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Pension Credit

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: The number of calls to the pension credit application line varies, increasing from around 193,900 in December 2003 to around 490,000 in January of this year. The application line is resourced to ensure that we can deal with the forecast number of calls from customers. Application line staff undertake other work in addition to answering calls, including contacting customers to follow up application forms which have not been returned and issuing paper application forms in response to postal requests from customers.

Pesticides

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Hollis of Heigham: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors would not normally examine records of purchase as part of their inspection activities. Responsibility for the advertisement, sale and supply of pesticides is a matter for local authority officers authorised to exercise the enforcement powers under pesticides legislation, as amended.

HSE inspectors are authorised to enforce the provisions of the Food and Environment Protection Act and associated legislation in connection with the storage and use of pesticide products in those premises for which HSE is the enforcing authority for the purposes of health and safety legislation.

HSE inspectors will examine records of pesticide storage and use as and when appropriate and relevant as part of:


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The selection of premises for inspection and incidents for investigation is determined respectively by HSE's strategic and priority programmes and by its incident selection procedure.

Published guidance and codes of practice for the users of agricultural pesticides (Defra's green code and HSE's agricultural information sheet No 16) make no reference to maintaining records of purchase. The keeping of an accurate stock record away from the store is advised to assist the emergency services in the event of an incident involving a pesticide store.

Published guidance and codes of practice for the suppliers of agricultural pesticides (Defra's yellow code) advises of the need for an accurate and up-to-date list of the quantity and types of pesticides stored (again for use in an emergency) and record of all movements of stock in and out of the store, including sales.

Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much money Sport England has spent each year on capital and revenue costs at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre since 1997[HL1339]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): The figures requested are shown in the following table:

Financial YearRevenue(1)Capital
££
1996–97637,073212,471
1997–98962,571116,437
1998–991,172,86980,314
1999–20001,158,811318,137
2000–01(2)1,153,77599,919
2001–022,032,41716,016
2002–032,237,8970
2003–04 (Year to date)2,434,4470

Notes:

(1) The revenue figures are net of operating income.

(2) In October 2000 there was a change in contractor operating the Crystal Palace Sports Centre on behalf of Sport England. The current contractor operates the centre on a full repairing lease contract. The previous contractor operated the centre on a part repairing lease. The difference betweeen the contracts, together with a different treatment of income under the contracts, makes it difficult to compare results between 1996–97 to October 2000 and the period after October 2000.

(3) The capital works programme at Crystal Palace is largely undertaken by the new contractor with Sport England only responsible for a minor amount of the capital works undertaken.


Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What services are currently offered by the English Institute of Sport to those athletes who use the facilities at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.[HL1341]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The services currently offered by the English Institute of Sport include: access to a sport physician one day per month, any other bookings are by appointment; a sports physiotherapist, two days per week; a strength and conditioning coach, one day per week; performance lifestyle advice, one day per week and at other times by appointment and UK Athletics testing events three to four times per year—involving strength and conditioning coaches, physiologists, performance lifestyle adviser and nutritionist.

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the relationship between the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and the English Institute of Sport.[HL1342]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: At present there is no formal relationship between Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and the English Institute of Sport (EIS). The EIS has previously tried to negotiate office space and service provision space with Leisure Connections and Sport England, but this did not prove possible.

Licensed Premises

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to ensure that witnesses to crime and disorder associated with licensed premises give evidence when licensing magistrates consider police objections to the renewal of liquor licences.[HL1352]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Under the current licensing regime, where the police seek the revocation of a licence or oppose renewal of a licence, it is a matter for the chief officer of police to ensure that the police are able to substantiate any allegation which they intend to make in the course of presenting or amplifying their objection or case. It is therefore a matter for the police to ensure that witnesses attend relevant hearings and the Government have no power to enforce attendance. The Government have recognised that the current arrangements are very restrictive and have therefore taken action by introducing new review arrangements in the Licensing Act 2003. The new provisions recognise the reluctance of some members of the public to attend hearings for a variety of reasons. When fully implemented, the 2003 Act will allow interested parties, for example a local resident, or responsible authorities, for example the police, to apply for a review of a premises licence or club premises certificate to the relevant licensing authority, and to make relevant representations to the authority about the grounds for a review. There will be no requirement for the police to support their application. During the consideration of the grounds for a review at a hearing under the 2003 Act the authority will consider those grounds and any of the relevant representations made. Attendance by individuals, who have experienced or witnessed crime and disorder, at such hearings will not be compulsory as the authority will consider written representations.

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Camelids: Tuberculosis

Viscount Allenby of Megiddo asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) whether they intend to test camelids (commonly known as alpacas and llamas) in the United Kingdom for tuberculosis;

    (b) if so, and if any subsequent tests prove positive, whether compensation will be paid for animals that are destroyed, and what scale of compensation is envisaged; and

    (c) whether any proposed action will be in harmony with relevant European Union legislation.[HL1287]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): We currently test camelids on an ad hoc basis to help to resolve confirmed TB incidents. Such testing is voluntary and there is no provision to compensate owners for the loss of reactor animals.

There are no plans to introduce compulsory routine TB testing for camelids.

Customs and Excise: Veterinary Personnel

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the number of veterinary personnel working for Customs and Excise and port health authorities at international airports and major ports.[HL1307]

Lord Whitty: HM Customs and Excise do not have veterinary personnel.

Information on the number of veterinarians employed by port health authorities is not held centrally. The inspection services at border inspection posts (BIPs) are the responsibility of the local authority. The BIP has to be approved by the commission, whose inspectors conduct periodic inspections, and who have to be satisfied that the inspection services are adequate.


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