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2 Nov 2011 : Column WA259

Written Answers

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Agriculture: Dairy Farms


Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The implementation of the nitrates directive is a devolved matter, with the impact assessments carried out separately within each Administration. The last impact assessment accompanying the nitrates directive review for England was undertaken and published on the Defra website in 2007.

This 2007 impact assessment considered the impact of the proposed amendments to the implementation of the nitrates directive in England. It estimated that the damage cost of water pollution from agriculture in England and Wales was in the region of £445 million to £872 million per year, of which around £196 million to £497 million was accounted for by the impact of agriculture on river and wetland ecosystems and natural habitats. The assessment included a 2004 Ofwat estimate that the cost to the water industry to reduce high nitrate levels caused by diffuse pollution in drinking water supplies would be £288 million (capital expenditure) and £6 million per annum (operating expenditure) for the 2005-10 period.

The assessment identified that the main private sector group that would have been affected by revisions to the designations and action programme measures was farmers and, in particular, livestock farmers. These costs reveal that under each action programme option and designation coverage scenario, the dairy sector and arable sector were most likely to be the most significantly affected. Low-end cost estimates showed the dairy sector bearing almost two-thirds of the action programme costs, whilst high-end cost estimates showed both the arable and dairy sector bearing a third to almost half of the action programme cost. The cost to the dairy sector was estimated between £32 million and £42 million through the life of the action programme. The impact assessment included estimates of the potential savings arising if the Government sought a dairy derogation from the EU. For each scenario, the costs to the dairy sector were approximately half where the derogation was made compared to the situation where there was no derogation. The derogation was subsequently granted.

The implementation of the water framework directive (WFD) is also a devolved matter. Impact assessments are also carried out separately within each Administration.

In England, no separate cost assessment of the impact of WFD on dairy farmers has been undertaken. The national WFD impact assessment in 2007 estimated overall potential costs of implementation for agriculture

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and rural land management of £142.1 million per annum, at 2007 prices over a 43-year period. However, the process of determining what specific environmental improvement and protection measures are adopted involves an assessment of costs and benefits which may conclude that costs are disproportionate. Where this is the case, measures would not be implemented.

The focus in the first river basin management plans, covering the period 2009-15, is on encouraging voluntary change in farming behaviour via the uptake of best practice advice and raising awareness of Codes of Practice through targeted information campaigns. From the impact assessments of the river basin management plans, it is estimated that the cost to the whole of the agriculture and rural land management sector during the first cycle of river basin management is £209,000 (based on 2008 prices).

The Environment Agency is developing economic tools for the purpose of assessing costs and benefits of environmental improvement measures that will be able to provide information for the dairy industry in the future. The tools will be used in planning measures which will be subject to consultation and published in the next river basin management plans.

Banking: Switzerland


Asked by Lord Willoughby de Broke

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government do not intend to legislate to prohibit British subjects from holding bank accounts in Switzerland.

The UK and Switzerland signed an agreement on 6 October 2011, which will ensure the effective taxation of bank accounts held by UK residents in Switzerland.



Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The average claim processing time for income support (IS), jobseeker's allowance (JSA), and employment and support allowance (ESA) is referred to as average actual clearance time (AACT).

For IS, the start date is the date the claim satisfies all the evidence requirements. The end date is the date a formal decision is made on the claim and a notification is issued to the customer on entitlement.

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For JSA and ESA, the start date is either the date the customer first contacted Jobcentre Plus or the customer's first day of unemployment/sickness, whichever is the later. The end date is the date a formal decision is made on the claim and a notification is issued to the customer on entitlement.

The latest information we have is for September 2011, and this is listed below.

AACT in month September


7.5 days


9.5 days


9.2 days

AACT Year To Date September


7.1 days


9.6 days


10.0 days

The source of the above data is the Management Information System Programme (MISP). MISP is the departmental performance management, data capture and reporting tool. This type of internal management information does not form part of the official statistics outputs that are released by the department in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice.

The average processing time for housing benefit new claims in 2010-11 was 22 calendar days. Housing benefit is administered by local authorities on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Housing Benefit Official Statistics are informed by results from data submitted to DWP by each local authority on a monthly basis via the Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE). The latest Official Statistics for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit processing times are available via the DWP website at with results for quarter 1 2011-12 released at 26 October 2011.

Child (CTC) and working tax credits (WTC) claims are administered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The time taken to process a new claim for tax credits can vary depending on claimants' circumstances. HMRC are paying new child (CTC) and working tax credits (WTC) claims in an average of around 26 calendar days against a target of 23 days. The source of this data is the core national tax credit system.

Children: Care


Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Based on the information recorded on the Section 251 out-turn statement for the year 2009-10, the total expenditure on residential care for looked after children, across all local authorities in England, was £983,384,098.

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The out-turn statement for the year 2009-10 is available in the link below: funding/section251/archive/b0068383/section-251-data-archive/outturn-data---detailed-level-2008-09-onwards.

Children: Looked-after Children


Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The number of young people now aged 19, but who were looked after when aged 16, in higher education is shown in table 1 below. Information is shown for both 2010 and 2011 (the latest year for which information is available).

Table 1: Children now aged 19 years old who were looked after when aged 16 years in higher education 1,2,3
Years ending 31 March 2010 and 2011
Coverage: England
Numbers and percentages





All children now aged 19 years old who were looked after on 1 April 2007 or 2008 when aged 16 years old




In higher education i.e. studies beyondA level





Full time





Part time





Source: SSDA 903

1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

2. Figures exclude children who were looked after on 1 April aged 16 (in their 17th year) under an agreed series of short term placements.

3. Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.

4. Children now aged 19 years old who were looked after on 1 April 2007 then aged 16 years old (in their 17th year)

5. Children now aged 19 years old who were looked after on 1 April 2008 then aged 16 years old (in their 17th year)

- Negligible. Percentage below 0.5°/

The information given above has also been published in Table F1 of the department's Statistical First Release, Children Looked After by Local Authorities in England (including adoption and care leavers)-year ending 31 March 2011. This can be found at: http://www.

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Elections: Voting System


Asked by Lord Ashcroft

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Representation of the People Act 1918 provided that only British subjects could register as electors. The term "British subject" then included any person who owed allegiance to the Crown, regardless of the Crown territory in which he or she was born. In general terms, this included citizens who became Commonwealth citizens under the British Nationality Act 1981. The then Government gave an undertaking to preserve certain existing rights of Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK, including the right to vote. This position reflects the historical ties between the UK and Commonwealth countries, rather than reciprocal arrangements.

It is not the case that every citizen of a Commonwealth country who is at any time present in the UK is eligible to be included in the register. This right is restricted in electoral law to qualifying Commonwealth citizens. They are defined as "not those who require leave to enter or remain under the Immigration Act 1971" or "those who do require leave, but for the time being have any description of such leave".

Finance: Credit Easing


Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The purpose of quantitative easing (QE) is to provide the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) with an additional policy tool to meet the 2 per cent inflation target. Following the MPC's October meetings, the Governor wrote to the Chancellor on 6 October 2011, stating that "in order to keep inflation on track to meet the target over the medium term, the committee judged that it was necessary to inject further monetary stimulus into the economy".

The Government are considering options on credit easing. Such interventions should complement the MPC's QE. The Chancellor will provide more details on credit easing at the autumn statement on 29 November.

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Genetically Modified Organisms


Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): I shall place in the Library a copy of the risk assessment provided by Oxitec. Some material has been redacted for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Asked by The Countess of Mar

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The department has been notified of three shipments which fall within the scope of EC Regulation 1946/2003. These have been made by Oxitec Ltd. and have all consisted of eggs containing genetically modified sterile male mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti.

The details requested are given in the table below:

Date of exportDate Defra received notificationDate of receipt of notification by importing partyDestination




Cayman Islands









Oxitec Ltd has also exported these eggs on other occasions but these have been classified as contained use, so did not require notification under EC Regulation 1946/2003.

Government Departments: Legal Fees


Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport and its seven executive agencies incur expenditure on a range of legal services each year. To confirm that expenditure for the years 2008-10 and the estimated expenditure for the years 2011-12 would incur a disproportionate cost. However the following information is readily available.

The department employs qualified lawyers as civil servants to deal with legal matters. The numbers of lawyers employed for the requested periods are:

2008-09-85; 2009-10-87; 2010-11-69; and 2011-12-72.

The above figures include one lawyer based at the DVLA in Swansea.

Excluding the costs of the department's own Legal Service, the following sums have been spent on legal fees (or it is estimated that they will spent).

2008-092009-102010-112011-12 (Estimate)

DfT (Central Department)




(not known)

Highways Agency




(not known)

Vehicle Certification Agency





Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency





Maritime and Coastguard Agency





*Information not available without incurring disproportionate cost.

Government Departments: Major Projects List


Asked by Lord Touhig

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Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Government intend to publish an annual report on major projects at the end of the year. This will include information on the high risk, high value projects which make up the Government's major projects portfolio (GMPP).

The Major Projects Authority is concerned with all projects that are of sufficient value and/or importance to be subject to the HM Treasury spend approval process.

Government: Official Photographs


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): No official photographs of the Home Secretary have been taken at events in the past six months.

Gypsies and Travellers: Dale Farm


Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The clearance of the unauthorised Traveller site at Dale Farm is a matter for Basildon Council. We understand that Basildon Council has been working with the relevant local agencies to ensure that the impact of eviction on vulnerable people and those with other specific needs is taken into account. This is in addition to the council's public commitment to honour its statutory homelessness duty to all those eligible to apply.

Health: Autism Spectrum Disorder


Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The definition of autism set out in Fulfilling and rewarding lives, the Strategy for adults with autism in England (2010) follows

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the World Health Organisation's International Statistical Classification of Diseases-10 criteria which define autism as a lifelong condition that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people, and how a person makes sense of the world around them. In line with the approach to terminology adopted by key autism representative organisations, including the National Autistic Society, as well as the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, "autism" was used as an umbrella term for conditions such as Asperger's syndrome, autistic spectrum disorder, autistic spectrum condition, autistic spectrum difference and neuro-diversity.

Autism is an internationally recognised disorder and the Government's position is that it is not necessary to enact legislation that confers a legal definition or recognition. The Equality Act 2010 protects disabled people who have "a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". This includes people with autism and ensures that they are protected from discrimination.

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Justice: Out-of-court Disposals


Asked by The Lord Bishop of Hereford

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Figures on previous criminal histories for those receiving out-of-court disposals are limited to cautions (including reprimands and warnings for juveniles) and convictions.

The following table shows offenders receiving a reprimand, warning or caution in 2010 by number of previous convictions and cautions.

These figures relate to separate cautioning occasions; where an offender was cautioned on the same occasion for several offences it is the details of the primary offence that have been presented. These figures have been drawn from the police's administrative IT system, the police national computer, which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The figures are provisional and subject to change as more information is recorded by the police.

Offenders receiving a reprimand, warning or caution by age group and number of previous convictions and cautions in 2010
England and WalesNumber and percentage
Number of previous convictions/cautions
01-23-67-1011-1415+All offenders






































All ages








These figures cover offenders cautioned for indictable offences and certain summary offences that are recorded by the police (they exclude a range of less serious summary offences such as television licence evasion, speeding and vehicle tax offences).

Major Projects Review Group


Asked by Lord Touhig

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Minister for the Cabinet Office announced the creation of the Major Projects Authority in February 2011, in order to significantly improve the success rate of major projects across central government.

The Major Projects Review Group (MPRG) acts as part of the assurance process and was initially established in January 2007 to improve the performance of major projects. The MPRG is a pool of experts, from which panels are put together to scrutinise the largest and most complex major Government projects.

The Government will publish an annual report on the progress of the major projects portfolio each year.

Asked by Lord Touhig

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Major Projects Authority has a clear, enforceable mandate from the Prime Minister for the oversight and direction of major projects funded and delivered by central government. It has been established to ensure firmer control of the Government's major projects both at the individual and the portfolio level.

The requirements of that mandate are available at:

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Migrant Workers: Bulgarians and Romanians


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The number of work permit variants issued to Bulgarian and Romanian (EU2) nationals is available on the Home Office website in the "European Economic Area data tables". The most recent statistics available show that a total of 174,577 work permit variants were issued to EU2 nationals between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2010.

The figures for national insurance numbers issued to Bulgarian and Romanian (EU2) nationals previously provided by Lord Freud on 20 June cover 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2010. This figure was 135,740.

The difference is not greater than expected and will not be investigated further. An individual worker will be issued with only one national insurance number, but some EU2 nationals will receive more than one work permit, as they are required to hold a new work permit in respect of each job they undertake. Some other EU2 workers will receive a work permit but not, in the end, take up employment in this country.

National Lottery: Tickets


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) makes no assessment of the geographical distribution of the purchase of lottery tickets. The National Lottery operator, Camelot, and the regulator the National Lottery Commission(NLC), ensure that total sales figures broken down by game type, week by week, are made available on a monthly basis with quarterly sales reports providing some additional commentary. The link to the agreed reporting timetable for this financial year, and links to the reports can be found on the NLC website here:

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Lottery funding is based on good causes and the impact it can have, and awarded by the Lottery distributing bodies in response to competitive applications, not ticket sales. DCMS's Lottery Grants Database, which uses information provided by the Lottery distributing bodies, provides details of Lottery grants that have been made, and is searchable online at www.

NHS: Health Education England


Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Secretary of State currently delegates responsibility for education and training to the strategic health authorities (SHAs), which will remain in place until the end of March 2013. Health Education England (HEE) will be established as a special health authority in 2012 with a view to operate in shadow form from October 2012 and be fully operational by April 2013. HEE will work with the SHAs to ensure a carefully managed transition of functions into the new system.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

Earl Howe: The NHS Future Forum is continuing to look at education and training in its second phase of work this autumn. Once the Future Forum has concluded this work, the Government intend to publish more detail on the new framework for education and training, including the role and responsibilities of Health Education England.

NHS: Public Health England


Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Public Health England will be established as an executive agency on 1 April 2013, subject to the completion of the normal government approval processes for establishing new bodies.

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Planning: Green Belt


Asked by Lord Harrison

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Planning policy on green belts is currently set out in Planning Policy Guidance 2: Green belts. The Government have consulted on the draft national planning policy framework which, when adopted, will replace all planning policy statements and guidance, apart from Planning Policy Statement 10, and will include the Government's policy on the green belt.

Railways: Stations


Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: In England, Scotland and Wales, 21 stations have been opened in the past five years.

Demand forecasts are made to produce a business case to build a new station. However, new stations are not generally given targets by their promoters to achieve once they are operational. The department does not therefore hold information on the number of stations that have failed to meet their targets with regard to passenger numbers or revenue. This information may be available from individual station promoters.

DfT recently commissioned a report called the "New Stations Study" which investigates whether or not actual demand at new stations is significantly different from forecast demand at new stations. Page 21 of the report contains information on forecast and observed demand at new stations for which information has been supplied by promoters. The report can be accessed on the DfT website at:

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: No specific work is planned to determine station usage and demand forecasts for newly opened railway lines and stations. The Department for Transport

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includes newly opened stations and new lines into our rail forecasting models as part of its regular update. It is not possible to estimate the cost of this work as it is carried out in conjunction with other updates.

A report entitled Station Usage and Demand Forecasts for Newly Opened Railway Lines and Stations was commissioned by the department and has recently been published on the department's website1.




Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Baroness Northover: The Government fully support the efforts of the United Nations Acting Humanitarian Co-ordinator in calling on both the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to stop the fighting in Southern Kordofan and other conflict affected areas of Sudan and to find a political and negotiated solution to the conflict. We also support his calls for unconstrained humanitarian access to affected civilians. The Government are encouraging the humanitarian co-ordinator to also find ways to build trust and understanding between all stakeholders in order to strengthen dialogue with the Government of Sudan to address the humanitarian needs of civilians in conflict affected areas.

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles


Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: I refer the noble Lord to my answer of 17 October 2011 (Official Report, cols. WA 37-8) on the basis for the 100:1 factor. Due to the length of time since the 100:1 weighting factor came into usage as part of the highways maintenance relative needs formula, I am afraid the original calculations could only be replicated at a disproportionate cost.



Asked by Baroness Hamwee

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Between 1 April 2009 and 30 June 2011 the following were referred into the national referral mechanism:

(a) 19 persons who originally entered the United Kingdom on an overseas domestic worker (visitor) visa;(b) 15 persons who originally entered the United Kingdom on an overseas domestic worker (other) visa; and(c) 14 persons who originally entered the United Kingdom on an overseas domestic worker (diplomat) visa.

These data are based on management information and as such have not been quality assured as part of the production of National Statistics outputs. The data are provisional and subject to change.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Henley: As announced by the Home Secretary on 22 March this year, all education providers wishing to sponsor international students through tier 4 of the points-based system now need to meet new educational oversight requirements by being inspected, audited or reviewed by one of the eight publicly recognised bodies. They must also meet more rigorous immigration compliance requirements by becoming highly trusted sponsors (HTS).

The introduction of a new system of robust educational oversight, by the bodies that already have a statutory role in the inspection of educational provision in the UK, replaces the previous accreditation regime by membership-based organisations. The rationale for this was the widespread evidence that the previous regime proved inadequate in tackling the low standards of educational provision and abuse of the immigration system encountered in the privately funded sector.

The two requirements on sponsors (to meet minimum immigration compliance and educational oversight standards) are assessed separately due to the expertise and resource particular to each organisation. As the

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experts in immigration control, the UK Border Agency assesses immigration compliance (such as the usage of CAS or student compliance with the terms of their visa) through the sponsorship system (which now requires all sponsors to become a HTS). As the education specialists, the educational oversight bodies (and formerly the five private accreditation bodies) inspect/review educational standards.

War Memorials


Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Baroness Rawlings: There is no zero-rate VAT for the construction of memorials. However, the cost of VAT incurred by charities and faith groups in the construction, renovation and maintenance of memorials, can be reclaimed through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Memorial Grant Scheme, subject to the claims meeting the published eligibility criteria. From 2011-12 onwards, the Memorial Grant Scheme has a fixed annual budget of approximately £0.5 million.

Waste Management: Fly Tipping


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for fly tipping offences in the Metropolitan and City of London police force areas from 1990 to 2010 are given in the table below, which provides the latest available information.

These data are given by police force area, as the Ministry of Justice does not hold such information at borough level. It is planned to release court proceedings data for 2011 in spring 2012.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for fly-tipping offences(1), Metropolitan and City of London police force areas, 1990 to 2010(2)(3)
Police force area1990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008(4)20092010

Met. fly tipping






















City of London fly tipping






















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(1) Includes offences under Environmental Protection Act 1990, s.33(6)(8)(9), 34 & 59; Control of Pollution Act (Amendment) Act 1989, s.1; Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978.

(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that

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these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(4) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates' court for April, July and August 2008.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.

Ref: IOS 618-11

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