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4 Feb 2008 : Column WA149



4 Feb 2008 : Column WA149

Written Answers

Monday 4 February 2008

Bank of England

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Under the Bank of England Act 1998, the Governor of the Bank of England is appointed for a period of five years. The governor’s current term of office expires on 30 June 2008. The timetable followed is established in line with this. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 30 January 2008 that Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the governor for a further five-year term.

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): No, it is not normal or common practice to place in the public domain detailed contracts due to commercial sensitivity.

Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): As my honourable friend, James Plaskitt, announced on 25 July, (Official Report, Commons, col. 87WS) and on 22 January, (Official Report, Commons, cols.48-49WS) urgent expenditure estimated at £300,000 has been met by repayable cash advances from the

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Contingencies Fund for the recruitment costs of the C-MEC chair, commissioner and non-executive board and £1,012,000 for the financial and human resources system.

If the Bill were to fall, the two Contingencies Fund advances would need to be repaid to the Treasury, and any expenditure incurred under them would be lost. If the Bill were to be substantially amended, any financial effects would depend on the nature of the amendments, and in particular whether they had a bearing on the areas covered by the two advances.

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Copies of the Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics are placed in the Library on publication. The latest figures were published on Wednesday 30 January and copies are available in the Library.

Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: No.

Conservation: Haslar Hospital

Lord Howarth of Newport asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Royal Haslar Hospital will remain an asset of the Ministry of Defence until December 2009. Prior to disposal, the department will engage with Gosport Borough Council, the local planning authority, with regard to its future use.

Many of the buildings and historic structures are listed and therefore benefit from statutory protection.



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Crime: Community Service

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): It is already the case that probation areas require persons sentenced to unpaid work (the current name for community service) to undertake projects that involve clearing litter. Unpaid work must not replace paid employment.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: A broad estimate of the number of hours of unpaid work (formerly community service) that are carried out by offenders on behalf of the community each year is given in the table below. The data are available only for the past three years and are estimated on the basis of the actual hours ordered and the rate of successful completions. All figures are gathered from large scale administrative systems which may be subject to input errors.

YearEstimated Hours Worked (millions)

2006/07

6.7

2005/06

6.3

2004/05

5.2

Democratic Republic of Congo

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The agreement signed with the Republic of Congo on 22 January 2008 is intended to facilitate the evacuation of British nationals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the event of a crisis. The UK entered into the agreement as a routine precaution. It forms part of the consular contingency plan of our embassy in Kinshasa and is not connected with efforts to end the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



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We will consult the Government of the Republic of Congo as to whether they are content for a copy of the agreement to be placed in the Library of the House.

Demonstrations

Lord Williams of Elvel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Metropolitan Police Service authorises and implements road closures for demonstrations. The Metropolitan Police Service has a dedicated traffic team which liaises closely with transport-user partners to minimise the disruption that demonstrations create.

Details of forthcoming road closures are publicised through a number of channels including the Metropolitan Police Service website, local newspapers via Transport for London and dot-matrix signs on all major roads approaching London.

Egypt: Identity Cards

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): On 23-24 January, the European Union and Egypt were scheduled to hold a meeting of the sub-committee on political dialogue and human rights, established under the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.

At the request of the Egyptian Government this meeting was postponed. No new date has yet been found, but we encourage the European Commission and the Egyptian Government to set a new date soon.

Elections: Voting Age

Lord Tyler asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): Ministers will consider next steps on the proposed Youth Citizenship Commission in the light of Lord Goldsmith’s Citizenship Review.



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Enforced Disappearance

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK regularly considers progress in the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers on the implementation of judgments by the European Court of Human Rights against a number of states. The committee last did so in December 2007. The Government fully support the work of the European Court of Human Rights and full implementation of its judgments by Council of Europe member states.

In EU and bilateral human rights consultations with the Russian Government, the UK regularly raises its concerns over ongoing human rights violations, including cases of enforced disappearances in the North Caucasus region. We have consistently urged the Government of Turkey to pursue a comprehensive policy of reforms to ensure comprehensive alignment with EU standards and we will continue to do so.

It is important to stabilise the North Caucasus region. To this end, we have assisted development through our £1 million bilateral Global North Caucasus Education Initiative, the European Commission’s €20 million technical aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States programme for the North Caucasus as well as by supporting specific projects through dedicated funds such as the Global Conflict Prevention Pool.

EU: Parliamentary Scrutiny

Lord Vinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The information requested cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

Lord Vinson asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Malloch-Brown: The Government are committed to working closely with the parliamentary European Union scrutiny committees of both Houses to ensure effective scrutiny of the numerous documents and legislation proposals deposited annually for scrutiny. The Government work hard to avoid using the provisions of the scrutiny reserve resolutions of both Houses in order to allow them to support agreement of instruments adopted by the Council of Ministers before our parliamentary scrutiny procedures have been fully completed in one or both Houses. The trend of overrides has been declining. There are few cases where Ministers take decisions on matters where the scrutiny committees have been unable to consider and express a view. Overrides usually reflect an accelerated pace of development in EU discussions which overtakes debate in Parliament. In those cases the Government will have received the views of the scrutiny committees at earlier stages in the process. In all cases Ministers explain in writing to the chair of the scrutiny committees why agreement was necessary.

EU: Reform Treaty

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The conferral of legal personality on the EU by the Lisbon treaty will in no way diminish the freedom to criticise the EU.

EU: Select Committee Recommendations

Lord Vinson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The information requested cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.


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