Defence

Armed Forces: Bullying and Suicide

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent steps he has taken to prevent (a) bullying and (b) suicide in the armed forces. [204882]

Anna Soubry: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a zero tolerance policy in respect of bullying in the Armed Forces and our aim is an inclusive working environment that delivers opportunities for all, recognises and values diversity, and eradicates bullying.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave on 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 65W, to the hon. Member for Bridgend (Mrs Moon), for details of recent steps taken to prevent bullying.

Every suicide is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with the families of all those who have sadly taken their own lives. Suicide among members of the armed forces remains rare and is lower than comparative rates in the civilian population.

The MOD is committed to providing our service personnel with the highest level of mental health and welfare support. Commanding officers in each of the services are given clear guidance on the management of individuals who are potentially vulnerable or at risk for a variety of reasons, including the risk of suicide or deliberate self-harm.

The Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) policy is a preventive strategy used by the Army that allows the identification of individuals who may be at risk and signposts appropriate responses and management tools to be used by the chain of command. In autumn 2014, a number of mental health study days will be launched across the Army with particular emphasis on SVRM and training on post-operational stress management, trauma risk management and debt awareness.

Royal Navy Medical Officers now employ structured mental health assessments as a tool for assessing the mental health of officers and routinely employ the tool during Service Medical Examinations. This service is readily accessible at all baseports and urgent assessments are offered within one working day.

The Royal Air Force has recently revised its Management and Resilience Policy. Since November 2013, the RAF Stress Management and Resilience Team (SMARTT) has been producing and trialling a ‘Suicide Awareness’ package in association with Mental Health professionals. SMARTT is due to begin a training programme to enable units to deliver the package to their personnel.

Army Reserve

Crispin Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current trained strength is of the Army Reserve. [205592]

17 July 2014 : Column 797W

Mr Brazier: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), gave on 23 June 2014, Official Report, column 86W, to the hon. Member for Barnsley Central (Dan Jarvis).

Defence: Expenditure

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the NATO definition of defence expenditure. [205677]

Mr Brazier: NATO defines defence expenditure as payments made by a national Government specifically to meet the needs of its armed forces. NATO publishes the defence expenditure of NATO countries regularly on its website at:

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49198.htm

The published figures represent payments actually made or to be made during the course of the financial year.

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of his Department’s returns to the annual United Nations Report on Military Expenditure in each of the last 15 years. [205678]

Mr Brazier: Copies of the Ministry of Defence’s return to the United Nations Report on Military Expenditure covering the period 2002-11 are available on the UN’s website at:

http://www.un-arm.org/Milex/CountryProfile.aspx?CountryId=205

We are investigating whether returns for 1999-2001 and 2012-14 were required to be submitted, and I will write once this has been verified.

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of his Department’s returns to the annual NATO defence expenditure survey for each of the last 15 years. [205679]

Mr Brazier: The UK returns to the annual NATO defence expenditure survey are based primarily on the MOD’s annual report and accounts. In order to meet the NATO definition of defence expenditure, they also include the payments made via the armed forces pension scheme, all of which are already in the public domain.

NATO also publishes the defence expenditure of NATO countries regularly on its website at:

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49198.htm

The published NATO figures represent payments actually made or to be made during the course of the financial year.

European Fighter Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the Prime Minister's announcement on 14 July 2014 of £1.1 billion investment in the armed forces, what proportion of that investment will be spent on E-Scan radar for Typhoon; how many units of that radar will be purchased; and when they will be installed on the aircraft. [205667]

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Mr Dunne: The E-Scan Radar Development Programme for Typhoon is currently still within the Assessment Phase, prior to its main investment decision. I am withholding the full development costs of this programme as its disclosure would be prejudicial to the commercial interests of the Ministry of Defence. However, a £72 million Extended Assessment Phase contract has been awarded to BAE Systems, to de-risk UK specific requirements as part of the pre-main investment decision work. At this time, it is not possible to say how many units will be purchased or when they will be installed on UK aircraft.

HMS Protector

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) for how long HMS Protector was leased; and what the cost was of that lease; [205665]

(2) where HMS Protector was built; and what the cost was of her purchase. [205666]

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on renting the use of HMS Protector for each year since 2011. [206099]

Mr Dunne: HMS Protector was built at Havyard AS in Norway in 2001 for GC Rieber. From April 2011 until September 2013, the ship was leased from GC Rieber, to provide the Ministry of Defence (MOD) with an Ice Patrol Ship capability. The annual cost of the lease was £8.7 million, which included the cost of support.

HMS Protector was purchased by the MOD from GC Rieber for £54 million in September 2013, which included the cost of one year’s contract support.

Procurement

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence 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. [204887]

Mr Dunne: Expenditure on contracted-out services is summarised in the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Annual Report and Accounts and has been as follows since 2009-10:

Financial yearExpenditure (£ billion)Expenditure as a percentage of Defence budget1

2009-10

2.1

5.3

2010-11

2.2

5.5

2011-12

2.5

6.6

2012-13

2.7

8.0

1 Total DEL: Annual Report and Accounts.

The audited out-turn for 2013-14 will be published in the MOD’s 2013-14 Annual Report and Accounts which are due to be laid before Parliament in mid September 2014. Our in-year forecast for 2014-15 does not identify expenditure on contracted-out services discretely.

This expenditure represents the cost of the MOD’s Service Concession Arrangements (formerly know as Private Finance Initiative Service Charges), Contractor

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Logistic Support and Integrated Operational Support contracts, finance lease service charges and External Assistance. This expenditure does not include those contracted-out services not reported centrally.

Sexual Harassment

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints of sexual harassment have been (a) formally reported and (b) upheld in each service and his Department's civil service in each year since 2010. [205161]

Anna Soubry: Figures on the number of complaints of sexual harassment made by Service personnel since 2010 are published in the Service Complaints Commissioner’s (SCC) Annual Reports. The full reports are presented annually to the House and are also located on the SCC website at the following link:

http://armedforcescomplaints.independent.gov.uk/newsandpublications.htm

Information on complaints from each service can be found in the relevant pages:

2013 Annual Report-page 72, appendix 3.

2012 Annual Report-page 62, appendix 3.

2011 Annual Report-page 59, appendix 3.

2010 Annual Report-page 89, appendix 6.

Since 2010, there have been five reported complaints of sexual harassment amongst civilian staff at the Ministry for Defence.

Due to the small number of cases of sexual harassment reported by service personnel and civilian staff, providing a breakdown of this information by year might breach Data Protection legislation. The outcome of complaints against sexual harassment is considered sensitive personal data and the disclosure of this information would be unreasonable.

War Graves

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much his Department (a) has given in each of the last 10 years and (b) plans to give in the next three years to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to (i) mark and (ii) maintain the graves of those who died during the world wars; and if he will make a statement; [202186]

(2) how much his Department (a) spent in each of the last 10 years and (b) plans to spend in each of the next three years on maintaining war graves; and if he will make a statement. [202022]

Anna Soubry: As the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war approaches, it is right that we acknowledge the important work undertaken by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to commemorate those who gave their lives during both world wars.

The CWGC receives financial contributions from its member nations based on the number of graves it maintains on behalf of each nation. Accordingly, the UK Government contributes 78.43% to the total CWGC funding.

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Financial records are retained for seven years. Information held by the Ministry of Defence indicates that over the last seven financial years the UK Government has made the following payments to CWGC for the maintenance of graves of those who died during the first and second world wars. The figures include UK VAT.

 £

2007-08

34,799,000

2008-09

35,153,000

2009-10

46,545,000

2010-11

43,341,000

2011-12

46,288,000

2012-13

44,636,487

2013-14

47,318,041

With regard to future funding, the UK will continue to meet its obligation to pay the appropriate percentage (currently 78.43%) of the total CWGC funding.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is discussing with the CWGC the scope for enhancing information and interpretation at burial sites as part of the centenary commemorations.

Education

Children: Daycare

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2014, Official Report, columns 757-8W, on children: daycare, (1) who the five providers are who have registered with Ofsted as performing childcare services on behalf of local authorities excluding fostering and adoption; [205026]

(2) which local authorities use external contractors to assist with the delivery of childcare services other than fostering and adoption. [205027]

Mr Timpson: As of 14 July 2014, the following organisations were listed in Ofsted’s register of social work providers as discharging functions for looked after children and care leavers:

1. Evolve YP, acting for Staffordshire County Council.

2. Redbridge Leaving Care, acting for the London Borough of Redbridge.

3. Mancroft Advice Project, acting for Norfolk County Council.

4. Catch 22, acting for Kent County Council.

5. Vista Social Work Practice Ltd, acting for Bristol County Council.

Full details of the listed organisations (including dates of registration) are published on the Ofsted website at:

www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/register-of-social-work-providers

Education: Assessments

Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when her Department will publish the experimental data for the 16 to 19 2012-13 performance tables. [205517]

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Mr Laws: Experimental statistics were published on 26 June 2014 on the destinations of key stage 4 (KS4) and key stage 5 (KS5) students1. The statistics remain experimental with new institutions, such as independent and special schools, being included for the first time. KS4 education destinations are included in performance tables, but the employment, training and characteristics data need to be fully tested and evaluated before the rest of KS4 and all of KS5 data can be published in performance tables. The next publication is due in early 2015 and will cover 2012/13 destinations.

Experimental statistics on level 1 and 2 attainment in English and mathematics by 16 to 18 students for academic year 2012/13 will be published by October 2014.

1 Available at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-destinations

Pre-school Education: Brighton

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many nursery places were available in (a) Brighton and Hove and (b) Brighton, Kemptown constituency in each year since 2010. [205244]

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

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

1 Available at:

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

Schools: Finance

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when she plans to confirm the level of extra funding for 2015-16 that will be allocated as a consequence of her consultation on fairer school funding earlier in 2014. [205589]

Mr Laws: We have today published our consultation response confirming the level of extra funding that each local authority will receive.

Schools: Transport

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what figures her Department holds on total local authority spending on school travel in each of the last five years, including the amount spent on (a) discretionary services, (b) statutory services and (c) travel for SEN and other eligible groups. [205536]

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Mr Laws: The available information on local authority expenditure on home to school transport is published online.

For 2008-09 and 2009-10:

webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130903115029/http://education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/financialmanagement/schoolsrevenuefunding/section251/archive/b0068383/section-251-data-archive/outturn-data---detailed-level-2008-09-onwards

For 2010-11:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-and-school-expenditure-on-education-childrens-services-and-social-care-2010-to-2011

For 2011-12:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/expenditure-on-education-children-and-young-peoples-services-academic-year-2011-to-2012

For 2012-13:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/la-and-school-expenditure-financial-year-2012-to-2013

University Academy Birkenhead

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when she expects to decide on the new sponsorship for University Academy Birkenhead. [205705]

Mr Timpson: We are still considering the best sponsorship option for this academy and will make a decision on its future in due course.

Northern Ireland

Banking and Access to Finance Joint Ministerial Task Force

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times the Joint Ministerial Task Force on Banking and Access to Finance has met since its formation in 2013; and what actions this body has taken. [205101]

Mrs Villiers: The Joint Ministerial Task Force on Banking and Access to Finance has formally met twice since its formation and is due to meet again in the autumn. I have also held a number of separate discussions with individual members of the task force.

Significant progress has been made on task force priorities to encourage the effective operation of the Business Bank; promote the effectiveness of national finance initiatives; and secure the availability of local bank lending data for Northern Ireland. This data, from the British Bankers’ Association, was published for the first time on 2 July alongside the update on the economic pact: Building a Prosperous and United Community: One Year On.

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) permanent and (b) non-permanent staff were employed at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on 1 July 2014. [205591]

17 July 2014 : Column 803W

Mrs Villiers: I am advised by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission that there are 13 permanent and three non-permanent members of staff employed at the Commission.

Parades Commission

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) permanent and (b) non-permanent staff were employed by the Parades Commission on 1 July 2014. [205520]

Mrs Villiers: Staffing issues are primarily an operational matter for the Parades Commission as per Schedule 1 of the Public Processions (NI) Act 1998. The hon. Gentleman may therefore wish to write directly to the commission on this matter.

Church Commissioners

ICT

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, how many mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops were lost by the Church Commissioners in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date. [204465]

Sir Tony Baldry: The number of mobile telephones, BlackBerrys and laptops lost by members of the National Church Institutions which in includes the Church Commissioners for the year 2013 is as follows, data was not yet available for the year 2014:

 Mobile/BlackBerryLaptop

2013

5

1

2014

Data not yet available

Data not yet available

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Construction

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2014, Official Report, column 118W, on housing construction, whether he anticipates that affordable housing starts will rise or fall in 2014-15 compared to 2013-14. [205552]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 14 July 2014]: My Department does not publish forecasts or targets for overall house building, including for individual years of specific programmes. As mentioned in the previous answer, we are taking practical steps to encourage starts on site of affordable homes funded by the Homes and Communities Agency in order to avoid any hiatus caused by the ending of the current Affordable Homes Programme in March 2015.

Our 2011-15 Affordable Housing Programme is on course to deliver 170,000 new affordable homes and our 2015-18 Affordable Housing Programme will deliver a further 165,000 new affordable homes (the fastest rate of affordable house building for 20 years).

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Estate Agents: Outdoor Advertising

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities currently operate restrictions on the display of to-let boards in all or part of their areas; how many applications he has received from local authorities for the removal of deemed consent to to-let boards since 2010; and how many of these applications he has approved. [205069]

Brandon Lewis: A sensible balance needs to be struck between letting people advertise their home for sale and allowing forests of boards which disfigure the street scene. Councils have powers to tackle the proliferation of such boards where it is an acute local problem.

10 local authorities are known to operate restrictions on the display of to-let boards. Eight applications have been received since 2010 of which two were to renew previous Secretary of State Directions. All applications have been approved either in full or with modifications.

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to announce a final decision on the Regulation 7 application by Newcastle City Council for the removal of deemed consent to to-let boards. [205070]

Brandon Lewis: A hearing into this proposal was held on 20 May 2014 and we expect to receive an Inspector’s Report shortly. A final decision will be issued as soon as possible following careful consideration of the Inspector’s Report.

Fires: Safety

Seema Malhotra: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance is given by his Department on safety of havans in Hindu community, cultural and religious events and the compatibility of such instruments with existing fire regulations. [205132]

Penny Mordaunt: This Government strongly supports faith communities being able to celebrate and mark religious festivals and exercise their freedom of religion.

Any event involving fires requires the application of some sensible planning. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all commercial premises and others to which the public have access. It requires the employer or building owner to assess the risk of fire to any occupants and put in place adequate fire safety measures to remove or reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable.

We have not produced any specific guidance on Havan, although we have produced more general guidance on fire safety, including advice on open-air events, and on small and large assemblies. These can be found online at:

www.gov.uk/workplace-fire-safety-your-responsibilities/fire-safety-advice-documents

Fracking

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the cost to a local authority of processing an environmental impact assessment for unconventional oil and gas extraction. [204827]

17 July 2014 : Column 805W

Brandon Lewis: Our expectation is that the costs to minerals planning authorities of processing an environmental impact assessment linked to a planning application for unconventional oil or gas extraction will be broadly comparable to those already incurred in respect of conventional oil and gas extraction applications.

Housing: Construction

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of new dwellings in England were built on previously developed land in each year since 2008. [205554]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 14 July 2014]: The proportion of new dwellings in England built on previously-developed land in each year since 2008 can be found in Table P211 of the Live Tables on Land Use Change Statistics, which is available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-land-use-change-statistics

I also refer the right hon. Member to the written ministerial statement of 16 June 2014, Official Report, columns 71-72WS, which outlines the steps we are taking to increase house building on brownfield land.

Local Government Services

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times the Community Right to Challenge has been used since it came into force on 27 June 2012; how many such challenges have been against a private contractor; and what proportion of all claims have been unsuccessful. [205103]

Stephen Williams: The Department does not collate information on the number of Expressions of Interest submitted to local authorities to take over council run services or the number of service contracts won as a result of a procurement exercise under Right to Challenge provisions. Therefore we are unable to say how many challenges have been made against a private contractor; or what proportion of all claims have been unsuccessful.

Right to Challenge enables community groups to exercise their powers to submit challenges to councils on current contracted services that they manage but may be delivered through a third party. The challenge powers cannot force breaks in contracts but it does enable community organisations to submit Expressions of Interest bids for council services when contracts are due to expire.

We are aware of 37 Expressions of Interest submissions to councils, however, this is not a comprehensive figure. This soft intelligence has been collected through conversations with individual local authorities and community groups who have accessed the challenge support programme.

Our support has helped a number of groups looking to or thinking about taking on service delivery. We have supported 316 groups through specialist referrals and 212 went on to access financial assistance through the grants programme. We understand 40 groups were intending to approach their council with a service proposition. A further 55 groups were expecting to bid in procurement rounds and another 11 wanted support with their bids.

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The Community Right to Challenge is also recognised by the voluntary and community and parish sectors as being helpful in opening up relationships with local authorities. A survey of 188 inquirers to the advice service indicated that 25% were in negotiation with their council on potential commissioning and said negotiation had come about as a direct result of the challenge legislation and 48% felt that their local authority was more open to contracting with eligible bodies than before the legislation came into force.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many house purchases have been funded through the Help to Buy scheme in (a) Brighton, Kemptown constituency, (b) Sussex and (c) South East England to date. [205245]

Brandon Lewis: This Government is committed to supporting people’s aspirations to own their own home. The Department’s official statistics on sales for the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, as of 31 May, broken down by local authority and postcode sector for England, are available at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/help-to-buy-equity-loan-scheme-monthly-statistics

Figures are not available by constituency. In the areas of Brighton and Hove, and Lewes which covers all of the Brighton, Kemptown constituency, the number of families buying a home with the support of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme is four and zero, respectively. Equivalent figures for Help to Buy: NewBuy are two and six.

The number of families buying a home with the support of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme in Sussex is 591. 104 families have bought a home with the support of Help to Buy: NewBuy.

My Department does not publish regional statistics.

The Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee scheme is managed by HM Treasury and the data is available at:

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

Parking Offences: CCTV

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2014, Official Report, column 408W, on parking offences: CCTV, what proportion of (a) organisations and (b) individuals responding to his consultation on local authority parking (i) agreed with, (ii) did not agree with and (iii) expressed no view on the Government’s intention to abolish the use of closed circuit television cameras for parking enforcement. [205553]

Penny Mordaunt: I have placed in the Library of the House, a copy of the Government response to the consultation which outlines the feedback to the questions asked. For the Government’s public policy rationale for our reforms, I refer the right hon. Member to the previous answer he received on 10 July 2014, Official Report, column 408W.

17 July 2014 : Column 807W

Planning Permission

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many dwellings with approved planning applications remain to be developed. [205264]

Kris Hopkins [holding answer 15 July 2014]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 14 July 2014, Official Report, columns 530-31W.

Private Rented Housing: Complaints

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many complaints have been made to his Department in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13 and (d) 2013-14 against landlords and letting agents by tenants in the private rented sector. [205528]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 14 July 2014]: My Department does not hold this information.

Local authorities have extensive powers to take action against landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to tenants, or who fail to maintain their properties adequately. All complaints about landlords should be directed towards the relevant local authority.

Letting agents are required to comply with Consumer Protection Legislation, and anyone who has concerns about a letting agent can raise this with Trading Standards.

However, to strengthen the hand of consumers, we have introduced new legislation which will require all letting and managing agents in England to belong to an approved redress scheme. The Government is also introducing legislation which will ban letting agents from charging hidden fees.

Public Works Loan Board

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what support his Department provides to local authorities which cannot repay their loans to the Public Works Loan Board; and if he will make a statement. [205025]

Kris Hopkins: Under the prudential capital finance system, local authorities are free to borrow for any capital expenditure without Government consent, provided that they and their auditors are satisfied that they can afford to meet the borrowing costs.

Authorities have a statutory duty to make an amount of debt provision which the authority considers prudent. My Department has issued simple guidance on setting the level of prudent provision (Minimum Revenue Provision), and authorities must have regard to these recommendations.

The Guidance on the Minimum Revenue Provision is available on the DCLG website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/capital-finance-guidance-on-minimum-revenue-provision-third-edition

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Shared Ownership

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to identify the barriers which prevent tenants in shared-ownership properties from staircasing up to increase the share of the property that they own. [204793]

Brandon Lewis: The Government is committed to helping people meet their aspirations to rent or own their own homes through current affordable home ownership schemes, including shared ownership and Help to Buy. Shared ownership continues to be an extremely popular and effective way of helping households who are priced out of the housing market to get on the ladder. We are open to representations on any practical steps that can be taken to promote such schemes.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to assist Peterborough City Council and others in preventing incursion by travellers onto public land for the purpose of encampment; and if he will make a statement. [205587]

Brandon Lewis: The Government is concerned about unauthorised sites and the effect they can have on local communities. In August 2013, the Government sent all council leaders updated guidance (see the following link), and setting out the strong powers councils and landowners have to remove illegal and unauthorised sites on both public and private land.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dealing-with-illegal-and-unauthorised-encampments-a-summary-of-available-powers

Business, Innovation and Skills

Buildings

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on refurbishing its entrance hall in the last year. [205052]

Jo Swinson: The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has spent £56,250.49 refurbishing the entrance hall in the last year (rolling 12 month period). The following is a breakdown of this expenditure:

ExpenditureCost (£)

BIS TV reception installation and equipment

6,320.00

  

Reception wall frames

8,130.00

Reception display stands

 

Signage

 
  

Backdrop for the exhibition space within the main reception

968.00

Building works carried out in 1VS reception

40,842.49

Total

56,250.49

17 July 2014 : Column 809W

The reception area has been reconfigured in order to maximise the opportunities for exhibitions and displays to showcase UK businesses.

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010. [205195]

Jo Swinson: The Department complies with the Government’s transparency programme. As part of this all of the Department’s contract opportunities with a value greater than £10,000 and all contracts subsequently awarded are published on Contracts Finder.

The maintenance of central records of all contracts let by the Department commenced from August 2012. Therefore, I can provide information on the contracts let in the period August 2012 to date only.

According to these records one contract has been let in the £1 million to £3 million range and two contracts have been let with a value in excess of £3 million. I am not aware that any contracts are about to be let with a value above £1 million.

Records are not kept on the numbers of officials monitoring these contracts or the cost of so doing.

I have approached the chief executives of the Department’s executive agencies (Insolvency Service, Companies House, National Measurement Office, Intellectual Property Office, UK Space Agency, Ordnance Survey, Met Office, and the Land Registry) and they will respond to the hon. Member directly. A letter from the Skills Funding Agency will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Letter from David Parker, dated 16 July 2014:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010.

The UK Space Agency became an Executive Agency of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on the 1st April 2011.

17 July 2014 : Column 810W

The UK Space Agency has no contracts worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million. There are no finance staff dedicated to monitoring the Agency’s contracts; they do so as part of wider finance duties and therefore the individual costs are incalculable but will be immaterial.

Letter from Ed Lester, dated 17 July 2014:

I write on behalf of Land Registry in response to Parliamentary Question 205196 which you tabled and which asked the following:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010.

Since 2010 Land Registry have let 6 contracts in the £1-£3m range and 12 in the over £3m range. There is one contract over £3m which is about to be let.

There were 16.6 staff working on letting and monitoring contracts from 2010 to the present. The staff costs amount to £4.5m. These are based on the Land Registry full staff cost table, which includes internal overhead costs as well as salary and other associated costs.

I hope that you find this information useful.

Letter from Ann Lewis, dated 17 July 2014:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 14 July 2014, UIN 205195 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Since 2010, Companies House has let four contracts worth between £1 million and £3 million. It has not let any worth more than £3 million.

Information on how much we have spent on monitoring each contract is not available: the officials monitoring each contract carry out a wide range of duties of which contract monitoring is just a part.

There are two officials monitoring each contract.

Letter from Neil Ackroyd, dated 14 July 2014:

As Acting Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to respond to your Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills "how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010."

Ordnance Survey has a number of contracts let which fall within the above ranges. Details are provided on the attached sheet.

Should you have any further questions, please let me know.

I hope this information is helpful.

Ordnance Survey data summary
 Number of contracts placed between £1m and £3mNumber of contracts placed over £3mTotal cumulative value (£m)How much spent on monitoring contractsNumber of staff involved in contract management between £1m and £3mNumber of staff involved in contract management over £3m

2010

2

1

9.550

This information is not collected/ collated

2

2

2011

2

3

10.383

This information is not collected/ collated

2

5

2012

1

0

2.850

This information is not collected/ collated

2

n/a

2013

8

0

10

This information is not collected/ collated

11

n/a

17 July 2014 : Column 811W

17 July 2014 : Column 812W

2014

2

0

3

This information is not collected/ collated

6

n/a

2014 to be done

3

1

10

This information is not collected/ collated

3

3

Letter from John Hirst, dated 17 July 2014:

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 July 2014, UIN 205195 to the Secretary of State for Business, innovation and Skills.

The information you requested is shown in the following table.

Contract valueContracts let since 2010Contracts about to be letOfficials per contract1Estimated total number of hours monitoring contractsEstimated total spent monitoring contracts (£)2

>£1m to £3m

4

0

1

1,069

24,729

>£3m

2

0

1

768

17,664

1 Officials whose job descriptions include contract monitoring. 2 Internal pay costs

I hope this helps.

Letter from Richard Judge, dated 17 July 2014:

The Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question, how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010.

In the period in question, the Insolvency Service has let the following contracts:

(a) Let since 2010

(i) £1-£3M—1

(ii) >£3M—1

(b) About to be let

(i) £1-£3M

(ii) >£3M—1

All the above were advertised by means of an OJEU notice published prior to the procurement process.

How much has been spent on monitoring?

The annual total salary costs for procurement, contracts and service delivery staff (located within the Finance and Commercial Directorate) within the Agency are £404k. These staff are responsible for the full range of procurement, contract and service delivery activities across the Insolvency Service, and therefore costs for monitoring alone would be significantly less than £404k. However we are not able to analyse time spent by these staff across the activities noted above.

In addition, there are a number of staff who monitor supplier contract performance who are located within the wider organisation. However these staff typically spend only a portion of their time on this activity, and we do not have the information to estimate the total time spent by these staff on monitoring activities.

In summary, £400k would probably be a reasonable estimate of the annual salary costs of staff involved in contract monitoring.

How many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010?

There are currently 10 staff within the procurement, contracts and service delivery team. As noted above, these staff are involved in a range of activities, including contract monitoring. In addition, other staff within the organisation spend a proportion of their time on monitoring activities.

Letter from Richard Sanders, dated 17 July 2014:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 10 July 2014, asking the BIS Secretary of State how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010.

Our responses are as follows:

Question a) (i) 4 contracts

Question a) (ii) 12 contracts

Question b) (i) Nil contracts

Question b) (ii) Nil Contracts.

The following table shows how much has been spent on the monitoring of each contract by NMO and how many officials monitor each contract between 1st April 2010 and 31st March 2014:

Contract£ spent on monitoring the contract1Number of officials (headcount) monitoring the contract2

TUV SUD NEL Contract 1— Scientific Metrology

3

2

TUV SUD NEL Contract 2—Scientific Metrology

3

2

TUV SUD NEL Contract 3—Scientific Metrology

3

2

TUV SUD NEL Contract 4—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 1—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 2—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 3—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 4—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 5—Scientific Metrology

3

2

17 July 2014 : Column 813W

17 July 2014 : Column 814W

LGC Ltd Contract 6—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 7—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 8—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 9—Scientific Metrology

3

2

LGC Ltd Contract 10—Scientific Metrology

3

2

SGS Ltd—to test disputed gas and electricity meters

2,475

2

HDR, Inc—Estates (construction work)

2,750

1

1 This refers to the staff costs of civil service officials engaged in contract monitoring activities which include the verification of invoices, ensuring that key performance indicators are met, dealing with queries or requests for variation to the contract, attendance at meetings and maintaining the community group of expert advisors. 2 This refers to the number of civil service officials involved in the monitoring of the contract and excludes contractors who may or may not be involved. 3 The total cost of monitoring the listed scientific metrology contracts is £197,978.

Letter from John Alty, dated 17 July 2014:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question, to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many contracts (a) let since 2010 and (b) about to be let by his Department and its agencies are worth (i) between £1 million and £3 million and (ii) over £3 million; how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let by his Department since 2010; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract let since 2010 by his Department since 2010. (205195)

Since 2010, the IPO has (a) let three contracts between £1 million and £3 million, and two contracts over £3 million, with one contract between £1 million and £3 million about to be let. Further information on IPO contracts numbers and values are published on Contracts Finder as part of the government transparency agenda.

The IPO do not record how much has been spent on monitoring each contract let since 2010, or how many officials in the IPO monitor each contract let since 2010.

Property Searches

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of centralising local land charges registers on small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-businesses currently providing such services as local land charges searches. [204724]

Matthew Hancock: A Regulatory Impact Assessment relating to the provision of Local Land Charges has been produced by Land Registry and approved by BIS and the Regulatory Policy Committee.

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/91627/LR_Impact-Assessment_Wider-Powers-and-LLC-Consultation_FINAL.pdf

This takes into account the potential benefits of a fully digitised service with improved turnaround times, greater efficiencies and a lower fee for the customer. The Impact Assessment states that creating a single, digital Local Land Charges register will result in the significant majority of customers, including businesses, paying a lower fee per purchase for a faster service.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations he has received on the effect of changes to be made in the Infrastructure Bill [Lords] on improving completion times for LLC1 local searches. [204750]

Matthew Hancock: Land Registry undertook a full public consultation on Local Land Charges and Wider Powers between 16 January 2014 and 9 March 2014. This consultation received 627 responses and the Government published its response on 16 June 2014.

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/91626/Govt-Response_Report-on-Wider-Powers-LLC-Consultation-16-6-14.pdf

This response highlights all of the representations made by respondents. Land Registry has engaged extensively with stakeholders throughout its research into Local Land Charges and this engagement is ongoing.

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on completion times for LLC1 local searches as a result of centralising the local land charges register in line with proposals in the Infrastructure Bill [Lords]. [204751]

Matthew Hancock: Creating a single, digital Local Land Charges register will lead to a reduction in search turnaround times on average. Searches currently take between 1 and more than 20 days and Land Registry intends to reduce this to minutes. In 2013/14, Land Registry dealt with 11.5 million requests for registers of title and title plans, of which 98.2% were delivered electronically to the customer: Local Land Charges searches are similar and Land Registry will utilise its expertise to provide them in a similar way.

House of Commons Commission

Computer Software

Thomas Docherty: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross representing the House of Commons Commission what assessment the Commission has made of the effectiveness to date of the introduction of Office 365; and on what evidence and measures the Commission based that assessment. [204885]

John Thurso: The Commission has made no formal assessment of the effectiveness to date of the introduction of Office 2013 and Microsoft 365 email.

Parliamentary ICT (PICT) acknowledges that the implementation has not been as simple and straightforward as was hoped, and is aware that it has caused problems for some hon. Members. PICT is working to resolve most of these problems, the most common of which are described below. The lessons learned from these problems are being implemented to improve deployment and support arrangements. PICT apologises for the inconvenience experienced by hon. Members.

17 July 2014 : Column 815W

Following the upgrade to Office 2013, PICT received a large number of support calls, including from users who found that the process of upgrading to Office 2013 remotely took much longer than expected. Some Members have also commented negatively on the look and feel of the new product.

Access to 365 requires an update and reconfiguration of both desktops/laptops and mobile devices. In some cases the upgrade to the desktop and user profile has needed adjustment once the migration has been completed. In a greater number of cases hon. Members who have mobile devices have required assistance to reconfigure the devices to receive the 365 services. All BlackBerry owners have needed assistance to do this because it is a technical task and, depending upon the ownership of the model and its software version, some hon. Members have had real difficulty with the migration process.

365 has a limit on the number of people who can be added to a single email distribution list, and some hon. Members have found this causes difficulty. PICT have offered assistance and advice has been offered to work around this issue.

Once successfully migrated, the Office 365 service offers significant benefits to users, including a much larger email box, an easier to use login process, and access to services from any location and device as long as there is an internet connection and a modern browser.

Cabinet Office

Alcoholic Drinks

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his Department’s policy is on alcohol consumption on the premises (a) in general and (b) during parties being held in his Private Office. [205085]

Mr Maude: There is no prohibition of alcohol in my Department. This includes ministerial and official private offices.

Government Departments: Legal Opinion

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the Government offers non-executive directors of government-owned companies or arm’s-length bodies independent legal advice if they believe a conflict of interest may arise if such advice is provided internally by Government Departments. [205557]

Mr Maude: Government-owned companies and arm’s length bodies are responsible for obtaining their own legal advice; some may obtain legal advice from Government Departments.

Potential conflicts of interest are considered on a case by case basis.

Mass Media: Subscriptions

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost is of each subscription to (a) magazines and (b) television channels his Department funds. [205084]

17 July 2014 : Column 816W

Mr Maude: Expenditure incurred by my Department on subscription to magazines can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barnsley East (Michael Dugher) on 8 October 2013, Official Report, column 170W.

Procurement

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how much No. 10 Downing street paid to (a) G4S, (b) Serco, (c) Sodexo, (d) GEOAmey, (e) Capita, (f) Atos, (g) Mitie, (h) Working Links, (i) A4E, (j) MTC Amey, (k) GEO Group and (l) Carillion in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14; [205857]

(2) how much the Deputy Prime Minister's Office paid to (a) G4S, (b) Serco, (c) Sodexo, (d) GEOAmey, (e) Capita, (f) Atos, (g) Mitie, (h) Working Links, (i) A4E, (j) MTC Amey, (k) GEO Group and (l) Carillion in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14. [205853]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister’s Office and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office are an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

As part of my Department’s transparency programme, any spend over £25,000 is available on the Department’s website. Since January 2011, all contracts over £10,000 in value are published on Contracts Finder

http://www.contractsfinder.co.uk/

Procurement: EU Law

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what cross-governmental guidance his Department has issued on new European procurement directives. [205108]

Mr Maude: Hon. Members can monitor progress via the transposition page at:

https://www.gov.uk/transposing-eu-procurement-directives

Social Networking

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many Twitter accounts are run by his Department; how much his Department spends annually on (a) Twitter accounts and (b) all social media; and how many people in his Department are employed to work on social media. [206049]

Mr Maude: A list of official Twitter accounts run by Cabinet Office, including those used by senior officials, can be found at:

https://twitter.com/cabinetofficeuk/cabinet-office-teams/members

The Department also runs the @Number10gov and @Number10press accounts.

No member of staff is employed to specifically work on social media.

17 July 2014 : Column 817W

Third Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) who has received funding for organising the 2014 Big Society Awards; and if he will make a statement; [205555]

(2) when he expects to hold the 2014 Big Society Awards; and if he will make a statement. [205556]

Mr Maude: All Big Society Award winners are listed on:

www.bigsocietyawards.org

Training

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many away days his Department has held for its officials in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date; and what the cost of each such event has been. [205075]

Mr Maude: 11 away days were held outside of the Cabinet Office Estate in 2013. These cost a total of £19,386.

One away day has been held outside of the Cabinet Office Estate so far in 2014. This cost £668.

It is worth noting that although complete data for the Cabinet Office prior to 2010 is not available, this Department's spend on away days was at least £227,680 in 2009-10.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Rural Areas

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress his Department has made in upgrading fibre-optic broadband infrastructure in (a) Copeland and (b) other rural areas. [205697]

Mr Vaizey: The Cumbria project will deliver superfast broadband to nearly 110,000 premises in Cumbria by March 2015. The local broadband project team provide information about the roll-out timetable, including a postcode checker on the local authority website, which can be found at:

http://www.connectingcumbria.org.uk/when-and-where

With respect to the Copeland area, the local project team report that, combined with the BT commercial roll out, it has already delivered superfast broadband to 10,500 premises to date. By June 2015, the fibre broadband roll-out will be completed and in Copeland over 90% of premises will have access to superfast broadband. To date, the Connecting Cumbria project has delivered superfast broadband to nearly 40,000 and the national programme has delivered to over 600,000 premises and that number will rise to 1 million by the end of summer.

Broadband: West Yorkshire

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when Superfast West Yorkshire will be (a) finished and (b) ready to use by businesses in Green Lane Industrial Estate, in Featherstone; and what assessment he has made of the length of time taken to complete this work. [205110]

17 July 2014 : Column 818W

Mr Vaizey: I am satisfied that the West Yorkshire project is on scheduled to deliver, within the agreed timetable, superfast broadband to nearly 59,000 premises in West Yorkshire by September 2015. The local broadband project team provide information about the roll-out timetable, including a postcode checker on the local authority website, which can be found at:

http://www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk/coverage

With respect to the Green Lane Industrial Estate, my Department has been informed the local cabinet connecting that site is scheduled to be upgraded to fibre broadband by the end of September 2014.

Public Libraries

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will estimate the total number of books currently held in public libraries. [205012]

Mr Vaizey: The annual public library statistics compiled by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy based on information provided by the individual library authorities indicates that the total book stock for public libraries in England at 31 March 2013 was 72.4 million.

Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what evaluation his Department has conducted of effects of changes made to the Access to Work scheme since 2010. [205551]

Esther McVey: A formal evaluation of the changes has not been conducted; but we have made a range of positive changes over the last two years and have seen an increase in the number of people helped and an increase in expenditure.

Buildings

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on refurbishing (a) gymnasium and leisure facilities, (b) cafeteria and (c) interior decoration in (i) his Department and (ii) buildings owned by his Department in (A) 2013 and (B) 2014 to date. [205364]

Mr Harper: Since 1998 the Department occupies the majority of its accommodation under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) known as the PRIME Contract. Under the terms of the contract, the Department sold all its property interests (and risk) to our Estates private sector partner, Telereal Trillium. The Department does not, therefore, own any property but occupies fully serviced accommodation in return for the payment of a unitary charge.

The unitary charge includes payment for all Life Cycle Works which covers the maintenance and upkeep of facilities including interior redecoration. It is not possible to disaggregate the costs for individual maintenance tasks.

17 July 2014 : Column 819W

We have not spent any monies (outside of the unitary charge) on refurbishing (a) gymnasium and leisure facilities, (b) cafeteria and (c) interior decoration in 2013 or 2014 to date.

Carers

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of kinship carers who are (a) affected by the under-occupancy penalty and (b) in receipt of discretionary housing payments. [205230]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not available.

Local authorities administer discretionary housing payments. Decisions are based on claimants’ individual circumstances. This may include consideration of the specific circumstances that have led to the need for a kinship carer. DWP guidance recommends that local authorities give priority to foster and kinship carers (in Scotland) in allocating discretionary housing payments if more than one extra bedroom is required. Regulations already allow an additional bedroom for foster and kinship (in Scotland) carers.

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that kinship carers with children aged under 18 are exempted from conditionality requirements; and if he will make a statement. [205231]

Esther McVey: Where work-related requirements do apply, work coaches should already take account of a person’s caring responsibilities and the particular circumstances of kinship carers who have older children—for example, ensuring that the work coach considers the impact of any Residence Orders or Special Guardianship Orders on a claimant’s capacity to look and be available for work.

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of kinship carers in receipt of employment support allowance; [205233]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of kinship carers who are subject to conditionality requirements under job seeker's allowance. [205232]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Conditions of Employment

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 2 April 2014, Official Report, column 722W, on conditions of employment, whether current guidelines allow claimants through Jobcentre Plus to be found zero-hours contract jobs which include exclusivity clauses. [206038]

Esther McVey: No claimants are required to sign up for zero hour contracts which require exclusivity.

17 July 2014 : Column 820W

Domestic Visits: Wrexham

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the purpose was of his visit to Wrexham Benefit Centre on 7 July 2014. [205530]

Esther McVey: When the Secretary of State is visiting a region, if his diary allows, he also likes to visit local DWP staff.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to move vulnerable people without the capability for work from jobseeker's allowance onto a more permanent form of benefit. [205000]

Esther McVey: It is already the case that people who have limited capability for work receive Employment and Support Allowance rather than Jobseeker's Allowance. However, we should not see this as a permanent form of benefit as it is our policy that nobody should be written off.

Land

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much land his Department has released for the purpose of building new homes since May 2010. [205485]

Mr Harper: The Department does not own any buildings or land for release.

Mass Media: Subscriptions

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what subscriptions to (a) magazines and (b) television channels his Department funds. [205350]

Mr Harper: The information is as follows:

(a) Subscriptions to magazines are included within the Department’s contracts for journals and newspapers. The Department receives the following titles via these contracts:

Net

Able Magazine

Adviser

BMJ—British Medical Journal—General Practice Edition—Internet

Bookseller—Internet

Business Transfers and Employee Rights

Butterworths Civil Court Precedents

Civil Service World

Community Care

Common Market Law Review—Print and Internet

Community Care Law Reports

Credit Collections and Risk

Credit Today

Current Law Complete Service A

Daily Express

Daily Mail

Daily Mirror

Daily Star

Daily Telegraph

17 July 2014 : Column 821W

Disability and Rehabilitation—Full Set—Internet and Print

Disability and Society—Internet

Economist—Internet and Print

Encyclopedia of Data Protection and Privacy—Including CD ROM

Equal Opportunities Review

Equality Law Reports—E-Mail and Internet and Optional Print

EU Public Procurement—Law and Practice

European Journal of Social Security—Internet

European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology—Print and Internet

Financial Times

Freedom of Information Journal—E-Mail

Gazette—Law Society London

Guardian

Health and Safety Bulletin

Health Service Journal

Housing Studies—Internet

Housing Theory and Society—Online Archive Incl Current Year—Internet

Human Rights Practice

IDS Pensions Law Reports

In House Lawyer

Independent

Independent on Sunday

Inside Housing

International and United Kingdom Report—Privacy Laws and Business

International Journal of Housing Policy—Internet

Journal of Community Care Law

Journal of Social Security Law

Journal of Welfare Benefits Law and Practice

Judicial Review

Juncture—Internet

Kemp and Kemp—Quantum of Damages

Legal Action—Legal Action Group

Mail on Sunday

Medical Law Reports—Academic—Internet and Print and Bound Volume

Mental Health Law Review

Modern Law Review—Print and Internet

Money Marketing—London

NAPF Pension Legislation Service—including CD ROM

National Institute Economic Review—Internet

New Law Journal

New Statesman

Newsweek

Observer

Occupational Pensions

Oxford Economic Papers—Internet

Pensions Management

Pensions Expert

Pensions World

Private Eye

Professional Pensions—Print and Internet

Public Private Partnership and PFI

Records Management Journal—Print and Internet

Renton and Brown—Criminal Procedure

Renton and Brown—Criminal Procedure Legislation

17 July 2014 : Column 822W

SEN Magazine

Social Care Law Today

Social Policy and Society and Journal of Social Policy—Print and Internet

Solicitors' Journal

Spectator

Sun

Sun on Sunday

Sunday Express

Sunday Mirror

Sunday People

Sunday Telegraph

Sunday Times

Sweet and Maxwell's Law of Pension Schemes

Time Magazine

Times

Tolley's Pensions Law Service

Tolley's Social Security and State Benefits

Transfer of Undertaking

Vacher's Quarterly

Welfare Rights Bulletin

Work and Stress—Internet

Work Employment and Society—Print and Backfile Lease—Internet

Working Brief—PDF—E-Mail

(b) This information is not centrally collated and could not be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.

Pension Credit: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Warrington and (b) Warrington North constituency were in receipt of pension credit in each year from 2008-09. [205521]

Steve Webb: Statistics on pension credit are available from 100% data and are published on the Department’s website at:

http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/100pc/pc/tabtool_pc.html

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-tabulation-tool-guidance

Personal Independence Payment

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims for personal independence payments submitted by individuals in Hemsworth in 2013 are still yet to be determined; and what steps his Department has taken to reduce delays in processing personal independence payment claims. [205105]

Mr Harper: There are several reasons why a registered claim may not yet be determined. For example, the claimant has not yet returned their additional information form or is awaiting their assessment date, DWP have not yet made a decision on their claim or the claimant has advised that they wish to withdraw their claim. At the end of December 2013, around 500 people in Hemsworth had registered a new claim for PIP and around 100 decisions had been made.

17 July 2014 : Column 823W

I also refer the hon. Member to the written answer the previous Minister for Disabled People, my right hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), gave to the hon. Member for Halton (Derek Twigg), on 7 July 2014, Official Report, column 110W.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claims for independence payments submitted by people in (a) England, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Barnsley and (d) Barnsley East constituency have taken longer than 11 weeks to be determined. [205518]

Mr Harper: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the former Minister for Disabled People, the right hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), on 8 July 2014, Official Report, column 278W.

Procurement

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. [205228]

Mr Harper: Contracted out expenditure has been interpreted as all third party expenditure. Figures are net of income and recoverable VAT. Figures cover the central Department and its non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).

The relevant figures for the periods 2012-13; 2013-14; and, 2014-15 taken from our General Ledger are set out as follows.

 2012-13 Outturn2013-14 Outturn2014-15 Plans

Commercial Expenditure (£ million)

3,211

3,102

3,187

Proportion of total DEL Expenditure (percentage)

41

39

40

Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) expenditure has been used to calculate the proportion of total expenditure. These figures have been taken from the Department’s Annual Reports and Accounts 2013-14, Annex 7 – Expenditure Tables.

Data are not available for prior years on a comparable basis. The Department has changed the way it reports commercial expenditure in the last couple of years, which makes later years incomparable with earlier years.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies (i) have let and (ii) plan to let that are worth (A) between £1 million and £3 million and (B) over £3 million since 2010; how much his Department has spent on monitoring each such contract; and how many officials in his Department monitor each contract. [205377]

17 July 2014 : Column 824W

Mr Harper: Between 1 January 2010 and 14 July 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions awarded 71 contracts with a value of between £1 million and £3 million and 191 contracts with a value of over £3 million.

At 14 July 2014, our current commercial planning data indicates we intend to let 47 contracts with a value of between £1 million and £3 million and 30 contracts with a value over £3 million.

The award timelines on future contracts stretches to 2017 and beyond. As conditions change, some of these contracts may not yet proceed to the procurement stage. Also, award values are not yet firm for those at the earliest of planning stages.

The Department does not record the numbers of staff and their length of assignment in monitoring individual contracts, therefore the answer to this part of the question could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Between 1 January 2010 and 14 July 2014, the non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) awarded the following contracts within the requested values:

NDPBNumber of contracts with Contract Value £1 million-£3 millionNumber of Contracts with Contract Value over £3 million

Pensions Ombudsman

1

0

The Pensions Advisory Service

0

0

The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

2

1

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

3

3

National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)

1

2

Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC)

0

0

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC)

0

0

Independent Living Fund (ILF)

0

0

Pensions Ombudsman estimate the cost of monitoring its contract at £7,000 per annum with a dedicated resource of 0.1 FTE.

TPR have a planned contract to start in 2014-15 value £1 million-£3 million.

TPR do not hold information regarding the total amount spent on monitoring the contracts and it would be disproportionate for it to calculate this. However, it has 2 FTE staff dedicated to monitoring the contract valued over £3 million.

NEST-The Scheme Administration Services contract has a Contract Manager (commencing August 2014) and is supported by a Procurement and Contract Specialist.

HSE is in the process of letting one contract with a value of between £1 million and £3 million.

HSE does not record the numbers of staff and their length of assignment in monitoring individual contracts, therefore the answer to this part of the question could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

17 July 2014 : Column 825W

Schools: Asbestos

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he or his ministerial colleagues have had with the Department for Education about the prevalence of asbestos in schools. [205638]

Mr Harper: There have been no such discussions at ministerial level. However, DWP Ministers have been informed of significant work that HSE has done to assist the Department for Education's review of their policy on asbestos in schools. For example, HSE has in the last three years conducted initiatives on the standard of management of asbestos in schools and copies of the reports have been provided to DFE and published.

Social Security Benefits: Ayr

Sandra Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency have had their benefit sanctioned in each of the last 12 months. [205405]

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

Number of individuals with an adverse benefit sanction applied in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock parliamentary constituency by each month, January to December 2013
 Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock parliamentary constituency

January 2013

160

February 2013

100

March 2013

130

April 2013

160

May 2013

160

June 2013

150

July 2013

180

August 2013

180

September 2013

160

October 2013

190

November 2013

210

December 2013

150

Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. 2. The number of benefit sanctions applied is the number of claimants with a sanction or disallowance referral where the decision was found against them for those in receipt of jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance and income support for lone parents. 3. Figures may include individuals who have been sanctioned in more than one month, ie if the same individual had received adverse sanction referrals in May and November, they would appear in both months in the above table. 4. Data is up to December 2013 which is the latest available. 5. 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 10p 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. 6. 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 7. The information for JSA and ESA sanctions is published at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/ Source (JSA and ESA): DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate: Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database. Source (IS): Income Support Computer System

17 July 2014 : Column 826W

Social Security Benefits: Disability

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the most recent information on the amount of time taken by (a) Atos and (b) Capita to process claims for disability benefits in different regions and constituency parts of the UK. [205640]

Mr Harper: We have interpreted your question as being in respect of Personal Independence Payment, as the question relates to Atos and Capita processing disability benefits.

Information relating to Personal Independence Payment processing times is not currently available. Statistics on processing times are intended for future publication but releasing them at this stage would give an incorrect representation of the process since the system has not yet reached maturity, and further quality assurance of the data is required.

Training

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many awaydays his Department has held for officials in (a) 2013 and (b) 2014 to date; and what the cost was of each such event. [205302]

Mr Harper: The Department for Work and Pensions does not have a separate or identifiable account code in departmental finance records to distinguish expenditure on staff away days. Details of such expenditure could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Unemployment: Young People

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many 16 to 24 years olds were referred by Jobcentre Plus to the Movement to Work initiative in 2013. [205702]

Esther McVey: Movement to Work is an employer-led initiative and Jobcentre Plus does not collect information on the number of referrals made.

Universal Credit

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of universal claimants who will be self-employed once universal credit is fully rolled out. [205692]

Esther McVey: It is estimated that there will be approximately 600,000 households with at least one individual whose main employment is self-employment entitled to Universal Credit when it is fully rolled out.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Work Programme for young black men. [205639]

17 July 2014 : Column 827W

Esther McVey: The proportion of Job Outcomes achieved across the ethnicity groups is consistent with the proportion of referrals, attachments and Job Outcomes on the Work Programme as a whole.

A detailed breakdown of Work Programme referrals, attachments and Job Outcomes by ethnicity can be found at:

http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/WorkProg/tabtool.html

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-tabulation-tool-guidance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has for officials to canvass customer feedback from Work programme participants; and if he will make a statement. [205701]

Esther McVey: DWP has commissioned a consortium of independent research organisations to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Work programme, which includes research with participants. A report of findings from research in 2012 has been published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-evaluation-findings-from-the-first-phase-of-qualitative-research-on-programme-delivery-rr821

A further report is currently planned for publication at the end of 2014.