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The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): Policy on disclosure is under review. Until that review is completed I refer the noble Lord to the Answer my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence gave in the other place on 14 May 2007, (Official Report, col. 508W).
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The current allocated budget for the necessary building works required to accommodate 155 (Wessex) Transport Regiment RLC(V) upon its formation is £705,000. These funds will be utilised to facilitate the initial building works required at three of the four Territorial Army Centres (TACs) that will be used by the regiment:£37,000 to be spent in the 2008-09 financial year on the Dorchester TAC;£300,000 to be spent during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 financial years on the Poole TAC; and£368,000 allocated for the 2009-10 financial year, to be spent on the Plymouth TAC. This allocation will cover the cost of remedial building works only. A subsequent site survey has been conducted to establish the options available to meet the regiment's full requirement.
The building estimate, to provide a full refurbishment and rebuild of all facilities required by the regimental headquarters at the Plymouth TAC, exceeds the current allocation by approximately £3.9 million. Funding will continue to be sought through the department's planning round process, in competition with other priorities in the normal way.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 26 June (WA 125), how many staff remain to be considered for assimilation prior to vesting day for the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR); what recommendations were made by the Office of Government Commerce Gateway reviews of the CEHR in relation to the effectiveness of the planned transition; whether they intend to publish the Office of Government Commerce's last report, dated 30 May, about the effectiveness of the planned transition for the CEHR; and when the CEHR intends to contact the citizens advice bureau about the expectations being placed on that charity to provide advice to those individuals who do not meet the CEHR criteria. [HL4572]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The number of staff that remains to be considered for assimilation prior to vesting day is in the region of 370.
The Office of Government Commerce Gateway review report, dated 30 May, is personal to the CEO as the senior responsible officer for the CEHR programme. It is not intended to publish the report. At the last CEHR Commission Board meeting the CEO reported that the recommendations had been met or were in hand.
The commissions legal strategy is being developed. The interim legal strategy will be in place by 1 October. Any organisations impacted will be consulted, including organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau, ACAS, law centres and other local service organisations who will provide advice to individuals who do not meet the CEHR's criteria for assistance.
Whether the doctrine of collective responsibility applies to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Home Office with responsibility for Security, Lord West of Spithead, and the Minister of State for Trade and Investment in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Lord Jones of Birmingham. [HL4772]
What arrangements they have made to enable Lord Drayson to divide his duties between those with the Ministry of Defence and those with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. [HL4641]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): Lord Drayson will be supported by officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to enable him to undertake his duties.
Whether they are considering the appointment of legal guardians for children entering the country (a) where there are grounds for believing that they have been trafficked, and (b) where they are unaccompanied and have no known responsible next of kin, or properly appointed guardians; and whether they can estimate the annual cost of such provision. [HL4741]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Border and Immigration Agency staff at ports and asylum screening units refer all children to local authority childrens services if they have arrived alone or where there are concerns that a child may be at risk of harm. If there is a suspicion that a child has been trafficked, this will be reported to the appropriate authorities. The local authority will assess the care and support required under Sections 17 and 20 of the Children Act 1989. If the child becomes the responsibility of the local authority, it acts as the corporate parent through the appointed social worker. The Government do not believe, therefore, that the appointment of a guardian specifically for trafficked children is necessary or desirable.
Unaccompanied children who then go on to apply for asylum are referred to the Refugee Council children's panel of advisors, which helps find legal representatives for the child. Consequently, the Border and Immigration Agency does not currently appoint a legal representative for an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child.
Why the Meteorological Office has proposed that the United Kingdom renounce its 29-year membership of the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts, bearing in mind that such a move may mean that the centre would leave its Reading site for another country in Europe. [HL4645]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Drayson): The Met Office has not proposed that the United Kingdom renounce its membership of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The UK is supportive of the work of the centre and is committed
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The Government are committed to promoting robust governance and sound management in all international organisations where the UK is a stakeholder. Through better financial management and procurement, improved transparency and accountability, we believe the ECMWF can continue to deliver its core medium-range weather forecasting mission to a high standard without large budget increases.
The ECMWF council recently considered proposals from the Met Office aimed at improving management and procurement practices at the ECMWF which, if accepted, would resolve UK concerns over ECMWF governance and value for money. However, without such acceptance, the UK would need to reconsider its membership of the centre.
Whether they have considered the implications of the possible discontinuance of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts in the light of the current role which the United Kingdom is playing in climate change negotiations at the United Nations and the G8. [HL4646]
Lord Drayson: The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has developed useful capabilities, which we value, particularly in medium-range weather forecasting. However, ECMWF does not have a climate prediction capability.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): This issue was considered in detail by an expert group comprising representatives of law enforcement, the security and intelligence agencies and communications service providers following the terrorist attack on London in July 2005. The experts findings remain valid. They concluded that the compulsory registration of ownership of mobile telephones would not deliver any significant new benefits to the investigatory process and would dilute the effectiveness of current self-registration schemes.
Further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare on 2 February (Official Report, 614W), what basic assumptions are being tested for validity in the further work required to eliminate flaws in the life cycle assessment of disposable and reusable nappies in the United Kingdom.[HL4508]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The further work is not testing the validity of the basic assumptions in the original life cycle assessment. It is analysing disposable and reusable products for 2006 and looking at some ways the various nappies would be used to see how these affect the environmental impacts, such as how they are washed, whether they are pre-soaked and how they are dried. The findings for the different types of reusable nappies and modern disposables will then be compared.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office commissioned this report in 2006 to improve our knowledge of the nature and extent of child trafficking in the UK. We are most concerned about the plight of child victims revealed in the findings and welcome the recommendations, which are being actively pursued as part of the Government's action plan on tackling human trafficking.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 19 June (WA 60), whether there is a direct line of accountability that applies to the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland; if so, what that line of accountability is; and who has access to the deliberations or conclusions of those involved in the accountability process. [HL4660]
Lord Rooker: The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland is accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Members of Parliament are free to question and hold to account the actions of any public office through the normal parliamentary process. Through this process, Members of Parliament
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How many serving police officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland have been waiting (a) more than a year; (b) more than two years; (c) more than three years; and (d) more than five years to have disciplinary charges against them resolved. [HL4661]
Lord Rooker: The Chief Constable has advised that two police officers have been waiting for over two years to have disciplinary charges against them resolved. No officers have been waiting longer than this. No officers, other than these two, have been waiting longer than one year.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 20 December 2004 (WA 112-3), whether all court and disciplinary issues relating to an incident involving Royal Ulster Constabulary Constable Trevor Purcell during a riot on 13 July 2001 have been resolved; and when they expect proceedings in this matter to be concluded. [HL4692]
Lord Rooker: I am advised by the Chief Constable that, following the dismissal of court proceedings against Constable Purcell on 29 November 2004, misconduct proceedings were instigated against the constable by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). However, following legal submissions, the hearing was adjourned on 14 March 2006 and a judicial review called by the constable's defence. That judicial review was concluded on 31 May 2007 in favour of the PSNI. It is intended that, when the PSNI professional standards department receives an official record of the judicial review finding, the disciplinary hearing will be relisted.
Why access has been denied to Lord Maginnis of Drumglass by the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, or senior officers under his command, to the disciplinary hearing involving Constable Trevor Purcell; and whether disciplinary hearings preclude all non-legal representation or observation. [HL4693]
Lord Rooker: These are matters to be dealt with by the Chief Constable. However, Regulations 25 and 26 of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Conduct) Regulations 2000, which govern attendance at police disciplinary hearings, state that a disciplinary hearing shall be held in private. In circumstances of a complaint, the complainant is allowed to attend and, at the discretion
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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The department has not issued any recent guidance to local authorities regarding the geographical, local and historical criteria to be fulfilled in advance of the naming of new roads.
The naming of new streets is carried out under Section 17 of the Public Health Act 1925, and postal numbering is carried out under Section 64 of the Towns Improvement Clauses Act 1847. Local authorities are responsible for the naming and numbering of new streets and the changing/reallocation of individual property addresses. Many local authorities ensure that the naming of any new roads preserves some historic local connection to the area. In many cases, the council will carry out a consultation exercise with the Royal Mail, the appropriate local town or parish council and the relevant highway authority before any new name is decided.
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