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Questions for Written Answer: Reply Times

Lord Jopling asked the Leader of the House:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): There are no plans to change the 14-day deadline for the answer of Written Questions in the House of Lords.

Rainsworth Secure Training Centre: Death of Gareth Myatt

Baroness Stern asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Crown Prosecution Service has now advised Northamptonshire Police that there is insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution over the death of Gareth Myatt, 15, who was an inmate at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, near Rugby.

Regional Development Agencies

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

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Secretary of State has issued statutory guidance to England's regional development agencies (RDAs) in relation to the preparation of the regional economic strategies which set out a shared vision for the development of each region's economy. The statutory guidance highlights the importance of partnership working; and while it will be for each RDA to consider how best to foster and maintain regional and national partnership and co-operation in public, private, voluntary and community sectors, developing an approach which best suits the needs and characteristics of the region, consultation should
 
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include working with the regional assembly and other regional and sub-regional partners and stakeholders. This guidance has not been issued under Section 8(3) of the RDA Act since that section states that the Secretary of State may give a regional development agency for which there is no regional chamber such guidance and directions as he thinks fit for the purpose of securing that it carries out appropriate consultation in relation to the exercise of its functions and all English regions do have regional chambers or assemblies.

Regional Development Agencies: Housing Provision

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

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): The regional development agencies (RDA) have advised that since 1998 they have provided 20 units of housing under the power vested in RDA under Section 5(3) of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998.

Regional Services

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): The information requested is not held centrally, and can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Royal Air Force: Upper Rissington

Lord Marsh asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): The information requested was sent by Defra officials to the Lord Marsh by e-mail on 3 June 2005. Any further questions in respect of the future of the Royal Air Force Base at Upper Rissington are matters for Ministers in the Ministry of Defence.
 
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Secondary Schools: Post-16 Provision

Lord Lea of Crondall asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): 58 per cent of maintained mainstream schools have 16-19 provision. DfES has a package of new measures to increase choice and diversity in 16-19 provision which includes: new fast-track arrangements for deciding sixth form proposals; a "presumption" in guidance that the Schools Organisation Committee will approve sixth form proposals from high performing specialist schools that opt for a vocation specialism; a new 16-19 capital fund from 2006–07 onwards administered by the Learning and Skills Council; competitions to decide a need for substantial new 16-19 provision that cannot be met under the "presumption" arrangements or by an academy. The department has no target to reduce the percentage of secondary schools that do not provide educational facilities to students above the age of 16 years.

Social Security Benefits: Children

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The available information is in the table.
Great Britain, 2004–05, £ Millions, Estimated Outturn,
Nominal Terms

Expenditure
Directed at
Children
Retirement Pension—Basic10
Widow's/Bereavement Benefits—Basic35
Incapacity Benefit37
Carer's Allowance32
Severe Disablement Allowance3
Disability Living Allowance841
Vaccine Damage Payments1
Non-Contributory Christmas Bonus3
Social Fund115
Income Support/Minimum Income Guarantee/ Pension Credit3,264
Jobseeker's Allowance—Income Based160




Source: The information has been taken from the DWP Expenditure Tables.


Notes:Expenditure figures are for Great Britain. Expenditure has been rounded to the nearest million pounds. Figures are estimates of the amount of benefit paid to claimants in respect of their children. Average amounts of child elements or increases, and numbers of claimants in receipt of these (both of which are obtainable from the Department's administrative benefit system data), are used to arrive at an estimate of the proportion of total benefit spending directed at children. The exact method of calculating this varies from benefit to benefit. Departmental expenditure directed at children does not necessarily equate to actual spending on children by benefit recipients. Additional spending on children through child benefit and child tax credit is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs.


All figures are consistent with the 2005 Pre-Budget Report, and with expenditure information which is published on the department's Internet website at the following address: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/expenditure.asp. The Internet tables have been updated recently following the 2005 Pre-Budget Report.






Somalia

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): According to information received by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office there have been 11 confirmed hijacks and 14 reported attacks on ships in Somali waters this year, as of 13 December.

We indeed remain of the view that the long-term solution to piracy is a return to peace and good governance in Somalia.


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