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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): I am not aware that there is any such evidence. We are making enquiries and if the noble Baroness would write to me with details of her specific concerns I will write to her once these are complete.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The increase in the number of people detained is a reflection of the gradual expansion of the number of detainee places available. An additional 112 places came on stream at the centre at Lindholme in July and built up to full capacity in September.
The Government are committed to increasing the number of failed asylum applicants, inadmissible passengers and illegal entrants removed from the country. Last year about 8,000 failed asylum applicants were removed. This year the target is 12,000. Regrettably, detention is necessary because of the lack of compliance with conditions of temporary admission. Only about 1/3 of people leave the country voluntarily following adverse decisions and completion of the appeal process.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Commission has not yet put forward any proposals on passport format, although it announced its intention to do so in September. We have made clear to the Commission that we would not agree to the removal of the Royal Coat of Arms from the cover of the passport. Nor would we agree to any other amendments which were not justified on security grounds.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary Question asking for the excess winter deaths for each English region, and for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in each year 1998-99 to 1999-2000, with a breakdown by age for each year.
Figures are provided in the attached table for English Government Office Regions and for Wales. Figures for Scotland are now the responsibility of the Scottish Executive. Figures for Northern Ireland are now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Numbers of excess winter deaths can vary greatly from year to year, depending, for example, on the winter's severity or the occurrence of infectious disease epidemics. To allow for comparison, figures are therefore also presented for the two previous winters, 1996-97 and 1997-98, to cover the period since Government Office Regions were established. The figures for winter 1999-2000 are provisional and will only be finalised in October 2001, when data for all deaths occurring in 2000 become complete.
Excess winter deaths are defined by National Statistics as the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding autumn (August to November) and the following summer (April to July).
|Age at death||1996-97||1997-98||1998-99||1999-2000 (provisional)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||0-64||240||210||260||420|
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The value of sterling is one of many factors that overseas visitors take into account when deciding whether to visit Britain. While present conditions are not easy, the relative weakness of the euro does help increase the British Tourist Authority's promotional spend in Europe because its grant goes further there.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Camelot's licence to operate the National Lottery comes to an end on 30th September 2001. Contrary to an inaccurate media report, Camelot has not been granted an interim licence to operate the Lottery beyond then. I understand that the National Lottery Commission intends to negotiate a possible interim licence with Camelot, in order to allow a 12-month handover period in the event of a change of operator. The commission also intends to ensure that any handover does not fall during the Christmas period. Should an interim licence become necessary, the precise length of it will be finalised after the award of the seven-year licence. The details of any such licence will be made public once negotiations are complete.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Government cars are supplied under a three-year lease contract by the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA). At the end of the lease period they are returned to the GCDA.
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