Energy: Weather

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking ahead of the anticipated cold weather. [185165]

Michael Fallon: Preparing for cold weather forms part of the normal cycle of activities which the energy supply industry undertakes each year. Each gas and electricity supplier undertakes a number of actions in anticipation of cold weather as part of annual preparations for winter. These include, for example:

Ensuring asset health and availability; checks that key maintenance and construction has been completed are undertaken and that outstanding key defects are monitored and resolved.

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Strategic Spares: Stocks are reviewed and mobile plant such as generators and compressors are maintained. Diesel stocks are reviewed.

Contingency Plans and Resourcing: Plans are reviewed and updated as are resource deployment/work pattern options.

Staff Mobility: Availability of four wheeled drive resources, snow chains etc. are confirmed and located strategically across the networks to ensure adequate geographic cover.

Electricity margins are tighter for this winter than previous years but that reflects a move from unusually large margins back to levels typical of the last decade. The Government have a range of current and planned policies to ensure that margins do not become unacceptably tight in future years.

National Grid's 2013 winter outlook likewise concluded that the UK gas market should continue to provide secure supplies. The UK market is strengthened by import infrastructure which has increased five fold over the past decade and which allows us to access diverse supply sources (north sea producers, pipelines from Norway and the rest of Europe, and shipments of liquefied natural gas).

DECC has co-ordinated with industry and consumer organisations campaigns to encourage consumers to prepare for winter by buying oil early during the summer months and to join oil buying clubs. Information has been disseminated through the Met Office "Get Ready for Winter" website, and made available to local resilience forums. I wrote to MPs in October to encourage them to support the Buy Oil Early campaign and the new FPS Code of Practice and Customer Charter in their constituencies.

DECC has monitored the market for heating oil and LPG with weekly reports from trade bodies FPS and UK LPG. The industry has reported that overall heating oil and LPG suppliers have been operating normally, however there have been some delays to supply households in flooded areas. DECC and DCLG have set up a pilot scheme for LRFs and industry to have joint contact arrangements in the event disruptions in fuel supplies to provide advice to suppliers on whether a household or a community is vulnerable to enable fuel suppliers to prioritise deliveries in periods of peak demand.

DECC has also worked with the Government Winter Resilience Network on messages to local authorities to encourage that road networks to essential services, such as hospitals, nursing homes, refineries, oil terminals and retail filling stations, are accessible for deliveries of fuel.


Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will establish a wealth fund for the community benefit funds generated by the shale gas industry. [185574]

Michael Fallon: The Government have no plans to establish a wealth fund.

The industry has bought forward a community benefit offer which the Government have welcomed.

At exploration stage, the industry will provide £100,000 per hydraulically fractured well site. To ensure these community benefit funds are managed and distributed independently of the operators themselves, the UK Onshore Operators Group will be partnering with UK Community Foundations (UKCF), which works for

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communities through a UK-wide network of community foundations. UKCF and the appropriate local community foundation will manage a consultation process to engage the local community in defining local priorities and needs, including the appointment of a community panel to decide how the money will be spent once the consultation is complete.

The industry is also committed to providing 1% of revenue at production stage. The industry will be consulting shortly about how these funds are distributed.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil on the creation of a common liabilities fund to cover (a) accidents and (b) remediation of abandoned wells drilled to pump methane gas using the hydraulic fracturing process. [185761]

Michael Fallon: The operator is liable for any damage or pollution caused by his operations. As a part of the consenting process under the licences, DECC checks that operators have appropriate insurance against these liabilities.

When operations finish, the operator is responsible for sealing the well so as to ensure safe retention of all fluids, in accordance with HSE regulations and industry standards. The operator is also responsible for restoring the site to its previous state or a suitable condition for re-use, in accordance with site restoration conditions specified by the relevant planning authority. The operator must also comply with any relevant conditions of Environment Agency permits, and remains liable for any remediation which may prove necessary after the abandonment of the well.

For the longer term, DECC and the industry are also working to put in place a robust scheme that would cover liabilities even in the event that the relevant operator is no longer in business.

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the studies (a) measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the US by the university of Texas at Austin and (b) radium and barium removal through blending hydraulic fracturing fluids for acid mine drainage by Duke university; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent risks to public health from fracking. [185828]

Michael Fallon: Public Health England (PHE) is currently preparing the final version of its independent report into the public health impacts of shale gas extraction: “Review of the Potential Public Health Impacts of Exposures to Chemical and Radioactive Pollutants as a Result of Shale Gas Extraction”. In doing so, all recently published studies of relevance will be taken into account. However, the interim findings of that report, published in October 2013, confirms that risks to public health from shale gas operations can be effectively managed provided operations are properly run and regulated.

The UK has a strong regulatory system which provides a comprehensive and fit-for-purpose regime for exploratory activities, but we want to continuously improve it. The Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil (OUGO) will work closely with the regulators and industry to ensure

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that the regulation of shale gas development is robust enough to safeguard public safety and protect the environment.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he intends to publish the post-adoption statement following the closure of the consultation period on the strategic environmental assessment on shale gas. [185996]

Michael Fallon: The consultation period closes on 28 March 2014. All responses to the consultation will be carefully considered and a post-adoption statement published as soon as practicable thereafter.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the evidential basis is for the assumption in the strategic environmental assessment on shale gas that production over the lifetime of a well is three billion cubic feet of gas per well. [185999]

Michael Fallon: The assumption used for the strategic environmental assessment is based on the central estimate of well productivity adopted by the report on ‘Potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas extraction and use’ (Mackay and Stone), published by DECC in September 2013. The basis of that estimate is discussed in para. 35 of the report, and drew on data from US basins reported by the United States Geological Survey, together with UK industry views on the likely costs of exploration and production in the UK, compared to the US.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the benefit to local communities of receiving one per cent of revenue from each shale gas site. [186002]

Michael Fallon: We are promoting exploration to determine the potential of shale gas and, at this early stage, no scenario can be definitive. The Department for Energy and Climate Change's Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which is for consultation, estimates that community benefits to the value of 1% of revenue from production could amount to a total of £2.4 million to £4.8 million per site under the high-activity scenario, assuming each well is productive for 20 years. The industry have based their estimate that potential community benefit per site would be in the region of £5 million to £10 million on the Institute of Directors (IoD) report's mid-case scenario.

The two reports also have different assumptions about the size of a pad. The IoD report on a broad economic analysis of relevant factors assumes a pad with up to 40 laterals (horizontal sections)—10 wells with up to four laterals per well. The SEA scenarios, by contrast, have the specific purpose of exploring potential environmental effects and assume up to 24 laterals—24 wells with one lateral per well.

Fracking: Greater Manchester

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the Peel Group about the possibility of pollution from waste water used for fracking being dumped in the Manchester ship canal. [185754]

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Michael Fallon: No Minister from the Department of Energy and Climate Change has had meetings with the Peel Group concerning discharges into the Manchester ship canal.

United Utilities holds a permit, issued by the Environment Agency, that allows it to treat industrial effluents at Davyhulme prior to discharge into the Manchester ship canal under the environmental permitting regulations 2010. The majority of the flowback fluid from Preese Hall was removed and treated at United Utilities’ industrial effluent treatment facility (ETF) at its Davyhulme water treatment works in Greater Manchester in 2011.

Davyhulme takes in and treats a variety of effluents and a large proportion of the domestic and industrial sewage of Manchester on a daily basis. The final treated effluent from the site is required to meet high environmental standards to ensure protection of the receiving water, in this case the Manchester ship canal.

Fracking: USA

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the United States Department of Energy on the effect of hydraulic fracturing on gas prices in the United States. [185436]

Michael Fallon: DECC Ministers have met ministerial counterparts from the United States Department of Energy on a number of occasions and had wide-ranging discussions, including on hydraulic fracturing.

Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil

Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what resources his Department has allocated to the Office of Unconventional Oil and Gas; and what the basis was for calculating the resources needed by that office. [185635]

Michael Fallon: The Department allocated the Office of Unconventional Oil and Gas £100,000 for its programme budget and £438,000 for its administration budget. These resources were allocated through the Department’s business planning processes.


Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's 10 largest contracts let since financial year 2010-11 are; what savings have been made in such contracts; what the level of overspend or underspend was in each such contract; and what steps his Department has taken to monitor the performance of each such contract following the contract award. [185218]

Gregory Barker: The information requested is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. The directorates of the Department of Energy and Climate Change carry out their own purchasing with professional support from a procurement team.

Contracts of the Department are published on the Cabinet Office Website which can be found at:

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The Department would be able to provide further information by narrowing the scope, if specific procurement projects were identified.

A contract management review project is currently underway in the Department to improve capability and contract management arrangements.

Radioactive Materials: Transport

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which information his Department and the Office for Nuclear Regulation records on the transport of fissile and other radioactive material. [185031]

Michael Fallon: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave her on 3 February 2014, Official Report, columns 131-32W.

Renewable Energy: Heating

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the increase in daily demand for electricity during winter months of shifting (a) 10, (b) 20, (c) 30, (d) 40 and (e) 50 per cent of the non-daily metered component of total UK gas demand to resistive heating. [185059]

Michael Fallon: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), has not made any estimate of the increase in daily demand for electricity during winter months of shifting a percentage of the non-daily metered component of total UK gas demand to resistive heating.


Aviation: Lasers

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many convictions there were for endangering the safety of an aircraft under Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 in each of the last 10 years; [184724]

(2) how many convictions there were for targeting an aircraft in flight with a laser or light under Article 222 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 in each of the last 10 years. [184723]

Jeremy Wright: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates court and found guilty at all courts for offences relating to endangering the safety of aircraft under Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, from 2010 to 2012, can be viewed in the table.

Please note that although 10 years of data have been requested, legislation under the Air Navigation Order 2009 only came into force in 2010. Therefore data have only been provided from 2010 to 2012 (latest available).

The MOJ Court Proceedings Database holds information on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. This database holds information on offences provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought but not all the specific circumstances of each case. This centrally held information does not allow us to separately

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identify whether, under Article 222 of the Air Navigation Order 2009, a laser pen was used for the purpose of disrupting an aircraft when in flight. This information is not reported to Justice Statistics Analytical Services in MOJ due to its size and complexity. As such, it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Court proceedings data for 2013 are planned for publication in May 2014.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates court and found guilty at all courts for offences relating to endangering the safety of aircraft1, England and Wales, 2010-122,3

Endangering safety of aircraft

Proceeded against





Found guilty




1 An offence under AA.137 and 241(8) and Sch.13 Pt.D Air Navigation Order 2009. 2 The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. 3 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.

Prisoners: Suicide

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners committed suicide in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many of those suicides occurred in safe cells. [184392]

Jeremy Wright: All deaths in prison custody are subject to a coroner's inquest and it is for the coroner to determine the cause of death.

Statistics for self-inflicted deaths are published in the Safety in Custody statistics bulletin, which can be found at:

Statistics on the number of deaths in prison custody for 2013 are scheduled for release on 24 April 2014. Self-inflicted deaths have been at a similar level for the last five years.

A safer cell is designed and constructed to be safer than a conventional cell by having fewer obvious ligature points. However, no cell can be considered to be entirely safe and free from ligature points. Safer cells can, however, be used as one of a number of measures to support a prisoner who has been identified as being at risk of suicide and/or self-harm. Table 1 following shows the number of self-inflicted deaths that are recorded as occurring in a safer cell for the last five years, up to 30 June 2013, the latest period for which statistics are published.

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Table 1: Deaths in safer cells 2009 to 30 June 2013
 Number of self-inflicted deaths in safer cells











1Figures for 2013 are up to 30 June 2013 only.

Prisons: Cleaning Services

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many establishments within the prison estate currently have contracts to undertake dry cleaning; and which firms are so contracted. [183446]

Jeremy Wright: We are aware of two dry cleaning workshops using prisoner labour operated in prisons—at HMP Risley, in the hon. Member's constituency, and HMP Blantyre House, in Kent. We hold contracts with Timpson's for both. Timpson's wanted to deliver this expansion to offer prisoners work experience; and to offer employment through the gate for those who perform well in the prison operation. They run the workshop with their own employees providing prisoner supervision/training in the prison workshops.

Prisons: Homicide

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will commission a report into the causes of, and possible measures to prevent, murders in prisons; [184533]

(2) what steps he is taking to address the increase in murders in prison in England. [184534]

Jeremy Wright: We are committed to reducing the number of deaths in prisons and strenuous efforts are made to learn from each one. All apparent homicides in prison are subject to a police investigation, an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and a Coroner's inquest. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will carefully consider the findings and recommendations from the investigations and disseminate the learning from them.

NOMS takes the responsibility of keeping staff, prisoners and visitors safe extremely seriously and are currently rigorously reviewing the management of violence in prisons with a view to introducing further improvements to ensure prisons are safer places for everyone.


John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the annual cost is to the Probation Service in England and Wales of supervising a person on licence for (a) 12, (b) 24 and (c) 36 months. [183946]

Jeremy Wright: Probation unit costs are published on an annual basis by the Ministry of Justice at the following page of the website:

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Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what effect the delay in Probation Trust termination orders to 1 June 2014 will have on the tax liabilities of trusts and community rehabilitation companies. [185154]

Jeremy Wright: We remain on track to deliver much needed reforms which address the glaring gap in our system that currently sees around 50,000 short-term prisoners released on to the streets each year with no support. The effect of terminating existing contracts with trusts on 31 May 2014 does not alter the existing tax liability.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what targets community rehabilitation companies will be set under the Transforming Rehabilitation programme. [185203]

Jeremy Wright: We are on track with these essential reforms which will deliver a reduction in reoffending rates by extending statutory rehabilitation to those offenders who serve short sentences, and who currently receive no statutory support despite having the highest reoffending rates. As we announced on 19 December, 30 bidders have been short-listed to progress to the next stage of the competition to deliver rehabilitation services. All of these bidders have experience in working with offenders or in the wider criminal justice system and will be paid according to their success in delivering a reduction in reoffending.

We have gained valuable experience from existing pilots in establishing performance targets that will allow us to measure with confidence the impact on reoffending rates. This will enable us to draft robust contracts that will drive the right behaviours from providers and generate value for money. We are committed to being transparent about this process and will publish draft contracts for scrutiny.

The reformed system will be regulated and held to account through a combination of independent inspection, audit and commercial account management by the National Offender Management Service. There will be clear targets that need to be achieved to generate full payment for the contractors both for the Fee for Service and Payment by Results elements of the contracts.


Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff who have been made redundant or retired from his Department have subsequently been re-employed by his Department since May 2010. [185569]

Mr Vara: The following tables outline the numbers of staff re-employed after either redundancy or retirement by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), including MOJ HQ, Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) following either retirement or redundancy between May 2010 and December 2013.

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Redundancies re-employed May 2010 to December 2013
Redundant from:Re-employed MOJRe-employed NOMSTotal













Retirements re-employed May 2010 to December 2013
Retired from:Re-employed MOJRe-employed NOMSTotal













Road Traffic Offences: Cycling

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many pedal cyclists have been prosecuted for road traffic offences in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [184394]

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Jeremy Wright: 871 defendants were proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences connected with pedal cycles in England and Wales in 2012 (the latest figures available). Court proceedings data for 2013 are planned for publication in May 2014.

Young Offenders: Reoffenders

Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to reduce reoffending among young offenders. [902394]

Jeremy Wright: Reoffending rates among under-18s remain too high, and particularly among those leaving custody. Our Transforming Youth Custody programme will improve the education, and successful resettlement prospects, of those in custody. Youth offending teams deliver a variety of interventions to reduce reoffending, and we recently announced a new system of support and escalation for those YOTs where improvements are required.