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Questions for Written Answer

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 26 April 2007 (WA 150-51).

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Officials and Ministers in the department are informed daily by the relevant authorities of the House of those Questions that remain outstanding. In response to this ongoing performance information, the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of State for Police, Security and Community Safety continue to review the systems in place to ensure that the 14-day timeline is attained. In addition to twice weekly internal performance reports, the department has now implemented an internal performance table, which, it is anticipated, will address the unacceptable delays that can occur.

Railways: Community Rail Awards

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government will continue to provide base funding for the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) during 2007-08. They will also continue to fund community rail lines and services via franchise arrangements and grants to Network Rail. Funding for local community rail partnerships is a local responsibility.

The Government sponsored an award in the 2006 Community Rail Awards. Since then, they have

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sponsored additional awards for the development and implementation of marketing plans for community rail routes, and the overall winner will be announced at the 2007 awards.

Capital funding will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and there is no specific allocation for community railways.

Roads: Disqualified Drivers

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The records of all drivers are available to enforcement authorities at the roadside via the Police National Computer. These details would reflect the fact that a driving licence had been revoked.

(a) The DVLA has statistics on the number of driving licences revoked since the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 was implemented. These are available in categories of age and gender as are the numbers who have subsequently passed another test. (b) Revocation of a licence under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 does not require a prosecution. There are no records available relating to prosecutions of persons continuing to drive after revocation under the Act.

Roads: Traffic Officers

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The traffic officer service has been developed to enable the Highways Agency to take on a more proactive role in managing the strategic road network in England. The service has taken on a number of control-room and on-road functions traditionally undertaken by the police.

The role of traffic officers involves: managing incidents except where there is loss of life, injury or potential criminal activity, when they will support the police at the scene; setting signs and signals, and answering emergency roadside telephones; arranging the removal of damaged or broken down/abandoned vehicles in partnership with the police and removing debris and other obstructions from the carriageway.

Part 1 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 was the enabling legislation introducing the Highways Agency traffic officer service on the strategic road network in England.



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Traffic officers have the power to stop and direct traffic and pedestrians and to erect temporary traffic signs.

Traffic officers do not have an enforcement role. This responsibility remains with the police. Both the Highways Agency and the police support this position. Traffic officers support the police where there are fatalities or suspected criminality at an incident. The traffic officers’ role is to manage traffic in the vicinity of an incident, and in doing this they may liaise with the police on matters of compliance with road traffic law.

Sharia Law

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Sharia law has no jurisdiction in England and Wales. There are, however, a number of Sharia councils in England and Wales that, on a private basis where the parties consent, deal with the mediation and resolution of personal and contractual disputes. These councils are not part of the court system. In all cases, parties will always have recourse to the UK courts.

Shipping: Lanes

Lord MacKenzie of Culkein asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has indeed approved a ships’ routeing system in international waters off the coast of northern Norway.

However, whereas the original Norwegian proposal was for one mandatory traffic separation scheme of 560 nautical miles between Vardø and Røst, I understand that Norway was invited to amend its proposal to eight smaller traffic separation schemes and seven recommended routes connecting them, and that this routeing measure was formally adopted by the IMO and is due to enter into force on 1 July 2007.

The Government recognise that, in the interests of safety of life at sea and protection of the marine environment, it is accepted practice and consistent with the international law of the sea for traffic routeing measures adopted by the IMO to be established which may extend beyond the limits of a state’s territorial sea into international waters.



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Sport: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The evaluation criteria used in the selection of the Maze/Long Kesh site were: acceptability to the three tenant sports; deliverability in terms of cost, timescale, planning, infrastructure and clearance; and potential economic benefits (revenue generation). These criteria were developed by the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and were clearly laid out in the original “site selection expressions of interest” advertisement published in May 2004. SIB and DCAL are also responsible for judging the application of these criteria.

This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Telephone Numbers: Defra

Lord Tyler asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): My department and our agencies have a number of non-geographical telephone numbers in use, provided by a variety of service providers, dependent on location. The current count equates to 28 made up of 0870, 0845 and 08459 prefixes, all of which provide helpline services to our customers. The department does not collect any revenue for their use.

Telephone Numbers: DWP

Lord Tyler asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Under arrangements with our telephony supplier, the DWP has 2,299 non-geographic telephone numbers in use for a variety of purposes.



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The department delegates the administration and management of non-geographic telephone numbers to local management at operational level. The information on services linked to individual telephone numbers broken down by departmental units and its agencies is not available.

Obtaining the revenue information for the total period requested would incur disproportionate costs. However, figures for January to September 2006 are available: the revenue received amounted to £321,948, which was offset against DWP telephony costs.

Terrorism: Funding

Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The police are investigating all aspects of the allegations to which the noble Lord refers, and we would not wish to prejudge the outcome of those investigations by commenting at this stage.

Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers, was proscribed by the then Home Secretary in 2001. There are a range of offences relating to this proscription, including to have or profess membership of the organisation, to raise funds for the organisation, to invite support for it, to organise or speak at a meeting whose purpose is to encourage support for it, and to wear or display clothing or articles likely to arouse suspicions that the wearer is a member or supporter of the organisation.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service are responsible for, respectively, investigating and prosecuting offences under this legislation.

Lord Sheikh asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers, was proscribed as an organisation concerned in terrorism by the then Home Secretary in 2001. The Terrorism Act 2000 contains a number of offences relating to the funding of terrorism (which includes funding for proscribed organisations). The investigation and prosecution of these offences is a matter for the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.



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Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The police are investigating the allegations to which the noble Lord refers. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on this issue at this time.

Tourism: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker:Northern Ireland—The CS Lewis Story was developed and published in December 2005 to coincide with the release of the Disney/Walden Media film ”The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe”.

An expert on CS Lewis’s life and work was commissioned by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to write copy for the publication. One of the opening lines of the publication is a direct quotation from CS Lewis in 1958, on being informed that his heavy breathing was causing problems with a radio broadcast recording session. The quotation is as follows:

The purpose of the inclusion of this direct quotation from CS Lewis was to highlight the fact that Lewis was not English, as is the common misconception among the general public, but in fact, in his own words, of an Irish background.

This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Working Hours

Lord Leach of Fairford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, Director of Macroeconomics and Labour Market, to Lord Leach of Fairford, dated 9 May 2007, in the absence of the National Statistician.

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the average number of hours worked in the United Kingdom by people in employment who work more than 48 hours per week. I am replying in her absence. (HL3572)

The estimate of the average number of hours of people in employment who usually work more than 48 hours per week is 56.7 hours, for the three months ending December 2006. This estimate includes both paid and unpaid overtime and is not seasonally adjusted.

Estimates are taken from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.


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