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St Helena

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the progress on constructing the Saint Helena airport; and if he will make a statement. [203450]

Mr Duncan: Construction is progressing well and is currently to budget and on schedule to allow the airport to open in February 2016.

7 July 2014 : Column 138W

Uganda

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 30 June 2014, Official Report, column 416W, on Uganda, to which human rights organisations her Department is stepping up to support; and what form that support will take. [203718]

Lynne Featherstone: We are consulting in-country with LGBTI groups and development partners to determine the best ways to support our aims.

Defence

Afghanistan

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) precision-guided munitions and (b) gravity bombs of each type have been dropped in Afghanistan by British (i) fixed-wing aircraft and (ii) unmanned aerial vehicles since 23 March 2011. [200904]

Mr Francois: The number of precision-guided munitions dropped in Afghanistan in the period requested are shown in the following table. No free-fall bombs have been dropped in this time.

Aircraft Type24 March 2011 to 16 June 20141

Fixed Wing

71

Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS)

317

1 Inclusive.

Use of force remains closely controlled and the avoidance of civilian casualties has been paramount. Professional crews carefully select the smallest warhead appropriate to the target being attacked to ensure they deliver the required effect, while minimising the risk to civilians.

All UK forces operate in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, following the principles of distinction, humanity, proportionality and military necessity. The UK’s clearly defined Rules of Engagement are formulated on this basis. The same strict Rules of Engagement that govern the use of conventional military aircraft also apply to RPAS and targets are always positively identified as legitimate military objectives. Reaper is the UK’s only RPAS with the ability to deploy precision-guided weapons.

Rory Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Afghan interpreters have been granted asylum since he announced in 2013 that the resettlement package for Afghan interpreters would extend to any interpreter serving for a year continuously up to December 2012. [202959]

Mr Francois: The ex-gratia redundancy scheme for locally engaged civilians (LECs) which was announced on 4 June 2013, includes a bespoke immigration arrangement specifically for Afghan LECs which is unrelated to the UK asylum system.

The ex-gratia scheme includes an offer of relocation to the UK for LECs who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. We estimate that up to 600 LECs will be eligible

7 July 2014 : Column 139W

to apply for relocation via the ex-gratia scheme; the majority of these individuals will have been interpreters. Two have been granted visas; visa applications are being processed for another 269. Further applications will be processed as our remaining LECs are made redundant. We expect the first LECs to arrive in the UK later this summer.

Armed Forces

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to centrally record all instances of verbal or physical abuse made towards members of the Armed Forces. [203471]

Anna Soubry: The Ministry of Defence has no plans to record such information, and no representation has been made by the armed forces that such a record is necessary. We have seen no evidence of widespread or increasing prejudice, harassment or criminality aimed at service personnel.

Armed Forces: Cadets

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to change funding for existing Combined Cadet Force detachments and to communicate those changes to schools. [203660]

Anna Soubry: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 25 June 2014, Official Report, column 221W, to my hon. Friend the Member for North Wiltshire (Mr Gray).

Armed Forces: Housing

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Statistical Bulletin 6.02 on Accommodation will be published by the end of July 2014. [203274]

Dr Murrison: It is intended that Statistical Bulletin 6.02 will be published at 09.30 am on Thursday 24 July 2014, as announced on the Ministry of Defence timetable for future releases on the GOV.UK website.

Armed Forces: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK (a) regular military and (b) civilian personnel were based in City of York in each year since 2008. [202855]

Anna Soubry: Information on the number of UK regular military personnel based in the City of York Unitary Authority area for each year from 2008 until 2013 is published in Ministry of Defence Quarterly Location Statistics Table 3.3a, available on The National Archives website:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140116142443/http://www.dasa.mod.uk/index.php/publications/personnel/combined/quarterly-location-statistics

Information on the number of UK regular military personnel based in the City of York unitary authority area for each year from 2010 until 2014 is published in Ministry of Defence Quarterly Location Statistics Table 3.3a, available on the GOV.UK website:

7 July 2014 : Column 140W

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/location-of-all-uk-regular-service-and-civilian-personnel-quarterly-statistics-index

Information on the number of UK civilian personnel based in City of York unitary authority area for each year from 1 April 2008 to 1 April 2011 is produced in the following table:

 Number

2008

650

2009

680

2010

720

2011

640

Information on the number of UK civilian personnel based in the City of York unitary authority area for each year since 1 April 2012 is now published in Ministry of Defence Quarterly Location Statistics Table 3.3a, available at the GOV.UK website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/location-of-all-uk-regular-service-and-civilian-personnel-quarterly-statistics-index

Additionally, copies of the Quarterly Location Statistics are available in the Library of the House.

Billing

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many creditors had remained unpaid by his Department on 1 June 2014 for (a) 45, (b) 60, (c) 75 and (d) 76 days and over. [201610]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) financial systems capture the length of time the invoice has been outstanding at the point the invoice is paid.

The following table represents our assessment of late payments paid during the 12 months ended 1 June 2014. This does not reflect existing unpaid bills.

Invoices paid after 45 days between June 2013 and June 2014
DaysNumber

45-59

19

60-74

6

75

0

76

18

Total over 45 Days

43

During financial year 2013-14 out of over 4 million correctly submitted invoices the MOD paid 94% within five working days.

Defence Vetting Agency

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were employed by the Defence Vetting Agency in (a) York and (b) total on 1 April in each year since it was created. [202854]

Anna Soubry: The figures in the following table represent people employed by the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and its predecessor the Defence Vetting Agency until 2011, in York and total, on 1 April each year.

 Staff based in YorkOverall total

2003

220

320

2004

220

340

7 July 2014 : Column 141W

2005

230

350

2006

230

350

2007

230

360

2008

250

390

2009

300

450

2010

310

470

2011

260

430

2012

220

350

2013

180

310

2014

162

297

Notes: 1. Although the Defence Vetting Agency was founded in 1996 reliable figures are available only from 2003. 2. Figures are for full-time equivalents. 3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Marchwood Military Port

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy formally to consult the residents of Marchwood, Hampshire, about the sale of the lease of land and facilities at the site of the military port; and if he will make a statement. [203317]

Mr Dunne: There will be a formal opportunity to receive and hear the views of local residents in regard to the Marchwood proposal via the statutory planning process. Additionally, in recognition of the ongoing concerns that local residents will understandably have, Ministry of Defence officials will continue to engage with local representatives and through the Local Planning Authority until the commercial arrangements are completed.

It is not yet known how interested parties will seek to develop the Marchwood site for commercial use over and above the continuing military use at this early stage in the process. Consequently, any consultation with the local community would, at this stage, be speculative.

I would expect the successful partner to consult with the local community regarding its plans for the site following the grant of the concession.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he intends to answer the letter sent to him by the right. hon. Member for Mid Sussex (Sir Nicholas Soames) dated 14 March 2014, enclosing correspondence from his constituent, Mr Douglas Denham St. Pinnock. [203463]

Anna Soubry: The Minister for the Armed Forces, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mr Francois) replied to my right hon. Friend on 2 July 2014.

I apologise for the length of time taken to respond to your letter.

Military Aircraft

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account he has taken of (a) recent losses of aircraft and yachts at sea and (b) the deterioration in East-West relations resulting from events in the Ukraine; when assessing the effects on defence capability of the absence of maritime patrol aircraft; and if he will make a statement. [203466]

7 July 2014 : Column 142W

Mr Dunne: The Department for Transport is the lead for civil aeronautical and maritime search and rescue. The Ministry of Defence makes defence assets available for search and rescue, which in the past have included Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

We continually monitor the international situation and will adjust our capability plans in response as necessary. The capability gap resulting in the removal of MPA, which was years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of pounds over budget, was recognised in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010 but has been partially mitigated using other maritime assets. Prudent management of the defence budget means that we have the ability to consider enhancements to the defence programme should a requirement to do so emerge.

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how long it will take to (a) acquire aircraft and (b) reinstate skills following a decision to reacquire maritime patrol aircraft. [203467]

Mr Dunne: The period from a decision to acquire entry into service would depend on the platform selected, affordability in the Defence programme and commercial arrangements. It is therefore not possible to provide a specific timeline.

The UK has since 2011 run a Seedcorn programme whereby RAF personnel are embedded in the Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) capabilities of a number of close allies. This initiative will mitigate the long lead time usually taken to establish a suitably qualified and experienced cadre if there is a future requirement to regenerate a UK MPA capability.

The previous MPA capability, the Nimrod MR2, was retired by the previous Government. Its successor programme, the Nimrod MR4A, was hundreds of millions of pounds over budget with significant technical challenges present to achieve air worthiness certification.

Patrol Craft

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the contracts to be signed for the three offshore patrol vessels to be built for the Royal Navy. [203483]

Mr Dunne: Negotiations with BAE Systems for the contract to build the three new offshore patrol vessels, announced in November 2013, are ongoing. Subject to main-gate approval, we intend to award a build contract to enable construction of these vessels to begin in autumn 2014.

Veterans

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department issues guidance on protocols relating to former armed forces or personnel using their rank as a title after they have left service. [203843]

Anna Soubry: Ministry of Defence officials are not aware of any official guidance on this issue. However, Debretts suggests that:

7 July 2014 : Column 143W

‘…regular officers of the rank of major and above may use, and be addressed by, their rank after being placed on the retired list.’

Written Questions: Government Responses

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will answer Question 201291, tabled by the hon. Member for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland (Tom Blenkinsop) 18 June 2014. [203789]

Anna Soubry: I responded to the hon. Gentleman on 2 July 2014, Official Report, columns 678-79W.

Education

Academies

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much has been paid to converter academies towards pre-opening costs since 2010. [202866]

Mr Timpson: The total pre-opening costs for converter academies from 2010 to the end of March 2014 are £102 million.

Adoption

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to reduce the time taken to adopt a child. [203216]

Mr Timpson: Major reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 are helping to speed up the legal adoption process for children in England, support quicker matching and ensure earlier placement of children with foster families who may go on to adopt them. Adoption scorecards were introduced in 2012 and are driving improvements locally. We implemented a new adopter approval process last year and under this new process prospective adopters can now be approved in just six months. New training materials and other tools have been developed by the College of Social Work and Research in Practice to improve the skills of social workers so they are better placed to quickly judge what is best for each child. In 2012-13, the number of adopters was 34% up on the year before.

Arts: Primary Education

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what proportion of primary pupils from each region have engaged with (a) theatre activities, (b) music activities, (c) dance and (d) other arts in each year since 2009-10; [203662]

(2) what proportion of primary pupils from (a) disadvantaged backgrounds and (b) non-disadvantaged backgrounds have engaged with (i) theatre activities, (ii) music activities, (iii) dance and (iv) other arts in each year since 2009-10. [203663]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education does not collect this specific information.

All primary pupils in maintained schools will participate in drama, music, dance and art and design as part of

7 July 2014 : Column 144W

the national curriculum. In addition, many pupils take part in extra-curricular arts activities both inside and outside school.

Billing

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the answer of 19 October 2013, Official Report, column 235W, on billing, what the value was of duplicate supplier payments identified by his Department's audit; and what proportion of such payments have since been recovered. [202514]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department’s spend recovery audit contractor has identified a small number of duplicate payments (excluding executive agencies). In 2012/13 there were 12 duplicate payments and in 2013/14 there was one. Any duplicate payments that have been identified and already recovered in previous years would not have been picked up in this audit.

The value of these duplicate payments is £110,527 over the five years audited. The audit was completed in April 2014 and we have recovered £40,256 (36%) of the total amount, with the remainder being subject to an ongoing recovery process by the contractor. We expect the contractor to pursue the remaining recovery action quickly.

In addition to the recovery work currently being undertaken, the Department has brought in other measures to minimise the risk of duplicate payments. From August 2013, arrangements for grants payments are dealt with by a central grants payment team. More recently, we have implemented the use of a unique reference number (URN) to reduce the risk of inaccurate grant payments and improve management information. The Department also ensures that finance guidance is updated as appropriate to ensure risks are minimised and we have regular discussions with our shared service provider about continuous improvements, which includes measures such as routine supplier data cleansing and clear protocols.

Children in Care

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) primary, other than small primary and (b) secondary schools in each local authority area had more than 3% of pupils in care in the latest period for which figures are available. [203735]

Mr Timpson: The following tables show the number of primary and secondary schools with at least 3% of pupils who were looked after on the 31 March 2013. This has been presented by local authority. Schools with a headcount of fewer than 50 pupils have been removed from this analysis.

Local authorityTotal number of primary schools1Number of primary schools where more than 3.0% of pupils are looked-after children2

Cumbria

235

10

Lincolnshire

258

7

Kent

447

6

Lancashire

452

6

Nottinghamshire

278

6

7 July 2014 : Column 145W

East Riding of Yorkshire

121

4

Wirral

90

4

Wolverhampton

73

4

Blackburn with Darwen

54

3

Cornwall

213

3

Devon

275

3

Hampshire

422

3

Norfolk

320

3

Staffordshire

282

3

Wiltshire

190

3

Bury

63

2

Cheshire East

120

2

Dudley

78

2

Durham

217

2

East Sussex

151

2

Halton

50

2

Herefordshire

73

2

Kingston upon Hull, City of

70

2

Leeds

218

2

North Tyneside

56

2

North Yorkshire

249

2

Northumberland

97

2

Shropshire

115

2

St Helens

54

2

Sunderland

82

2

Warwickshire

190

2

West Berkshire

62

2

Worcestershire

177

2

Barnsley

78

1

Birmingham

300

1

Blackpool

29

1

Bolton

94

1

Bristol, City of

104

1

Bromley

74

1

Buckinghamshire

164

1

Calderdale

84

1

Cambridgeshire

201

1

Coventry

84

1

Dorset

129

1

Essex

452

1

Gateshead

67

1

Gloucestershire

225

1

Hertfordshire

386

1

Kirklees

145

1

Knowsley

50

1

Leicestershire

216

1

Liverpool

122

1

North Lincolnshire

63

1

Northamptonshire

248

1

Oldham

86

1

Rochdale

69

1

Salford

76

1

Sandwell

94

1

Solihull

62

1

South Tyneside

45

1

Southampton

60

1

Torbay

30

1

Trafford

67

1

Wigan

102

1

7 July 2014 : Column 146W

York

52

1

1 Number of primary schools (including middle-deemed primary) with a pupil headcount of at least 50 (based on 2013 school census data). 2 Number of primary schools (including middle-deemed primary), where at least 3.0% of pupils were looked after on 31 March 2013.
Local authorityTotal number of secondary schools1Number of secondary schools where more than 3% of pupils are looked-after children2

Bury

14

1

Lancashire

83

1

Lincolnshire

54

1

Luton

13

1

Northumberland

46

1

Staffordshire

69

1

Wirral

22

1

1 Number of secondary schools (including middle-deemed secondary) with a pupil headcount of at least 50 (based on 2013 school census data). 2 Number of secondary schools (including middle-deemed secondary), where at least 3.0% of pupils were looked after on 31 March 2013.

Children: Day Care

Lucy Powell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what assessment he has made of the additional costs to (a) parents and (b) childcare providers of providing childcare for disabled children; [203315]

(2) what assessment he has made of the level of accessibility of childcare for disabled children; how many childcare settings of all types of provision provide places for disabled children; what proportion of disabled children are able to access early years provision; and how many disabled children access the free early years entitlement at (a) three and four years old and (b) two years old. [203321]

Elizabeth Truss: The Government are extending the entitlement criteria for two-year-old early learning. From September 2014, two-year-olds will be eligible if they have a current statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or if they get disability living allowance. The Government are determined to ensure that all children are able to benefit from their Government-funded early education, and local authorities have the necessary funding, including in the high-needs block of the dedicated schools grant, to secure this.

The Government published Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents 2012/13 in January 2014, which contains a range of information about the views of parents with disabled children about childcare. The survey contained information about access to childcare, including flexible and holiday care, the quality and affordability of this care. It is published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/275992/SFR06-2014_Childcare_ and_Early_Years_Survey_of_Parents_2012-13_final.pdf

The Government published Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey 2011, which contains information on early years providers who care for children with disabilities. This survey is published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2011

7 July 2014 : Column 147W

Children: Protection

Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK's child protection legislation; and if he will make a statement. [203198]

Mr Timpson: Professor Eileen Munro undertook a wide-ranging independent review of the child protection system in England reporting in 2011. This review looked at the system as a whole, including the adequacy of the child protection legislation. The Department for Education has since clarified the legislation through the revised statutory safeguarding guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013’ so all organisations working with vulnerable children know what the law says they and others must do.

The Department will continue to monitor the current legislation and review options to strengthen the system to keep children safe.

Children: Social Services

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 23 June 2014, Official Report, column 78W, on children: social services, and with reference to clause 71 of the Deregulation Bill, whether the Government intend to maintain the requirement for all third-party social work providers to register with Ofsted. [203439]

Mr Timpson: The Deregulation Bill contains provisions that would remove the requirement for providers of social work services to register with Ofsted.

Education: Lancaster

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to Lancaster city council's Local Plan for Lancaster District 2011-2031: Strategic Options for Land Allocations, what assessment his Department has made of the potential expansion of demand for educational facilities for children and

7 July 2014 : Column 148W

young adults that would arise under Option 5 of that plan. [203503]

Mr Timpson: Lancashire local authority has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places available. The Department for Education continues to engage with Lancashire local authority, along with all other local authorities, to understand the place planning pressures they face.

The Department has not assessed Lancaster district council’s plans for long-term expansion with regard to the provision of educational facilities. The council’s plan is a local area consultation and decisions will be made at local level.

With regard to funding for additional school places, local authorities are asked to include potential pupils from new housing developments (where there is already planning permission or there is a high degree of confidence that they will go ahead) in their forecasts that they provide to the Department. These forecasts underpin the capital funding allocations for the delivery of school places. The Department has allocated a total of £83 million basic need funding to Lancashire local authority for the provision of school places between 2011-12 and 2016-17.

In addition to Government funding, the Department expects housing developers to make a contribution to the infrastructure needs of the new communities created. Securing that funding is a matter for the local authority.

Education: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the revenue spending was for each (a) primary and (b) secondary pupil in York Unitary Authority area in each year since 2008-09 and in each year since. [202881]

Mr Laws: The available information on expenditure in maintained primary and secondary schools in York local authority is shown in the table. Local authority maintained schools receive their funding from their local authority, which control how this is apportioned. To provide data for further years would incur disproportionate cost.

School income and expenditure and per capita statistics for local authority maintained schools in York local authority area1, 2, 3, years 2011-12 and 2012-13
 Primary schoolsSecondary schools
 £000£ per pupil4£000£ per pupil4

Spending by schools 2012-13

    

Total expenditure5

52,545,453

3,963

41,797,127

5,379

Income (generated by schools)6

2,721,285

205

2,015,165

259

Net current expenditure (total expenditure less income)

49,824,168

3,758

39,781,962

5,119

     

Spending by schools 2011-12

    

Total expenditure5

50,618,714

3,949

42,394,872

5,330

Income (generated by schools)6

2,522,975

204

2,000,017

251

7 July 2014 : Column 149W

7 July 2014 : Column 150W

Net current expenditure (total expenditure less income)

48,095,740

3,745

40,394,855

5,079

1 The detailed definition of every income and expenditure category is available on the Department's website at the following link: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/consistentreporting/b00205260/consistent-financial-reporting-online-guide 2 School expenditure data are provided by local authority maintained schools only. They do not contain data on academies. Therefore the income and expenditure figures are affected by the numbers of schools converting to academy status. In particular this affects the figures for secondary schools and makes year-on-year comparisons difficult. 3 Cash terms figures as reported by schools. 4 Per pupil figures are based on pupils and income and expenditure in schools that were open for the full financial year. 5 Total expenditure is the sum of the following four categories: teaching staff, education support staff, other employee costs and running expenses (E01 to E32 excluding code E30). 6 Income generated by schools (rather than the funding received through central Government and local authorities) covers CFR codes I07 to I13 plus I17 which includes, for example, income generated from facilities, services, catering, parental contributions towards school visits and donations. It also includes receipts from insurance claims. Latest figures on both the income and expenditure of local authority maintained schools in England for the financial year April 2012 to March 2013 are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/la-and-school-expenditure-financial-year-2012-to-2013

Free School Meals

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children in (a) York, (b) North Yorkshire, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber and (d) England received free school meals in 1995-96 and in each year since. [202878]

Mr Laws: Information on the number and percentage of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in York local authority, North Yorkshire local authority, Yorkshire and the Humber region and England for 2002 to 2014 has been placed in the Library of the House.

Comparable data for earlier years are not available.

Free School Meals: Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many secondary school pupils in Ashfield constituency received free school meals in each of the last five years. [203812]

Mr Laws: Information on the number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in state-funded secondary schools is published in the “Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2014” Statistical First Release1.

1Note:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2014

Table 8b shows local authority level information. Parliamentary constituency level information is not published. Information for 2010 to 2013 can be found in previous versions of this release.2

2Note:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-and-pupil-numbers

Free School Meals: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children in (a) Warrington and (b) Warrington North constituency received free school meals in each year since 1995-96. [203252]

Mr Laws: Information on the number and percentage of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in Warrington local authority and England for 2002 to 2014 has been placed in the House Library. Comparable data for earlier years are not available.

Information by parliamentary constituency is not published.

Internet: Bullying

Dr Wollaston: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to tackle cyber-bullying. [904664]

Mr Timpson: The Government believe that internet providers, schools and parents all have a role to play in keeping children and young people safe online.

All schools must have a behaviour policy which includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying. The “Keeping Children Safe in Education” guidance outlines the importance of tackling cyber-bullying, which can be found online at:

http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/schools-the-wider-sector/cyberbullying.aspx

Schools have the flexibility to develop their own measures to prevent and tackle bullying, but are held to account by Ofsted.

The Government recognise that educating young people about online safety is key to tackling cyber-bullying. As part of changes to the new computing programmes of study which will be taught from September 2014, e-safety will be taught at all four key stages. This will empower young people to tackle cyber-bullying through responsible, respectful and secure use of technology, as well as ensuring that pupils understand age-appropriate ways of reporting any concerns they may have about what they see or encounter online.

The new curriculum also offers opportunities to tackle the underlying causes of bullying; for example, the new citizenship programme of study sets out a requirement for pupils to be taught about the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.

The Department for Education is providing £4 million of funding over two years from 2013 to four anti-bullying organisations: Beatbullying, the Diana Award, Kidscape and the National Children’s Bureau consortium. Although this funding has been awarded to specific projects to reduce bullying in general, this can, and does, include work to tackle cyber-bullying.

7 July 2014 : Column 151W

The Department has produced case studies showing good practice in how to manage behaviour and bullying. These include a case study about how a school deals with cyber-bullying. Also, through funding provided by the Department, the Anti-Bullying Alliance has produced specific advice on cyber-bullying for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. We provide a link to this in our own advice on preventing and tackling bullying.

Government Ministers have regular meetings with internet providers, social media platforms and search engines on matters related to internet safety, including cyber-bullying. Ministers from the Department for Education, Home Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport also co-chair the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) which brings together a range of experts across Government, law enforcement, industry, academia and charities to consider the best ways to minimise the risk of harm to children when online.

In July 2013 the Prime Minister announced measures to support parents to install free and easy to use internet filters which can block access to harmful websites. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have now rolled out easy to use filtering to all new customers and will confirm that, by the end of 2014, 95% of all homes with an existing internet connection will be required to choose whether to switch on a whole home family friendly internet filter. The filters are constantly being refined and updated by the ISPs to keep families as safe as possible in the fast-changing digital world. The ISPs have also announced a new £25 million internet safety campaign over three years that will reach out to millions of parents on how best to protect their children and make good use of filters.

Members: Correspondence

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will estimate the total number of ministerial replies from his Department to hon. Members in a parliamentary Session; and what proportion of such replies are sent (a) by letter and (b) by email; [203302]

(2) what plans his Department has to increase the number of replies sent electronically to letters from hon. Members. [203526]

Elizabeth Truss: Information is not available in the form requested. Reports on the performance of Departments in handling correspondence from hon. Members and peers are published by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General each year and include the numbers of letters to which Ministers reply. The report for the calendar year 2013, 13 May 2014, Official Report, column 17WS, shows that 16,898 such letters were received by Department for Education Ministers. Most correspondence from hon. Members continues to be received as letters and is replied to in the same format, although Ministers will continue to reply in e-mail form when they consider it appropriate to do so.

Pay

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which organisations collect subscriptions through the employers' payroll service in his Department and its agencies. [203103]

7 July 2014 : Column 152W

Elizabeth Truss: The Department is currently consulting on removing its check-off provision.

The following organisations received subscriptions from staff salaries through the Department’s payroll provider in May 2014:

Benenden Health

Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund

British Healthcare Association

Charity for Civil Servants

Charity Trust

Civil Service Club

Civil Service Sports Club

FDA

Forester Health

Give As You Earn

Health Sure Group

Hospital Saturday Fund

HSA Crown Simply Health

HSA Individual Simply Health

Leeds Hospital Fund

Merseyside Health

PCS

Prospect

Westfield Health

Pearson VUE

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received regarding Pearson VUE's delivery of QTS numeracy and skills tests. [202962]

Mr Laws: There have been representations made by individuals and candidates regarding Pearson VUE’s delivery of the skills tests. These representations have been in relation to technical issues encountered by candidates at the time of sitting the test and requests for appeals where candidates feel there have been exceptional circumstances which should result in another attempt at the test in question being permitted. All representations of this nature are fully investigated by the Standards and Testing Agency.

Performance Appraisal

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of (a) disabled and (b) all other staff employed by his Department received each level of performance rating in their end of year performance assessment for 2013-14. [202053]

Elizabeth Truss: The information requested is set out in the following table.

Table 1: 2013-14 Performance management outturn figures for the Department for Education
Percentage
Performance ratingDeclared disabilityNo declared disabilityNot declared

Top/Exceeded

14

26

22

Achieving/Achieved

69

66

68

Low/Must Improve

17

8

10

7 July 2014 : Column 153W

The Department continues to take steps to ensure that its performance ratings are a fair reflection of individual performance. Over the last year, this has included independent members being present at end of year meetings where performance assessments are moderated and training for staff on how to avoid unconscious bias.

Pre-school Education: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many nursery places were available in (a) Warrington and (b) Warrington North constituency in each year since 1995-96. [203327]

Elizabeth Truss: I have asked Ofsted to respond using the data they hold on registered nursery places. Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s chief inspector will write to the hon. Lady, and a copy of his response will be placed in the House Libraries. Some providers, such as schools with nursery provision for children aged three or over, are exempt from registration. The number of places therefore may not include the full range of early years provision available in the area.

The Department for Education’s Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey, available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2011

collects data on all registered child care places, including those in maintained schools and nurseries. These figures are therefore more comprehensive than the Ofsted figures; however, data are available only at a national and regional level, and in this case only for the north-west.

Pre-school Education: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many nursery places were available in City of York constituency in 1995-96 and in each year since. [202879]

Elizabeth Truss: I have asked Ofsted to respond using the data they hold on registered nursery places. The Ofsted Director for the Early Years, and North-East, Yorkshire and the Humber, Nick Hudson, will write to the hon. Gentleman, and a copy of his response will be placed in the House Libraries. Some providers, such as schools with nursery provision for children aged three or over, are exempt from registration. The number of places therefore may not include the full range of early years provision available in the area.

The Department for Education’s Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey1 collects data on all registered child care places, including those in maintained schools and nurseries. These figures are therefore more comprehensive than the Ofsted figures; however data are available only at a national and regional level, and in this case only for the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside combined.

1Note:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2011

7 July 2014 : Column 154W

Primary Education: Admissions

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent estimate he has made of the number of children in England starting primary school in September 2014 who have received a place at their first choice school. [203229]

Mr Laws: Data on the proportion of children made an offer of their first choice school for England have recently been published as part of the Statistical First Release ‘Secondary and primary school applications and offers: 2014’. This is published online:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-applications

Pupil Exclusions: Staffordshire

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children were permanently excluded from (a) primary, (b) middle, (c) upper and (d) secondary schools in Staffordshire in each of the last three years. [203786]

Elizabeth Truss: Information on the number of permanent exclusions in each of the last three years is published in the “Permanent and fixed period exclusions from schools in England: 2011 to 2012 academic year” Statistical First Release1. Information for 2012/13 will be published on 31 July 2014.

Table 1 in the publication shows the number of permanent exclusions in state-funded primary and secondary schools. This information is not available by middle and upper schools, as such schools are deemed either primary or secondary and are included in those counts.

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-from-schools-in-england-2011-to-2012-academic-year

Pupils: Disadvantaged

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children are involved in the Challenge the Gap scheme. [203230]

Mr Laws: To date, 99,755 children have taken part in the Challenge the Gap project.

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many primary schools in (a) England and (b) Birmingham are taking part in the Challenge the Gap scheme. [203231]

Mr Laws: In its first two years, the Challenge the Gap programme has reached 150 schools, of which 84 are primary schools. 16 schools in Birmingham are involved in the programme, 11 of which are primary schools.

Pupils: Qualifications

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils who did not have a statement of special educational needs in each school achieved no qualifications by the end of key stage 4 in the most recent year for which figures are available. [203334]

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Mr Timpson: The information requested has been placed in the House Library.

Pupils: Speech and Language Disorders

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils in (a) reception, (b) year 1 and (c) year 2 in each state-funded primary school had speech and language difficulties in the latest year for which figures are available. [203737]

Mr Timpson: The information requested has been placed in the House Library.

Schools: Uniforms

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance he gives to schools on steps they should take to inform students of their right to wear or not to wear religious clothing. [202911]

Mr Laws: It is for the governing body of each school to set its own policies on school uniform and other matters of appearance. The Department for Education’s guidance to schools on school uniform recommends that, once this policy is decided, the governing body should describe its uniform or appearance policy clearly and ensure that parents are informed.

The uniform guidance reminds schools of their need to have full regard to their obligations under equalities law when setting and enforcing their school uniform policy. It also recommends that the governing body considers carefully any reasonable requests to vary its uniform policy to accommodate individual pupils’ beliefs.

The school uniform guidance is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform

Schools: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what capital funding was allocated by his Department to schools in the City of York in 1995-96 and in each year since. [202874]

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Mr Laws: As York only became a local authority in 1996-97 as a result of local government reorganisation, comparable funding data are available only from this date.

The following table shows capital funding for the financial years that are available.

£ million
 City of York
 Capital allocations1PFI credits2

1996-97

0.8

1997-98

1.3

1998-99

1.8

1999-2000

4.5

2000-01

7.4

2001-02

4.8

2002-03

9.2

2003-04

11.1

2004-05

11.4

15.4

2005-06

10.7

2006-07

23

2007-08

19.3

2008-09

26.7

2009-10

23.1

2010-11

18.4

2011-12

8.0

n/a

2012-13

8.7

n/a

2013-14

8.5

n/a

2014-15 (provisional)

6.5

n/a

‘-’ Indicates that no funding was given in that year. 1 Capital allocations includes capital grant and supported borrowing allocations. 2 PFI credit allocations, where applicable are counted at financial close. PFI credits were not made after 2010-11. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000. 2. Capital allocations are made to York unitary authority for local authority maintained schools.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding was given to schools in York unitary authority area in each year in 2008-09 and in each year since. [202882]

Mr Laws: Total revenue funding allocations to York local authority (LA) covering maintained schools and recoupment academies for financial years 2008 to 2015 are as follows:

Total revenue funding to schools £ million (cash)
 2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15

York LA

98.3

101.6

107.4

107.6

109.5

114.2

118.2

These figures are in cash terms and include dedicated schools grant, other schools-related grants in 2008-09 to 2010-11, pupil premium, physical education and sport grant and universal infant free schools meals. Most of the additional grants were mainstreamed into the dedicated schools grant in 2011-12.

The following table shows capital funding for the financial years 2008 to 2014. The data are in cash terms.

Total capital funding to schools £ million (cash)
 2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-132013-14

York LA

26.7

23.1

18.4

8.0

8.7

8.5

Notes: 1. Capital allocations includes capital grant and supported borrowing allocations. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.

7 July 2014 : Column 157W

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much capital funding was given to schools in York unitary authority area in 2008-09 and in each year since. [202883]

Mr Laws: The following table shows capital funding for the financial years requested.

£ million
 City of York
 Capital allocations1PFI credits2

2008-09

26.7

2009-10

23.1

2010-11

18.4

2011-12

8

n/a

2012-13

8.7

n/a

2013-14

8.5

n/a

‘-’ Indicates that no funding was given in that year. 1 Capital allocations includes capital grant and supported borrowing allocations. 2 PFI credit allocations, where applicable, are counted at financial close. PFI credits were not allocated after 2010-11. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000. 2. Capital allocations are made to York unitary authority for local authority maintained schools.

Teachers

Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of newly qualified teachers were still teaching three years after completing their qualifications in each of the last five years. [203011]

Mr Laws: The information that the Department for Education holds will be published in late July as additional tables to the Statistical First Release ‘School Workforce in England, November 2013’, which is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-workforce-in-england-november-2013

Teachers: Labour Turnover

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the (a) turnover and (b) wastage rate was for (i) full-time and (ii) part-time teachers in each school in the most recent year for which figures are available. [203736]

Mr Laws: The information requested is not available for individual schools.

Truancy: Fines

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many parents and guardians of children

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within the state school system were fined as a result of unauthorised absence by their children in 2013. [203180]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education collects and publishes annual data on the number of penalty notices (fines) issued to parents, which include any issued to guardians, for offences relating to section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996. The number of penalty notices issued in the academic year 2012/13 was 52,370. This information is published online:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/parental-responsibility-measures-academic-year-2012-to-2013

The Department does not collect data regarding fines issued by the courts on this matter.

Universal Credit

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of extending entitlement to benefits from the pupil premium to all claimants of universal credit once universal credit has been fully rolled out. [202675]

Mr Laws: Universal credit will be fully rolled out in the next Parliament from 2017/18, and no pupil premium spending decisions for that period have yet been taken. For example, the per-pupil funding rates have not been decided beyond 2014/15. This means that it is not possible to estimate the potential cost of extending entitlement on the pupil premium budget.

Young People: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of people aged (a) 16, (b) 17 and (c) 18 years living in (i) York and (ii) Yorkshire and the Humber were in (A) full-time education and (B) full-time education, employment or training in 2008-09 and in each year since. [202872]

Matthew Hancock: Estimates of the proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds participating in education and work-based learning are published in the “Participation in education, training and employment, age 16 to 18” statistical first release (SFR). This provides estimates at local authority level for full-time education, and the wider measure of education and work-based learning, but information on employment is not available at local level. The local estimates are only available for academic age 16 and 17-year-olds.

The SFR is published online here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/participation-in-education-training-and-employment-age-16-to-18

7 July 2014 : Column 159W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 7 July 2014

Transport

Airports: Employment

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of jobs (a) directly and (b) indirectly provided by UK airports; and if he will make a statement; [203041]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the economic and social benefits provided by UK airports; and if he will make a statement. [203043]

Mr Goodwill: The Government's assessment of the economic benefits of aviation is given in the Aviation Policy Framework, published in March 2013. The aviation sector's economic output to the UK economy in 2011 is put at around £18 billion and employing around 220,000 workers directly. It recognises that airports across the UK play an important role in securing connectivity for local populations and their contribution to local, regional and national economies.

Aviation: Fuels

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to incentivise the take-up of sustainable aviation fuels; what discussions his Department held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this issue; and if he will make a statement. [203042]

Mr Goodwill: At European level sustainable aviation fuel is incentivised through generous accounting in the EU Aviation Emission Trading System, although volumes of sustainable fuel are currently very limited. Incentives in the road sector aim to increase the volume of sustainable fuels produced, in particular advanced biofuels, and reduce their cost.

The Government recognise that advanced biofuels offer many benefits including increased greenhouse gas savings, but that there are risks and barriers to entry associated with the production of advanced biofuels. This is why we are making available £25 million of capital funding to leverage private sector capital to construct demonstration-scale advanced biofuel plants in the UK. Many advanced biofuel technologies can be used to produce either road transport fuel or aviation fuel. Therefore, developing these technologies in the road sector will build an industry that can be used to fuel low-carbon aviation in years to come.

Bristol Airport

Dr Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the economic and social contribution of Bristol Airport to (a) the Exchequer and (b) local communities; and if he will make a statement. [203250]

7 July 2014 : Column 160W

Mr Goodwill: The Government's Aviation Policy Framework, published in March 2013, recognised the contribution that airports across the UK-such as Bristol airport-make to local, regional and national economies, and the important role they play an in securing connectivity for local populations. Bristol airport handled over 6 million passengers during 2013, has direct air services to over 100 destinations, and its on-site businesses provide valuable employment for approximately 3,000 people.

Last month the independent Airports Commission published a call for evidence on the domestic and international air connectivity provided by airports across the country. It also examines connectivity trends at these airports, how the business models of these airports are developing, and whether the connectivity provided by these airports can be enhanced.

Driving: Licensing

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving licences were withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse (a) following a road traffic accident and (b) at the request of a GP or medical practitioner in each of the last five years. [203098]

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) does not hold information on the number of driving licences withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse following a road traffic accident.

No driving licences have been withdrawn on the basis of alcohol abuse at the request of a general practitioner or a medical practitioner in the last five years.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of drivers who accumulate more than 12 points on their licence are disqualified. [203403]

Stephen Hammond: On 3 July 2014, 93% of drivers who had accumulated 12 or more penalty points were disqualified.

Driving: Young People

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when his Department plans to publish the Green Paper on young drivers safety; [203581]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of telematics to reduce car insurance premiums; [203582]

(3) pursuant to the answer of 24 June 2014, Official Report, column 148W, to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East, on driving, when he plans to publish the findings from the focus groups with parents, young people and employers. [203851]

Mr Goodwill: I am committed to improving the safety of young drivers. However, I want to ensure that this is done in a manner that protects social and economic freedoms. I am striving to get this balance right and will make an announcement on this matter later this year.

I believe that telematics technology has the potential to both increase road safety and reduce young driver insurance premiums. That is why my Department plans

7 July 2014 : Column 161W

to undertake further research on this issue shortly. The findings should help to inform future Government policy in this area.

I expect the findings of the recent focus group research with parents, young people and employers to be finalised shortly. Once finalised, it will be published within the standard 12-week period that applies to all Government social research.

Gas Masks

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to prevent the postage by retailers of Second World War gas masks containing asbestos. [203584]

Stephen Hammond: The Royal Mail is responsible for the acceptance or otherwise of items to be carried by post and it has set out what it will accept, or not, in its publically available guide "Prohibitions and restrictions in the domestic and international post" published in July 2013. These rules ensure that specified low-risk items can be transported safely through the UK postal network.

It clearly states that under certain conditions it is acceptable for samples of asbestos to be carried to UK destinations. Royal Mail will not, however, accept asbestos under any circumstances for international carriage.

I will not be taking any additional steps to prevent the postage by retailers of Second World War gas masks containing asbestos.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Crispin Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential of (a) Elon Musk's hyperloop trains and (b) Bombardier's double-deck trains as an alternative to High Speed 2 in increasing capacity on the railways. [203172]

Mr Goodwill: The Government believe that high- speed rail offers the most suitable approach to promoting economic growth and providing the long-term transport capacity our country needs. It utilises proven technologies, while untested systems such as Hyperloop risk delay to delivery, which would mean a delay to much needed capacity increases between London and Birmingham, and cost overruns.

We have considered a wide range of alternative options to a high-speed railway including the use of alternative modes, a conventional speed line and upgrades to the existing rail network. Alternatives, such as the use of double deck trains on the west coast main line, do not release capacity for commuter and freight services, fail to offer a robust solution to the problem of poor performance and would significantly disrupt services as upgrade work is carried out to rebuild the tunnels, bridges and other railway infrastructure that would be needed to accommodate these trains.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he or any Minister approved or commented on decisions to challenge the locus standi of any petitioner against the Hybrid Bill for Phase 1 of High Speed 2. [203670]

7 July 2014 : Column 162W

Mr Goodwill: The Secretary of State and departmental Ministers were advised of the petitioners whose locus standi was proposed to be challenged and approved those proposals.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish before the locus standi hearings the reasons for each challenge by HS2 Ltd. [203671]

Mr Goodwill: Each petitioner whose locus standi is being challenged has received a letter informing them of the reasons for the challenge, to allow them to prepare their case to be heard by the Select Committee. The promoter's case for challenging locus will be set out in detail at the locus hearings which are held in public with transcripts published. There are, therefore, no plans to publish the grounds for challenge separately.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish all the responses to the petition response documents to petitions on High Speed 2. [203672]

Mr Goodwill: We would not normally expect to publish correspondence from a petitioner in response to a petition response document.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which (a) Ministers in his Department, (b) officials in his Department and (c) HS2 Ltd personnel have attended meetings with the China Development Bank; [203674]

(2) if he will publish all documents exchanged between the Government and the China Development Bank mentioning or concerning High Speed 2 or associated development or works. [203673]

Mr Goodwill: As far as the Department's records show, there have been no ministerial meetings with the China Development Bank while on multi-modal overseas visits to China. Nor do Ministers' diaries record any meetings with the China Development Bank.

With respect to officials, we have focused on those most likely to have contact with an organisation such as the China Development Bank. It would appear from the records that no officials from the Department for Transport's International Co-operation and Better Regulation Division, High Speed Rail Group or International Rail have met with the China Development Bank.

There have been no inward delegations from the China Development Bank to the Department for Transport.

HS2 Ltd has had no meetings with China Development Bank.

In the course of compiling this response, we have not identified any correspondence with the China Development Bank.

Highways Agency

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential cost to the Strategic Highways Company of carrying full public liability and professional indemnity insurance as proposed in the Infrastructure Bill [Lords]. [203601]

7 July 2014 : Column 163W

Mr Goodwill: The Infrastructure Bill includes no measures that change existing legislation on public liability and professional indemnity insurance. The strategic highways company is expected to manage risk and insurance in line with HM Treasury's “Managing Public Money” and the detailed insurance arrangements for the new company are being considered.

Level Crossings

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of deaths at railway level crossings. [203050]

Stephen Hammond: Railway safety is a priority for this Government and the United Kingdom already has the best level crossing safety record in Europe.

However, the industry must not be complacent and Network Rail has already done a great deal in this area including the closure of over 750 level crossings since 2009. Its response to the Transport Committee’s recent report into level crossing safety provided further detail and the Department is supporting this work through a £109 million ring-fenced fund to further reduce risk at level crossings by 2019.

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to educate the public about dangers arising from railway level crossings. [203057]

Stephen Hammond: The best way to reduce risk at level crossings is to ensure they are used safely and that any instructions displayed are followed. The Department continues to support the railway industry to ensure that crossing users are aware of the dangers at level crossings, for example, by sponsoring research by RSSB (formerly the Rail Safety and Standards Board) in this area.

Given the limited success of physical mitigation measures, such research is vital to assist Network Rail and the wider rail industry to understand, and mitigate, ‘human factor’ elements. The results have informed the development of Network Rail’s long-running “Don’t Run the Risk” and “See Track—Think Train” television and radio campaigns which are aimed at raising awareness of the dangers at level crossings and educating the public about the consequences of misuse.

Network Rail has also created a “Rail Life” campaign aimed specifically at primary and secondary school pupils. This is providing educational material to schools adjacent to level crossings and produced video material to explain the risks to children.

Part of the role of the level crossing managers which Network Rail has recruited is to build relationships with all level crossing users as well as the wider community and the Government expect further safety benefits to accrue from these activities.

London Midland

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will discuss with London Midland Trains steps to improve (a) punctuality, (b) reliability, (c) greater notification of cancellations and (d) provision of sufficient drivers for off-peak and weekend services. [203056]

7 July 2014 : Column 164W

Stephen Hammond: The Department monitors each train operator’s overall performance and there are clear actions set out in the franchise agreement should performance drop below what is expected. This regular monitoring includes monthly meetings with their senior management where performance figures are scrutinised and challenged. After the concerns in the autumn of 2012, London Midland implemented a number of remedial measures which included a recruitment programme for new drivers, and this recruitment is ongoing.

The Office of Rail Regulation initiated a code of practice that was placed in the obligations in the licences of all train companies, station operators and Network Rail to ensure the whole rail network works together in compliance with an industry code of practice to deliver the best possible passenger information.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Fareham

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 30 June 2014, Official Report, column 363W, on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Fareham, what discussions he has had in the last six months with external stakeholders on the staffing and training levels required for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham to be fully operational. [203790]

Stephen Hammond: Staffing levels for the new National Maritime Operations Centre remains as set in November 2011. Experienced coastguards have designed the training requirement, which is now being delivered in readiness for operational capability in September. Specific discussions about training in the past six months have involved: Blackpool and the Fylde College; the RNLI; Adair International (providers of Action Centred Leadership); and the Royal Yachting Association.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of staff currently employed at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham have (a) received the amount of training required and (b) attained the level of qualification required in order to carry out their duties when the centre takes on its full operational responsibilities in December 2015. [203791]

Stephen Hammond: There are currently 27 coastguards employed at the National Maritime Operations Centre:

23 are undergoing training to be ready in preparation for the start of operational duties in September 2014; and

four already have the minimum qualifications required for their roles.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency anticipates at least a further 18 coastguards to be in post at the NMOC who will have the training required to take on operational duties in September 2014.

By December 2015 all 96 operational coastguards will have attained the level of qualification required in order to carry out their duties.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what levels of staffing the Maritime and Coastguard Agency expects to be in place at Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham in (a) September 2014, (b) November 2014, (c) January 2015 and (d) March 2015. [203792]

7 July 2014 : Column 165W

Stephen Hammond: The transition to the new Her Majesty’s Coastguard structure is progressive over 15 months, from September 2014 until December 2015, and is structured to incrementally deliver the right number of staff at the right point of the transition timetable. When fully operational there will be 96 operational coastguards in post at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC).

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency plans that there will be at least 45 coastguards in post at the NMOC in September 2014 when it takes over the operational responsibilities for the areas previously covered by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres at Solent and Portland. Staffing levels at the NMOC will progress over the transition period in line with ongoing recruitment activity and the release of successful internal candidates from current operational duties.

It should be noted that three Coastguard Operations Centres, each with a complement of 23 coastguards, will migrate in the national network alongside the NMOC between October 2014 and March 2015. These are:

Falmouth – October 2014

Holyhead – December 2014

Milford Haven – February 2015.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether levels of staffing and training at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham are in line with the targets in the original proposals in the Coastguard Reform programme. [203794]

Stephen Hammond: The levels of staffing and training at the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham are in line with proposals announced by the Shipping Minister in November 2011.

Motor Vehicles: Northern Ireland

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure that Northern Ireland drivers can still have access to six counties, Belfast, and Londonderry specific registration numbers. [203165]

Stephen Hammond: There will be no change when the delivery of Northern Ireland vehicle registration and licensing services is centralised at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in Swansea. Motorists in Northern Ireland will continue to be able to request specific registration numbers relating to the six counties, Belfast and Londonderry.

New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what procedures his Department has put in place to ensure that statutory undertakers carrying out emergency works give notice to street authorities as required under section 57 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991; and if he will make a statement. [203465]

Mr Goodwill: Given that it is for highway authorities to enforce the legislation which governs the provision of notice for emergency works and the consequences of a failure to do so, the Department for Transport does not prescribe procedures.

7 July 2014 : Column 166W

The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 provides local authorities with the powers to take action against statutory under-takers who do not comply with the requirements of section 57. This is further supported by The Street Works (Registers, Notices, Directions and Designations) (England) Regulations 2007, The Street Works (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2007 and the 'Code of Practice for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters'.

Pay

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which organisations collect subscriptions through the employers' payroll service in his Department and its agencies. [203109]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport was formed in 2002 and consists of a central Department and five executive agencies as follows:

Highways Agency (HA)

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

We have classified subscriptions as monthly payments that give an employee membership of an organisation; we have not included payments collected via payroll that are either charity donations or health care plans which are not classed as subscriptions.

The central Department and its executive agencies makes provision for the collection of subscriptions via payroll to the following organisations:

DFT(C)

Civil Service Sports Council

Civil Service Club

The Sports and Recreation Association of the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport (SPARTA)

Department of Environment Sports and Social

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)

Prospect Trade Union

Transport and General Workers Union

HA

Civil Service Sports Council

Civil Service Club

Sports and Social Highways Agency

Revenue and Customs Sports and Leisure Association

Minerva Sports and Social Association

PCS

Prospect Trade Union

UNISON

MCA

PCS

Prospect Trade Union

SPARTA

Civil Service Sports Council

DVSA

Civil Service Sports Council

PCS

Prospect Trade Union

SPARTA

7 July 2014 : Column 167W

UNITE

VCA

Civil Service Sports Council

PCS

Prospect Trade Union

DVLA

Civil Service Sports Council

SPARTA

PCS