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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The decision to suspend adoptions from Guatemala was based on: information from the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, including the Report of a Fact-Finding Mission to Guatemala in Relation to Intercountry Adoption 26 February-9 March, which is publicly available; information from the meeting of the Technical Assistance Programme to Guatemala on 11-12 September 2007 at the Hague Conference at which the report was presented; information provided by overseas Governments; and information relating to individual adoption cases.
Further to the Written Statement by Lord Adonis on 6 December 2007 (WS 215), under what powers the Minister acted in reaching the decision to suspend adoptions of Guatemalan children by United Kingdom residents, given that the relevant sections of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 are yet to be implemented. [HL1556]
The Children and Adoption Act 2006 provides in respect of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, for statutory powers for the suspension of adoptions, but the relevant provisions are not fully in force. We expect to publish a timetable for implementation of the relevant provisions shortly.
Further to the Written Statement by Lord Adonis on 6 December 2007 (WS 215), by what criteria and timescales the decision to suspend adoptions of Guatemalan children by United Kingdom residents will be monitored and reviewed. [HL1557]
Lord Adonis: The suspension will be kept under review until the Government can be satisfied that the safeguards in the Guatemalan adoption system are sufficient to properly protect children and their families. The Department for Children, Schools and Families will work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to monitor the effects on the ground of any changes to adoption legislation and practice in Guatemala.
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Further to the Written Statement by Lord Adonis on 6 December 2007 (WS 215), what consultation took place before the decision to suspend adoptions of Guatemalan children by United Kingdom residents; and with whom. [HL1558]
Lord Adonis: The decision to suspend adoptions from Guatemala was taken in consultation with Ministers in the devolved Administrations and with Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office Ministers.
Further to the Written Statement by Lord Adonis on 6 December 2007 (WS 215), how many adopters' dossiers for the adoption of Guatemalan children by United Kingdom residents had been reviewed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families at the time of the decision to suspend adoptions and will now not be processed. [HL1559]
What is their estimate of the cost of paying the widows of servicemen who married in retirement a full pension based on their husband's total pensionable service in the Armed Forces; and how that cost is calculated. [HL1462]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given by my honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the other place on 6 November 2006 (Official Report, col. 797W). The calculations have not changed since this date.
Whether the profits of the sale of Chelsea Barracks will be included in the Ministry of Defence's budget settlement for the next three years; and, if so, whether they will be ring-fenced to support housing for frontline troops. [HL1350]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The MoD will retain the full benefit from the sale of Chelsea Barracks, which will be reinvested in service accommodation. The MoD's Comprehensive Spending Review reflects anticipated receipts from the sale of Chelsea Barracks during the Comprehensive Spending Review years.
How many, and which, organisations regularly funded by Arts Council England (ACE) there were in each ACE region in the year 200708; and how many, and which, subject to an appeal process, there will be in each region in 200809. [HL1227]
Lord Davies of Oldham: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, announced in October last year that grant in aid for Arts Council England would rise to £467 million by 2010-11an increase of £50 million over current levels.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): I refer the noble Lord to the Answers I gave on 16 January, (Official Report, col. WA 248).
No central register of non-compliance is kept so it is not possible to state the level of compliance with Part L of the building regulations in all new dwellings built within the last year. An independent assessment of compliance with part L (2006) is due to begin shortly.
How many criminal prosecutions were brought by the Charity Commission for each of the last three years for which figures are available; and, of those cases, how many gave rise to a conviction. [HL1394]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Charity Commission is not a prosecutory body and so cannot bring criminal prosecutions, nor refer matters direct to the Criminal Prosecution Service. If the commission discovers evidence of suspected criminal activity within or relating to charities, it passes these to the police and other law enforcement agencies to consider and take forward. To facilitate this, the commission has, and continues to develop strong working relationships with the police and other relevant bodies.
Whether funding letters to (a) the Learning and Skills Council; (b) the Sector Skills Development Agency; (c) Ofsted; and (d) the Quality Improvement Agency contained provisions specifically related to increasing the knowledge base of the children's workforce with regard to children's speech, language and communication needs; and whether they will set out for each body what those provisions were. [HL1536]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): There is no specific mention of developing the children's workforce with regard to children's speech, language and communication needs in the current grant letters for the Sector Skills Development Agency or the Quality Improvement Agency. The Learning and Skills Council's remit letter does include support for the development of the children's workforce as a whole and Ofsted do publish survey reports on a range of aspects which can and do include matters relating to teacher training and workforce development.
The Children's Plan acknowledges the need to provide additional support to speech and language services in tackling barriers to learning. It also includes a commitment to invest further in the inclusion development programme (IDP), which aims to increase the skills of the whole early-years and school workforce in dealing with children with speech, language and communication needs.
On 11 September 2007, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and the Secretary of State for Health launched a major review of the provision of services for children and young people
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): My department issued The Children Act 1989: Guidance and Regulations Volume 1 Court Orders on 24 January. The guidance, which revises that previously issued in 1991, sets out what is meant by parental responsibility and how it can be obtained and lost. It was issued to local authority chief executives and directors of children's services and is available for free public download on my department's website. It will soon be available (as a priced publication) from The Stationery Office.
On how many occasions police have been called to children's residential homes in relation to minor offences in the last three years; and what measures are in place to reduce the use of the criminal justice system for low-level offending in children's residential homes. [HL1425]
The Government fund the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care to help promote effective practice within the children's homes sector. Sample protocols between children's homes and the police to improve joint working and reduce inappropriate reliance on the criminal justice system are being developed.
Which projects have been funded from (a) the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund and (b) any other anti-extremism funding via the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund, in each district and unitary authority area in east Lancashire in the
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Details of all projects funded through the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund in 2007-08 are available in the Library of the House. This information details which projects have been funded in each local authority; which bodies are responsible for delivering them; and the purpose of each project. Funding allocations for each local authority have also been provided. Figures for individual projects will be available from the relevant local authority.
Details of all projects funded through the Preventing Violent Extremism Community Leadership Fund in 2007-08 are also available in the Library of the House. None of the projects funded is based in the east Lancashire area.
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