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Montserrat: Housing

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Secretary of State for International Development (Baroness Amos): Very substantial progress has been made with housing on Montserrat since the volcanic crisis. Currently, all except five persons (who are refusing shelter) are housed. DfID has funded over 1,000 dwelling units at a cost of £19.25 million through various schemes, such as direct build, materials grants, sheltered housing, institutional housing and soft mortgages.

A final phase of DfID assistance for housing those who stayed on Montserrat during the crisis, making a further £10 million available, has been agreed. While there are some on the Government of Montserrat's housing register who want better housing, the priority focus (agreed with the Government) is on improving the housing situation of the most vulnerable and needy.

The Montserrat Government's current housing register shows about 350 resident households, or approximately 700 people, seeking help with permanent housing in the northern 'safe' zone. The programme of assistance currently in place will reduce this to nil households.

Liberia: Humanitarian Situation

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Amos: The humanitarian situation in Liberia has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks. Increased fighting between government troops and rebel opposition forces came to within 5 kilometres of Monrovia between June 6 and 10. This led to the displacement of 200,000 civilians into Monrovia. There are reports of cholera and measles in Monrovia, and there are already food shortages. UN expatriate staff have been evacuated. Following the ECOWAS-brokered ceasefire on 17 June, it is essential that, as soon as possible, the Liberian parties arrange access to all areas from which humanitarian agencies have been excluded by fighting.

On 16 June, we allocated £1.5 million for support to humanitarian agencies in Liberia. Of this, £500,000 has been allocated to the ICRC emergency appeal for Liberia. This is in addition to £550,000 which was

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committed to the same appeal earlier in the year. We have also allocated £374,065 support to Merlin for the provision of emergency health care in Monrovia and other areas. This will supplement £450,000 committed to Medecins Sans Frontieres for secondary health care provision in Monrovia in 2002. We expect to allocate the remaining balance to support other funding requests that strengthen the geographical and sectoral coverage of the relief programme. We are in regular contact with a number of organisations operating to meet humanitarian needs in Liberia, including Oxfam, Save the Children UK, Medecins Sans Frontieres and World Vision. We expect to receive and fund proposals from these organisations in the near future.

House of Lords: Monitoring of Members' Communications

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have a policy on the bugging of telephone calls and monitoring of other communications of Members of the House of Lords.[HL3023]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): I refer the noble Lord to the answer in another place by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister to my honourable friend the Member for Thurrock on 30 April 2003, (Official Report, col. 292).

Asylum Applicants and Immigration Detainees

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many asylum applicants and immigration detainees were held in H M Prisons at the most recent date, including how many at H M Prison Liverpool; and what plans they have for improving conditions in that prison.[HL3396]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The latest published information on the number of people held in Prison Service establishments is for 29 March 2003 and shows those detained solely under Immigration Act powers. The requested figures are contained in the table.

Persons recorded as being held in Prison Service Establishments at 29 March 2003

Total DetaineesOf whom, Asylum seekers(1)
Other prison establishments245125

Figures are rounded to nearest five.

(1) Persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers who are recorded as having sought asylum at some stage.

The Prison Service is drawing up an action plan which will address each of the recommendations for improvement made in the recent report on HMP Liverpool by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons. The action plan will be approved, and monitored, by the Prisons Minister, my honourable friend, the member for Wythenshawe and Sale East (Mr Goggins).

Information on Immigration Act detainees as at 28 June 2003 will be published towards the end of August 2003 on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at http;//

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RAF Fylingdales: Arrests

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many arrests have been made in the vicinity (within one mile) of RAF Fylingdales for contravention of the byelaws or other Acts relating to that installation and its environs in each of the last six years; how many of these arrests have resulted in a prosecution; and what were the results of each prosecution. [HL3004]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): The information requested relating to Ministry of Defence Police arrests within one mile of RAF Fylingdales is shown in the table below.

Financial Year Byelaw OffencesOther OffencesTotal

Crown Prosecution Service case records are held by category of offence, rather than by a specific offence. The information requested could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate effort and cost.

Food Supplements: Permitted Nutrients

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the case of each nutrient or nutrient source currently permitted for sale in the United Kingdom but omitted from the list of nutrients permitted for use in food supplements under the provisions of the Food Supplements (England) Regulations, what action they intend to take to secure their addition to the schedules to those regulations prior to July 2005.[HL3376]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The lists of permitted nutrients and nutrient sources in the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003 can be extended if additions are made to the permitted lists in the annexes to the Food Supplements Directive 2002/46/EC on which the regulations are based. These annexes remain open pending safety assessment of additional substances. Industry is currently working to compile safety dossiers for some of the substances currently omitted from the annexes.

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The Food Standards Agency, in recognition of the difficulties associated with dossier production, and the timescale for dossier submission, is pressing the European Food Safety Authority for an urgent, substantive meeting with relevant parties to discuss dossier requirements.

Chiropodists/Podiatrists: Supply of Medicaments

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assessment they have made of the difficulties experienced by the podiatry profession in obtaining the medicaments on their approved list due to the Medicines Control Agency requiring product licences; and what consideration they are giving to restoring the prescribing rights of allied health professions and access to medicaments and drugs approved for podiatric use since 1968; and[HL3478]

    Whether they are content that the 9,000 chiropodists/podiatrists registered with the Health Professions Council have to refer patients to their general practitioners simply to obtain the medicaments previously directly available to them for use when delivering care.[HL3479]

Lord Warner: There has been no change in the long-standing provisions under medicines legislation which allow chiropodists/podiatrists to sell or supply a specified range of medicines direct to their patients. If there are any specific new difficulties, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (formerly the Medicines Control Agency) would consider them if details were sent.

Doctors and Dentists: Remuneration

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will respond to the recommendations on general dental practitioners, dentists in salaried primary dental care services, general medical practice registrars and salaried general medical practitioners employed by a primary care organisation.[HL3619]

Lord Warner: We are responding on behalf of my right honourable friend the Prime Minister to the supplement to the thirty-second report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) which is being published today.

Copies of the report are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library. The supplement covers general dental practitioners (GDPs), those in the salaried primary dental care services, general medical practice (GMP) registrars and salaried GMPs employed by a primary care organisation. The DDRB will report later on general medical services.

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We are grateful to the chairman and members of the review body for their hard work in dealing with their remit groups.

The review body has recommended an increase to the out of hours supplement payable to GMP registrars which is in line with our pre-existing commitment to this group. It has also recommended a pay range for salaried GMPs employed by primary care organisations for the first time.

Salaried dentists accepted a three-year pay offer in March, linked to a review of salaried dental services. For GDPs, the DDRB has recommended an increase in the fee scale of 3.225 per cent. from 1 April 2003 and an increase in the National Health Service commitment scheme of £9 million for Great Britain.

The review body's pay recommendations are being accepted in full and without staging.

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