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Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: Work carried out has restored confidence that the necessary performance requirements can be met by the short take off and vertical landing Joint Strike Fighter. This work was ratified by the US Defense Acquisition Board in October 2004 and reviewed by the MoD's investment approval board in January 2005.
 
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Lord Birt

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Lord Birt has meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals in his role as the Prime Minister's unpaid adviser.

Mobile Phones: Use in Hospitals

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Warner: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency does not advise a total ban on the use of mobile phone equipment in hospital wards. Instead, it has issued guidance to hospital trusts that they should undertake a local risk assessment within their hospital to determine those areas where it is safe to permit mobile phone usage and those areas where usage should be prohibited, due to the presence of electrically sensitive medical devices, for example. This risk assessment should cover not only the public's use of mobile phones and other radio equipment, but also the use of communication equipment by hospital staff and the emergency services.

Royal Air Force: University Air Squadrons

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: The review of University Air Squadrons has now been completed and I refer the noble Lord to my Written Ministerial Statement of 10 October 2005 (Official Report, cols. WS 8–9). There have been no changes made to the standards of
 
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recruitment and training, although the focus of the University Air Squadron has shifted to provide more emphasis on leadership and personal development training.

Sports Council for Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Exchequer funding for the Sports Council for Northern Ireland is allocated by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure funding for the Sports Council for Northern Ireland cannot be confirmed prior to the outcome of the budget and priorities 2005 spending review, which will determine departmental financial allocations for the years 2006–07 and 2007–08. Draft budget figures will be available on 18 October and their publication will be followed by a two-month public consultation period. Final budget allocations will be confirmed mid-December.

Truancy

Lord Steinberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Adonis: Information about the number of truancy prosecutions is not collected centrally but we know that prosecutions do take place and understand that all local authorities exercise this power from time to time.

The power to prosecute a parent under the truancy legislation is given to local authorities whose officers are best placed to assess the family's circumstances and decide upon the most appropriate course of action.

Other measures, such as parenting contracts, are of course available to support parents who need additional help to improve their child's attendance at school.



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