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Employment, Social Policy, health and Consumer Affairs Council

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Dawn Primarolo): The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will meet on 16 and 17 December. The Health and Consumer Affairs part of the Council will be taken on 16 December.

Items on the main agenda are: adoption of Council conclusions on health security; and Council conclusions on public health strategies to combat neurodegenerative
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diseases associated with ageing and in particular Alzheimer’s disease. The United Kingdom supports these conclusions.

The presidency also intends to provide a progress report on the proposal for a directive on cross-border healthcare followed by a debate for member states. There will also be a presentation by the European Commission on the recently published proposal for a Council recommendation on European actions in the field of rare diseases, followed by an exchange of views.

Under any other business, the presidency and the Commission intend to provide information on the Council high level working party on public health on the health strategy; proposals for a regulation on the provision of food information to consumers; directive with regards variations to the terms of marketing authorisations for medicinal products; proposal for a directive on the quality and safety of organ donations; proposal for a recommendation on the safety of patients and the quality of health services including the prevention and control of nosocomial infections; Commission Green Paper on health professionals; information on events organised during the French presidency; Commission’s High Level Group on health services and medical care; Commission communication on the future of pharmaceutical products and legislative proposals on pharmacovigilance, counterfeiting and information to patients; proposal for a directive amending directives on the structure and rates of excise duty applied on manufactured tobacco; strengthening of co-operation between member states in the field of e-health; and the forthcoming work programme of the incoming Czech presidency.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

EU Competitiveness Council

The Minister of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Mr. David Lammy): My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Science and Innovation (Lord Drayson) has made the following written statement.


Autumn Performance Report 2008

The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Jack Straw): I have today laid before Parliament the Ministry of Justice Autumn Performance Report 2008 (Cm 7525). The report sets out the last six months’ progress the Ministry has made against its Departmental Strategic Objectives, value for money targets and public service agreements. The report will also be accessible on the Ministry’s website.

Cabinet Office

“Helping to shape tomorrow” White Paper

The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Kevin Brennan): The Government proposes that, subject to Parliamentary approval, a census of population should be taken in England and Wales on 27 March 2011.

I am pleased to announce the publication of a White Paper “Helping to shape tomorrow: The 2011 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales” [Cm 7513], which sets out the UK Statistics Authority’s detailed proposals for the census.

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The White Paper is intended to promote public discussion of the proposals, which will affect every household and person in England and Wales.

The White Paper sets out the strategic aims for the census, explains the need for it, and deals with matters of public concern such as data security and confidentiality.

Government will use the information to form policy, to plan services for specific groups of people and, especially, to distribute resources effectively to local and health authorities to enable them to direct resources to where they are needed.

The design for the new census builds upon the lessons learned from the 2001 Census, and takes account of the formal recommendations of the Treasury Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the National Audit Office and the former Statistics Commission.

After a census rehearsal in October 2009 and consultation with the Welsh Assembly Ministers, the Government will lay before Parliament an Order in Council for approval in accordance with the Census Act 1920.

The White Paper is also being presented to the National Assembly for Wales.

Copies of the White Paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The White Paper is also available on the UK Statistics Authority website at:

Leader of the House

Parliamentary Question Correction

The Deputy Leader of the House of Commons (Chris Bryant): It has been brought to my attention that the reply I gave the hon. Member for Horsham (Francis Maude), on 11 November 2008, Official Report, Vol. 482, column 1129W was incorrect.

The correct answer should have been:

From November 2007 a total of £15,681.25 has been paid to the Parliamentary Labour Party from parliamentary allowances for the messaging service provided for Members by Vodafone:



£ 4,981.00

2008-09 (to date)


The amounts paid to Computing for Labour as subscriptions for software that is used for responding to constituents’ correspondence and other constituency casework for each year since 2003-04 are as follows:








2008-09 (to date)


Figures for 2003-04 and 2004-05 are not available.

Members typically claim for an annual membership of £50. Most other claims are for £100 for the caseworker management system; £199 for related training; and £235 a year for relevant IT support via Support line.

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Workplace Parking Levy

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): I am today announcing a 12-week consultation on draft regulations for workplace parking levy “licensing schemes” made by local traffic authorities under the Transport Act 2000.

Powers for a local authority to make a workplace parking levy scheme were included in the Transport Act 2000, but some of the details of the legislative framework were left to be set out in regulations .The regulations would apply to any local traffic authority that wishes to make a workplace parking levy scheme in England outside London.

Nottingham City Council has designed a workplace parking levy scheme and made and published a Scheme Order. The order cannot come into force until confirmed by the Secretary of State for Transport, and the Secretary of State cannot consider the order in the absence of an appropriate regulatory framework. The regulations in today’s consultation concern that framework.

Publication of this consultation should not be interpreted as implying that a decision on the Nottingham scheme has been taken.

Consultation documents are available on the Department for Transport’s website at Copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

Olympic Route Network

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick): The Department has today published a consultation paper on the designation of the Olympic route network (ORN). It sets out proposals for the roads that will form the ORN—a network of roads to be used by athletes, games officials and the media during the London 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games. The consultation closes on 19 March 2009.

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For London, as for other recent host cities, the ORN is a vital part of plans for managing the transport challenge posed by one of the largest events that can take place in a country. The purpose of the ORN is to enable the safe, secure, and efficient transport of the athletes, games officials and media who are central to the games between venues and accommodation, while minimising the impact on residents, businesses and visitors. The commitment to have an ORN was included in our Olympic bid, and initial outline proposals for the network were included in the Olympic Delivery Authority’s Olympic transport plan published in October last year.

The proposed network that is the subject of this consultation is the result of further detailed work led by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), working closely with the Department for Transport, Transport for London, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, local highway authorities and other stakeholders.

We are taking forward this consultation now, more than three years in advance of the games and with the support of the Mayor of London, because the experience of previous host cities shows to the importance for a successful ORN of good preparation and early and effective communication with those who may be affected—including utilities who typically plan their major works years in advance.

Following consideration of the responses to this consultation, we plan to designate the ORN in the summer of 2009. This is the first stage in a two-stage process to create the ORN. Designation by the Secretary of State will give the ODA the powers to implement temporary traffic management measures on the ORN.

The ODA will, in the second stage, consult widely on potential measures to deliver the best possible solution for the games, the local area and the road network as a whole. Traffic management measures on the individual routes will be applied for the minimum time possible—in some cases they may only be needed for a few days. Many of the measures will be behind the scenes—such as improvements to traffic signals. Between some key locations on the busiest sections of the ORN, and only where there is sufficient space, the measures may include special lanes with use reserved for games vehicles.

Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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