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Probation Trusts

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) when he intends to formally abolish probation trusts; [198943]

(2) what recent assessment he has made of morale within the National Offender Management Service; and what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of morale of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme. [198989]

Jeremy Wright: Probation Trusts ceased operating at the end of 31 May 2014. The majority of offenders are now being supervised by staff working in 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies while high risk offenders and those who have committed the most serious offences are being supervised by the National Probation Service. The new structure was tested thoroughly prior to the transition, with staff and cases beginning transfer into

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the new structure prior to formal transition on 1 June. Formal dissolution of the Probation Trusts will take place following audit of their 2014/15 accounts in the autumn of 2014.

The leadership of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) remain committed to maintaining morale through the effective leadership of change and continued positive engagement across the organisation. Throughout this significant change programme regular communication has been provided across NOMS to keep people informed about the reforms. We understand the challenges large scale reforms such as this can pose, and we are working closely with probation staff to make sure they can raise any issues quickly. Probation staff at all levels are working hard to implement these vital reforms on the ground and we will continue to support them throughout this process.

Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the level of sickness absence was at the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust in (a) April 2014 and (b) May 2014; [198930]

(2) what the level of sickness absence was at the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust in each month since January 2012. [198931]

Jeremy Wright: The information in the following table details the levels of sickness absence for Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust since January 2012 to March 2014 (the most recent date for published staffing data on probation trusts).

The monthly figures in the latest year were broadly consistent with the monthly averages over the past five years.

Surrey and Sussex:Sickness absence levels
Month and yearAverage working days lost

January 2012

10.05

February 2012

8.13

March 2012

8.30

April 2012

6.74

May 2012

8.83

June 2012

8.53

July 2012

11.82

August 2012

9.16

September 2012

6.98

October 2012

10.46

November 2012

11.79

December 2012

7.69

January 2013

10.57

February 2013

10.24

March 2013

8.97

April 2013

8.67

May 2013

8.12

June 2013

5.96

July 2013

8.55

August 2013

8.70

September 2013

8.52

October 2013

7.56

November 2013

11.06

December 2013

10.57

January 2014

8.05

February 2014

5.94

March 2014

5.64

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As the figures presented above are annualised monthly figures, seasonality trends will be present.

Young Offenders

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persistent young offenders were registered in (a) Bury St Edmunds, (b) Suffolk and (c) England and Wales in each of the last five years; and how many and what proportion of total offences were attributable to such offenders in that period. [198564]

Jeremy Wright: The prevention of reoffending by young people is a key priority for this Government. Overall crime and proven offending by young people is down, and fewer young people are entering the criminal justice system. But for those young people that are committing crimes it is right that the most serious or persistent are sentenced to custody, and those that commit violent offences face tough sentences.

It is unacceptable however that nearly three-quarters of young offenders who leave custody go on to reoffend—this needs to change. That is why we are doubling the amount of education we give those in young offenders institutions and why we are reforming the youth estate with the introduction of secure colleges. These new establishments will tackle the root cause of offending by giving people the skills and self-discipline to gain employment and training upon release and turn their

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lives around. We announced on 8 June the name of the company selected to design and build the pathfinder.

Table 1 shows the number of young offenders by their previous criminal history for young offenders cautioned or sentenced (a) by Suffolk police force area; and (b) across England and Wales. There is no national definition of a persistent offender, with Local Criminal Justice Boards setting criteria locally to identify persistent offenders based on their volume of crime and impact on their local community. The table therefore shows offenders with one or more previous cautions or sentencing occasions. The Police National Computer (PNC) does not break down information below police force area; it is not therefore possible to provide data specific only to Bury St Edmunds. Due to variations in local definitions of “persistent”, it is not possible to determine the proportion of overall offences committed by “persistent” offenders in any of the geographical areas specified.

These figures are based on counting the number of separate occasions on which offenders were cautioned or sentenced in each year and some offenders will therefore be represented several times in the figures. They are based only on those offences recorded on the PNC by an English or Welsh police force, including the British Transport police. The figures therefore exclude a range of low-level (non-recordable) summary offences committed by these offenders eg TV licence evasion and speeding as these are not recorded on the PNC. As with any large scale recording system the PNC is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Table 1: Number of juvenile offenders cautioned or sentenced for recordable offences, by their previous criminal history, 2009-13
Suffolk police force area
 20092010201120122013
Number of previous convictions/cautionsNo.%No.%No.%No.%No.%

0

999

45

503

37

512

42

417

43

307

39

1-2

660

30

426

31

387

32

293

30

273

34

3-6

363

16

296

22

226

18

185

19

148

19

7-10

123

6

80

6

57

5

50

5

43

5

11-14

44

2

32

2

25

2

16

2

8

1

15+

42

2

33

2

15

1

6

1

14

2

Juvenile offenders

2,231

100

1,370

100

1,222

100

967

100

793

100

England and Wales
 20092010201120122013
Number of previous convictions/cautionsNo.%No.%No.%No.%No.%

0

67,650

43

49,092

39

38,832

38

29,737

39

23,165

39

1-2

49,079

31

39,071

31

31,497

31

23,226

30

18,139

30

3-6

27,027

17

23,725

19

19,853

20

14,682

19

11,773

20

7-10

8,264

5

7,380

6

6,206

6

4,758

6

3,702

6

11-14

3,534

2

3,166

3

2,686

3

1,973

3

1,569

3

15+

2,551

2

2,465

2

2,348

2

1,784

2

1,341

2

Juvenile offenders

158,105

100

124,899

100

101,422

100

76,160

100

59,689

100

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to ensure that the outcome of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict reflects the wide range of people affected by such violence. [199118]

Mark Simmonds: The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will turn the political commitments made in the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict into practical action and bring real change to those affected by this crime. We have consulted

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widely with experts, practitioners and international partners since the launch of the Preventing Sexual Violence initiative in 2012, including on the outcomes of the summit. Over 1,500 delegates will attend, including legal, military and judicial practitioners, representatives from multilateral organisations, and over 100 NGOs and grassroots organisations. The summit is an opportunity for Governments from countries around the world to hear directly from those affected what action needs to be taken to tackle this issue effectively.

Balkans

Richard Harrington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to support people affected by recent flooding in the Balkans [198545]

Mr Lidington: I discussed the impact of the floods with Prime Minister Vucic of Serbia in Belgrade on 2 June and with Prime Minister Bevanda in Sarajevo on 3 June. During my visit to the region I also met the and Serbian Red Cross and travelled to Maglaj in Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet the mayor and representatives of World Vision.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), between 18 and 23 May a 33-person water rescue team from the British Fire Service was deployed to work alongside EUFOR Operation Althea and local rescue efforts. They rescued nearly 200 people, delivered large amounts of humanitarian aid, and helped restore power in villages north of Bijeljina.

In Serbia, the UK provided 64 radios for the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, to assist with the co-ordination of its response teams; and donated £280,000 worth of heavy lift and transport vehicles to the Serbian Red Cross to aid its relief distribution effort.

A team from the UK flew out to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the week commencing 20 May to assess likely humanitarian and recovery needs. During my visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina I was able to announce that the UK had approved £250,000 to support a World Vision flood response project in the region, focusing on sanitation and health and providing support for 140,000 people made homeless by the floods.

In addition to this bilateral support, the UK provided support to BiH, Serbia and Croatia through the EU, UN and other international organisations. In BiH, EUFOR Operation Althea, to which the UK contributes troops in theatre and in reserve, assisted the BiH armed forces in its response to the flooding. The First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which provides part of EUFOR’s intermediate reserve, and is in BiH for a routine operational rehearsal, will assist the BiH armed forces in this regard.

The UK has worked closely with the EU European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), and offered advice and assistance during all phases of the flood response effort. ECHO has released €3.2 million in humanitarian aid to support the most vulnerable population in BiH and in Serbia (to which the UK will have contributed 15%).

The Government will work closely with the UNDP, the EU and other international organisations to assess what further help might be given to help both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina recover from the impact of the floods.

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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aid the Government have provided for the relief of flooding and landslides in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. [199125]

Mr Lidington: I discussed the impact of the floods with Prime Minister Vucic of Serbia in Belgrade on 2 June and with Prime Minister Bevanda in Sarajevo on 3 June. During my visit to the region I also met the Serbian Red Cross and travelled to Maglaj in Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet the mayor and representatives of World Vision.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), between 18 and 23 May a 33-person water rescue team from the British Fire Service was deployed to work alongside EUFOR Operation Althea and local rescue efforts. They rescued nearly 200 people, delivered large amounts of humanitarian aid, and helped restore power in villages north of Bijeljina.

In Serbia, the UK provided 64 radios for the Serbian Ministry of the Interior, to assist with the co-ordination of its response teams; and donated £280,000 worth of heavy lift and transport vehicles to the Serbian Red Cross to aid its relief distribution effort.

A team from the UK flew out to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the week commencing 20 May to assess likely humanitarian and recovery needs. During my visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina I was able to announce that the UK had approved £250,000 to support a World Vision flood response project in the region, focussing on sanitation and health and providing support for 140,000 people made homeless by the floods.

In addition to this bilateral support, the UK provided support to BiH, Serbia and Croatia through the EU, UN and other international organisations. In BiH, EUFOR Operation Althea, to which the UK contributes troops in theatre and in reserve, assisted the BiH armed forces in their response to the flooding. The First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which provides part of EUFOR's intermediate reserve, and is in BiH for a routine operational rehearsal, will assist the BiH armed forces in this regard.

The UK has worked closely with the EU European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), and offered advice and assistance during all phases of the flood response effort. ECHO has released €3.2 million in humanitarian aid to support the most vulnerable population in BiH and in Serbia (to which the UK will have contributed 15%).

The Government will work closely with the UNDP, the EU and other international organisations to assess what further help might be given to help both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina recover from the impact of the floods.

Cyprus

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on allegations that some Turkish Cypriots were denied the right to vote in the recent European elections in the Republic of Cyprus. [199023]

Mr Lidington: We are aware of difficulties experienced by some eligible Turkish Cypriots in the recent European elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

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The enfranchisement of eligible Turkish Cypriots in those elections was a positive step towards building confidence between the two communities. It is unfortunate that some Turkish Cypriots then found that they could not vote on the day due to problems in the registration procedure.

Although these problems led to understandable frustrations on polling day, we do not believe that they were due to a deliberate obstruction by the Republic of Cyprus authorities. Indeed, some 58,000 Turkish Cypriots were registered and able to vote.

Ultimately, Turkish Cypriots' access to the full rights of EU membership, including participation in European elections, will best be achieved through a comprehensive settlement. We continue to fully support the leaders of the Cypriot communities in their goal of achieving this.

Horn of Africa

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of EUCAP Nestor in tackling insecurity in the Horn of Africa. [199034]

Hugh Robertson: EUCAP Nestor can play an important role in building stability in Somalia and the region but further work needs to be done to enhance delivery and realise its potential.

The UK has focused on addressing issues to ensure that Nestor increases operations inside Somalia, and delivers against measurable and meaningful objectives.

These measures should increase the prospects of Nestor performing more effectively in the future. Good progress has been made in recent months towards establishing a presence in Somalia, which will increase the efficacy of the mission by providing a base for capacity-building activities and by enhancing access to local actors. Nestor now has an office in Hargeisa (Somaliland), and also operates in Bosaso on the northern coast of Somalia. We will continue to track progress closely.

India

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make representations to the new Indian Government to reopen investigations on the events in 1984 at the Golden Temple in Amritsar; and if he will make a statement; [198540]

(2) if he will support an international inquiry into the events at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984. [198541]

Mr Swire: This is a matter between the Sikh community and Government of India. The purpose of the Cabinet Secretary's recent investigation and report on the Indian operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar in 1984 was to establish the extent of UK Government involvement in the Indian Government's plans for military operations, not the operation itself, or the actions of the Indian Government.

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Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss sexual violence against women in India with his Indian counterpart. [198579]

Mr Swire: We are committed to working with the Government of India and international partners to address the problem of gender-based violence, human trafficking and child exploitation in India. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has invited the Government of India to attend the End Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit and has already discussed the initiative with the new Indian Foreign Minister.

Libya

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) military and (b) humanitarian aid the UK provided to the Libyan Government in (A) 2011, (B) 2012 and (C) 2013. [199015]

Hugh Robertson: Owing to our accounting structures we are only able to provide exact spending figures for financial years rather than calendar years. In this time, the UK has provided military aid to Libya in the form of the defence portion of the tri-departmental (MOD, FCO, DFID) conflict pool, and core defence funding for defence engagement activity. This has been:

 £

2010-11

3,000

2011-12

200,000

2012-13

2,173,000

2013-14

3,521,000

This has formed part of a total of over £25 million stabilisation assistance to the Libyan Government through the Arab partnership and conflict pool programme during the period 2011-13.

During the period 2011-13 the UK provided humanitarian aid to Libya for protection of civilians, assistance for survival and effective international humanitarian co-ordination, especially through the UN, broken down as follows:

 £

2011-12

7,843,227.40

2012-13

304,100.37

2013-14

0

The UK no longer provides this type of humanitarian aid to Libya but instead is providing technical support for security, justice and rule of law capacity building, through the Arab partnership and conflict pool.

North Korea

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to promote human rights in North Korea. [198570]

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Mr Swire: The UK is deeply concerned by reports of widespread and systematic state sanctioned human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as I made clear in my written ministerial statement following the publication of the UN commission of inquiry report into these violations. I have called publicly on the DPRK to take immediate steps to close political prison camps, to act on the commission’s recommendations and to give full and unimpeded access to the Office of the United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant parts of the UN. I also made clear the UK’s commitment to ensuring the commission’s findings were a beginning and not an end.

Reflecting this commitment, the UK played an active role in ensuring a strong DPRK resolution at the March UN Human Rights Council. I lobbied personally on this issue during my visit to Geneva at the beginning of the Council. Since the resolution was passed we have continued to engage, supporting an informal briefing of the UN Security Council and pressing the DPRK during its recent universal periodic review to respond to the commission of inquiry’s findings. In May, I met US Special Envoy on DPRK Human Rights, Robert King, to discuss next steps, and during a visit to Geneva next week I will have further discussions with Ambassador King and others.

Property: Ownership

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to European governments to secure as quickly as possible restitution for British citizens who had assets seized by the Nazis. [199234]

Mr Lidington: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 30 January 2014, Official Report, column 689W. Since January, the British Government have engaged at ministerial or official level with the Germans, Poles and Russians on restitution and looted art.

Raoul Wallenberg

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how he plans to mark the 70th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg's arrival in Hungary; what recent discussions he has had with the Government of (a) Sweden and (b) Hungary on this anniversary; and if he will make a statement. [199191]

Mr Lidington: The Government are committed to ensuring that the UK continues to play a leading international role in Holocaust education, remembrance and research. This includes recalling and paying tribute to the bravery, and often sacrifices, of individuals such as Raoul Wallenberg—which includes a monument of him outside our embassy in Budapest. There are no current plans to mark the anniversary of his arrival in Budapest, nor have there been specific discussions with the Swedish or Hungarian Governments on the anniversary. However, we remain committed, including in our role as current chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, to working with the Hungarian Government to help them strengthen international co-operation to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten. Hungary is currently observing a Holocaust

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Memorial Year, concluding a programme of remembrance which began in 2012 with a commemoration of Raoul Wallenberg

Sudan

Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to raise the plight of persecuted Christians abroad; and what steps he is taking to raise the case of Meriam Ibrahim with his Sudanese counterpart. [198585]

Mark Simmonds: I am appalled at the death sentence given to Meriam Ibrahim, and her continued imprisonment. Immediately following her trial, I issued a statement describing her conviction as barbaric and calling upon the Government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief and international human rights laws as enshrined in its own constitution. The chargé d’affaires of the Sudanese embassy in London was summoned to the Foreign Office on 19 May at the request of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague). The Under-Secretary of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), reiterated our demand to the Sudanese Foreign Minister when she met him on 20 May. Our embassy in Khartoum, which attended her trial, continues to press the Sudanese authorities for Meriam Ibrahim's release, and is in close contact with the defence team.

This is a priority human rights area for us. We speak out regularly against violence perpetrated against Christians. The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi), gave a speech in Washington in November last year on the need for unity in confronting the intolerance and sectarianism that leads to minority communities being persecuted. We also lobby for changes in discriminatory laws and practices that affect religious minorities, including Christians, and support UN resolutions on the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

Syria

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK has taken to support UN Security Council resolution 2139 regarding humanitarian access in Syria. [199122]

Hugh Robertson: The UK played a leading role in ensuring the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2139 on 22 February. Since then, we have regularly echoed the UN Security Council's demand that all parties to the conflict, in particular the Syrian authorities, implement fully the requirements of UNSCR 2139. We welcome the National Coalition's commitment to implementing UNSCR 2139 and have encouraged those with influence on the parties to urge them to implement the demands of the resolution. The UK is working closely with P5 colleagues and others in New York on a draft resolution in response to the UN Secretary-General's call for the UNSC to act decisively to address the worsening humanitarian situation.

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Transcaucasus

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in the south Caucasus. [199033]

Mr Lidington: The south Caucasus region, while currently relatively stable, is home to three unresolved conflicts and continued internal and external political tensions. As a result, the risk of renewed instability remains real.

In Georgia, the UK supports the work of the EU Monitoring Mission; it continues to play a valuable role in helping to reduce tensions along the boundary lines of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, we remain concerned about “borderisation” along the administrative boundary lines of the breakaway regions which only serves to exacerbate tensions in the area. The recent change of power in Abkhazia is concerning, but we are relieved that events have unfolded peacefully. We hope the acting de facto authorities respect the rights of all people in Abkhazia, in particular ethnic Georgians living in the Gali region.

The UK is also concerned by ongoing ceasefire breaches between forces along both the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenia-Azerbaijan borders. It is disappointing that as we pass the 20th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefire agreement between the conflicting parties, a sustainable, agreed settlement is still not within reach. The UK supports the work of the OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-Chairs in their attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict and introduce confidence-building measures which will help de-escalate tensions.

The UK remains committed to conflict resolution work in the south Caucasus. This financial year, the conflict pool has allocated £3 million to projects in the south Caucasus that will build capacity of local communities to prevent and resolve conflicts.

Uganda

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress he has made in working with the Commonwealth Secretary-General to review LGBT rights in Uganda. [199127]

Mr Swire: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), wrote to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth on 1 March to ask him to work with us to review the worrying trend on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the Commonwealth. We welcomed the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s statement to the high level segment of the Human Rights Council on 6 March, reiterating the Commonwealth’s commitment to equality and respect for the protection and promotion of rights without discrimination on any grounds. While we support the work of the Secretariat in strengthening the capacity of national human rights institutions to engage their respective Governments on sensitive areas such as LGBT rights, we continue to encourage the Commonwealth to do more to address LGBT rights across the Commonwealth, and in particular Uganda.

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USA

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) with reference to the advice provided by Jemima Stratford QC to the all-party parliamentary group on drones, if he will agree a new memorandum of understanding or other bilateral agreement with the US on data transfer and use; [R] [198638]

(2) with reference to the advice provided by Jemima Stratford QC to the all-party parliamentary group on drones, if his Department will take steps to prevent any unlawful practice by GCHQ; [R] [198637]

(3) whether his Department has made an assessment of the advice of Jemima Stratford QC to the all party parliamentary group on drones; and if he will make a statement. [199350]

Hugh Robertson: The UK intelligence agencies work in accordance with UK law, as described by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), in his statement to the House on 10 June 2013, Official Report, column 31. In addition, section 6 of the recently published annual report for 2013 by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, addresses the legal basis for intelligence sharing between the UK and its partners.

The UK intelligence agencies adhere to the law at all times. We have one of the world's strongest legal and regulatory frameworks governing the use of secret intelligence. All GCHQ's activities are legal, necessary and proportionate. GCHQ does not disclose or share information other than is appropriate under the Intelligence Services Act 1994 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

West Africa

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the outbreak of the ebola virus in western Africa. [199126]

Mark Simmonds: We continue to monitor the ebola outbreak in west Africa closely. As of 6 June there had been over 220 confirmed cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

International health agencies are providing support to affected countries. There is no specific vaccine or anti-viral drug available, so the priority is to contain the outbreak by limiting human-to-human transmission by early identification and care for those affected.

We are keeping our travel advice for British nationals under regular review and in line with WHO guidance. There have been no reports of British citizens being infected and there have been no known imported cases of ebola in the UK to date.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeship starts relate to (a) existing employees of

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the organisation concerned and

(b)

new employees in the 2012-13 academic year. [199545]

Matthew Hancock: Information collected centrally through the individualised learner record does not identify whether an individual who started an apprenticeship in the 2012-13 academic year was an existing employee or a new employee.

Bankruptcy

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many bankruptcies were registered in (a) York, (b) Yorkshire and (c) England in each year since 2005. [198518]

Jenny Willott: Figures for the number of bankruptcy orders in York, Yorkshire and Humber, and England in each year since 2005 can be found in the following table. Bankruptcy applies to individuals only; regional breakdowns for the number of company insolvencies are not currently available.

The Insolvency Service compiles its regional bankruptcy order statistics on a calendar year basis, therefore financial year totals are not available. Figures for 2013 will be available on the Insolvency Service website from 10 July 2014, alongside figures for other individual insolvency procedures (individual voluntary arrangements, and debt relief orders).

Table 1: Number of bankruptcy orders in each region of England, 2005-121
Number
 YorkYorkshire and HumberEngland

2005

134

4,272

43,103

2006

214

5,812

57,576

2007

185

5,957

59,245

2008

198

6,660

62,001

2009

236

7,231

68,498

2010

170

5,929

53,064

2011

130

4,317

38,341

2012

84

3,295

29,393

1 Where individual has provided postcode.

It should be noted that these figures do not account for any changes in the base population over time. Using the rate of bankruptcies per 10,000 adults allows for a like-for-like comparison across years.

Headline figures for insolvencies in England and Wales can be found in the quarterly ‘Insolvency Statistics’ release, a National Statistics publication. Figures for January to March 2014 were published on 29 April 2014, and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-statistics-january-to-march-2014

Annual numbers and rates of bankruptcies by region for 2000-12 are available in the ‘Individual Insolvencies by Region’ publication, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-statistics-individual-insolvencies-by-region

Construction: China

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what benefits he expects to accrue to the UK economy from the agreement signed in

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China on 26 May 2014 between the Building Research Establishment and the Shenzhen Municipal Government to set up a training and research and development centre on sustainable building construction in China. [198981]

Michael Fallon: On 26 May 2014, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) signed an agreement with the Shenzhen Municipal Government to set up a training and R&D centre in China's fastest growing city.

The centre in Shenzhen will deliver training on a national scale to other cities and promote its services, including certifying buildings to green construction standards.

BRE aims to certify over 1,000 buildings across China to its standards, which will generate £10 million income and could create up to £200 million of work for UK supply chain companies.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what impact assessments he carried out on proposals to change disabled students' allowances. [199497]

Mr Willetts: The proposed changes to disabled students' allowances will be subject to an equality analysis, which will consider their impact in relation to protected characteristics. Extensive discussions are under way with a wide range of stakeholders to help inform this.

I will consider a final version of the equality analysis before any final decisions are made and regulations are laid before the House.

Exports: Licensing

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many standard individual export licences were finalised in 2013; and what proportion of those licences were finalised within (a) 20 and (b) 60 working days. [199009]

Michael Fallon: 13,578 standard individual export licences (SIELs) were granted in 2013 and 148 applications for SIELs were refused. 77.8% of these licences were finalised in 20 working days and 97.8% were finalised in 60 working days.

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of export licence appeals were finalised within (a) 20 and (b) 60 working days in 2013. [199010]

Michael Fallon: In 2013 four out of 56 (7%) appeals cases were finalised within 20 working days and 22 out of 56 (39%) were finalised within 60 working days.

Officials continue to review procedures to streamline the handling of appeals, including additional resources and revised arrangements for consulting Ministers and advisers in other Government Departments. We expect an improvement in performance during 2014.

11 Jun 2014 : Column 215W

Exports: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber were exporting to (a) the EU and (b) all countries in each year since 2008. [198517]

Michael Fallon: The number of businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber exporting goods to the EU and all countries in each year since 2008 is given in the following table. The data are sourced from HMRC's Regional Trade Statistics database and cover trade in goods only. A count of services exporters by region is not available.

Number of businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber exporting goods to
 200820092010201120122013

EU

1,731

1,664

1,698

1,733

1,743

1,683

Non-EU

5,288

5,052

4,940

4,942

4,941

4,924

Total

5,597

5,345

5,251

5,267

5,257

5,211

Note: The counts for exporters dealing with the EU and counts for exporters dealing with the non-EU do not sum to the total exporter counts. Exporters that are active in both EU and non-EU markets are counted once only in the total exporter counts. The counts for exporters dealing with the EU do not include exporters where the value of their intra-EU trade is below the Intrastat Exemption Threshold. Source: HMRC Regional Trade Statistics

Foreign Investment in UK: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much foreign investment in Yorkshire and the Humber there has been in each year since 2008; and what estimate he has made of the number of (a) new and (b) safeguarded jobs generated by such investments. [198519]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade and Investment reports that in 2008-09, 1,869 new jobs were created in Yorkshire and Humberside as a result of foreign investment and 4,719 jobs were safeguarded. In 2009-10, 2,016 new jobs were created and 3,895 were safeguarded. In 2010-11, 868 jobs were created and a total of 670 jobs safeguarded. In 2011-12, 1,362 new jobs were created and 2,338 jobs safeguarded.

Finally, in 2012-13, the last published figures show that 1,288 new jobs were created in Yorkshire and Humber and total of 6,618 jobs were safeguarded, a total of 7,906 jobs.

Higher Education

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many undergraduate students were resident in (a) Bury St Edmunds, (b) Suffolk and (c) England and Wales in each of the last five years. [198591]

Mr Willetts: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The number of undergraduate enrolments to UK HEIs, for students

11 Jun 2014 : Column 216W

domiciled in Bury St Edmunds parliamentary constituency, Suffolk local authority and England and Wales prior to their course, has been provided in the following table.

Information for the 2013/14 academic year will become available from HESA in January 2015.

Undergraduate enrolments domiciled in Bury St Edmunds parliamentary constituency1, Suffolk local authority and England and Wales, prior to their course—UK Higher Education Institutions2 Academic years 2008/09 to 2012/13
 2008/092009/102010/112011/122012/13

Bury St Edmunds parliamentary constituency

2,890

3,045

3,125

3,210

2,860

Suffolk local authority

17,020

17,885

17,645

17,975

16,340

England and Wales

1,463,160

1,501,560

1,490,205

1,501,070

1,379,775

1 Parliamentary constituency is derived from the student's postcode. Data for 2010-11 onwards are based on the revised boundaries since the 2010 general election. 2 Includes students attending Open University. Note: Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record

Higher Education: Disability

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding is currently allocated to higher education institutions to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities to disabled students under the Equality Act 2010. [198940]

Mr Willetts: In the academic year 2013-14 £15 million was allocated to higher education institutions through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) grant, to help them recruit and support disabled students. This figure was an increase of £2 million on the previous year and has been maintained by HEFCE for 2014-15. This is in addition to the direct support provided to disabled students through the disabled students’ allowances (DSA). In England, £125.1 million was spent on providing DSA in 2011-12.

Higher Education: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much capital funding the Government allocated to (a) York College, (b) Askham Bryan College, (c) the University of York and (d) York St John University in each year since 1995-96. [198513]

Mr Willetts: The capital funding allocated by this Department and its predecessor Departments to York College, the University of York and the University of York St John in each year between 1992 and 2000 is not readily available. However, the capital allocations for each of the institutions named since 2000-01 is in the following table.

11 Jun 2014 : Column 217W

11 Jun 2014 : Column 218W

Capital allocations for each of the institutions named since 2000-01
 Askham Bryan College HEFCE FundingAskham Bryan College Skills Funding Agency Funding1University of York HEFCE FundingYork College HEFCE FundingYork College Skills Funding Agency Funding1York St John University HEFCE Funding

2000-01

15,229

0

38,266

0

2001-02

7,900

0

3,530,750

10,910

0

2002-03

17,300

148,900

3,778,951

42,090

0

1,853,705

2003-04

19,196

293,975

9,960,671

47,314

0

480,369

2004-05

6,456

0

9,598,750

15,927

0

1,695,801

2005-06

84,075

0

8,901,524

103,283

21,159,347

95,667

2006-07

67,799

4,150,000

3,257,349

75,029

0

900,000

2007-08

67,798

0

16,182,678

75,030

0

939,152

2008-09

89,715

0

13,211,996

77,650

0

1,308,627

2009-10

114,961

0

26,823,315

113,645

0

1,251,150

2010-11

65,205

284,389

1,746,914

73,524

128,950

939,136

2011-12

17,599

100,000

3,879,252

20,617

100,000

169,911

2012-13

19,358

3,110,000

3,242,950

22,678

0

91,117

2013-14

10,712

500,000

2,469,586

13,148

2,091,000

232,966

2014-152

38,705

0

2,165,461

47,510

0

280,291

 

642,008

8,587,264

108,750,147

776,621

23,479,297

10,237,892

1 The table includes information on all mainstream FE Capital grants approved since April 2001 to date; LSC approvals (i.e. Building Colleges for the Future projects only and excludes Disability Discrimination Act grant/fee support/other pro-rata or formula based grants approved under the LSC between April 01 to March 10). It also includes all capital approvals given under the SFA. 2 These figures are not final.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UK-domiciled (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate students enrolled at the (i) University of York and (ii) University of York St John in each year since 2009-10. [198525]

Mr Willetts: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on student enrolments at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

The number of UK domiciled undergraduate and postgraduate enrolments at University of York and York St John University in the academic years 2009/10 to 2012-13 has been provided in the following table.

Information on the number of enrolments at UK HEIs for the academic year 2013-14 will become available from HESA in January 2015.

UK domiciled1 enrolments2 by level and institution of study academic years 2009-10 to 2012-13
InstitutionLevel of study2009-102010-112011-122012-13

University of York

Postgraduate

2,405

2,610

2,680

2,135

 

Undergraduate

9,645

10,190

10,475

10,395

 

Total

12,050

12,800

13,155

12,525

York St John University

Postgraduate

815

780

735

715

 

Undergraduate

4,835

4,855

4,920

4,960

 

Total

5,650

5,640

5,660

5,680

1 Domicile refers to a students’ home or permanent address prior to starting their course 2 Enrolments refers to students in all years of study. Note: This information can also be found on the HESA website at the following link: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/free-statistics Source: HESA Student Record

Higher Education: Zoos

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what support the Government are providing for community projects being conducted by UK zoos in collaboration with universities. [199020]

Mr Willetts: Government funding to universities supports a range of collaborative activity. Information on specific work with zoos on community projects is not collected centrally.

Mr George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that the forthcoming single pot funding and new round of European Regional Development Funding encourages economic development potential through science discovery collaborations planned between research-intensive universities and zoos. [199024]

Michael Fallon: The Local Growth Fund will be awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) on a competitive basis, on the strength of the Strategic Economic Plans they submitted to Government at the end of March. It is for LEPs and other local partners to put forward the proposals that, based on their local knowledge, they consider will have the greatest impact on economic growth. Discussions between Government and LEPs are continuing, with the aim of announcing Growth Deals in the summer.

For the 2014-2020 EU funding period the Government have asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to work with local partners to determine the investment priorities in their areas. Support to strengthen research, technological development and innovation will be a key objective for the European Regional Development Fund. The next stage is for local partners to work together to help develop a pipeline of projects that will meet the local investment priorities. BIS will advise the national

11 Jun 2014 : Column 219W

stakeholder group which oversees the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund on whether these investments are meeting local, national and EU innovation objectives.

Holiday Leave

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 87W, on holiday leave, what assessment his Department has made of the conclusions of the Citizens Advice report entitled Give us a Break on the lack of awareness and denial of paid holiday entitlement to UK workers. [199434]

Jenny Willott: The Citizens Advice report, Give us a Break, was a formal submission to the Ministerial Review of Workplace Rights, Compliance and Enforcement and therefore this Department assessed the report along with other submissions to the review. The written ministerial statement following the review was laid in Parliament on 10 July 2012. We continually review a broad range of evidence. As outlined in reply of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 87W, the right to paid annual leave is an important right, and we would urge workers who feel they are not receiving it to contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline (0800 917 2368) or ACAS

www.acas.org.uk

for free and confidential advice.

Land Registry

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of the Land Registry; and if he will make a statement. [199463]

Michael Fallon: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has conducted a consultation on ‘Introduction of a new Land Registry service delivery company’, and a response will be published shortly.

Local Enterprise Partnerships: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber received how much funding from Local Enterprise Partnerships in each year since 2010-11. [198524]

Michael Fallon: The Regional Growth Fund has supported eight Local Enterprise Partnership-led (LEP) programmes in Yorkshire and Humber, four each in rounds 3 and 5, with allocations totalling £95 million. So far £23.8 million has been paid to small and medium-sized enterprises which has achieved 987 jobs and £66.9 million in private sector leverage.

The Yorkshire and Humber LEPs have also received a total of £72.9 million from the Growing Places Fund to support infrastructure projects resulting in the creation of jobs, housing, commercial floorspace and businesses. Thus far, the LEPs have allocated this to 34 projects which will lead to the creation of 25,500 jobs, 4,900 housing units, 1.5 million sqm commercial floorspace, and 320 businesses.

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Manufacturing Industries: Electronic Equipment

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the manufacture of electronic components in the UK. [198575]

Michael Fallon: The Government recognise that electronic components and systems are key enabling technologies which underpin many key industrial sectors both in the UK and worldwide. In line with the Industrial Strategy, the Government are working with the industry-led Electronics Systems Community (ESCO) Council to support its aims of achieving sustainable growth within the sector. This Council are co-chaired by myself and Warren East, formerly chief executive of ARM, and is made up of senior business leaders from within the electronics systems sector.

The ESCO Council is working within the UK electronics community, with Government, with academia and is building close ties with leadership groups from other industries in taking forward the industry's blueprint for transforming the electronic systems sector in the UK. The Council's aims and priorities are set out in the ‘Electronic Systems: Challenges and Opportunities' report, which the industry published in summer 2013. The ESCO Council has set itself the goals for 2020 of increasing employment in the electronics systems sector from 850,000 to 1,000,000, and the contribution that electronics makes to the economy from around £80 billion to £120 billion per year.

National Apprenticeship Service

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 140W, on the national apprenticeship service, how many times the search function ‘find an apprenticeship provider' on the national apprenticeship website has been used. [199544]

Matthew Hancock: There were 89,370 recorded visits to the Find an Apprenticeship Training Organisation1 web page between April 2013 and May 2014. This counts the number of visits to the page not the number of individuals who visit.

Please note that the figure provided is used to indicate the use of a specific web page and is not a recognised measure of interest in apprenticeships.

1 http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/employers/find-an-apprenticeship-training-organisation.aspx

New Businesses: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many business start-ups there were in City of York local authority area in each year since 2008. [198516]

Matthew Hancock: There is no single data source that comprehensively measures all business start-ups within the UK. However, as a near proxy BankSearch collates data on the number of new business bank accounts

11 Jun 2014 : Column 221W

opened in Great Britain. This can be used as an indicative measure of business start-up activity and is the most comprehensive source available to BIS.

In the following table, estimated numbers of new business start-ups in the York local authority area are shown using the BankSearch data.

 Estimated number of business start-ups in York authority area

2008

1,100

2009

1,100

2010

1,300

2011

1,400

2012

1,300

2013

1,100

Source: BankSearch, number of new business bank accounts opened

Overseas Trade: Western Sahara

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will instruct UK Trade and Investment to issue a statement cautioning UK businesses against trade and investment in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. [198629]

Michael Fallon: We do not advise against trading with or investing in Western Sahara. Companies seeking UK Trade and Investment's advice on business prospects in Western Sahara will be made aware of the travel advice, information on Overseas Business Risk, and other market conditions.

Regional Development Agencies: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber received how much funding from the Yorkshire Regional Development Agency in each year that body was in existence. [198523]

Michael Fallon: Yorkshire Forward's annual accounts

www.gov.uk

report on this activity, showing the number of businesses assisted overall and the annual expenditure on the programmes they delivered as a whole. Providing any further information, at the level of detail requested, would require extensive research into Yorkshire Forward's records which are now held in BIS archive. This would incur disproportionate cost.

Regional Growth Fund: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber received how much funding from the Regional Growth Fund in each year since 2011-12. [198522]

Michael Fallon: We do not hold the data in the format requested. The Regional Growth Fund is supporting 51 projects and programmes in Yorkshire and Humber across five funding rounds. Below is a breakdown of the allocated funding from 2011-2017 by round:

11 Jun 2014 : Column 222W

RoundProjectsProgrammesAllocated funding (£ million)

1

6

0

47.3

2

15

2

78.5

3

8

4

92.8

4

8

4

41.5

5

3

1

15

The 11 regional programmes are providing support to small and medium-size businesses in the area. Support from RGF is expected to leverage £1.7 billion of private investment.

Temporary Employment

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to improve job security for people employed indefinitely on temporary or fixed-term contracts. [198616]

Jenny Willott: The Government are committed to achieving a labour market that is both fair and flexible, which gives employers the confidence to create jobs and individuals the choice to find work that suits them and their circumstances.

Temporary, agency and fixed term contracts are an important but relatively small part of our labour market, as they give companies flexibility in how staff are hired and workers flexibility in how they work. In February to April 2014 there were 1.673 million temporary employees—6.5% of all employees. Of these, ONS estimate that 35.9% were working temporarily because they could not find a permanent job—down from 39.7% a year ago.

Under this Government employment growth continues to be exceptionally strong, with levels up by 345,000 in the past quarter, and 780,000 in the past year—a record. Overall, in the 12 months to April 2014:

Employment increased by 780,000.

The number of employees working full-time increased by 441,000 and the number of people working part-time increased by 17,000.

The amount of people in self-employment rose by 337,000

The amount of temporary employees was 1.67 million in the three months to April 2014, up 79,000 on the same period last year. The amount of employees working temporary jobs because they could not find permanent jobs fell by 33,000 over the past year.

Vocational Training

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the Employer Ownership Pilot funding for the unified communications sector. [199546]

Matthew Hancock: Funding has been awarded to one project focusing on the unified communications sector. A project led by Freedom Communications was awarded funding of £786,503 over four years. This project seeks to address a skills need within the Unified Communications Technology (UCT) sector—a business enabling technology that benefits the economy through improved productivity. Freedom Communications (a UCT employer) has developed the project to address skills gaps through the creation of a UCT Higher Apprentice programme to develop a skilled work-force, delivering end-to-end skills by working with schools, delivering pre-employability qualifications to enhance the skills of the future work force.