A&E attendances
 MonthScotlandWalesNorthern IrelandTotal Attendances

2007

May

1,149

3,444

149

1,085,820

2007

June

1,196

3,402

179

1,055,606

2007

July

2,125

3,446

276

1,066,035

2007

August

1,554

3,869

241

1,026,979

2007

September

1,182

3,297

146

1,008,982

2007

October

1,201

3,242

168

1,027,328

2007

November

907

2,903

148

998,048

2007

December

1,053

3,020

164

982,490

2008

January

844

2,688

150

975,036

2008

February

727

2,766

154

951,744

2008

March

961

3,067

170

1,049,448

2007-08

Unknown

      

2008

April

1,268

3,105

146

1,125,175

2008

May

1,358

3,636

194

1,235,891

2008

June

1,428

3,436

221

1,189,715

2008

July

2,251

3,709

355

1,199,422

2008

August

1,614

3,984

312

1,149,472

2008

September

1,348

3,346

211

1,131,584

2008

October

1,320

3,499

218

1,152,728

2008

November

883

3,126

202

1,121,270

2008

December

1,231

3,318

152

1,126,183

2009

January

866

2,927

142

1,072,069

2009

February

784

2,796

147

1,031,699

2009

March

1,016

3,371

168

1,258,864

2008-09

Unknown

      

2009

April

1,554

3,781

225

1,316,152

18 July 2013 : Column 893W

18 July 2013 : Column 894W

2009

May

1,346

3,789

227

1,365,253

2009

June

1,531

3,921

219

1,372,846

2009

July

2,627

4,197

456

1,372,436

2009

August

1,812

4,464

317

1,281,021

2009

September

1,405

3,739

182

1,298,934

2009

October

1,507

3,742

220

1,341,259

2009

November

1,017

3,384

192

1,275,185

2009

December

1,182

3,360

211

1,271,028

2010

January

923

2,906

156

1,198,195

2010

February

909

2,940

161

1,127,791

2010

March

991

3,318

180

1,349,636

2009-10

Unknown

      

2010

April

1,552

3,755

236

1,361,001

2010

May

1,443

4,041

255

1,443,785

2010

June

1,562

4,078

278

1,397,321

2010

July

2,686

4,342

436

1,442,289

2010

August

1,874

4,468

333

1,345,139

2010

September

1,511

3,813

275

1,346,328

2010

October

1,553

3,764

264

1,356,486

2010

November

968

3,358

203

1,285,427

2010

December

1,113

3,518

215

1,322,514

2011

January

1,020

3,118.

200

1,311,577

2011

February

948

3,098

209

1,212,860

2011

March

1,193

3,513

186

1,420,207

2010-11

Unknown

      

2011

April

1,791

4,125

280

1,473,668

2011

May

1,510

4,146

268

1,516,468

2011

June

1,622

4,114

304

1,443,957

2011

July

2,951

4,309

482

1,516,064

2011

August

1,987

4,795

384

1,436,403

2011

September

1,714

3,951

307

1,460,438

2011

October

1,666

4,131

265

1,514,703

2011

November

1,118

3,569

213

1,425,632

2011

December

1,349

3,815

248

1,411,283

2012

January

1,099

3,364

198

1,433,705

2012

February

1,073

3,554

231

1,400,877

2012

March

1,265

3,974

250

1,586,510

2011-12

Unknown

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), Health and Social Care Information Centre.

It should be noted that for each of these measures the number does not necessarily equate to the number of patients as it is possible for an individual to have more than one admission or attendance within the period.

Data for 2012-13 is not yet final, but can be made available in the autumn once checks have been completed.

St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust

Mr Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will visit the hospitals within the St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. [166610]

Dr Poulter: The Department’s ministerial team undertake a large number of visits each year to a range of health and care settings and would be happy to consider a visit to St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the future.

Transport

A14

Mr Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the development and financing proposals are for the new A14 road; [166315]

(2) when proposals for tolling of the new A14 will be announced; [166316]

(3) when it is proposed that the planning process for the construction of the new A14 will (a) commence and (b) be completed; [166317]

(4) when the contractors for the new A14 will be appointed. [166318]

Stephen Hammond: When we announced the A14 major scheme in July 2012 we said that it would involve tolling, a local contribution and, subject to spending review decisions, central Government funding. That remains our position and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury confirmed the government funding element in his speech on 27 June 2013.

18 July 2013 : Column 895W

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury also announced that we will be bringing forward the planned start by almost two years. This means that construction could begin in 2016, subject to completion of statutory processes.

The Highways Agency is planning a consultation this year on the A14 proposals in line with a programme to submit a Development Consent Order application in the second half of 2014. This consultation will set out the tolling proposal and the scheme options and will inform the option that is taken through the Development Consent Order process. We will provide a firmer timetable for delivery, including when contractors are likely to be appointed, in the autumn.

Bournemouth

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to visit Bournemouth. [162875]

Norman Baker: Transport Ministers have no current plans to visit but of course they would be open to considering any invitation from the hon. Member.

Carbon Emissions: Aviation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to help secure an agreement at the forthcoming international Civil Aviation Agreement Organisation Assembly to reduce aviation emissions. [166314]

Mr Simon Burns: The UK has been heavily involved in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) discussions to secure an agreement on climate change emissions. In particular, the UK was a member of the High Level Group on Climate Change which was established in November 2012 and has actively participated in all of the meetings to date.

The UK has been working with our EU counterparts to convince the ICAO Council States of the need for ICAO to show leadership at its General Assembly in September, especially in light of the adoption by the global airline industry association, IATA, of a climate change resolution which supports the development of a single, global measure for aviation emissions. The UK will continue to work with our international partners and with ICAO to push for an ambitious, global approach to reduce emissions from international aviation in the run-up to the Assembly.

Diesel Vehicles

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport where guidance on the removal of factory-fitted particulate diesel filters from vehicles has been published on his Department's website. [166568]

Stephen Hammond: The Department's officials are still working on the details of the guidance to ensure accuracy of the information being provided. We hope to make the information available on the website after the summer break.

18 July 2013 : Column 896W

Driving Tests

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he has undertaken a review of the health and safety issues associated with the use of private commercial and retail properties as bases for driving examiners. [166295]

Stephen Hammond: All private commercial and retail properties that are currently used to deliver driving tests from were subject to health and safety visits by Driving Standards Agency (DSA) health and safety staff. Health and safety checks were also undertaken by the Public and Commercial Services trade union health and safety team before testing commenced.

These sites, and all other DSA premises, are subject to annual safety reviews.

Driving Licences

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to increase the age when driving licence holders have to reapply for a licence. [166463]

Stephen Hammond: There are no plans to increase the age when driving licence holders have to reapply for a licence.

Excise Duties: Motor Vehicles

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many untaxed vehicles have been recorded following online reporting in (a) 2012 and (b) 2013. [166206]

Stephen Hammond: The figures available relate to the total number of unlicensed vehicle reports that were received online and the number of vehicles that were subsequently found to be unlicensed. These figures may contain multiple reports for the same vehicle.

In 2012, 164,777 online reports of possibly unlicensed vehicles were received from the general public, of these, 51,761 were unlicensed. This calendar year, 91,932 online reports have been received of possibly unlicensed vehicles, of these, 18,097 were unlicensed.

Fuels: EU Law

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had on the implementation of measures arising from the Fuel Quality Directive. [165962]

Norman Baker: Department for Transport ministers and officials meet regularly with various interested parties, including counterparts in the European Commission, to discuss the implementation of the Fuel Quality Directive.

I have had meetings with the Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, with representatives of industry, and with environmental pressure groups.

Recent discussions included the Commission's proposed Directive amending the Fuel Quality Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive to address indirect land use change impacts associated with certain biofuels published in October last year, and implementing measures under article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive in respect of the calculation of the carbon intensity of fossil fuels.

18 July 2013 : Column 897W

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of High Speed 2 within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are not planned to be in a tunnel as of 16 July 2013. [166520]

Mr Simon Burns: Of the 12.9 miles through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, only 5.5 miles is not in bored tunnel or green tunnel. However this does not take into account the length of route hidden in cutting, which is over 3.5 miles.

Motor Vehicle Type Approval: EU Law

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on implementation of EU Directive 2007/46/EC; and if he will make a statement. [166403]

Stephen Hammond: Directive 2007/46/EC has been implemented in the UK through Statutory Instrument 2009 (No. 717) that came into force on 29 April 2009.

The Government's approach to this directive is to ensure that UK manufacturers have the opportunity to approve vehicles for use on our roads using the full flexibility of the different schemes provided for in the directive.

Passenger Ships: Accidents

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the response of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch to the sinking of the leisure craft in Liverpool on 30 March 2013; and if he will make a statement. [166565]

Stephen Hammond: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch acted in accordance with the legislation in respect of the incident on 20 March 2013.

On 30 March 2013, it was reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) that Wacker Quacker 4, a DUKW operated by Yellowduck Marine, had foundered in Albert Dock, Liverpool. The circumstances of the accident were that the DUKW had suffered a malfunction of its hydraulic steering system such that it could not manoeuvre back to the slipway.

With the assistance of another vessel, the DUKW was manoeuvred alongside a pontoon to disembark the passengers, whereupon the crew noticed that the vessel was taking on water.

Once all passengers had left the DUKW, attempts were made to move the vessel to the slipway for recovery. The DUKW sank before it reached the slipway, but was subsequently recovered.

The MAIB made enquiries from which it was established that water had entered the DUKW via a drainage hole, as the plug had not been refitted at the start of the day's operations. It was further established that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was following up the sinking, and was taking steps with Yellowduck Marine to ensure that the DUKWs had enough buoyancy to remain afloat when flooded.

18 July 2013 : Column 898W

As no crew or passengers had been injured during the event, and because the marine regulator reported it was taking what appeared to be appropriate action to prevent a recurrence, the MAIB decided not to investigate further.

Following the sinking of Wacker Quacker 1 on 15 June 2013, the MAIB commenced a full investigation that will include a review of the actions taken following the earlier sinking of Wacker Quacker 4.

Public Transport: Disability

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated to (a) train and (b) bus services to make them more accessible to disabled people in the last five years. [166336]

Norman Baker: £203 million of the 10 year £370 million Access for All programme has been spent in the last five years on improving access at railway stations and a further £37.5 million Mid-tier fund was announced in 2011 which will be spent by March 2014. In addition, around £31 million has been allocated direct to train operators for smaller scale access improvements between 2009 and 2014. This is over and above work funded by the train operators themselves or as part of larger projects such as Birmingham New Street or Thameslink.

No direct funding is allocated to make rail vehicles more accessible. Instead the cost is included in the purchase price of new vehicles, or when such work is undertaken on older vehicles as they receive heavy maintenance. This is ahead of the legal deadline of 1 January 2020 by which time all rail vehicles must be accessible.

No direct funding has been provided by the Department specifically to improve accessibility of buses. However, the provision of funding such as the Green Bus Fund has supported the purchase of around 1,200 new, low carbon buses, more than 900 of which are now on the roads of England. All of these buses are fully accessible.

The Department for Transport continues to work to improve physical accessibility to public transport. The Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (PSVAR) require all new buses and coaches used to provide local or scheduled services and designed to carry more than 22 passengers to be accessible to disabled passengers.

All existing buses and coaches used to provide local or scheduled services will have to comply with PSVAR by end dates between 2015 and 2020, depending on vehicle type. At November 2012, 69% of all buses in Great Britain met the PSVAR requirements.

On June 12th 2013 I announced the decision to retain the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), in recognition of DPTAC's valuable contribution to the wider transport accessibility agenda.

Railways: Finance

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the amount of funding allocated for new railway infrastructure in (a) the North West and (b) the South East over the last three years. [166326]

18 July 2013 : Column 899W

Mr Simon Burns: No recent estimate has been made of allocation by region. Network Rail provides detail of its new railway infrastructure funding by route for the years to 2014.

Wales

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department provides services to people resident in Wales or usually resident in Wales. [166111]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport provides excellent services to those living or residing in Wales, in particular through the Department’s agencies, including the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Driving Standards Agency, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency.

Welsh Language

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has a current Welsh language scheme; when that scheme was adopted; and whether it has been reviewed since May 2011. [166093]

18 July 2013 : Column 900W

Norman Baker: A Welsh language scheme was published by the central Department in 2004, and is maintained as a living document. The scheme is available on GOV.UK in both Welsh and English.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA), Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Vehicle Operator Service Agency (VOSA) each have Welsh language schemes. The DSA adopted its current Welsh language scheme in December 2008, the most recent review began in December 2012 and was completed in April 2013.

The DVLA adopted their scheme in 1997 and it was last updated in December 2009 and the VOSA adopted their Welsh language scheme in 2005, revising it in 2010.

International Development

Accountancy

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department spent on contracts with (a) Deloitte, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) KPMG and (d) Ernst and Young in each year since 2008. [164956]

Mr Duncan: The following table gives details of spend on contracts with (a) Deloitte, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) KPMG and (d) Ernst and Young in each year since 2008.

£
Supplier2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Deloitte

2,523,884

4,640,574

6,447,028

907,321

1,891,790

PricewaterhouseCoopers

2,333,773

5,812,908

15,812,927

23,486,324

42,307,000

KPMG

15,252,962

15,536,952

40,657,136

37,024,013

28,098,467

Ernst & Young

0

0

161,082

1,566,061

4,297,254

This table shows the amount paid to the supplier. DFID systems cannot currently automatically break this down into how much is retained in fees and how much is spent on the project they are managing. An example of such a breakdown is KPMG's programme to help the Government of Ethiopia to improve their management of the risks of climate change, which has a total value of £8.3 million, of which £0.4 million consists of fees and expenses incurred managing the programme.

Changes are now under way to DFID's accounting system to enable it to make automatic distinctions between contract fees and overall project costs. This latter money is used by communities to fund the provision of services, for example by paying salaries for teachers and health workers, and to buy goods such as textbooks and medical supplies. It also funds research and provides training and advice to support the development of local capacity.

Afghanistan

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding her Department has allocated to projects which support economic growth in Afghanistan in each year since 2010; and what the 10 most expensive such projects have been. [166564]

Mr Duncan: Supporting economic growth is one of the three priority areas for DFID's work in Afghanistan, alongside work to improve political stability and helping the state to deliver improved services. Many of our programmes indirectly support economic growth in Afghanistan and so it is not possible to disaggregate the precise amount that DFID spends on this objective.

Figures for the 10 largest programmes which contribute to the delivery of our growth objectives that commenced in or around 2010 are:

Programme nameStart dateEnd dateTotal programme budget (£ million

Contribution to multi-donor Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund

November 2011

November 2014

300.0

Helmand Growth Programme

May 2010

June 2015

36.0

Supporting Employment and Enterprise Development

March 2010

August 2014

36.0

Contribution to multi-donor Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust Fund

March 2011

December 2015

35.0

Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility

February 2009

March 2015

31.5

18 July 2013 : Column 901W

18 July 2013 : Column 902W

Comprehensive Agriculture and Rural Development programme (CARD-F)

June 2009

June 2014

30.0

Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Programme

May 2012

December 2014

19.45

Tax Administration Project

August 2011

March 2015

19.0

Strengthening the Agricultural Sector in Afghanistan

April 2012

March 2015

12.9

Road Improvement in Central Helmand

November 2010

April 2013

10.5

Apprentices

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many apprenticeships her Department offered to people aged (a) 16 to 18, (b) 19 to 21 and (c) 22 to 26 years old in each year since 2010. [165877]

Mr Duncan: DFID has not recruited any external apprentices in the years or age groups specified. However, DFID does offer current employees the opportunity to take up in-service apprenticeships, irrespective of age.

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what strategies she has to create apprenticeships in her Department; and what plans she has to promote such strategies. [165895]

Mr Duncan: The Civil Service Apprenticeship Scheme was launched in April 2013 and a pilot cohort will commence with 100 places across Government Departments in September 2013. The aim is to increase the total places available in the future to 500 and DFID is committed to participate when the scheme is extended.

Billing

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many creditors to her Department owed more than £10,000 remained unpaid for more than (a) 30 days, (b) 45 days, (c) 60 days, (d) 75 days and (e) more than 90 days in each of the last three years. [166377]

Mr Duncan: The number of creditors owed during the period outlined in the question is shown in the following table:

Number of creditors
Financial year30-44 days45-59 days60-74 days75-89 daysOver 90 daysTotal

2010-11

18

6

1

0

0

25

2011-12

15

8

2

0

1

26

2012-13

3

2

1

0

1

7

All payments detailed in the schedule have now been processed. This includes the “over 90 days” invoice for 2012-2013 which was payable to the Crown Agents in the sum of £23,208.

British Overseas Territories

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department has taken to work with Overseas Territory Governments to improve their standards of transparency. [166450]

Mr Duncan: DFID encourages Overseas Territories (OT) to undertake their business in a transparent fashion. Technical support has been made available to OT Governments to strengthen both financial and audit functions.

We welcome the increased availability and public disclosure of government documentation available online from many of the Territories but recognise that more needs to be done. Recent reform plans agreed by DFID with OT Governments require that any new policies and legislation to be the result of wider consultation, and more transparent procedures.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether her Department's input into the European Development Spending Agreements for the British Overseas Territories will take into account the UK Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy. [166451]

Mr Duncan: The overall funding envelope for the 11th European Development Fund covers Africa Caribbean and Pacific countries, Overseas Territories, the European Investment Bank and Commission support costs. During negotiations in Brussels on the allocations to be set for Overseas Territories, no specific strategies were considered, although the UK Government were keen to ensure that the Territories were not disadvantaged in the final funding envelope agreed. DFID will encourage the British Overseas Territories to consider biodiversity issues when submitting applications to the fund.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response her Department has made to the recent commitment by the DG-Development Co-operation of the European Commission to release environmental funding to the British Overseas Territories under the Development Co-operation Instrument. [166455]

Mr Duncan: DFID welcomes the decision of the European Commission confirming that Overseas Territories are eligible for environmental funding under the Development Cooperation Instrument. DFID will work with colleagues in FCO and DEFRA to ensure the Territories are supported in their applications for any such funding.

18 July 2013 : Column 903W

Fairtrade Initiative

Mr McKenzie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the role of fairtrade goods in development. [166481]

Mr Duncan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Wirral South (Alison McGovern) on 17 July 2013, Official Report, column 775W.

Montserrat

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what her Department's policy is on the draft Conservation and Environmental Management Bill proposed by the Government of Montserrat; [166454]

(2) what recent representations her Department has made to the Government of Montserrat on that country's draft Conservation and Environmental Management Bill. [166449]

Mr Duncan: Environmental management and conservation is a key component of the Strategic Growth Plan for Montserrat. As part of that plan, DFID has helped the Government of Montserrat create an appropriate legal and institutional framework for environmental management and will provide further technical support for work on environmental and climate change management under this framework.

Pitcairn Islands

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions her Department has had with the Government of the Pitcairn Islands on her Department's funding of projects to deal with consequences of lax biosecurity in that Territory and the lack of biosecurity legislation. [166457]

Mr Duncan: Through provision of budget aid, DFID funds a biosecurity officer who has responsibility for biosecurity issues.

Redundancy

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials in her Department resident in Scotland have been made redundant through compulsory redundancy schemes since May 2010; and how much this has cost her Department. [165560]

Mr Duncan: No DFID employees resident in Scotland have been made redundant through compulsory redundancy since May 2010. There has therefore been no cost to the Department.

St Helena

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment her Department has made of the effect of the airport construction on biodiversity conservation in St Helena. [166456]

18 July 2013 : Column 904W

Mr Duncan: The potential impact of airport construction on biodiversity has been subject to detailed analysis in the environmental impact assessment undertaken by UK consultants during the period 2005 to 2007. Surveys and mitigation measures to protect biodiversity have been undertaken subsequently in response to variations in construction design and will continue to be carried out as necessary.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) technical assistance her Department has provided and (b) representations her Department has made to the St Helena Government on the draft Environmental Protection Ordinance currently in preparation. [166468]

Mr Duncan: In December 2010, DFID and the St Helena Government agreed a series of wide ranging reforms to prepare for air access. This included building on earlier DFID-funded work to strengthen the institutional arrangements for environmental management. An Environmental Management Directorate was established in April 2012 to which DFID continues to provide financial and technical support. In September 2012, the new Directorate produced the island's first National Environmental Management Plan with substantive technical input from the DFID Environmental Adviser. The new Environmental Protection Ordinance comes out of the work of the new Directorate. DFID funds a specialist who is helping to draft the Ordinance.

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Rural Areas

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many units of affordable housing were developed in rural areas in each of the last three years. [165732]

Mr Prisk: There were 20,830 additional affordable dwellings provided in rural areas in 2009-10, 20,890 additional affordable dwellings provided in rural areas in 2010-11 and 20,400 additional affordable dwellings provided in rural areas in 2011-12. Comparative figures for 2008-09 were 19,820.

Rural areas included all local authorities defined as Significant Rural (districts with more than 37,000 people or more than 26% of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns); Rural-50 (districts with at least 50% but less than 80% of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns); or Rural-80 (districts with at least 80% of their population in rural settlements and larger market towns) based on the DEFRA rural/urban local authority classification.

Assured Tenancies

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to bring Crown tenants within the assured tenancy scheme. [166210]

18 July 2013 : Column 905W

Mr Prisk: Subject to finding parliamentary time, it is the Government's intention to amend legislation to ensure that Crown tenants (mostly tenants of Government Departments) are in general provided with the same statutory rights as the majority of tenants in the private sector.

Currently, most tenants in the private sector have assured shorthold tenancies. Assured shorthold tenants enjoy a minimum tenancy term of six months and the landlord may only seek possession on one of the grounds set out in legislation. The no-fault ground for possession gives landlords an automatic right to possession, provided the landlord has given the tenant at least two months' notice. However, an order for possession on this ground cannot be enforced during the initial six months or any fixed term period.

Crown tenancies are currently excluded from the assured tenancy regime. This means that the only statutory protection enjoyed by a Crown tenant is that provided by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which requires the landlord to give the tenant a minimum of 28 days notice. In both cases, the landlord needs to obtain an order for possession from the court.

There may of course be certain specific situations where there are compelling reasons why a Crown tenancy might need to be terminated after less than six months or with less than two months' notice being given. We intend to retain an exemption for Crown tenancies from the assured tenancy regime in limited circumstances, for example where occupants may need to be moved at short notice for military operational reasons.

The Government will of course consult on any proposed changes before bringing forward legislation. It is intended that any change to legislation would apply only to Crown tenancies granted after the date on which the amendment comes into force.

Housing

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential of home purchase plans to provide alternative routes into home ownership. [166053]

Mr Prisk: We support innovation in the development of home purchase plans, including Sharia-compliant mortgages. This country is in the forefront of Sharia-compliant mortgages, rating at the upper end of Western countries in Sharia-compliant assets. Other forms of home purchase plans are at too early a stage of development to allow a full assessment of their potential.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government are taking to promote innovation in the housing sector. [166055]

Mr Prisk: The Government are undertaking a range of work to encourage innovation in the housing sector. In particular, we are working to expand the private rented sector through our £1 billion Build to Rent fund which aims to attract new institutional investment to provide new build homes for private rent. We introduced an

18 July 2013 : Column 906W

affordable rent model that is delivering more affordable housing at a lower cost to the taxpayer; the new affordable homes programme announced at the spending round will further drive up efficiency and value for money from this very large Government investment in new affordable homes. The Government are also offering two innovative Housing Guarantee schemes to enable the building of more homes in the affordable and private rented sectors without increasing public debt. The Government have also been promoting self build to encourage its expansion and the diversification of the house building sector. The range of the Government's housing policies and programmes can be found on the DCLG website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/topics/housing

Landlords: Urban Areas

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2013, Official Report, column 284W, on landlords: urban areas, when he plans to publish details of the further solutions to improve information on high street landlords. [166117]

Mr Prisk: The Future High Street Forum is considering, with care, ways that could assist councils in identifying property owners without creating unnecessary costs to business or local authorities. Progress will be reported through the Forum webpage at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-advisory-groups/future-high-streets-forum

Local Government Finance

Nadhim Zahawi: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the full cost to the Exchequer of restoring funding to local authorities to the level it would have been without the Spending Rounds of both 2010 and 2013 in the fiscal year 2015-16. [165105]

Danny Alexander: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Treasury.

The Treasury estimate of the amount of Exchequer funding that would be required to make funding provided to local authorities through LG DEL equivalent to the 2010-11 baseline in real terms is £7.276 billion.

Mr Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of the Environmental, Cultural and Protective Services block grant is distributed using indicators of (a) social deprivation, (b) population density and (c) population sparsity. [165545]

Brandon Lewis: The Environmental Cultural and Protective Services block is one of a number of Relative Needs Formulae used in the provision of Revenue Support Grant to local authorities. It is not expressed in terms of an amount of funding. Revenue Support Grant is unhypothecated, local authorities are free to spend it as they choose, and for this reason it is not possible to state how much is distributed for any particular service.

18 July 2013 : Column 907W

Local Government Finance: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department has allocated to Barnsley metropolitan borough council for local authority supported capital expenditure in (a) housing stock and (b) major repairs allowance in each year since 2009-10. [166161]

Mr Prisk: The allocation figures for Barnsley metropolitan borough council's subsidy capital financing requirement and major repairs allowance are given in the table. Housing revenue account subsidy was abolished under the Localism Act 2011 and replaced with self-financing for local housing authorities from 1 April 2012. The data shown for 2012-13 are the subsidy-equivalent figures.

£
 Subsidy capital financing requirementMajor repairs allowance/dwellingMajor repairs allowance total

2010-11

133,152,900

608.67

11,721,243

2011-12

275,179,400

603,72

11,528,117

2012-13

275,354,400

852.97

16,174,017

Non-domestic Rates

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) average time was between business rates being levied and collected and (b) amount of uncollected business rates was in each (i) London borough and (ii) other local authority in England in the latest period for which figures are available. [166297]

Brandon Lewis: Information on the average time between non-domestic rates being levied and collected is not held centrally.

Information from each local authority in England on the national non-domestic rates net collectable debit for 2012-13, and on the amount of non-domestic rates collected during 2012-13 in respect of that year, have been published at the following location:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/208765/Drop_down_Collection_ Rate_form_2012-13.xls

These data are as reported on the Quarterly Return of Council Taxes and Non-Domestic Rates (QRC4) forms submitted by all billing authorities in England.

Private Rented Housing

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made on the development of the private rented sector guarantee; and when he expects the private rented sector guarantee to be open for applications. [166054]

Mr Prisk: We announced on 20 June that we are now able to consider direct applications for the private rented sector guarantees scheme. Some potential borrowers are already discussing applications with DCLG and others are invited to do the same. A formal application process will open shortly.

18 July 2013 : Column 908W

Rented Housing: Electrical Safety

Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to review the current arrangements for electrical safety in the residential rental sector; and if he will make a statement. [165388]

Mr Foster [holding answer 15 July 2013]: There is a statutory requirement on landlords to ensure that electrical installations in a building are kept safe and in good working order. Our publication ‘Top Tips for Landlords’(1) encourages landlords to consider having electrical installations and equipment checked. The Electrical Safety Council recommends that safety checks are carried out every five years.

Local authorities have powers under the Housing Act 2004 to investigate electrical hazards. Local authorities can also introduce a licensing scheme for private rented housing in their area under certain circumstances, Conditions can be attached to the licence specifying any requirements with which a landlord must comply. We will be working with local authorities over the summer to try and establish the extent to which licensing is used and the type of conditions that are typically attached to those licences.

(1)( )https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/top-tips-for-landlords-assured-shorthold-tenancies

Wind Power: Planning Permission

Sir Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to issue further guidance to local planning authorities on onshore wind farms. [166116]

Mr Prisk: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer of 2 July 2013, Official Report, columns 538-39W.

Home Department

Appropriate Adults

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what proportion of appropriate adults fell within the age range (a) 20 to 30, (b) 31 to 40, (c) 41 to 50, (d) 51 to 60, (e) 61 to 70 and (f) over 70 in the most recent year for which information is available; [166249]

(2) what proportion of appropriate adults fell in each ethnic category in the most recent year for which information is available; [166250]

(3) how many of appropriate adults were (a) women and (b) men in the most recent year for which information is available; [166251]

(4) what information her Department holds on the socio-economic background of appropriate adults. [166252]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The information requested is not held centrally.

18 July 2013 : Column 909W

Borders: Personal Records

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to the public purse has been of legal fees for the binding arbitration process with Raytheon Systems Ltd relating to the e-Borders programme to date. [160167]

Mr Harper: The final cost of legal fees in connection with the arbitration will not be determined until the conclusion of the process at which time this information will be disclosed.

Cumbria Constabulary

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what costs were incurred to the public purse by the South Wales Police investigation into the conduct of the suspended Chief Constable of Cumbria. [165849]

(2) what costs were incurred to the public purse by the IPCC investigations into the conduct of the suspended Chief Constable of Cumbria. [165850]

Damian Green [holding answer 17 July 2013]: The Home Office does not hold this information. However, information relating to this query can be found on the Office of the PCC for Cumbria's website:

http://www.cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/media/12029/2013%20FOI%20Disclosure%20Log%20(June).pdf

Europol

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she and her ministerial colleagues have had with representatives of Europol since May 2010. [160171]

Mr Harper: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Human Trafficking

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the long-term trends in co-operation and co-ordination on the issue of human trafficking by (a) Eurojust, (b) Europol and (c)Interpol. [156391]

Mr Harper: No formal assessment has been made. However, Europol, Eurojust and Interpol all play an important role in helping the UK co-operate with our international partners against serious crime, including human trafficking.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the European Arrest Warrant in combating human trafficking. [156439]

Mr Harper: No formal assessment has been made. However, the European Arrest Warrant plays an important role in helping the UK co-operate with our international partners against serious crime, including human trafficking.

18 July 2013 : Column 910W

Immigration

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average wait for in-country applicants waiting to be sent biometric enrolment invitations from the date their application is acknowledged is; [158825]

(2) what her Department's service standard is for the issuing of biometric enrolment invitations for in-country applications once the application has been acknowledged. [158915]

Mr Harper [holding answer 10 June 2013]: The average waiting time to dispatch a biometric enrolment invitation letter in the three-month period from 1 January to 31 March 2013 was 65 calendar days for temporary migration cases, and 28 calendar days for permanent migration cases.

With reference to the second question, the Home Office does not have a service standard for the issuing of biometric enrolment invitation letters for in-country cases.

As part of its commitment to transparency the Home Office publishes its performance against service standards on a quarterly basis. The latest publication can be found at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/percentage-of-migration/

Notes:

1. The figures quoted have been derived from management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols.

2. Figures relate to main applicants only.

3. Figures relate to postal applications only.

4. Figures relate to permanent and temporary migration biometric applications with a case created date between 1 January and 31 March 2013.

5. Waiting time based on average number of calendar days between application raised (received) and case creation date, as biometric enrolment invitations are sent when the case is input on the Case Information Database (CID).

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will arrange for the hon. Member for Walsall North to receive a reply to his letter of 10 June 2013 to the interim Director General, UK Visas and Immigration, on behalf of a constituent, CTS ref M8559/13. [165056]

Mr Harper [holding answer 12 July 2013]: I will arrange for the Interim Director General, UK Visas and Immigration to reply to the hon. Gentleman’s letter shortly.

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will arrange for the hon. Member for Walsall North to received a reply to his letter of 10 June 2013 to the interim Director General, UK Visas and Immigration, on behalf of a constituent, CTS ref B16075/13. [165058]

Mr Harper [holding answer 12 July 2013]: I will arrange for the Interim Director General, UK Visas and Immigration to reply to the hon. Gentleman’s letter shortly.

18 July 2013 : Column 911W

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Minister for Immigration plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Slough of 25 February 2013, regarding her constituent Mrs FN and her sister Mrs AS in Pakistan, references GRY-PK-01-230449-X and ISL-210213-229528-1. [166286]

Mr Harper: I wrote to the hon. Member on 15 July 2013.

National Security

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the EU's role in promoting national resilience; and if she will make a statement. [165546]

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

It is this Government's position that national resilience or civil protection is, and should, remain primarily a national responsibility. However, the Government recognise that action at EU level can facilitate mutual aid between member states in a disaster, and supports the sharing of good practice to prevent disasters where possible and/or mitigate their consequences.

Offenders: Deportation

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign national criminals were deported from the UK in each year since 2008. [165025]

Mr Harper [holding answer 12 July 2013]: The Home Office seeks to deport from the UK foreign national offenders (FNOs) who meet the following criteria:

A court recommendation.

For non-EEA nationals—a custodial sentence of 12 months or more either in one sentence or as an aggregate of two or three sentences over a period of five years, or a custodial sentence of any length for a drug offence (other than possession).

For EEA nationals—a custodial sentence of 12 months or more for an offence involving drugs, violent or sexual crimes or a custodial sentence of 24 months or more for other offences.

The following table sets out the number of foreign national offenders removed or deported from the UK in each year of the last five years.

 Total number of FNOs removed by the Home Office

2008

5,395

2009

5,530

2010

5,342

2011

4,649

2012

4,589

The table includes foreign national offenders who do not meet the criteria set out above and are removed from the UK under Section 10(1) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Section 10(1) relates to the removal of individuals unlawfully in the UK.

18 July 2013 : Column 912W

Police Laboratories

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her latest estimate is of the number of police laboratories that will be accredited to ISO17025 by November 2013. [166203]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 18 July 2013]: 37% of police forces currently hold accreditation to ISO 17025, this is predicted to increase to over 60% by November 2013 as a number of forces finalise the recommendations made by the awarding body, United Kingdom Accreditation Service. A number of forces have however decided to outsource this activity to commercial forensic service providers, who already hold ISO 17025, either on a short- or long-term basis.

Police: Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unmanned aerial vehicles were in use by police forces in (a) 2012 and (b) 2013. [R] [166168]

Damian Green: Police use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in England and Wales is an operational matter for individual police forces, within the regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority. Information about numbers in use is not collected centrally.

Pornography: Internet

Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking (a) to tackle breaches of the Obscene Publications Acts by non-UK websites which provide explicit hardcore pornography equivalent to that classified R18 by the British Board of Film Classification which is downloaded in the UK and (b) to put in place suitable age verification measures to prevent children accessing such material. [164729]

Damian Green: The Government support the work that the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) has undertaken. This will explore with UK financial institutions and card companies the possibility of declining to process payments to websites operating outside the European Union which allow under-18s in the UK to view explicit pornographic content. ATVOD provided a report of its progress in this area to the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Executive Board on 8 July 2013. Through UKCCIS the Government are supporting the work with industry to look at how age verification processes could be implemented.

Recovery Orders

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many statutory recovery orders have been enforced in each police force area in (a) 2013, (b) 2012, (c) 2011 and (d) 2010. [166040]

Damian Green: The requested information is not collected by the Home Office.

18 July 2013 : Column 913W

Sexual Offences

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people are currently on the sex offenders register; and what estimate she has made of the number of sex offenders in the UK who are not subject to the sex offenders register because their convictions took place prior to the implementation of the Sex Offenders Act 1997. [163733]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 15 July 2013]: Information on registered sex offenders is held on the Violent and Sex Offender Register (ViSOR) database, a UK-wide system which is used to store and share information and intelligence on individuals.

Data on ViSOR shows that there are currently a total of 64,484 registered sex offenders in the UK,

Information on the number of offenders with convictions made prior to the commencement of the Sex Offenders Act 1997, which introduced the notification requirements for registered sex offenders (commonly referred to as the 'sex offenders' register), is not held centrally.

West Midlands Police

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect of formula damping on the amount of national funding allocated to West Midlands Police in each of the last three years. [158014]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Damping is a means of ensuring stability in funding for Police and Crime Commissioners between years. After considering the responses of an informal consultation on damping, the Government decided that every police force area in 2013-14 (and in 2014-15) will face the same percentage reduction in core central Government funding. The cash reduction in this funding for 2013-14 is 1.6%. This mirrors the approach taken for the first two years of this spending review period.

Damping is only one part of the police funding picture, which is driven by the Police Allocation Formula (PAF). The Government will conduct a fundamental review of the PAF (including damping) to begin in due course and will seek the views of PCCs. Until this review of the Police Allocation Formula is completed, the Government consider that it would be inappropriate to change existing arrangements, as this is the basis on which many PCCs have made their financial plans.

In 2011 -12, the effect of damping was to reduce core Government funding to West Midlands Police Authority by £27.5 million (equating to 5.2%), compared to what it would have received if the raw formula had been used. In 2012-13, the reduction was £23 million (equating to 4.7%), and in 2013-14, the reduction is £43.8 million (equating to 8%).

Written Answers

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many answers by her Department to Parliamentary Questions involving tables of statistics fewer than four pages in length were (a) printed in full and (b) provided via a link to a website in the last year. [165471]

18 July 2013 : Column 914W

Mr Harper: This question could be answered only at disproportionate cost.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department follows in determining whether statistics in answers to Parliamentary Questions are (a) provided in full, (b) provided via a link to a website and (c) placed in the Library. [165490]

Mr Harper: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons provides guidance to all Departments on the practice of answering parliamentary questions by reference to Government websites.

The full guide is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work

A copy of the guidance relating to referring to websites has already been placed in the Library and the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons intends to review the Guide to Parliamentary Work later this year.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships his Department offered to people aged (a) 16 to 18, (b) 19 to 21 and (c) 22 to 26 years old in each year since 2010. [165865]

Jo Swinson: Until 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) did not keep a record of the age of internal apprentices. The table shows the age of externally recruited apprentices since 2010:

Age2010201120122013

16 to 18

0

0

0

1

19 to 21

2

1

2

4

22 to 26

0

0

0

1

BIS currently have 51 apprentices, 21 of whom are just embarking on their apprenticeship. This figure will rise to 57 in September. 12 of these 57 apprentices will be under the age of 21, with a further six apprentices under 21 expected to join the Department in the new year.

Business: EU Law

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made on the effect of directive 2007/46/EC on small and medium-sized businesses in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [166402]

Stephen Hammond: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Transport.

At the time of implementing the national regulations to meet our obligations under directive 2007/46/EC a full impact assessment was undertaken and published by the Department for Transport. This is available at the following link:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/718/impacts

18 July 2013 : Column 915W

The impact assessment includes a “Small firms’ impact test” and sets out the assessment undertaken at that time. The Department’s officials continue to liaise with the UK motor industry on the implementation of the directive.

Business: Government Assistance

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what processes his Department has put in place to ensure that ongoing support is given to UK companies seeking to develop long-term business relationships overseas; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of such processes. [165552]

Michael Fallon: Companies are in the best position to determine how best to maintain and develop long-term relationships with overseas customers. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has a global network of overseas support for UK companies. This network is always available to companies for advice and support but the commercial relationship management rests with the companies themselves. The effectiveness and impact of UKTI's advice and support is assessed through UKTI's Performance and Impact Monitoring Surveys (PIMS). Quarterly reports are published on the UKTI website:

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/aboutukti/ourperformance/performanceimpactandmonitoringsurvey/quarterlysurveys.html

In addition, UKTI has a programme of independent evaluations to complement evidence from PIMS, which looks in depth at particular areas and assesses their performance.

Business: Northern Ireland

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on extending the provision of the Business Bank to Northern Ireland. [166195]

Michael Fallon: The flexibilities recently put in place under the Business Bank programme are already making a difference to Northern Irish businesses:

The Start Up Loans scheme was extended to cover Northern Ireland last month. This will give people in NI who wish to start up their own business access to unsecured loans and tailored advice from a fund of £117 million.

Earlier this month, Northern Irish businesses also became eligible to receive investments from the £100 million Business Angel Cofund.

In addition, through its future wholesale products, we expect the bank to create more diverse and sustainable supplies of finance for businesses looking to grow and foster greater competition by leveraging funds through challenger banks.

Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will also be running a roadshow event in Northern Ireland for potential applicants for the Business Bank's first £300 million investment programme in the coming months.

BIS are continuing to work with the Executive and the main banks in Northern Ireland to help them receive the full benefits of the Business Bank's interventions and to ensure that it is relevant to the needs of NI businesses.

18 July 2013 : Column 916W

Cybercrime: Higher Education

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many undergraduate degree courses in cyber security are available in UK universities. [166060]

Mr Willetts: This information is not collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency or other means as cyber security is not a standard subject classification.

EU Grants and Loans

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what methodology his Department used to determine the distribution of EU transition zone funding for 2014 to 2020. [165975]

Michael Fallon: 3% of the UK transition region budget will be transferred to the UK's two less developed regions—Cornwall and West Wales.

Funding for Northern Ireland and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland will be 5% lower in real terms than in 2007-13.

Funding for the nine English transition regions will be distributed equally, with all regions receiving an annual 20% real terms increase in funding compared to 2013.

Exports

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what processes his Department uses to monitor the increase in UK exports following trade missions and delegations. [165554]

Michael Fallon: Evidence about the financial benefits generated by UKTI trade services is gathered quarterly through the performance and impact monitoring survey (PIMS) carried out by an independent market research company specialising in business surveys. Quarterly results are published on the UKTI website at:

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/aboutukti/ourperformance/performanceimpactandmonitoringsurvey/quarterlysurveys.html

The UKTI annual report and accounts (annex C) provides a short overview to PIMS at:

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/item/534440.html

PIMS measures additional sales and the business benefits derived as a result of the support provided. These measures recognise that export activity is not an end in itself, but benefits businesses and the UK economy through enabling companies to improve their performance and achieve stronger growth than would otherwise be possible.

In addition to the evidence from PIMS, estimates of the impact of UKTI trade services are obtained through a rolling programme of independent evaluations of particular trade services. These evaluations use a range of alternative techniques in order to derive estimates of the magnitude of the impact of trade services on businesses and other measures of performance

http://www.ukti.gov.uk/uktihome/aboutukti/ourperformance/evaluation.html

18 July 2013 : Column 917W

UKTI recently commissioned an evaluation of all its events (which include trade missions), the results of which will be published in the next few months on the website.

Grant Thornton

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on contracts with Grant Thornton in each year since 2008. [165683]

Jo Swinson: The Department has spent the following amounts on direct contracts for service with Grant Thornton:

 £

2008

20,268

2009

10,390

2010

2,885

2011

17,400

2012

(1)10,769

(1) See as follows.

Since 2012 onwards, Grant Thornton has been the lead contractor for two significant BIS programmes.

The first is the delivery of the Manufacturing Advisory Service which is funded by BIS to provide specialist manufacturing support for companies in England to help them improve and grow. The programme is delivered in England by the Manufacturing Advisory Consortium but BIS funding for the programme is initially paid through Grant Thornton as the lead contractor.

The second is the delivery of the Growth Accelerator programme which is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises to deliver structured advice and support to break down barriers and provide opportunities for sustained business growth. This programme is delivered through a network of private sector business growth experts but BIS funding for the programme is initially paid through Grant Thornton.

In 2012 (January to December), BIS paid a total of £21,177,011 to the Manufacturing Advisory Service programme and a total of £35,069,821 to the Growth Accelerator programme.

In 2013 (January to end June), BIS paid a total of £15,558,672 to the Manufacturing Advisory Service programme and a total of £30,329,267 to the Growth Accelerator programme.

Green Construction Board

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans his Department has for the Green Construction Board after November 2013. [166123]

Michael Fallon: As "Construction 2025", the industrial strategy for construction (published on 2 July) makes clear, low carbon and sustainable construction presents huge opportunities for the industry, and Government and industry strongly support the continuation of the Green Construction Board. Its work will focus on the development of market and technology based plans to secure the jobs and growth opportunities from driving carbon out of the built environment.

18 July 2013 : Column 918W

Green Investment Bank

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the role of the Green Investment Bank in the Green Deal. [166128]

Michael Fallon: The Green Deal is one of the Green Investment Bank's priority sectors. The bank supplied part of the financing arrangements for the Green Deal, providing £125 million of senior debt on commercial terms.

Higher Education: Admissions

Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the number of applications made by young people for higher education places in 2013-14. [165964]

Mr Willetts: Data published by UCAS on applications made by 30 June show a rise of 3% compared to the same point last year.

In England the application rate for 18-year-olds is the second highest ever at 35.3%.

Other data from UCAS show that the proportion of 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds applying to university has increased to the highest level ever recorded.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of higher education applications for entrance in 2014 among young people in England; and if he will make a statement. [166058]

Mr Willetts: The latest information on applicants in the 2013/14 entry cycle provided by UCAS shows that by 30 June there were 443,522 applicants from England, up 12,767 or 3% on the same point last year.

The application rate for 18-year-olds from England is, at 35.5%, the second highest on record, and only slightly below the record figure of 35.7% in 2011.

Other data from UCAS show that the proportion of 18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged backgrounds applying to university has increased to the highest level ever recorded.

Interest Rate Swap Transactions

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2013, Official Report, columns 49-50W, on Interest Rate Swap Transactions, how many customers of (a) Barclays Bank, (b) RBS Groups, (c) HSBC Banking Group and (d) Lloyds Banking Group have received financial redress as part of the Financial Conduct Authority redress scheme. [165540]

Michael Fallon: The Department does not have figures on the number of cases which have received financial redress as part of the Financial Conduct Authority scheme.

18 July 2013 : Column 919W

Manufacturing Advisory Service

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) in providing services regarded as satisfactory by businesses; and what steps he plans to take to improve the effectiveness of the MAS. [165549]

Michael Fallon: An independent survey is undertaken quarterly to evaluate customer satisfaction and perceived value of the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) interventions, including the initial diagnostic of needs in the Manufacturing Review (Level 2) and the in-depth support to implement business improvements (Level 4). The latest survey covering the period January to March 2013 found that:

At Level 2, 95% of clients surveyed (319 out of 337) think "MAS is good value for money/time investment" the highest score since the surveys began in Q4 2011/12.

At level 4, 99% of clients surveyed (267 out of 269) think "MAS is good value for money/time investment" at Level 4.

As set out in “Building the Business Bank” published in March 2012, work is under way to improve the effectiveness, raise awareness and increase the use of the Government's business advice services, including those provided through MAS.

Medicine: Research

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of his Department's ring-fenced budget for science will be used to support charity-funded medical research in the next 12 months. [166281]

Mr Willetts: The Government recognise the significant contribution made by charitable funders of research. The charity support element of quality related research funding, provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), recognises the public benefit arising from research funded by charities, including the medical charities. HEFCE has been asked, as part of the science and research allocation for the spending review period 2011-15, to protect support for institutions leveraging funding from external sources, such as the charitable and business sectors. HEFCE has announced that support for universities undertaking research funded by charities, including the medical charities, will be maintained at £198 million for 2013-14.

Overseas Investment: Mozambique

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assistance the Government provide for UK firms that wish to invest in Mozambique. [165709]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) offer a broad range of help, tailored to the specific needs of the company requesting it. This could include high level lobbying, in-depth reporting on market conditions including regulations and potential, help with relevant meetings and invitations to events in the UK to meet senior decision makers. UKTI's High Value Opportunities (HVO) programme, which helps UK-based firms to capitalise on major projects worldwide, includes oil and

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gas opportunities in Mozambique. In the last year, UKTl has reopened an office in Maputo and has helped a broad range of companies on this basis.

Postal Services: Wales

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what quantifiable benefits the privatisation of Royal Mail will bring to postal services in North West Wales. [166034]

Michael Fallon: The overarching objective of the Government's reforms of the postal sector is to secure the future of the universal postal service (the six-days-a-week delivery and collection of letters at uniform affordable prices throughout the UK). The best way to achieve this is by ensuring that Royal Mail has a sustainable future.

Our reforms so far—installing Ofcom as regulator and taking on Royal Mail's historic pension deficit—together with the efforts of employees and management to modernise the company, mean that Royal Mail is on the path to sustainability.

A sale of Royal Mail shares will allow the company future access to private capital so that it can continue to become more efficient, and can innovate and seize the opportunities presented by new markets; like the rapid growth of parcels through online shopping. It will make Royal Mail a more efficient, better capitalised, faster-moving company which is better able to adapt and meet the needs of its customers in all parts of the UK.