Written Answers to Questions

Monday 30 June 2014

Prime Minister

Fracking

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to establish a Cabinet Committee chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to direct and co-ordinate policy on the development of shale gas. [202387]

The Prime Minister: Issues relating to shale gas are considered at a number of Cabinet Committees including the Economic Affairs and Growth and Enterprise Committees.

Attorney-General

Rape: Convictions

Helen Jones: To ask the Attorney-General what assessment he has made of the reasons for the fall in the percentage rate of convictions in rape cases between 2012-13 and 2013-14; and if he will make a statement. [202401]

The Solicitor-General: The Rape National Scrutiny Panel led by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the National Policing lead for rape, considered the investigation and prosecution of rape cases including their referral from the police to the CPS. A range of issues have been identified that may have contributed to the drop in conviction rates. The joint Crown Prosecution Service/police Rape Action Plan published on 6 June 2014 aims to address these.

Wales

Official Visits

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what visits each of the Ministers in his Department have made since January 2013; and what the purpose of each such visit was. [200496]

Mr David Jones: The information requested is enclosed in the following tables.

Secretary of State for Wales, Rt hon David Jones MP
January 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Tata Steel, Port Talbot

Economy and manufacturing themed

Hitachi Durham

Rail electrification focused

Airbus, Broughton

Economy and manufacturing themed

JCB Transmissions, Wrexham

Economy and manufacturing themed

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February 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Lysaght Institute, Newport

Wales Office Jobs Summit

March 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Toyota UK Manufacturing, Deeside

Economy and manufacturing themed

Bodnant Gardens

Wales Tourism Week

Wales Mountain Zoo

Wales Tourism Week

Asia visit-Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam

Trade mission on behalf of UK Government

Engineering Education Scheme-Wales-Big Bang North Wales, Llandudno

Attending to officially open the event

RICS Energy Conference, Cardiff

Keynote speaker

April 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Stena Line, Holyhead Port

Economy and infrastructure themed

Valero Refinery, Pembrokeshire

Energy themed

Murco Refinery, Pembrokeshire

Energy themed

Milford Haven Port Authority

Economy and infrastructure themed

Torquing Group, Pembroke Dock

Economy and rural SME focused

Ledwood Engineering, Pembroke Dock

Economy and rural SME focused

Swansea University

Research and Development focused

Tomos Watkin Brewery, Swansea

Economy and SME focused

Virgin Media, Swansea

Economy and SME focused

Swansea City Football Club

Economy focused

Tata Steel, Port Talbot

Economy and manufacturing themed

SPECIFIC, Baglan

Research and development focused

Loughor Viaduct, Swansea

Rail infrastructure related

Cardiff Business Club lunch

Hosting German Ambassador

May 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Deeside Industrial Park Business Forum

Speaking engagement

National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff

Delivering Queen’s Speech to National Assembly for Wales

June 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Ebbw Vale-Circuit of Wales proposed site

Regeneration themed-Joint visit at request of Nick Smith MP

The Works, Ebbw Vale

Regeneration-joint visit at request of Nick Smith MP

BA Maintenance Centre, Cardiff

Aerospace and manufacturing themed

Paris International Airshow

Aerospace and economy themed

Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff Bay

Delivering Wales in the Union keynote speech

July 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Llangollen Eisteddfod

Culture themed

Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells

Agriculture and rural affairs

Policy Forum for Wales event

Delivering keynote speech on infrastructure

Yale College, Wrexham

Wales Office North Wales Jobs Summit

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August 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

National Eisteddfod Wales, Denbigh

Culture themed

Coleg Menai Energy Centre, Llangefni

Skills and nuclear energy-joint visit with Minister of State for Energy, Michael Fallon MP

Horizon Nuclear Power, Anglesey

Energy-joint visit with Minister of State for Energy, Michael Fallon MP

Denbigh and Flint Show

Agriculture and rural affairs-joint visit with Secretary of State for DEFRA

National Youth Orchestra of Wales concert, Llandudno

Culture themed – Representing the Wales Office

September 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Atticus Digital

Creative industries and SME focused-joint visit with UKTI

Cardiff Medicentre, University of Wales Hospital

SME and research and development focused-joint visit with UKTI

Wales Office North Wales Business Reception, Gyrn Castle

SME and economy focused

EADS-DSEI Exhibition, Excel Centre, London

Defence industry focused

Regional Society of Council Clerks conference, Llandudno

Keynote speaker

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

In support of Swansea Bay City of Culture bid

Hafod Copperworks, Swansea

In support of Swansea Bay City of Culture bid

Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea

In support of Swansea Bay City of Culture bid

October 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

ACT Training, Cardiff

SME and Fast Growth 50 focused

RMS, Newport

SME and Fast Growth 50 focused

Smart Solutions, Newport

SME and Fast Growth 50 focused

Fast Growth 50 Awards, Cardiff

SME focused awards ceremony-keynote speaker

Airbus, Toulouse

Aerospace focused visit with Lord Green

GE Aviation, Nantgarw

Aerospace and apprenticeship focused

Cardiff School of Art and Design

Presenting Royal prefix to Royal Watercolour Society of Wales on behalf of UK Government

November 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Bali Democracy Forum

International Conference

Media Wales, Cardiff

Joint visit with the Prime Minister

Owens Logistics, Newport

M4 improvements announcement-Joint visit with the Prime Minister

Brecon Army Museum

Heritage, culture and defence related

Singapore and Indonesia visit

Trade mission on behalf of UK Government

Heathrow T2 visit

Economy and infrastructure focused-Welsh SME links to build

Royal Mint, Llantrisant

Striking of Remembrance Day coin

National Centre for Product Design and Development Research, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Research and development focused

The Durham Union Society, Durham

Delivering keynote speech on the Union

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December 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Working Links, Bridgend

Welfare reform themed – joint visit with Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith MP

Sony UK Technology Centre, Bridgend

Manufacturing and re-shoring focused

Biotec Services International, Bridgend

Research and development focused

January 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce,

Rural economy focused

Quartix, Newtown

SME and rural economy focused

Castalum, Newtown

Manufacturing and rural economy focused

Firestone site, Wrexham

Visit to site of new north Wales prison development-joint visit with Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright MP

Redwither Tower, Wrexham

SME supplier event for north Wales prison development-joint visit with Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright MP

February 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Malaysia and Oman

Overseas trade mission on behalf of UK Government

Airbus, Broughton

Economy focused visit with Indonesian Ambassador

Toyota UK Manufacturing, Deeside

Economy focused visit with Indonesian Ambassador

Chirk Castle, Wrexham

Wales Tourism Week

Aberdeen

Regional Cabinet

Wales Office Business Reception, Cardiff

SME and economy focused

March 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Paris

UKTI Trade mission with Welsh SMEs

Ruthin Inner Wheel

International Women’s Day

Ty Llewelyn Reserves Centre, Cardiff

614 Squadron-RAF Reserves Inaugural Information Day

Infrastructure UK breakfast meeting, Ruthin

CBI and Wales Office initiative

April 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Port of Mostyn

Infrastructure and energy focused

Raytheon UK, Broughton

Aerospace and manufacturing focused

PPA Ltd, Broughton

SME and aerospace supply chain focused

Consort Precision Diamond Co., Kinmel Bay

SME and aerospace supply chain focused

Cawdor Cars, Carmarthen

Tackling rural youth unemployment

University of Wales Trinity St David, Carmarthen

West Wales Jobs Summit

May 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

HMS Dragon, Cardiff Bay

NATO Summit-Joint visit with First Minister of Wales

Llandegla Mountain Bike Centre

Queen’s Baton Relay tour of Wales

CBI North Wales dinner, Ewloe

Representing Wales Office

Caernarfon Beer Festival

Officially opening the event

Bangor College China Signing Ceremony, Bangor University

Speaking engagement

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June 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

National Assembly for Wales

Delivering Queen’s Speech to National Assembly for Wales

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb MP
January 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Dyfed Powys Police

Law and order themed visit

February 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

ABP Ports, Newport

Infrastructure themed

ABP Ports, Cardiff

Infrastructure themed

March 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Celtic Quest, Abereiddy

Wales Tourism Week

April 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Valero Refinery, Pembrokeshire

Energy themed

Murco Refinery, Pembrokeshire

Energy themed

Milford Haven Port Authority

Economy and infrastructure themed

British Gas Training Academy

Skills, energy and Green Deal themed

May 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Cardiff Airport

Economy themed-joint visit with former Aviation Minister, Simon Burns MP

BA Maintenance Centre, Cardiff

Aerospace and manufacturing themed-joint visit with former Minister of State for Transport, Simon Burns MP

Urdd Eisteddfod, Boncath

Culture themed

June 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Aberdare Jobcentre Plus

Welfare reform themed

Institute for the Blind, Merthyr Tydfil

Welfare reform themed

Working Links, Treorchy

Welfare reform themed

Milford Haven Port Authority

Infrastructure themed-joint visit with Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond

July 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Celsa UK, Cardiff

Manufacturing and infrastructure themed

Barclays, Cardiff

Economy themed

Disability Employment Conference, Cardiff

Regional link up to London from Cardiff

September 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Wales Office North Wales Business Reception, Gyrn Castle

SME and economy focused

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October 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Newport Jobcentre Plus

Welfare reform themed

Work Programme, Newport City Council

Welfare reform themed

Intellectual Property Office, Newport

Fact finding visit

November 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Parc Prison, Bridgend

Law and order themed-joint visit with Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright MP

Cardiff Probation Trust

Law and order themed-joint visit with Prisons Minister, Jeremy Wright MP

Newport Passport Office

Immigration themed visit with former Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP

February 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Policy Forum for Wales Seminar, Cardiff

Welfare reform keynote speech

Bargoed Library, Caerphilly

Welfare reform and Universal Credit

Citizens Advice Bureau, Caerphilly

Welfare reform and Universal Credit

March 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Kronsopan Ltd, Wrexham

Manufacturing and Budget 2014 themed

April 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Cardiff Superconnected Cities Demonstrator Hub

Broadband infrastructure themed

May 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Celsa UK, Cardiff

Manufacturing and energy intensive industries focused

Cardiff Airport

Economy themed visit

Stagecraft, Newtown

SME and rural economy focused

Makefast, Newtown

SME and rural economy focused

Trax JX Newtown

SME and rural economy focused

St Davids, Pembrokeshire

Queen’s Baton Relay tour of Wales

June 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

General Dynamics UK, Blackwood

Defence related

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Baroness Randerson
January 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Oxfam Forest Children’s Centre, Newport

Big Society themed

Holocaust Memorial Day event, Cardiff

Holocaust Memorial Day

February 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Swansea University

Higher education and research and development themed

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Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan

Wales Tourism Week

St Fagans Museum, Cardiff

Wales Tourism Week

Cardiff Whitewater Centre

Wales Tourism Week

Lysaght Institute, Newport

Wales Office Jobs Summit

Cardiff Castle

Territorial Army/Reservists launch event

March 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Newport Women’s Aid

International Women’s Day

Sport Wales, Cardiff

Sport and health themed

June 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Eve of Armed Forces Day event, Cardiff

In support of Armed Forces Day

Cardiff Castle Armed Forces Day event

In support of Armed Forces Day

CBI Wales Summer Luncheon, Cardiff Bay

Representing Wales Office

St John Cymru: Wales Annual Festival and Investiture 2013, Llandaff

Representing Wales Office

July 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

National Botanic Gardens of Wales

Tourism themed

Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells

Agriculture and rural affairs themed

Yale College, Wrexham

Wales Office North Wales Jobs Summit

Live Music Act Roundtable, Cardiff

Representing Wales Office

August 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

National Eisteddfod Wales, Denbigh

Culture themed

Brecon Jazz Festival

Culture themed

Radnorshire Tourism and Farm Centres

Tourism themed

Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages

Tourism themed

Oystermouth Castle, Gower

In support of Swansea Bay City of Culture bid

September 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

British Red Cross, Maelor Hospital, Wrexham

Voluntary sector themed

Wales Office North Wales Business Reception, Gyrn Castle

SME and economy focused

October 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Marks & Spencer, Cardiff

Tackling youth unemployment-in support of Prince’s Trust and Feeding Britain’s Future programme

Firing Line Museum, Cardiff Castle

In support of Cymru’n Cofio/Wales Remembers 1914-1918 FWW event

National Museum Wales 65th anniversary, St Fagans, Cardiff

Culture themed

Dedication Service-Welsh National Mining Memorial and Centenary of the Universal Colliery Memorial, Nant y Parc School, Caerphilly

Heritage themed

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November 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

Aberystwyth University

Higher education themed

IBERS, Aberystwyth

Agriculture and research and development themed

National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Education, culture and heritage themed

Mid Wales Rape Support Centre, Aberystwyth

Equality themed

Wales Tourism Awards, Llandudno

Speaking engagement

Bodnant Food Centre, Conwy

Tourism themed following Wales Tourism Awards

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Llangollen

Tourism themed ahead of Wales Tourism Awards

National Service of Remembrance for Wales service, Cardiff

Representing the Wales Office

December 2013
LocationPurpose of visit

The Open University in Wales event, Cardiff

Higher education focus

January 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Optic Glyndwr, Glyndwr University

Research and development focused

Crest Cooperative, Llandudno

Big Society Awards themed

Viability, Conwy

Big Society themed

Ysgol Bro Cernyw, Llangernyw

Presenting Big Society Award to Vi-Ability social enterprise on behalf of the Prime Minister

February 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon

Wales Tourism Week and NATO Summit focused

Tredegar House, Newport

Wales Tourism Week and NATO Summit focused

Want to Work Awards, Swansea

Presenting award

March 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff

Higher education and culture focused

April 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Gwent Police, Cwmbran

Human trafficking and tackling modern slavery focused

Able Radio, Pontypool

Big Society themed

May 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre

Queen’s Baton Relay tour of Wales

June 2014
LocationPurpose of visit

Cardiff University’s Hadyn Ellis Building

Higher education and research and development focused

Cardiff University

Attendance at Innovation and Impact Awards

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Performance Appraisal

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales 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. [202065]

Stephen Crabb: The levels of performance ratings for staff at the Wales Office were as follows:

12.5% were assessed as “Outstanding”;

80% were assessed as “Good”; and

7.5% were assessed as “Must Improve”.

This is in line with the Ministry of Justice's guided distribution range. The Wales Office is unable to confirm the performance rating for disabled staff as, in accordance with Cabinet Office guidelines, the Department does not disclose information relating to five or fewer members of staff.

Church Commissioners

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, how many apprentices the Church Commissioners have employed in the last 12 months. [201920]

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners currently directly employ one member of staff on an apprenticeship scheme; this role is designed to give experience of supporting the administrative work of the national institutional structures of the Church of England. There is an intention to roll out apprenticeships more widely should this trial proves successful.

Within the Church of England, there are jobs and opportunities for skilled professionals and their students to undertake apprenticeships, training, or conservation work on and within its buildings, stone/carpentry yards and stained glass workshops choir and organ schools.

There are also some more informal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities within the local and national structures that are organised locally by those concerned.

Northern Ireland

Aviation

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what work has been undertaken by officials in her Department to support Northern Ireland's regional and international air links in 2014 to date. [202089]

Mr Robathan: A strong network of air links is vital to boost both trade and tourism to Northern Ireland as well as benefiting the general public.

My officials remain in contact with their counterparts in the Department for Transport, the Northern Ireland Departments of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Regional Development to support air links from Northern Ireland and discuss matters that arise.

30 Jun 2014 : Column 346W

British Irish Council

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what new actions were allocated to the Government at the summit meeting of the British-Irish Council in June 2014. [201723]

Mrs Villiers: The British-Irish Council Summit of 13 June discussed the economy, the economic importance of transport links between Member Administrations and the on-going work of the British-Irish Council. As part of the discussion on the future work of the British-Irish Council, Ministers agreed that the Collaborative Spatial Planning work sector should continue to work together to identify opportunities for synergy with other work sectors of the Council. The communiqué agreed by all Administrations can be found here:

http://www.britishirishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/attachments/22%20-%20Twenty%20Second%20Summit%20-%20Guernsey%20-%2013%20June%202014.pdf

Separately, the Deputy Prime Minister and I also held discussions with the First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland on a range of current issues, including the party leader talks on flags, parading and the past.

Interception Warrants

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many interception warrants were (a) issued, (b) declined and (c) cancelled by her Department under (i) section 8(1) and (ii) section 8(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in the last six months for which figures are available. [201673]

Mrs Villiers: The Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, publishes statistics on the total number of interception warrants authorised annually. His 2013 Annual Report states that 2,760 interception warrants were authorised in 2013 (under both sections 8(1) and 8(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000), a reduction of 19% on the same figure for 2012, and that 1,669 such warrants were extant on 31 December 2013. As a matter of longstanding practice we do not provide more detailed breakdowns of statistics relating to interception warrants.

Parades: Belfast

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) discussions and (b) correspondence she has had with the Parades Commission over summer parades in North Belfast. [202146]

Mrs Villiers: I met the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland (PCNI) on 14 May this year for a routine discussion about the general prospects for the 2014 parading season. I have had no correspondence or discussions with the PCNI regarding operational matters in respect of specific summer parades in any area of Northern Ireland.

The Parades Commission wrote to me on 18 June 2014. I acknowledged this correspondence in a letter assuring the Commission that it has the fullest support of this Government in carrying out its duties.

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Performance Appraisal

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of (a) disabled and (b) all other staff employed by her Department received each level of performance rating in their end of year performance assessment for 2013-14. [202062]

Mrs Villiers: There are currently three members of staff, 3% of the workforce, employed by my Department who are declared disabled, and who received a performance assessment for 2013-14. Given the small numbers involved, it would not be appropriate to provide any further breakdown as to do so would risk the identification of the individuals concerned.

For staff grades A to F, who are due to receive their 2013-14 annual performance assessment; 13% of staff have received an outstanding box marking, 86% received a good box marking and 1% received a must improve box marking for the 2013-14 reporting year.

Terrorism

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by which (a) documents and (b) other means the recipients of a Royal Pardon, following the exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, are able to demonstrate to a court or any law enforcement agency, that they are the beneficiaries of exercise of the Royal Prerogative; and if she will make a statement. [199282]

Mrs Villiers: Following a search of the records held by the Northern Ireland Office, no evidence has been found to indicate that between 1979 and 2002 the RPM was used to do anything other than to remit (i.e. shorten) the sentences of individuals who had already been convicted of offences. It is therefore the release from custody that demonstrates the exercise of the RPM.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Register: Northern Ireland

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to the answer of 1 April 2014, Official Report, columns 555-6W, on electoral register, Northern Ireland, what actions resulted from his discussions with the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office concerning the schools programme for electoral registration. [202243]

Greg Clark: The Government has made the Rock Enrol learning resource freely available on the gov.uk and Times Education Supplement website among others.

Additionally, the recent introduction of online registration in England and Wales will make it more convenient for young people to register to vote.

Electoral Register: Young People

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to the answer of 28 January 2014, Official Report, column 510W, on electoral register: young people, how much funding his Department has made

30 Jun 2014 : Column 348W

available to

(a)

Rock Enroll and

(b)

Bite the Ballot in each year for which data is available; and how many people each such organisation has directly registered in each year for which data is available. [202035]

Greg Clark: The Government is supportive of organisations that promote democratic engagement such as Bite the Ballot.

Cabinet Office and Bite the Ballot co-developed the Rock Enrol learning resource in 2012-13. The value of the contract was £25,700. The Government has made Rock Enrol freely available on the gov.uk and Times Education Supplement websites.

Northern Ireland

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many times he has visited Northern Ireland in an official capacity since taking office. [201732]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have been to Northern Ireland three times in an official capacity since taking office. I visited Belfast on 8 October 2010; Lough Erne on 18 June 2013; and, Derry-Londonderry on 21 June 2013.

Education

Academic Year

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the economic effects of deregulating school holidays on (a) tourism jobs in seaside areas and (b) seaside economies. [201861]

Matthew Hancock: The Government is giving more schools greater flexibility to adapt the shape of the school year in the interests of their pupils’ education.

While this will extend an existing flexibility to a greater number of schools, our advice will continue to include a clear expectation of schools working with each other and the local authority to coordinate dates to avoid unnecessary disruption to parents and their employers.

The Department has consulted with representatives of the tourist industry. Where schools choose to change their holiday dates, following discussion locally with parents and local businesses, there may well be a positive impact on seaside economies. In areas of high-seasonal employment, for example, small variations to term dates agreed locally may help parents to holiday outside of peak periods.

Academies: Land

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to compensate local authorities whose leasehold title to land is transferred to academy trusts when the associated school achieves academy status. [202246]

Mr Timpson: When community schools convert to academies, the freehold is retained by the local authority and a lease is granted to the academy trust.

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We have no plans to compensate local authorities in relation to the transfer of leasehold title to academy trusts as the land in question will continue being used for its original purpose: the education of children in high-quality local schools. In addition, there are strict rules protecting publicly funded land used by academies, regardless of who holds the freehold. This is set out in guidance published online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-of-school-playing-fields-and-public-land-advice

A copy of the guidance has been placed in the House Library.

Apprentices

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to ensure Ofsted is able to undertake the proposed increase in inspections of apprenticeship providers. [202000]

Matthew Hancock: Our apprenticeship reforms will improve quality by involving employers in defining the new standards and assessment and by controlling the funding of apprenticeships. Ofsted will continue to play an important role in ensuring the quality of teaching and learning in registered training providers. We are discussing the arrangements with Ofsted as part of the Trailblazer project.

Children in Care

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) when his Department will publish its response to the consultation, Improving permanence for looked-after children, published on 30 September 2013; [201906]

(2) what the reasons are for the length of time taken to respond to the consultation, Improving permanence for looked-after children, which closed in November 2013. [201862]

Mr Timpson: The Government’s Improving Permanence for looked after children consultation closed on 29 November 2013. Since this date, the Department for Education has continued to work closely with key stakeholders to explore the complex issues put forward within the consultation. These include fundamental changes to the statutory framework and we want to ensure widespread support before we publish final proposals. The Department has continued to work with our expert group which includes: foster carers, representatives from NSPCC, Family Rights Group, Who Cares? Trust, NCB Fostering Network, BAAF, NAFP, Association of Directors of Children’s Services and leading academics in the field. We plan to publish the Government’s response soon.

Children: Day Care

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2014, Official Report, column 284W, on children: day care, if he will estimate the average annual cost of childcare in the UK for a child aged (a) two and under and (b) three to four using his Department’s Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents 2012-13 data. [202400]

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Elizabeth Truss: The Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents report provides information on the average (mean and median) amount paid by families for child care in a reference week for pre-school age children. This information is not available broken down by age or on an annual basis.

This information could be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Children's Centres

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the guidance published by his Department on 25 March 2014, on Sure Start centres: local authority duties, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the core purpose of Sure Start children’s centres. [202251]

Elizabeth Truss: Sure Start children’s centres statutory guidance was published in April 2013; the web page containing it was last reviewed on 25 March 2014.

The statutory guidance states the core purpose of Sure Start children’s centres is to improve outcomes for young children and their families, with a particular focus on those in greatest need. The Department extensively consulted on draft statutory guidance, including the core purpose, in 2012. The response was positive, with 85% of respondees (local authorities, children’s centre managers, voluntary sector bodies and others) finding the document clear on statutory duties.

As I said to the Education Committee on 18 June, Ofsted is going to be moving to a local-authority-based inspection regime for children’s centres and I am very happy to look at the core purpose, particularly in the light of what Ofsted put out as their inspection regime, if there is a lack of clarity.

Citizenship: GCSE

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students sat the Citizenship GCSE in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011, (d) 2012, (e) 2013 and (f) 2014. [201705]

Matthew Hancock: Information on pupil entries in citizenship GCSE short courses is published in the "GCSE and equivalent results in England, 2012 to 2013 (revised)"1 Statistical First Releases for each year. Information on the number of pupils entering citizenship GCSE full courses for 2010/11 to 2012/13 is provided in the following table. Prior to 2010/10, citizenship GCSE full courses did not exist. Provisional GCSE results for 2013/14 will be available in October 2014.

1 Available at:

2009/10

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-gcses-key-stage-4

2008/09

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151655/http://www.education.gov.uk/researchandstatistics/statistics/allstatistics/a00196306/ks4-results-in-england-2008-09-(revised)

Pupils at the end of key stage 4 entering citizenship at GCSE1. Years: 2010/11-2012/132, 3
Coverage EnglandNumber of pupils

2010/11

8,339

2011/12

10,364

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2012/13

10,707

1 Includes full course GCSEs only. 2 Discounting has been applied so that only the best grade is counted where pupils have taken the same subject more than once, and only one entry is counted in these circumstances. 3 Includes entries and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. Source: Key stage 4 attainment data

Creationism

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what penalties would be incurred by a free school, academy or other educational establishment which was found to be teaching or otherwise supporting creationism. [202221]

Mr Timpson: State-funded schools, including free schools and academies, should not teach creationism as an evidence-based scientific theory. Outside of science lessons, it is permissible for schools to cover creationism as part of religious education lessons, providing that this does not undermine the teaching of established scientific theory. Academies and free schools are required to teach a broad and balanced curriculum and the model funding agreement now prohibits the teaching of creationism as an evidence-based theory. Independent schools must comply with the independent school standards, and are subject to inspections by Ofsted or an alternative inspectorate.

All state-funded schools are subject to Ofsted inspections and a range of intervention powers are in place if required. In addition, any breach of academy or free school funding agreements in relation to creationism would be swiftly dealt with by the Department for Education and could result in the termination of the funding agreement.

Dominic Cummings

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department, (c) special advisers in his Department and (d) officials in his Department have had with Dominic Cummings in an official capacity in 2014 to date; and if he will publish minutes of each such meeting. [201624]

Matthew Hancock: Dominic Cummings worked as a special adviser at the Department until 21 February 2014. In that time he attended a range of official meetings. As was the case under previous Administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on which official visits Dominic Cummings accompanied him in 2014. [201625]

Matthew Hancock: Dominic Cummings has not accompanied the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) on any official visits in 2014.

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Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on how many occasions Dominic Cummings was granted a visitor pass to his Department in 2014. [201649]

Matthew Hancock: In line with the practice of successive Administrations, the Government does not comment on security matters.

Free School Meals

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of children receive free school meals in each (a) free school and (b) local authority area where a free school has been established. [202406]

Mr Laws: Information on the percentage of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals was included in the publication “Schools, pupils and their characteristics, January 2014”.1

Information on the percentage of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in individual schools, including free schools, is provided in the publication’s underlying data. This includes school type and local authority.

Table 8a in the publication shows the percentage of pupils in state-funded nursery and primary schools known to be eligible and claiming free school meals by each local authority area. Table 8b shows the percentage of pupils in state funded secondary schools known to be eligible and claiming free school meals by each local authority area. Table 3 shows the percentage of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in free schools nationally.

1 Available at:

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

Free Schools: Enfield

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what capital funding has been made available to free schools in Enfield North constituency since May 2010. [202012]

Mr Timpson: The Department for Education publishes the final capital costs for all free schools online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-funding-for-open-free-schools

Mathematics: Teachers

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many of the graduates receiving bursaries to teach mathematics in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15 at each of the four tiers had (i) a mathematics degree, (ii) a relevant degree as defined by the School Workforce Survey and (iii) any other degree. [202238]

Mr Laws: Information in relation to 2013-14 is not held in the form requested and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Data on 2014-15 participants have not yet been collected.

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Physics: Teachers

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many of the graduates receiving bursaries to teach physics in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15 at each of the four tiers had (i) a physics degree, (ii) a relevant degree in respect of physics as defined by the School Workforce Survey and (iii) any other degree. [202237]

Mr Laws: Information in relation to 2013-14 is not held in the form requested and could be compiled only at disproportionate cost.

Data on 2014-15 participants has not yet been collected.

Schools: Sandwell

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library copies of the Property Data Survey Programme results for schools in Sandwell local authority area. [202385]

Mr Laws: The Property Data Survey is due to complete by September 2014. We are currently sharing the initial findings with schools and responsible bodies to validate them.

Special Educational Needs

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the provision of advice for students with special educational needs. [202116]

Mr Timpson: The Department for Education, in partnership with the Council for Disabled Children, has worked directly with a number of young people, including students, with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Their views have helped shape the reforms to the current SEND system to ensure it meets their needs—including how they would like to receive information and advice. Arrangements for providing information, advice and support for young people are set out in the SEND code of practice which was laid before Parliament on 11 June 2014.

From this September, local authorities will be required to provide information and advice directly to children and young people with SEND as well as to parents. Staff working directly with children and young people should be trained to support and work in partnership with them. Local information and advice services should direct young people to specialist support to help them prepare for employment, independent living (including housing) and participation in society. It should also provide access to careers advice where needed.

Teachers: Training

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many School Direct initial teacher training offers in (a) 2013-14 and 2014-15 in each subject area were made conditional on completion of a subject knowledge enhancement programme. [202236]

Mr Laws: Since January 2014, we have allocated subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) places to 110 schools, supporting 151 applicants to commence their initial teacher training. One applicant relates to entry

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into initial teacher training (ITT) in 2013/14 and 150 relate to entry in 2014/15. We did not collect data on SKE courses requested by School Direct schools before January 2014. Because SKE can be delivered in parallel with ITT, the trainee does not necessarily have to complete SKE prior to starting ITT.

A full breakdown of SKE course data by subject will be available from October 2014.

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many places for initial teacher training starting in 2014 have been allocated to (a) Schools Direct and (b) higher education providers. [202239]

Mr Laws: We initially allocated 15,254 places to School Direct and 23,095 places to higher education institutions for the 2014/15 academic year.

Further details of the initial allocations have been published on the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-allocations-for-academic-year-2014-to-2015

We will publish final allocation information reflecting any changes later this year.

Mark Reckless: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many teacher training bursaries for (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15 have been allocated to high-priority subjects of physics and mathematics at each of the four bursary tiers. [202240]

Mr Laws: Provisional figures on the number of trainees and proportion with a first or second class honours degree by subject are published in the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Census in November each year. Finalised figures are published the following year. Provisional figures for 2013-14 are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-trainee-number-census-2013-to-2014

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effects of lethal targeting by remotely-piloted air systems on security in Afghanistan. [199351]

Mr Francois: UK forces, and the wider ISAF mission, have materially improved the security of Afghanistan since 2001. This allowed the developed Afghan national security forces to assume lead security responsibility for their own country from June 2013. As an integral capability of UK forces, remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) are assessed to have made a valuable contribution, both in their surveillance and strike roles, to the improved security situation.

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, which cover the use of RPAS, are formulated on this basis.

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Armed Forces: Young People

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what investigations were undertaken into the deaths in training of armed forces recruits aged under 18 years in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [199634]

Anna Soubry: There have been no deaths in training of armed forces recruits under the age of 18 in the last three years, and therefore no such investigations have taken place.

Army: Northern Ireland

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many British armed forces personnel were operationally deployed to Northern Ireland in each year from April 1984 to April 2010; and how many such personnel were accompanied by a (a) spouse or (b) civil partner in each such year; [202093]

(2) what estimate he has made of (a) the number of British armed forces personnel operationally deployed to Northern Ireland in each year from April 1984 to April 2010 and (b) the number of such personnel who were accompanied by (i) a spouse or (ii) a civil partner in each of those years. [199300]

Mr Francois: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Educational Testing Service

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what current contracts (a) his Department and (b) each of his Department's Executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies hold with the Educational Testing Service or any of that organisation's subsidiaries. [202167]

Anna Soubry: The Ministry of Defence, including Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies, does not currently have any contracts with the Educational Testing Service or its subsidiary companies.

Guided Weapons

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times an RAF aircraft has engaged an enemy aircraft beyond visual range by firing a beyond visual range air-to-air missile in the last 30 years; what aircraft it was fired from; and what the target and missile was in each case. [202366]

Mr Francois: RAF aircraft have not engaged any enemy aircraft by firing beyond visual range air-to-air missiles in the last 30 years. The last air-to-air engagement involving UK aircraft took place during the Falklands conflict.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the out of service date for the Lightning II. [201933]

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Mr Dunne: As an initial planning assumption, the scheduled out of service date for the UK Lightning II fleet is 2048.

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the through life cost of the Lightning II project. [201934]

Mr Dunne: The incremental nature of the F-35 approvals means that the total cost of the programme is updated after each Main Gate is endorsed. The UK F-35 programme is scheduled to seek financial approval for its fifth and final main gate in 2017. At this point the overall cost of the programme will be published. While the Ministry of Defence maintains a detailed through-life cost estimate for the programme which forecasts all Main Gates it does not publish these figures ahead of formal contract negotiation. I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Members: Correspondence

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he plans to respond to the letter of 5 May 2014 from the hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth on British Army processes of justice and requesting an urgent meeting; [202085]

(2) when he plans to respond to the letter of 5 May 2014 from the hon. Member for Cardiff South and Penarth on British Army processes of justice and requesting an urgent meeting. [199311]

Anna Soubry: I responded to the hon. Member today.

Nimrod Aircraft

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what capabilities are currently being utilised to fulfil the role that would otherwise have been undertaken by Nimrod MRA4 aircraft; and what capabilities will fulfil that role in the long term. [200749]

Mr Francois [holding answer 24 June 2014]: Since the Nimrod MR2 was taken out of service in 2009, some 12 months early, for financial reasons, by the then Secretary of State, a range of assets were put in place by the previous Government to cover the capability, namely Type 23 frigates, Merlin Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft. The MRA4 project was nearly £800 million over budget, 10 years overdue and the aircraft could not pass airworthiness tests.

The Ministry of Defence is currently reviewing the UK’s air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requirements, including wide area maritime surveillance, and is identifying potential solutions. This work will provide analysis in support of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Performance Appraisal

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence 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. [202052]

Anna Soubry: This information is not yet available.

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Transport

Driving: Licensing

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers who have provided the necessary medical evidence are waiting to have their driving licence restored following temporary suspension for medical reasons. [202010]

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not temporarily suspend driving licences. Drivers may have their licence revoked or choose to surrender their licence voluntarily if their medical condition affects their fitness to drive.

Customers applying in these circumstances are not easily identifiable. An estimate based on information available suggests around 9,000 applicants who have produced the necessary medical evidence are awaiting assessment. Once a decision has been made to re-issue the licence this is done immediately.

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how long drivers who have produced the necessary medical evidence have waited before their licence is restored following suspension for medical reasons. [202011]

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not temporarily suspend driving licences. Drivers may have their licence revoked or choose to surrender their licence voluntarily if their medical condition affects their fitness to drive.

On average, drivers who have produced the necessary medical evidence following revocation wait eight weeks before their licence is restored.

Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the longest period waited was on the receipt of the necessary medical evidence, to restore a driving licence for those drivers who have temporarily had their licence suspended for medical reasons in the latest period for which figures are available. [202148]

Stephen Hammond: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not temporarily suspend driving licences. Drivers may have their licence revoked or choose to surrender their licence voluntarily if their medical condition affects their fitness to drive.

Each case must be fully assessed before determining whether sufficient medical evidence has been supplied. More information is needed in some cases and may involve detailed consultation with medical professionals.

Figures are not routinely kept of the amount of time an applicant may wait in these circumstances. An exercise in February 2014 suggested some customers may have waited up to 20 weeks. Once a decision has been made to re-issue the licence this is done immediately.

Euston Station

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the cost of decking over Euston Station and the cutting approach to the station. [202037]

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Mr Goodwill: In his report published on 17 March 2014, Sir David Higgins said that there could be a better solution for Euston than that proposed in the HS2 hybrid Bill. As a result, HS2 Ltd has been asked to work with Network Rail to explore a more comprehensive solution for Euston, working with the rail industry and the local community, with the aim of reaching a decision that would allow introduction of an additional provision to the hybrid Bill by December 2014. This work includes establishing a cost estimate for the scheme.

Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of Crossrail 2 works required to deal with extra passengers at Euston station resulting from High Speed 2. [202038]

Stephen Hammond: The Government has provided £2 million for a funding and financing study which is looking at the potential overall costs of Crossrail 2, and whether at least 50% of those costs could be met by sources other than central Government. The study is due to report in the autumn. It will take into account in a high-level way the costs of building or upgrading stations along the route, including at Euston.

First Transpennine Express and Northern Rail

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether bidders for the (a) TransPennine Express and (b) Northern Rail franchises will have the freedom to specify (i) staffing levels, (ii) ticket office hours and (iii) driver-only specification of new rolling stock in the new franchise bids for each line. [201686]

Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. We expect, however, that for both franchises: (i) staffing levels will be left for bidders to propose; (ii) under the current policy bidders are free to propose changes to ticket office hours, but any change could only take place following further public consultation; and (iii) Specification of Driver Only Operation is being considered for the Northern franchise but we expect to leave this free for bidders to propose on the TransPennine Express franchise.

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on which sections of the (a) TransPennine Express and (b) Northern Rail franchises service levels no longer match passenger demand. [201687]

Stephen Hammond: Statistics showing where there is overcrowding on peak weekday Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express services in a number of cities in England are available at the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/252514/rai0214.xls

These statistics only cover routes in the selected cities and the Department does not hold the information requested for other locations.

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether the franchise specifications for rail passenger services on the (a) TransPennine and (b) Northern Rail lines contained in

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the consultation document published on 9 June 2014 will lead to a change in the level of service for passengers in the North West. [201688]

Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises have not yet been decided. The public consultation exercise sets out options and responses to it will inform these specifications. An objective for both the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises is to

“Realise the benefits from rail investment in the north of England, ensuring the successful delivery of journey time, frequency, reliability and connectivity benefits for passengers.”

This recognises the increase in capacity that the major infrastructure works in the North of England will allow.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which stations with ticket offices on the (a) TransPennine and (b) Northern rail lines are likely to have their opening hours reduced as a result of the current re-franchising exercise. [201785]

Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what minimum train service levels will be contained in the new franchises for rail passenger services on the (a) TransPennine and (b) Northern lines. [201788]

Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the current fleet of rolling stock operated by franchise holders on the (a) TransPennine and (b) Northern lines are scheduled for withdrawal from service before February 2016. [201789]

Stephen Hammond: The lease of nine Class 170 trains (18 carriages) by TransPennine Express ends in May 2015. The rolling stock owner reached a commercial deal with Chiltern Railways for the nine trains to transfer to Chiltern Railways from that time.

Northern Rail has leases in place for all its current fleet of trains through to the end of the current franchise in February 2016.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what level of efficiencies in (a) back-office and (b) support functions he expects to be included in bids for the new passenger rail franchises for (i) TransPennine and (ii) Northern lines. [201791]

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Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. It will be for the bidders to decide on efficiency levels they put into their bids based upon the requirements that will be set out in the franchise specifications in the Invitations to Tender. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether local transport authorities bidding for the (a) TransPennine Express and (b) Northern Rail franchises will have the freedom to specify (i) staffing levels, (ii) ticket office hours and (iii) driver-only specification of new rolling stock in the new franchise bids for each line. [201685]

Stephen Hammond: We do not expect bids for the Northern or TransPennine Express franchises from local transport authorities. This is because Section 25 of the Railways Act (1993 as amended) prevents any public sector operator, including local authorities from becoming a franchisee.

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passenger journeys there were on (a) TransPennine Express and (b) Northern Rail train services between Manchester and Leeds in each of the last five years. [201689]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport holds this information. However, it is held on a commercially confidential basis so cannot be released.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the current fleet of rolling stock operated by the franchise holders on the (a) TransPennine and (b) Northern lines will have to be replaced by 2020 as they are not compliant with existing legal standards on passenger accessibility. [201787]

Stephen Hammond: All passenger rolling stock is capable of being modified to modern access standards. Indeed, following consultation with its disability advisers, the Department for Transport has set out for the industry the work that must be completed to enable each fleet to operate after 2019. Whether to make that investment is a decision for the vehicle owners along with the bidders for the future Northern and TransPennine franchises, noting that some of the current fleet is expected to be displaced by electric units as a result of the Government’s extensive programme of electrification in Northern England.

The whole of the TransPennine fleet already meets current access standards, as does 9% of the Northern fleet. Work to make a further 36% of Northern’s vehicles fully accessible formed part of the recent directly awarded franchise agreement.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost will be of new rolling stock required under the terms of the new rail franchises for (a) TransPennine Express and (b) (ii) Northern Rail lines. [201792]

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Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

We do not, however, intend to specify rolling stock requirements in these specifications; it will be for the bidders to propose the appropriate rolling stock for their bids.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who will fund the new rolling stock required under the terms of the new rail franchises for (a) TransPennine Express and (b) Northern Rail lines. [201793]

Stephen Hammond: The specifications for both the Northern and TransPennine franchises have not yet been decided. A public consultation exercise is being conducted, which will inform these specifications. The consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

We do not, however, intend to specify rolling stock requirements in these specifications; it will be for the bidders to propose the appropriate rolling stock for their bids.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) local transport authorities and (b) Rail North were consulted over the proposals on staffing and service levels set out in the consultation document on the new franchises for rail passenger services on the (i) TransPennine Express and (ii) Northern Rail lines published on 9 June 2014. [201905]

Stephen Hammond: The public consultation exercise is a joint consultation conducted and prepared by the Department for Transport and Rail North, which is a body that represents all local transport authorities in the north of England. The consultation also encourages individual responses from local transport authorities. the consultation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-northern-and-transpennine-express-rail-franchises

Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Fareham

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the new Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham to be fully operational. [202471]

Stephen Hammond: The National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) will commence operational duties in September 2014 when it takes on the operational areas previously covered by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC) at Solent and Portland. The capacity and coverage of the NMOC will geographically expand as the new national network is incrementally implemented around the UK. The NMOC will be fully operational once this is complete in December 2015 as planned.

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Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people are employed at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham; and how many people will be employed at that centre when it is fully operational. [202472]

Stephen Hammond: The transition to the new HM 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.

There are currently 27 coastguards employed at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC). In preparation for the start of operational duties in September 2014 this will increase further as successful internal candidates are released from their current operational duties elsewhere around the UK.

Once the transition is complete, and the NMOC fully operational, this figure will rise to 96 coastguard officers.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what minimum qualifications staff at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham will need in order to discharge the technical duties of that centre when it is fully operational; and what range of qualifications staff currently employed at that centre have. [202473]

Stephen Hammond: Existing coastguard officers who are successful in getting a role at the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) will need to have successfully passed the following training programmes dependent on the role they are undertaking:

Maritime Search and Rescue—Foundation

Maritime Search and Rescue—Intermediate

Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordinator

New coastguard officers recruited into roles at the NMOC will need to have successfully passed the following training programmes dependent on the role they are undertaking:

HM Coastguard Foundation Programme

Maritime Operations Officer Programme

Senior Maritime Operations Officer Programme

Currently the maritime operations officers externally recruited are undertaking the Maritime Operations Officer Programme and will be qualified prior to the NMOC taking on operational duties in September 2014. All existing coastguard officers who are currently employed at the NMOC have the requisite qualifications for the posts they hold.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what average number of hours of training staff employed at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham are expected to undertake to reach that centre's full operating capacity; and how many staff have already undertaken that amount of training. [202474]

Stephen Hammond: The hours of training needed for coastguards at the new National Maritime Operations Centre to be fully operational will vary depending on the nature of the role, whether they are existing staff, their levels of experience, or external recruits brand new to HM Coastguard. HM Coastguard has tailored its

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training programmes on an individual basis. Training is underway for all new recruits and they will receive at least 488 hours of training.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had 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. [202475]

Stephen Hammond: The proposals for the modernisation of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, including plans for staffing the new National Maritime Operations Centre and the roles and skills of its officers, were the subject of two rounds of extensive public consultation from December 2010 to May 2011 and then again from July to September 2011. More detailed work by experienced coastguards to develop and implement training plans has taken account of those earlier consultations and has involved representatives of the PCS Union.

New Roads and Street Works Act 1991

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he takes 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. [202383]

Mr Goodwill: Failure by statutory undertakers to notify the highway authority when they carry out emergency works under section 57 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) is an offence. The authority concerned may issue a fixed penalty notice, or the authority may initiate a prosecution against the undertaker for the offence.

If the authority is a permitting authority under the Traffic Management Act 2004, section 57 of NRSWA is dis-applied, and is replaced with an offence of undertaking

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works without a required permit, which the authority may also deal with by fixed penalty, or may initiate a prosecution for the offence.

These offences are all dealt with by the appropriate highway authority at a local level.

Railway Stations

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the £18 million investment in train stations to date by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance was from (a) public and (b) private sector bodies. [201916]

Stephen Hammond: The figure of £18 million invested in stations has been included in a recent news release put out by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance. My understanding is that this figure represents the investment made in the financial year 2013-14, but the total investment made during the period over which these schemes were completed is £34 million; £32 million of which came from public bodies; and £2 million from the private sector.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the £18 million investment in train stations to date by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance was from his Department's Access for All Fund; and which stations have benefited and from how much expenditure in each case. [201917]

Stephen Hammond: The figure of £18 million invested in stations has been included in a recent news release put out by the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance. My understanding is that this figure represents the investment made in the financial year 2013-14, but the total investment made during the period over which these schemes were completed is £34 million, £17.5 million of which came from the Department's Access for All fund and is split as follows.

A full list of the stations where small schemes have been delivered can be requested directly from the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance.

   Funding allocation
StationProjectProject total (£ million)DfTSWT3rd Parties

Winchester

AfA new footbridge/lifts

2.0

2.0

Wokingham

AfA new footbridge/lifts

2.0

1.0

1.0

Aldershot

AfA new footbridge/lifts

2.0

1.8

0.3

Various £750,000

AfA small schemes

0.8

0.8

Worcester Park

AfA new footbridge/lifts

2.0

2.0

New Malden

AfA Lifts

1.0

1.0

Putney

AfA new footbridge/lifts

9.0

9.0

Railways: Compensation

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with train operating companies on the nature and level of compensation available to passengers for delayed and cancelled services; and if he will make a statement. [201753]

Stephen Hammond: All train operating companies (TOCs) are required under their franchise agreement to have in place a passenger's charter which will include arrangements for compensation for passengers.

In connection with the severe weather related disruption earlier this year, the Department for Transport (DFT) sought to understand what First Great Western's proposals on compensation were likely to be. Where discussions have taken place with other TOCs these will also have been to ensure that the DFT was aware of their intentions and not to seek to require these to be changed.

An improved system of compensation based on delays to individual journeys, known as delay/repay, is being introduced for all passengers in place of the system of poor performance discounts and optional void days for

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season ticket holders. Introduction is taking place as franchises are let following competitions and opportunities arise within direct awards and existing franchises. Where discussions have taken place between the DFT and TOCs these will have been in this context.

River Thames: Bridges

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had on the potential construction of the (a) Lower Thames Crossing and (b) Thames Gateway Bridge; and if he will make a statement. [201956]

Mr Goodwill: Since consultation on options for a new Lower Thames crossing closed in July 2013, the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire Dales (Mr McLoughlin) has continued to discuss the potential construction of the Lower Thames Crossing with his officials and colleagues. My right hon. Friend made a Written Statement to the House on 12 December 2013 and intends to make an announcement on the further consideration of Options A and C as soon as possible.

As for the Thames Gateway Bridge, it is for the Mayor and Transport for London to decide which schemes in London to develop and promote. The Secretary of State for Transport has regular meetings with the Mayor of London at which various matters are discussed.

Roads: Closures

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many roads in each local authority area have been closed on (a) one occasion and (b) more than one occasion in the last year. [202379]

Mr Goodwill: Information on the number of road closures in each local authority area is not held centrally by the Department for Transport.

Transport: Thames Gateway

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to improve the transport network in the Thames Gateway and its environs; and if he will make a statement. [201954]

Mr Goodwill: The South East Local Enterprise Partnership has set out its plans for investment in the Thames Gateway up to 2021 as part of its Strategic Economic Plan that was submitted to Government at the end of March. In July we will make decisions on the Local Growth Fund allocations associated with that plan.

In addition, the Department is committed to providing a new Lower Thames crossing as well as improving traffic flows at the existing Dartford crossing.

We have also been working closely with colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that the major road improvement schemes on the A2 at Bean and Ebbsfleet are progressed to support delivery of the Ebbsfleet Garden City.

The Government has committed to funding a series of rail investments during the period 2014-19. This includes electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking

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route; electrification of the Tilbury docks branch; increased capacity on the Great Eastern main line; upgrades to the power and signalling systems across the Kent route and the lengthening of services between London and Gravesend.

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on transport schemes in the Thames Gateway in each of the last 15 years for which figures are available. [201955]

Mr Goodwill: The Government’s local transport funding to the Thames Gateway is made to specific highway authorities, not specifically to the Gateway. The area comprises a number of local highway authorities. These include Kent, Medway, Southend, Thurrock and Essex. It is generally for those highway authorities to decide on what schemes this local investment is spent. The following Information sets out allocations that have been made where information is readily available.

Local roads

Funding for these authorities via the local block funding concerning maintenance and local transport investment for the period 2011-12 to 2014-15 can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-transport-capital-block-funding

And for the period 2000-01 to 2010-11:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120606211516/http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/integrated-transport-block-and-highways-maintenance/

In terms of local transport major schemes (over £5 million), the Department has funded two schemes since 2009. The Sittingbourne Northern Relief Road (£19.1 million) and Saddlers Farm Junction A130/A13 in Essex (£63.5 million).

Strategic roads

The Department does not hold a record of the annual level of investment on strategic roads in the Thames Gateway area over the last 15 years. However, over that period major schemes on the A2, A249 and M25 have been delivered representing an investment of over £400 million.

The following major (over £10 million) strategic road improvement schemes have been delivered in the past 15 years in the Thames Gateway area.

SchemeOutturn cost (£ million)

A2 Bean-Cobham Phase 1 Bean-Pepperhill (April 2003 to December 2004)

23

A2 Bean-Cobham Phase 2 Pepperhill to Cobham (September 2006 to February 2009)

133

A2/A282 Dartford Improvement (September 2006 to December 2007)

122

A249 Iwade to Queensborough Improvement (April 2004 to July 2006)

96

M25 J1b-3 Widening (June 2007 to July 2008)

63

Total

437

Rail

Very few rail schemes are fully contained within the Thames Gateway or a single local authority area, rather they are generally funded on the basis of railway operational geography. As such, no data are available for rail schemes.

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Community Infrastructure Fund

In the first round of the Community Infrastructure Fund (2006 to 2008), the Department provided a total of £64 million for transport schemes to support housing growth in the Thames Gateway.