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Water Supply: Catchment Abstraction Management

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): As at March 2006, the Environment Agency had completed 64 catchment abstraction management strategies (CAMS) out of a total of 119.

The 64 CAMS have 871 assessment points. An assessment point is a location in a catchment where an estimate of resource availability and the impact of abstraction and discharge has been made.

For the CAMS prepared to date, 12 per cent of the assessment points suggest there may be cases of over-licensing; with a further 10 per cent suggesting that they are over-abstracted.



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Armed Forces: Medals

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Mr Cordwell wrote to the Minister for Veterans on 23 June, seeking answers to a number of questions. A copy of the response has been placed in the Library of the House.

Current copyright and design law provides a comprehensive regime for protecting and controlling the re-use of Crown and Ministry of Defence-owned intellectual property. However, the protection afforded is not perpetual and once it has expired manufacturers are free to reproduce the designs. The Ministry of Defence has in place a number of licensees who manufacture replica medals and miniatures for sale, for which fees are paid. We do not control the reproduction of the ribbons as, in the opinion of the MoD’s intellectual property staff, the designs do not meet the originality threshold to obtain copyright or design protection.

In addition, where we do have copyright protection, the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 obliges public sector bodies to licence the reproduction of this material on an equitable basis, where a request is received.

My noble friend may be aware of the current Government review of intellectual property legislation by Andrew Gowers, under the Treasury. The MoD has made an informal submission to the review on the subject of protection of medals and decorations of the Armed Forces. However, the issue of the protection of honours is wider than just those for which the Armed Forces are eligible, these being the responsibility of the Honours Committee of the Cabinet Office. Ultimately it will be the responsibility of the Department of Trade and Industry, as the department responsible for intellectual property, to propose any legislative amendments that Ministers choose to implement from the report's recommendations.

Assisted Area Status

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government have taken the current assisted areas map (2000-06) as the baseline for developing the new map. Torridge does not have

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assisted area coverage on the current map, and therefore has not been designated an assisted area on the draft of the new map.

The Government propose the following measures to prioritise areas for inclusion on the new map (2007-2013):

employment rate,adult skills at level 2 and above,incapacity benefit claimants, andmanufacturing share of employment.

Further detail on the proposed designation of assisted areas, including the draft map, can be found in the DTI document Review of Assisted Areas—Stage 2—The Government’s Response and Draft Assisted Areas Map and accompanying documents, available at www.dti.gov.uk/regional/assisted-areas/assisted-areasreview/page24618.html.

Company Law

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government have been promoting a clear UK strategy for modernising company law and enhancing corporate governance in the EU. In July 2005, the Department of Trade and Industry issued a publication, “Promoting Competitiveness: The UK Approach to EU company law and corporate governance” (URN 05/1205). In November 2005, the department hosted a UK presidency conference of EU partners and stakeholders on progress on corporate governance and on future priorities for the European Commission’s action plan. The outcome of that conference has been a full review of the action plan, the results of which are due later this year.

Courts: JPs

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): My department has received four letters from justices of the peace summoned for jury service about the combined commitment of being a JP and a juror. All four were received within

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the first year of JPs and others being eligible to serve. This does not include applications for excusal or deferral from JPs summoned for jury service. Any such applications, made to either the Jury Central Summoning Bureau or Crown Court, would be dealt with on their individual merits. In the case of a self employed magistrate, the effect of jury service on both their work and their ability to sit as a magistrate would be taken into account in coming to a decision. A circular was sent to advisory committees and sub-committees on justices of the peace on 21 March 2006 clarifying a number of points about magistrates summoned for jury service. It followed a similar circular in 2004.

Gangmasters

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Our officials have been in close touch with the relevant employment agency trade association, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, regarding the requirements for licensing under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act. They have also been working closely with colleagues at the Gangmasters Licensing Authority regarding the implications for employment agencies who supply workers to the agriculture and food processing industries. The GLA has produced a range of publications and guidance for all labour providers which are available on their website or in hard copy. They have worked closely with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to ensure that employment businesses and agencies are aware of the requirements for licensing.

Government Departments: Special Advisers

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Two members of staff are primarily employed to provide support of a non-political nature in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.



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Government Departments: Independent Expert Reports

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Government Departments: Special Advisers

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The rules for civil servants, including special advisers, who wish to take up other employment in addition to their Civil Service duties are set out in Section 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code. Such information is not normally made public. There are no plans to create a public register of interests for special advisers.

Government Departments: Special Advisers

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:



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Lord Davies of Oldham: Special advisers have one member of staff who provides support of a non political nature in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

Gulf War: Pensions

Lord Morris of Manchester: asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): In the Ministry of Defence letter of 5 June to the president of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, the fourth paragraph states: “As you are aware, the Ministry of Defence welcomed the decision by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal in the case brought by Mr Martin. The Tribunal’s decision accepted the use of the umbrella term Gulf War Syndrome for accepted conditions which are causally linked to service in the 1990-91-Gulf War. The Secretary of State recognised that some veterans were concerned that the link between their ill-health and their service in the Gulf had not been sufficiently acknowledged. The Tribunal's decision in Martin gave a formal means of providing such recognition and it was for that reason, not least, that the Ministry of Defence welcomed it”. The then veterans’ Minister, in his Written Statement of 24 November 2005 (Official Report, Commons, col. 129WS), hoped that this formal recognition would help to provide an element of closure for those who have sought this acknowledgement of their ill-health. The extract from the 5 June letter was made in the context of the earlier Ministerial Statement.

Moreover, in the spirit of helping to provide closure and acting in good faith, the Veterans’ Agency in its notification letters to Mr McGreevy went further than required by including previously accepted conditions, which were linked to his Gulf service, under the umbrella term of Gulf War syndrome. While the 5 June letter accepts that this was done in error, it nevertheless indicates the Ministry of Defence’s willingness to assist in the closure process.

Israel and Palestine: Gaza

Lord Hylton to ask Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): Our best information is that the food containers have been moved from Ashdod and are now awaiting delivery at Karni Crossing. The crossing has been open for humanitarian imports since 13 July, but had been closed for six days before that.

In the past fortnight, the my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Livini and Palestinian President Abbas to try to help find a way to end the current humanitarian crisis. Our missions are working closely with both parties and the G8. The EU and the UK have issued statements in response to the crisis.

Israel and Palestine

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): On 16 July, G8 leaders discussed the situation in the Middle East. A copy of their statement will be placed in the Library of the House and I will also arrange for a copy to be sent to the noble Lord.

Kosovo: Peacekeeping Force

Lord Astor of Hever: asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson):Although the security environment in Kosovo is stable, NATO has deployed a battalion from its operational reserve as a demonstration of its commitment to Kosovo. The deployment confirms NATO's ability to reinforce in-theatre NATO-led forces at very short notice and continues NATO's mission to provide a safe and secure environment for all of Kosovo. It is not assumed that the NATO force in Kosovo, KFOR, will see an increase in troop numbers during the status process.



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Kosovo

Lord Astor of Hever: asked Her Majesty' Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The security environment in Kosovo is stable. The security forces including NATO's KFOR, the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) continue to work together to maintain a safe and secure environment as the political process to determine the final status of Kosovo proceeds.

London: Museums

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The sponsorship of the Museum of London, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Geffrye Museum was the subject of a similar consultation exercise in 1998, when the Greater London Authority (GLA) was in the process of being established. The result of the consultation was that it was decided not to transfer responsibility for these museums to the GLA. However, it was left open to review the matter at a later date when the GLA had been given time to develop its role and functions.

Following the Mayor of London's recent request to take on the Government's sponsorship responsibilities for the Museum of London, it was decided that there were sufficient grounds to consult again on the general principle of the GLA also taking on responsibility the Horniman and Geffrye Museums. Any proposed changes that may emerge as a result of the consultation will be discussed with the museums in full.

Energy: Microgeneration

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty’s Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The low carbon buildings programme provides advice to potential users of microgeneration systems through the Energy Saving Trust and the Building Research Establishment and, for large projects, through the Carbon Trust. The Carbon Trust also provides information to potential microgeneration users. The Government have also recently established a biomass energy centre as part of a response to the biomass task force.

The Government have also funded a number of regionally/locally based organisations to provide such information, such as renewable energy advice centres, energy efficiency advice centres and community renewables initiative local support teams. There have also been organisations set up to provide advice by regional development agencies, including Renewables East and Regen SouthWest.

The Government maintain an overview of the information needs, and quality, in this area as part of its microgeneration strategy. As part of its strategy, the DTI will undertake a review of existing activity to assess effectiveness and identify gaps. We will then assess the feasibility of a communications/information campaign.

Energy: Microgeneration

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): There are a range of issues surrounding metering, connection to the distribution network, and balancing and settlement arrangements that could be preventing widespread take-up of electricity generating technologies.

Changes to the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2003, and subsequent amendment of the related Distribution Code of Engineering Recommendation G83/1, have allowed a more straightforward process for network connection for electricity producing microgeneration technologies below a certain size (16A per phase).

The DTI continues to work with Ofgem, the distribution network operators, energy suppliers and the microgeneration industry to resolve difficulties—particularly through the Electricity Networks Strategy Group.

Ministry of Defence: Rent Collection

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): QinetiQ does not pay rent on the South Arm explosion testing facility at Rosyth. The vast majority (approximately 95 per cent) of work conducted by QinetiQ at this site is, in either direct or indirect (through prime contractors), support to Ministry of Defence programmes. As all the costs of operating this site are passed back to MoD under these contracts there is no point in charging a rent as this would in effect become “circular money”.

Northern Ireland: Events Funding

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Rooker: The business cases were reviewed as follows:

The Northern Ireland Events Company commissioned a business case for Rally Ireland in May 2005. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) received the final version of the business case on 4 January 2006 and it was accepted by DCAL and the Department of Finance and Personnel on 20 January 2006.

DCAL requested consultants to produce a business case for giving effect to the joint declaration commitment to encourage support to be made available for an Ulster-Scots academy on 22 September 2003. The final version of the business case was received by DCAL on 5 March 2004 and it received ministerial approval on 8 August 2004.

The Ulster-Scots Agency was informed of the need for a business case, including an economic appraisal, to support any public funding for the “On Eagle's Wing” project on the 29 January 2003. The final version was submitted to DCAL economists on 27 October 2003 The business case did not demonstrate that there was a need for deficit funding, but that On Eagle's Wing Ltd required funding to avert an upfront cash-flow problem. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure does not have the specific statutory powers to make what would have effectively been a loan from voted funds. As a result the business case was not accepted.


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