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British Constitution

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister whom he consulted on his proposals for constitutional reform announced on 10 June 2009; what public consultation he plans to hold on the proposals; and if he will make a statement. [280178]

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Prime Minister what steps the National Council for Democratic Renewal plans to take to consult (a) organisations and (b) individuals in the course of its work. [280210]

The Prime Minister: Public consultation will be a key part of the proposals for constitutional reform, and the Government will set out their plans for taking this forward shortly.

Cabinet: Southampton

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister what the cost was of holding the meeting of the Cabinet in Southampton on 23 February 2009. [274176]

The Prime Minister: The visit of the Cabinet to Southampton on 23 February 2009 was one of several ministerial visits across the region; there was a public engagement event with around 140 local people and a formal Cabinet meeting. The cost of the public engagement event and the Cabinet meeting was approximately £103,802, excluding VAT. This figure includes the cost of hiring the venue, catering, associated security and delegate management. There are no separate figures for the Cabinet meeting. In addition, Departments and agencies will have incurred costs in terms of travel, staff time and other support. The cost of any security provided by the police is a matter for the relevant police force.

Council for Constitutional Renewal

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects the Council for Constitutional Renewal to be established; how many members of the Council there will be; by what criteria its membership will be decided; what payment will be provided to Council members for their participation in the Council; what secretariat will be provided for the Council, and with what budget; whether all its deliberations will be held in public; and whether the Council will be a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [278370]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made to the House on 10 June 2009, Official Report, column 795-99. As with all Cabinet Committees, the Democratic Renewal Council will be supported by the Cabinet Office, and individual Departments where relevant.


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Democratic Renewal Council and Domestic Policy Council

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister by what means the proceedings of the (a) Democratic Renewal Council and (b) Domestic Policy Council will be reported to the House; and what estimate has been made of the administrative cost of each body in the next 12 months. [279467]

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has requested the National Council for Democratic Renewal to report recommendations to him within a specified period. [280212]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the statement I made to the House on 10 June 2009, Official Report, column 795-799.

Departmental Responsibilities

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what the official duties and responsibilities are of the First Secretary of State; what change there has been in those duties from those formerly accorded to the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; and what arrangements he has made for a Minister to answer questions in the House on the discharge of any new duties. [280189]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the Machinery of Government and Ministerial Appointments press notices issued by my Office. Copies are available in the Library of the House and are also available on the No. 10 website at:

Departmental Training

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Prime Minister what training courses have been attended by special advisers in his Office in the last 12 months; and at what cost. [279393]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) on 6 May 2009, Official Report, column 182W.

Enterprise Champion

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what the official duties and responsibilities of the Enterprise Champion are; and which Minister will answer questions in the House on their discharge. [280190]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the press notice issued by my Office on Friday 5 June 2009. A copy is available on the No. 10 website:

Iraq Conflict

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to consult (a) the leaders of Opposition parties represented in the House and (b)
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the Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee before announcing (i) the terms of reference and (ii) the composition of an inquiry into the Iraq war; and if he will make a statement. [280091]

Simon Hughes: To ask the Prime Minister what the terms of reference of the planned inquiry into the Iraq war will be; and if he will make a statement. [280142]

Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he plans to have with members of other political parties represented in the House on the terms of reference of the forthcoming inquiry into the war in Iraq. [280248]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the statement I made to the House on 15 June 2009, Official Report, columns 21-24.

Israel: EC External Relations

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the agenda for the EU-Israel Association Council meeting on 15 June 2009; and if he will make a statement. [279752]

The Prime Minister: I have regular meetings and discussions with ministerial colleagues and others on a wide range of subjects.

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what recent discussions he has had with the President of the European Commission on upgrading EU-Israel relations; [279753]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on upgrading EU-Israel relations. [279754]

The Prime Minister: I have regular discussions with the president of the European Commission and others on the issue of the middle east and related issues.

National Council for Democratic Renewal

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Prime Minister whether the recommendations of the National Council for Democratic Renewal will be published. [280208]

The Prime Minister: The Democratic Renewal Council will operate in accordance with normal procedures for Cabinet Committees. Proposals from the Committee will be subject to public engagement and consultation where relevant.

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Prime Minister what the budget is of the National Council for Democratic Renewal for 2009-10. [280211]

The Prime Minister: As with all Cabinet Committees, the Democratic Renewal Council will be supported by the Cabinet Office, and individual Departments where relevant.

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Prime Minister who the members of the National Council for Democratic Renewal are. [280236]


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Mrs. Laing: To ask the Prime Minister who the members are of the National Council for Democratic Renewal. [280209]

The Prime Minister: A list of members of all Cabinet Committees will be published shortly.

Parliamentary Private Secretaries

Mr. Maude: To ask the Prime Minister which hon. Members act as Parliamentary Private Secretaries to Ministers in each Department. [272010]

The Prime Minister: Following the recent reshuffle a list of Parliamentary Private Secretaries will be published in the usual manner.

Senior Salaries Review Body

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to extend the remit of the Review Body on Senior Salaries to enable it to advise public bodies other than those specified in its existing terms of reference. [277531]

The Prime Minister: The Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB) provides independent advice on the remuneration of holders of judicial office; senior civil servants; senior officers of the armed forces, very senior NHS managers and other such public appointments as may from time to time be specified by the Prime Minister. Full details of the Review Body’s remit can be found on the SSRB website:

Appropriate pay setting mechanisms are already in place to cover public bodies other than those specified in this remit. In general, approval for the pay of chief executives of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) is the responsibility of the parent Department, in consultation with HM Treasury. In making their decision, Departments take account of appropriate market comparators and public sector pay policy. The pay of other executives is normally included in an NDPB’s pay remit, which is normally approved by the parent Department.

Home Department

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Young People

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders given to children aged 10 to 17 years old have had reporting restrictions imposed through the discretion of the court under section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 in each of the last 10 years. [280633]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The information requested is not available centrally.

Antisocial behaviour orders are civil orders and therefore not automatically subject to reporting restrictions. ASBOs are designed to protect local communities and their effectiveness will depend on local people knowing about them. However, courts retain the power to impose reporting restrictions if they believe it appropriate to do so.


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DNA: Databases

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what applications to use data from the national DNA database for research purposes have been submitted to his Department since 15 January 2008; and if he will make a statement; [271101]

(2) what applications to his Department to use data from the national DNA database for research purposes have been refused since 13 June 2008; and if he will make a statement. [271102]

Mr. Alan Campbell: Two research applications have been submitted to the National DNA Database (NDNAD) Strategy Board since 15 January 2008. One application was from the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). The ENFSI group has been awarded EC funding to improve the efficiency of DNA data exchange throughout Europe. In order to do this, it is necessary to build a computer simulation model to determine the current efficiency of DNA databases and to carry out a predictive analysis of the effect of not increasing the number of European core loci (i.e. the number of elements of DNA which are common to different countries’ profiling systems). This application is still being considered.

The second research application was from a specialist working group set up by the Forensic Science Regulator to verify the outputs of familial search algorithms. “Familial searching” is the term used to describe the process of searching the NDNAD for profiles which are similar but not identical to a DNA profile left at a crime scene. Such searches are approved only in serious cases and can provide police with a lead on the identity of an offender by providing matches with possible family members. This application has been approved.

No research applications have been refused since 13 June 2008.

Entry Clearances

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the target time is for the processing of an application to the UK Border Agency for a sponsor licence; and what the (a) average and (b) maximum time taken to process an application for such a licence was in the latest period for which figures are available. [278275]

Mr. Woolas: The target time for processing a sponsor licence application from 1 April 2009 is 20 working days. The average time taken to process an application is currently 34 days for applications received on or after 1 April 2009. This is due primarily to high volumes of applications in particular areas, each of which must be subject to a rigorous set of checks.

The maximum time taken to process an application was 274 days which was due to delays in receiving information from the sponsor organisation and difficulties trying to arrange and conduct a pre-licensing visit.

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, columns 168-69W, on immigration: EU nationals, what steps he is taking to ensure that EEA residence cards are issued no later than six months after the date on which the application and documents are received. [280432]


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Mr. Woolas: The Secretary of State has increased the resources committed to European casework. Improvements have also been made to the training and mentoring packages for caseworkers completing European applications, all of which has led to improved results.

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has established a timetable for the processing of applications for residence permits for (a) EEA nationals and (b) family members of EEA nationals. [280470]

Mr. Woolas: The agency is committed to completing all EEA applications types within six months of date of receipt by the end of November 2009.

Immigration Controls

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications under the highly-skilled migrants programme have been refused because applicants' savings fell below the required level in each year that the scheme has operated. [272236]

Mr. Woolas: The information is not available in the format requested because it is not centrally recorded.

Immigration Controls: Overseas Students

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many academic institutions have successfully registered as sponsors with the UK Border Agency under tier 4 of the points-based immigration system; and how many such institutions made applications to register which were rejected. [271294]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 27 April 2009]: There are at present just less than 1,600 educational establishments on the register of sponsors under tier 4 of the points-based system.

Over 500 applications for sponsorship have been unsuccessful, including those applications rejected, refused and withdrawn, of which around 30 were from organisations identifying themselves as universities or educational establishments.

Figures provided have been rounded to the nearest five.

The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.


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