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What safeguards they have put in place to ensure that the process to award the licence for the first regional casino avoids potential conflicts of interest in the local authority's role as issuer of the licence and planning authority. [HL577]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Licensing authorities will be required to consider all applications for premises licences under the Gambling Act 2005 on their merits, in accordance with the requirements of the Act. Similarly, planning authorities will be required to consider any planning application in accordance with planning legislation.
Section 210 of the Gambling Act 2005 requires that, when considering applications for premises licences of any sort, a licensing authority shall not have regard to whether a proposal by the applicant is likely to be permitted in accordance with the law relating to planning or building. Furthermore, that section also provides that any decision under the Gambling Act 2005 shall not constrain any later decision by the authority under the law relating to planning or building.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Interested parties may make representations on the application to the licensing authority. If they have made representations, the licensing authority may decide to hold a hearing before determining the application, and the interested party may appeal against a decision by a licensing authority to grant the application.
Section 158 of the Gambling Act 2005 provides that, for the purposes of any application for a premises licence under Part 8 of the Act, an interested party to such an application is a person who, in the opinion of the licensing authority to which the application is made:(a) lives sufficiently close to the premises to be likely to be affected by the authorised activities;(b) has business interests that might be affected by the authorised activities; or(c) represents either of the above two categories of person.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government made it clear in the Casino Advisory Panel's terms of reference that the primary criterion by which it should make its recommendations to Ministers should be to ensure that locations for the one regional, eight large and eight small casinos provide the best possible test of social impact. The panel, which is operating independently of government, is on course to make its recommendations to Ministers on 30 January 2007.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The criteria for determining the areas in which the one regional, eight large and eight small casinos permitted by the Gambling Act 2005 were set out in the Government's national policy statement on casinos, published on 16 December 2004.
Lord Davies of Oldham: We have no specific plans to monitor what impact the introduction of the one regional casino permitted by the Gambling Act 2005 will have on gambling opportunities in its vicinity.
We will assess whether the introduction of the new types of casino permitted by the Gambling Act 2005, including the one regional casino, has led to an increase in problem gambling or is increasing that risk. We will also assess what the regeneration and other economic outcomes have been.
What steps they are taking to ensure that the claims of economic benefits made by local authorities have been properly scrutinised ahead of the announcement from the Casino Advisory Panel next year. [HL582]
Lord Davies of Oldham: It is the role of the Casino Advisory Panel, which is operating independently of government, to subject to full scrutiny all the proposals it has received from local authorities interested in licensing one of the new casinos permitted by the Gambling Act 2005. In the case of the one regional casino licence, this has included holding a series of examinations in public into the short-listed proposals.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Civil Service is broadly representative of society in terms of gender and ethnicity: over half its employees are women and 8.1 per cent are from black and minority-ethnic backgrounds. Some 4.5 per cent of civil servants are disabledup from 1 per cent in 1998. We are working to address under-representation at senior levels and have set targets, underpinned by a programme of action, to achieve those targets.
How many (a) intensive care and (b) high-dependency beds there were in the area administered by each strategic health authority in the latest year for which figures are available; and what the daily cost per bed was for each kind of bed in that area in that year. [HL619]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Adult critical care (intensive care and high dependency) beds are counted, as a snapshot, twice each year, in January and July. Details of the number of open and staffed adult intensive care (IC) and high-dependency (HD) beds on 16 January 2006 and 13 July 2006 were collected from trusts in England and are presented for each strategic health authority in the table below.
|IC Beds||HD Beds|
|SHA||Jan 06||Jul 06||Jan 06||Jul-06|
|Source: Department of Health KHO3a|
|Information on the daily cost per bed is not collected centrally|
How many methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) type infections have been reported in Northern Ireland by the Department of Health and health trusts in the years 2003 to 2005 and in the first two quarters of 2006.[HL455]
|Source: Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre Northern Ireland (CDSC (NI))|
|Methicillin has recently been renamed meticillin to comply with European law, which requires the use of the recommended international non-proprietary name (rINN).|
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