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27 Oct 2008 : Column 664Wcontinued
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people who sold their home to pay for social care in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by local authority area. 
Phil Hope: The Government have taken steps to help people avoid having to sell their homes during their lifetime to pay for residential care. Since October 2001, local councils have been able to enter into a deferred payments agreement with people about to enter residential care. This allows people with property, but without income and other assets sufficient to meet their assessed financial contribution to the cost of residential care, to have a legal charge placed on their property to meet any shortfall. The local council then meets the cost of the person's residential care and reclaims the debt from the person's estate when their affairs are wound up. This gives people more options for meeting care home fees and avoids the need for their property to be sold during their lifetime.
Information about the sale of property to pay for residential care by service users supported by councils is not collected centrally. Local authorities also may not know if this has happened in the case of those who arrange their own care, for example, where a person sells a property and contracts with a care provider privately without involving social services. It is not, therefore, possible to estimate the number of homes that may have been sold for this purpose.
The value of the main residence occupied by a service user receiving home care and other non-residential social services must be disregarded when assessing their ability to pay for services.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the confectionery industry on the sugar content of their products. 
Dawn Primarolo: Department Ministers have not had any recent discussions with representatives of the confectionary industry on the sugar content of their products. The Food Standards Agency is in regular contact with the industry on the subject of reducing the sugar content of their products as part of their saturated fat and energy intake programme.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was claimed in expenses for taxi travel by officials from (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2005-06, (iii) 2004-05, (iv) 2003-04 and (v) 2002-03; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The information requested regarding claims for expenses for the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
For the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, costs are only available from 1 April 2004 and are as follows:
The Department has a contract for taxis which is paid for centrally. Expenditure has been:
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to evaluate the effect of the £26 million allocated to primary care trusts for programmes to reduce teenage pregnancies. 
We are taking a number of actions to monitor the outcomes of this new investment. The South West Public Health Observatory have been commissioned to develop a balanced score card for sexual health which will monitor a range of indicators at primary care trust, strategic health authority (SHA) and national level. This will be available during 2009 and the first phase will focus on outcomes for young
people. In addition, a memorandum of understanding is being put in place between the SHAs and the Department, with quarterly reporting on progress against plans.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what negotiating mandate he has given to his Department's officials for the conference of the parties on the framework convention on tobacco control; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the mandate; 
(2) what procedures he has put in place to ensure that Government policy on tobacco control forms the basis of his officials' work in negotiations in (a) the European Union and (b) the conference of the parties on the framework convention on tobacco control; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The negotiations on the framework convention on tobacco control are currently ongoing at European Union level. At the third conference of parties the UK Government, along with EU counterparts, will be negotiating for the most effective global tobacco control. The UK Government are represented by the Department in these negotiations. The Department works across Government to ensure we achieve the most effective global tobacco control guidelines in line with agreed national policy on tobacco control.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants in his Department were seconded to work for (a) trade unions and (b) the Trades Union Congress in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Bradshaw: No civil servants in the Department have been seconded to work for trade unions or the Trades Union Congress since 2003.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Departments practice is on supplying non-alcoholic wine as a choice at official receptions or functions. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Departments catering policy has no rule on the provision of non-alcoholic wine. This is a choice for the person organising any event.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Prime Minister what personal training courses at public expense he has undertaken since his appointment. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 8 October 2008, Official Report, column 617W.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library copies of replies to his letters of appointment to (a) the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and (b) Ministers in that Department. 
The Prime Minister: During the recent reshuffle I spoke to Ministers and discussed the Government's priorities, but did not exchange letters of appointment.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has commissioned any studies into lessons learnt from the UK's military and humanitarian efforts in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan since June 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: We review every aspect of our military and humanitarian efforts on a continuous basis, both to determine requirements and to learn lessons for future practice, drawing on the experience of military commanders and civilian personnel in theatre.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what discussions he has had with Prime Minister Olmert on the release of Palestinian parliamentarians held in Israeli prisons; 
(2) what discussions he has had with Prime Minister Olmert on (a) the accession of Israel to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and (b) proposals for a middle east nuclear-free zone; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I discussed a wide range of issues with Prime Minister Olmert on my recent visit to Israel. In addition, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) on 23 October 2008, Official Report, column 555W.
Hugh Robertson: To ask the Prime Minister how many (a) Ministers, (b) Opposition politicians and (c) members of the (i) London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, (ii) Olympic Delivery Authority and (iii) British Olympic Authority boards were invited to the reception for Team GB at 10 Downing Street following the Beijing Olympics. 
The Prime Minister: I hosted a reception for Team GB at Lancaster House. Guests were invited from a range of political and sporting fields including those involved in the preparations for London 2012.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Prime Minister who the members are of the (a) Regional Economic Council and (b) Regional Council; and whether multiple regional councils will be put in place for each Government office region. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the press notice released by my Office. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House and are also available on the No. 10 website:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 99-102WS, whether Mr. Ravi Gurumurthy was in post as a special adviser on 22 July 2008. 
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost to the public purse of his Department was in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Total departmental spending figures are shown in Annex 2, Table 1 of the Department's Annual Report 2008 (HC 492), published in May 2008. The Annual Report is available in the Library of the House and online:
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many security passes have been reported (a) lost and (b) stolen by staff in his Department in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: A total of 130 passes have been reported as lost or stolen by UK Department for International Development (DFID) staff since June 2006; of these 126 were lost and four stolen. For the period February 2004 to July 2006, please see the answer given to the hon. Member for North Southwark and Bermondsey (Simon Hughes) on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1625W. No data are available before this date.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 13 October 2008, Official Report, columns 991-92W, on humanitarian aid, what measures are in place to ensure his Department adheres to the 23 principles of good humanitarian donorship in (a) Bangladesh, (b) Nigeria and (c) Sierra Leone. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) are a central pillar of the Department for International Development's (DFID) Humanitarian Policy. Guidelines such as DFID's Humanitarian Funding Guidelines for NGOs also ensure that the GHD principles inform our funding decisions.
In Bangladesh, DFID is actively involved in:
(a) disaster preparedness and management (GHD principle 8);
(b) funding of relief operations as needed, channelling through UN nationally and NGOs (guided by DFID's humanitarian policy); and
(c) early recovery and assessments on reconstruction/rehabilitation (GHD principle 9).
In Nigeria and Sierra Leone, DFID does not currently provide humanitarian aid. In both cases DFID, through its development programme, works closely with partners including the UN, other donors and partner Governments to reduce the risk of disaster, to prevent the re-emergence of conflict, and to foster a greater adherence to all aid effectiveness principles.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions his Department has had with other Government Departments on the steps it is taking, including through its Mental Health Communication Strategy, to combat stigma against and provide support for its employees with mental illnesses. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) is part of the Business Well-being Network which liaises with other Government Departments and the private sector to ensure an inclusive and cohesive approach to provide support and combat stigma for its employees with mental illness. This network takes a strategic, integrated approach to the management of well-being at work in order to reap the proven benefits associated with a healthy and engaged work force.
DFID's Mental Health Communication Strategy culminated in the launch of a Better Balance campaign in July 2007. The campaign focused on work place pressure, health and well-being, lifestyle and any significant influences that may impact on physical or mental health of staff and their ability to remain effective at work.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the UK's total net official development assistance contribution was as a percentage of gross national income in each year since 2005. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Details on the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the period 2005 to 2007 were published in the DFID publication 'Statistics on International Development 2008'. This publication is available through DFID's website:
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