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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): The Department for International Development (DfID) undertook an independent review of the work of Book Aid International (BAI) in 2006. The review recognised the valuable role of BAI in helping Governments in sub-Saharan Africa to develop library and information services.
Baroness Amos: Funding is available to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Book Aid International (BAI) through DfID's civil society challenge fund and partnership programme agreements. Although it is recognised that there is strong competition among NGOs for the resources available, BAI has been encouraged to apply for funding under these schemes.
How they monitor the ways in which the Border and Immigration Agency handles gender issues; whether they are planning any improvements to current practice; and, if so, what kind of improvements. [HL3992]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Border and Immigration Agency's approach to gender issues is set out in its three-strand equality scheme, which came into effect on 30 April 2007.
The scheme sets out specific outcomes which must be achieved, and these will be monitored internally. The agency will also collect data to ascertain whether and where avoidable disadvantage occurs as a result of its practices on the grounds of gender. Improvements to current practice will be made when these are identified as necessary, though it is not possible at present to be specific.
What is their estimate of the extent to which current rates of world deforestation will produce greenhouse gas effect above the long-term ceilings for global warning set out in the Kyoto protocol, expressed in gigatons of supplementary carbon emission. [HL4021]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): According to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, deforestation is responsible for the emission of about 5.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, which represents about 18 per cent of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. These data highlight the importance of reducing deforestation as part of the global effort to combat climate change.
Developing countries can help to tackle climate change by hosting clean development mechanism projects. Unfortunately, the current scope of the Kyoto Protocol does not allow accreditation of projects that seek to avoid deforestation because of the risk that the deforestation would simply be displaced rather than prevented. However, the UK is working through international negotiations to find a solution that would allow the crediting of projects that aim to avoid deforestation.
How much coral is imported into the United Kingdom each year; what proportion of the coral they estimate dies in transit; in which regions corals imported into the United Kingdom arrive; and what assessment has been made of the sustainability of those sources. [HL3930]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): In 2006, the latest period for which figures are available, some 44,118 pieces of live coral were imported into the UK from outside the European Union. None was recorded as dead. Similarly, 73,907 kilograms of dead coral were imported. Most trade enters via the London airports.
All applications to import hard corals and the one soft coral listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) require the relevant scientific authority to be able to say that,
What is their response to the comments of the president of the Confederation of British Industry that the United Kingdom infrastructure asset base is contracting through inadequate capital formation. [HL3973]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Public sector net investment (PSNI) includes all public spending on capital after accounting for the depreciation of the asset base. In real terms, PSNI is now at its highest point since 1976-77, increasing from 0.4 per cent of GDP in 2000 to an expected level of 2Â1/4 per cent of GDP in the forthcoming spending review.
Much of this increased investment has been focused on those areas with large amounts of infrastructure in order to address backlogs from previous underinvestment. Between 2001-02 and 2007-08 central government capital expenditure on:transport has more than trebled, from £1.5 billion to £5 billion;education has more than doubled, from £1 billion to £2.2 billion;science and technology has more than doubled, from £280 million to £610 million; andenvironmental protection has more than trebled, from £360 million to £1.1 billion.
First, Ministers will issue national policy statements about the infrastructure that the country needs for the next 10 to 25 years. Secondly, we are replacing the sometimes overlapping consent regimes for major infrastructure projects with a single system. This will provide a clearer and more accessible application process than at present. Thirdly, we propose to create a new, independent infrastructure planning commission to oversee the planning inquiry process on specific major developments and take the final decisions on whether they should go ahead.
These new procedures, set out in the White Paper, and the increase of investment over the past decade will help the public and private sectors to ensure that infrastructure is adequately maintained and expanded over future years to meet the country's social and economic needs.
Whether the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill will supersede the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 by permitting the placing of a human embryo in a woman if the regulator deems that the embryo has undergone a process designed to avoid mitochondrial disease; and in what way this new provision would prevent reproductive cloning. [HL4000]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are committed to a ban on reproductive cloning, and nothing in the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is intended to permit it. Provisions in the draft Bill, however, supersede the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001, which was introduced to prevent reproductive cloning. In updating the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the draft Bill now prohibits reproductive cloning so the Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001 is accordingly repealed.
The Bill has been published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny by a parliamentary committee. Clause 16(5) introduces new Section 3ZA into the 1990 Act and defines which eggs and embryos can be placed in a woman. Only permitted eggs and embryos can be used in treatment. This excludes embryos created by reproductive cloning techniques.
New Section 3ZA(5) allows for regulations to include, in the category of permitted eggs and/or embryos, those which have had applied to them in prescribed circumstances a prescribed process designed to prevent the transmission of serious mitochondrial disease. Any such regulations would be subject to affirmative resolution in both Houses.
What is the cost of the research commissioned by the Department of Health, and currently being carried out by Thompson Intermedia, to review the changes in the nature and balance of food advertising. [HL3971]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Officials met members of the inquiry team on 25 April 2007 to discuss what information the department may be able to provide to the inquiry. We have also made available a recently completed document, Review of Documentation Relating to the Safety of Blood Products 1970-1985 (non-A, non-B Hepatitis), and the supporting references. These documents have been placed in the Library.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 3 May (WA 236), what plans they have to extend blood cord banking beyond the four National Health Service hospitals currently collecting cord blood to the rest of the United Kingdom; how much of the £10 million allocated thus far has been used; what percentage of this will be used to meet the requirements of the European Union tissue directive; and what plans they have to meet the recommendation of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to consider the future funding of cord blood banks. [HL3858]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): To support the clinical need, the number of cord blood donations required in the bank is finite: around 20,000 is the long-term target. Further collection sites will be added if it is necessary to achieve the target stock. All established quality standards and procedures used at the Cord Blood Bank comply with the requirements of the European Union Tissue and Cells Directive (EUTCD). So far, £1 million of the allocated funding has been spent. Separate information is not collected on what percentage of this spend is on the requirements of the EUTCD.
NHS Blood and Transplant is developing strategic and business plans for the funding and development of the British bone marrow registry and the Cord Blood Bank beyond 2009. These are due to be submitted to the department this autumn.
Why the Department of Healths audit review of the alleged shredding by civil servants of documents relating to the supply of infected blood-clotting products to people with haemophilia has not been published; and whether they will now place a copy of this document in the Library of the House and make it available to the independent public inquiry headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell. [HL3935]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Review of Documentation Relating to the Safety of Blood Products 1970-1985 (non-A, non-B Hepatitis) was issued on 22 May, together with referenced documents. The referenced documents made available include the internal audit report carried out by the department in 2000. These documents have been placed in the Library and made available to the independent public inquiry.
What steps are being taken to ensure that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines on the use of erythropoietin to treat pre-dialysis kidney patients with anaemia are being implemented. [HL3995]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The National Service Framework for Renal Services (Renal NSF) sets out the steps the National Health Service can take to support the delivery of the standards and markers of good practice. Part one of the NSF says that all stakeholders will need to draw upon National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines and appraisals. Part two highlights, as a marker of good practice, implementation of the forthcoming, as it was at the time of publication, NICE guideline on the treatment of anaemia in chronic kidney disease. This guidance was published in September 2006. The NHS has to implement the NSF, but it is up to the NHS locally to decide how to do this.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The increase in the number of people with chronic kidney disease is likely to be due to a number of factors: better diagnosis by general practitioners since the inclusion of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the quality and outcomes framework, an ageing population and an increase in other illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can be associated with CKD.
Whether they intend to increase expenditure on research into kidney disease and its detection and treatment in its early stages given the number of people identified with chronic kidney disease under the kidney disease outcomes quality initiative guidelines. [HL3997]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Implementation of the department's research strategy Best Research for Best Health will result in an expansion of our research programmes and in significant new funding opportunities for health research. In particular, the Hammersmith, St Mary's and Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre, formed this year, proposes to undertake research on renal medicine and transplantation, for which a five-year centrally funded budget of some £6.2 million has been approved. Other biomedical research centres will undertake research on kidney disease and transplantation as part of broader-based research themes.
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): No National Health Service trusts have been given funds to establish single-sex wards. A number of trusts have been receiving support from strategic health authorities (SHA) to help eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, but that does not extend to financial support.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland on 8 January (WA 23), whether the average costs of deportation appeals before the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal include the costs of asylum appeals (whether brought against deport decisions or non-deport decisions); what is the average cost of an asylum appeal where the Home Office is represented by (a) a presenting officer, and (b) Treasury counsel; and whether the average costs relate only to a hearing before the tribunal or, in addition to other proceedings, including case management review hearings, other for mention hearings, adjourned hearings, and any onward reconsideration applications and hearings. [HL3876]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The average cost of an asylum appeal before the tribunal where the Home Office is represented by a Home Office presenting officer is £2,237. The average cost where the Home Office is represented by Treasury counsel is £3,288. There is no difference between the average cost of a deportation appeal hearing and that of an asylum appeal hearing.
The figures represent an average of all asylum hearings before the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal for the past financial year, including the costs incurred by the tribunal and the average cost for providing a presenting officer or Treasury counsel.
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