Food

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the remit is of the work of her Department's Green Food Project. [94658]

Mr Paice: The Green Food Project, a commitment made in the Natural Environment White Paper, is a joint initiative between Government, the food and farming industry, and environmental and consumer organisations. It aims to explore the challenges of increasing food production and enhancing the environment, in England, out to 2050 and consider how any tensions that this challenge raises can be reconciled.

The report from the project will be published in June 2012.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 493W

Food: Apprentices

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had on increasing the number of apprenticeships in the food manufacturing sector. [85456]

Mr Paice: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has discussed apprenticeships and welcomes the commitment of the food and drink manufacturing sector to support apprenticeships. We also welcome the initiative from the Food and Drink Federation to call on its members to sign up to its Apprenticeship Pledge and double the number of apprenticeships in the sector in England and Scotland by the end of 2012.

Fossil Fuels: Exploration

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will investigate the toxicity levels of chemicals used in fracking. [94468]

Richard Benyon: An assessment of the toxicity of those substances that have been used for the hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has been undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Groundwater Daughter Directive. This was done via a UK-wide group involving the UK environment agencies (and the Environmental Protection Agency of the Republic of Ireland) known as JAGDAG—the Joint Agencies Groundwater Directive Advisory Group. The group oversees interim assessments and gains peer review of the assessments within the UK agencies, before formal determinations are consulted upon and adopted, with amendment where necessary.

All the chemicals that companies planning tracking operations propose for use will be reviewed for classification into hazardous or non-hazardous. The Environment Agency has reviewed the chemicals proposed by Cuadrilla for the Lancashire exploration and is satisfied that they are classified as non-hazardous under the Groundwater Daughter Directive. They are currently reviewing additional chemicals the company wish to use as tracer agents. Chemicals which have been suggested for use for hydraulic fracturing for coal bed methane exploration will also be subject to the same review should they be formally proposed for use.

The Environment Agency will not be reviewing all those chemicals that have been used for hydraulic fracturing in the United States but will only review those that are proposed by operators in England and Wales.

I would also refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) of 20 December 2011, Official Report, column 1107W.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the British Geological Survey on the levels of methane in groundwater prior to hydraulic fracturing taking place. [94470]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 494W

Richard Benyon: Officers from the Environment Agency are involved in dialogue with the British Geological Survey on issues around hydraulic fracturing, including the levels of methane in groundwater. This includes a British Geological Survey project to measure background levels in groundwater across the country. The Environment Agency is providing data it has relating to background methane levels in groundwater units to the British Geological Survey. In the North West this includes a survey of background methane levels following the Abbeystead gas explosion.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Geological Society on the levels of methane in groundwater prior to hydraulic fracturing taking place. [94473]

Richard Benyon: Neither DEFRA officials nor officers from the Environment Agency have held discussions with the Geological Society on this specific question.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) tests her Department has carried out and (b) assessment she has made of the toxicity of the (i) chemicals and (ii) hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic fracturing. [94512]

Richard Benyon: The toxicity of the chemicals and of the hydraulic fracturing fluid are closely linked. Hydraulic fracturing fluid used in shale gas exploration in the UK typically comprises water and sand (about 98%) and chemicals (about 2%). The only source of toxicity in the hydraulic fracturing fluid will come from the chemicals used.

The Environment Agency has assessed the toxicity of the chemicals used, in accordance with the groundwater daughter directive.

The Environment Agency has monitored the fluids that return to the surface from the borehole after hydraulic fracturing to identify additional constituents which were dissolved or washed into the fluid during its time in the target strata. Details of these analyses are published on the Environment Agency's website. They found that compared to the injected fracking fluid, the returned fluid contained increased levels of minerals dissolved from the rocks, such as chloride, sodium, iron and dissolved metals. It also contained very low levels of naturally occurring radioactive materials:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/134511.aspx

Furthermore, I would also refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Caroline Lucas) on 20 December 2011, Official Report, column 1107W.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tests her Department has carried out on the level of water contamination resulting from hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic fracturing. [94513]

Richard Benyon: The only shale gas well that has been hydraulically fractured in England and Wales is at Preese Hall in Lancashire. The whole site is bunded and lined to contain potential spills; the Environment Agency

20 Feb 2012 : Column 495W

report that it knows of no spills from hydraulic fracturing fluid and no resulting contamination of surface water or the ground.

The fluid that returned to the surface after the fracturing (the flowback fluid) was stored on site before being transported to Davyhulme waste water treatment works in Manchester. It was stored in double skin tanks in the bunded and lined area, and the Environment Agency knows of no spills.

The aquifer at the Preese Hall site lies at 100-500m below the surface and contains saline water. It is isolated from any surface water features and is not suitable as a viable drinking water source. No measurements of its quality have been made. It is separated from the target shale by 600 metres of rock including at least 300 metres of impermeable strata.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the British Geological Survey on the toxicity of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. [94515]

Richard Benyon: Officers from the Environment Agency are in dialogue with the British Geological Survey on issues around hydraulic fracturing. The toxicity of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing is not an area where the British Geological Survey has a particular remit and so this would not have been raised on a formal basis.

Inland Waterways: Leicester

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to regenerate the areas surrounding the Grand Union Canal Leicester Section. [95186]

Richard Benyon: Management and operation of the Grand Union Canal is a matter for British Waterways. British Waterways do not have any specific plans to regenerate the areas surrounding the Grand Union Canal Leicester Section.

British Waterways will move from being a public corporation to a charitable body, the Canal and River Trust (CRT) in June 2012, subject to parliamentary consent. Any future decisions on funding for regeneration around the Grand Union Canal Leicester Section will be a matter for CRT.

Land: Contamination

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the light of constraints on public funds available to support the remediation of contaminated land where the ‘appropriate persons’ have inadequate resources to cover their liability, for what reason her Department's revised Statutory Guidance omits reference to the ‘Insurance Recovery’ process which enables claims to be made by the owner/polluter against old public liability insurance policies. [94682]

Richard Benyon: The option of including reference in the statutory guidance to the application of cost recovery through the pursuit of old public liability insurance policies was considered along with many other suggestions put forward during the process of reviewing the guidance.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 496W

As this is an option for cost recovery that has not yet been established as effective under the Part 2A Regime in England and Wales, it was decided that it would not be appropriate to include reference to it in a statutory document. Omission from the guidance does not however exclude it as an option for local authorities to consider as part of their protocol for cost recovery from appropriate persons.

Land: Registration

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to publish her response to the consultation on the registration of new town or village greens. [94691]

Richard Benyon: A summary of responses to the consultation will be published on the DEFRA website in the coming weeks. It is envisaged that detailed conclusions will be published in the late summer.

Landfill

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on what date the proposed agreement between her Department and the hospitality and food sector on landfill will come into effect; [95245]

(2) pursuant to the oral answer of 19 January 2012, Official Report, column 869, on landfill, if she will publish the proposed agreement between her Department and the hospitality and food sector to divert food waste from landfill. [95246]

Richard Benyon: We aim to launch the new voluntary agreement with the hospitality and food service sector this spring. This agreement will seek to reduce food and packaging waste and deal with the waste that does arise more sustainably.

We are currently developing the agreement on the basis of industry responses to a discussion paper that was available for comment between 22 November 2011 and 11 January 2012. A copy of this paper is available at:

www.wrap.org.uk/hospitality

The finalised agreement will be published online.

Olympic Games 2012

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many invitations to attend events at the London 2012 Olympics (a) she, (b) other Ministers in her Department and (c) senior officials in her Department have accepted; and if she will make a statement. [93629]

Richard Benyon: No invitations to attend events at the London 2012 Olympics have been accepted by (a) the Secretary of State, (b) other Ministers in the Department or, (c) any senior officials.

Pets: Breeding

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance her Department provides to local authorities' tenants on running a business to sell pets from council-owned properties. [94274]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 497W

Mr Paice: While DEFRA has not issued any guidance to tenants on this matter, guidance issued to social landlords in November 2010 by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills stresses the value of social tenants being able to run businesses from home. While the Government have urged social landlords to agree to reasonable requests from their tenants, there are obviously some instances, for example where the running of the business would have an adverse impact on the neighbourhood, where this would not be practicable.

In cases where a tenancy agreement does not require the tenant to seek the landlord's permission before starting up a business, a landlord can rely on other clauses in the agreement, eg those dealing with noise and nuisance or damage to the premises, to deal with problem cases.

Guidance published for social landlords by DCLG in April 2010 on the tools and powers available to them to tackle antisocial behaviour emphasises the importance of including clauses in tenancy agreements to ensure the keeping of pets is properly controlled and enforcement action against nuisance animals and dangerous dogs is facilitated, as well as highlighting good practice.

Any tenant seeking to start a business from their home should ensure their tenancy agreement allows this and obtain permission from their landlord if required.

Businesses that sell pets or breed dogs are also likely to require licensing and inspection by the local authority.

Pigs: EU Action

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with her European counterparts on the progress of EU directive 2001/88/EC on the phasing out of sow stalls. [94699]

Mr Paice: The Commission has discussed compliance with the sow stall ban with member states and has sought information on the level of progress to date. This was raised most recently at this month’s meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. I also raised the forthcoming sow stall ban at my meeting with Commissioner Dalli on 6 February.

Over the coming months we will continue to discuss progress with the implementation of the sow stall ban with the Commission and our European colleagues.

Rabies

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to announce her proposals on rabies. [94281]

Mr Paice: The Government plan to publish their response to the consultation on the Rabies Control Strategy in the spring.

Rights of Way: Ferndown

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy not to permit the Uddens (Cannonhill) Plantation at Uddens Drive, Ferndown to be converted into a transit site for Travellers. [95166]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 498W

Richard Benyon: Whether or not the area identified as Uddens (Cannon Hill) Plantation in the Dorset-wide Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Site Allocation Joint Development Plan document is suitable to be used for this purpose is a decision for the local authority.

River Forth: Bridges

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will estimate the carbon footprint resulting from importing steel from China for the construction of the new Forth Bridge. [95449]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA does not hold data on the carbon footprint of the replacement Forth crossing. However, a DEFRA research report published in 2011, focussed on understanding the geographical sources of greenhouse gas emissions associated with UK trade flows. This showed that in 2004 China was the source of around 5% of emissions associated with UK consumption of non-ferrous metals (iron and steel), a total of around 3 kilo tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Ongoing research work will update these figures with more recent data, and provide a high level analysis of the UK national carbon dioxide footprint, covering 131 product groups and all final demand categories on annual basis from 2011 to 2016.

River Medway: Water Abstraction

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effects of excess water abstraction from the River Medway as the result of a drought order on (a) the environment, (b) the local ecosystem, (c) water quality, (d) pollutants and (e) agriculture. [92759]

Richard Benyon: Southern Water Services Ltd has not yet applied for a drought order. The Environment Agency is aware that it is considering applying for a drought permit to take additional water from the River Medway.

Initial assessment of the likely impact of such a permit is included in the Southern Water Services Ltd drought plan.

An application for a drought permit or order will be accompanied by an environmental assessment which will be scrutinised by the Environment Agency. This assessment will consider the impact on the environment and any other abstractions, for example agriculture.

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements her Department has put in place to minimise the effect of excess water abstraction from the River Medway as the result of a drought order on (a) the environment, (b) the local ecosystem, (c) water quality, (d) pollutants and (e) agriculture. [92760]

Richard Benyon: Southern Water Services Ltd has not yet applied for a drought order. The Environment Agency is aware that it is considering applying for a drought permit to take additional water from the River Medway. As no permit or order has been issued there are currently no arrangements in place.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 499W

Scallops

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what meetings (a) she and (b) Ministers in her Department had with the European Commission on the Western Waters Scallop Effort in (A) 2009, (B) 2010, (C) 2011 and (D) 2012 to date; what was discussed at each meeting; and whether the conditions for seeking (i) a reallocation of effort from Area VI to VII and (ii) increasing effort in Area VII were raised at each meeting. [94748]

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), and I meet with the European Commission regularly. Fisheries management issues form part of those discussions as necessary.

Stray Dogs

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of stray dogs returned to their legal owners in the latest period for which figures are available. [94267]

Mr Paice: Figures taken from our impact assessment on microchipping indicates that some 57,000 dogs were returned to their owners in the United Kingdom in 2010-11. This figure is based on the 2011 Stray Dogs Survey carried out by the Dogs Trust.

Waste Management

Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what technologies she is using to reduce the amount of landfill waste produced by households and business; and what funding she has allocated for the research and development of future technologies. [94291]

Richard Benyon: The Government's Review of Waste Policy in England, published in June 2011, sets out our ambition to move towards a zero waste economy, in which resources are re-used, recycled or recovered wherever possible, and landfill is the last resort. The landfill tax remains a key driver to divert waste from landfill, and we will maintain landfill tax increases to £80 a tonne in 2014-15.

There are a number of waste management technologies available to local authorities to help reduce waste being sent to landfill, including materials recycling facilities, energy from waste facilities and pre-treatment facilities which remove recyclates and reduce the total volume of residual waste and/or its biogenic content. Other technologies include anaerobic digestion and composting.

The Government are technology neutral and are focused on outcomes rather than supporting particular types of technologies. DEFRA does not specifically fund research and development of future technologies but in future the Green Investment Bank may support new or currently unproven technologies in waste management, for example energy from waste facilities that will contribute towards the UK's renewable energy

20 Feb 2012 : Column 500W

targets (as well as reduce waste to landfill). DEFRA funds the Waste and Resources Action Programme which provides advice and support to businesses, local authorities, civil society organisations and consumers on the better use of resources with a view to reducing the amount of waste generated.

DEFRA established the Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme in 2006 to help local authorities accelerate the building of the infrastructure needed to treat residual waste without compromising efforts to minimise waste and support increasing recycling levels.

Water Supply: Singleton

Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with United Utilities on the proposed water treatment facility at Singleton; and if she will make a statement. [94999]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency holds quarterly meetings with United Utilities to discuss the delivery of wastewater improvements required by the National Environment Programme for 2010-15.

At a meeting in December 2011, United Utilities informed the Environment Agency of the steps it is taking to prepare the planning application in order to deliver the improvements at Poulton, near Singleton.

Water Supply: South East

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what preparations the Government has made for domestic water supply during the Olympics in (a) the south-east and (b) Kent. [95122]

Richard Benyon: Water companies have published their water resource management plans that set out the way they will manage water supply over future years. These plans include consideration of any additional demands from new buildings constructed for the Olympics.

Thames Water has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to assess water demands during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The ODA expect the demand in London to be no greater than a “normal” summer period as it is estimated that approximately 25% of London's population will be away during this period.

The demand for water from the Olympic sites will also be reduced by the use of non-potable sources for irrigation and cleaning. In addition to a mains supply from Thames Water, there are two non-potable sources of supply to the main Olympic site. Rainwater harvesting will capture rainwater from roofs and car parks and there is also a ‘blackwater’ treatment plant that produces non-potable water from sewage.

The Environment Agency and the water companies of the south-east are also considering the potential impact of drought through their respective drought plans.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 501W

Home Department

Antisocial Behaviour

Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police authorities she proposes will participate in the pilot scheme of her anti-social behaviour community trigger. [94288]

James Brokenshire: We are working with a number of leading Community Safety Partnerships on plans for testing the community trigger. We will announce details of the pilots shortly, as part of the Government's formal response to the Home Office's consultation on reforming the powers available to the police and other professionals to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to publish the outcome of her Department's consultation on anti-social behaviour orders. [94283]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office has received over one thousand written responses to the consultation from the police and other front line professionals, members of the judiciary, local authorities, interest groups and members of the public. We want to ensure that our proposals reflect that wealth of knowledge and expertise, and will publish our response to the consultation shortly.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Rossendale

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued to residents of the criminal justice areas covering Rossendale and Darwen constituency in each year since 2002. [94380]

James Brokenshire: Rossendale and Darwen is in the Lancashire Criminal Justice System (CJS) data. The numbers of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued at all courts in the Lancashire CJS area in each year between 2002 and 2010, (the latest year for which date are currently available) is shown in the table.

The majority of these ASBOs will have been issued to people resident in Lancashire, although it is possible for a court in Lancashire to issue an ASBO to someone resident in a neighbouring CJS area. The centrally collected data does not identify the area in which ASBO recipients reside.

Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued at all courts (1) the Lancashire Criminal Justice System (CJS) area as reported to the Ministry of Justice (2) by the Court Service, 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2010
  CJS area—Lancashire

2002

14

2003

54

2004

126

2005

148

2006

115

2007

102

2008

53

2009

47

20 Feb 2012 : Column 502W

2010

71

(1) Includes ASBOs issued on application by magistrates courts acting in their civil capacity and county courts, which became available on 1 April 1999 and ASBOs made following conviction for a relevant criminal offence at the Crown Court and at magistrates courts (acting in their criminal capacity), which became available on 2 December 2002. (2) Prior to the creation of the Ministry of Justice on 9 May 2007, numbers of ASBOs issued were reported to Home Office by the Court. Note: Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: Prepared by Justice Statistics Analytical Services.

Asylum

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress her Department has made in clearing outstanding legacy asylum cases. [94725]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency (UKBA) committed to review all older unresolved cases by summer 2011. A total of 500,500 cases were reviewed as part of the programme. As Jonathan Sedgwick, then acting chief executive of the UK Border Agency, reported to the Home Affairs Committee on 12 September 2012, 479,000 of the 500,500 cases in the legacy programme have been fully concluded.

23,000 remaining cases were fully reviewed but, due to various barriers, could not be brought to a final conclusion. UKBA established the Case Assurance and Audit Unit (CAAU) to remove such barriers and bring the remaining cases to a final conclusion. Rob Whiteman reported to the HASC on 22 December 2011 that the number of live cases had now reduced to 17,000. CAAU will continue to monitor these cases and resolve them as barriers are lifted.

CAAU is also responsible for the active monitoring of 98,000 controlled archive cases and, as Rob Whiteman reported to the HASC on 22 December 2011, this has now reduced to 93,000.

Asylum: Applications

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unresolved asylum claims had been awaiting determination for more than two years on the latest date for which figures are available. [92195]

Damian Green: The number of unresolved New Asylum Model claims that have been outstanding for more than two years as of June 2011 is 20,500. This figure is taken from the HM Government website at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/further-key-data/

20 Feb 2012 : Column 503W

The number of open asylum cases also known as the asylum ‘Work in Progress’ caseload (WiP) was published on the website in August 2011.

It should be noted that all cases over 60 months old are not included in the above figure as they belong to the Case Assurance and Audit Unit (CAAU). There are 93,000 cases in the controlled archive.

The CAAU figures were reported to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 20 December 2011 by Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the UK Border Agency.

All figures quoted are management information which has been subject to internal quality checks. The numbers may differ from figures released as National Statistics in the Home Office Immigration Statistics as they are drawn from different snapshots of the UK Border Agency databases.

Asylum: Appeals

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the highest number of appeals an asylum seeker has made before being (a) deported and (b) granted leave to remain. [93874]

Damian Green: This information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost through the examination of individual case files. However, a person applying for asylum is only able to appeal once against a decision. They are able to challenge our decision by appealing to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal of the Courts and Tribunals Service, and thereafter to the Upper Tribunal and onward to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. The onward right of appeal is with permission of the relevant Court or Tribunal, and lies only on the ground that the previous Court or Tribunal made a material error in law.

Asylum: Deportation

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many family groups of unsuccessful asylum seekers which include children have been ordered to be removed from the UK since 1 May 2011; and in how many of these cases removal has been enforced. [94880]

Damian Green: This information is not held in a format compatible with National Statistics protocols. However statistics regarding the new family returns process are scheduled for publication in the performance section of the Border Agency website on 23 February 2012. The statistics will cover the period June 2010 to December 2011.

British Nationality: Syria

Sajid Javid: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of (a) senior members of the Syrian administration and (b) prominent supporters of the Syrian regime who hold joint UK and Syrian citizenship. [94618]

Damian Green: Those senior members and prominent supporters of the Syrian regime who are subject to EU travel bans have been checked against Home Office databases. None has been identified as holding British citizenship.

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Crime Prevention: Chemicals

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has any plans to authorise the use of chemical agents with actions other than eye and respiratory irritation for law enforcement purposes. [95411]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office has no plans to widen the use of chemical agents.

Crime: Scotland

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2012, Official Report, column 154W, on crime: Scotland, what plans she has to meet the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government to discuss serious and organised crime. [94459]

Nick Herbert: Home Office Ministers have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Criminal Investigation: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many joint investigation teams have been established in accordance with Article 13 of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the member states of the European Union and Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA across the EU in each year since 2003; [95610]

(2) how many joint investigation teams have been established in accordance with Article 13 of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the member states of the European Union and Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA have operated in the UK in each year since 2003; [95611]

(3) how many joint investigation teams have been established in accordance with Article 13 of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the member states of the European Union and Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA operating (a) in the UK and (b) in EU member states other than the UK were (i) initiated at the request of UK authorities and (B) led by UK officials in each year since 2003; [95612]

(4) what forms of criminal activity have been the reason for establishing joint investigation teams in accordance with Article 13 of the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the member states of the European Union and Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA in the UK in each year since 2003. [95614]

Damian Green: The data requested is not centrally held. However, from information provided by Eurojust, which supports the establishment and operation of EU joint investigation teams, at least 53 joint investigation teams were in operation in European Union member states in 2011 (33 from support/assistance requested

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from Eurojust, eight from notifications to Eurojust, 12 from previous years). The UK has been involved in 14 joint investigation teams since 2009.

Joint investigation teams have proved a valuable means of enhancing practical cooperation between EU member states in addressing cross border crime.

The most frequent types of criminal activity addressed by these joint investigation teams spanning the period October 2010 to October 2011 are: drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, illegal immigration, fraud, money laundering, vehicle crime and cybercrime.

Dangerous Dogs

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of operation of the dog control measures contained within the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 and the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. [94271]

Mr Paice: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

I can confirm that, following consultation with the police, these two provisions in early Victorian Acts of Parliament, which between them apply across the country and make it an offence to allow a dog to attack, or put in fear of attack, any person or other animal, will be repealed at the next appropriate legislative opportunity, as more up-to-date legislation exists.

Databases: Telecommunications

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the Intercept Modernisation programme. [94397]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 9 February 2012]: The Interception Modernisation programme was a programme set up under the previous Government which has been superseded by the policies of the coalition Government. As we made clear in the strategic defence and security review the Government will continue to work to preserve the ability of the law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to obtain communications data and to intercept communications within an appropriate legal framework. Through the Communications Capabilities Development programme we will ensure this is compatible with the Government's approach to civil liberties. As set out in the Home Office's Structural Reform Plan, details of this legislation will be announced in Parliament in due course.

Departmental Air Travel

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what occasions she has taken flights within the UK on official business since August 2010; what class of travel she used; and who accompanied her on each such flight. [94798]

Damian Green: Since August 2010, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), has flown domestically on official business on two occasions.

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Both flights were business class and on each she was accompanied by one Private Secretary.

Departmental Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by her Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if she will make a statement. [94910]

Damian Green: The Home Office and its executive agencies have not let any contracts in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to put up a capital bond.

The Department is currently tendering for two contracts for the accommodation and transport of asylum seekers in Wales and London and South of England which require a capital bond. As these two contracts are at the preferred supplier stage and still to be issued, it is not possible to calculate the proportion of the total value at this stage.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which contracts her Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if she will make a statement. [94933]

Damian Green: The Home Office and its executive agencies have not let any contracts in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to put up capital bonds of more than £5 million.

The Department is currently tendering for two contracts for the accommodation and transport of asylum seekers in Wales and London and south of England which require a capital bond of less than £5 million.

Contracts over £10,000 awarded by the Department are published on the Contracts Finder website under the Transparency agenda.

Departmental Travel

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 31WS, on cost of ministerial cars, whether her Department has any other arrangements for ministerial travel; and how much her Department has spent on (a) private hire vehicles and (b) taxis for each Minister since May 2010. [92845]

Damian Green: The Home Office has arrangements in place for ministerial travel with the Government Car and Dispatch Agency (GCDA).

Ministers in the Home Office do not use private hire vehicles.

The total spend on taxis for ministerial use since May 2010 is £42.20. The table shows the costs broken down by Minister.

Some Ministers' security arrangements can include transport. However, for security reasons we do not confirm who is in receipt of protection or provide a breakdown of the costs.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 507W

Minister Cost (£)

Home Secretary

0

Damian Green

16.60

Lynne Featherstone

19.60

Nick Herbert

0

James Brokenshire

0

Lord Henley

6.00

Total

42.20

Deportation

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) with reference to the 18th Report from the Home Affairs Committee, Rules governing enforced removals from the UK, HC 563, what steps she has taken to issue guidance to UK Border Agency staff involved in enforced removal on the use of head-down restraint positions; [92913]

(2) what steps she is taking to ensure that required checks and procedures are used by UK Border Agency staff and contractors involved in enforced removals; [92914]

(3) what procedures she has put in place to ensure that control and restraint procedures developed by HM Prison Service and used by the UK Border Agency when carrying out an enforced removal are appropriate to its needs. [92916]

Damian Green: It has been the practice of successive Governments to use private security companies to undertake escorting of immigration detainees. These services are currently provided by Reliance Secure Task Management. The UK Border Agency has a team of eight contract monitors who monitor and report on Reliance's performance. Members of the Independent Monitoring Board regularly report to the contract monitors and the Chief Inspector of Prisons also carries out announced and unannounced inspections.

The UK Border Agency's operating standards for escorts includes one about the use of restraint. The standards are available on the UK Border Agency's website at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/managingourborders/immigrationremovalcentres/

In order to exercise any use of restraint, detainee custody officers and escorts must be certified by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, a condition of which is that they have undergone training of techniques approved by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The techniques and procedures are contained in NOMS' Control and Restraint manual. Officers are well aware that the use of any technique which pushes the head down and therefore could impede breathing is prohibited and may lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Officers involved in enforced removals are required to annually complete refresher training in the use of control and restraint. The instructors are themselves trained and annually accredited by instructors from NOMS, whose staff also conduct quality assurance checks on the standard of the training delivered.

Restraint is only ever used as a last resort to prevent a person from harming themselves, others or property or to ensure he or she complies with a reasonable requirement,

20 Feb 2012 : Column 508W

including one to leave the UK. Its use must be justified and proportionate, and reported to the relevant UK Border Agency contract monitor. DCOs are required to complete a report of any use of restraint which sets out why a person was restrained and what occurred during the incident, including attempts to de-escalate the situation. The report should also reference the role of others in the team. Such reports are reviewed by a senior manager and are then passed to the UK Border Agency for review. It is open to either party to commission an investigation if there are questions as to whether the use of force or restraint was justified.

In 2011 the UK Border Agency formally requested that NOMS' National Tactical Response Group conduct a review of the current restraint techniques being used by escorts including those used during overseas removals. Officials will carefully consider any recommendations arising from that review.

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will review the number of escorts used on flights containing detainees being forcibly removed; and if she will take steps to ensure that escort to detainee ratios are proportionate. [92917]

Damian Green: The escorting service provider carries out a risk assessment of every enforced removal and will allocate an appropriate number of escorts. The UK Border Agency further reviews every risk assessment and removal to assess whether the number of escorts allocated is proportionate. The UK Border Agency will adjust the number of escorts where appropriate.

Yvette Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals were removed from the UK in 2011. [93594]

Mrs May [holding answer 6 February 2012]:Data for October 2011 onwards are not yet available, but will be published within Immigration Statistics: October-December 2011 as part of the regular Home Office publication scheme on 23 February 2012. The requested figure will be available from Table rv.01.

Published data show that between January and September 2011, a total of 38,865 people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK within Immigration Statistics. The information provided has been published, in the Immigration Statistics: July-September 2011 release, table rv.01.q, which is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Science, Research and Statistics web pages at:

http://homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

Detention Centres

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of each immigration removal centre in the UK was for each of the last five years; what estimate she has made of the running costs for each of the next five years; and what service-level agreements are in place for the operation of each such centre. [92034]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 509W

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency has 10 immigration removal centres, seven of which are operated by private sector suppliers under contract, and three by the National Offender Management Service under a service level agreement.

The operating cost for each privately-operated immigration removal centre is commercially confidential and public disclosure would prejudice the commercial interests of the UK Border Agency and its suppliers. Budgets are set according to anticipated expenditure set out in each of the contracts or the service level agreement.

However, details of detention and removal costs can be found in the UK Border Agency's annual report and accounts.

Detention Centres: Children

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children were held in detention for immigration purposes in (a) Harmondsworth, (b) Tinsley Wood and (c) Cedars immigration removal and pre-departure accommodation centres on (i) 24, (ii) 25 and (iii) 26 December 2011. [93114]

Damian Green: The requested information is not published. The Home Office only publishes details on the total number of children who entered detention in each calendar month and quarterly figures showing the number of children held in detention on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December each year.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of people in detention, held solely under Immigration Act powers. The next publication: Immigration Statistics October to December 2011 will be available on 23 February 2012 from the Library of the House and the Home Office Science, research and statistics web pages at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

Email

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to encourage the use of e-mail in preference to printed correspondence for communications between her Department and hon. Members. [94852]

Damian Green: Replies to correspondence are sent to Members of Parliament (MPs) in the format which they prefer. The Home Office actively promotes the use of dedicated email addresses which MPs can use as an alternative method of communication.

Entry Clearances: Foreign Workers

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many intracompany transfers were granted to each of the three companies with the largest number of such grants in the last year for which figures are available; how many such grants were made to each of those companies in each year since the inception of the scheme; and how many such applications were (a) approvals of new applications, (b) extensions or amendments of an existing permit and (c) applications in which the individual had moved to another job with a different employer; [89796]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 510W

(2) when she expects to reply to Question 89796 on intracompany transfers, tabled on 12 January 2012 for answer on 16 January 2012. [94605]

Damian Green [holding answers 16 January 2012 and 9 February 2012]: The work permit intra company transfer scheme closed in 2008 and was replaced by the Tier 2 (intra company transfer) category of the points based system.

The information requested is not available in the format required and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Foreign Nationals: Childbirth

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) number and (b) proportion of births was where one or both parents were foreign-born in (i) London and (ii) each London borough within Greater London in the most recent year for which figures are available. [94680]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated February 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question on what the (a) number and (b) proportion of births was where one or both parents were foreign-born in (i) London and (ii) each London Borough within Greater London in the most recent year for which figures are available (94680).

Figures for live births where one or both parents are non-UK born have been compiled from birth registration data. The table below shows the number and proportion of live births in 2010 in the areas requested, according to registration data. Information on country of birth of parents is provided by the informant at registration.

Number and proportion of live births in London, where one or both parents are non-UK born, 2010
Area of usual residence of mother Number of births where one or both parents are foreign born Proportion of births where one or both parents are foreign -born

London

86,111

64.7

     

Inner London

38,224

70.0

Camden

2,135

69.8

Hackney plus City of London

3,227

69.0

Hammersmith and Fulham

1,819

65.6

Haringey

3,242

72.8

Islington

1,757

59.5

Kensington and Chelsea

1,757

79.1

Lambeth

3,221

65.3

Lewisham

3,067

61.6

Newham

5,266

84.1

Southwark

3,498

68.2

Tower Hamlets

3,571

78.2

Wandsworth

3,179

57.3

Westminster

2,485

81.2

     

Outer London

47,887

61.0

20 Feb 2012 : Column 511W

Barking and Dagenham

2,414

64.7

Barnet

3,559

64.2

Bexley

1,009

33.7

Brent

4,294

81.9

Bromley

1,355

33.3

Croydon

3,081

55.7

Ealing

4,526

77.2

Enfield

3,414

66.7

Greenwich

2,850

61.0

Harrow

2,640

75.4

Havering

687

24.4

Hillingdon

2,487

59.3

Hounslow

3,121

70.4

Kingston upon Thames

1,139

49.3

Merton

2,268

64.4

Redbridge

3,101

69.5

Richmond upon Thames

1,385

46.3

Sutton

1,066

39.9

Waltham Forest

3,491

72.4

Foreign Nationals: Prisoners

Dr McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign national prisoners are assessed as a threat to national security; and when they are planned to be returned to their country of origin. [93544]

Damian Green: This information is not collected in the format requested and could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Human Trafficking

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to tackle human trafficking. [94953]

Damian Green: The Government are implementing their human trafficking strategy, published on 19 July 2011. This focuses on: improving identification and care of victims; enhancing our ability to act early; smarter action at the border; and more coordination of our law enforcement efforts in the UK.

The Home Office is also legislating, where appropriate, to implement the EU directive on trafficking in human beings to ensure compliance by April 2013.

Identity Cards: Shipping

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with (a) ministerial colleagues and (b) officials in her Department on International Labour Organisation Convention 185 on seafarers’ identity documents; what recent steps she has taken toward ratifying this convention; and when she expects the UK to ratify this convention. [R] [95496]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 512W

Damian Green: There have been no recent discussions with ministerial colleagues on International Labour Organisation Convention 185 (ILO 185) on seafarers’ identity documents, however, discussions are continuing between officials in the UK Border Agency, the Department for Transport and the Identity and Passport Service. The Government are concerned that the ILO 185, whose purpose is to facilitate the international movement of seafarers, does not meet International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards for biometric data held on identity documents. The ILO 185 standards are incompatible with any existing standard used within the UK for identification documents. The costs, which would either have to be met by the seafarer or the taxpayer, of procuring new equipment to produce and read a relatively small number of documents would be prohibitive.

Discussions are taking place at international level to address the technical issues and I await a satisfactory resolution before discussing ratification of the convention with ministerial colleagues.

Illegal Immigrants: Fines

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what fines were collected from employers in 2010 for employing illegal immigrants; what proportion of the amount so collected was made available for expenditure by her Department; and whether there is a maximum annual limit for revenues raised from such fines for illegal working that may be made available to her Department. [94692]

Damian Green: In the financial year 2010-11, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) collected £6.91 million in illegal working civil penalties from those employers who were found to be employing illegal workers.

The UKBA annual report and accounts 2010-11 records that the UKBA retained £6.91 million of civil penalty income in order to increase investment in additional enforcement and collection activity. This was agreed with HM Treasury for that financial year. The annual report did not reflect that the departmental expenditure limit was reduced by £3 million to off set this agreement. The retained value for the financial year 2011-12 is capped at £3 million.

Immigration Controls

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost of introducing electronic border gates systems to UK airports. [94830]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency has spent just over £9 million to date on the introduction of ePassport gates.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost of the Iris recognition immigration system at UK airports since its inception. [94831]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency has spent £4.9 million on the Iris recognition immigration system (IRIS) capital costs and running costs total £4.2 million from 2005 to April 2011.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 513W

Khalid Tantouch

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether there is an outstanding charge against Khalid Tantouch for conspiracy to plant bombs in Greater Manchester on 11 March 1984; and whether that charge is still on file; [95151]

(2) what steps she is taking to pursue the case against Khalid Tantouch. [95152]

James Brokenshire: It is a long held Government policy not to comment on individual cases or operational matters. The investigation of alleged criminals is a matter for the police who will work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether a case should be brought to prosecution.

Knives: Crime

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many knife-point robberies occurred in (a) Dartford constituency, (b) Kent and (c) the South East in each of the last three years. [95075]

Nick Herbert: Data for selected offences involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument are collected by the Home Office at police force area level only, so data are not available for Dartford constituency. Data are provided in Table A for Kent police force area and the South East region.

The South East region covers: Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Thames Valley police force areas. Surrey and Sussex police include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their data, which are outside the scope of this collection. However, it is known that robbery offences are rarely committed with such a weapon.

Table A: Number of robbery offences involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by the police, last three years to September 2011
  Number of robbery offences involving a knife or sharp instrument
  Year ending September
Area 2009 2010 2011

Kent police force

148

122

131

South East region(1)

1,008

896

889

(1) Surrey and Sussex police include unbroken bottle and glass offences in their returns, which are outside the scope of this special collection.

Mobile Phones

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) BlackBerrys, (b) personal data assistants and (c) other mobile devices the Mobile Information Programme has distributed to each police force in (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09, (iii) 2009-10, (iv) 2010-11 and (v) 2011-12 to date; and how many such devices are in use in each police force; [93101]

(2) how many (a) BlackBerrys, (b) personal data assistants and (c) other mobile devices have been purchased for the Mobile Information Programme in (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09, (iii) 2009-10, (iv) 2010-11 and (v) 2011-12 to date; and what the cost was of providing such devices. [93103]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 514W

Nick Herbert: A breakdown of the type of devices per force, per year, delivered through the Mobile Information Programme (MIP) is not available centrally and neither is information on the number of devices currently in use.

The MIP ran until December 2010. It did not distribute or purchase devices; it allocated £80 million to forces in two phases: phase 1 on 26 May 2008 and phase 2 on 29 December 2008. When the programme closed, forces reported that over 41,000 additional mobile devices had been operationally deployed.

The requirement on forces to report additional devices obtained through the programme funding was removed when the programme closed.

Organised Crime: West Midlands

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding the Government has allocated to deal with gangs in each West Midlands local authority area. [94265]

James Brokenshire: The Government have identified 22 local authority areas to receive support and investment as part of the Ending Gang and Youth Violence programme. Three of these are in the West Midlands (Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton).

Between them they will receive a total of £1,839,489. Details of these allocations can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/provisional-funding-allocations?view=Binary

This is in addition to £950,000 for West Midlands Police under the Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Programme, announced by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), in February 2011; and £559,834 awarded to voluntary and community sector projects within the West Midlands under the Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund.

Passports: Older People

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of individuals over 65-years-old who do not have either a passport or a drivers licence. [94727]

Damian Green: The Home Office does not hold information about the number of individuals over 65-years-old who hold neither a passport or a driving licence. However, research conducted in July 2010 by the Identity and Passport Service estimated that 75% of people over 65-years-old held a valid UK passport, an additional 16% had applied for one in the past and 6% had never applied for one. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency driver database currently shows that 6,649,485 individuals aged 65 or over hold a valid driving licence. No estimates have been made of the number of such individuals who do not have a licence.

Passports: Republic of Ireland

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people applied for UK passports from a primary residence in the Irish Republic in the last three years. [95036]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 515W

Damian Green: Between 2009 and 2011 the Passport Section at the British embassy in Dublin issued 27,361 passports.

Applicants applying from within the Irish Republic must apply to the British embassy in Dublin.

Petrol: Theft

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences relating to the theft of petrol have been recorded in the last five years for which figures are available in the (a) UK and (b) west midlands. [95206]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is not available at this level of detail from the Home Office recorded crime statistics.

Police Community Support Officers: South Yorkshire

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers were employed by (a) South Yorkshire Police and (b) its partners in (i) Doncaster and (ii) South Yorkshire in (A) 2008-09, (B) 2009-10, (C) 2010-11 and (D) 2011-12. [95003]

Nick Herbert: The latest available data show the number of police community support officers employed in Doncaster Basic Command Unit and South Yorkshire police force area as at 31 March 2009, 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2011 (full-time equivalents).

Police community support officer strength in Doncaster and South Yorkshire, as at 31 March 2009, 2010 and 2011 (1)
As at 31 March each year Doncaster South Yorkshire

2009

74

328

2010

74

328

2011

72

311

(1) These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures include those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

Police: Council Housing

Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what steps she is taking to support collaboration between police forces and local authorities in conducting checks on prospective council tenants; [94706]

(2) whether she has had discussions with the Information Commissioner on the decision that police forces should not provide pre-tenancy checks for local authorities. [94707]

Nick Herbert: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), has taken no such decision, nor has she had any discussions with the Information Commissioners on this issue. The day-to-day management of police forces, use of resources, policies and deployment of staff are operational matters and the responsibility of the chief officer.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 516W

Police: Court Orders

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many production orders were issued by (a) Bedfordshire police and (b) Cambridgeshire police in each of the last five years. [94802]

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many production orders have been issued by (a) City of London police, (b) the Metropolitan Police Service, (c) Hampshire Constabulary, (d) Kent police and (e) Surrey police in each of the last five years. [94847]

Nick Herbert: The requested information is not collected centrally.

Police: Information and Communications Technology

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made as part of her review of police ICT of the cost of exiting any existing police ICT contracts. [93734]

Nick Herbert: These are matters for police forces and authorities.

Police: Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much (a) North Yorkshire police, (b) police forces in Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) the Metropolitan and City of London police and (d) police forces in England have set aside in their budgets to cover the cost of policing the London 2012 Olympics. [95067]

Nick Herbert: While the Home Office provides the majority of Government funding to the police, decisions on how this is spent are made locally by police authorities or police and crime commissioners and their chief constables. As such, the amount that has been set aside by individual police forces in England and Wales to cover the cost of policing the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is entirely a local decision. We do not collect or hold this information centrally.

Police: Vehicles

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has provided to police forces on the purchase of cars built in the UK as part of their (a) general fleet and (b) patrol cars; and if she will make a statement. [94107]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 7 February 2012]:Advice provided by the Home Office to police forces on the purchase of cars built in the UK as part of their (a) general fleet and (b) patrol cars, reflects EU regulations which prevent organisations from conducting procurement exercises focusing on suppliers based in a single country.

Prescriptions

David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 18 October 2011, Official Report, column 817W, on prescriptions,

20 Feb 2012 : Column 517W

for what reasons the statutory instrument relating to the prescribing powers of non-medical prescribers has not yet been laid before the House; and when she expects it to be laid. [93463]

James Brokenshire: This Government are committed to enabling the NHS to deliver services more flexibly and efficiently. At the time of my previous response the Department was on track to lay the legislative instrument on independent prescribers by the end of October. Since then we have had to revise the timetable for laying the legislative instrument in the light of other continuing and competing work.

The statutory instrument is currently being finalised for consideration by Ministers and we intend to lay the legislative instrument in Parliament as soon as possible.

Production Orders: North East

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many production orders have been issued by Cleveland police in each of the last five years. [95528]

Nick Herbert: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 January 2012, Official Report, column 403W.

Production Orders: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many production orders have been issued by (a) Dyfed Powys police, (b) Gwent police, (c) North Wales POLICE and (d) South Wales police in each of the last five years. [95463]

Nick Herbert: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 January 2012, Official Report, column 403W.

Prostitution

Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many brothel visits or raids were made by units, other than Serious Crime Division 9, in the Metropolitan Police Service in each London borough in financial year (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; and what the equivalent figure is for 2011-12 to date; [94820]

(2) how many brothels were closed down by units, other than Serious Crime Division 9, in the Metropolitan Police Service in each London borough in financial year (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; and what the equivalent figure is for 2011-12 to date. [94821]

Lynne Featherstone: This information is not held centrally.

Keeping a brothel used for prostitution is a serious offence that can often be associated with exploitation; we would expect the police and Crown Prosecution Service to investigate and prosecute where necessary.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 518W

Theft: Metals

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress her Department has made in tackling theft of drain covers from roads in (a) Redditch and (b) the west midlands. [94372]

James Brokenshire: This Government take the growing problem of metal theft very seriously, and have set out a comprehensive approach to the problem, including legislation to raise the penalties for rogue dealers and ban cash payments for scrap metal, and targeting criminals through a £5 million national metal theft taskforce. However, the Home Office does not hold data at the level of detail required to provide specific trend information on the theft of drain covers, either in Redditch or the west midlands.

UK Border Agency

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to (1) prevent the use of racist, homophobic or derogatory language by UK Border Agency staff or their contractors; [92918]

(2) ensure that UK Border Agency staff monitoring enforced removal flights are able to ensure that the behaviour of contracted workers is appropriate. [92921]

Damian Green: We expect the highest standards from our staff and contractors and will take appropriate robust action against those who fail to adhere to them.

The UK Border Agency has a team of eight contract monitors who monitor and report on the performance of the escorting service provider. In addition all service provider vehicles have CCTV fitted with audio capability. Members of the Independent Monitoring Board regularly report to the contract monitors and the Chief Inspector of Prisons also carries out announced and unannounced inspections.

While the UK Border Agency has introduced a professional code of conduct for all those staff working with detainees, Reliance, the current escorting service provider, has introduced a training programme of cultural change for all escorting staff. It has also introduced a freephone number to enable staff to report colleagues whose behaviour causes concern.

The Home Office Equality and Diversity strategy outlines the legal obligations and responsibilities on the Department as an employer and contractor of services to prevent discrimination or harassment. All Home Office staff are required to undertake a mandatory equality and diversity e-learning programme. In addition face to face equality and diversity workshops are also delivered to staff and managers across the Home Office group.

The learning programmes highlight that inappropriate language and behaviour should and will be challenged, and where proven will result in disciplinary action and penalties including dismissal.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 519W

UK Border Agency: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency plans to reply to the letter of 10 January 2012 from the hon. Member for Walsall North, ref: S1153849. [95091]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency replied to the hon. Member on 9 February 2012.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to reply to Question 89795 on intracompany transfers, tabled on 11 January 2012 for answer on 16 January 2012. [94604]

Damian Green [holding answer 9 February 2012]: I refer my right hon. Friend to my answer of 9 February 2012, Official Report, column 352W.

International Development

Departmental Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the total value of contracts issued or to be issued by his Department in 2011-12 have required successful organisations to put up a capital bond; and if he will make a statement. [94911]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has not required a capital bond to be put up by a successful organisation in relation to any centrally let contract issued or due to be issued in 2011-12.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which contracts his Department has tendered or will tender in 2011-12 which require successful organisations to have a capital bond of more than £5 million; which contracts have not required such a bond; and if he will make a statement. [94932]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has not required a capital bond to be put up by a successful organisation in relation to any centrally let contract issued or to be issued in 2011-12.

Details of the contracts that have been awarded (without such a bond) are available through the departmental website at

www.dfid.gov.uk

Developing Countries: Disease Control

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2011, Official Report, column 635W, on developing countries: disease control, when he expects to launch the open competition for research funding. [95157]

20 Feb 2012 : Column 520W

Mr Duncan: We anticipate that the UK Government will launch the competition for research into the development of new technologies for prevention, treatment and diagnostics for diseases of poverty including malaria, neglected tropical diseases, tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS, before the end of March 2012. Details will be posted on the DFID website at:

www.dfid.gov.uk

EU External Trade: Forests

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the EU plans to enter negotiations with (a) Brazil, (b) Ethiopia, (c) India, (d) Mexico, (e) Mozambique, (f) Peru, (g) Tanzania and (h) Zambia to agree a Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade voluntary partnership. [94254]

Mr O'Brien: The EU will enter into negotiations of a Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) voluntary partnership agreement at the request of a forest nation after it has reached some consensus among its domestic stakeholders.

I understand that the EU currently has no plans to enter into such agreements with Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mozambique or Zambia as they have yet to express a formal interest to the EU in this.

The EU and the UK have had contacts with Brazil, India and Peru to discuss this. Peru has expressed little interest in entering a voluntary partnership agreement through the EU. Brazil has expressed interest in sharing its own experience and approach with other countries but has stated that it does not wish to negotiate a FLEGT voluntary partnership agreement: India and Mexico have expressed interest in learning more about the FLEGT initiative but discussions are at an early stage.

Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he expects to announce the funding to be allocated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for the period from 2011 to 2013. [94889]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Global Fund has saved over 7.7 million lives in 150 countries over the last 10 years. 3.3 million people are receiving antiretroviral treatment, 8.6 million cases of TB have been detected and treated, and over 230 million insecticide-treated nets distributed. This is why the UK has a long standing commitment of £1 billion up to 2015—£128 million a year from 2011 to 2013.

We stand ready to make a new commitment, above and beyond our existing pledge subject to reforms. Working with new and existing donors in 2012, I intend to announce at a time which raises the most amount of money for the Fund.

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria he plans to apply when deciding the funding to allocate to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria for the period from 2011 to 2013. [94890]

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Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Global Fund has developed a “Consolidated Transformation Plan” which brings together existing reforms and the recommendations of a recent High Level Panel Report. These time-bound reforms are intended to ensure that the Fund improves its performance and better meets the needs of poor people affected by the three diseases.

The UK's readiness to increase its funding to the Global Fund is dependent on the extent to which it is able to take forward these reforms and deliver on the recommendations of the Panel's Report in implementing its strategy.

India

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK aid in reducing (a) malaria, (b) tuberculosis, (c) HIV/AIDS and (d) illiteracy in the state of Gujarat in India; and if he will make a statement. [95413]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Gujarat is not one of the focus states of the Government's aid programme in India and we are therefore not directly supporting any programmes on each of these issues with UK aid in Gujarat.

Lesotho: Overseas Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has given to Lesotho in each of the last 10 years. [94651]

Mr O'Brien: The following table shows the level of the total Department for International Development (DFID) bilateral programme to Lesotho over the 10 years from 2001-02 to 2010-11.

  Total DFID bilateral programme (£000)

2001-02

2,718

2002-03

2,848

2003-04

3,318

2004-05

3,522

2005-06

4,319

2006-07

6,752

2007-08

3,896

2008-09

6,209

2009-10

5,075

2010-11

2,935

Maldives

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials in his Department are stationed in the Maldives. [95114]

Mr Duncan: None.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has given to the Maldives in each of the last 10 years. [95115]

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Mr Duncan: Through the Department for International Development's (DFID) bilateral aid programme the Maldives has received the following aid from the UK over the last decade:

  Total DFID bilateral programme (£)

2001-02

82,580

2002-03

195,271

2003-04

199,068

2004-05

807,557

2005-06

405,221

2006-07

0

2007-08

0

2008-09

0

2009-10

150,000

2010-11

0

DFID no longer has a bilateral aid programme in the Maldives, and there are no plans to initiate one. The spend in 2009-10 was support for the Maldives hosting the first ‘Climate Vulnerable Forum’ in October 2009. The forum was a gathering of world leaders from countries that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he has any plans to visit the Maldives. [95118]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: No.

Sahel

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with which donors the Government has had discussions to ensure that funding is available for an early response to mitigate the emergency in the Sahel; what the outcome was of those discussions; and which donors apart from the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office he expects to take a lead on the Sahel emergency. [94891]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Officials from my Department have been monitoring the situation closely and have been regularly liaising with their opposite numbers in other Governments, including the French, and with officials from the Red Cross, the United Nations and leading non-governmental organisations.

UK officials attended the European Council Working Group on Humanitarian Aid and Food Aid meeting in Brussels this month. They discussed the situation in the Sahel with representatives from all 27 member states of the EU, plus representatives from UN organisations, non-governmental organisations working in the Sahel region area and other non-EU donors. Officials are in the process of following up these discussions with donors on an individual basis.

It is too early in the immediate response phase of the emergency to speculate on which donors will take the lead, however large donors including the US, Germany and France have the potential to play a key role. Having been at the forefront of the response in the Horn of Africa, the UK is looking to others to share the burden and provide leadership.

However I announced last month some specific targeted support to assist.

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Somalia: Health Services

Mr Gyimah: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the Government has any plans to provide the African Union Mission in Somalia with a level 1 field hospital in Mogadishu. [94263]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: There are no plans for the Government to contribute to a Level 1 field hospital in Mogadishu. The UK has contributed towards the running of the Level II hospital.

Somalia: Overseas Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of his Department's officials are stationed in Somalia. [94643]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: No staff working for the Department for International Development (DFID) on Somalia are currently posted in Somalia. DFID officials travel to Somalia when required, in line with the Government's duty of care to them.

On 11 May 2011, Official Report, columns 1165-68, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), announced to Parliament that the UK would reopen its embassy in Mogadishu as soon as local conditions permit. This month the UK appointed its first ambassador to Somalia for 21 years.

Visits Abroad

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what countries (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have visited in an official capacity since May 2010. [94747]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Details of all Ministers overseas visits are available on the Department for International Development website:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/about-us/our-organisation/ministers

and are published every quarter in the normal way.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Embassies

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost is of operating British embassies in each EU member state in the most recent period for which figures are available. [94160]

Mr Hague: The most recent figures available are for financial year 2010-11.

The cost of operating British embassies (expenditure by sovereign posts net of income) in each EU member state in financial year 2010-11 is provided in the following table.

20 Feb 2012 : Column 524W

Country Net cost of operating British embassies in financial year 2010-11 (£)

Austria

5,536,850

Belgium

6,852,180

Bulgaria

2,821,056

Cyprus

3,694,351

Czech Republic

3,759,738

Denmark

4,478,932

Estonia

1,893,222

Finland

3,893,935

France

10,404,191

Germany

15,349,515

Greece

6,258,742

Hungary

4,341,064

Ireland

2,250,186

Italy

(1)- 1,343,060

Latvia

1,473,947

Lithuania

1,473,947

Luxembourg

1,363,758

Malta

2,284,531

The Netherlands

4,679,516

Poland

6,545,204

Portugal

3,862,976

Romania

3,376,536

Slovakia

1,709,361

Slovenia

1,582,282

Spain

11,831,763

Sweden

4,473,475

United Kingdom

n/a

(1 )The negative figure showing for the British embassy in Italy is due to income from other Government Departments and impairment (property revaluation) costs.

These figures show net expenditure by British embassies in costly European capitals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) network of posts plays a critical role in maintaining important bilateral relationships, helping to push the UK's prosperity agenda and providing consular support to British nationals overseas.

Net expenditure varies significantly from post to post, including between embassies of similar size. This is due to a range of factors including income received, for example for consular services, the value of the FCO's locally owned estate and other country-specific factors such as local staff salary levels and employers' social security contributions, rental costs, and utility prices.

Abu Qatada

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times officials in his Department have met (a) officials from the Government of Jordan and (b) the Jordanian ambassador or his representatives to discuss the case of Abu-Qatada since June 2010. [94989]

Alistair Burt: The British ambassador to Jordan and other Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have had continuous dialogue with Jordanian Ministers and officials to discuss Qatada's case, both before and after the 17 January ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

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Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times the UK ambassador to Jordan has met officials of the Government of Jordan to discuss the case of Abu-Qatada since June 2010. [94991]

Alistair Burt: The British ambassador to Jordan and other Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have had continuous dialogue with Jordanian Ministers and officials to discuss Qatada's case, both before and after the 17 January ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.