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International Development: School and NHS Links

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): Over the last five years the Department for International Development (DfID) has spent £8,287,565 on schools' links and £9,000,000 on higher education links with developing countries from its bilateral programme. DfID also assists higher education links through its support for Commonwealth scholarships, totalling nearly £50 million over the last five years.

In support of NHS Links, £500,000 has been allocated to the Developing Global Partnerships to Improve Health Capacity in Less Developed Countries project over the financial years 2006-07 to 2008-09. This funding, through the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), is to support the establishment of links and the capacity-building of existing links, health systems and workers. In addition, as of July 2007, DfID is providing approximately £2 million over two years, through a consortium managed by the Liverpool Associates in Tropical Health, to strengthen health systems in the Somali Republic. The largest component of this support, approximately £1 million, is through THET and King's College Hospital.

Jordan: EU Assistance

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): European Union (EU) assistance to Jordan is provided through the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The budget for the ENPI has already been set for 2007-10. Jordan will be receiving €265 million over this period of which €17 million is for the support of human rights, democracy and good governance and €77 million for public finance and administration reforms.

Under the ENPI there is also a €350 million seven-year governance facility (GF) which rewards countries in the neighbourhood (Eastern Europe and the Middle East/North Africa) for implementing reforms towards increased human rights and democracy. Ukraine and Morocco received GF funds in 2007. The UK has been working closely with the European Commission and other EU member states to ensure that the GF has a transparent and objective allocation process which both rewards and encourages reform.

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Justice: Overseas Visits

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There is no central record kept of all those visitors to the United Kingdom who are judges, prosecutors and judges. However, information from the Ministry of Justice, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) shows approximate numbers of annual visits. The Ministry of Justice hosts approximately 300 visiting judges annually, including approximately 100 from south-eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The Ministry also hosts visits from senior officials, legal academics and others with an interest in Ministry of Justice areas of work.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) receives a regular flow of visitors from overseas. In addition to prosecutors, in recent years they have received visits from Ministers, judges, investigating magistrates and senior officials. They have received the following visits from countries on or near the Mediterranean and Black Sea: four in 2007, six in 2006 and two in 2005.

In addition to the above, in November 2007 the CPS hosted a three-day visit from a party of 10 prosecutors from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen in co-operation with the UN Development Programme.

The NPIA currently hosts approximately 350 senior international police officers annually: 40 European Mediterranean officers on the European Police College (CEPOL) Programme from the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Morocco, Algiers, Turkey; 90 on the CEPOL Bramshill programme; 200 on NPIA international leadership and specialist courses; and 20 on other European programmes. Additionally, NPIA also hosts a number of justice sector personnel (judges, prosecutors and civil servants in the programmes referred to above).


Lord Hunt of Chesterton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Following the publication of the Royal Society and

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Royal Academy of Engineering report, the Defra-chaired Nanotechnologies Research Co-ordination Group (NRCG) was established in 2005. Its role is to co-ordinate and oversee research into characterising the risks posed by manufactured nanomaterials and the products of nanotechnology.

The work of the NRCG has been taken forward by five task forces, comprising representatives from government departments, their agencies, the research councils and members of the academic and industrial communities. The task forces have developed action plans and commissioned research to address objectives to fill the gaps in our knowledge. Over £10 million has been spent by government departments on nanotechnology environmental, health and safety research since 2005. The Government's second research report was published on 19 December outlining progress and setting out a strategy for prioritising and funding further risk-related research projects.

National Parks

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Although Defra has published guidance on these regulations, the guidance does not prescribe how an inspector should decide that a person's views are irrelevant under Regulation 10(4). Defra expects inspectors to use their discretion within the terms of Regulation 10(4).

Orange Halls

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: PSNI has advised that statistics on recorded criminal damage offences, including attempts, involving an Orange Hall are available from only 2001-02. The following table details these statistics.

The information requested on convictions would necessitate a manual trawl through files across departments and police districts which would incur a disproportionate cost.

These attacks are to be condemned and anyone with any information should bring it to the police.

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Criminal damage offences recorded where the location of the offence is an Orange Hall 2001-02 to 21 December 2007
Year2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-062006-07April 07-21 Dec 07

Number of offences recorded








Source: Central Statistics Unit, PSNI

Please note that these figures are provisional and may be subject to revision.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: There are currently no plans to amend legislation. The Orange Order is entitled to make claims for statutory compensation in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Damage (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977. Following a meeting in February between the then Secretary of State and representatives of the Orange Order, Ministers have been working with the Orange Order, PSNI and the Compensation Agency to ensure that the existing system operates more effectively.

Palace of Westminster: Public Entrance

Lord Berkeley asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Work started on the visitor reception building on 9 January 2006 with an original planned completion date of 8 September 2006. It is now expected that the building will open in mid-February 2008.

The original cost for the building as stated in the business case was £8,687,500. Taking into account the delay and remedial work, by 1 November 2007 the cost was estimated at £11,200,000. While this is now expected to be the total cost of the building, some additional equipment will cost up to £250,000. All the costs are shared between the Commons and Lords in the proportion of 60:40.A lessons learnt review will examine the reasons for the delay and cost overrun.

Planning: Design Review

Baroness Whitaker asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The final report from the Callcutt review of the house-building industry was published on 22 November. Her Majesty's Government are currently considering the report and its recommendations and assessing the appropriate responses to them.

The Government take the issue of design quality very seriously. The housing Green Paper published in July 2007 set out how we intend to eliminate poor development over time. We consider that expert advice on schemes at the pre-planning stage can play an important role in driving better standards, and we currently fund the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) to provide a free service that reviews significant schemes at national level. CABE is also providing support for the establishment of design review panels at regional level.

As announced in the housing Green Paper, the Government are commissioning a light-touch review of CABE. This review will consider how its programmes can strategically inform and support both its sponsor departments' priorities most effectively, including maximising its contribution to good design as we expand housing growth. This will include consideration of how we can maximise the effectiveness of its design review function.

Police: Search Warrants

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Section 15 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the PACE Code of Practice B set out the requirements for a constable when seeking a warrant to enter and search premises. In making the application, the police must specify in writing the enactment under which the application is made, the premises to be searched, the object of the search, the grounds for the application, the grounds for either limited or unlimited repeat entries, where applicable, and that there are no grounds to believe that the material sought is not of a status precluded from seizure under the warrant.

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A constable must take reasonable steps to ensure that information justifying the application is accurate, recent and not provided maliciously or irresponsibly; ascertain as specifically as possible the nature of the articles concerned and their location; make reasonable enquiries to establish if anything is known about the occupier, the premises and whether the premises have been searched previously; obtain written authorisation for the application from an officer of inspector rank or above; and, if there is reason to believe a search might have an adverse impact on police community relations, the officer in charge should consult the community liaison officer before or as soon as possible after the search.

Information is not collected centrally on the number of search warrants executed by the police.

Prisons: Northern Ireland

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: On 18 December 2007 my right honourable friend the Minister of State (Paul Goggins) formally announced a comprehensive plan for the provision of prison places in Northern Ireland over the next 10 years. Included in the announcement was a decision to develop a detailed plan for a brand new prison on the site of the existing Magilligan Prison. On the same day he placed the full Options Appraisal in the Library of the House; Appendix J of that report is the site research paper which refers to the potential alternative sites.

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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Health Act 2006 includes powers to make regulations for specific non-enclosed places to be smoke-free if there is “significant risk that, without designation, persons present there would be exposed to significant quantities of smoke”. At present the Government do not intend to make any non-enclosed place smoke-free.

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