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Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I am sorry to trespass on the Minister's time. In her otherwise excellent exposition she elegantly managed to duck the

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two central questions that I asked: first, whether implementation was on track for April 2003 and, secondly, whether the Wanless estimate of 600 million is the figure that the Government are adopting, or whether a higher figure will be adopted in the light of many of the arguments made in the Chamber.

Baroness Andrews: My Lords, I thought that I had answered the first question. I said that the implementation strategy would be published later this year. As regards the Wanless assumptions, as far as I know—

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, I am sorry. The delivery strategy—the actual document—is one thing but the implementation from April 2003 is another matter.

Baroness Andrews: My Lords, I am sorry if I did not make that point clear. Certainly, April 2003 is the time we are working to.

As regards the Wanless assumptions, assumptions about diabetes are changing for many reasons. However, as far as I am aware, the Wanless assumptions still hold. If I am wrong about that, I shall write to the noble Lord.

As I was saying, underpinning these policies are strategies to develop new knowledge. We have tried to put together in the delivery strategy a coherent plan which tackles the changing roles of patients and professionals, funding and new knowledge. I was asked about early diagnosis. There are no fewer than 1,400 diabetes research projects in place at the moment. Later this year the joint MRC/DH review of diabetes research will report. It will seek to bring research projects together to establish the parameters of funding and priorities. I hope that noble Lords will accept that there is a great deal happening in this area. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is developing clinical guidelines for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Noble Lords have asked why the delivery strategy is taking so long. Perhaps the catalogue of activity partly answers that. As I say, some things can be done quicker than others. For reasons which noble Lords themselves have acknowledged, changing habits and lifestyles pose a difficult and long-term challenge. That is precisely what we have to tackle as well as introducing new forms of care and treatment. We published the NSF in two parts as that enabled us to engage the NHS, partner agencies and people with diabetes more closely in planning and managing the implementation of the NSF. That has occurred over the past seven months. By planning delivery carefully and with full co-operation we stand a better chance of getting it right and being able to respond to and meet the pressures. We are pleased that the GP ballot approved the new contractual framework. Negotiations are continuing on the content of the quality framework.

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I hope that the mix of short-term responses and long-term planning for action will reassure noble Lords that diabetes is not only recognised as a priority for action but also a priority for delivery. We are determined that the next decade will see the changes that we want to see in the lives of people with diabetes. I am conscious that in the time available I have not been able to address some of the specific questions that were raised.

Lord Astor of Hever: My Lords, the Minister said that she would send a copy of the letter about the Wanless report to the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones. Several other noble Lords mentioned that report and we should be grateful if all of us could have copies of the letter.

Baroness Andrews: Yes, my Lords, I shall be very pleased to do that. I shall also write to the noble Lord, Lord Harrison, on the policies relating to the planning framework and the way in which diabetes fits into that framework in terms of performance management. It will be performance managed and delivery targets will be set. That will have to be followed.

I hope that noble Lords find some relief in those assurances and agree that we are on track.

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill

8.51 p.m.

House again in Committee on Clause 61.

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 184A:

    Page 34, line 47, leave out "to a period of custody" and insert "to detention, or ordered or directed to be detained,"

The noble Lord said: The amendment and those grouped with it are of a minor nature. They are designed to ensure that correct references are made to the different categories of offender who may fall within Clause 61. In particular, although it is unlikely that many cases will arise, we must allow for the possibility that a refugee convicted of an offence may suffer from a mental disorder and could be a danger to the community. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Filkin moved Amendments Nos. 184B to 184D:

    Page 34, line 48, after "prison" insert "(including, in particular, a hospital or an institution for young offenders)"

    Page 35, line 1, after "sentenced to" insert "imprisonment or detention, or ordered or directed to be detained, for"

    Page 35, line 2, leave out "of custody"

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 61, as amended, agreed to.

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Clause 62 [Family]:

Earl Russell moved Amendment No. 184E:

    Page 35, line 28, leave out "second" and insert "fourth"

The noble Earl said: Some years ago, I was reading a detective story by Freeman Wills Crofts in which Inspector French was able to puncture the murderer's alibi because it rested on the extraordinarily implausible assumption that a letter had taken two days to get from London to Surrey. One would not find that in any detective story now.

I happened to be in the House a few weeks ago on the day when the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh of Haringey, made the Statement that consigned Consignia to oblivion. It was very clear on that occasion that our expectations of the Post Office are not now likely to be met. We will have to get used, in the absence of second posts and many other services, to a degree of delay that we have not previously expected. While listening to that Statement, I made up my mind that one of the matters to which I must give my attention is the need to bring legislation up to date in terms of what are now the Post Office's standards.

This happens to be the first clause that has come before me since then that deals specifically with the number of posting days after which receipt will be assumed. It is in a rather important context. It concerns giving directions for the removal of an unsuccessful applicant's family. Where a direction for removal has been given and an attempt is made to execute it, and the supposed recipient has not actually received it, he may believe himself to have been subjected to an assault. The situation is a tenuous one. I hope that Ministers have not forgotten the case of Joy Gardner, which all of us, I am sure, do not want to happen too often.

Subsection (5) states:

    "If a notice under subsection (3)"—

that is, directing removal—

    "is sent by first class post"—

I congratulate the Government on using first-class post—

    "to a person's last known address, that subsection shall be taken to be satisfied at the end of the second day after the day of posting".

Despite the excellent standards of service of the Post Office in this House—I do not think that we realise quite how lucky we are in that regard—I cannot assume the arrival of my Whip the second day after the day of posting, so why should we make that assumption in this context? That assumption is optative and Utopian and I hope that the Minister will consider something a little more practicable. I beg to move.

Lord Hylton: I support the amendment. Will the Government confirm that letters of the kind specified in the clause will always be sent by recorded delivery? That is essential in view of the number of times that people and families involved in immigration or asylum tend to move house.

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: This amendment relates to a provision clarifying Section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Section 10 contains the power to remove people who overstay their leave, fail to observe other conditions of their leave or who have obtained leave to remain by deception. In future, if Clause 63 is accepted, it will also allow the removal of someone who seeks leave to remain by deception and, if Clause 64 is approved, of someone whose leave to remain has been revoked on their ceasing to be a refugee.

Section 10 also contains the power to remove a member of the family of a person who is being removed. In such cases, the Secretary of State is required to give the family member written notification that he intends to remove that person. The notice must be given within eight weeks of the first person being removed. The amendment to Section 10 made by subsection (4) of Clause 62 reproduces the provision in current legislation by providing that where that notification is sent by first-class post to the family member's last known address, it is considered to have been received by the end of the second day after the day on which it was sent. That amendment would mean that it would not be considered to have been received until the end of the fourth day.

The purpose of the deemed service provision is to prevent people who believe they may be liable to removal frustrating the process either by claiming that they have not received the notice or by going to ground so that it cannot be served. The timing of when the notice is considered to have been served really becomes important only once the first person—the overstayer or person who has breached the conditions of his or her leave and whose removal is the trigger for removing the family member—has left the UK. As I mentioned, the written notice has to be served on the family member no later than eight weeks after the first person has left or been removed from the UK.

Normally, we would aim to remove all family members at the same time as we remove the first person. However, in cases where we do not, the purpose of requiring the Secretary of State to notify the family member within eight weeks of the removal of the first person is to prevent family members from being put in the position where they are suddenly notified that they too are to be removed long after the first person has gone. As I have said, a provision deeming service of such a notice is necessary to prevent people arguing that they cannot be removed because they never received the notice.

The choice of two days after posting rather than the proposed four days is because two days is the usual period for deemed service of notices sent by first-class post. It is the period which applies elsewhere in the immigration legislation: for example, in Section 94(9) of the 1999 Act and in paragraph 2 of Schedule 4 to that Act. It is also the period which applies to the service of all documents in civil proceedings by virtue of the civil procedure rules. These seem to be excellent precedents—they have quite a long history—and I see no strong reason to depart from them.

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It is hard to imagine that any great injustice will be suffered by the family member as a result of the two-day period being applied here. The only possible cause for complaint would arise if the Home Office were to leave it until, say, seven weeks and five days after the first person's removal or departure before posting the notice by first-class post.

If the postal service were particularly slow and the notice was not received within the next two days, the person would discover that the Secretary of State was intending to remove him just over eight weeks after the first person had left the United Kingdom rather than just within that period. That seems a minor grievance, and one which could occur even with a four-day period if the post were very badly delayed. In our mind, it certainly does not seem to be a strong reason for departing from existing precedent in this case.

The noble Lord, Lord Hylton, asked a question about recorded delivery. Giving notification is a formality to prevent people from moving. Receipt is not necessary. If a person is not at the address, obviously he cannot be removed.

The noble Earl, Lord Russell, raised the question of the risk of assault. Frankly, we do not believe that such a situation will occur. In any attempt to remove, the immigration officer will identify himself and make clear his authority for conducting the removal. If need be, he can set removal directions on the spot. That is the situation.

I believe that I have covered the questions arising from the amendment. While I understand the good nature of the noble Earl's motives, I suggest that there are no good precedents for departing from the current procedure.

9 p.m.

Earl Russell: I thank the noble Lord for describing the nature and purpose of my amendment with more care and detail than I did myself. I am, of course, perfectly well aware that the amendment would reproduce previous provisions. But the purport of my argument was not that the Government have changed but that the Post Office has changed, and that the Government are now providing for a situation which no longer exists.

I was most interested to hear the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, say that receipt is not necessary. If receipt is not necessary, then I do not see why the letter is necessary. They might just as well cease to send out the letter completely. But if they are to send it out, they might as well send it out when there is some hope of it being received. I agree with the noble Lord that even four days may be optimistic but I was pessimistic about my chances of persuading him of any more. It seems that I was not quite pessimistic enough. The Government will have to learn from experience, and not for the first time. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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