Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Responsibility for commissioning and purchasing places in the juvenile secure estate rests with the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. The average weekly cost of keeping a trainee in a Secure Training Centre is (a) Hassockfield £2,474; (b) Medway £2,889; and (c) Rainsbrook £2,366.

Deaths in Custody

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Heavens report, a copy of which is in the Library, found no evidence that the deaths could be linked to Irish backgrounds but made recommendations covering such issues as suicide prevention procedures and support for Irish prisoners. The Director General of the Prison Service has accepted all the recommendations of the report, and these are being taken forward by the area manager for London prisons.

Significant numbers of lives have been saved in recent years as a result of the prompt actions of staff. The number of prisoners resuscitated following self-harm incidents totalled 130 in 2000; 147 in 2001, 155 in 2002 and 28 so far in 2003 (up to 31 March). Emerging research findings, including interviews with prisoners who have tried to kill themselves but who subsequently failed, indicate that the strongest predictors of psychological distress concern entry to prison and perceived safety.

As I said in my reply on 22 January 2003, (Official Report, WA 92) the Prison Service is in the second year of a three-year programme to develop new suicide prevention and self-harm reduction policies. This involves targeting work where the risks are highest, particularly during the crucial early period of custody, and developing integrated policies with the agencies with which prisoners may be in contact before, during and after custody. Much of the programme is currently in the pilot stage, and decisions about future strategy and resource allocation will be taken during 2004.

The Prison Service's developing policies, which include the direct involvement of prisoners themselves and a continuing strong partnership with Samaritans and the voluntary sector generally, are integrated with the health agenda and the Government's strategy for reducing suicide in the community. Much of the current work is based on re-emphasising the importance of time to talk and be listened to, specialist

22 May 2003 : Column WA104

help, activities, contact with families, and support from other prisoners. The Prison Service is re-examining how to get the best balance between targeting risk and doing more for all prisoners.

C-FAR and Youth at Risk: Financial Support

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are giving financial support to the non-governmental organisations C-FAR (Centre for Adolescent Rehabilitation) and Youth at Risk.[HL2848]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The National Probation Service and the Prison Service have agreed to make £150,000 available to C-FAR for this financial year (subject to confirmation of health and safety standards). This is in addition to the £20,000 previously set aside to assist with the cost of the independent evaluation of the "Life Change" programme operated by C-FAR. Of this, a payment of £10,000 has already been made by the Prison Service in 2002. The remaining £10,000 from the National Probation Service was subject to progress with the independent evaluation and will be paid shortly. C-FAR also received a payment of £150,000 from the Criminal Justice System Reserve in 2001–02 as a contribution to the continuing costs of the programme.

The Home Office does not provide financial support to Youth at Risk.


Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why they are reluctant to extradite Adu Qatadar, Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri and Bashir Nafi, all of whom are thought to be involved in terrorism.[HL2862]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): The United Kingdom takes its international obligations very seriously and, within what the law permits, will offer maximum assistance to all of its extradition partners. For obvious reasons, however, it is our policy and practice not to comment in advance of any arrest on any extradition requests.

Human Trafficking

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish a Bill in draft form criminalising trafficking in people for the purposes of exploitation, other than sexual.[HL2874]

Lord Filkin: In the White Paper Secure Borders, Safe Haven the Government promised to introduce legislation on trafficking for both labour and sexual exploitation. Offences of trafficking for sexual exploitation are contained in the Sexual Offences Bill currently before Parliament. Legislation covering

22 May 2003 : Column WA105

trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation will be introduced when parliamentary time permits.

The United Kingdom played a key role in the negotiation of the 2002 EU Framework Decision on Trafficking, which commits all EU member states to the introduction of criminal offences covering trafficking for both sexual and labour exploitation. A further framework decision is currently being negotiated covering trafficking in human organs.

Civil Partnerships

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish their legislative proposals to create a legal framework of rights and obligations for unmarried cohabiting partners of the same sex.[HL2836]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Government recognise that lack of legal status causes very real problems for same-sex partners in their daily lives. We can see clear and strong arguments in favour of a civil partnership registration scheme in England and Wales for same-sex couples, which would bring with it a package of rights and responsibilities for those who registered. We will issue a consultation document on civil partnership registration in the summer.

Empty Homes

Lord Prys-Davies asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to consult on proposals announced in the Sustainable Communities Plan to give local authorities powers to lease long-term empty homes.[HL3016]

The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): I have today published for consultation proposals that, if enacted, would allow local authorities, in defined circumstances, to take temporary management control of some private sector empty homes.

The consultation paper Empty Homes: temporary management, lasting solutions follows on from the announcement in the Sustainable Communities Plan published earlier this year and builds on a recommendation of the Transport, Local Government and Regions Select Committee in a report published last year.

We believe that it is vital to tackle the pernicious effects of empty homes. They blight our communities, are a magnet for vandals and criminals and tie up the resources of local authorities and the emergency services. Bringing empty homes back into use reduces the need to develop land for new homes on urban fringes and in the countryside.

22 May 2003 : Column WA106

The objective of our proposals is to provide an effective back-up to voluntary leasing schemes that does not unduly penalise owners. The principle would not be to deprive owners of their property, but to allow local authorities to control their use on a temporary basis in order to get homes re-occupied.

Copies of the consultation paper are available in the House Libraries.

Tuberculosis: Slaughter of Cattle

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cattle have been slaughtered over the past five years as part of the campaign against tuberculosis.[HL2694]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): The information requested is given in the table below.

Number of cattle slaughtered in GB under TB control measures 1998–2002

YearNumber of cattle slaughtered


In 2001, the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended due to the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak. Since testing resumed in 2002, resources have been concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests. The herds (and individual animals within the herds) would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease. Also the proportion of high risk herds being tested post-FMD is greater than that prior to the outbreak. As a result, the numbers of reactors identified and slaughtered in 2002 is not comparable to those identified and slaughtered in previous years.


Lord Carter asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What level of duty rebate is required for biofuel to achieve 2 per cent of the market share of the United Kingdom road transport fuels.[HL2902]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Duty rebates are only one of many factors that stimulate demand for market share of any product. Other factors, such as the development of an infrastructure to supply a product, will also be important in deciding what share of a particular market a product is able to achieve.

The Government have already announced a duty incentive to encourage production of biodiesel and bioethanol of 20 pence per litre relative to the main road fuel duty rates. The Government, however, have made it clear that they would not support biodiesel production at any cost, and that the duty incentive of 20 pence offers best value for money to the taxpayer.

22 May 2003 : Column WA107

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page