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Attacks on Train: British Transport Police Policy

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): There is no policy that would prevent the British Transport Police (BTP) from attending calls from freight train drivers.

As a port, Tyne Dock is outside the jurisdiction of the BTP and is policed by Northumbria Police. When the BTP control room received the report of the attack on the freight train they were advised that Northumbria Police were in attendance, that the culprits had fled and that no injuries or damage had occurred. At this time all BTP officers in the vicinity were attending other incidents of trespass and vandalism and it was decided that they should continue to attend their original calls. Had any BTP officers been available then they would have attended the incident at Tyne Dock.

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The British Transport Police has no such policy.

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The duties of the British Transport Police, like those of any other force, are to uphold law and order, maintain the Queen's peace and protect the public and staff on the railways. Their mission statement is to keep the peace on our railways and make them safe and secure.

Genetic Testing and Employment

Lord Puttnam asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will respond to the report published in 1999 by the Human Genetics Advisory Commission, The Implications of Genetic Testing for Employment.[HL3550]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government have given careful consideration to a report on The Implications of Genetic Testing for Employment, from the Human Genetics Advisory Commission (HGAC). The Government agree with the HGAC that this is an issue which should be kept under close review in future. The Government accept the main findings of the HGAC's report. They have today asked the Human Genetics Commission, which is the successor to the HGAC, to take note of the HGAC's recommendations, have suggested ways of taking them forward and have drawn attention to the measures it has already taken in this area. The Government have also asked the HGC to consider the next steps by including this issue in the Commission's wider study of the uses of genetic information and to provide advice to Ministers in due course. I am placing a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.

Mirror Group Newspapers: Investigation Costs

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 10 July (H.L. Deb., col. 9) that the cost of the investigation into the affairs of the Mirror Group was £7.6 million, whether they will provide an analysis of the expenditure to date, including the amounts paid to the two Inspectors.[HL3318]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The costs incurred to date of the inspectors' investigations into the affairs and membership of Mirror Group Newspapers are £1,474,193 in respect of lawyers' fees and expenses and £6,217,465 in respect of accountants' fees and expenses.

The lawyers' fees represent payment to Sir John Thomas, the lawyer inspector, a junior counsel and a QC employed to assist the inspectors. On taking up his judicial appointment in 1996, for which he receives a salary from the public purse, Sir John Thomas has not sought payment in respect of his work on the inspection. The accountants' fees represent payment to Raymond Turner, the accountant inspector, and for professional and administrative support provided to

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the inspectors by his firm. Any more detailed analysis of expenditure could only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Children Act Report: Updated Statistics

Lord Morris of Castle Morris asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish updated statistics to fulfil the undertaking given in the Children Act Report 1995-1999.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We have published on the Department of Health internet website a supplementary report entitled Children Act Report--1999 Supplement and we have placed copies in the Library.

Mentally Disordered Defendants: Court Division Schemes

Lord Dholakia asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many court diversion schemes for mentally disordered defendants currently receive central government funding.[HL3463]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: In 2000-01 39 court diversion schemes are receiving £808,000 of central government funding for assessment of mentally disordered defendants.

Residential and Nursing Home Standards

Lord Brooks of Tremorfa asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to announce their conclusions based on the responses received to Fit for the Future?[HL3514]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We have announced the conclusions the Government have reached in relation to the physical standards in residential and nursing homes based on the responses to the consultation process Fit for the Future? These are:

    the standard for single rooms in existing care homes will be 10 sq m from 2007;

    the standard for single rooms in new care homes will be 12 sq m from 2002;

    wheelchair users should have rooms of 12 sq m and door widths of 800mm for their own accommodation and communal rooms;

    each resident should, in addition to the above, have a minimum of 4.1 sq m of communal day space within the care home;

    shared rooms in existing homes may constitute no more than 20 per cent of overall resident places from 2002.

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To ensure flexibility for existing provision that does not meet all these standards but is otherwise of good quality, specific criteria will be set out over the standard relating to room sizes to allow some rooms which do not currently meet the 10 sq m standard to remain in use. These criteria will include:

    an expectation that no room should fall below 9.3 sq m (equivalent to 100 sq ft) provided compensatory space either in the form of en-suite facilities or additional communal day space which residents can use individually if they wish is made available;

    homes which provide spacious individual rooms but do not currently meet the standard of 4.1 sq m communal space per resident will be allowed to meet a lower minimum of 3.7 sq m.

    The net result should be that a total space of 14.1 sq m per resident is provided, with some flexibility about how it is deployed.

The standards for nine out of the 11 topic areas that we consulted upon in Fit for the Future? received overwhelming support and these will form the basis for the full set of national minimum standards which the Government will publish later this year.

We have written to honourable and right honourable Members as well as to the residential and nursing home organisations and other relevant bodies which have made representations on these issues.

Personal Investment Authority: Compliance Checks

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many visits the Personal Investment Authority has made to independent financial advisers in the last 12 months for the purposes of:

    (a) ordinary compliance checks; and

    (b) pensions review monitoring,

    and from those visits, how much money has been gathered in fines for breaches of the regulations in relation to:

    (a) ordinary compliance; and

    (b) pensions mis-selling. [HL 3298]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The number of visits the PIA has made to Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) in the last 12 months to 30 June 2000, for the purposes of:

    (a) ordinary compliance checks is 1,216

    (b) pension review monitoring is 196. No fines have been levied as a result of those visits, as IFAs visited during the last 12 months and subsequently referred for consideration for disciplinary proceedings have not yet completed the disciplinary process.

Disciplinary actions in respect of pension mis-selling are based upon a lack of progress in completing the

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pension review, which requires firms to review their pension sales and, where appropriate offer redress.

During the year ending 30 June 2000, fines were levied as the result of compliance visits undertaken before July 1999. Those fines were as follows.

    (a) fines levied on IFA firms for ordinary compliance failings were £693,750

    (b) fines levied on IFA firms for pension review failings were £701,750.

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