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Lord Adonis: The resolution invites member states to ensure that agreed common objectives and good practice for provision of information to and active participation by youth are put in place. As such good practice is already in place in the national systems within the UK, there should be no additional cost involved.
Whether they have consulted the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games about the possible use of the Olympic stadium for professional football after the Olympic Games in 2012; and whether they are in favour of or against such a proposal. [HL263]
Lord Davies of Oldham: No final decisions have been taken on the legacy use of the Olympic stadium. However, consistent with the commitment in the London 2012 Candidate File, the Olympic board has approved that the brief to the designers is for a 25,000 seat stadium with athletics at its core after the 2012 Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), in consultation with stakeholders, is currently producing a legacy business plan which will provide greater detail about how the stadium will be used post-2012. A number of different options remain under consideration.
Officials from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have been present at a number of meetings at which the legacy use of the Olympic stadium has been discussed. The Olympic board, of which Sebastian Coe, chair of LOCOG, is a member, discussed options for the Olympic stadium at its meeting on 28 June 2006 and received an update from the ODA on the stadium design and build procurement process at its meeting on 25 July 2006. Any decisions on the legacy use for the stadium will be taken at the Olympic board.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Truscott): In 2005 the department received 12 Freedom of Information Act requests related to nuclear materials. Of those 12, four were granted in full and two were granted in part. From 1 January 2006 until 31 October 2006 we have received six requests, of which three were granted in full and one was granted in part.
Whether they will make representations to the Government of the United States to secure the early closure of Guantanamo Bay and the release of the remaining detainees not scheduled for trial in the United States under due process. [HL446]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We regularly make representations to the US Administration about the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. We have made it clear that we regard the circumstances under which detainees continue to be held there as unacceptable. The US Government know our views. We welcome President Bush's continued commitment to close the detention facility. We recognise that careful consideration needs to be given to how it is closed so that international security is maintained and the human rights of detainees are respected, including if they are transferred back to their countries of origin.
What representations they have received on the consequences for patients of Pfizer's decision, as the major supplier of medicines to the National Health Service, that from 5 March 2007 all its products will be distributed into the United Kingdom medical supply chain by one logistics service provider; and what action they will take to ensure patient safety. [HL174]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Since the announcement by Pfizer on 28 September 2006 of future changes to the distribution arrangements for its drugs, the department has received approximately 460 written representations concerned with this issue. Of these, 71 were from honourable Members and the remainder from pharmacists, wholesalers and the public. Additionally, there have been 10 House of Commons Parliamentary Questions on the issue. The department will monitor these new arrangements with a view to taking corrective action if appropriate.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Government set out their proposals for the statutory regulation of applied psychologists in their March 2005 public consultation document, Applied Psychology: Enhancing public protection: Proposals for
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What are the responsibilities of the local authority heritage champions; how many of them have so far been appointed; what benefits are expected to accrue from their appointment; what guidance they receive on engaging with others who have significant responsibility for heritage assets in their areas; whether they will place in the Library of the House a current list of local authority heritage champions' contact details; and whether in future they will maintain an up-to-date list on a website. [HL261]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Historic environment (HE) champions provide leadership for heritage issues within their local authority. They help to ensure that its policies, plans and strategies promote sustainable development of the historic environmentincluding realisation of its economic, social and environmental potentialin ways that support local, regional and national priorities. In doing so, they encourage communities to take ownership of their heritage. In the medium term, HE champions will also have an important role in engaging their local authority with implementation of reforms arising from the Government's heritage protection review.
Since 2004, when DCMS and DCLG Ministers wrote to local authorities urging them to appoint member-level HE champions as a symbol of their commitment to heritage issues, more than half of authorities in England (223) have taken the opportunity to do so. I am arranging for details of current HE champions to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. An up-to-date list of local authorities with an appointed champion is available on English Heritage's historic environment local management website (www.helm.org.uk). This provides access to information, guidance, case studies and training opportunities for elected members and officers, and is a resource for everyone with an interest in local stewardship of the historic environment. By the end of 2006, it will also feature an interactive map providing details of champions alongside other useful contacts, such as county archaeologists and conservation officers.
In addition to resources made available through the HELM website, English Heritage offers newsletters, training, publications and support to help champions carry out their role, to keep them up to date, develop their skills, share ideas and build partnerships. It is
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The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The refreshment department's purchasing policy for the supply of fair trade products is currently limited to tea, coffee and chocolate which are used in all restaurant, cafeteria, bar and banqueting outlets. In addition to these hot drink products, some confectionery bars and biscuits are also available in the River Restaurant. It is the intention to review further opportunities to increase the range of products available.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Lord Speaker receives security advice from the Metropolitan Police and other agencies. This advice can be received direct from their principals but is normally channelled through Black Rod and the security co-ordinator.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Truscott): When the low-carbon buildings programme was launched on 1 April 2006, £28.5 million was made available for allocation over three years to successful applicants. As of 27 November 2006, £5.3 million has been committed to 3,732 household applicants, of which £0.6 million has been paid to 574 grant claimants. A further £0.9 million has been committed to 59 community applicants. We continue to monitor the uptake of grants going forward.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The objective of the exercise currently being undertaken by PA Consulting at the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal is to provide a detailed analysis of judicial members' time. The exercise will study the split of judicial time between hearing cases, writing up determinations and other judicial and managerial duties. The cost of the exercise is £198,000.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: PA Consulting did not undertake any consultancy work for the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) in 2004. However, a project to evaluate judicial sitting patterns was undertaken in 2001-02. The IAA subsequently adopted the project's recommendation to establish a judicial sitting pattern based on immigration adjudicators hearing cases on one day and writing up their decisions the following day. The cost of the exercise was £124,519.
When they reviewed the travel advice issued to British businesses for travellers to Iraqi Kurdistan; on what basis the security assessment was made; who made the assessment; and whether they plan to review the advice issued. [HL386]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for travel advice for all British citizens travelling to Iraq, including the Kurdish regional government administered area. The travel advice for Iraq was last amended in August 2006 and is under constant review. The advice we give is based on a number of factors, including our assessment of the security threat and effectiveness of security forces in country, and the advice of our posts in Iraq.
What assistance they have given to the Kurdish regional government for the protection of the Christian minorities in the region, and in particular for the resettlement programme for the Assyrians in the Nineveh Plain. [HL390]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Government have not provided assistance to the Kurdish regional government (KRG) for the protection of the Christian minorities in the region. However, we continue to raise the protection of minority groups with the Government of Iraq, political and religious leaders, and members of civil society. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary highlighted the importance of ensuring the security and welfare of Iraq's minorities with Prime Minister al-Maliki when she met him in September 2006. Our missions in Baghdad and Kirkuk have regular contacts with minority communities.
The Iraqi and draft Kurdish constitutions contain provisions which guarantee democratic principles, rights and freedoms for all individuals, including freedom of worship. In his inaugural speech to the Kurdistan National Assembly on 14 June 2005, KRG President Masoud Barzani said:
Turkomen and Chaldo-Assyrians are our respected brothers and sisters and we will do whatever is within our capability and authority for the sake of their well-being. We all live together on this land. Our destiny, our joys and sorrows, are common. We consider ourselves their advocates and defenders of their rights.
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The £100 million announced by the Chancellor on 18 November will support technical assistance to the Iraqi ministries, such as the Ministry of Finance. It will serve to help the Government of Iraq, as well as provincial governments, by:strengthening the Government's management of the economy;helping the Government undertake structural economic reforms; andtackling blockages in domestic investment.
This contribution will also help to support UK work in Basra, including helping the local government to implement critical improvements in water supplies, electricity distribution and road repairs; supporting police training and anti-corruption initiatives; and helping to revive local business and agriculture.
What practical and financial help they and their international partners are providing to Iraqis who have fled to Syria and Jordan; and whether the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are able to assist those who wish to move to third countries. [HL372]
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that since 2003, at least 1.6 million people have been displaced by violence in Iraq, most of them to Jordan (700,000), Syria (500,000 to 600,000), Saudi Arabia (100,000) and Lebanon (20,000 to 40,000). Since the February 2006 Samarra bombing, more than 425,000 have been displaced as a result of the increased sectarian violence.
The UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) is currently conducting an assessment of these peoples needs. The UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) are working closely together in the region and monitor the situation from their offices in Jordan and Syria. Their support includes undertaking assessments to identify locations, numbers and needs of vulnerable people, acting as an advocate for Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers, resettlement, supporting education programmes, and providing emergency medical services and meals to extremely vulnerable groups such as orphans and women at risk.
Since 2003, DfID has provided more than $100 million to humanitarian agencies working with Iraqis displaced by the violence, both within Iraq and in neighbouring countries. We will continue to work with these agencies and other international partners, as well as the Government of Iraq, to ensure that the needs of displaced Iraqis are met.
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