26 Feb 2013 : Column 365W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Home Department

Police: Foreign Nationals

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign police officers are operating in the UK by country of origin. [143262]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 February 2013]: The requested information is not collected by the Home Office.

Stop and Search

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many persons arrested following a stop-and-search in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 were aged (i) under 18 years, (ii) between 18 and 21 years, (iii) between 21 and 25 years, (iv) between 25 and 30 years and (v) over 30 years; [144883]

(2) how many people subject to a stop-and-search in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 were aged (i) under 18 years, (ii) between 18 and 21 years, (iii) between 21 and 25 years, (iv) between 25 and 30 years and (v) over 30 years. [144884]

Damian Green: Data on the age of persons stopped and searched or arrested after a stop and search are not held centrally.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 366W

Data on the main stop and search powers used by police in England and Wales are published by the Home Office on an annual basis in the National Statistics series 'Police Powers and Procedures'. Latest published data cover the period up to the financial year 2010-11 and are included in the latest internet-only release, which is available via:

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

Written Questions: Government Responses

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to respond to Question 129321, tabled by the hon. Member for Mid Sussex on 19 November 2012. [139479]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 25 January 2013]: I refer my right hon. Friend to the reply given on 25 February 2013, Official Report, columns 155-56W.

Attorney-General

Government Procurement Card

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Attorney-General what the mean average spend using a Government procurement card was per member of staff in (a) the Law Officers' Departments and (b) each of its arm's length bodies in (i) 2011 and (ii) 2012. [141451]

The Solicitor-General: The following table contains information on the average spend per Government procurement card held in the Law Officer's Departments.

 Total GPC expenditure (£)Total number of cards heldAverage spend per card (£)
Department201120122011201220112012

Attorney-General's Office

27,437

34,104

8

9

3,430

3,789

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

12,174

9,331

3

5

4,058

1,866

Crown Prosecution Service(1)

556,610

223,657

195

122

2,854

1,833

Serious Fraud Office

24,686

32,091

12

12

2,057

2,674

Treasury Solicitor's Department(2)

235,450

173,892

47

52

5,010

3,344

(1) During this period a number of inactive cards may have been held by the CPS. These are not recorded in the table and have not been used to calculate average expenditure per card. (2 )In addition to this data, prior to 1 June 2012, TSol GPC cards were used to settle the central travel provider account monthly. This amounted to £301,814 in calendar year 2011 and £146,254 in calendar year 2012.

Public Appointments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General 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 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. [144099]

The Attorney-General: None.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General how many staff are based in each property used by the Law Officers' Departments. [143305]

The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) currently uses just one property in Cockspur street, London. The SFO has 339 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff who are contracted to work in this building on either a full or part-time basis.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 367W

There are 41.88 FTE AGO staff at 20 Victoria street and 20 OBR FTE staff.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has a total estate of 79 premises of which 68 are occupied. A table containing information on the number of FTE posts in each building as at April 2012 has been deposited in the Library of the House.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 368W

Some CPS buildings also accommodate non-CPS staff on a permanent or temporary basis, such as contractors and police, no provision has been made for these personnel in this answer.

Tsol and HMCPSI staff are located in several buildings, the details of which are as follows:

 Staff (FTE)
BuildingPermanentTemporaryTotal

TSol

   

One Kemble Street, London WC2B 4TS

693.26

117.6

810.86

2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH

21.18

1

22.18

1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ

81.18

0

81.18

9 Millbank, c/o l7 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

80.07

1

81.07

Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BT

50.16

1

51.16

Southern House, Wellesley Grove, Croydon, CR9 1DY

0

0

0

Total

925.85

120.6

1,046.45

    

HMCPSI

   

One Kemble Street, London WC2B 4TS

24.31

24.31

United House, Piccadilly, York YO1 9PQ

8.31

8.31

Total

32.62

32.62

Transport

A120

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many collisions there have been at the junctions of the A120 known as Hare's Green and Pellens Corner since junction improvements were completed in 2012; and if he will consider applying a 40 mph speed restriction to this stretch of road until such time as a roundabout or grade separated junction is constructed. [144583]

Stephen Hammond: Since safety improvements to the A120 junctions were completed on 3 April 2012 there have been have been three serious and six slight personal injury accidents.

In view of continuing collisions occurring at these junctions, the Highways Agency has brought forward a road safety audit, usually commissioned 12 months post completion of the scheme, to review junction performance, and has also commissioned a further speed survey. The Highways Agency will use this information to consider any further measures that may be required at the junctions to improve safety.

Bus Services: Concessions

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who will claim free bus passes in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK in (i) 2014, (ii) 2015 and (iii) 2016. [144217]

Norman Baker: Concessionary Travel is a devolved policy area so this question is a matter for the Scottish Government.

Cycling

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress his Department has made on implementing the Cycle to Work guarantee; [144464]

(2) whether his Department has signed up to the Government's Cycle to Work scheme. [144477]

Norman Baker: The table below sets out the progress being made by the Department of Transport and its six Executive Agencies on implementing the Cycle to Work guarantee and the Cycle to Work scheme.

AgencyProgress on implementing the Cycle to Work guaranteeSigned up to the Cycle to Work scheme

Department for Transport (Central) DFT(C)

The Department provides lockers and showers facilities, and secure cycle parking facilities and a bike pump for staf f use.

All staff have access to the Cycle to Work scheme.

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

Since joining the scheme DSA has improved facilities where feasible. The main administrative sites have secure cycle shelters, showering facilities and tools for basic maintenance. The Agency also provides Sheffield hoops and showers at test centres where space and financial restrictions allow. DSA plan to trial the use of enclosed cycle lockers at a test centre were there is a history of vandalism and staff are concerned about the safety of their bicycles.

All staff have access to the Cycle to Work scheme.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 369W

26 Feb 2013 : Column 370W

Highways Agency(HA)

The Highways Agency meets most of the commitments set out in the Cycle to Work guarantee in the main office buildings. The only commitment which is not met is the Cycle to Work Scheme but staff can apply for an advance of salary to purchase their own bike. Whilst some of the commitments are met at Regional Control Centres and outstations, cycling is not a practical way to travel to these buildings. This is because they are mainly in remote locations that can only be accessed from the motorway network or major trunk roads.

The Highways Agency took the decision to discontinue the Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme in 2010 when the scheme was closed to new applications. The decision has been reviewed subsequently and remains closed to new applicants. The agency provides an interest free cycle loan to staff.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Where feasible, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) provides secure, safe and accessible cycle parking facilities at its offices. To further support this and encourage cycling to work, showers, changing and locker facilities are provided. These facilities are provided in all of Swansea campus sites which includes Swansea regional office and where more than 5,000 staff are based. The facilities are also provided at more than 50 per cent of DVLA's 38 regional based offices.

DVLA is not signed up to the Cycle to Work scheme but does provide an interest free cycle loan to staff.

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

VCA provides secure, safe and accessible cycle parking and good quality shower/changing and locker facilities for all staff who want to make use of them. VCA organises regular 'Bike Roadshows' in conjunction with the local authority for staff to have their bikes serviced. Staff are regularly informed of the scheme electronically by regular bulletins.

All staff have access to the Cycle to Work scheme.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Where space has allowed the agency has implemented secure, safe and accessible bike parking facilities, good quality changing and locker facilities for all staff who want them in all locations. In HQ (Southampton) the agency . has negotiated with the local authority for staff to use their bike doctor service. In other locations staff are helped to locate similar services. MCA have implemented a plan that includes targets for take-up, training and incentives to cycle.

All staff have access to the Cycle to Work scheme.

Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA)

VOSA has not implemented the 'Cycle to Work guarantee" as it cannot comply with some of the requirements. Due to the nature of the business it is not possible to guarantee safe and secure storage and shower facilities at all sites across the UK, and with the increase in privately owned Authorised Testing Facilities, it cannot be guaranteed that they will offer these either.

All staff have access to the Cycle to Work scheme

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency: Databases

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many companies are registered to have access to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency database of registered vehicles; and under what conditions such access is granted. [143501]

Stephen Hammond: At present, 50 private companies have arrangements in place with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to make electronic requests for vehicle keeper information. Five of these companies also act as intermediaries, providing information to a further 216 companies. An additional 36 private companies make requests via electronic links on behalf of local authorities.

The lawful purposes for which data may be requested are specified under contract. Companies that are not subject to formal regulation must belong to a relevant accredited trade association and must satisfactorily serve a six-month probationary period, making manual requests before they are permitted to establish an electronic link.

Driving under Influence: Drugs

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the potential effect of the proposed drug driving offences in the Crime and Courts Bill [Lords] on the (a) size of the prison population, (b) number of community sentences and (c) training requirements of court officials. [143801]

Stephen Hammond: In completing the impact assessment, the Department liaised with the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice where we estimate that each year approximately (a) 279 people will serve a custodial sentence and (b) 1,694 people will receive a community order sentence once the provisions are in force. We do not anticipate any additional training requirements for court officials as the new drug driving offence will be very similar to the existing drink-driving offence. The impact assessment for the new drug driving offence is available on the Home Office website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/legislation/crime-courts-part3/

East Coast Railway Line

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average monthly payment to the Government made by (a) National Express and (b) East Coast is in respect of services operated on the east coast main line. [144645]

Norman Baker [holding answer 25 February 2013]: For the fiscal year 2008-09, the total payment made by National Express to the Government in respect of services operated on the east coast main line was £90.85 million and this equates to a monthly payment of £7.57 million. In the following year, until the time of termination, the average monthly payment to Government was £20.4 million.

In the fiscal year 2011-12, the total payment made by East Coast to the Government in respect of services operated on the east coast main line was £187.7 million and this equates to a monthly payment of £15.64 million.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 371W

For 2012-13, the Department is expecting the average monthly payments by East Coast to the Government to be of a similar value.

Rescue Services: Belfast

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre Belfast was staffed at below risk-assessed levels in (a) December 2012 and (b) January 2013. [143236]

Stephen Hammond: Belfast Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) was staffed at below risk-assessed levels in:

(a) December 2012—on 40 shifts (14 day/26 night);

(b) January 2013—on 43 shifts (14 day/29 night).

These situations are mitigated by ‘MRCC pairing’ where each MRCC is connected to at least one other MRCC which is available to provide mutual support. In respect of MRCC Belfast, mutual support is available through a fixed link from MRCC Stornoway and dial- up links from the MRCCs at Shetland, Aberdeen, Liverpool or Holyhead.

Sickness Absence

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many days of paid sickness leave per individual member of staff are authorised in his Department on an annual basis. [144491]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport and its six Executive Agencies provide sickness absence data in quarterly returns to the Cabinet office. These are summarised in the following table:-

Time PeriodTotal Days Lost To Sickness Absence (12 Month Period)Average Working Days Lost Per Full Time Equivalent Member Of Staff

01/10/07 to 30/09/08

180057.00

9.3

01/10/08 to 30/09/09

153932.72

8.1

01/10/09 to 30/09/10

148928.29

8

01/10/10 to 30/09/11

135875.89

7.7

01/10/11 to 30/09/12

130964.54

7.8

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department. [144505]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport and its six Executive Agencies have a number of measures in place to reduce sickness absence and enable staff to maintain good levels of attendance. These are regularly reviewed to align with best practice and to take legislation into account.

Yorkshire and the Humber

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff of his Department are employed in (a) Hull and (b) East Yorkshire. [144421]

Norman Baker: As at 31 January 2013, the Department for Transport and its six Executive Agencies employ 35 members of staff in Hull and 80 in East Yorkshire.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 372W

Northern Ireland

Buildings

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what occupation costs of each type are incurred for each property used by her Department. [143298]

Mrs Villiers: My Department uses three properties, one in London and two in Northern Ireland. A breakdown of the occupation costs by type for each property for the current financial year to date, is as follows:

£
 RentRatesOther charges

11 Millbank, London

309,406

94,451

297,766

Stormont House, Belfast

44,575

156,735

107,765

Hillsborough Castle

48,660

119,309

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) total floor space and (b) floor space measured in square metres per full-time equivalent post is of properties used by her Department. [143361]

Mrs Villiers: My Department uses three properties, one in London (Millbank) and two in Northern Ireland (Stormont House and Hillsborough Castle).

It would not be appropriate to provide details of floor space in square metres per full-time equivalent member of staff as each property is measured in total space rather than office accommodation. Details of the total floor space and number of full-time equivalent staff based at each property are set out as follows:

 Total floor space (square metres)Full-time equivalent staff

Millbank

3,098

46.6

Stormont House

3,357

92.86

Hillsborough Castle

4,226

16.55

Food

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions she has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on (a) food policy on provenance, (b) horsemeat and (c) food labelling; and if she will make a statement; [143739]

(2) what recent discussions she has had with the Irish Government on (a) food policy on provenance, (b) horsemeat and (c) food labelling; and if she will make a statement. [143740]

Mrs Villiers: I have had several discussions on these matters with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson). I have also spoken twice to the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development and I discussed these matters with the Tánaiste when I visited Dublin on 11 February.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 373W

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), discussed the same issues with the Northern Ireland Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Belfast on 13 February.

Following my second discussion with the DARD Ministers, I issued a press statement expressing my confidence in the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme and the reassurance it gives to consumers who purchase meat with the Farm Quality Assured logo that it is wholesome, safe and free from unnatural substances.

The text of my statement can be accessed at:

http://www.nio.gov.uk/Media-Centre/News

Food: Waste

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much surplus food was thrown away by her Department in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143458]

Mike Penning: My Department does not keep records of any surplus food which may be discarded. During the purchasing, preparation and serving of food, considerable care is taken to ensure that any wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff are based in each property used by her Department. [143319]

Mike Penning: My Department has staff based in three properties, Millbank in London, and Stormont House and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. The numbers of staff in each are 43, 94 and 17, respectively.

Prime Minister

EU Budget

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Prime Minister what the direct impact was on the budget of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) of the changes to the EU Commission budget agreed at the last European Council. [144252]

Greg Clark: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Treasury.

February 2013 European Council agreed the overall limit on the EU budget for 2014-20. By working with like-minded allies, the UK delivered a real-terms cut in multi-year EU budget frameworks for the first time in history.

For the Connecting Europe Facility, this agreed a budget of €19.3 billion from heading 1A and a further €10 billion transfer from heading 1B (2011 prices, commitments), representing a substantial increase on equivalent spending in 2007-13.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Prime Minister what the percentage reduction was to agricultural funding agreed as part of the changes to the EU Commission budget agreed at the last European Council. [144253]

26 Feb 2013 : Column 374W

Greg Clark: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Treasury.

The common agriculture policy budget agreed at the February European Council represents a 13% real terms reduction compared to 2007-13.

House of Commons Commission

Department of Human Resources and Change

Mr Spellar: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the Department of Human Resources and Change cost in the last 12 months; and how many staff it employs. [143504]

John Thurso: The cost of running the Department for the last completed financial year (2011-12) was £7.48 million including employers’ pension contributions. The forecast cost for the current financial year (2012-13) is £7.30 million. 89.5 full-time equivalent staff were employed as at 31 December 2012. In addition to core human resources and change work, the Department provides or manages a number of other services including the safety, health and well-being service, information rights and information security, the travel office, diversity and inclusion, the nursery, Westminster gym and the House of Commons contribution to the cost of the parliamentary archives.

Meat

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Catering and Retail Services have made of its sourcing of meat. [143921]

John Thurso: All fresh meat purchased by the House of Commons Catering Service is sourced from highly certified and reputable suppliers that undergo stringent checks and regular audit inspections. Our suppliers are certified by either the British Retail Consortium (global standards for safety and quality certification) or the European Food Safety Inspection Service. Our suppliers have long-standing ties with English Beef and Lamb Executive and the British Pig Executive. The suppliers are members of the National Association of Catering Butchers and are also certified under the Quality Assured Meat scheme; two of the three are Red Tractor Licensees while the other works with a number of Freedom Food approved farms.

Catering Services work only with catering butchers that operate robust quality control and traceability systems able to trace all meat through the supply chain back to its farm-assured origins. Any meat prepared for sale as mince is either prepared in-house by our own qualified and experienced butcher, or else produced by our suppliers from prime cuts that are fully traceable back to source. The Catering Service purchases a small number of prepared dishes through a third party supplier. Four of the products purchased: beef and onion pie, steak and kidney pie, steak and kidney suet pudding and Italian meatballs have been tested and no trace of equine DNA has been found; these products remain on the menus.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 375W

Culture, Media and Sport

Artworks: Embassies

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she plans to take to (a) display and (b) showcase new British artists and designers in UK embassies; and if she will make a statement. [144020]

Mr Vaizey: The Government Art Collection (DCMS) displays and promotes works of art by British artists in government buildings in the UK and around the world. Works by new British artists are showcased in these locations, although for the last two years there has been a moratorium on the purchase of works of art. Over the next year new displays of contemporary art are planned for several UK embassies.

Broadband: Rural Areas

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent steps she has taken to simplify the roll-out of broadband in rural areas. [134771]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is making rapid progress in taking forward the proposals announced on 7 September to facilitate superfast broadband roll-out in rural, and indeed, all areas of the country. Legislation to enable the relaxation of prior approval planning requirements for broadband street cabinets and overhead lines is currently going through Parliament under the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. We have asked the Law Commission to consider a wayleave regime that supports today's communications infrastructure and we expect it to make recommendations to Government by February 2013. We are also supporting the Department for Transport's production of new guidance to be published shortly on issuing permit schemes for street works which will also simplify the process for superfast broadband roll-out. All of these measures are part of a complementary package to enable broadband roll-out in rural areas and are a vital support to the Government's ambition to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

Merseyside

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department has (a) committed and (b) spent in the Merseyside region in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011, (iii) 2012 and (iv) 2013 to date. [144730]

Hugh Robertson: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not record this information centrally, and to collate it could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

Treasury

Bank Services

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the Office of Fair Trading's recent review of the level of account switching between banks. [141918]

26 Feb 2013 : Column 376W

Greg Clark [holding answer 6 February 2013]: The findings of the OFT review echo those of the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB), which concluded that the low levels of switching were a potential barrier to competition. The ICB recommended introducing a new switching service to address this problem.

The Government are committed to a competitive banking sector that delivers good results for customers and for the economy. That is why we have acted on this recommendation and secured an industry commitment to deliver a new seven-day account switching service by September 2013. This service will be free to use, and come with a guarantee to protect customers against financial loss.

Business: Loans

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to ensure state-owned banks are supporting economic enterprise. [144546]

Greg Clark: The Government's shareholdings in the Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland are managed on a commercial and arm's length basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI), a company which is wholly owned by the Government. UKFI's role is to manage the investments, not to manage the banks.

The Government have a range of schemes to support enterprise and lending, in which both Lloyds and RBS participate. For example, the Funding for Lending Scheme is helping improve credit conditions for businesses by reducing interest rates, and improving the availability of credit to small businesses. The scheme incentivises all banks to increase their lending by linking cheaper funding to increases in net lending.

EU Budget

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Exchequer paid in respect of the UK's contribution to the EU budget in 2013; and how much he expects the Exchequer to pay towards the EU budget in 2014 under the terms of the Multi Annual Financial Framework. [143802]

Greg Clark: UK's contributions to the EU budget are made on a monthly basis. As such we do not yet have an outturn figure for 2013. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) provides independent forecasts. The most recent forecast was published in December 2012 and can be found in Table 2.19 of Economic and Fiscal Outlook supplementary fiscal tables at:

http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-december-2012

The OBR will update its forecasts at the time of Budget 2013.

Fuels: Smuggling

Ian Paisley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to target and arrest criminals involved in fuel smuggling. [143761]

Sajid Javid: Fuel fraud, including smuggling, is the joint top priority for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Northern Ireland. HMRC is an active participant in

26 Feb 2013 : Column 377W

the Cross Border Fuel Group, a forum which enables collaborative working by partner agencies north and south. HMRC is benefiting from increased intelligence, not least as a result of this collaboration, and is increasingly making use of forensic technology to target criminals.

HMRC policy is to arrest any individuals suspected of involvement in fuel fraud, as long as it is proportionate. Where there is a sufficiency of evidence, HMRC reports them to the PPS for prosecution. Civil penalties may also be applied to lower level misdemeanours that would not warrant criminal action.

ICT

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) expected cost is for each information technology project over £1 million undertaken by his Department and its executive agencies since 1 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. [143957]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials take the necessary steps within their power to ensure value for money in all procurement, including in relation to information technology projects.

There have been two such projects undertaken since 1 April 2010. The ‘Fast Forward’ project, which updated Treasury systems in line with advances in technology, came in £205,000 less than the planned cost of £18 million. The project began in 2009, with a planned implementation of June 2010. It was delivered in April 2011, following the initial under-resourcing of the supplier. Nevertheless, costs were maintained within budget as the supplier agreed to complete within them.

‘Project OSCAR’ will replace the Government-wide system for consolidating Government accounts. It began in June 2011, with a planned completion date of February 2013. It will be completed in March 2013. The initial planned cost was £17.1 million, and the forecast cost is £17.6 million.

Nuclear Power: EU Grants and Loans

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Prime Minister's Oral Statement of 11 February 2013, Official Report, columns 569-71, on the European Council, what the value is of the resource allocated under the EU multiannual budget 2014-20 agreement to support (a) nuclear fission and (b) nuclear fusion; whether any part of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020 programme) will support research on nuclear issues; and what benefits will accrue to the UK nuclear industry of that support. [144212]

Greg Clark: Nuclear fission and fusion research will be supported through the Euratom section of the Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 has yet to receive an allocated level of spend within Heading 1A of the Multi Annual Financial Framework. As such, it is not yet possible to assess the total level of resource to be allocated to nuclear fission and fusion research until there is agreement with the European Parliament.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 378W

Alongside Euratom, the European Union will contribute €2,707 million towards the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a global nuclear fusion research project. A total of €860 million will also be allocated to support the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria.

Overseas Trade: China

Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 31 January 2013, Official Report, column 938W, on overseas trade: China, what the results were of the London-Hong Kong International RMB Forum about the opportunities to access Renminbi products and services in London, held in December 2012. [142270]

Greg Clark: The Treasury published an outcomes statement for the first day of the second London-Hong Kong International RMB Forum on its website on 4 December 2012:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/hongkong_london_forum_041212.htm

The objective of the second day of the forum was to raise awareness of the growing number of RMB denominated products and services, including loans, treasury and cash management services, direct foreign exchange quotes, and benchmarks. The City of London Corporation distributed a resource pack on accessing London RMB products and services, which can be found on its website.

Small Charitable Donations Act 2012

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to amend section 1(1) of the Small Charitable Donations Act 2012 to include non-perishable gifts of food and toiletries to eligible charities as defined by the Act. [143590]

Sajid Javid: The Small Charitable Donations Act 2012 established the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. This scheme will allow charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim a gift aid style top-up payment on small cash donations received from 6 April 2013. The scheme has been introduced to help reduce the administrative burden on charities by removing the requirement for charities to obtain gift aid declarations from donors on gifts of money.

While all spending measures remain under review, the Government have no plans at this time to allow gifts of non-perishable gifts of food and toiletries to be included in the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.

Tobacco: Smuggling

Ian Paisley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the smuggling and passage of illegal tobacco products across the EU and into the UK. [143762]

Sajid Javid: The Government published their strategy for tackling tobacco smuggling in 2011. As part of that strategy, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Treasury officials meet with a wide range of organisations and

26 Feb 2013 : Column 379W

individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.

Training

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on training and education for civil servants in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [144095]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury Group (core Treasury, Asset Protection Agency, Debt Management Office, UK Financial Investments and Office for Budget Responsibility) spent £1,258,950 in 2011-12, £1,403,791 in 2010-11 and £2,564,647 in 2009-10 on internal and external training and team building events.

Welfare Tax Credits: Self-Employed

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many investigations were undertaken into suspected erroneous tax credit claims by former Work programme participants who claim to have moved into self-employment in the latest period for which figures are available. [143684]

Sajid Javid: The Department does not hold this information.

Communities and Local Government

Broadband

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what comparative assessment his Department has made of the effect of charging network operators on the basis of (a) fibre in the ground and (b) fibre used to serve customers; and how he intends that the rateable value of these networks will be assessed in the future. [142350]

Brandon Lewis: Rateable values are assessed independently by the Valuation Office Agency. The Valuation Office Agency has published guidance on how they assess telecommunication networks for business rates in the Rating Manual Volume 5, Sections 870, 871 and 873. The Rating Manual is available on their website at:

www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/Publications/business.html

Carbon Monoxide: Alarms

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what consideration he has given to plans to make the installation of a carbon monoxide detector a requirement for (a) mortgage providers and (b) estate agents. [143427]

Mr Foster [holding answer 14 February 2013]: None. I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 11 December 2012, Official Report, column 180W, which sets out the context.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 380W

Cycling

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether his Department is signed up to the Government's Cycle to Work scheme; [144388]

(2) what progress his Department has made on implementing the Cycle to Work guarantee. [144450]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 21 January 2013, Official Report, column 75W.

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's top three policy implementation (a) successes and (b) failures have been since May 2010. [138370]

Brandon Lewis: A comprehensive review at the implementation progress can be found in the Government's “Mid-Term Review” document and the “Programme for Government” update.

Notwithstanding, I would observe in relation to policy achievements:

The Localism Act 2011 represents an historic shift of power from Whitehall to every community to take back control of their lives. Councils have a new general power of competence and local residents have a real power over decisions like council tax, town hall pay, planning, community buildings and local services.

We have delivered significant decentralisation of local authority finances through the Local Government Finance Act 2011. These reforms have the potential to increase economic growth by £10 billion over the next seven years. Under our reforms, 70% of local authority income will now be raised locally.

Our transparency agenda has radically enhanced local government accountability and transparency, in a move that is as bold as Margaret Thatcher's Private Members' Bill of 1960 which opened up council meetings to public observers.

In terms of policy challenges:

Opposition peers in the House of Lords obstructed the provisions in the Localism Bill to give new rights to local residents to hold local referendums. It is clear that such enemies of direct democracy literally do not trust the people.

Thanks to legal rulings from the European Court of Justice, it has taken longer than anticipated to undertake strategic environmental assessments in relation to the proposed revocation of the last Administration's Regional Strategies. This reflects the growing and unwelcome regulatory creep of the European Union, undermining the United Kingdom's Parliament.

A small number of mainly left-wing councils are continuing to publish 'town hall pravdas', disregarding the local government Publicity Code and wasting taxpayers' money. We intend to take further action to stop such propaganda on the rates and defend the free and independent press.

Elections: Discrimination

Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who is responsible for addressing discrimination and discriminatory conduct during election campaigns. [143540]

Miss Chloe Smith: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 381W

Candidates are expected to be wholly compliant with electoral law in the words, behaviours and materials they use. For example, it is prohibited to include false statements about the character or conduct of other candidates in campaign material.

Election campaign material is also subject to the general restrictions of the civil and criminal law. If an individual considers that campaign material contains false statements or is in breach of the criminal law, then these matters should be raised with the police.

Fire Services

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he has issued to local fire authorities on the outsourcing of (a) services, (b) equipment and (c) buildings. [143498]

Brandon Lewis: My Department has not issued any guidance to fire and rescue authorities on outsourcing. The terms of any such contracts, including business continuity arrangements, are a matter for individual fire and rescue authorities to decide upon.

Any fire and rescue authority can currently choose to contract out a proportion of its services within the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 (England and Wales) and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 provided they comply with relevant legal requirements. Some of these services are already outsourced to contractors e.g. training, human resources and call handling.

ICT

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) expected cost is for each information technology project over £1 million undertaken by his Department and its executive agencies since 1 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. [143955]

Brandon Lewis: The only information technology project over £1 million undertaken by my Department and its executive agencies since 1 April 2010 is for the provision of replacement IT Desktop Services.

The project contract commenced on 19 December 2012 and is currently on schedule to be completed by 30 September 2013, after which will follow three years of IT services. The value of the contract is circa £13 million which includes the transition of services from our existing suppliers and the provision of mobile working, desktop, storage, application support, messaging and associated services across DCLG for the next three years. This represents a significant saving of 40% on current contracts.

Marketing

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on each of his Department’s marketing and advertising campaigns in each year since 2010; and how much he plans to spend in each year until 2015. [144403]

26 Feb 2013 : Column 382W

Brandon Lewis: DCLG has cut spending on marketing and advertising from £9.9 million in 2009-10, to £898,000 in 2010-11 and £980,000 in 2011-12. In both these years, the Fire Kills campaign accounts for virtually all the spend. This campaign saves people from death and injury caused by accidental dwelling fires through embedding fire safe behaviour such as regularly testing their smoke alarms. For the current year (2012-13), the Fire Kills campaign has a planned budget of £1 million and the Right to Buy campaign, informing social housing tenants of the recent changes to the reinvigorated scheme, has a planned budget of £1.6 million. The Right to Buy scheme promotes home ownership and will help build replacement affordable housing, delivering a wider economic benefit from construction. However, budgets are constantly scrutinised for value for money and plans amended on the basis of lessons learnt in line with good marketing and advertising practice.

In addition, GVA, the Department’s retained commercial property agents, are managing a low-cost marketing and advertising campaign on behalf of the Department to dispose of the control centres following the termination of the last Administration’s FiReControl project (£45,000 for 2012-13).

My Department currently has no finally agreed budgets for campaigns beyond 2012-13, as all Government spending on marketing and advertising is the exception.

Right to Buy Scheme

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2013, Official Report, column 855W, on the Right to Buy scheme, (1) if he will identify in which position Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is ranked when local authorities are ranked according to the amount of council housing stock in their respective areas; [144263]

(2) if he will place in the Library a list of local authorities, ranked by the amount of council housing stock in their areas. [144264]

Mr Prisk: The number of dwellings owned by local authorities can be found in Live Table 116 on our website, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

Welwyn Hatfield borough council signed up to becoming a Right to Buy ‘Spotlight' council to promote best practice, hence its participation in our wider marketing campaign.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Governments pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2013, Official Report, column 855W, on the Right to Buy Scheme, if he will place in the Library the data on local authorities’ council housing stock that his Department used to target promotion materials for the right to buy. [144265]

Mr Prisk: My Department used the council housing stock levels at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

to target promotion materials for the Right to Buy campaign. Promotion materials were also used in areas where a council expressed a desire to work with the

26 Feb 2013 : Column 383W

Department on right to buy, such as our ‘Spotlight’ areas. The Department is committed to ensuring that tenants are aware of the changes to the scheme so they can make an informed choice on whether to buy their council home.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Governments, pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2013, Official Report, column 855W, on the Right to Buy scheme, what criteria were used to establish whether local authorities were willing to work with his Department. [144552]

Mr Prisk: All stock-owning councils were invited to work with the Department on the Right to Buy campaign. We worked with those councils who accepted the invitation.

For example, three councils signed up to become Right to Buy ‘Spotlight' councils—Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham and Welwyn Hatfield. Basildon signed up to be a spotlight council later in the summer.

Travellers

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) on how many occasions the cross-departmental ministerial working party on Gypsy, Roma and Travellers has met since May 2010; [143755]

(2) what discussions have been held in the cross-departmental ministerial working party on Gypsy, Roma and Travellers since May 2010; [143756]

(3) which Government Ministers attend meetings of the cross-departmental ministerial working party on Gypsy, Roma and Travellers. [143757]

Mr Foster: In line with the practice of previous governments, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees or other ministerial discussions, including what issues were discussed, is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

In April 2012, the Ministerial Working Group published a progress report which includes 28 commitments to help reduce inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers. A list of the working group members is included in that report.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he plans to take to ensure that local authorities have (a) assessed the need for site pitches and (b) prepared plans to meet an identified need for such pitches for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in their respective area by 1 April 2013. [143758]

Nick Boles: Our Planning Policy for Traveller Sites published in March 2012 returns to local councils the right and responsibility to assess and plan for the needs of their traveller community, rather than imposing regional targets which served to exacerbate community tensions.

Our policy aims to increase the number of Traveller sites in appropriate locations with planning permission in order to address under provision and maintain an appropriate level of supply. It asks local councils to use

26 Feb 2013 : Column 384W

a robust evidence base to establish accommodation needs, to identify sites to meet their traveller community's needs for five years, and to forecast ahead to 15 years provision where possible.

From 27 March this year, if a council cannot demonstrate an up to date five-year supply of deliverable sites, then this should be a significant material consideration in determining whether to grant of temporary planning permission. Notwithstanding, Traveller sites (temporary or permanent) in the green belt are inappropriate development except in very special circumstances.

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of questions tabled for ordinary written answer by his Department (a) were answered after 30 days and (b) have not been answered in this Session. [139288]

Brandon Lewis: 750 ordinary written questions were tabled to the Department between the start of the current Session and 31 December 2012. As at 12 February, 14 (1.9%) of these had not yet been answered and three were answered 30 sitting days or more after they were tabled.

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written parliamentary question performance on a Sessional basis and will provide full information to the Committee at the end of the Session. Statistics relating to Government Departments' performance for the 2010-12 parliamentary Session are available on the Parliament website at:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/procedure/P35_Memorandum_Leader_of_the_House_ Monitoring_PQs.pdf

Business, Innovation and Skills

Employment: Scotland

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of jobs in (a) Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency and (b) Scotland dependent on (i) investment from outside the UK and (ii) investment from parts of the UK other than Scotland. [143411]

Michael Fallon: BIS has not made any such estimates. However the Scottish Government's Businesses in Scotland 2012 report suggests that, as at March 2012, 35.0% of private sector employment was in enterprises with ultimate ownership outside Scotland. The report says that 18.7% of Scottish private sector employment was in enterprises with ultimate ownership in the rest of the UK, with the remaining 16.3% of employment in enterprises with ultimate ownership abroad (outside the UK).

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare: Slaughterhouses

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure the successful implementation of European Council Regulation No. 1099/2009 on protection of animals at the time of killing. [144180]

26 Feb 2013 : Column 385W

Mr Heath: EU Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing came into effect on 1 January 2013 and has direct effect in every member state, including the United Kingdom, from that date. However, domestic implementing legislation is required to ensure we can fully enforce the requirements Regulation 1099/2009 places on business operators and to clarify any national rules that will apply. The Government's consultation on measures to implement EU Regulation 1099/2009 closed on 24 October 2012 and the Government are currently considering the responses received. Once this process has been completed a response will be published on the DEFRA website.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of Mr Peter Boddy's response to his Department's consultation entitled Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing. [144679]

Mr Heath: There is no record of a response from Mr Peter Boddy to the consultation on measures to implement Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing, which ran for six weeks to 24 October 2012.

Beef: Horsemeat

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has had the full results of the tests carried out by the Irish food authorities on horsemeat in beef. [143693]

Mr Heath: Full results of the tests carried out by the Irish food authorities on horsemeat in beef have been published on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland's website at

http://www.fsai.ie/news_centre/final_update_meat_investigation_28.01.2013.html

I will arrange for a copy of the information to be available in the House Library.

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will name the public sector catering suppliers that have been asked to test products for horsemeat; how many products he expects to be tested; and when he will publish the results of such tests. [143695]

Mr Heath: Twenty-eight local authorities across the UK will take a total of 224 samples in accordance with a detailed sampling protocol. The aim is to select products that are representative of those available on the market. Public sector catering suppliers will be testing products as part of this national survey. Formal samples will be taken in such a way that, if necessary, enforcement action can be taken to protect consumers. The Food Standards Agency will publish the results from the study, including brand names, and will disclose any formal action taken.

Bees: Pesticides

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of risk assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority

26 Feb 2013 : Column 386W

(EFSA) published on 16 January 2013 that the neonicotinoid insecticides

(a)

imidacloprid,

(b)

clothianidin and

(c)

thiamethoxam pose an unacceptable danger to bees; if he will make it his policy to introduce an immediate ban on the use of these insecticides on crops attractive to honey bees until (i) the EFSA research has been examined by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and (ii) the conclusions of the ACP examination have been made public; when he expects the ACP to complete an examination of that research; and if he will make a statement. [141750]

Mr Heath: Since concerns were first raised on this important issue, DEFRA has been clear that we will act in accordance with the evidence. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reports published on 16 January consider the risks to bees from these insecticides and conclude that more data are needed to update the current risk assessments. As the EFSA made clear in the reports, these assessments used existing data against new regulatory requirements which have yet to be finalised. As would normally be expected, the EFSA found that new data requirements were not met by data produced earlier. The reports do not state that these insecticides pose an unacceptable danger to bees, although this impression is given by the accompanying EFSA press release. It is also worth emphasising that the EFSA conclusions are not new scientific information but report a stage in the process of updating the developing new risk assessment and applying it to these three active substances.

The Government have taken research on effects to bees seriously and we have not assumed that the existing controls are sufficient. The European Commission has now indicated that it will propose measures on the three neonicotinoids reviewed by the EFSA and has held an initial discussion with member states. Our approach to any Commission proposal will continue to be founded in a proportionate response to the science and so we will seek clarity as to what the Commission is proposing, the basis for this and the likely impacts. Our response will take account of advice from the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, which considered the latest evidence on the risks to bees from neonicotinoid insecticides at its meeting on 29 January. It also received the EFSA conclusions.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the data on TB herds used by his Department (a) are stored centrally, (b) are available county-by-county, (c) include details of all TB breakdowns by (i) single reactor and (ii) multiple reactor, (d) include how many tests were conducted in each county, (e) include what the results were of all these tests and (f) are mapped to chart all TB breakdowns according to the breakdown severity; and if he will make a statement. [143405]

Mr Heath: Statistical data on the cattle herds affected by bovine TB since 2008 are available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/statistics/foodfarm/landuselivestock/cattletb/national/

26 Feb 2013 : Column 387W

Statistics are published on the number of TB herds at county level, together with the number of tests and test results. The number of reactors per breakdown is captured, but is recorded as a herd breakdown regardless of the number of reactors.

Statutory TB testing of all herds is recorded centrally by Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories (AHVLA). This includes the livestock tested per herd and the results. For breakdown herds, laboratory sampling information is also stored centrally.

A geographical TB breakdown map is produced as part of the annual TB surveillance report. The 2011 report is due to be published in March 2013.

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to help farmers when their cattle are quarantined for bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB); and what steps he is taking to speed up the process of bovine TB testing. [143677]

Mr Heath: In cases where bovine TB has been detected in a herd, the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency will arrange a visit to the premises by a veterinary officer or inspector. At such visits herd owners and managers are advised of how the breakdown will be managed and what action they need to take.

A zero tolerance policy to overdue TB testing is in place, meaning that all herds that are not already under movement restrictions are served a notice of restrictions immediately a test becomes overdue. As an additional incentive for keepers to test their cattle in a timely manner, the Cattle Compensation (England) Order 2012, which came into force in July 2012, allows for the reduction of compensation payments where the keeper has failed to test animals by the specified date.

Buildings

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) 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; [143355]

(2) what the names and locations are of all properties used by officials of his Department; 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. [143376]

Richard Benyon: The total floor space of property legally held by the core Department as at 1 January 2013 is 280,330 square metres (sqm). This includes offices, laboratories, stores and other miscellaneous uses. This covers all property occupied by the core Department and our Executive agencies, Natural England, CRC, MMO and GLA. It excludes property held separately by our other NDPBs, public corporation and non- ministerial departments.

As at 31 March 2012, the floor space per full-time equivalent post (FTE) for office property occupied by the core Department and our Executive agencies, Natural England, CRC, MMO and GLA, is 15.7 square metres

26 Feb 2013 : Column 388W

per FTE. This is consistent with the Cabinet Office’s Property Benchmarking Service and covers only occupied offices.

The names, locations and total floor space of all properties (a) owned, (b) leased and (c) subject to a PFI agreement are published on the HM Government transparency website at:

http://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/epims/resource/19e05b2c-a06d-46d2-b34f-a26d87a362ec

Where leases are required to be registered, the expiry dates are available from the HM Land Registry at:

www.landregistry.gov.uk

Coastal Erosion: Dorset

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funds are available for sea defences in Dorset; and if he will make a statement. [143585]

Richard Benyon: Funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management, which includes sea defence projects, is allocated according to the partnership funding approach. Instead of meeting the full costs of just a limited number of schemes, the partnership approach means that Government money is potentially available towards the costs of any worthwhile scheme. This approach encourages external investment and means that more schemes can go ahead than with Government funding alone.

Funding is allocated on a scheme by scheme basis, depending on the outcomes the schemes will achieve. Key outcomes include improved protection of households, especially in areas at greatest flood risk and where there is local deprivation. All types of risk (for example from the sea or from rivers) are given equal weighting.

In 2013-14, the Environment Agency will spend a total of around £215 million on building new, and improving existing, flood and coastal defences in England.

Of this, the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee will spend £6.7 million to manage both flood and coastal erosion risk in their local area. £400,000 is available to spend on coastal projects this year, which is helping to progress the £2.5 million Lyme Regis Coastal Protection Works scheme.

Cycling

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) who his Department's cycling champion is; [144438]

(2) what progress his Department has made on implementing the Cycle to Work guarantee; [144456]

(3) whether his Department has signed up to the Government's Cycle to Work scheme. [144469]

Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA has signed up to the Cycle to Work guarantee. A Cycle to Work scheme is provided along with secure cycle storage, lockers and shower and changing facilities across the DEFRA estate.

Core DEFRA does not have a “cycling champion”, although there is an active Bicycle Users Group. This group liaises regularly with the Department on matters relating to cycling to work and helped inform the current policy on the Cycle to Work scheme.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 389W

Fisheries Regional Advisory Councils

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to increase representation on regional advisory councils; and if he will make a statement. [143822]

Richard Benyon: The role of regional advisory councils is to advise on the development of fisheries management measures and is established under the current common fisheries policy (CFP). The councils are stakeholder-led organisations comprised principally of fishermen and other representatives of interests affected by the CFP. They establish their own representative organisational make-up and rules of procedure.

Regional advisory councils are likely to play an invaluable role in the establishment of a more regionalised approach to fisheries management under CFP reform. I am therefore pleased that advisory councils have recognised the importance of being a strong voice and are taking steps to ensure a balanced representation of all stakeholders.


Fisheries: Quotas

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to support a programme of prioritising access to fishing quota to fishermen who operate in the most sustainable, low-impact manner. [143820]

Richard Benyon: It is important that fisheries management delivers a prosperous future for the fishing fleet and enables all sectors to operate in a sustainable manner. This is why we fund research to understand discarding issues in each sector, commission work on gear selectivity and work at EU level to align environmental and fishing legislation.

We also run discard-free catch quota schemes around the UK where additional quota is available to those vessels that participate. For example, in the North sea participants in the scheme have cut discards to 0.2% of their catch for the species under trial and have radically reduced catches of any non-marketable fish.

Delivering transformational reform of the common fisheries policy, especially zero discards and fishing all stocks at Maximum Sustainable Yield, combined with appropriate conditions applying to fishing within a network of European Marine Sites and Marine Conservation Zones, will ensure that only sustainable fishing, aligned with the needs of the marine environment, will prosper.

Floods

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimates exist of the number of properties in England and Wales which will be classified as being at significant risk of flooding in each of the next 10 years. [144259]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency's National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA) provides an assessment of the number of properties in England and Wales which are classified as being at significant risk in the

26 Feb 2013 : Column 390W

present day only. It takes into account climate change that has already happened but does not show how the risk will change in the future.

The Environment Agency’s long-term investment strategy has looked at scenarios of future flood risk in England. It was published in 2009 and is available on the Environment Agency website.

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many properties in England and Wales were classified as being at significant risk of flooding in each of the last 10 years. [144260]

Richard Benyon: The following table lists the number of properties in areas of significant flood risk (1 in 75 (1.3%) or greater chance of being flooded in any given year) in each year since 2004 for which figures are available from the Environment Agency's National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA).

England and Wales
Year of assessmentTotal number of properties in areas of significant riskOf which: residential properties in areas of significant risk

2004

373,000

n/a

2005

569,000

n/a

2006

517,000

432,000

2007

(1)

(1)

2008

578,000

373,000

2009

561,000

358,000

2010-11

546,000

354,000

2012

489,000

315,000

(1 )No update.

This method for assessing flood risk dates from 2002 with the first results published in 2004. Newly completed defences are taken into consideration in the assessment on a quarterly basis.

Since the original assessment, the risk in different areas of England and Wales will have changed because of newly constructed or improved flood defences.

Both the data and methods used to produce the assessment have substantially improved over this period of time so it is not possible for the figures to be used as part of a consistent year-on-year analysis of how flood risk has changed.

Food: Labelling

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many surveys of product authenticity his Department carried out since taking over responsibility for compositional labelling in 2010; and on what dates such surveys were carried out. [143696]

Mr Heath: The Food Standards Agency oversees a rigorous, risk-based system of checks by local authority trading standards teams and environmental health officers. The testing regime is intelligence-led and was not affected by Machinery of Government changes in 2010 which saw a small number of policy experts (less than 5%) move from the Food Standards Agency into DEFRA and the Department of Health. In 2011-12 local authorities took 78,653 food samples, which underwent 92,181 analyses by the Official Control Laboratories. These

26 Feb 2013 : Column 391W

included 18,219 compositional analyses, 11,879 analyses of food for labelling and presentation and 55,546 microbiological analyses.

Food: Procurement

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice is provided to public authorities regarding food purchasing to ensure sourcing is only from verified sources. [143513]

Anna Soubry: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued the following advice to public bodies on 10 February 2013 via its website:

www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2013/feb/advice

Public institutions (schools, prisons, hospitals, armed forces) are within the scope of the United Kingdom-wide authenticity sampling programme being organised by the FSA.

This additional FSA verification and validation of meat authenticity will help provide assurance that industry is taking an appropriate level of responsibility for safety in the food chain.

We are reminding public bodies (schools, prisons, hospitals, armed forces) of their responsibility for their own food contracts. We expect them to have rigorous procurement procedures in place, with reputable suppliers.

We are keeping the appropriate Government Departments in close touch with developments, making sure that they are aware of testing and traceability requirements, and that if any public authorities have any concerns they should seek assurances on authenticity from their suppliers. It remains the case that the issues identified so far suggest gross negligence and possibly criminality, but no food safety risks.

If public institutions are not satisfied with assurance from suppliers, then they should take appropriate action depending on the circumstances. Where evidence of authenticity is not produced, that action may include requiring the supplier to conduct tests, and reject or temporarily withhold stock, while waiting for results.

Forestry Commission

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost is to the Forestry Commission to maintain (a) a forest and (b) other commission-monitored wildlife sites. [144400]

Mr Heath: The public forest estate extends to more than 250,000 hectares and is made up of a wide range of woodland types and natural habitats. The cost of maintaining individual sites is not recorded separately. One of the Forestry Commission's corporate indicators is the average cost per hectare of managing the entire public forest estate. For the 2011-12 financial year this was £76.62 per hectare.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his Department's policy is on whether the Forestry Commission should impose charges on people who

26 Feb 2013 : Column 392W

wish to access public forests and nature preserves monitored by the Commission; [144574]

(2) if his Department will take steps to encourage the Forestry Commission to make budget savings where possible, without introducing new fees to be paid by nature preserve and forest visitors; [144582]

(3) if his Department will take steps to encourage the Forestry Commission to plan its budget so that it does not need to charge people to park in national forests; [144591]

(4) if his Department will take steps to ensure that the Forestry Commission does not charge people engaging in outdoor activities for parking in areas where parking was previously free. [144592]

Mr Heath: As we set out in the Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement on 31 January, we are committed to ensuring that the public forest estate continues to provide a high level of public benefit while putting it on a sustainable financial footing for the future.

The Forestry Commission is responsible for managing its own budget and like all parts of Government must work within the current financial constraints. That will include pursuing efficiency savings in future years and considering whether to use appropriate means to raise revenue.

Almost the entire freehold public forest estate, currently managed by the Forestry Commission, is dedicated for access under the provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which means there is free public access on foot in perpetuity. However, on many sites where additional facilities are provided there are charges, including for car parking, which contribute directly to the cost of providing these facilities. It is for the Forestry Commission to decide where it should introduce car parking charges and how much these should be.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the budget of the Forestry Commission is allocated to payment of staff. [144575]

Mr Heath: The Forestry Commission's GB and England activities including the management of the public forest estate by Forest Enterprise in 2011-12 had a combined staff cost that was 32.3% of the combined operating expenditure. The operating expenditure and staff costs for this calculation use the figures published in the Forestry Commission’s annual report and accounts and it does not include £30 million of woodland grant payments administered by the Forestry Commission on behalf of DEFRA.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission claimed in expenses in 2012; [144576]

(2) what the annual salary is of the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission. [144577]

Richard Benyon: The chief executive of Forestry Commission England personally claimed £2,794.89 in business expenses from January to December 2012.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 393W

The salary of the chief executive of Forestry Commission England is reported each year in the Forestry Commission's annual report and accounts. For 2011-12 the salary of the chief executive of Forestry Commission England was in the range £85,000 to £90,000.

Fracking

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to (a) prevent and (b) deal with contamination of the water table and water supply by fracking and (c) ensure clean water is available to people in the event of such contamination. [143650]

Richard Benyon: Under the Water Resources Act 1991 all shale gas operators in England and Wales must notify the Environment Agency of their intention to drill a borehole and operators must provide details of how they intend to protect water resources, including groundwater, in the construction and use of the borehole. If the Environment Agency is not satisfied, it may serve a notice on the operator to take appropriate measures to conserve water quantity and quality.

If hydraulic fracturing could result in entry of pollutants into groundwater, the Environment Agency would regard the fracturing as a groundwater activity. A permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 will then be required to ensure that groundwater is protected. This is in addition to the controls applied by the local Mineral Planning Authority, the Health and Safety Executive and through a notice to drill under the Water Resources Act 1991.

Under the environmental permitting regulations, operators also require permits from the Environment Agency approving their plans for the management and disposal of extractive wastes from drilling and hydraulic fracturing, including waste fracking fluids.

Should pollution of groundwater occur, the Environment Agency can take enforcement action for an offence under regulation 38 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and has powers under both regulation 57 of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and section 161 and 161A of the Water Resources Act 1991 to prevent or remedy pollution of groundwater caused by the actions of operators.

For public water supplies, the water companies have the responsibility for ensuring that drinking water supplied to the tap is of the appropriate quality. In the case of private drinking water supplies, these must be registered with and tested regularly by the local authority environmental health departments. If groundwater resources used for private supply are polluted by shale gas activities, in addition to the powers outlined above, the Environment Agency would also inform the local authority so that it can consider any action it might need to take.

Horse Passports

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of breed societies having the power to issue horse passports. [143927]

26 Feb 2013 : Column 394W

Mr Heath: It is a requirement of European legislation that pedigree horse passports must be issued by the organisation that manages the “studbook” for the relevant breed.

Horses: Animal Welfare

Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to tackle fly grazing; and whether he has considered bringing forward legislative proposals in this respect. [137364]

Mr Heath: There is existing legislation that relates to fly grazing, depending on the individual circumstances of each case. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 has far- reaching and wide provisions that make it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. The Animals Act 1971 also provides powers to seize animals that stray on to other people's land. In addition the authorities can and have taken action under antisocial behaviour legislation to combat fly grazing.

DEFRA is working with the Home Office to ensure that proposals to tackle antisocial behaviour may be used to tackle fly grazing. We also support the call for enforcement bodies to share best practice to deal with perpetrators.

Livestock: Exports

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the trade restrictions associated with non-compliance with EU Council Directive 78/52/EEC apply to (a) the trade of live animal exports and (b) the trade of all meat carcasses for exports. [143403]

Mr Heath: Council Directive 78/52/EEC sets out the criteria that must be satisfied in order for national eradication plans for certain animal diseases to qualify for EU financial contributions. Council Directive 78/52/EEC does not include provisions for introduction of trade restrictions.

Livestock: Transport

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his contributions of 13 December 2012, Official Report, column 530, on live animal exports, which organisations in Ramsgate have been served statutory notices by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency; how many statutory notices were served to each such company; and on what date each notice was served in the last six months. [135854]

Mr Heath: Information on the 30 statutory notices served on GB transport companies cannot be provided, as to do so in respect of those transporters that are sole traders would, we believe, contravene data protection laws, and in cases where the infringement is serious such information might prejudice any investigation and possible prosecution being taken by the relevant local authority. For further details on the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's regulatory policy in relation to the welfare during transport legislation see:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/publication/advice-wato-enforcement/

26 Feb 2013 : Column 395W

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of EU Council Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in protecting the welfare of animals during transport; and what steps he plans to take to increase the protection of animals during transport. [143101]

Mr Heath: Rules on welfare during transport are laid down in Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005, as implemented in England by The Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006. (Parallel legislation exists in the devolved Administrations.) The provisions of the EU legislation and the offences created by the relevant domestic implementing legislation are designed to deal with most criminal offences detected during transport of animals, but offences under sections 4 and 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 can also be used if appropriate.

UK compliance with Council Regulation (EC) 1/2005 is routinely monitored and reported on by the EU Commission through audit inspections by its Food and Veterinary Office (FVO). Its reports are publicly available on their website at:

http://ec.europa.eu/food/fvo/ir_search_en.cfm

The Government will continue to ensure that those that transport livestock for slaughter follow the rules on such trade and any infringements of the legislation will lead to the appropriate enforcement action being taken.

At the EU Council of Ministers meeting on 18 June 2012, my right hon. Friend the Member for South East Cambridgeshire (Sir James Paice), the previous Minister of State, referred to a statement he wished to see entered into the minutes of the meeting. This statement concluded that, whilst the UK agreed with the EU Commission that better enforcement of existing legislation was the number one priority, it was important that the rules on welfare in transport are updated where there is sufficient scientific evidence to support a change. This included the recommendation made by EFSA that the maximum journey time for horses going to slaughter should be reduced from 24 hours to 12 hours. We will continue to press the EU Commission to introduce this recommended change at the earliest opportunity.

Procurement

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of procurement contracts offered by his Department has been advertised on the Contracts Finder website since that website's inception. [138866]

Richard Benyon: Since the introduction of the Contracts Finder website, core DEFRA has published 88 opportunities on Contracts Finder, or 18% of the 489 contracts entered into by core DEFRA in that period. A number of those contracts were the result of procurements started before the website was in place. Core DEFRA does not publish on Contracts Finder procurements which are only open to invited suppliers (e.g. from frameworks).

Core DEFRA's primary route for accessing the market is its Bravo procurement system, on which there are 3,215 supplier records, allowing us to reach a wide range of suppliers when putting a tender out to market.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 396W

Public Appointments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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 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. [144106]

Richard Benyon: The number of public appointees made by DEFRA Ministers during 2010-11 and 2011-12, under guidance from the Commissioner for Public Appointments, is shown in the following table.

 Appointments

2010-11

26

2011-12

44

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 available in the Library of the House.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139973]

Richard Benyon: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only by incurring disproportionate cost.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many civil service posts have been made redundant by his Department in each year since 1999; and what the cost of redundancies in each such year has been; [135458]

(2) how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of those redundancies in each such year. [135459]

Richard Benyon: When a member of staff’s role comes to an end, redeployment or voluntary departure is considered before compulsory redundancy. The information provided as follows covers compulsory redundancies and voluntary departures (voluntary exits or voluntary redundancies). Figures for 2012-13 show the number and costs incurred of departures to date. Data are rounded to the nearest £1,000 unless otherwise stated.

Core-DEFRA

The following table shows the number of staff leaving core-DEFRA on (a) compulsory redundancies and (b) voluntary exits and redundancies and the amounts spent on (a) and (b), for each financial year since 2009-10. Departure costs have been rounded to the nearest £100,000.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 397W

Data are not available centrally for the years prior to 2010-11 and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Financial yearNumber of compulsory redundanciesCost (£000)Number of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

0

0

52

1,600

2011-12

0

0

20

1,700

2010-11

(1)

100

321

17,000

(1) Denotes fewer than five redundancies—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Executive agencies

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA)

AHVLA was formed on 1 April 2011 following the merger of Animal Health (AH) and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). Data for 2010-11 show the combined number of departures from AH and VLA. Data are not available for the period prior to 2010-11. Departure costs have been rounded to the nearest £100,000.

Financial yearNumber of compulsory redundanciesCost (£000)Number of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

(1)

100

2011-12

9

100

240

7,100

2010-11

65

2,600

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)

All departures agreed by CEFAS have been under voluntary terms and these are reported below. Data are not available for the years prior to 2007-08.

Financial yearNumber of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

0

0

2011-12

(1)

30

2010-11

15

570

2009-10

0

0

2008-09

41

1,171

2007-08

(1)

149

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)

FERA was vested on 1 April 2009. Figures for the years prior to 2010-11 are not available.

All departures shown in the following table were under voluntary terms. There were no compulsory redundancies.

Financial yearNumber of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

17

510

2011-12

45

1,731

2010-11

(1)

42

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Rural Payments Agency (RPA)

All departures agreed by RPA have been under voluntary terms. There have been no compulsory redundancies. Data are not available for the years prior to 2007-08.

26 Feb 2013 : Column 398W

Financial yearNumber of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

0

0

2011-12

123

3,711

2010-11

105

542

2009-10

74

1,138

2008-09

45

2,014

2007-08

42

1,062

Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)

All departures shown in the following table were under voluntary terms. Data are not available for the period prior to 2007-08.

Financial yearNumber of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

(1)

40

2011-12

10

211

2010-11

(1)

72

2009-10

0

0

2008-09

0

0

2007-08

0

0

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Executive non-departmental public bodies

Environment Agency (EA)

The following table shows the number of people made compulsorily redundant by the EA since April 2010 and the number who left under the EA's voluntary early release scheme, which is akin to voluntary redundancy. It also shows the cost of those departures. Data prior to 2010 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Financial yearNumber of compulsory redundanciesCost (£000)Number of voluntary departuresCost (£000)

2012-13

(1)

135

25

987

2011-12

28

828

30

1,418

2010-11

98

3,800

564

25,100

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Gang masters Licensing Authority (GLA)

The information requested is not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)

Figures on the number of compulsory redundancies and the cost of those redundancies in JNCC so far in the financial year 2012-13 are shown in the following table. There were no voluntary departures in 2012-13 or redundancies prior to this period.

Financial yearNumber of compulsory redundanciesCost (£000)

2012-13

(1)

28

(1) Denotes fewer than five departures—the actual number cannot be disclosed on confidentiality grounds.

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

All departures shown in the following table were under voluntary terms. MMO does not hold information prior to the date of MMO vesting on 1 April 2010.