Self-Employed

Stephen Timms: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which construction occupations will be classified as prescribed for the purposes of the general duties of self-employed persons in the Deregulation Bill. [204973]

Mr Letwin: The prescribed list will cover undertakings rather than specific sectors or occupations. An undertaking will be prescribed if one of the following four criteria is met:

1. There are high numbers of self-employed in a particular industry, and high rates of injuries and/or fatalities (e.g. agriculture);

2. There is a significant risk to members of the public (e.g. fairgrounds);

3. There is the potential for mass fatalities (e.g. explosives); or

4. There is a European obligation to retain the general duty on self-employed persons (e.g. construction--Council Directive 92/57/EEC imposes duties on the self-employed for safety and health requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites).

A consultation on the regulations can be found at:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd273.htm

The definition of construction activities, to which the self employed will continue to have duties, can be found in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Social Enterprises: EU Action

Mr Dodds: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how (a) the UK Government and (b) Northern Ireland is represented on the EU Consultative Multi-stakeholder Group on Social Business. [204614]

15 July 2014 : Column 621W

Mr Maude: This Government is committed to supporting social enterprise and growing the social investment market. Cabinet Office officials participate in the EU Group on Social Business on behalf of the UK as a member state of the European Union.

Training

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much money his Department has spent on each course of (a) media training and (b) social media training for (i) him and (ii) Ministers in his Department since May 2010. [205083]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office has spent no money on Media Training or Social Media Training for its Ministers since May 2010.

Transport

Aviation: Accidents

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many air accidents in the UK in the last five years arose from (a) pilot error and (b) mechanical breakdown. [204556]

Mr Goodwill: Since July 2009 there have been 61 accidents investigated by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in the UK involving public transport aircraft. Of these around 70% were as a result of operational causal factors (human factors) and around 30% were as a result of technical causal factors. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch does not attribute any causes to pilot error as they are explicitly required not to apportion blame or liability.

Driving: Disqualification

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of drivers who accumulated over 12 points on their licence were disqualified in each of the last five years. [205029]

Mr Goodwill: An analysis of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s records carried out on 3 July 2014 showed that 93% of drivers who had accumulated 12 or more penalty points were disqualified. Figures for the proportion of drivers who had accumulated 12 or more points and were also disqualified are not available for previous years.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers have accumulated more than 12 points in each year from 2010. [205030]

Mr Goodwill: The information requested is shown in the following table.

 Number

2010

14,263

2011

28,582

2012

26,679

2013

26,200

2014

10,265

15 July 2014 : Column 622W

These figures were obtained from a scan of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s database on 11 July 2014. The information changes daily as the database is updated as conviction details are added or become spent. Figures provided for 2010 are lower because any penalty points obtained before July 2010 will have been removed from driver records as required by law.

First TransPennine Express

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress he has made in securing rolling-stock to serve cross-Pennine routes post-electrification; and whether he plans to use new rolling stock or a redeployment of current stock. [205118]

Mr Goodwill: Following North West and North TransPennine electrification we expect bidders who are bidding for the TransPennine (TPE) franchise to propose high quality and high performing rolling stock suitable to serve the mix of passengers and journey types on TPE. Bidders will have the freedom to propose whether to use new rolling stock or redeploy current stock.

Fuels: EU Law

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the European Fuel Quality Directive Article 7a (a) on petrol prices and (b) generally. [204433]

Mr Goodwill: The Government takes the environmental implications of exploiting high carbon intensity crudes very seriously and fully supports the aim of the fuel quality directive to reduce carbon emissions. We also believe that the accounting methodology must be proportionate in the burden placed on suppliers. The European Commission’s proposals for a greenhouse gas intensity accounting methodology to implement article 7a failed to receive agreement in 2012, and we await the publication of a revised proposal and impact assessment.

The Department consulted on measures to implement article 7(a–e) of the directive between March and June 2011. The core costs envisaged in the impact assessment relate to putting in place a 6% greenhouse gas emissions savings target to 2020, the supply of biofuels and other compliance measures required to achieve these reductions. The costs of delivering such measures are subject to a very high degree of uncertainty given that EU negotiations on key elements for implementing the directive have not yet concluded. Based on a range of provisional assumptions, it was estimated that, relative to the cost of policy currently in place, the impact in 2020 would be an increase of 0.5 pence per litre on petrol and 2.5 pence per litre on road diesel. A full analysis is presented in the impact assessment published on 10 March 2011 which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-to-implement-articles-7a-to-7e-of-the-eu-fuel-quality-directive-fqd-directive-98-70-ec-as-amended-by-2009-30-ec-requiring-suppliers-to-reduce-the-lifecycle-greenshouse-gas-intensity-of-transport-fuels-and-introducing-sustaina

The UK has not yet set a trajectory for biofuel supply to meet the 6% greenhouse gas emissions savings target required in 2020. Any associated increase in targets for

15 July 2014 : Column 623W

the supply of biofuel and other compliance measures would be the subject of a further consultation and a revised impact assessment which would carefully consider the impact on the motorist and the environment.

Garages and Petrol Stations

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require service stations to advertise their fuel prices so that they are visible from the highway so that motorists know them before leaving the public carriageway. [204488]

Mr Goodwill: The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (2002) prescribes a traffic sign for indicating the distance ahead to a named motorway service and which permits the price per litre of unleaded petrol to be displayed. The Government also announced in October 2013 that it would trial the display of comparative fuel prices on traffic signs along a motorway route to better inform road users and to encourage competition. A feasibility study is currently in progress to enable the trial to be undertaken in 2015-16.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the PricewaterhouseCoopers' report on the HS2 property bond scheme; and if he will make a statement. [205032]

Mr Goodwill: The PWC report on the proposed HS2 property bond was considered when formulating the Government’s response to the Property Compensation Consultation 2013 for the London-West Midlands HS2 route published on 9 April. Section 8.3 of the Decision Document deals specifically with the analysis undertaken, including the PWC report. The Decision Document is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hs2-property-compensation-consultation-2013-for-the-london-to-west-midlands-route-decision-document

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the change in value of properties within 500 metres of the proposed route of High Speed 2 through Rixton and Culcheth; and to what extent and on what basis his calculation of that change included an estimated local benefit from that line. [205033]

Mr Goodwill: No specific assessment has been conducted on this issue.

Public Transport: Crimes of Violence

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of assaults on (a) staff and (b) customers on public transport in the last three years. [204526]

Mr Goodwill: The following figures have been provided by the British Transport police and cover all offences committed on the national rail network, the London Underground and other parts of the network which come under their jurisdiction.

15 July 2014 : Column 624W

 2011-122012-132013-14

Number of assaults on staff

1,764

1,729

1,607

Number of assaults on customers

3,800

3,832

3,865

The Department does not hold equivalent data for offences committed on other parts of the transport network which would be the responsibility of the relevant local constabulary.

Railways: Broadband

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on which rail lines and services broadband improvements will be financed from the £53.1 million fine imposed on Network Rail by the Office of Rail Regulation. [204506]

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport will work with the railway industry to establish a fund that will prioritise improved mobile communications on metropolitan and commuter train services into major cities across the country.

Roads: Standards

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the total value of compensation paid out of the public purse for damage to cars by poorly conditioned local roads in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. [205031]

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport has made no formal estimate of the total value of compensation for cars damaged on the local road network. Local highway authorities are responsible for maintaining local roads in their area and therefore are also responsible for compensation.

Treasury

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many apprentices have been employed by contractors and sub-contractors to his Department in each year since 2010-11; and what proportion of the total workforce of such contractors is made up by apprentices. [204067]

Andrea Leadsom: The information requested is not held centrally. To provide it would involve contacting numerous current and former suppliers. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Business: Loans

Paul Flynn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will request UK Financial Investments Ltd to investigate the reasons why banks in receipt of financial support from the public purse have used deceptive practices to recover loans through sending of the letters purporting to be from law firms which do not exist. [204120]

15 July 2014 : Column 625W

Andrea Leadsom: The Government deplores the use of deceptive practices to recover loans. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulator responsible for the conduct of banks. It is for the FCA rather than UKFI to consider whether to take action against banks in relation to debt recovery practices.

It is the responsibility of the banks involved to respond to any concerns raised by customers or regulators.

The role of UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI) is to manage the Government’s shareholdings. As an engaged shareholder, UKFI acts to ensure that the banks have sound long-term strategies which produce value for the taxpayer, and that they are effectively managed and properly governed. However, it does not interfere in day-to-day operations.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with (a) UK Financial Investments and (b) the Financial Conduct Authority on circumstances in which banks in receipt of support from the public purse have sought to recover loans by sending letters purporting to be from law firms. [204757]

Andrea Leadsom: The Government deplores the use of deceptive practices to recover loans. The Chancellor discusses a number of issues with both UK Financial Investments (UKFI) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on an ongoing basis. However, the details of these discussions are not made public.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulator responsible for the conduct of banks. It is for the FCA to consider whether to take action against banks in relation to debt recovery practices.

It is the responsibility of the banks involved to respond to any concerns raised by customers or regulators.

Child Benefit

Natascha Engel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make an assessment of whether changes made to child benefit legislation since May 2010 have resulted in unfair tax burdens falling on people who are living with a partner who has his or her own children in the household. [204403]

Nicky Morgan: Child benefit is paid for the welfare of the child/children in the household. If any partner in the household has income over £50,000 then they are required to register for the higher income child benefit charge regardless of whether or not they are the biological parent.

This approach withdraws child benefit from those on high incomes, while leaving the majority of claimants completely unaffected by the changes. Those families with at least one taxpayer with an income over £60,000 can choose not to receive the child benefit, which means that they do not have to pay the tax charge at all.

Credit: Licensing

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what reduction in consumer credit licences for short-term loans he expects when the authorisation process under the new Financial Conduct Authority regime has been completed in 2016. [204419]

15 July 2014 : Column 626W

Andrea Leadsom: This question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply to directly to my hon. Friend by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Financial Markets: Regulation

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the current regulatory regime for dark pool trading in the UK; [204535]

(2) what steps he has taken to monitor the functioning and usage of dark pool trading in the UK. [204536]

Andrea Leadsom: The Government put in place a new architecture for financial regulation through the Financial Services Act 2012, with the aim of delivering stability, protecting consumers and enhancing the integrity of financial markets. Within that framework, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for protecting consumers, promoting competition and enhancing market integrity.

Dark pool trading in the UK is regulated by the FCA under UK and EU law, including the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2004/39/EC) (MiFID). The new MiFIR Regulation (600/2014/EU) recently agreed as part of the “MiFID 2” negotiations will impose significant limits on dark pool trading in the EU.

House Insurance

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he last met representatives of the insurance industry to discuss basic insurance products for low-income households in the private and social rented sectors; [204697]

(2) what assessment he has made of the number of households in the (a) social rented sector and (b) private rented sector in the UK which are not covered by household contents insurance. [204698]

Andrea Leadsom: Treasury Ministers and officials routinely meet with a wide range of stakeholders as part of the process of policy development.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

The Treasury has not made an assessment of households in the UK which are not covered by household insurance in the social rented sector and private rented sector.

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by his Department in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204478]

Andrea Leadsom: The following mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by the Department in 2013 and 2014 to date:

15 July 2014 : Column 627W

 Mobile phonesBlackBerrysLaptops

2013

0

20

6

2014 to date

0

9

2

All the laptop computers involved in these incidents were encrypted devices that are not accessible without a security token and more than one password. The BlackBerry devices are also password protected.

Steps were taken, as soon as the loss of these electronic items was reported, to ensure that they provided no means of access to any of the Department's IT systems.

Income Tax

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in (a) the UK and (b) East Yorkshire constituency no longer pay income tax as a result of changes in the personal income tax threshold introduced since 2010. [204487]

Mr Gauke: By April this year this Government's increases in the personal allowance (for those born after 5 April 1948) are estimated to have taken over 3 million individuals out of the income tax system altogether. 266,000 of these individuals live in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, which includes the parliamentary constituency of East Yorkshire.

These estimates are based on the 2011-12 Survey of Personal Incomes, projected to 2014-15 using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility's March 2014 economic and fiscal outlook.

HM Treasury does not publish this information at constituency level.

Mortgages: Northern Ireland

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications have been submitted from Northern Ireland for the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme since January 2014. [204227]

Andrea Leadsom: The Government does not collect data on the number of applications participating lenders receive for mortgages supported by the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme.

The Government publishes quarterly official statistics relating to the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme. The first of these were published on 29 May 2014.

This report, along with accompanying tables, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/help-to-buy-mortgage-guarantee-scheme-quarterly-statistics-october-2013-to-march-2014

Nationwide Building Society: Cheshire Building Society

David Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential merger or amalgamation of Nationwide and Cheshire Building Society; and what effect such a move will have on the shareholders of that institution. [R] [204784]

Andrea Leadsom: Nationwide Building Society and Cheshire Building Society merged on 15 December 2008. Information about Nationwide's plans to integrate its regional building society brands into the 'Nationwide'

15 July 2014 : Column 628W

brand is available from the Nationwide website, www.nationwide.co.uk. This is a business decision for Nationwide, and it is accountable to its members in the usual way.

Revenue and Customs

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what land HM Revenue and Customs owns; and what land HM Revenue and Customs plans to sell in the next year. [205403]

Mr Gauke: As in my answer given on 28 April 2014, Official Report, column 548W, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not own any land, and does not have any un-encumbered freehold buildings within its estate. The only exceptions to this are freehold interests in five Grade 1 Listed buildings that are owned by HMRC. However, each of these is subject to encumbrances impacting value and market demand. These five are compromised of the following:

Three historic Custom Houses (London, Greenock & Belfast) each of which is subject to a 175 lease from 2001with nil rent receivable. HMRC sold the virtual freehold interest in these properties in 2001.

Darwin House in Shrewsbury is subject to a 175 year lease from 2001 with nil rent receivable. HMRC also sold the virtual freehold interest in these properties in 2001.

100 Parliament Street/1Horse Guards Road in London is subject to occupational rights to 2037 for the PFI provider, with nil rent receivable.

HMRC does not plan to sell land or buildings in 2014-15.

This position was previously stated and accepted in response to an inquiry made by the Homes and Community Agency in November 2013 on behalf of Cabinet Office (Government Property Unit) in relation to the Strategic Land and Property Review.

Revenue and Customs: Northern Ireland

Mr Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to address the concerns of the employees of HM Revenue and Customs in Northern Ireland who have recently taken part in industrial action. [205024]

Mr Gauke: Following the spending review 2013 HMRC is now working on its longer term plans; further announcements will be made in due course on the implications for individuals, their work and the offices that they work in. In addition HMRC will be saying more about the overall size and shape of the department in the autumn.

In terms of addressing the concerns of employees HMRC has been actively talking to its people about the future direction of the organisation. This conversation is being led through a series of Building our Future events, which all staff are invited to attend. As part of that dialogue with staff HMRC has made it clear that the department needs to modernise and has already advised that it will become a smaller, more highly professional organisation working out of fewer locations. Those people who remain with the organisation will have greater opportunities to retrain into a range of interesting and rewarding roles.

15 July 2014 : Column 629W

HMRC has not offered any voluntary redundancies in Northern Ireland in the current financial year. However, this cannot be ruled out in the future if redeployment options cannot be found for staff in need of new roles. Civil service departments will work together to do all they can to redeploy staff who have formally been declared surplus.

Senior Civil Servants

John Woodcock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many senior civil servants appointed to positions in his Department since 2010 were previously (a) political appointees within that Department and (b) employed by a political party. [204333]

Andrea Leadsom: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Standard of Living

Simon Kirby: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent fiscal steps he has taken to encourage an improvement in living standards; and if he will make a statement. [205098]

Nicky Morgan: The IFS state that:

“there have been very significant falls in real earnings as a direct but delayed result of the 2008 recession, essentially.”

The Government has taken continued action to help hardworking families, including raising the personal allowance, which will take over 3.2 million individuals out of income tax altogether by 2015-16, as well as freezing fuel duty, council tax and reducing household energy bills. The best way to improve people's living standards is to boost productivity and jobs, and the labour market has continued to strengthen with record numbers of people in work.

Defence

Armed Forces Covenant

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2013, what steps his Department has taken to improve the sharing of service facilities with civilians. [205164]

Dr Murrison: The Department shares facilities with civilians where feasible (with defence needs taking priority) and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Devonport Dockyard

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department plans to release land at South Yard as agreed under Plymouth's City Deal. [204957]

Dr Murrison: The Government intention is to release the land at South Yard on 31 March 2015 subject to the satisfactory conclusion of the work by the South Yard Programme Board.

15 July 2014 : Column 630W

Military Bases: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in providing accommodation for HQ1 Division in York what assumption his Department has made about how long the Divisional HQ will remain at Imphal Barracks. [204129]

Dr Murrison: There are currently no plans to move Headquarters 1 (United Kingdom) Armoured Division from Imphal Barracks once it has moved there from its current location in Germany.

Ministers: Official Cars

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many journeys Ministers of his Department have made using the Government Car Service; and how many such journeys were for the transportation of a red box. [204935]

Mr Dunne: None.

Radioactive Waste: Fife

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects to publish the consultation document on remediation work at Dalgety Bay, Fife; [201650]

(2) if he will allocate funding for the removal of radiation particles and the repair of the beach area at Dalgety Bay, Fife; [201651]

(3) how long the period of consultation he proposes is for the review of remediation work at Dalgety Bay, Fife. [201652]

Dr Murrison: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) published the Dalgety Bay Management Strategy report on 10 July 2014. The MOD has agreed in principle to implement the measures recommended in the report, though the arrangements are subject to discussion with other parties.

Consultation on implementing the strategy will now be led by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, which will set out its timetable.

Reserve Forces

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on advertising for recruitment to the Reserves in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Army and (c) Royal Air Force in each year since 2010. [203844]

Anna Soubry: It is a key requirement for the armed forces to maintain a satisfactory balance of skills, experience, ability and seniority in rank to enable delivery of operational requirements. Despite the reduction in overall numbers of service personnel, the requirement for the armed forces to recruit and train personnel to replace those who leave the services remains.

Figures for 2010 are not held centrally. Figures from 2011 onwards are set out in the table:

Total spend (£ million)
Financial year (FY)Royal NavyArmyRoyal Air Force

2011-12

2.86 Single tri-Service Campaign

2012-13

1.6

5.04

1.34

2013-14

1.8

1.95

2.23

15 July 2014 : Column 631W

Tornado Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the guidelines for classifying Tornado collision risk are the same as those set out by Haddon-Cave BP 1201 and the Civil Aviation Authority. [204980]

Mr Dunne: Guidelines for classification within European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Regulations and Business Procedure (BP) 1201 focus on equipment risks based on aircraft Flying Hours and not Risk to Life. As recommended by Haddon-Cave, the risk assessment categories in Military Aviation Authority Regulatory Publications (MRP) are for assessment of the Risk to Life resulting from both equipment and operating risks. This allows Duty Holders to assess Risk to Life per annum and tolerability in line with the approach espoused in the Health and Safety Executive publication Reducing Risks Protecting People.

Training

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what professional development courses are made available to staff of his Department; and what the cost to the public purse is of each such course. [204340]

Anna Soubry: The Defence Academy provides professional skills and knowledge courses to Defence personnel. The Defence Academy 2014 course prospectus can be found on the Academy's website:

www.da.mod.uk

A copy of that report and the 2012-13 Training and Education Statistical Analysis have been placed in the Library of the House.

The cost of providing each individual course is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Defence Academy total operating costs in FY 2013-14 was £130.617 million.

Culture, Media and Sport

BBC

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the report of the independent review of the BBC's coverage of rural affairs commissioned by the BBC Trust and published in June 2014, if he will discuss with the BBC Trust the finding of that report that BBC coverage does not fully reflect the economic and social concerns of people who live in the countryside. [204561]

Mr Vaizey: There are no plans to discuss the findings of the Impartiality Review on the BBC’s coverage of rural areas in the UK. The BBC is operationally, editorially and managerially independent and it is for the BBC Trust to comment on and manage programme matters.

Commonwealth Games 2014

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the benefits to (a) tourism and (b) the economy following the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. [204511]

15 July 2014 : Column 632W

Mrs Grant: Tourism is a devolved matter, so we have not made a specific assessment. However a lot of work is being done to promote the Commonwealth Games. VisitBritain are working with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and VisitScotland to operate two media centres in Glasgow-the Main Press Centre and the Destination Media Hub. VisitBritain has also been working with the FCO to fully engage international media.

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure that the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games will provide lasting benefits to the area. [204615]

Mrs Grant: The UK Government is working with the Scottish Government, Glasgow city council, the Organising Committee and others to ensure that the 2014 Glasgow games will be success for Glasgow. The Scottish Government has published its legacy programme and initiatives for the Glasgow games.

The UK Government is supporting a joint business conference with the Scottish Government and the Commonwealth Business Council and the British Business House. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office used the UK’s extensive diplomatic network during the Queen’s Baton Relay to promote Scottish business and tourism and Visit Britain is using the games to promote tourism in Scotland.

Mobile Phones

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how his Department is monitoring the roll-out of 4G telephone coverage; and who is conducting that monitoring. [205122]

Mr Vaizey: The Department does not directly monitor mobile coverage. Ofcom undertakes monitoring of mobile coverage and ensures compliance by the mobile network operators with any coverage obligations included in their spectrum licences. We expect the 4G roll-out to be the fastest and most complete roll-out in the EU, and this will ensure the UK continues to have some of the best mobile services in Europe.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the progress of the Mobile Infrastructure Project. [205123]

Mr Vaizey: I hold regular meetings with supplier Arqiva to discuss the Mobile Infrastructure Project and officials in BDUK are in constant contact with Arqiva to monitor and assess progress.

Mobile Phones: Cambridgeshire

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what spot data Ofcom holds for Cambridgeshire. [205124]

Mr Vaizey: Ofcom compile data on coverage from the mobile network operators to feed into their infrastructure report. In March this year, Ofcom commissioned updated voice coverage data from the operators to feed into planning for the Mobile Infrastructure Project. This data covers the UK, including Cambridgeshire, and

15 July 2014 : Column 633W

highlights areas with no coverage from any operator, or ‘not spots’. The Mobile Infrastructure Project aims to put in place infrastructure to provide coverage to as many not spots containing premises as possible.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of mobile telephone coverage in Cambridgeshire. [205125]

Mr Vaizey: The Department does not directly monitor mobile coverage. Ofcom undertakes monitoring of mobile coverage and ensures compliance by the mobile network operators with any coverage obligations included in their spectrum licences. Ofcom's most recent coverage figures, published in December 2013, indicate that 99.8% of premises in Cambridgeshire receive signal from at least one mobile operator, and 89.6% from all four operators.

Public Telephones

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received from local authorities regarding the barriers to removing telephone boxes; and if he will take steps to remove such barriers. [205015]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has not received any representations from local authorities regarding barriers to removing telephone boxes.

Under its Universal Service obligations, BT must provide public call boxes which sufficiently meet the needs of consumers. Before BT can remove the last public call box from a site (defined as any area within a walking distance of 400 metres from that public call box), it must follow the process set out in the Directions and Guidance published by Ofcom. The relevant local authority must be consulted and, if it can show why a particular uneconomic payphone should be retained, it can exercise the ‘local veto’. This will result in the payphone being retained.

Local councils can also ask BT to remove a particular box. Assuming BT agrees to the request, if there are other boxes within 400 metres, the box can be removed without consultation; if not, BT would need to follow the process above.

These procedures ensure a process for the removal of uneconomic phone boxes, balanced with appropriate safeguards against the removal of phone boxes where they still serve a community need.

Telecommunications

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the Government will publish its response to the Law Commission's recommendations for reform of the Electronic Communications Code. [205121]

Mr Vaizey: Since the Law Commission published its report on the reform of the Electronic Communications Code in February 2013, my Department has been considering the implications of the recommendations on network rollout and service provision to consumers. In January 2014 we published an economic analysis of

15 July 2014 : Column 634W

the impact of various wayleave valuation regimes. A copy of this report has been placed in the House of Commons Library. The analysis work is ongoing and I will make public the plans to reform the Electronic Communications Code, and respond to the Law Commission’s report, in due course.

Tour de France

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has been made of the financial benefit of the Tour de France to Yorkshire and the South-East. [204687]

Mrs Grant: The Tour De France Grand Depart was a resounding success and was extremely well supported in communities along all three stages. UK Sport is supporting the production of an economic impact report by local authorities covering the main locations on the route and this will be made available later this year.

Education

Academies

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2014, Official Report, column 538W, on academies, if he will disaggregate the data to identify payments under the Sponsor Capacity Fund detailing (a) when any such grant was awarded, (b) how much was awarded, (c) whether each organisation subsequently sponsored any academies and (d) the date on which any monies were returned to the Department by those who did not. [203913]

Mr Timpson: Details of payments made under the Sponsor Capacity Fund (over £25,000) are published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-department-and-executive-agency-spend-over-25-000

A list of all open academies and their sponsors, alongside equivalent details for approved projects not yet open, is published online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-academies-and-academy-projects-in-development

Academy sponsors who receive the Sponsor Capacity Fund are required to sign a Grant Funding Agreement, agreeing to adhere to the terms and conditions of the grant. In addition, they are required to submit an Annual Certification of Expenditure, signed by their auditors, and a final report detailing what has been achieved through use of the grant. If they fail to comply with any of the conditions of grant, or are deemed to be in breach of it, they may be required to return all or part of the grant to the Department.

Academies: Land

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many proposed transactions relating to land sold by academy trusts he has (a) approved and (b) declined since 2010. [204029]

Mr Timpson: Since July 2011, the Secretary of State for Education has approved 175 transactions relating to land disposed of by academy trusts. He has rejected one case as he was not satisfied that the academy trust was receiving the best value from the proposed lease.

15 July 2014 : Column 635W

Many of these were leased back to local authorities, publicly funded education providers or not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what value of land has been sold by academy trusts since 2010. [204507]

Mr Timpson: Whenever the Secretary of State for Education is asked for consent to a disposal, the academy trust provides an estimate of the land value on which to base his decision. This must be a Red Book valuation provided by a chartered surveyor.

About two thirds of all academy trusts hold their land on leases from the local authority, and consent is granted to the local authority if it applies to sell that land. The local authority would be responsible for accounting for any sale in its accounts for the year in which the sale completes. Similarly, where any freehold academy trust has been granted consent to dispose of land, it is responsible for including the actual receipt in its accounts. The majority of land transaction details are published online at:

www.landregistry.gov.uk

Children: Day Care

Lucy Powell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many meetings the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Childcare and Early Years has had with parents of disabled children about improving access, affordability and quality of childcare for disabled children since he was appointed. [203388]

Elizabeth Truss: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families is responsible for special educational needs and disability issues within the Department for Education. He has had numerous meetings with the parents of disabled children to discuss a wide range of issues. I have regular meetings with all of my ministerial colleagues on subjects of mutual interest.

The guidance in the draft Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice includes a separate chapter on the early years and also makes clear that local authorities must include details of childcare for disabled children in their local offer of support for children who are disabled or have special educational needs.

Female Genital Mutilation

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what guidance his Department has issued for teachers on identifying girls at risk of female genital mutilation; and if he will make a statement. [205021]

Mr Timpson: On 3 April 2014 the Department for Education published ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, which provides schools with updated statutory guidance about pupil safeguarding. The guidance contains information about female genital mutilation (FGM) and a link to more detailed multi-agency guidelines.

On 22 May 2014 the Department’s summer term e-mail to all schools drew attention to the statutory guidance and reminded schools of the need to be particularly vigilant in the summer term because of the heightened risk during the summer holiday.

15 July 2014 : Column 636W

Free Schools

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the first tier tribunal decision notice of 2 July 2014, reference EA/2013/0270*, if he will take steps so that personal information in all future free school applications can be redacted easily and quickly and at reasonable cost; if he will make it his policy to release all future free school applications with any personal information that could identify individuals redacted; and if he will make a statement. [204581]

Mr Timpson: The Department for Education takes its responsibility for protecting personal data very seriously. The first tier tribunal ruled that it would place too high a burden on the Department, and therefore the taxpayer, to redact and release every free school application that it had received under that Freedom of Information request.

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by his Department in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204469]

Mr Timpson: The following Blackberry devices and laptops were lost by the Department for Education in the period requested.

 BlackBerry devicesLaptops

2013

31

2

2014 to date

16

3

Information about mobile devices is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

All Department for Education IT equipment is fully security encrypted.

Home Department

DNA: Databases

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many requests for information held on the National DNA Database were received by her Department from other countries in each of the last five years. [200768][Official Report, 1 September 2014, Vol. 585, c. 7-10MC.]

Karen Bradley: The first category relates to searches carried out against the National DNA Database (NDNAD) of DNA profiles from outstanding serious crimes or for the identification of an unknown deceased person believed to be a UK national. The following figures are for requested searches undertaken on the basis of a direct request from the National Crime Agency (NCA) formerly Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), with the report as to the outcome of each profile search being issued directly to the United Kingdom National Central Bureau for Interpol (UK NCB).

 Number of searched profile responses provided to NCA/SOCA1,2,3

2009-104

5377

2010-11

548

15 July 2014 : Column 637W

2011-12

469

2012-13

443

2013-14

4,094

1 The data have been extracted from logs produced by NDNAD (validated as the only source of this information) by the application of the specified criteria (requests directly received from NCA/SOCA). The data were extracted by the manual filtering of Excel Spreadsheets. 2 The UK NCB is not currently able to provide data on the number of requests received from other countries so these data relate solely to information supplied by the National DNA Database Delivery Unit (NDU). 3 The data were extracted on 17 June. 4 Data are not available for the period October 2009 to January 2010. 5 These figures have been verified on a 1:1 comparison basis.

The second category includes requests for the DNA profile held for a subject on the NDNAD, where fingerprints have been provided to the country that the individual currently resides in. Again this is information provided to NCA/ SOCA.

 Number of requests for subject profiles release to NCA/SOCA1,2,3

2009-10

1,384

2010-11

85

2011-12

19

2012-13

14

2013-14

3

1 The data have been extracted from logs produced by NDNAD (validated as the only source of this information) by the application of the specified criteria (requests directly received from NCA/SOCA). The data were extracted by the manual filtering of Excel Spreadsheets. 2 The UK NCB is not currently able to provide data on the number of requests received from other countries so these data relate solely to information supplied by the National DNA Database Delivery Unit (NDU). 3 The data were extracted on 17 June.

The third category relates to database management information. This provides the number of subject and crime scene DNA profile records held on the database and the number of match reports generated. Countries which do not have a DNA database use this information to demonstrate the success of the UK Database to support their case for legislation in their own country for a DNA database.

Requestors are directed to the most recent published statistics on the Home Office NDNAD website, at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-dna-database-statistics

thus no figures are kept for the numbers of such requests.

Human Trafficking

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 30 April 2014, Official Report, column 717W, on human trafficking, (1) how her Department gathers information to ensure that victims are safe once they have left the support service, if the town in which they have been placed is withheld on safety grounds; [203853]

(2) whether the Salvation Army shares with her Department information on the town and shelter in which each victim is placed and whether the victim has a conclusive grounds decision. [203854]

15 July 2014 : Column 638W

Karen Bradley: Information on the whereabouts of adult victims, once they exit Government-funded support services, is not routinely held.

Although there is no requirement under the UK's European convention against trafficking obligations to support a victim once they have exited the service, the Government is looking into ways to provide post-exit support to victims which will enable continuous engagement with them, with the purpose of ensuring their well-being and successful integration into mainstream society or re-integration into their home country. This proposal is being considered as part of the review of the National Referral Mechanism and the retender of the Government-funded support service.

Should the Home Office request information, including on the town and shelter in which each victim is placed and whether the victim has a conclusive grounds decision, the Salvation Army is obliged to share it.

Police: Cumbria

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes there have been in the numbers of (a) police officers, (b) special constables, (c) police community support officers and (d) police staff in (i) Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency and (ii) Cumbria Constabulary force area since 2010. [205055]

Mike Penning: The table contains the requested data for the change in police officers, special constables, police community support, officers and police staff in the Cumbria Constabulary force area since 2010.

The Home Office does not collect figures for the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency.

Change in the number of full-time equivalent1 police officers, special constables2, police community support officers and police staff in Cumbria, between 2010 and 2013
 September 2010September 2013Change between 30 September 2010 and 30 September 2013Percentage change between 30 September 2010 and 30 September 2013

Police officers

1,220

1,126

-94

-8

Special constables

139

114

-25

-18

Police community support officers

106

86

-20

-19

Police staff

761

599

-162

-21

1 This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been presented to the nearest whole number. 2 Special constable figures are provided on a headcount basis. Source: Home Office

Road Traffic Offences: Sussex Police

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate she has made of the number of online reports made to Sussex Police in respect of the Operation Crackdown online mechanism which are (a) malicious and (b) erroneous; [204606]

(2) how many people have been employed in web development and related roles in each year since the establishment of Operation Crackdown by Sussex Police; and what key performance indicators apply to them; [204607]

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(3) how many people have been the subject of (a) reports and (b) letters resulting from Sussex Police's operation of Operation Crackdown in respect of (i) motoring and (ii) non-motoring incidents in each year since its inception; [204568]

(4) if he will make it his policy that persons who receive letters from Sussex Police related to Operation Crackdown will be entitled to simultaneous disclosure of (a) all evidence held in relation to the incident that triggered the report and (b) any related incidents on which the service seeks to rely; [204569]

(5) what assessment he has made of the compliance with the precepts of natural justice of the procedures adopted by Sussex Police in its promotion of Operation Crackdown; [204570]

(6) what (a) financial, (b) staffing and (c) capacity-building support and assistance her Department has given to Sussex Safer Roads Partnership in respect of (i) activities relating to Operation Crackdown and (ii) all other activities in each year since its inception; [204562]

(7) what metrics her Department applies to assess the performance of Sussex Safer Roads Partnership's contribution to Operation Crackdown; [204563]

(8) if she will publish her assessment of the effectiveness of the protocols governing Sussex Safer Roads Partnership's contribution to Operation Crackdown; [204564]

(9) what reason people who have received letters from Sussex Police about alleged incidents within the remit of Operation Crackdown are advised that subject access requests under section 7 of the Data Protection Act are redundant; [204605]

(10) what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the remedies available to people who are the subjects of erroneous or malicious reports to Sussex Police in respect of the Operation Crackdown online mechanism. [204603]

Mike Penning: The Home Office does not hold the information requested. Sussex Safer Roads Partnership receives no direct funding, or contributions from the Government. Operation Crackdown is a local police initiative and the Government has no involvement in measuring its effectiveness.

Senior Civil Servants

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many senior civil servants appointed to positions in her Department since 2010 were previously (a) political appointees within that Department and (b) employed by a political party. [204327]

Karen Bradley: Unlike special advisers who became senior officials under the last Government, there has been no appointment to the Home Office since 2010 of a senior civil servant who was previously a political appointee within the Department.

The Department does not routinely hold the information asked in (b) therefore in order to ascertain how many senior civil servants appointed since 2010 were previously employed by a political party would incur disproportionate cost.

15 July 2014 : Column 640W

Tobacco: Smuggling

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in the UK Border Agency were assigned to implementing the tackling tobacco smuggling strategy in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and how many such staff were engaged in (i) detection, (ii) intelligence gathering and analysis, (iii) investigations and (iv) the provision of legal advice. [205202]

Karen Bradley: UK Border Agency (UKBA) was responsible for customs functions until March 2012. Detection and intelligence work on illegal commodities, including illegal tobacco, is now carried out by Border Force, in partnership with civil service and law enforcement colleagues.

As operations undertaken by UKBA and Border Force targeted a range of commodities, the numbers of staff working specifically on the tobacco strategy are not available. To release more general information about the numbers of staff involved in such operations would jeopardise the effectiveness of our current customs activities. Border Security must be our prime consideration.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of salaries for staff allocated to the tackling tobacco smuggling strategy for those staff (a) engaged in detection, (b) engaged in investigations, (c) working on intelligence matters and (d) in total in (i) 2011-12 and (ii) 2012-13. [205204]

Karen Bradley: Details of staffing resources deployed to specifically deal with tobacco smuggling were not kept, so we are unable to provide information as to the salary costs.

In order to ensure the effectiveness of our current operations and maintain border security, Border Force is unable to provide information on the numbers of staff involved in any current or historical operations. Border security must be our prime consideration.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Air Travel

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions each Minister within his Department has taken domestic flights on official business since May 2010. [204295]

Mr Lidington: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers have taken domestic flights on 11 occasions since May 2010 on official business; the details are in the following table.

DateMinisterDestinations

June 2013

Foreign Secretary

Round trip to Edinburgh

January 2014

Foreign Secretary

Round trip to Glasgow

September 2010

Mr Lidington

Round trip to Edinburgh

October 2011

Mr Lidington

Round trip to Belfast

February 2012

Mr Lidington

Round trip to Edinburgh

January 2013

Mr Lidington

Round trip to Edinburgh

May 2013

Mr Lidington

Single journey to Belfast

15 July 2014 : Column 641W

June 2013

Mr Lidington

Single journey Edinburgh to London

December 2013

Mr Swire

Round trip to Glasgow

July 2013

Mr Simmonds

Round trip to Aberdeen

September 2010

Mr Bellingham

Round trip to Edinburgh

Balkans

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to strengthen trading relations between the UK and (a) Albania and (b) Montenegro. [204379]

Mr Lidington: The information is as follows.

(a) With regard to Albania, our positive bilateral relations means the UK is seen by Albania as partner of choice across a number of reform areas, which frequently results in commercial contracts for UK businesses. Crown Agents' contract to reform the customs administration is a good example of this. More broadly, our embassy advises and assists UK businesses who are interested in investing or operating in Albania, and is active in promoting opportunities.

For example, our embassy has provided advice to British companies in the telecommunications, oil and gas, mining, pipeline, flight training, pharmaceutical, travel, engineering, and consultancy sectors. In addition our embassy maintains good relationships with local foreign investor associations to whom referrals for advice are made.

(b) The Foreign and Commonweath Office (FCO) is active in promoting the UK's trading relationship with Montenegro through FCO-funded projects that help create an environment in which strong economic relations can thrive. These include projects aimed at: strengthening Montenegro's rule of law framework; fighting corruption; tackling tax fraud; and increasing transparency. Additionally, our Embassy in Montenegro facilitates cooperation between UK businesses and their Montenegrin counterparts. A recent example of successful trade relations between businesses from the two countries is Porto Montenegro—a sea-front development in Tivat worth more than €180 million, in which more than 50 British companies were involved.

Conflict Pool

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the eligibility criteria are for projects requiring Conflict Pool funding. [204734]

Mark Simmonds: The Conflict Pool is a tri-departmental resource managed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development. It funds conflict prevention activity in fragile and conflict affected states that are high priorities for the UK. Conflict Pool projects must support the priorities in the Building Stability Overseas Strategy. These are: early warning; rapid crisis response; and upstream conflict prevention, focusing on supporting free, transparent and inclusive political systems; effective and accountable security and justice (including defence engagement) and developing the capacity of local populations and regional and multilateral institutions to prevent and resolve the conflicts that affect them. Conflict Pool funding is a mix of ODA and non-ODA eligible funding and project work is undertaken by a wide range of implementers including HMG, NGOs and international bodies.

15 July 2014 : Column 642W

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent from the Conflict Pool in each country in each year since its launch. [204829]

Mark Simmonds: The tri-departmental conflict pool in its current form was created in 2010. The conflict pool is managed on a regional programme basis. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has funded projects in all of the conflict pool’s five regional programmes: in Afghanistan; in Africa where activity has included work in Nigeria, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya; in the middle east and North Africa including projects in Syria, Libya, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories; in South Asia where activity has mostly been in Pakistan; and activity through the Wider Europe programme in the Western Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia. Activity in all these programmes includes regional, cross-border and multilateral projects as well as country-specific activity. The FCO also funds activity through the Strengthening Alliances and Partnerships Programme (SAP) supporting international organisations, including the UN and international NGOs, to prevent conflict.

It is therefore not possible to break down spend fully on a country basis. The FCO’s spend by programme from financial year 2009-10 to financial year 2013-14 is detailed as follows:

 Spend (£)

Africa

 

2009-10

11,513,293

2010-11

10,148,734

2011-12

23,928,463

2012-13

22,648,917

2013-14

24,575,287

  

Afghanistan

 

2009-10

65,015,660

2010-11

72,260,986

2011-12

67,391,371

2012-13

48,274,454

2013-14

35,123,462

  

MENA

 

2009-10

13,086,773

2010-11

8,219,371

2011-12

15,390,246

2012-13

17,286,896

2013-14

44,656,803

  

South Asia

 

2009-10

5,162,725

2010-11

6,886,111

2011-12

10,048,078

2012-13

13,382,327

2013-14

15,238,714

  

SAP

 

2009-10

1,795,450

2010-11

1,879,215

2011-12

1,314,659

2012-13

3,043,310

15 July 2014 : Column 643W

2013-14

3,004,862

  

Wider Europe

 

2009-10

22,606,731

2010-11

9,201,708

2011-12

8,024,044

2012-13

11,034,924

2013-14

15,001,854

Diego Garcia

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the status is of the monthly flight logs of flights which have passed through Diego Garcia from January 2002 to January 2009. [205172]

Mark Simmonds: During routine work to add existing records to the store in Diego Garcia, BIOT immigration officials noted water damage to a small number of records, caused by a leaking roof. This is believed to have resulted from extremely heavy weather in June 2014. Although the extent of the damage was not clear on initial inspection at the time, as I said in my answer of 8 July 2014, Official Report, column 172W, records from 2002 appeared to be incomplete due to water damage.

However, since my answer of 8 July, BIOT immigration officials have conducted a fuller inspection, and previously wet paper records have been dried out. They report that no flight records have been lost as a result of the water damage. A small number of immigration arrival cards from 2004 have been damaged, but that information about those flights is still available in the daily occurrence logs and monthly statistics. These records provide dates of aircraft movements in the Territory, and passenger and crew numbers.

Following the incident, all hard copy records from the affected location are being transferred from the airport to a new location, and will be digitalised over the coming months.

Diplomatic Service: Official Hospitality

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much each (a) HM embassy and (b) UK high commission spend on hosting a party to mark the official birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II in the last year for which figures are available. [204740]

Mark Simmonds: The cost of each Queen’s birthday party organised across our network of overseas missions are wholly or partially paid for out of locally held budgets in each country. These figures are therefore not available without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Queen’s birthday party offers an excellent opportunity to promote the United Kingdom and build relations with a wide range of contacts and local opinion formers during this special but dignified occasion.

15 July 2014 : Column 644W

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by his Department in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204472]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) takes its responsibilities for protecting information assets seriously and complies with all the mandatory requirements of the Security Policy Framework. As such, it has in place, security incident management procedures to ensure losses are dealt with appropriately.

The FCO’s central records show the following equipment reported as lost or stolen, overseas and in the UK in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 until 30 June:

 Lost/Stolen 2013Lost/Stolen 2014
ItemsUKOverseasUKOverseas

BlackBerrys

24

31

3

22

Laptops

5

7

3

1

Blackberry devices are protected with remote wipe when the device is reported lost or stolen. In addition, after five failed attempts to access the password, the auto-wipe will clear the device of any data.

Information on the number of mobile telephones lost or stolen is not held centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost. To enable maximum value for money, mobile phones are controlled by individual posts where they take advantage of local telephone rates and mobile telephone deals. Hence there is no central management or monitoring of mobile usage.

Israel

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what condolences the UK has offered to Israel following the discovery of the bodies of the three murdered teenagers, Naftali Freikel, Gilad Sha'ar and Eyal Yifrah. [204384]

Mark Simmonds: The Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), issued a statement on 30 June, following the discovery of the missing Israeli teenagers saying that his prayers and thoughts were with the families of the teenagers. Our ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, attended the funeral.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), expressed his deepest sympathies to the families and to all Israelis as they mourned this sad loss.

Ivory Coast

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of EU restrictive measures against Côte d'Ivoire. [204917]

Mark Simmonds: Sanctions have helped improve the situation in Cote d’Ivoire by limiting destabilising factors through restrictions on the sale, supply and transfer of arms and by targeting those who constitute a threat to

15 July 2014 : Column 645W

peace and national reconciliation with asset freeze and travel ban measures. The sanctions remain under regular review and were revised by the UN in April 2014 following a UN Group of Experts report. The UK Government continues to closely monitor the situation and work with partners to support reform and encourage progress by the government of Côte d’Ivoire, particularly ahead of elections planned for October 2015.

Niger

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to the Government of Niger to assist it to tackle terrorism and organised crime. [204915]

Mark Simmonds: The UK has seconded a UK national to the EU training mission which is working to build the capacity of the Nigerien security forces. In February 2014, the UK participated in the regional security training exercise Operation Flintlock, hosted by Niger, which fosters regional co-operation to support counter terrorism and stabilisation activities in North and West Africa.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), chaired a ministerial meeting in London on security in Nigeria on 12 June 2014. The Nigerien Foreign Minister participated in this event, which made important commitments to enhance regional security co-operation.

Nigeria

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department plans to offer to Nigeria in tackling the threat of Boko Haram. [204388]

Mark Simmonds: The UK is playing a leading role in helping Nigeria to tackle the terrorist threat from Boko Haram and related group Ansaru, working closely both with the Nigerian authorities and international partners. The UK proscribed Boko Haram in July 2013.

Following the abduction in April of the Chibok schoolgirls the Prime Minister offered a package of support including: tactical advice and training for the military to help counter terrorism; military air surveillance capacity and intelligence support to help try to locate the girls; £1 million towards the UN Safe Schools initiative. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs hosted a ministerial meeting on security in Nigeria on 12 June in London. The meeting delivered agreements from Nigeria, neighbouring countries and international partners on improved security, intelligence co-operation, and commitment both to coordination of development work in the region and to empowerment and education of women.

We are also working with Nigeria on a range of judicial and security projects to improve military capacity, policing, access to justice and prosecution of terrorists. All UK counter terrorism work is subject to the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) process.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) other Ministers in his Department have

15 July 2014 : Column 646W

had with leading members of the Nigerian opposition party, the All Progressive Congress; and if he will make a statement. [204401]

Mark Simmonds: Since the formation of the All Progressive Congress in 2013, I have met Governor Fashola (Lagos State), Governor Amaechi (Rivers State) and Governor Shettima (Borno State). I am unaware of any other meetings between the Secretary of State or other FCO Ministers and leading members of the All Progressive Congress.

We stand ready to work with the Nigerian Government and politicians of all parties to uphold the democratic process in Nigeria and ensure the elections in 2015 are as free, fair and peaceful as possible.

Nigeria and Cameroon

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will commission an inquiry into the international support network for Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon; and if he will make a statement. [204402]

Mark Simmonds: We have no plans at present to commission an inquiry into the international support network for Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon. However, we are working with international partners, including Nigeria and its neighbours, the US and France to share information and coordinate efforts to defeat Boko Haram, including through the creation of a Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU).

Procurement

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much and what proportion of his Department’s budget was spent on activities which were contracted out in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12, (d) 2012-13 and (e) 2013-14; and how much and what proportion of his Department’s budget he expects to be contracted out in 2014-15. [205214]

Mr Lidington: Procurement responsibilities are devolved to directorates in the UK and our network of posts. Information regarding outsourced activities is not held centrally in the UK and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Seas and Oceans: Conferences

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what policy statements were announced by the Government at the Our Ocean conference held on 16 and 17 June 2014; and what steps the Government plans to take to implement those proposals. [204954]

Mark Simmonds: Sir David King, the Secretary of State’s Special Representative on Climate Change represented the Government at the Our Ocean conference in Washington. He highlighted the UK’s ongoing ocean conservation work, in particular the Marine Protected Areas already designated in the British Indian Ocean Territories and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. No policy statements were announced.

15 July 2014 : Column 647W

South Pacific

Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2014, Official Report, column 735W, on the South Pacific, what his Department is projected to spend on the Senior Pacific Police Leadership Programme in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16; and if he will make a statement. [204830]

Mr Swire: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 3 July 2014, Official Report, column 735W. I have asked officials to update his office directly when a decision on funding is reached.

Zimbabwe

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made relations with the government of Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. [204528]

Mark Simmonds: We remain committed to supporting the Zimbabwean people in achieving a prosperous and democratic future, including through engagement with the Government of Zimbabwe. The UK continues to hold regular high-level meetings with the Government and others across the political spectrum to promote democracy and good governance and discuss a range of issues.

15 July 2014 : Column 648W

Work and Pensions

Prisoners: Social Security Benefits

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid in (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit to people in prison in the last period for which figures are available. [204437]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available.

While eligibility for housing benefit is assessed when a claim is made or in the event of a change of circumstances, information relating to whether or not a claimant is in prison is not retained in the administrative data for housing benefit and council tax benefit that is supplied to DWP for analysis.

Social Security Benefits

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) male and (b) female benefit claimants in (i) Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the UK have been sanctioned in the last (A) six months and (B) 12 months. [204521]

Esther McVey: The available information is shown in the following table:

Number of individuals with an adverse benefit sanction applied in Great Britain, Scotland and Kilmarnock and Loudoun parliamentary constituency
  Great BritainScotlandKilmarnock and Loudoun

Sanction applied July to December 2013

Male

238,330

23,660

430

 

Female

121,100

10,260

190

     

Sanction applied January to December 2013

Male

404,490

39,490

770

 

Female

206,490

17,730

400

Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. 2. The number of benefit sanctions applied is the number of sanction or disallowance referrals where the decision was found against the claimant for those in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or Income Support (Lone Parents). 3. Data are up to December 2013 which are the latest available. 4. Income Support Lone Parents receive a fixed sanction of 20% of the personal allowance rate of a single claimant [not aged less than 25] for each failure to attend/participate in a Work Focused Interview until 10 pence is left in payment. This sanction lasts until the individual attends and participates in a Work Focused Interview. In the case where there is more than one sanction in place the claimant need only attend/participate in one Work Focused Interview in order for all related sanctions to be removed from their benefit. 5. New sanctions rules came into force for JSA and ESA from 22 October 2012 and 3 December 2012. The number of JSA sanctions applied for the new regime is the number of low, intermediate, and high level referrals where the decision was found against the claimant. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-overview-of-sanctions-rules 6. This information for JSA and ESA sanctions is published at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/ 7. Information for Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Department for Social Development. Northern Ireland statistics can be found at: http://www.dsdni.gov.uk/index/stats_and_research/benefit_publications.htm Source: (JSA and ESA): DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate: Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database. (IS): Income Support Computer System

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the contribution of 5 September 2013, Official Report, column 471, (1) when he expects that jobseeker's allowance and tax credits will be closed down; [205207]

(2) what his policy is on closing down jobseeker's allowance and tax credits before the 2015 General Election. [205208]

Esther McVey: We announced our plans for the implementation of universal credit on 5 December, and these were set out in a written ministerial statement, 5 December 2013, Official Report, column 65WS. The WMS can be found here:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131205/wmstext/131205m0001.htm#column_65WS

15 July 2014 : Column 649W

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department first submitted the Universal Credit Strategic Outline Business Case to HM Treasury. [203116]

Esther McVey: The initial Universal Credit Strategic Outline Business Case was shared with HM Treasury in March 2011. Further iterations have been shared since, as is usual practice, and an updated draft of the overall Strategic Outline Business Case, covering the full life-time of the Programme up to 2023-24, was sent to HM Treasury in December 2013.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has approved the UC Strategic Outline Business Case plans for the remainder of this Parliament (2014-15) as per the ministerial announcement (5 December 2013, Official Report, column 65WS)—link to WMS:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131205/wmstext/131205m0001.htm#column_65ws

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what processes his Department has agreed to enable housing associations to be informed when tenants migrate to universal credit. [204415]

Steve Webb: Universal credit is currently only available for new claims. Migration will be part of the future delivery plans which were announced in the written ministerial statement made by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), 5 December 2013, Official Report, column. 65WS.

The Department recognises the advantages of data sharing to help both landlords and the Department deliver their objectives and this will be considered as part of our overall test and learn approach.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what forecast his Department made of total IT spending in (a) the full business case for universal credit currently being considered by HM Treasury and (b) the business case previously approved for universal credit. [204986]

Esther McVey: Universal credit is a major reform that will transform the Welfare State in Britain, bringing £35 billion in economic benefits. The programme is delivering within its allocated budgets.

Information on spending for the universal credit programme was included in the September 2013 NAO Report: (HC 621-Session 2013-14-Link)

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/10132-001-Universal-credit.pdf

Further spending information was provided in a written answer response, 7 July 2014, Official Report, column 114W-Link

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140707/text/140707w0005.htm#column_114W

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much funding his Department has committed to the Local Support Services Framework for (a) 2014-15, (b) 2015-16 and (c) 2016-17. [205205]

15 July 2014 : Column 650W

Esther McVey: Where UC is already live, funding has been provided to reflect the type/level of Local Support Services that will be delivered with local authorities through individually tailored Delivery Partnership Agreements. This will continue to be the case as UC expands in North-west England.

On 10 July 2014 we announced the 11 partnerships selected to take part in the formal trials to test the delivery of local support services through integrated delivery partnerships:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/partnerships-for-delivery

The trials will help inform the level of local support required and what, if any, additional funding is needed.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the capacity of local authorities to co-ordinate local agencies to deliver the aims of the Local Support Services Framework; and if he will make a statement. [205206]

Esther McVey: The Local Support Service Framework published in December 2013 sets out the principles of local support provision, providing a structure for planning holistic and localised support for those who need help to make and maintain a claim to universal credit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-local-support-services-framework

DWP, local authorities and others already work in partnership to deliver local support services and delivery of LSSF will build on these partnerships. On 10 July 2014 we announced the names of the 11 partnerships selected to take part in the formal trials that will provide the necessary learning and evaluation of the delivery of local support services through integrated delivery partnerships:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/partnerships-for-delivery

International Development

Developing Countries: Females

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the UK plays a leading role in tackling violence against women and girls in the most disadvantaged parts of the globe; and if she will make a statement. [204529]

Lynne Featherstone: The UK is playing a leading role in tackling violence against women and girls internationally. This includes supporting efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, leading work on protecting women and girls from violence in humanitarian emergencies, and building the evidence on how to prevent violence before it starts through a £25 million research and innovation programme called ‘What Works to Prevent Violence’.

I refer the hon. Member to my recent written ministerial statement of 3 July 2014, Official Report, column 62WS, which provides further details on what the UK is doing on this important area.

15 July 2014 : Column 651W

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by her Department in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204476]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID’s records show the following items have been reported as lost or stolen within the requested period:

 Number of items lost or stolen
Items20132014

Mobile telephones

8

9

BlackBerrys

10

6

Laptops

14

8

House of Commons Commission

House of Commons Board of Management

Thomas Docherty: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether members of the House of Commons Management Board require authorisation from the Chief Executive, House of Commons Commission or any other authority before undertaking external speaking engagements related to their professional role. [204886]

John Thurso: The Clerk of the House is the line manager of the other executive members of the Management Board. As part of the House Service's policy of making the work of the House better known to the public, the Clerk encourages members of the Management Board to speak about their work, while of course observing necessary requirements of impartiality and confidentiality, and avoiding any conflicts of interest. Accordingly, within those guidelines, he has given discretion to members of the Board to accept invitations to speak as they see fit.

Thomas Docherty: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether members of the Management Board must seek authorisation for the contents of their remarks or lines to take during oral question and answer sessions at external speaking engagements related to their professional role. [205004]

John Thurso: The Clerk of the House is the line manager of the other executive members of the Management Board. As part of the House Service’s policy of making the work of the House better known to the public, the Clerk encourages members of the Management Board to speak about their work, while of course observing necessary requirements of impartiality and confidentiality, and avoiding any conflicts of interest. Accordingly, within those guidelines, he has given discretion to members of the Board to accept invitations to speak as they see fit and does not require them to seek authorisation for the contents of their remarks or for lines to take.

15 July 2014 : Column 652W

Thomas Docherty: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, on how many occasions each member of the Management Board has undertaken an external speaking engagement in each of the last four financial years. [205005]

John Thurso: The House Service does not collect the information requested. As part of the House Service’s policy of making the work of the House better known to the public, the Clerk encourages members of the Management Board to speak about their work, and they do so frequently, for example at outreach events.

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by the House of Commons Commission in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204475]

John Thurso: The following response relates to items owned by the House of Commons, issued by the Parliamentary ICT Service that have been reported as lost. Items not supplied by Parliamentary ICT (such as those owned by individuals or third parties) are excluded.

No losses were reported during 2013; four phones, one laptop and no BlackBerrys have been reported as lost so far during 2014.

Welsh Affairs Select Committee

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission will make available to the Welsh Affairs Committee funds to allow the hiring of Welsh translators to allow submissions to be provided without English translation. [204522]

John Thurso: The general practice of the Welsh Affairs Committee has been to ask those submitting written evidence in Welsh to provide an English translation. It appears that in the 1990s when written evidence was submitted to the Welsh Affairs Committee in the Welsh language only, translation was provided by the Welsh Office free of charge. The Clerk of the House has asked me to say that, in view of the representations by the hon. Member and others, he is happy to accept the point of principle that submissions should be accepted without an English translation, and that he has asked the Committee Office to work on the details.