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18 Dec 2007 : Column WA113

Written Answers

Tuesday 18 December 2007

Airports: Stansted

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Government’s support for expansion at Stansted—including maximising the use of the current runway and the construction of a second runway—is set out in the 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper. BAA sits as an observer on the Department for Transport’s Stansted project board and is therefore present during discussions on project progress. This group manages the work that it is necessary for the Government to undertake in order to ensure the delivery of its policies relating to increased capacity at Stansted. BAA’s director of Stansted Generation 2 regularly meets senior officials in the department to update them on BAA’s progress towards submitting its planning application for a second runway. The department has engaged with BAA to ensure that BAA’s surface access modelling work complies with the department’s standards. The respective legal and policy teams have also met to discuss timetabling and to ensure that all the necessary legal procedures are on track.

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: For the 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper, the department assessed and consulted on a range of environmental impacts associated with new runway options at Stansted. Since then, BAA has carried out a detailed appraisal of the impacts of a proposed second runway and is close to being able to submit a planning application for this. As part of this assessment, the department has worked with BAA to examine the impacts of a second runway on the strategic road and rail networks.

Asylum Seekers: Unaccompanied Children

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A case owner who is seeking to return a child will work closely with

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representatives of the country concerned, non-governmental organisations both in the UK and in the country of return and the local authority looking after the child in the UK to ensure that acceptable arrangements are in place for the reception and care of the child on return.

Arrangements vary from case to case and country to country but are usually that a parent, guardian or other person who can be trusted to care for the child’s welfare will be able to meet the child at the port of arrival and care for them thereafter. This case-by-case consideration means that a formal system of monitoring is not considered necessary.

Banking: Loss of Tax Revenue

Baroness Miller of Hendon asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Table B8 of the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review (Cm 7227) contains an updated estimate for the main components of public sector receipts for the current fiscal year, as well as the changes to the estimates of individual taxes since Budget 2007. These changes include the allowance made in the Pre-Budget Report for the impact of financial market turbulence on receipts from corporation tax and income tax and national insurance contributions, along with other factors. Updated estimates for tax receipts will be provided in Budget 2008.

Benefits: Personal Care

Baroness Thomas of Winchester asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Individuals have been able to have a cash payment, called a direct payment, in lieu of a social care service since 1997. With a direct payment, an individual can choose to contract directly with individuals or purchase services from agencies. If someone decides to employ a personal assistant directly (even for only a few hours a week), they have the same legal responsibilities as any employer has towards their employee.

We know that these sorts of responsibilities—for example, paying tax and national insurance and arranging liability insurance and the provision of statutory leave entitlements—can be a barrier to the

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uptake of direct payments. Local councils should consider ways of making support mechanisms available to help direct payments recipients to manage their new responsibilities as employers.

Community Leadership Fund

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The assessment criteria for awarding grants from the Community Leadership Fund are:

the extent to which the proposal aligns with the stated objectives of the fund;the level of change that the proposed work will realise and the value for money; andthe capacity of the applicant to deliver the proposed work.

All applicants will also be checked to ensure that they meet the terms of the statutory authority under which the grants are made (the Charities Act 2006) and government financial requirements.

Funding decisions are taken by the Secretary of State on the advice of a panel of civil servants. Experienced and knowledgeable advice on Islam, Muslim communities and other communities is provided by three Muslim community advisers engaged by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Each project funded by the Community Leadership Fund is evaluated individually against the project activities and the measures for effectiveness agreed at the start of that project.

Embryology

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 21 November 2007 (Official Report, col. WA78) to an identical Question from his Lordship.



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Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill provides that no embryo other than a permitted embryo may be implanted in a woman. This would mean that any embryo containing any animal material, even when that animal material would be destined to become extra-embryonic tissue, is prohibited from implantation into a woman. The Home Office would not permit the implantation of such an embryo into an animal. This reflects the Government’s commitment to a ban on reproductive cloning.

If greater regulatory control over this activity was shown to be necessary in future, then the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill provides the power to extend the remit of the 1990 Act, through the regulation-making power provided by new Section 4A(5)(e).

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' Green-top Guideline No.5, on the management of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), contains detailed information on the symptoms, diagnosis and classification of severity of OHSS. This is a markedly different document from

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the public consultation document issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which gave a general description of the risks associated with egg donation. The HFEA has advised me that it does not believe there is anything contradictory between the two documents.

Information on the incidents of adverse clinical effects associated with OHSS occurring in each HFEA licensed centre, and whether treatment was discontinued where OHSS was suspected, is not routinely collectedly by the HFEA. However, I have asked the HFEA to make an analysis of the incident reports referred to in my Answer given on 5 December (Official Report, col. WA196) and I will write to the noble Lord with the result, and place a copy in the Library.

Fire and Rescue Service: FiReControl

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The 2007 FiReControl business case estimates total costs for the delivery of the FiReControl project to be £1.4 billion over 15 years (2004-05 to 2019-20). The outline business case published in 2005 had previously estimated total costs to be £1 billion over 13 years (2004-05 to 2017-18). This variance is due to increased certainty on costs following the award of the IT contract and signing of the lease agreements, the addition of a further two years of running costs and annual inflation.

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Baroness Andrews: The current FiReControl full business case estimates the cost of procuring information technology at each regional control centre to be £11.5 million at 2006-07 prices. This compares with a figure of £9 million at 2005-06 prices in the outline business case published in 2005. The scope of the IT procurement expanded between the outline and full business case to include furniture, training, station-end equipment and implementation of an integrated risk management tool for the fire rescue and service.

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:



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Baroness Andrews: The forecast go-live dates for each of the nine region control centres are:

October 2009—east Midlands, north-east and south-west

January 2010—West Midlands

May 2010—south-east

September 2010—north-west

November 2010—London

January 2011—Yorkshire and Humberside

May 2011—east of England.

Estimates for the regional rollout order and earliest achievable dates for all the nine regions were first published in November 2004. When this information was published, it was made clear that it was indicative and there was a high degree of uncertainty around the dates. The rollout dates have been refined as the technology and accommodation procurements have progressed.

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Baroness Andrews: There are no capital costs required for each regional control centre because the land and buildings for the RCCs have been procured under the private developer schemes and will be leased by the local authority companies.

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Baroness Andrews: The FiReControl project will produce two types of capital assets: the buildings, which will be leased by the regional control centre companies, and the infrastructure, which will provide the networked call-handling and mobilising functionality. Three buildings have reached practical completion: east Midlands, north-east and south-west. We are currently working with EADS Defence & Security Systems Ltd in developing the infrastructure, and the first element—the data migration toolkit—will be completed shortly.

Government: Agencies

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Regional assemblies have been designated in accordance with the provisions of the

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Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 as the regional planning body (RPB) for the region, with a duty to prepare the regional spatial strategy, which includes the regional transport strategy and the regional waste strategy. In performing this function, they carry out elements of the former role of county councils in drawing up structure plans, which was abolished by the 2004 Act. This did not, however, represent a transfer of functions from counties to regions, as under the previous system structure plans had to be prepared in line with the strategic planning framework set in regional planning guidance.


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