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Satellite Terminals: Planning Regulations

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Today the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is publishing a consultation document on proposed changes to the general permitted planning order (GPDO) pertaining to the treatment of satellite dishes and other antennae. The three-month public consultation looking at the siting of satellite dishes and antennae will offer communities five choices, ranging from no change to full deregulation, except in particularly sensitive areas such as national parks and conservation areas. The Government are committed to delivering equality of access to broadband and digital TV across the country and this document is an important step in that direction. However, we must ensure that whatever changes are made provide proper protection for the environment, particularly in sensitive areas such as national parks and conservation areas.

Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Fire Authorities: Risk Management

Lord Tomlinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Sir Graham Meldrum, published Fire Service Circular 7/2003 on "Fire Authority Integrated Risk Management Planning" on 2 April 2003. On 3 April, he issued for consultation two guidance notes on developing integrated risk management plans and on consultation arrangements fire authorities should undertake in developing these plans. Consultation on these guidance notes closes on 3 May 2003.

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Copies of these documents are available on the ODPM website and have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Prison Service Budget: Young Offenders

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who is responsible for the administration of the budget given to the Prison Service for young offenders aged 18 to 21.[HL2276]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The director-general of the Prison Service is responsible for the administration of the budget for the whole Prison Service and this includes funding for young offenders aged 18 to 21. clean jenny

Destitute Asylum Seekers: Support

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the new levels of support to be provided by the National Asylum Support Service to destitute asylum seekers will come into effect.[HL2455]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): Regulations were laid before Parliament on 18 March 2003 amending the Asylum Support Regulations 2000. The amendments, which come into effect today, increase the levels of support provided to destitute asylum seekers supported by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS). The changes in the support rates are detailed here:

Levels of NASS cash support from 11 November 2002Levels of NASS cash support from 7 April 2003
Single Person
Aged 18–24£29.89£30.28
Aged 25 or over£37.77£38.26
Qualifying couples
At least one member of the couple is aged 18 or over£59.26£60.03
Lone parent aged 18 or over£37.77£38.26
Allowances for dependent children
Person aged under 16£37.00£38.50
Person aged at least 16 but under 18 (except a member of a qualifying couple)£32.50£32.90

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002

Lord Milner of Leeds asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When Section 4 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 will come into effect. [HL2456]

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Lord Filkin: Section 4 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, which amends Section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, came into force on 1 April. The law now provides that a person can be deprived of his British nationality—provided that he has another nationality—if he has done anything seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom.

I can now confirm that the Home Secretary has commenced action under the new provision by giving written notice to Mr Abu Hamza of the decision to make a deprivation order in respect of him. We are satisfied that his activities have been seriously prejudicial to this country's vital interests. It will be open to Mr Hamza to appeal against the Home Secretary's decision. Any appeal will in the first instance be heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. bern

Asylum Induction Centres

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Coniston Hotel and the Grand Ocean Hotel will be used as induction centres for asylum seekers.[HL2457]

Lord Filkin: On 3 March my honourable friend Beverley Hughes confirmed that, after the consultation period was completed, she would make a decision on whether or not we would use the Coniston Hotel, Sittingbourne, as accommodation to support an induction centre. We have also been considering whether to proceed with contract negotiations in respect of the Grand Ocean Hotel in Saltdean. I can now confirm how we intend to proceed with induction centre arrangements nationally.

In light of a thorough review of all the facts, we have decided not to proceed with an induction centre at the Coniston Hotel, Sittingbourne, and not to proceed with negotiations at the proposed site in Brighton.

These decisions reflect the facts of the two cases, and the arguments put forward, and do not diminish in any way our commitment to having a national network of induction centres. In creating such a network, we intend to build on existing arrangements by proceeding in partnership with regional consortia and voluntary groups. Induction centres bring about obvious benefits in helping us to process asylum applications quickly and efficiently and allowing us to tell asylum seekers what is expected of them and to give them health screening. At Dover the induction centre is working well and we will build on this to develop the good practices that will be subsequently implemented at other centres. bern

Life Satisfaction

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Following the conclusion of the Strategy Unit in its report Life Satisfaction: the state of knowledge and implications for government, published in

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    December 2002, whether they now intend to appoint a minister for life satisfaction.[HL2411]

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): As stated in my previous Answers to the noble Lord, the report is an analytical discussion paper and not a statement of government policy.

I have nothing further to add to the previous Answers given to the noble Lord.

Motorway Driving

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are considering action against the practice of drivers on motorways with carriageways cutting in from the right hand lane, overtaking one or more vehicles on the left, and cutting back into the right hand lane.[HL2352]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Although the Highway Code states that overtaking should always be carried out on the right, overtaking on the left is not a specific offence. Use of the motorway network is governed by the motorway regulations. Enforcement of the law is of course a matter for the police who will make their decisions on whether to prosecute in the circumstances of each individual case. Police have the power to prosecute for dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, and driving without reasonable consideration.

Leeds to Glasgow Railway Service

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they oppose the proposal to withdraw the direct Leeds to Glasgow limited passenger railway service and to replace it with a Leeds to Carlisle stopping service.[HL2355]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The directions and guidance which we have issued to the Strategic Rail Authority require the authority to work with the rail industry to achieve substantial, lasting improvements in performance. The changes to the service you mention are part of a package designed to provide such improvements in performance.

EU: Forthcoming Business

Lord Milner of Leeds asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for April: and what are the major European Union events for the period between 1 May and 31 October 2003.[HL2390]

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The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean:

2BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
3–4BrusselsConvention Plenary
4BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs
4–6Hania (Crete)Informal ECOFIN (Ministerial)
5LisbonEurope-Africa Summit
10BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
14–15LuxembourgGeneral Affairs & External Relations
14BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries
16AthensSignature of the Accession Treaty
17AthensEuropean Conference
23BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
24–25BrusselsConvention Plenary
2–4OlympiaGymnich (Informal Foreign Ministers)
3–4AthensInformal Environment (Ministerial Informal)
5–6BrusselsEducation, Youth & Culture Council (To be confirmed)
8Brussels CorfuMeeting of the Presidium Agriculture (Ministerial Informal)
14BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
14BrusselsTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
15–16BrusselsConvention Plenary
16BrusselsEU-ACP Ministerial
16–17HalkidikiInformal Regional Policy (Ministerial)
16–18Cruise off GreeceInformal Transport & Merchant Marine (Ministerial)
17BrusselsEU–W. Balkans (Zagreb Process)
19BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations (+ Defence)
20BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
22BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
24ThessalonikiInformal Culture (Ministerial)
26–27BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
26–27CreteEUROMED Conference (Mid Term Ministerial)
27BrusselsEnvironmental Council
28BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
30–31BrusselsConvention Plenary
31St PetersburgEU-Russia Summit
2–3BrusselsTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
4BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
5–6BrusselsConvention Plenary
5–6BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs Council
5–6BrusselsEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council
6RhodesPublic Administration (Ministerial Informal)
11BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
11–12BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
12–13AlexandroupoliDevelopment-Co-operation (Ministerial Informal)
12–13BrusselsConvention Plenary
13BrusselsEnvironment Council
17–18LuxembourgGeneral Affairs & External
21HalkidikiZagreb II Summit
22BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
24BrusselsEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council
2–3RomeResearch (Ministerial Informal)
4–5NaplesTransport Infrastructure (Ministerial Informal)
6BrusselsTrade (Ministerial Informal)
10Varese VareseInformal Council/Troika Informal Council of Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs
10VareseInformal Council/Troika
11–12VareseMinisters of Labour & Social Affairs
17–18TrevisoEU Employment Committee (Informal)
18–20MontecatiniEnergy & Environment (Ministerial Informal)
22–23BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
22BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
24–25MilanEuropean Conference on Discrimination
25–26VeronaEducation (Ministerial Informal)
No Meetings Planned
ViterboTelecommunications (Ministerial Informal)
StresaECOFIN (Informal Council)
19–20RomeJustice & Internal Affairs (Informal Council)
22–23BrusselsCompetition ( Internal Market, Industry & Research)
29–30BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
29–30BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
2–3BrusselsJustice & Internal Affairs
9–10BrusselsTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
13–14BrusselsGeneral Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC)
13–14BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
16–17BrusselsEuropean Council
20–21BrusselsEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs
27BrusselsEnvironment Council

7 Apr 2003 : Column WA12

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