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16 Dec 2013 : Column 476W

Central African Republic

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) assets and (b) personnel have been provided to operations in the Central African Republic; and for how long they will be operating in that theatre. [179058]

Mr Francois: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) on 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 1WS.

Following adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2127 and the launch by France of operation Sangaris, the UK has provided two RAF C-17 flights to move French equipment to the Central African Republic. A further flight is planned before mid-to-late December.

A small number of UK military personnel are embarked onboard the C-17 aircraft to provide logistical and operational support. These personnel consist of the C-17 aircrew, an air movements team, supported by an air transport security team and force protection personnel. None of these personnel will remain in the Central African Republic.

Crimean War

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what responsibility the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has for Crimean War graves in (a) Turkey and (b) Ukraine; [178933]

(2) what responsibility the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has for Baltic campaign war graves in the Baltic region. [179083]

Anna Soubry: The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established in 1917 and is funded to provide a permanent official commemoration for those who died in the two world wars and associated conflicts (4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 and 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947). This includes graves of British personnel who gave their lives during the British campaign in the Baltic during 1918-19.

Before the first world war and during the inter world war years, the burying of the deceased was traditionally a function of the Ship, Regiment or Unit to which they belonged or of the individual's family. No formal assistance was offered by the then Admiralty, War Office or Air Ministry and over the succeeding years, only a limited number of such graves have been maintained by the Ministry of Defence. These are usually in a military cemetery funded by the Ministry of Defence where failure to maintain all of the graves to the same standard would detract from the overall appearance of the cemetery.

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance his Department is planning to give to support the building of memorials in Ukraine to commemorate the UK's casualties in the Crimean War. [179084]

Anna Soubry: The Defence Attaché and British embassy in Kyiv are continuing to work with the Ukrainian Government, and the Crimean War Memorial Appeal, to erect a new memorial near the village of Dergachi.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 477W

This privately funded memorial is intended to become the main focus of commemoration for British visitors, with the current memorial site at Cathcart Hill being simplified to become a place for quiet contemplation.

It has been a long standing policy of successive Governments that the cost of erecting memorials and associated projects is not usually met from public funds, but from private donations or public subscription. Responsibility for the design, location, maintenance, protection and any decision about what a memorial commemorates rests with the owner, or the organisation in which ownership is vested.

Defence: Procurement

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on the Government-owned contractor-operated tender process to date. [179059]

Mr Dunne: We have spent £7.4 million on supporting our work on the GOCO option. That investment has allowed us to understand better the challenges we need to meet to make a GOCO work and the outputs will be retained to inform any future competition.

HMS Victory

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will delay any decision on the future excavation of HMS Victory 1744 until the Marine Management Organisation has completed and reported publicly on its investigation into Odyssey’s conduct on the wreck site. [170136]

Anna Soubry: No.

Land

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects a legal agreement between his Department and Taylor Wimpey plc to be signed in respect of the discharge of rain water from the new housing estate on former Ministry of Defence (MOD) land off Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, into Friday Wood Brook watercourse through MOD land; what the reasons are for the time taken to conclude such an agreement; and if he will make a statement. [180277]

Dr Murrison: Work is ongoing toward a legal agreement between Taylor Wimpey plc and the Ministry of Defence. Changes from what was originally proposed have required additional investigations to be undertaken. Once these are complete, then the agreement may progress to completion.

Military Bases: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the findings of the studies carried out in 2010 into moving the headquarters of 15 Brigade from Imphal Barracks, York to (a) Bourlon Barracks, Catterick and (b) Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall were on the (i) feasibility and (ii) cost of moving the headquarters; what estimate he made of how many staff Catterick and Strensall could accommodate; for what reasons it was decided not to move the headquarters; and if he will place a copy of these studies in the Library. [178945]

Dr Murrison: The work to examine and implement the rationalisation of the Army’s non-deployable regional

16 Dec 2013 : Column 478W

brigade and divisional structure was undertaken as part of Project Avanti. The project reported in 2011 and the outcomes were included in the Defence transformation statement of 18 July 2011,

Official Report,

columns 66-70WS.

The option to relocate headquarters of 15 Brigade to Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall was ruled out at an early stage in the project on space and capacity grounds. The possibility of moving the headquarters to Bourlon Barracks, Catterick and merging with Catterick Garrison headquarters was explored in more detail to establish whether such a merger could result in efficiencies. However, it was determined that there was no existing suitable office accommodation available at that time and the cost of converting other accommodation was not commensurate with the savings we could achieve. This option was therefore not developed any further.

I am happy to consider placing a copy of the Avanti report in the Library of the House. A review of the information requested is being conducted with regard to its suitability for release. I will write to the hon. Member shortly, once this assessment is complete.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many staff based at 15 Brigade Headquarters he expects (a) to move to Catterick and (b) to be made redundant as a result of the establishment of the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters at Catterick; and what estimate was made of the removal expenses, travel and subsistence, redundancy payments, early retirement payments and other personnel costs associated with the move; [178949]

(2) how many staff in the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in Yorkshire will transfer from 15 Brigade Headquarters, and how many from 4 Mechanised Brigade Headquarters; how many staff in the new Brigade Headquarters will work on (a) Firm Base functions hitherto undertaken by 15 Brigade and (b) Adaptive Force functions; and what assessment he has made of the feasibility of basing the Brigadier and his Firm Base staff in York and the Brigadier's Adaptive Force staff in Catterick. [178954]

Anna Soubry: Under Army 2020, Headquarters 15 (North East) Brigade will merge with Headquarters 4 Mechanised Brigade by 1 December 2014 to form Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East, based in Catterick.

This new Adaptable Force Infantry Brigade has been designed as a single Headquarters, capable of delivering both regional command and wider responsibilities. As such, all staff in the Headquarters will contribute to the full spectrum of responsibilities covering both Firm Base and Adaptive Force functions. No assessment has been made of the feasibility of splitting these Headquarters functions between York and Catterick, as to do so would be less efficient and contrary to the Army 2020 model.

The work to map the posts in the current Headquarters 15 (North East) Brigade and Headquarters 4 Mechanised Brigade into the future Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East is still ongoing. It is therefore too soon to assess how many posts, both civilian and military, will map into the new structures or to estimate any associated costs.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 479W

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of providing IT systems for the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in Yorkshire of the Headquarters being based at (a) Imphal Barracks, York, (b) Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall and (c) Bourlon Barracks, Catterick. [178950]

Mr Dunne: Peronne Barracks, Catterick has been selected as the future home of Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East, which will be the Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in Yorkshire under Army 2020.

No estimate of cost has been made for providing IT systems for this Brigade Headquarters at Imphal Barracks, York, Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Strensall or Bourlon Barracks, Catterick.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the new Yorkshire-based Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters will play in managing the recruitment of reservists. [178951]

Anna Soubry: There will be no change to the role provided by the existing Headquarters 15 (North East) Brigade as it merges with Headquarters 4 Mechanised Brigade to become Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East. The new headquarters will continue to support the recruiting effort by raising awareness of the Army Reserve through various activities, and by providing personnel and equipment to recruiting events when required.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of providing suitable premises for the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters at (a) Imphal Barracks, York, (b) Strensall Barracks, York and (c) Catterick Garrison. [178952]

Dr Murrison: It is currently too early to say what the cost will be of providing suitable premises for the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters.

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation is working with the Army to refine the requirement. DIO assessment studies will conclude this month. The findings will then be analysed, and recommendations on costs and infrastructure solutions will be produced in early 2014.

The programme hopes to present a business case to initial gate in February/March 2014, so we will be able to share the firm cost estimates at that time.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what responsibility 15 Brigade has for planning and co-ordinating resilience operations in response to floods, major weather events, major fires and other civil emergencies; and what assessment he

16 Dec 2013 : Column 480W

has made on the future effectiveness of civil-military co-operation of the establishment of the Army's new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in

(a)

Catterick and

(b)

York. [178953]

Mr Francois: Headquarters 15 (North East) Brigade is one of 10 regional brigade headquarters which provide a network of command centres across the UK. These command centres can be used to co-ordinate military activity in support of civil emergency organisations if tasked to do so.

Under Army 2020 Headquarters 15 (North East) Brigade will merge with Headquarters 4 Mechanised Brigade by 1 December 2014 to form Headquarters 4 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters North East, based in Catterick. The support provided to resilience operations across the North East region will continue under the new headquarters.

Public Records: Northern Ireland

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 14 October 2013, Official Report, column 483W, how many full-time equivalent staff are assigned to work supporting the Historical Enquiries Team and the National Archives in identifying files for release. [180288]

Mr Francois: There are 17 members of Ministry of Defence (MOD) staff that support the work of the Historical Enquiries Team and a further 14 that work separately on the selection and release of all MOD records to the National Archives.

Reserve Forces: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received from the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Yorkshire and the Humber on how the region can improve the recruitment of Reserve Forces Personnel. [178946]

Anna Soubry: At official level there are regular contacts with all the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations; and Ministers engage with the Council of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Associations. We are not aware of any specific representations by the Yorkshire and Humber Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Reserve Forces are or were based in (a) York and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber (i) now and (ii) in each of the last five years. [178947]

Anna Soubry: The following table shows the number of Reserves recorded as being based in York, and Yorkshire and Humber, since 2009.

 1 April 20091 April 20101 April 20111 April 20121 April 20131 October 2013

Territorial Army

      

Yorkshire and Humber

2,970

2,900

2,670

2,600

2,620

2,280

Of which:

      

York

670

680

660

590

610

570

16 Dec 2013 : Column 481W

16 Dec 2013 : Column 482W

Royal Auxiliary Air Force

      

Yorkshire and Humber

80

90

80

80

80

80

Of which:

      

York

-

-

-

-

-

-

We do not hold data in respect of the Maritime Reserve in the format requested, but there are currently no members of the Maritime Reserve based in Yorkshire and Humber.

The data from which these figures are compiled have not been validated by Defence Statistics, and should therefore be considered as estimates; all figures are rounded. The population reported by each Service may differ slightly (for instance in terms of Full-Time Reserve Service personnel); comparisons across the three Services may therefore not be valid.

As set out in our White Paper in July this year we should not be surprised if the trained strength falls before it increases.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2013, Official Report, column 960W, on unmanned aerial vehicles, what approximate distance beyond the primary areas of operation identified for the Black Hornet that unmanned aerial vehicle has flown in UK airspace. [R] [179476]

Mr Francois: Black Hornet is a very small aerial surveillance tool which flies distances of less than 300 metres. It is used solely for training purposes in the UK and is not flown beyond military training areas.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 70W, on unmanned aerial vehicles, what information his Department records or collates on the trialling or other use of unmanned aerial systems by MOD state bodies in UK air space. [180030]

Mr Dunne: In the UK the Ministry of Defence operates unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in danger areas or segregated airspace. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr Robathan), on 18 July 2013, Official Report, column 960W, for the number and location of flights by UAS in the UK in the last 10 years.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 70W, on unmanned aerial vehicles, what testing and evaluation of unmanned aerial system capabilities is being conducted or is planned for 2014 by 56(R) Squadron at the Air Warfare Centre. [180031]

Mr Dunne: 56(R) Squadron currently has no responsibility for test and evaluation of unmanned aerial system capabilities.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 9 December 2013, Official Report, column 70W, on unmanned aerial vehicles, which Government Department or body records or collates information on the trialling or other use of unmanned aerial systems by state bodies in UK airspace. [180032]

Mr Dunne: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has regulatory responsibility for all non-Ministry of Defence unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The CAA records data on the applications for permission to operate UAS in the UK, although they do not hold data for specific flights which remains the responsibility of the operator.

World War II: Anniversaries

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has to commemorate the achievements of Mediterranean Command in World War Two. [179979]

Anna Soubry: The achievements of all the British and Empire armed forces during the second world war should be recognised, especially during this decade when so many 70th anniversaries of major events and actions will fall. However it is not possible to mark every aspect of each campaign, and it is traditional for participating units and regiments to use the date of a pivotal battle to represent a particular campaign.

The North African and Mediterranean theatres' achievements were commemorated with the thanksgiving service for the Battle of El Alamein in October 2012 in Westminster Abbey and the Maltese events to mark the 60th anniversary of the island's siege in 2005 in Valetta.

The focus of the second world war commemoration for 2014 is to be the 70th anniversary of D-Day. There are no further plans related to the overseas commands of the time.

Attorney-General

Conflict Prevention: Treaties

Steve Baker: To ask the Attorney-General if he will make an assessment of whether the General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy remains binding on the UK. [179950]

The Solicitor-General: I am advised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy (also known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact) remains in force and that the United Kingdom remains a party.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 483W

Fraud

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General (1) to how many firms the Serious Fraud Office has out sourced investigative work in the last three years; [180393]

(2) if he will review the Serious Fraud Office's outsourcing controls and procedures following the prosecution of Victor Dahdaleh. [180394]

The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has never outsourced investigative work to a private firm. Of course the SFO engages Counsel, forensic accountants or other specialists as part of its work but such individuals will always work under the direction and supervision of SFO staff.

In many cases, like that of Mr Dahdaleh, the SFO will engage with a private company or its lawyers in order to secure from them material believed to be relevant to its investigation. In all such instances, it is the SFO, and not the private company, which determines the parameters of what material is likely to be relevant; and makes the qualitative assessment as to the value of that material to the investigation.

These examples do not in any sense amount to investigative work being outsourced. The Director of the SFO is of the clear view that it would never in any circumstances be appropriate to out-source investigative work. The SFO has already announced that it will be reviewing carefully the lessons to be learnt from the prosecution of Mr Dahdaleh with a view to applying those lessons to future casework.

Ministers

Ian Lucas: To ask the Attorney-General how much was spent on ministerial salaries in the last year for which figures are available. [180091]

The Solicitor-General: Information on ministerial salaries for the Attorney-General's Office is published annually in the HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor Annual Report and Accounts. The most recently published data are on page 29 of the 2012-13 report which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tsol-ago-hmcpsi-annual-report-and-accounts-201213

Victor Dahdaleh

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General (1) when the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) engaged the services of Akin Gump during its investigation of Victor Dahdaleh; and how much was paid by the SFO for any services Akin Gump provided; [180395]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of the Serious Fraud Office's investigation and prosecution of Victor Dahdaleh; [180396]

(3) what assessment he has made of the decision of the trial judge to direct the jury to acquit Victor Dahdaleh on grounds that included the delegation by the Serious Fraud Office of parts of the investigation to a law firm that was suing the defendant; and if he will make a statement. [180397]

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The Solicitor-General: Akin Gump was not engaged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) during its investigation of Mr Dahdaleh or at any other time. The role of Akin Gump was limited to providing the SFO with material they held on behalf of their client, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), in accordance with the SFO's requests. It follows from this that nothing was paid by the SFO to Akin Gump.

The full cost of the investigation and prosecution is not yet known as the case has not yet concluded. In any case, it is not possible to break down the costs relating to specific individuals.

The trial judge directed the jury to return verdicts of ‘not guilty’ on all counts because the prosecution offered no evidence. They did so for two reasons: firstly, because a conspirator who had pleaded guilty and agreed to give evidence on behalf of the prosecution significantly changed his evidence and, secondly, because the two partners from Akin Gump had refused to attend the trial to give evidence and face cross-examination without preconditions. While this is obviously a disappointing result, it should be noted that the case has already resulted in the successful conviction of Mr Dahdaleh's co-accused, Bruce Hall, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to corrupt.

Work and Pensions

Apprentices

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people over the age of 25 who have been offered an apprenticeship in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [179050]

Esther McVey: The Department does not collect this information. Apprenticeships policy in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Government.

Atos Healthcare

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were employed by Atos Healthcare as part of the Medical Services Agreement in each month since 2010. [179778]

Mike Penning: The total number of staff employed by Atos Healthcare as part of the Medical Services Agreement in each month since 2010 are shown on the following table.

These figures are made up of administrative staff, health care professionals (nurses, physiotherapists and doctors) and management.

 2010201120122013

January

1,290

1,445

1,590

1,715

February

1,304

1,448

1,635

1,714

March

1,291

1,447

1,663

1,703

April

1,311

1,469

1,691

1,703

May

1,331

1,483

1,710

1,702

June

1,353

1,496

1,704

1,690

July

1,346

1,510

1,712

1,696

16 Dec 2013 : Column 485W

August

1,363

1,496

1,721

1,691

September

1,382

1,527

1,724

1,675

October

1,398

1,520

1,732

1,643

November

1,420

1,551

1,731

1

December

1,413

1,539

1,709

1

1 No data.

Cold Weather Payments: Wales

Dr Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which wards in each county borough in Wales received cold weather payments in (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013; and if he will make a statement. [179080]

Steve Webb: The cold weather payment scheme is administered at weather station level rather than any other standard GB geography such as ward or country level. The coverage area for each weather station is determined by the Met Office through assessing the most appropriate weather station for each postcode area. The boundaries of weather station coverage areas and wards do not match exactly, so some wards will be covered by more than one weather station.

Table 1 gives the number of triggers at each weather station whose coverage area lies either wholly or partly in Wales. People in the coverage area of these weather stations will have received a cold weather payment in that year. A table will be placed in the Library providing the Welsh wards covered by these weather stations.

The cold weather payment season runs from November to March each year. Consequently, the calendar year figures given in Table 1 below will include triggers from two separate cold weather payment seasons. The data for 2013 run to 12 December 2013.

Please note that the coverage areas of Hawarden Airport, Hereford-Credenhill, Sennybridge and Lake Vyrnwy weather cross into England and will also include some English wards. These are not included in the table that will be placed in the Library. In addition, some wards may be covered by more than one weather station.

Table 1: Triggers at weather stations in Wales in each calendar year from 2011 to 2013
Weather station201120122013

Aberporth

0

0

0

Capel Curig

0

1

2

Hawarden airport

0

1

1

Hereford-Credenhill

0

2

1

Lake Vyrnwy

1

2

5

Mona

0

0

1

Pembrey Sands

0

0

0

Rhyl

0

0

0

Sennybridge

1

3

4

St Athan

0

0

0

Trawsgoed

0

0

1

Tredegar

1

2

4

Notes: 1. The information provided is Management Information. 2. A cold weather payment of £25 is made when the average temperature has been recorded as, or is forecast to be, 0°C or below over seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to an eligible recipient's postcode. 3. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 486W

Disability Living Allowance

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultation was undertaken prior to the design and introduction of the standard dropbox forms for disability living allowance applications. [178941]

Esther McVey: The design and development of disability living allowance claim forms included extensive consultation with the Disability Advisory Forum, which collectively represented organisations covering a wide range of disabilities. The Disability Advisory Forum was drawn into the discussion at formative and later stages of the development.

Employment and Support Allowance

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's plans are to support employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants whose work capability assessments are being reconsidered, but who are unable to claim ESA during the reconsideration or appeal period. [179968]

Esther McVey: ESA is not payable while a decision that a claimant does not have limited capability for work (following a work capability assessment) is being reconsidered. During this period, the claimant may choose to claim an alternative income replacement benefit such as jobseeker's allowance or income support. However, they must satisfy the entitlement criteria.

Following the completion of mandatory reconsideration of the decision, if the claimant subsequently appeals then ESA may be paid at the assessment phase rate pending the appeal being heard. Provided medical evidence is provided, this payment can cover the period while reconsideration was carried out but entitlement cannot be assessed until the claimant has lodged an appeal.

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's plans are to support employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants whose work capability assessments are being reconsidered, but who are ineligible to claim either ESA or jobseeker's allowance during the reconsideration or appeal period. [179969]

Esther McVey: A person's eligibility for alternative benefits will depend upon their individual circumstances. As employment and support allowance will not be payable during the mandatory reconsideration period, the claimant may choose to claim income support if they satisfy the entitlement criteria.

Food Banks

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he received the evidence review commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the landscape of food aid provision and access in the United Kingdom; and when he expects to comment to that Department. [180399]

Esther McVey: All Government funded research reports are required to go through a rigorous review and quality assurance process before publication. The Department is working with DEFRA as part of this process. The report will be published once this is complete.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 487W

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was allocated to each Merseyside council in discretionary support following the introduction of the under-occupancy penalty; and how much of those allocations was unspent in (a) 2012-13, (b) 2013-14 and (c) 2014-15. [178886]

Steve Webb: The removal of the spare room subsidy was introduced from April 2013. As a result no specific element of this was included in the DHP funding for 2012-13. However the DHP allocations and under spend for 2012-13 were as follows:

£
Local authorityGovernment contribution 2012-13Amount of under spend 2012-13

Knowsley

173,938

3,791

Liverpool

892,553

337,435

Sefton

292,748

834

St Helens

127,174

2,147

Wirral

522,238

57,408

The total 2013-14 DHP allocation for each Merseyside council is detailed in the following table. We do not hold underspend data for DHP expenditure for 2013-14. The Department has been collating six-monthly returns detailing DHP awards made by local authorities and is currently quality assuring the returns. DHP allocations for 2014-15 have yet to be decided.

Local authorityGovernment contribution 2013-14 (£)

Knowsley

468,623

Liverpool

1,606,233

Sefton

547,790

St Helens

399,636

Wirral

917,214

This year the Government contribution to discretionary housing payments has been increased to £180 million. As part of this, local authorities are able to bid for funding from a £20 million reserve fund. The scheme is open to bids until 3 February 2014.

Jobcentre Plus: Corby

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time employment vacancies were advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices in Corby constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [178874]

Esther McVey: In the 30-day period to 11 December 2013, 494 full-time vacancies and 23 part-time vacancies were advertised using Universal Jobmatch in Corby.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons for changes in the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants being sanctioned. [179955]

Esther McVey: A new sanctions regime was introduced in jobseeker's allowance (JSA) from 22 October 2012 and in employment and support allowance (ESA) from

16 Dec 2013 : Column 488W

3 December 2012. We have released statistics on sanctions up to the end of June 2013 which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/255176/sanctions-nov-2013.pdf

The statistics show that despite some month on month fluctuations there has been little change in the overall volume of JSA sanctions since the introduction of the new regime. The volume of sanctions had increased between late 2011 and April/May 2012 driven by an increase in sanctions for failure to participate in employment programmes.

ESA sanction volumes have increased but remain lower than they were in late 2009/early 2010. The increase in volumes is in line with an increase in the size of the Work Related Activity Group.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of jobseeker's allowance claimants waited longer than (a) one week, (b) two weeks, (c) three weeks and (d) one month to have their benefit claim processed in each year since 2006. [179986]

Esther McVey: DWP does not collate this data.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing times of jobseeker's allowance claims were for each quarter since January 2006. [179987]

Esther McVey: The information in response to this PQ is unable to be released. This is because the information has a clerical element which has the potential to be retrospectively changed. Therefore any data may change following its release.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women in each region have received an exemption from conditions applied to claimants of jobseeker's allowance because they have been victims of domestic violence since April 2012. [180219]

Esther McVey: DWP directly supports domestic violence victims in a number of ways. The jobseeker’s allowance domestic violence (JSA DV) easement helps victims of actual or threatened domestic violence by allowing a break from job seeking activity to enable claimants to stabilise their lives and those of their families.

The following table sets out the number of times the jobseeker's allowance domestic violence easement has been applied in each month since its introduction, broken down by Jobcentre Plus Group in Great Britain between April and September 2013. Figures are not broken down by gender due to small numbers. It only captures those people where DWP's administrative systems show that an easement has been approved for at least four weeks-the minimum period of time for which an easement can be approved. It does not include people where an application for an easement was made but was either not followed up or where no evidence was provided in support of the application.

The easement can apply for a period of up to 13 weeks, so an individual easement may span a period of several months. Where this is the case, the easement has only been counted in the month in which it was first applied.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 489W

Table 1: Number of times the jobseeker's allowance domestic violence easement has been applied, by Jobcentre Plus Group, between April and September 2013
Jobcentre Plus Group NumberPercentage

England

 

760

84

 

Central

195

21

 

London and Home Counties

85

9

 

North East

215

24

 

North West

120

13

 

Southern

150

17

    

Scotland

 

90

10

    

Wales

 

55

6

    

GB

 

910

100

Note: Figures may not sum due to rounding.

Personal Income: Southwark

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average annual income of non-single parent households in the London borough of Southwark was in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011, (d) 2012 and (e) 2013; [180075]

(2) what the average annual income of single parent households in the London borough of Southwark was in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011, (d) 2012 and (e) 2013. [180076]

Esther McVey: Estimates of average weekly income in the UK are published in the National Statistics Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income adjusted (or ‘equivalised') for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living. This information is captured using the Family Resources Survey.

Household income refers to net disposable income which includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes.

A household is defined as a single person or group of people living at the same address as their only or main residence, who either share one meal together or share the living accommodation. A household will consist of one or more families. A benefit unit (family) is defined as a single adult or a married or cohabiting couple, plus any dependent children. The following figures are based on household income.

Due to sample size constraints figures are not available below regional level and by individual year. As such figures for the London borough of Southwark are not available. Therefore, the following figures have been provided for London as three-year averages.

Table 1. Annual income of non-single parent households in London, Before Housing Costs, three-year averages from 2007-08 to 2011-12
£ per year
 MeanMedian

2007-08 to 2009-10

33,009

22,293

16 Dec 2013 : Column 490W

2008-09 to 2010-11

32,908

22,900

2009-10 to 2011-12

35,389

23,564

Table 2. Annual income of single parent households in London, Before Housing Costs, three-year averages from 2007-08 to 2011-12
£ per year
 MeanMedian

2007-08 to 2009-10

19,392

16,358

2008-09 to 2010-11

20,264

17,135

2009-10 to 2011-12

20,238

18,047

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. Equivalisation adjusts incomes for household size and composition, taking an adult couple with no children as the reference point. 3. In the HBAI and FRS a household is defined as a single person or group of people living at the same address as their only or main residence, who either share one meal together or share the living accommodation. A household will consist of one or more benefit units. A benefit unit (family) is defined as a single adult or a married or cohabiting couple, plus any dependent children. From January 2006 same-sex partners (civil partners and cohabitees) are also included in the same benefit unit. The figures above are based on household income. 4. Income calculated here includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 5. Households receive income from a variety of sources. The main ones are earnings, self-employment, state support (ie benefits and tax credits), interest on investments and occupational pensions. 6. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost basis. For Before Housing Costs, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, buildings insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income. 7. Mean equivalised household income of individuals is found by adding up equivalised household incomes for each individual in a population and dividing the result by the number of people. 8. Median net family income divides the number of families, when ranked by family (benefit unit) income, into two equal-sized groups. 9. Regional statistics are always presented in three-year averages as single-year regional estimates are considered too small. Therefore London estimates are taken from FRS 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12. 10. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 11. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £1. Estimates based on survey data are subject to uncertainty. The estimates are subject to sampling error.

Poverty: Children

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children have been living in poverty in Lancashire in each year since 2009. [180056]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not available.

The Child Poverty Act 2010 sets four income-based UK-wide targets to be met by 2020. The targets are based on the proportion of children living in households with relative low income, combined low income and material deprivation, absolute low income and persistent poverty (all before housing costs have been taken into account).

Estimates of these are published in the National Statistics Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income adjusted (or ‘equivalised') for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living. This information is captured using the Family Resources Survey.

Information at county or local authority level is not available as the sample size of this survey is not sufficient to provide robust estimates. The lowest geography at which poverty estimates are reported is regional level.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 491W

Three-year averages are used to report statistics by region, as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. The latest figures for relative and absolute low income at regional level covering the period of 2009-10 to 2011-12 can be found in the latest HBAI publication, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201112

(ISBN 978-1-78153-531-8)

Relevant regional figures can be found in Table 4.17ts (on page 136) for relative low income and Table 4.23ts (on page 142) for absolute low income.

We want to develop better measures of child poverty, which include, but go beyond income to provide a more accurate picture of the reality of child poverty and drive the right action. Our consultation on how best to measure child poverty closed on 15 February. The complexity of the issue means that we need to take time to ensure we have the best option for measuring child poverty. We will publish our response as soon as we can.

Social Fund

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to ensure that adequate support is being offered to people in financial hardship following the abolition of crisis loans and community care grants. [180213]

Steve Webb: Funding has been provided for new, better targeted local provision through arrangements made by upper tier local authorities in England and the Welsh and Scottish Governments. It is for local authorities to decide how they advertise and operate schemes and it is for local authorities to satisfy themselves that the measures they are taking meet their statutory obligations. My Department has no role in how they are run.

However, so that claimants can get timely access to the support available from both the Department and the new provision in their communities we continue to promote awareness of the new arrangements. This includes messages on the Department's telephone enquiry lines, scripts for DWP staff to use in Jobcentres and call centres, messages on customer letters, and information on the benefits pages on the www.gov.uk website. At a local level Jobcentre Plus staff work very closely with local authorities and the devolved nations to support them in delivering their schemes.

Steps taken prior to the changes being introduced included holding many workshops around the country with local authorities and the devolved Administrations. At these we discussed how the funding could be put to the best use. Additionally, the settlement letter issued to each local authority with details of their funding provided further clarity on the purpose of the funding.

Social Security Benefits

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that requirements on those in receipt of jobseeker's allowance and employment and support allowance respect the religious adherence of individuals. [179771]

16 Dec 2013 : Column 492W

Esther McVey: Jobseeker's allowance claimants may restrict the type of work they are prepared to do or days they are prepared to work because of a sincerely held religious belief or conscientious objection, provided they can show they have reasonable prospects of employment despite this restriction.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to change the sanctions applied to benefits claimants following the recent Supreme Court judgement R v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. [179957]

Esther McVey: The Department for Work and Pensions has taken no steps to change sanctions applied to benefit claimants following the recent Supreme Court judgment in R v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Social Security Benefits: Corby

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people claimed disability living allowance in (a) Corby constituency and (b) East Northamptonshire in each of the last five years; [178879]

(2) how many families received attendance allowance at (a) the higher and (b) the lower rate in Corby constituency in the latest period for which figures are available; [178880]

(3) how many people in Corby constituency who have identified sight impairment as their primary disability received disability living allowance in each (a) higher and lower rate mobility and (b) higher, middle and lower rate care components in the latest period for which figures are available; [178884]

(4) how many people in Corby constituency who have identified hearing impairment as their primary disability received disability living allowance in each (a) higher and lower rate mobility and (b) higher, middle and lower rate care components in the latest period for which figures are available. [178885]

Mike Penning: Attendance allowance is not paid to families, it is a benefit paid to an individual to contribute towards the extra costs faced by severely disabled people who claim after reaching age 65.

The information requested regarding the numbers of claimants receiving disability living allowance or attendance allowance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dwp-statistics-tabulation-tool

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-tabulation-tool-guidance

In answer to the remaining questions regarding impairments, the information requested is shown in the following tables:

DLA recipients with a main disabling condition of blindness or deafness, by rate of care component, in Corby parliamentary constituency, May 2013
 Total in paymentHigh rate careLow rate careMedium rate careNil rate

All DLA recipients

5,770

1,350

1,830

1,890

710

Blindness

130

10

50

50

20

16 Dec 2013 : Column 493W

Deafness

80

10

10

60

DLA recipients with a main disabling condition of blindness or deafness, by rate of mobility component, in Corby parliamentary constituency, May 2013
 Total in paymentHigh rate mobilityLow rate mobilityNil rate

All DLA recipients

5,770

3,260

1,750

770

Blindness

130

40

80

10

Deafness

80

10

50

30

Notes: 1. Figures are shown rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Figures show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and excludes cases where the payment has been suspended e.g. if they are in hospital. 3. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to DLA. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability. These statistics are only collected for administrative purposes. 4. DLA care and mobility components can be paid together or on their own. 5. Blindness and deafness encompass a range of sight impairments and hearing impairments. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.

Social Security Benefits: Newcastle Upon Tyne

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what digital assistance is available for people in Newcastle required to claim benefits online; and where any such assistance can be found. [179828]

Esther McVey: The Department has installed over 2,000 new internet access devices in Jobcentres nationally, including Jobcentres in Newcastle. These devices are there to support people who claim benefits and do not have their own computer. Jobcentre staff are available to provide people with any assistance required. We are introducing another 6,000 devices in 2014.

Jobcentre Plus has been working closely with Newcastle city council on a digital inclusion strategy—Go Digital Newcastle. As part of the strategy a mapping exercise has been undertaken to identify public access IT. To date there are in excess of 500 digital devices available for public use within Newcastle. Details of their location and how to access are held on the Newcastle city council website. The mapping exercise enables support organisations and Jobcentre Plus Advisers, for example, to signpost people to public access IT points.

In addition, DWP also works in partnership with several organisations, including UK Online centres, who can help people access a computer and coach them in using the internet. This support can be found in every local authority area in libraries or community centres, for example.

Where people are unable to claim online, telephony or face-to-face services will continue to support people to access our services.

Social Security Benefits: Scotland

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in Scotland subject to the benefits cap are (a) single with no dependent children, (b) single with dependent children, (c) couples with no dependent children and (d) couples with dependent children. [179889]

16 Dec 2013 : Column 494W

Esther McVey: We have published Official Statistics for Great Britain as a whole showing how many households subject to the benefit cap are (a) single with no dependent children, (b) single with dependent children, (c) couples with no dependent children and (d) couples with dependent children. We are still developing the information sets necessary to provide this information for Scotland. We expect to make the information available in a forthcoming release of benefit cap Official Statistics. Further details will be given on the publication strategy landing page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-cap-statistics

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in Scotland are subject to the benefits cap in each local authority area. [179890]

Esther McVey: Information on the cumulative number of households in Scotland subject to the benefit cap in each local authority is available on the publication strategy landing page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-cap-statistics

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in Scotland subject to the benefits cap are entitled to carer's allowance. [179891]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the enhanced online digital service for universal credit, whose development has been started by the Government Digital Services, will relate to the universal credit system whose development has been led by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [179988]

Esther McVey: I refer the right hon. Member to the written ministerial statement from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), on 5 December 2013, Official Report, column 65WS.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 282W, on universal credit, what recent estimate he has made of IT development and implementation costs related to universal credit in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [180069]

Esther McVey: The current forecast for overall implementation costs related to universal credit in 2013-14 is £192 million. Costs related to IT development remain subject to ongoing commercial discussions.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when he was first informed that some claimants would not transfer to universal credit by the end of 2017-18; [180087]

16 Dec 2013 : Column 495W

(2) when he was first informed that the phasing out of new claims to existing benefits and credits would be delayed until after April 2014. [180408]

Esther McVey: Our priority has been and continues to be the safe and secure delivery of universal credit. This has driven our approach to progressively test, learn, implement as we deliver this flagship programme.

Following Howard Shiplee's review of the universal credit delivery approach and the successful conclusion of the testing of the Enhanced Digital Solution, discussions were held between Ministers and officials to agree the delivery approach as set out in the written ministerial statement that the Secretary of State laid before the House on 5 December 2013. This included the decision that the vast majority of existing claimants will have moved to universal credit by 2017.

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2013, Official Report, column 154W, on universal credit, who is providing jobcentre plus advisors with training; and at what cost. [180406]

Esther McVey: The universal credit training for Jobcentre Plus advisers is being delivered by experienced learning and development officers from within DWP. The amount of training required varies according to future universal credit job role and previous experience but on average is 11 days.

Work Capability Assessment

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many work capability assessment centres have induction loops for deaf and hard of hearing people. [178926]

Mike Penning: The 150 assessment centres commissioned for work capability assessments have induction loops.

On occasions where an induction loop is not readily available or operational, then Atos Healthcare is able to provide a portable induction loop.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the cost to his Department of appeals against the work capability assessment in 2013. [179777]

Mike Penning: For the financial year 2012-13 and the 2013-14 year to date, the costs of Appeals related to work capability assessment are as follows:

£
 2012-13October YTD 2013-14

ESA Appeals-WCA

15,865,218

18,351,906

IB (IS) Reassessment Appeals

12,276,418

6,236,687

Total

28,141,636

24,588,593

The only appeals activities included in the table are the administrative work undertaken by DWP staff. We do not have details of the Tribunal Service costs or any lawyers employed.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 496W

The above costs include DWP activities, regardless of the result of appeal.

Work Programme

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what monthly targets he has set for those leaving prison and rolling onto the Work programme. [179781]

Esther McVey: Anyone leaving prison and claiming jobseeker's allowance benefits is immediately referred to the Work programme.

Monthly targets have not been set for those leaving prison and moving onto the Work programme.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the Work programme has performed against its targets for those leaving prison in each month since the programme's inception. [180081]

Esther McVey: Monthly targets have not been set for those leaving prison and moving onto the Work programme.

Work Programme: Corby

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were successfully placed in jobs by Work programme contractors in Corby constituency in each of the last three months; and how many people claiming employment and support allowance were referred into the Work programme in Corby constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [178875]

Esther McVey: The information requested on those successfully placed in jobs by Work programme contractors is not available.

However statistics on how many people in Corby have secured job outcomes through the Work programme to date can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dwp-statistics-tabulation-tool

In response to the second part of your question, there were 250 Work programme referrals for those in the ESA Payment Group, Corby parliamentary constituency between 1 June 2011 and 30 June 2013.

Minimum Wage

George Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the reduction in (a) tax credits and (b) benefits from a rise in the minimum wage from £6.31 to £7.65 nationally and to £8.80 in London. [178889]

Mr Gauke: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Treasury.

The Treasury has made no such assessment.

The Low Pay Commission reviews the national minimum wage rates and recommends rate uplifts to government on the basis of valued independent judgment and advice.

The Government are committed to the minimum wage because of the protection it provides low paid workers and the incentives to work it provides. It is important that we have a minimum wage that helps as

16 Dec 2013 : Column 497W

many low paid workers as possible, while at the same time making sure that we do not damage their employment prospects by setting it too high.

The Government are keen that lower paid workers benefit from the strengthening economic recovery. This is why, in September, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovations and Skills asked the Low Pay Commission to consider the conditions that would need to be in place in order to allow a faster increase in the minimum wage taking into account the implications on employment.

Deputy Prime Minister

Cycling: Finance

Dr Huppert: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what weight is given to sustainability and the inclusion of cycling schemes when assessing bids made under the local growth fund. [179939]

Greg Clark: Growth Deals will be agreed between Government and Local Enterprise Partnerships on the basis of their Strategic Economic Plans, and will include agreements on wider freedoms, flexibilities and influence, as well as allocations of Local Growth Fund. Government published guidance in July which set out that the three core criteria for assessing Strategic Economic Plans are ambition and rationale, value for money, and delivery and risk.

Justice

Children: Maintenance

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what provision is made for video conferencing for Child Support Agency Tribunal cases when one party is unable to attend in person. [180352]

Mr Vara: The First-tier Tribunal—Social Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) decisions on a range of benefits and credits including child support.

Video conferencing equipment is available in all main SSCS hearing venues. When a party to a child support appeal contacts the tribunal to advise they are unable to attend a hearing in person, arrangements will be made for them to attend at a venue convenient to them which has video conferencing facilities to allow them to participate in the proceedings.

Drugs: Misuse

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what research his Department has (a) produced, (b) commissioned and (c) evaluated on the effectiveness of addressing drug-related offending by extending drug testing requirements from Class A to Class A and B drugs for those on licence and under the new supervision period; [178982]

16 Dec 2013 : Column 498W

(2) what estimate he has made of the costs arising from the extension of drug testing requirements for those on licence and under the new supervision period from Class A to Class A and B drugs; and what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate drug service provision to deal with the extended testing is available in all local areas. [178983]

(3) whether his Department has (a) produced, (b) commissioned, (c) evaluated any research suggesting a correlation between offending behaviour and cannabis use; and whether such research informed his decision to extend drug testing requirements from Class A to Class A and B drugs for those on licence and under the new supervision period. [178984]

Jeremy Wright: At present drug tests under licence are paid for and administered by the National Offender Management Service but will, under the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, be delivered and paid for by providers of probation services from across the public, private and voluntary sectors. The proposed extension of drug testing in the Offender Rehabilitation Bill gives the Secretary of State a discretionary power to impose a drug testing requirement on offenders released from custody. The Government will provide guidance but it will be for the individual providers to decide when and how frequently to test offenders.

There will be costs associated with breaching offenders who test positive for drugs following the extension of drug testing requirements. It is not known which offenders providers will choose to test. The Offender Rehabilitation Bill impact assessment provided an illustrative scenario where 10% of offenders released from custody are tested, which would be around 9,000 offenders per year. It is estimated that this could result in around 1,000 recalls to custody per year, at a cost of around £1 million per year, but this has to be seen in the wider context of the savings made by reductions in reoffending.

Jeremy Wright: The extension of drug testing under licence to Class A and Class B drugs is designed to assess how the offender is complying with their licence and supervision conditions and support efforts to reduce reoffending. This has been informed by the Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction study which shows that 61% of offenders who reported using Class A drugs in the four weeks before custody reoffended, compared with 48% of those who reported using Class B and/or C drugs in the four weeks before custody, and 39% who had not used drugs in the four weeks before custody. In comparison, 30% of those who had never used drugs reoffended.

Legal Aid Scheme: Adoption

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make it his policy to offer parents legal aid for placement proceedings involving their children. [180243]

Mr Vara: Subject to the appropriate tests of the means of the individual and the merits of the case in question, legal aid is available to parents for advice and representation in placement proceedings involving their children.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 499W

Legal Representation

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people represented themselves in court (a) in the most recent period for which figures are available and (b) in each of the last five years. [177498]

Mr Vara: The Ministry of Justice publishes data on representation in family cases and Crown court cases. Family cases showing self representing applicants and respondents in different types of case are published covering 2011, 2012 and January to June 2013 and are in Table 1 as follows. Crown court defendant/appellant representation data are published annually by calendar year and are available from 2009 to 2012 and are in Table 2 as follows. Data before this date and details of self representation in the civil cases and magistrates courts can be estimated only by manually checking every case file at disproportionate costs.

Table 1: Number of disposals in family courts in England and Wales where the applicant or respondent was self represented1, annually 2011 & 2012, and January to June 2013
 Applicant self represented2, 3,Respondent self represented2, 3All types4

2011

76,682

143,126

264,910

2012

86,415

148,755

270,611

January to June 2013

43,801

77,124

107,288

1 Self-representation is determined by the field ‘legal representation' in Familyman being left blank. Therefore, this is only a proxy measure and parties without a recorded representative are not necessarily self-representing litigants in person. 2 Includes disposals where both the applicant and respondent are self represented. 3 A party is considered ‘applicant-represented' if at least one applicant has a recorded legal representative, and likewise for respondents. 4 All types includes both parties represented, neither party represented, one party represented and a small number of disposals where representation status is unknown. Source: Court Statistics Quarterly: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2013
Table 2: Defendants and appellants in the Crown court by type of representation 2009 to 2012
Type of representationUnrepresentedUnknown1Total2

2009

1,651

9,992

162,362

2010

1,301

14,035

164,711

2011

1,464

18,742

160,581

2012

1,285

17,793

144,066

Notes: 1 Defendants and appellants who do not have their type of representation recorded in CREST are classified as ‘Unknown'. 2 Includes unrepresented defendants, those with criminal public funding, those privately represented and those whose representation is unknown. Source: Court Statistics Quarterly: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-statistics-quarterly-jan-mar-2013

Oakwood Prison

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff at HM Prison Oakwood have less than one year's service at this establishment. [180077]

16 Dec 2013 : Column 500W

Jeremy Wright: Staff working at HMP Oakwood are employed by a number of providers to deliver a range of services. These include, for example, probation services, education and healthcare, as well as custodial services.

While G4S, the main provider, is not able to provide information covering staff employed by all these providers, within the last 12 months 385 people have been cleared to work at the prison. Most of these are employees of the various providers, but the figure also includes volunteers, such as Independent Monitoring Board members and lay visitors.

Patents

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether British patent attorneys who hold a British Patent Attorney Litigators Certificate will be issued with a certificate by the UK authorities confirming that they are lawyers for the purpose of rights before the Unified Patent Court. [178986]

Mr Willetts: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

As part of the preparations for implementing the Unified Patent Court agreement and setting up the court an advisory panel is being assembled to develop the qualification criteria for appearing before the court. Mr Justice Colin Birss will be the UK representative on this panel. We anticipate that this work, which is being lead by the Hungarian delegation, will commence shortly and the UK will play a full part. Any such requirements will need to be agreed by Signatory States through the Preparatory Committee.

Prisoners

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many hours a week prisoners in each category of prison (a) spent in their cells and (b) used to undertake purposeful activity in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012; [178087]

(2) how many hours a week prisoners in each prison (a) spent in their cells and (b) used to undertake purposeful activity in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012; [178088]

(3) how many hours a week prisoners (a) spent in their cells and (b) used to undertake purposeful activity in each month since May 2010. [178089]

Jeremy Wright: Figures for average time in cell per week day in each prison and each category of prison for the five years to 2011-12 were provided in my reply of 6 June 2013 to the right hon. Gentleman’s earlier question:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130606/text/130606w0003.htm#13060674001141

The earlier reply also included a link to the published information on purposeful activity in each prison and category of prison.

Table 1 as follows shows time in cell and purposeful activity in each month in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Table 1
Purposeful activity—average hours per prisoner per weekTime in cell—average hours per prisoner per weekday

April 2009

24.3

14.6

16 Dec 2013 : Column 501W

May 2009

24.3

14.5

June 2009

25.3

14.4

July 2009

25.2

14.4

August 2009

24.4

14.6

September 2009

25.1

14.5

October 2009

24.7

14.5

November 2009

25.0

14.4

December 2009

22.2

14.8

January 2010

23.9

14.7

February 2010

24.7

14.6

March 2010

24.2

14.6

April 2010

24.3

14.5

May 2010

24.2

14.4

June 2010

24.9

14.4

July 2010

24.9

14.5

August 2010

24.4

14.5

September 2010

25.0

14.5

October 2010

25.1

14.4

November 2010

24.7

14.5

December 2010

23.1

14.7

January 2011

25.1

14.4

February 2011

25.2

14.4

March 2011

25.5

14.4

April 2011

23.9

14.6

May 2011

24.7

14.5

June 2011

25.4

14.3

July 2011

25.5

14.4

August 2011

24.5

14.5

September 2011

25.1

14.4

October 2011

25.0

14.4

November 2011

25.0

14.5

December 2011

23.1

14.7

January 2012

24.4

14.5

February 2012

24.7

14.7

March 2012

24.9

14.6

The figures for time in cell are derived from information collected on the average hours per weekday that prisoners are unlocked. By subtracting the average hours unlocked from the 24 hours in a day it is possible to estimate hours spent locked in cell. It should be noted that time in cell includes hours when prisoners are asleep. Time unlocked includes time where a prisoner is either out of their cell or where the cell door is unlocked allowing them to move freely in and out of the cell.

Figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Work in prisons remains a key priority to ensure prisoners are engaged purposefully while they are in custody. It also gives them the opportunity to learn skills and a work ethic which can increase their chances of finding employment on release, a key element to reducing reoffending.

Our reforms to the Incentives and Earned Privileges national policy framework came into effect in adult prisons on 1 November 2013. Prisoners will be expected to engage in purposeful activity, as well as demonstrate a commitment towards their rehabilitation, reduce their risk of reoffending, behave well and help others if they are to earn privileges.

16 Dec 2013 : Column 502W

The number of prisoners working in industrial activity in public sector prisons has increased since 2010. This delivered an increase in the total hours worked in industrial activities from 10.6 million hours to 13.1 million hours.

In addition there are substantial numbers of prisoners who work to keep prisons running on tasks such as cooking, serving meals, maintenance and cleaning.

Figures are published in the NOMS Annual Report Management Information Addendum:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/225225/mi-addendum.pdf

Jenny Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many hours per week of purposeful activity were undertaken by offenders in (a) each prison establishment in England and Wales and (b) each category of prison in each of the last three years. [178577]

Jeremy Wright: Work in prisons is a key priority to ensure prisoners are engaged purposefully while they are in custody. It also gives them the opportunity to learn skills and a work ethic which can increase their chances of finding employment on release, a key element to reducing reoffending.

Our reforms to the Incentives and Earned Privileges national policy framework came into effect in adult prisons on 1 November 2013. Prisoners will be expected to engage in purposeful activity, as well as demonstrate a commitment towards their rehabilitation, reduce their risk of reoffending, behave well and help others if they are to earn privileges.

The number of prisoners working in industrial activity in public sector prisons increased from around 8,600 in 2010-11 to around 9,700 in 2012-13. This delivered an increase in the total hours worked in industrial activities from 10.6 million hours to 13.1 million hours.

In addition there are substantial numbers of prisoners who work to keep prisons running on tasks such as cooking, serving meals, maintenance and cleaning.

Information on purposeful activity in each prison and category of prison was published annually in the Prison Performance Digest up until 2011-12 and can be found at the following location:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/163299/prison-performance-digest-2011-12.xls

Please note that figures are not available after 2011-12. Purposeful activity was formerly a performance indicator for prisons, but was discontinued at the start of 2012-13. The indicator was not used in the day-to-day management of prisons and NOMS had concerns over the burden on the front line of collecting the information. Indicators introduced into prison SLAs in respect of rehabilitation, resettlement and work in prisons provide a better demonstration of efforts to prepare prisoners for release and reduce reoffending.

Figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Figures are published in the NOMS Annual Report Management Information Addendum:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/225225/mi-addendum.pdf

16 Dec 2013 : Column 503W

Prisoners: Suicide

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many incidences of (a) suicide, (b) attempted suicide and (c) self-harm there were (i) in HM Prison Lewes and (ii) on average in all adult prisons in each of the last three years. [180557]

Jeremy Wright: We are committed to open and transparent reporting of data relating to self-harm incidents and deaths in custody. It remains a priority to reduce the number of deaths and violence in prisons.

Statistics on the number of (a) self-inflicted deaths and (c) self-harm incidents for each prison establishment are published on an annual basis in the Safety in Custody statistics bulletin, published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/safety-in-custody-statistics

Statistics on self-inflicted deaths by establishment can be found in Table 1.16 in the annual tables which accompany each publication, and the number of self-harm incidents in Table 2.13.

Figures for the rate of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm incidents in prison custody are given in Tables 1.1 and 2.1 of the same bulletin. An attempted suicide can be recorded as a self-harm incident.

Prisons: Boxing

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) which (a) prisons and (b) young offenders' institutions have offered non-contact boxing programmes during the last 10 years; [178440]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2013, Official Report, column 841W, on prisons: boxing, for what reasons the National Offender Management Service requires that establishments must not deliver training and instruction in combat sports such as boxing; and whether this requirement applies to non-contact forms of boxing; [178442]

(3) pursuant to the answer of 18 July 2013, Official Report, column 841W, on prisons: boxing, when the National Offender Management Service expects to complete its assessment of the controlled non-contact boxing programme at HM Prison Young Offenders' Institution Doncaster. [178443]

Jeremy Wright: The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) has a responsibility to monitor physical education provision against a specification that applies to all prisons. What activities are provided depends on a number of factors, which include type of prisoner and resources available. The decision on the activities provided will rest with each Governing Governor or Director/Controller.

NOMS, through Governors, has a duty of care to staff and prisoners and protecting both from acts of violence is of immense importance.

NOMS centrally does not maintain records of what type of activity each prison provides but is aware of a controlled non-contact boxing programme that was delivered at HMP Doncaster and a similar programme at HMP/YOI Ashfield prison that ran in conjunction with a community partner academy. These programmes are no longer running.

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NOMS supported a request to explore the benefits of a non-contact boxing programme delivered by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain at HMP Doncaster. The programme ended in September 2013 before any formal assessment could be carried out, due to a lack of suitable students. I have imposed strict criteria on which prisoners can be selected. No decision has been made at HMP Doncaster for the continuation of the programme.

Prisons: Overcrowding

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what proportion of prisoners were in overcrowded conditions in England and Wales in each month since May 2010; [178451]

(2) what proportion of prisoners were in doubled accommodation in (a) total and (b) each prison in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012; [178452]

(3) what proportion of prisoners were in doubled accommodation in each month since May 2010. [178453]

Jeremy Wright: The UK Government are committed to providing safe, decent and secure places for those in custody.

Figures relating to the number of prisoners who are currently held in cells that have been safely adapted to hold extra prisoners are published annually by the National Offender Management Service. In 2012-13 these figures were at their lowest point since 2001-02.

The proportions of prisoners in such accommodation in total and in each prison for financial years up to 2012/13 can be accessed from the Gov.uk website via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/225234/prison-performance-digest-12-13.xls

The following table shows the percentage of prisoners in such accommodation for each month between May 2010 and March 2013 (the latest available).

 Percentage of prisoners who are held in cells that have been safely adapted to hold extra prisonersPercentage of prisoners who are held in cells that have been safely adapted to hold two prisoners rather than one

2010

  

April

23.9

22.9

May

24.0

22.9

June

23.5

22.5

July

23.5

22.5

August

23.6

22.6

September

24.1

23.0

October

23.8

22.8

November

24.3

23.3

December

23.2

21.8

   

2011

  

January

23.7

22.4

February

24.2

23.1

March

23.6

22.6

April

23.3

22.3

May

23.4

22.4

June

23.4

22.3

July

22.9

21.7

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August

24.3

23.2

September

24.5

23.4

October

24.7

23.7

November

23.4

22.4

December

24.2

23.1

   

2012

  

January

24.7

23.7

February

24.8

23.8

March

24.2

23.7

April

24.3

23.3

May

24.4

23.4

June

23.8

22.7

July

23.3

22.1

August

23.9

22.5

September

23.6

22.8

October

23.3

22.5

November

22.7

21.8

December

22.0

21.0

   

2013

  

January

22.3

21.3

February

22.5

21.3

March

22.8

21.8

Figures for 2013-14 will be available in July 2014.