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4 July 2007 : Column WA177



4 July 2007 : Column WA177

Written Answers

Wednesday 4 July 2007

Army: Drumadd Barracks

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): Defence Estates, which handles the disposal of MoD sites, has already been in contact with the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to ask whether any of the Northern Ireland government departments would be interested in the site. Invest Northern Ireland has expressed an interest in part of the site.

Defence Estates will also consider whether it is necessary to offer part of the site back to its former owner under the Crichel Down rules. Once discussions with Invest Northern Ireland and on the Crichel Down rules are complete, the site or outstanding parts of the site will be offered for sale on the open market.

Ascension Island

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance 2002 was suspended by the Governor of St Helena and its dependencies in April because insufficient nominations were received for the election of an island council. The governor sought and received ministerial approval for this action. The governor has appointed an advisory group to provide him with advice on such legislative and policy decisions as he needs to take for continuing good governance of Ascension during the temporary period of suspension. The governor acted under the authority of section 27(b) of the constitution of St Helena and its dependencies.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The members of the advisory group are Cyril Leo, Ray Ellick, Mal Moss JP, Stedson Stroud MBE JP and Ian Coverdale. The

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purpose of the group is to advise the governor on policies and proposed legislation which impact on the lives of those working and living on Ascension Island. It will have no executive power. The formation of the group is an interim measure designed to help ensure continuing good governance of Ascension during the temporary suspension of the Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance 2002. It in no way replaces the island council for which we intend to hold elections early next year.

Aviation: Galway Air Show

Lord Garden asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): An Air Accident Board of Inquiry (BoI) was convened by Joint Helicopter Command on 25 June to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and to identify the possible causes. It would not be appropriate to prejudge the outcome of the BoI, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House in due course.

British Citizenship

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: We requested the Nepalese authorities formally to agree our record of the meeting. This agreement has not been forthcoming. We therefore informed the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14 June that we assume its agreement of our record as a true record of the discussions which took place on 22 November 2006. That record has now been placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Our consulate-general in Hong Kong's procedures for forwarding applications to the Home Office do not include sifting supporting documents. Every document provided by an applicant which is relevant to the application is included and forwarded to the Home Office.

Crime: Deportation

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The United States is not under a legal obligation to inform us of the deportation of British nationals following their convictions for criminal offences. Where Foreign and Commonwealth Office consular officials are aware of imminent deportations, either from local authorities or the prisoners themselves, they will offer appropriate assistance and, in the case of serious offences, inform the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. These details will also be noted by consular officials on individual electronic case files. But the number of deportations is not held centrally and it would incur disproportionate cost to collate the information requested by the noble Lord. We have not made any recent representations to US authorities on this issue.

Female Genital Mutilation

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: We were disappointed that a provision in the recent Child Rights Bill in Sierra Leone specifically referring to initiation practices was removed. However, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said that the Bill nevertheless protects children against any harmful practice.

We support the Government of Sierra Leone’s statement in their reproductive health policy, which states that they are “committed to limiting all forms of gender-based violence and other practices that are

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harmful to the health of women and children” and will seek ways to support them to deliver this commitment.

We have raised, and will continue to raise, female genital mutilation in Sierra Leone with the Government of Sierra Leone and with non-governmental organisations in the country.

Iran: HMS “Cornwall”

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The Fulton report is classified “SECRET—UK EYES ONLY”.

Licensing

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Government have approved applications for six selective licensing designation areas to date, details of which are set out in the table below. The department is not currently in discussion with any other local authority over the establishment of a scheme.

Local AuthorityAreaEstimated Number of Rented Properties subject to Selective LicensingEffective Date of the scheme

City of Manchester

Harpurhey Ward and Lightbowne area of Moston Ward

1,184

3 August 2007

City of Manchester

Bradford Ward

516

3 August 2007

City of Manchester

Gorton North and Gorton South Wards

1,818

2 November 2007

Gateshead

Sunderland Road Area

363

25 September 2007

Middlesbrough

Gresham Ward and part of Middlehaven Ward

838

5 June 2007

City of Salford

Seedley and Langworthy Renewal Area

517

25 May 2007



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Prisoners: Release Under Licence

Baroness Stern asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Decisions to recall offenders on licence are taken on the basis of the severity of the breach and the potential risk of reoffending presented by the offender. Although data on the reasons for recall are not held centrally, identifying the number of breaches in every case would be a manual exercise and, as such, would incur disproportionate cost.

Railways: Tickets

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Presently there are a limited number of ticket vending machines at East Midlands stations and these are to be found only at principal locations. Stagecoach Midland Rail, which will operate the new East Midlands franchise from 11 November this year, will progressively install a minimum of 65 self-service ticket vending machines across the franchise to reduce ticket office queues.

The booking office at Newark Castle will be reopened.

Zimbabwe: EU-AU Conference

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Government have been clear in their commitment to Africa and the EU-Africa relationship and their support for an EU-Africa summit later this year that delivers real results. Our position is that we support holding a summit that is consistent with the EU common position on Zimbabwe. All EU partners are working towards a successful summit that is in the best interests of our shared objectives for Africa.

Zimbabwe: Money Laundering

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Government hold information concerning the total amount of assets frozen in the UK only of those who are subject to targeted measures under the EU common position. To date, 42 accounts have been frozen, containing approximately £172,000. Regular and ongoing co-operation with EU partners occurs in order to prevent those subject to the EU’s targeted measures moving their assets to or from accounts elsewhere in the EU. Where suspicious transactions are identified, they are investigated by the appropriate national authorities, which in the case of the UK are HM Treasury and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.


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