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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): It is not for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) to judge whether a referral would be in the best interests of the claimant. Legal representatives, general practitioners and other health professionals, social workers, refugee agencies and others can help with that decision. NHS services are available to all asylum seekers whose claims are
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Whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has received complaints from migrant workers about wages of less than the agricultural minimum, or about abuses relating to accommodation, debts or non-existent agencies; and, if so, how many complaints have been received. [HL3095]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Defra has received 50 complaints from migrant workers about treatment under the agricultural wages legislation since the beginning of March 2006. These complaints are dealt with by the agricultural wages team within Defra. However, the agricultural wages team does not compile detailed statistics on the precise nature of the complaints it receives and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.
Further to the Answer by Lord Drayson on 22 March (Official Report, col. 1335) about the amount of sarin released in the fallout at Khamisiyah in March 1991, how much sarin was involved in the fallout. [HL2993]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): I refer my noble friend to the Answer that my noble friend Lord Bach gave him on 5 April 2005 (Official Report, col. WA 99). On 27 January 2005 (Official Report, col. WS 58) the Ministry of Defence published the paper Review of Modelling of the Demolitions at Khamisiyah in March 1991 and Implications for UK Personnel. Copies of the paper have been placed in the Library of the House.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister made clear in another place on 21 February, we welcome the Iraqi-led Baghdad security plan and recognise the critical importance of security in the
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We were concerned to learn of the events at Abu Dis Boys School on 14 February. Officials from our consulate-general in Jerusalem visited the school on 21 March and produced a report of the events. The report contains an assessment of events from staff at the school, including the actions of the Israeli border police, which school staff claim resulted in six pupils receiving hospital treatment for minor injuries. Our embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs on 22 March, which has confirmed that the matter is being investigated by the Israeli Police Complaints Bureau at the Ministry of Justice. A special investigator from the Israeli Police Complaints Bureau has also arranged to collect the testimonies from the school principal and Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association at a checkpoint instead of Ma'ale Adumim police station.
What representations they have made to the Government of Israel concerning the promotion for sale or rent of property in Har Homa in the Occupied Territories of Palestine at the real estate exhibition at Alexandra Palace on Sunday 18 March. [HL3001]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): We have made no representations to the Israeli Government about this matter. We regard all settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as illegal under international law and have repeatedly raised our concerns about settlement activity with the Israeli Government.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill provides for certain government agencies and non-departmental public bodies to provide information to local authority overview and scrutiny committees. These include the Highways Agency, the Environment Agency and the Learning and Skills Council for England.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 26 March (WA 2478), why it is not relevant to their foreign policy decisions in relation to Muslim countries to know approximately the proportion of Sunni and Shia Muslims in the United Kingdom. [HL3027]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Government listen to a range of opinion in the course of the formulation of their foreign policy, including from British Muslims. However, decisions on foreign policy are taken on the basis of UK national interests and are not dependent on the views of any one group within British society.
How they intend to respond to a recent Local Government Association survey which found that financial problems within the National Health Service are having an impact on local authority social care budgets. [HL2884]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Putting the entire National Health Service in a financially sound position has been a key priority in 2006-07. The NHS and social services have a duty to work together locally, in collaboration with other partners and individuals, to provide high quality health and social care services that both meet the needs of their local population and make the best use of available resources. The NHS has a legal responsibility to provide health and nursing care that social services are not able to provide.
Whether they have evidence that hospitals are implementing the Government's recommendation, as set out in Income Generation: Car Parking ChargesBest Practice for Implementation in
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The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Under income generation rules it is for each individual National Health Service body to manage any car parking scheme on its premises, including what charges to impose and what concessions to offer, taking into consideration all of the relevant local factors. The document Income Generation: Car Parking ChargesBest Practice for Implementation is intended to provide advice and support in carrying out that function. Whilst I would expect NHS bodies to consider and take account of the recommendations set out in the document, they are not obliged to adhere to them unconditionally.
The estates related information collection (ERIC) database monitors some transport and car parking related activities. However, it does not monitor implementation of any of the recommendations in this best practice document.
Whether there has been an increase in the consultancy fee of £400 million for the 2012 Olympic Games announced by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on 21 November 2006 in evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport; and whether any increase has been included in the revised Olympic budget announced on 15 March. [HL2897]
Lord Davies of Oldham: In her response, published on the 26 March 2007, to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's report, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said the total cost of the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) programme delivery budget, including administrative costs and around £400 million of further expenditure referred to in her evidence to the committee in November 2006, is £570 million. This sum represents around 10 per cent of the total costs of the ODA programme of £5,254 million, net of tax, and is consistent with industry norms for a project of this scale, complexity and concentration.
Of this the combined staffing, accommodation and IT cost of ODA and the delivery partner, CLM, is £476 million. The balance of £94 million is to cover the establishment on the Olympic Park site of the necessary provision for up to 9,000 construction workers, including health and canteen facilities and transportation.
Whether they will take steps to avoid spending money allocated for the 2012 London Olympic Games on legal fees arising from the decision to rescind the original offer of alternative accommodation to Travellers who need to be relocated because their present site is required for purposes connected with the Olympic Games; and whether they will invite the parties concerned to revert to the original offer. [HL2804]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The London Development Agency (LDA) has worked with the London Borough of Newham for many months to prepare relocation options for the Traveller groups that live within the Olympic Park site in the Lower Lea Valley. Initially agreed options were a site at Major Road and a site at Leyton Road (Chobham Farm), both in Stratford.
The Newham Travellers expressed a strong desire to move together to one new site, and their preferred location was Chobham Farm. However, the landowner indicated that they would resist an application for a Travellers site in this locality. This would have made the site undeliverable within the timeframe required. The LDA therefore focused on Newham Council's preferred site at Major Road.
One Traveller lodged a judicial review (JR) challenging the LDA for not applying for planning permission for the relocation site at Chobham Farm. The JR was heard on 27 February 2007 and the judge delivered his decision in favour of the LDA on 1 March 2007. Legal costs were met from the LDA's approved budget of £1.4 billion for the acquisition and remediation of land for the games.
What assessment they have made of the impact on farm businesses of the proposed planning gain supplement on development needed to meet environmental, animal welfare and food safety requirements; and [HL3008]
What assessment they have made of the effect of the proposed planning gain supplement on the ability of farm businesses to respond to the Government's encouragement to diversify their enterprises in respect of (a) owner occupied holdings, and (b) holdings farmed by agricultural tenants. [HL3009]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have consulted twice on their proposals for a planning gain supplement (PGS) and have met a broad range of
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Lord Davies of Oldham: As announced at the 2005 Pre-Budget Report and consulted on in both 2005 and 2006, the planning gain supplement (PGS) would apply only to developments that require full planning permission, subject to minimum thresholds. The Government are keeping the scope of PGS under review.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have consulted a wide range of stakeholders during the development of the planning gain supplement (PGS), including those involved in specialist agricultural valuations. The Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency of HM Revenue and Customs, gives advice to the Government on valuation matters and has led work on valuations for PGS.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The 2005-06 national school sport survey found that some 189,000 pupils in schools in school sport partnerships (SSPs) are registered as being gifted and talented because of their ability in physical education or sport. Those with exceptional talent are encouraged to join local sports clubs accredited by the relevant national governing bodies for the sports in question.
As part of the national school sport strategy, £18 million has been set aside from 2004 to 2008 for the School Club Links programme, to encourage and strengthen links between schools and accredited sports clubs. Through this programme, schools are working with the national governing bodies of sport to provide a safe environment for young people to take part in sport beyond school in accredited sports clubs, with access to their facilities and their coaches.
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