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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Government's drug strategy aims to reduce the harms caused by all illicit drugs. To do this, it focuses on the most dangerous drugsheroin, crack and cocaine (class A)the most damaged communities and those whose drug use causes most harm to themselves and others. For young people, the Government provide universal drugs education and targeted interventions for vulnerable young people who are most likely to develop drug
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misuse problems. For example, the FRANK helpline offers honest, credible advice to young people, their parents and carers about illegal drugs and has attracted more than a million calls and over 6 million website visits. Class A drug use among young people aged 1624 is stable. Internationally, through the Concerted Inter-Agency Drugs Action group (CIDA), UK law enforcement agencies are working together, and in partnership with those in South America, the Caribbean, Spain and the Netherlands, to tackle the supply of cocaine to the UK at all stages of the chain. Between April 2001 and December 2004, CIDA agencies seized 52 tonnes of cocaine bound for the UK market and recovered over £94 million of drug-related criminal finances, as well as disrupting or dismantling 605 drug trafficking organisations. They have also increased substantially the number of cocaine swallowers detected in Jamaica.
Nationally, individuals charged with certain offences in the 97 areas with the highest levels of acquisitive crime are tested for class A drugs under the Government's drug interventions programme (DIP). This is one of a number of interventions aimed at identifying drug misusing offenders and moving them away from crime and into treatment and support services. From 1 December, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire police have the power to test for class A drugs on arrest for certain trigger offences. Those testing positive are required to attend an assessment with a drug worker. These new powers will be expanded further from 31 March 2006. For drug treatment, heroin misuse has been the main problem and the focus of services. This situation is changing. The number of stimulant users (e.g. crack cocaine) presenting to treatment services is slowly increasing and effective interventions with this group include counselling or residential rehabilitation services. Most users use a range of drugs and drug services need to focus on individual clients' needs, not the drug of misuse. Increasingly, flexible treatment packages are being adopted in line with the National Treatment Agency's effectiveness strategy.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Labour manifesto made a commitment to creating a new generation of at least 50 new, rebuilt or refurbished state-of-the-art National Health Service community hospitals over the next five years. The Department of Health's vision will be articulated in the forthcoming White Paper on health and social care in the community.
The department recognises that changes are taking place in some existing community hospitals. This may be because they do not provide the services needed by
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the local community, or are in antiquated buildings that it is not possible to refurbish to the standards of the 21st century NHS. A new generation of community hospitals and facilities will be required in order to respond to demographic changes and shifting needs of patients. Local health economies will need to plan these changes carefully in full consultation with their local communities.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The power to impose conditions rests with the police, not the Government. Under the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis must give authorisation for a demonstration in the designated area around Parliament, for which written notice has been given. In giving authorisation, the commissioner may attach conditions for the purpose of preventing any of the following: hindrance to any person wishing to enter or leave the Palace of Westminster; hindrance to the proper operation of Parliament; serious public disorder; serious damage to property; disruption to the life of the community; a security risk in any part of the designated area; risk to the safety of members of the public (including those taking part in the demonstration).
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Baroness Andrews): The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was formed on 29 May 2002. The table below shows how much my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister's private office spent on catering, hospitality and official entertainment in 200203 to 200506.
(spend to date)
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary said after the 12 December General Affairs and External Relations Council:
"we discussed the EU analysis on East Jerusalem submitted to Ministers by heads of mission in the region as well as by various committees here in Brussels. We decided given the changed circumstances in Israel and the Occupied Territories that this would not be endorsed or published and instead that we would continue to make strong representations to the Government of Israel about the matter in the normal way".
Whether the estimates of potential economic growth or of costs associated with the European Union, identified in HM Treasury's publication Global Europe: Full-employment Europe, in respect of (a) barriers to external trade and investment; (b) competition; (c) better regulation; and (d) removing transatlantic barriers to trade overlap; if so, to what extent; and whether they will state the basis on which the estimates were made. [HL3167]
Lord McKenzie of Luton: The estimates in the Treasury paper Global Europe: full-employment Europe drew on a range of sources including from the OECD, Eurostat, and the European Central Bank. Further detailed references are provided in the March 2005 HM Treasury paper Long-term global economic challenges and opportunities for Europe, which is available in the Library of the House.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 14 November (WA 117), why they will not provide a full estimate of the United Kingdom legislation which originated in the European Union since 1998, bearing in mind that the German Federal Department of Justice has estimated that 80 per cent. of German laws or regulations were so made over that period. [HL2785]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Many EU regulations have a purely technical or temporary effect. We estimate that around 50 per cent.
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of UK legislation with a significant economic impact has its origins in EU legislation. OECD analysis of regulation in Europe yields similar results. In 2002, they estimated that 40 per cent. of all new UK regulations with a significant impact on business were derived from Community legislation. Despite reports that 80 per cent. of German regulation emanates from the EU, the German Government estimates that the proportion is about 50 per cent.
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