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The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard): The number of Questions for Written Answer put down is not kept. The number of Answers to Questions for Written Answer is as follows (it should be noted that on occasion a number of related questions from the same Peer may be grouped together to receive one overarching Answer):
for the period 2 May 1997 to 3 May 1998--3,524 answers were given to Questions for Written Answer. It is not possible to give an exact figure for the time spent answering Questions for Written Answer but, on average, questions are answered in about two weeks.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Government have made no such central assessment, these being matters for local decision making. A pair of reports about availability of radiotherapy was published by the Royal College of Radiologists on 8 July and provides valuable information for the local planning of services. The National Health Service Executive in the North West will find the reports, against the backdrop of the cancer targets in the Green and White Papers and the ongoing implementation of the Calman/Hine recommendations, useful locally for formulating and assessing bids for radiotherapy resources.
The college reports demonstrated that the North West Region came out worst, with 40 per cent. of patients waiting longer than the recommended maximum and West Midlands the best at 7 per cent. The North West had the lowest rate of linear accelerators per million population, at 1.88, with the West Midlands in sixth place, at 2.80. The highest rate was Wales at 3.08 and with the
Baroness Jay of Paddington: Information on the implementation of the powered indoor/outdoor wheelchair scheme has been collected from health authorities since the last quarter of 1996-97. National and health authority level figures are available from the National Health Service Executive Headquarters and in the Library.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: Information on the voucher scheme has been collected from health authorities since the first quarter of 1997-98. National and health authority level figures are available from the NHS Executive Headquarters and in the Library.
(a) a heterosexual partner;
(b) a homosexual partner.[HL2766]
As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question on the life expectancy of a man aged 20 with (a) a heterosexual partner and (b) a homosexual partner.
We do not have any information on the differences in life expectancy between people with heterosexual or homosexual partners. However, the expectation of life in the United Kingdom for all men aged 20 is a further 55.0 years.
Incidence rates of cancers of the breast, lung, cervix, prostate, bowel and liver for each region in England and Wales are published in the annual reference volume series, Cancer statistics--registrations, series MB1 by the Office for National Statistics. The most recent volume contains data for new cases diagnosed in 1991. Provisional numbers of new cases in 1992 by region for the major cancer sites were published in ONS Monitor MB1 97/1. Copies of these publications are held in the House of Lords Library.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Windfall Tax is expected to raise £5.2 billion, of which £2.6 billion was raised in the first instalment. £143 million is estimated to have been spent in 1997-98. £4.9 billion of the Windfall Tax has been allocated to particular programmes, with £0.3 billion unallocated at this stage. Further details of the allocation of this spending in future years were set out in the Financial Statement and Budget Report, March 1998.
The Chairman of Committees: With the introduction of the new annunciator system, steps have already been taken to improve notification of divisions in the Lords. When switched to the House of Commons annunciator channel (and provided the volume is turned up), a division in the Lords should be signalled by a brief bell, together with a flashing red bell in the corner of the screen and notice of the division on the scrolling section of the screen. However, it has so far proved impossible to devise a system which allows for continual ringing of Lords division bells in the Commons but which would not cause undue confusion.
The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): Following his 22 June Answer, my noble friend wrote to the noble Lord to provide him with a more detailed answer to the Question he raised. There are currently four men and eight women commissioners of the Equal Opportunities Commission. An open recruitment exercise is under way to fill vacant commissioner posts. We shall continue to make appointments to the commission on merit.
Whether they consider that the weaponisation of space should be a subject for "preventative diplomacy" by the United Nations or by any other party.[HL2564]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): As I told the noble Lord on 12 January 1998 (WA 123), we have made clear that we have no objection to re-establishing an Ad Hoc Committee at the Conference on Disarmament on this issue. Together with other European Union member states, we abstained on the United Nations General Assembly resolution on this issue because we did not wish to prejudge the outcome of further disarmament debate within the Conference on Disarmament.