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13 Jul 2000 : Column WA37

Written Answers

Thursday, 13th July 2000.

Type 45 Destroyer Programme

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made with the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer programme.[HL3276]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The Government have now approved the procurement of Type 45 Destroyers, in line with our firm commitment to a modern and effective destroyer and frigate force. Subject to the satisfactory completion of negotiations, a contract will be placed later this year with the prime contractor, BAE Systems, for the first three of these ships, and including some major long-lead equipment for a further three, at an estimated cost in excess of £1 billion. It is planned that the first and third ships will be assembled by BAE Systems Marine, and the second ship by Vosper Thornycroft. The first of class is expected to be launched from the BAE Systems Marine Scotstoun yard on the Clyde.

The class is to be named the 'D' Class and Her Majesty the Queen has graciously agreed to the first of class being named HMS "Daring" and the second HMS "Dauntless". This revives two names that have served the Royal Navy well since the early 1800s.

The ships will be equipped with the PAAMS Anti Air Missile System, a collaborative programme with France and Italy, and will provide highly effective area defence against aircraft and missiles. In addition, the Type 45 Destroyer will be a multi-role, general purpose platform capable of operations across the spectrum of tasks from peace support to high intensity warfare.

The first of class will enter service in 2007. We expect that an order for the second batch of ships will be placed around 2004.

Construction of these new ships will sustain up to 3,000 jobs directly in the shipyards over the next 10 years and will sustain or create almost as many elsewhere in the defence industry.

Sure Start Round 3

Lord Davies of Coity asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they plan to authorise a further round of local Sure Start programmes.[HL3335]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and my honourable friend the

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Minister for Public Health have today invited applications to set up a Sure Start programme in each of the following 65 districts in England:

Proposed List of Districts for Sure Start Round 3






Blackburn with Darwen











East Lindsey

East Riding of Yorkshire

East Staffordshire

Ellesmere Port and Neston









Kings Lynn and West Norfolk

Kingston upon Hull









Milton Keynes

Newark and Sherwood


North Devon

North Lincolnshire





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Tower Hamlets



West Lancashire


We have placed a copy of the guidance for this application round in the Library.

These 65 applications are in addition to 59 trailblazer areas, which are now delivering services to children and families, and a further 70 second wave areas, which have now submitted their plans and are on course to start delivering services from the autumn.

Educational Policy and Children's Emotional Well-being

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any studies have been made to determine whether the measures introduced to improve standards in schools have had any impact on children's emotional well-being; and, if so, what are the findings to date.[HL3189]

Baroness Blackstone: No such studies have been made by my department; but we confidently expect our policies to enhance children's emotional well-being, as increasing numbers achieve their full educational potential. Failure to read, write and understand basic arithmatic hinders 7 million adults today and certainly has a detrimental effect on their everyday lives. From September 2000 schools will have a framework for the teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education.

Equal Opportunities: Promotion

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to amend the Sex Discrimination Acts to include a public duty to promote equality.[HL3244]

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Baroness Blackstone: The Government are committed to introducing a statutory duty on public authorities to promote equal opportunities between women and men when parliamentary time permits.

Disabled People: Numbers

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many disabled people (as defined in Schedule 1 to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) there are in the United Kingdom.[HL3240]

Baroness Blackstone: Figures for all adults, including those of state pension age and over, can be estimated using findings from a recent research study 1 . According to these estimates there are around 9.4 million people aged 16 and over who are covered by the DDA.

In addition, there are estimated to be 394,000 children and young people under 16 who are disabled and therefore likely to be covered by the DDA 2 . 1 Disability Discrimination Act: Analysis of Data from an Omnibus Survey, DSS In-house Report, 30 July 1997. 2 Quality Protects: Disabled children numbers categories and families. Department of Health.

Lord Campbell of Croy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in estimating the number of disabled people in the United Kingdom, they take account of the 1991 census which records approximately 6.5 million chronically ill and disabled people.[HL3241]

Baroness Blackstone: The Government use a variety of sources to estimate the number of disabled people in the UK, including census figures. The 2001 census will include a question on illness and disability, which will provide robust information on people of all ages.

However, the census information does not take account of the number of people covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. In particular, the census figures do not indicate whether a disability has a "substantial, adverse impact on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". Equally important, the census is only carried out every 10 years, so more up-to-date figures on disability need to be found from other sources.

The Government use the Labour Force Survey to provide up-to-date disability figures on quarterly basis for all adults of working age. This involves interviewing adults from 65,000 households every quarter. Respondents are asked about health problems or disabilities that last for more than a year; whether these affect the work they might do and whether these substantially limit a person's ability to carry out normal day to day activities. This allows the Government to provide with a high degree of

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accuracy, the number of people of working age covered by the Disability Discrimination Act, as well as the economic activity of disabled people more generally.

Liverpool Street Station Approaches: Cleanliness

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they regard Railtrack as having kept the rail approaches to Liverpool Street Station in London adequately clean and free from litter and railway detritus; and, if not, what action they propose to take.[HL3214]

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Government and Railtrack recognise that the rail approaches to Liverpool Street Station require attention.

Last year, my department published a revised Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (under the Environmental Protection Act 1990). Railtrack is subject to the code, which sets out how quickly different types of railway land should be tidied of litter and rubbish to a set standard of cleanliness. The Railways Act 1993 (Consequential Modifications) Order 1999 applies to Railtrack provisions in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring statutory undertakers to clear litter and rubbish from their land. Under the order, Railtrack faces being taken to court if it does not comply.

For its part, Railtrack has put up litter awareness posters at stations. Its contractors are required to maintain the standard of cleanliness of all track and to clear litter within timescales shorter than those required by law. Also, it is working with the Tidy Britain Group, and with the Environment Agency's Flytipping Forum, to identify ways of tracking litter and associated problems.

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