and contracting out.

We have provided advice and guidance on a range of issues including work incentives, local authorities' responsibilities in relation to vulnerable groups, the transition grant, administration of support within the council tax system, and the operation of the default scheme in relation to people receiving universal credit.

We have also provided information to help local authorities consider the financial implications of their schemes. This has included a design tool to help local authorities analyse the impact of scheme options; a funding consultation, which provided provisional funding allocations for all authorities; a consultation on the business rates scheme, setting out how allocations to local authorities would be calculated in 2014-15; a consultation and Government response on the council tax base and funding for local precepting authorities; transition grant criteria and allocations; and final funding allocations, which were issued as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement.

We have supported regular communication to and between local authorities, including by providing regular email policy updates to Chief Finance Officers and other interested officials, and hosting two national events for local authorities to share experience and issues.

Departmental Responsibilities

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's core statutory obligations are; and what estimate he has of the annual cost of delivering each such obligation. [142755]

Brandon Lewis: This question can be answered only at disproportionate cost.

To answer this question would require trawling through all of the current statutes and forming an assessment of the annual cost of delivering each of the core statutory obligations.

Families: Disadvantaged

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the prevalence is of (a) alcohol abuse and (b) other substance abuse amongst families involved in the Troubled Families programme. [144027]

Brandon Lewis: Figures about the prevalence of alcohol and other substance abuse specifically among families involved in the Troubled Families programme are not currently available. However, national and local monitoring and evaluation of the programme will collect this information in due course.

A recent report by Louise Casey ‘Listening to Troubled Families' outlined how the families she interviewed were often struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, among a range of other problems.

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Food: Waste

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much surplus food was thrown away by his Department in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143447]

Brandon Lewis: Neither the Department for Communities and Local Government nor its facilities management contractor throw away surplus food. Any food waste that is generated is a by-product of meal preparation and food consumption, such as vegetable peelings and plate scrapings. All food waste is then separated and sent to a waste treatment facility to produce energy from waste.

Fracking

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the costs of decommissioning fracking sites are. [143647]

Nick Boles: Costs of decommissioning sites will vary on a site-by-site basis. My Department does not hold any information on the costs of decommissioning fracking sites in the UK.

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what correspondence he has had with local authorities regarding fracking and the provision of section 106 agreements to cover the decommissioning costs. [143648]

Nick Boles: We have had no such correspondence with local planning authorities on fracking and section 106 agreements.

The National Planning Policy Framework and its accompanying technical guide make it clear that, in exceptional circumstances, mineral planning authorities may seek a financial guarantee to cover restoration (including aftercare) costs at the time a planning permission is given. Such guarantees may be given, for instance, through a bond or section 106 agreement.

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities regarding permissions and agreements with regard to the decommissioning of fracking sites. [143649]

Nick Boles: Schedule 5 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 gives minerals planning authorities the power to impose planning conditions on mineral operators to provide for site restoration and aftercare with their application for minerals extraction (including shale gas). This is to ensure clearance of equipment and proper restoration of the site once operations have ceased. For sites that are to be returned to agriculture, forestry or amenity purposes, there is an obligation on the mineral operator to look after the site for a maximum period of five years once restoration has been completed. Planned restoration for other uses may require a separate planning permission.

The Government will consider the need for additional guidance as part of Lord Taylor of Goss Moor's review of existing planning practice guidance.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 75W

Government Procurement Card

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to Lord Bates of 19 October 2012, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA489, on Government departments: procurement, which Government Procurement card transactions from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2005-06 were made by a cardholder who was then based in the private office of the Deputy Prime Minister. [127478]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 8 November 2013]: A copy of all Government Procurement Card transactions made by the Ministerial Group as a whole from the

25 Feb 2013 : Column 76W

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for the period in 2005-06 has been deposited in the Library of the House.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the mean average spend using a Government Procurement Card was per member of staff in (a) his Department and (b) each of its arm's length bodies in (i) 2011 and (ii) 2012. [141453]

Brandon Lewis: The following table sets out a comparison for the mean average spend per member of staff against the Government Procurement Card expenditure from 2008-09 onwards. This shows a continuing reduction in expenditure over the years.

Nearest (£)
Organisation2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Main

     

DCLG Central

284

155

105

38

10

      

Arm’s length bodies

     

Homes and Communities Agency

(1)701

2,295

1,256

978

736

Planning Inspectorate

207

205

88

82

(2)105

Audit Commission

291

267

141

85

49

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

1,167

1,650

1,070

619

447

Valuation Tribunal Service

24

37

19

8

(3)

Local Government Ombudsman

0

164

337

348

253

Fire Service College

984

852

617

417

279

(1) Spend from December 2008 since inception of the Homes and Communities Agency. (2) Spend has gone up in 2012-13 due to the bookings and payments of staff training which are now being done through the Government Procurement Card. (3) All cards withdrawn by April 2012.

We received nil returns from the five other arm’s length bodies:

London Thames Gateway DC

West Northamptonshire DC

Independent Housing Ombudsman Ltd

Architects Registration Board

Building Regulations Advisory Committee

While there is a role for electronic payments using such cards, under this Administration, my Department has introduced new internal checks and audit trails on the use of the Government Procurement Card, from pre-approvals to requiring post-transaction reporting. We have significantly reduced the number of card holders. Our transparency agenda of publishing spending data online has also increased internal and external scrutiny of every single transaction on such charge cards.

As the Department explained in its publication, ‘50 ways to save: Examples of sensible savings in local government’ published in December, the online transparency and tougher controls have helped cut expenditure on ‘Central Departments’ Government Procurement Cards’ by over three quarters, from £321,076 in 2009-10, to just £70,835 in 2011-12 and cut the number of card holders from 210 in May 2010 to just 26 in November 2012.

Homelessness

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of all homelessness (a) applications and (b) acceptances were from black, Asian and minority ethnic households in (i) 2001-02 and (ii) 2011-12. [144143]

Mr Prisk: The Department does not collect information on numbers of homelessness applications. Although it does collect figures on the numbers of decisions, which are closely related to numbers of applications, they are not broken down by ethnic group.

The Department does collect information on the numbers of homelessness acceptances broken down by ethnic group. The requested information on homelessness acceptances for England is set out in the following table.

Homelessness acceptances—England
 2001-022011-12

Black, Asian and minority ethnic households(1)

24,640

14,450

White households

83,040

33,410

Ethnic group not stated

9,010

2,430

Total(2)

116,660

50,290

   

25 Feb 2013 : Column 77W

Black, Asian and minority ethnic households as percentage of total households (excluding those with ethnic group not stated)

23

30

(1) Including mixed ethnicity for 2011-12: figures for mixed ethnicity were not collected for 2001-02. (2) Total may not equal the sum of constituent parts due to rounding Source: Quarterly P1E forms from local authorities; DCLG Live Table 771

This information is also available from DCLG Live Table 771, which is available at

http://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness

I would observe that 2001 and 2011 census data show that both the size and the proportion of the black, Asian and minority ethnic population within England have risen in the last decade, which will have influenced these figures.

Housing: Taxation

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment he has made of whether taxes on a single self-build property through the affordable housing levy and the community infrastructure levy may exceed more than (a) 10, (b) 20, (c) 30 and (d) 40% of the value of that property; [143115]

(2) what estimate he has made of the highest level of combined taxes that can be levied on a standard-size three-bedroom self-build property through the new community infrastructure levy and the affordable housing levy. [143116]

Nick Boles: I refer the hon. Member to my answers to him on 30 January 2013, Official Report, column 853W.

Local Government Finance: East Riding

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons he intends to reduce the 2013-14 formula grant for the East Riding of Yorkshire by more than the national average. [141377]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 4 February 2013]: The final settlement for 2013-14 was approved by the House of Commons on 13 February and details can be found at:

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1314/settle.htm

Every bit of the public sector needs to do its bit to tackle the deficit inherited from the last Administration, including local government which accounts for a quarter of all public spending.

While noting that East Riding of Yorkshire's change in spending power is greater than the national average in 2013-14, I would observe that the changes in spending power in both 2011-12 and in 2012-13 were more favourable than the national average.

We have tried to ensure fairness for all parts of the country—to both north and south, to rural and urban areas, and to shires and metropolitan areas.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 78W

Mayors

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether elected mayors are employees. [143743]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the right hon. Member to my answer to him of 10 January 2013, Official Report, column 406W.

Means-tested Benefits

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what cash and non-cash means-tested benefits are provided by his Department; what the rules are in respect of means-testing for each such benefit; and how much his Department spent on each in 2011-12. [144161]

Brandon Lewis: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not directly provide any cash or non-cash means-tested benefits.

Planning Permission

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Localism Act 2011, whether (a) an emerging local plan, (b) a new local plan or (c) a fast-track change to an existing local plan would have a material effect on the substance or detail of any application for detailed planning permission in the relevant local authority area; and if he will make a statement. [143692]

Nick Boles: The planning system is plan-led. Planning law requires that planning applications must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The reference to development plans would apply to existing local plans that had been subject to examination and adopted by a local planning authority.

Fast-track changes provide a shorter timetable for updating local plan policies where these are specific or of a single issue. The requirements for consultation and examination of the proposed changes still need to be met before they can be adopted and carry the weight of an adopted plan.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that decision makers may give weight to relevant policies in emerging local plans according to their stage of preparation, the extent to which there are unresolved objections to relevant policies and the degree of consistency with the framework.

It is ultimately up to the decision maker to determine the outcome of individual planning applications.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out a robust framework on this issue so a further statement will not be provided.

Public Appointments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people he appointed to public bodies in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; (i) how many and (ii) what proportion of those

25 Feb 2013 : Column 79W

appointees were (A) black or from an ethnic minority, (B) Hindu, (C) Muslim and (D) Chinese in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [144101]

Brandon Lewis: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), appointed 19 people to public bodies in 2010-11, and 30 people in 2011-12. Of these, 14 were reappointments in 2010-11, and 14 were reappointments in 2011-12.

All of the 19 appointments in 2010-11 and 26 of the 30 appointments in 2011-12 were regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Commissioner for Public Appointments collates and publishes information on the number of appointments of candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds; however this information is not broken down by ethnic group.

Copies of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 annual reports are available at:

http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk

Copies are also available in the Library of the House. The Commissioner does not collect information regarding the religion of appointees.

Shops

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what investment he has made to promote the introduction of pop-up shops across the UK. [144616]

Mr Prisk: Pop-up shops are a superb way for entrepreneurs to test their ideas and to get empty retail spaces back into use. The Government are providing over £80 million in start-up loans for young entrepreneurs, which could create over 30,000 new businesses.

In December 2012 my Department worked with StartUp Britain to convert two meeting rooms in its Eland House headquarters into a pop-up shop and in January 2013, I hosted a briefing session for hon. Members and their Town Team Partners to encourage local areas to follow suit. A practical toolkit and model pop-up lease, produced by Startup Britain, is available at:

http://popupbritain.com/guidance-for-town-teams

Sickness Absence

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department. [144497]

Brandon Lewis: The Department is taking a number of steps to reduce sick absence:

The Department is committed to the well-being of its staff and offers a number of services to assist in minimising staff absences:

A self-test stress indicator tool for staff members, to help their line managers identify measures they can put in place to tackle workplace stress in their team. This has been developed by the Health and Safety Executive, in association with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Investors in People.

Intranet information pages to inform staff on ways in which they can actively seek to maximise their physical and mental health.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 80W

Access to a 24 hour Employee Assistance helpline which offers advice and support for all staff to deal with a wide range of issues, including sick absence.

The Department has a short term sick absence policy which line managers use to support staff back to work and help them manage down their sick absences.

The Department has finalised and will shortly be introducing a comprehensive policy for managing long term sickness absence which we consider will significantly improve the management and resolution of such cases.

Social Rented Housing: Electrical Safety

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has undertaken research into the (a) quality and (b) age of electrical installations in the social rented sector. [143280]

Mr Foster: Information on the electrical safety of properties is collected through the English Housing Survey. No research has been undertaken specifically on the quality and age of electrical installations in the social rented sector.

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with what frequency the requirements of the Decent Home Standard with regard to electrical products and installations are reviewed. [143281]

Mr Foster: The Decent Homes standard was subject to consultation in 2011 by both Government and the social housing regulator. Under this standard, a home is required to be free from a category 1 hazard as defined by the Housing and Health Safety Rating System, which includes consideration of electrical safety. There are no current plans to review the Decent Homes standard.

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has considered including provision for the update of electrical safety within the requirements of the Decent Homes Standard. [144051]

Mr Foster: The Decent Homes Standard includes an assessment of risk against the Housing Health Safety Rating System, which includes consideration of electrical safety.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff were employed by his Department in each of the last five years; and at what grade or pay band such staff were appointed. [142778]

Brandon Lewis: My Department had the following numbers of staff by Civil Service grade at 31 March in each of the requested years as reported by the Office for National Statistics:

25 Feb 2013 : Column 81W

Civil Service Grade or equivalent20082009201020112012

Administrative grades

360

224

235

203

139

Executive Officers

389

351

333

307

269

Higher Executive Officers

561

429

525

508

485

Senior Executive Officers

264

255

297

287

310

Grades 7

456

391

460

472

472

Grades 6

102

134

116

114

113

Senior Civil Service (SCS)

155

102

111

109

90

Total

2,287

1,886

2,077

2,000

1,878

These figures do not reflect the savings to the public purse from the abolition of the Government offices for the regions and the regional development agencies and their associated machinery of government changes and reduction in overall staffing; full details can be found in the answers of 11 June 2012, Official Report, columns 11-13W.

The Department is committed to greater transparency in government and now publishes internal workforce management information, including numbers of staff by Civil Service grade, for both the Department and its arm’s length bodies on a monthly basis on both the Department’s website and data.gov.uk.

Based on current estimates (which reflect accounting consequences from machinery of government changes), the DCLG Group is reducing its annual running costs by 41% in real terms by 2014-15. This equates to net savings of at least £532 million over this spending review period.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff are based in each property used by his Department. [143307]

Brandon Lewis: My Department had the following numbers of staff in each property used by the Department as of 31 January 2013:

BuildingNumbers of staff

Eland House—London

1,275

Hempstead House—Hemel Hempstead

71

St Philips Place—Birmingham

66

Lateral—Leeds

39

Arpley House—Warrington

36

Citygate—Newcastle

35

Temple Quay House—Bristol

34

Cumberland Place—Nottingham

24

Princes Dock—Liverpool

22

Mast House—Plymouth

19

Eastbrook—Cambridge

18

Ashdown House—Hastings

17

Rivergate—Bristol

16

25 Feb 2013 : Column 82W

Vulcan House—Sheffield

14

Longbrook House—Exeter

13

No. 1 Piccadilly—Manchester

11

Lysnoweth—Truro

10

Other locations

9

Total

1,729

In eight locations (Eland House London, Bridge House Guildford, Hempstead House Hemel Hempstead, City Gate Newcastle, Rivergate House Bristol, Lateral Leeds, Mast House Plymouth and St Philips Place Birmingham) DCLG is the leaseholder for the property; the remainder are properties leased to other Government Departments and we have sub-let some space from them.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate his Department's total staffing requirement in full-time equivalent posts for fulfilling its minimum statutory obligations. [143328]

Brandon Lewis: The Department for Communities and Local Government completed a major programme of restructuring which finished in October 2011. The Department's planned establishment for 1 November 2012 and going forward is currently 1,757 full-time equivalent staff.

These figures do not reflect the savings to the public purse from the abolition of the Government offices for the regions and the regional development agencies and their associated machinery of government changes; full details can be found in the answers of 11 June 2012, Official Report, columns 11-13W. The Department's arm’s length bodies are expected to make significant savings over the spending review period, though no specific headcount targets have been set.

Based on current estimates (which reflect accounting consequences from machinery of government changes), the DCLG Group is reducing its annual running costs by 41% in real terms by 2014-15. This equates to net savings of at least £532 million over this spending review period.

Vacant Land

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on the protection of fields from development to prevent urban sprawl. [144392]

Nick Boles: The Government have made it quite clear through the National Planning Policy Framework that in supporting sustainable development they are committed to safeguarding the natural environment and ensuring strong protections for the Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and many other countryside treasures. Additionally, the framework underlines that planning decisions should recognise the intrinsic value and beauty of the countryside, whether or not it is specifically designated, and local councils are expected to take into account in their planning the economic and other benefits

25 Feb 2013 : Column 83W

of the best and most versatile agricultural land. Moreover, councils should use their local plans to help shape where development should and should not take place and to help prevent unsustainable development or sprawl.

Wind Power

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he has taken to ensure that local authorities have sufficient financial resources available to fund appeals against refusals of permissions for onshore wind farm applications. [144567]

Nick Boles: The best way for local authorities and communities to guide planning applications for development in their area, including wind farms, is to ensure that they have an up-to-date local plan in place. Under planning law, planning applications and any subsequent appeals are decided in accordance with the plan for the area.

We have published new advice which clarifies the position of local authorities in terms of the risk of being liable for costs in a planning appeal. The Cost Awards Circular Addendum published on 18 December made it clear that where a local authority refuses a planning application on the grounds that it is contrary to development plan policy, and no material considerations including national policy indicate that planning permission should have been granted, there should generally be no grounds for an award of costs against the planning authority for unreasonable refusal of an application.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the level of alcohol-related absenteeism in her Department; whether her Department has an (a) internal alcohol policy and (b) occupational health strategy; and if she will publish such documents. [143968]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not collect data specifically relating to alcohol-related absences. A copy of the internal drugs and alcohol policy document has been placed in the House Library.

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to publish her response to her Department's consultation on its alcohol strategy, including any recommendations for minimum unit pricing and prohibition of multi-buy discounts. [144684]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The alcohol strategy consultation closed on 6 February. The Government will consider all views and will respond in due course.

Asylum

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in each of the last 10 years, how many asylum applications were received; how many

25 Feb 2013 : Column 84W

asylum decisions were made; how many of those decisions were to

(a)

approve the application,

(b)

refuse the application and

(c)

grant temporary leave to remain; how many failed applicants were removed; how many cases were unresolved, with the total time since the application was given in year bands; and in how many cases all files have been lost. [143065]

Mr Harper [holding answer 13 February 2013]:Table 1 shows asylum applications received and decisions made and Table 2 shows number of removals between 2002 and 2011. Figures relate to main applicants and dependants.

It is not possible within these figures to say what stage in the asylum process individuals have reached at the time of their removal, including whether their claim has failed at that point, as those departing voluntarily can do so at any stage without necessarily notifying the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Following a change to the published categories that separated removals and voluntary departures, figures for 2002 and 2003 are not directly comparable with those for 2004 onwards.

Table 3 shows the number of asylum cases pending at the end of 2011, broken down by total time since application. Pending cases are those asylum applications from applicants, including fresh claims, lodged since 1 April 2006 which were still under consideration at the end of 2011.

Annual figures on asylum applications and decisions and asylum cases pending are published in Table as.02 and annual figures for removals from 2004 are published in Table rv.01 of the release ‘Immigration Statistics, July to September 2012' which is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/immigration-q3-2012/

The latest annual figures published are for 2011. 2012 figures will be published on 28 February 2013.

Home Office records are managed in accordance with relevant legislation and established policy. Within the UKBA staff are made aware of the importance of managing information securely and carefully to prevent unauthorised disclosure and to protect the agency's and the public's interest. It is important for the organisation to note those cases where records cannot be immediately located.

Recording a record or part of a record as “lost” on the File Tracking System is simply an indication that a member of staff has been unable to locate it at a particular point in time. It does not signify that a record has actually physically been lost or what action has been taken to locate a record and experience shows that in many cases a more thorough search might result in the record or the missing part of the record being successfully located. We do not record such cases by calendar year.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 85W

25 Feb 2013 : Column 86W

Table 1: Asylum applications and initial decisions for main applicants and dependants, 2002-11
 Total applicationsTotal initial decisionsTotal grantsGrants of asylumGrants of HP(1)Grants of DL(1)Grants of ELR(1)Total refusals

2002

103,081

103,452

33,460

10,992

n/a

n/a

22,468

69,992

2003

60,047

80,370

13,183

5,379

181

3,278

4,345

67,187

2004

40,623

55,392

6,353

2,159

208

3,986

n/a

49,039

2005

30,841

33,209

5,427

2,472

160

2,795

n/a

27,782

2006

28,321

25,474

5,043

2,632

77

2,334

n/a

20,431

2007

28,299

26,663

6,812

4,496

165

2,151

n/a

19,851

2008

31,313

23,797

7,090

4,782

132

2,176

n/a

16,707

2009

30,673

30,955

8,387

5,589

125

2,673

n/a

22,568

2010

22,644

26,448

6,440

4,456

142

1,842

n/a

20,008

2011

25,898

22,792

7,182

5,493

121

1,568

n/a

15,610

Table 2: Asylum removals for main applicants and dependants, 2002-11
 Total asylum cases; removed or voluntary departed(2, 3)Total asylum enforced removals(3)Total asylum voluntary departures(3)

2002

13,910

n/a

n/a

2003

17,894

n/a

n/a

2004

n/a

11,743

3,170

2005

n/a

11,381

4,304

2006

n/a

10,881

7,399

2007

n/a

8,047

5,658

2008

n/a

7,169

5,705

2009

n/a

6,432

5,204

2010

n/a

6,174

4,220

2011

n/a

5,774

4,303

n/a = Not applicable (1) Humanitarian Protection (HP) and Discretionary Leave (DL) replaced Exceptional Leave to Remain (ELR) from 1 April 2003. (2) Following the change to published categories that separated removals and voluntary departures, figures for 2002 and 2003 are not directly comparable with those for 2004 onwards. (3) Removals and voluntary departures do not necessarily relate to decisions made in the same period. Notes: 1. Data for 2011 are provisional figures. 2. Initial decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same period and exclude the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.
Table 3: Cases pending as at 31 December 2011 in year bands
Total time since application0 to 1 year>1 year and <=2 years>2 years and <=3 years>3 years and <=4 years>4 years and <=5 years>5 years and <=6 yearsTotal (all durations)

Pending further review

4,870

1,173

798

653

421

135

8,050

Pending initial decision

6,623

538

698

546

246

206

8,857

Total Pending

11,493

1,711

1,496

1,199

667

341

16,907

Note: Pending cases are those asylum applications from main applicants and dependants, including fresh claims, lodged since 1 April 2006 which are still under consideration at the end of the reference period.

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2013, Official Report, column 21W, on asylum, what assessment she has made of the efficacy of (a) the Dublin System, (b) the European Asylum Support Office and (c) other measures in tackling asylum shopping; and if she will make a statement. [143258]

Mr Harper: The Dublin System plays an important role in establishing the member state responsible for determining an application for asylum. The Government are committed to the Dublin System, as it reinforces the principle that asylum should be claimed in the first safe country and helps tackle the problem of people making multiple claims in different EU member states. Since 2004, we have removed over 10,000 asylum applicants under the Dublin System, which has resulted in significant financial savings and has also sent a powerful message that the UK can and will act against those who try to abuse our asylum system.

The Government are broadly satisfied with the progress that the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has made since its creation in 2010. We fully support the work EASO has carried out so far and believe it has made a meaningful contribution to member states, such as Greece, that are in need of practical co-operation and capacity building measures. The Government are also pleased that EASO has taken on and further developed a number of practical co-operation measures which have already been undertaken in recent years, such as a common approach to information on countries of origin and the establishment of the European Asylum Curriculum.

We also look forward to the establishment of the Early Warning and Preparedness System which will be a vital tool to ensure that member states can adequately respond to any particular asylum pressures they may face.

There are no plans for the Secretary of State for the Home Department to make a statement in relation to this issue.

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many asylum legacy cases are outstanding; [143978]

(2) how many outstanding asylum legacy cases have been identified as being criminal to date; [143979]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 87W

(3) when she expects the non-criminal asylum legacy cases to be completed. [143980]

Mr Harper: Rob Whiteman's letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee of 18 December 2012 noted that, as of 19 November 2012, there were 40,900 live legacy cases. This breaks down as 33,900 asylum cases and 7,000 migration cases.

These are complicated cases that will take time to work through. It is important that we do everything possible to ensure every attempt is made to consider each one in detail, reach the right decision and take appropriate action.

Asylum: Pregnant Women

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pregnant women in receipt of asylum support were dispersed or relocated during pregnancy (a) once, (b) twice, (c) thrice, (d) four times and (e) five or more times in each of the last five years for which records are available. [144653]

Mr Harper: The information could be provided only by examining individual case records, which would result in disproportionate cost.

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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. [137091]

James Brokenshire: Home Office 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/ministerial codemay2010.pdf

25 Feb 2013 : Column 88W

Bombings: Birmingham

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps could be taken by the families of the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings to have that crime reinvestigated; and if she will make a statement. [143628]

James Brokenshire: The 1974 Birmingham pub bombings were an appalling act of murder and I fully appreciate the continuing desire of the families of the victims to obtain justice.

A decision to reinvestigate the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings is one for the West Midlands police. The police have stated on a number of occasions that they would look at any fresh information that came to light.

British Nationality: Assessments

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration she has given to removing or altering the penalty charges applied when a person makes a mistake on the registration form for their Life in the UK test. [144520]

Mr Harper: We have no plans to change the current processes for applying for a Life in the UK test.

Information on completion of registration for the test is clearly set out on the Life in the UK test website.

Accommodation

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what occupation costs of each type are incurred for each property used by her Department. [143295]

James Brokenshire: The detail of disclosable properties used by the Department and their monthly running costs including rent, rates, service charges, facilities management and utilities are set out in the following table.

Owned and rented Home Office properties as at 1 January 2013
Property nameTownMonthly running cost (£)

Owned properties

  

Harrogate

Harrogate

(1)

Bramshill

Hook

(1)

Hendon Data Centre

London

178,248

Smedly Hydro

Southport

147,226

   

Rented properties

  

Terminal Building

Aberdeen

6,618

2 Thistle Road

Aberdeen

7,007

Ashford International Rail Terminal

Ashford

1,000

Cardiff International Airport

Barry

3,633

Cargo Terminal

Barry

2,155

Franklin Court

Bedford

13,188

Wigney House

Bedford

15,011

Law Society

Belfast

80,275

Belfast International Airport

Belfast

14,300

Ledu House

Belfast

46,386

Kensington House

Birmingham

26,643

Vienna House

Birmingham

8,759

Terminal 2

Birmingham

6,306

25 Feb 2013 : Column 89W

25 Feb 2013 : Column 90W

Terminal 1

Birmingham

17,054

Diamond House (Custody Suite)

Birmingham

2,993

St John’s Court

Blackburn

8,297

Blackburn Railway Station

Blackburn

83

Blackpool Airport

Blackpool

602

Boston Police Station

Boston

1,117

Bournemouth International Airport

Bournemouth

1,371

Monarch House

Bristol

9,481

Apex Court

Bristol

4,756

Terminal Building

Bristol

4,997

Building B1

Bristol

20,548

Conference House

Bristol

19,119

Gare du Midi

Brussels

6,521

Calais Port Site

Calais

9,505

Westbrook Centre

Cambridge

6,190

Cambridge City Airport

Cambridge

165

General Building

Cardiff

61,851

RAF Brize Norton Airport

Carterton

22

Rosebury House

Chelmsford

17,343

Plas Eiras

Colwyn Bay

3,401

Channel Tunnel Terminal Calais

Coquelles

3,554

France Coquelles Tourist Office

Coquelles

409

Coventry Airport

Coventry

702

Belgrave House

Crawley

9,298

Apollo House

Croydon

284,210

Bedford Point

Croydon

40,099

Lunar House

Croydon

667,494

Metro Point

Croydon

152,367

Unit 6, Croydon Halls

Croydon

7,929

Electric House

Croydon

135,911

Airport Terminal

Darlington

112

Teesside International Airport

Darlington

2,060

Stuart House

Derby

8,648

East Midlands Airport

Derby

8,192

Pembroke House

Derby

39,628

Hangars 4 and 5

Doncaster

26,005

Robin Hood Airport

Doncaster

7,005

Freight Clearance Centre

Dover

10,661

Import Freight Building

Dover

7,818

No 1 Control Building

Dover

14,137

Old Park

Dover

118,033

Whitfield Court

Dover

10,949

Dover Eastern Docks

Dover

980

France-Dunkerque

Dunkerque

10,220

Milburngate House

Durham

137,617

Apex House

Edinburgh

13,953

Almond House

Edinburgh

18,288

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh

5,241

New Terminal Building

Edinburgh

9,893

Exeter Airport

Exeter

907

Unit 1, Murrills Industrial Estate

Fareham

3,206

Port Police Station

Felixstowe

4,496

Bedfont Lakes

Feltham

111,295

U41, Cheriton/Folkestone Channel Tunnel

Folkestone

12,547

Frontier House

Folkestone

11,831

Martello House

Folkestone

155,413

Concorde House

Gatwick

4,465

North Terminal

Gatwick

112,702

Ashdown House

Gatwick

25,579

Timberham House

Gatwick

9,800

South Terminal

Gatwick

41,406

Festival Court 1

Glasgow

41,242

Festival Court 2

Glasgow

34,369

Festival Court 3

Glasgow

29,480

The Port Office

Harwich

15,443

25 Feb 2013 : Column 91W

25 Feb 2013 : Column 92W

Status Park 1

Hillingdon

196,170

Status Park 2

Hillingdon

68,339

Platform 1

Holyhead

1,659

Amadeus Building

Hounslow

105,867

Eaton House

Hounslow

150,855

Heathrow Airport-Terminal 1

Hounslow

117,445

Heathrow Airport-Terminal 3

Hounslow

108,016

Heathrow Airport-Terminal 4

Hounslow

57,188

Heathrow Airport-Terminal 5

Hounslow

98,812

Heathrow Airport-Building 820

Hounslow

23,322

Dog Kennels

Hull

981

Unit 1, Estuary Business Park

Hull

13,649

UKBA Stop 24 Services

Hythe

Rosyth Ferry Terminal

Inverkeithing

1,450

Inverness Airport

Inverness

455

33 Park Place

Leeds

17,833

Airport Terminal

Leeds

2,502

Leeds Bradford International Airport

Leeds

7,089

Springfield House

Leeds

27,385

Unit 5 Moorfield Business Park

Leeds

5,728

Waterside House

Leeds

82,833

Waterside Court 1 and 2

Leeds

76,509

Wellington House

Leicester

7,958

Lille International Station

Lille

Old Hall Street

Liverpool

206,405

The Capital

Liverpool

595,390

John Lennon Airport

Liverpool

6,380

Unit 3, Strand View

Liverpool

2,063

Globe House

London

489,430

2 Marsham Street

London

4,218,075

Angel Square

London

114,474

Becket House

London

189,845

Fleet Street

London

127,916

London City Airport

London

26,785

Loughborough Reporting Centre

Loughborough

16,842

A W House

Luton

11,102

Terminal Building

Luton

20,964

Luton Airport

Luton

15,029

Westminster House

Manchester

22,642

Brookland House

Manchester

12,320

GTI Building

Manchester

138,539

Terminal 1

Manchester

32,674

Terminal 2

Manchester

25,550

Terminal 3

Manchester

1,907

West Point

Manchester

24,475

Link House

Newcastle upon Tyne

37,694

Newcastle Airport EPU (Unit 38)

Newcastle upon Tyne

2,131

Terminal Building

Newcastle upon Tyne

650

Newhaven Passenger Ferry Terminal

Newhaven

5,169

Olympia House

Newport

95,044

Car Ferry Passenger Terminal

North Shields

416

Northumbria House

North Shields

21,895

Norwich International Airport

Norwich

841

Unit 2, Silkwood Park

Ossett

7,873

Glasgow Airport

Paisley

20,499

Terminal Building

Paisley

9,623

Gard du Nord Station

Paris

Back Office

Paris

12,101

Aragon Court

Peterborough

170,739

Stuart House

Peterborough

15,191

Mayflower House

Plymouth

8,291

Westpoint

Plymouth

5,595

Plymouth Ferry Terminal

Plymouth

1,681

Poole Harbour Ferry Terminal

Poole

1,104

Robert Rogers House

Poole

13,635

25 Feb 2013 : Column 93W

25 Feb 2013 : Column 94W

Enterprise House

Portsmouth

12,779

Norman House

Portsmouth

16,193

Prestwick International Airport

Prestwick

3,000

Ramsgate Immigration Office

Ramsgate

564

Western Ferry Terminal

Ramsgate

3,257

Kings Reach 38-50

reading

17,059

1 Mere Way

Ruddington

57,635

Units 1 and 2 Dallas Court

Salford

24,789

Milton House

Sheffield

12,087

Foundry House

Sheffield

45,129

Vulcan House

Sheffield

554,718

Holmsgarth Ferry Terminal

Shetland

429

Chadwick House

Solihull

37,158

Dominion Court

Solihull

23,804

Sandford House

Solihull

112,023

Portacabin, 204 Berth

Southampton

1,807

Southampton International Airport

Southampton

1,571

New Terminal Building

Stansted

14,607

Enterprise House

Stansted

33,595

Passenger Terminal

Stansted

39,535

Victoria House

Stockton-on-Tees

8,160

Slade House

Swaffham

2,241

Humberside International Airport

Ulceby

1,389

Biggin Hill Airport

Westerham

1,786

(1) Tenant meets costs. Notes: 1. The costs listed are sourced from Home Office accounts. Some of the figures provided include budget estimates. The costs are resource only and include rent, rates, service charge, maintenance and utilities. 2. The College of Policing occupies the police training sites at Bramshill and Harrogate and meets their costs. 3. Immigration removal centres and other properties operated by contractors for the Department are not included.