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Nigeria: Country Guidance

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There are no plans to amend our country policy in the light of the tribunal’s determination, as this case was concluded on the particular facts of the individual case.

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Northern Rock

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: As set out in HM Treasury's announcement on 18 December, the guarantee arrangements for Northern Rock cover all obligations of Northern Rock plc to make payments on the repurchase of mortgages under the documentation for the “Granite” securitisation programme.


Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The draft Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008 are currently before Parliament. The proposed increase in planning application fees is aimed at enabling local authorities to recover the costs of determining fee-paying planning applications.

As part of the planning White Paper package in May 2007, the Government published the consultation paper Planning Fees in England: Proposals for Change, in which respondents were specifically asked to indicate their views on the principle of each local planning authority being able to set its own (non-profit making) planning charges in future.

The Government's response to consultation replies was published on 29 November 20071. In relation to local fee setting, opinion was divided, business being generally against the proposal and local planning authorities split. Businesses which trade across the country wanted certainty about what fees they could be charged, and local variation would frustrate this. The Government concluded that,

This would include working in consultation with the Local Government Association and other stakeholders.

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Andrews: The Planning Bill will not include proposals relating to conservation areas. However, the Government intend to publish a draft Heritage Protection Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny in spring 2008. This will set out proposals to take forward the reform programme outlined in the heritage protection White Paper Heritage Protection for the 21st Century. These include proposals to merge conservation area consent with planning permission and to amend the Demolition Direction and the General Permitted Development Order to provide that demolition and partial demolition of a building in a conservation area is classed as “development”.

Plant Health Regulations

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Under EU legislation, certain third-country plant and plant material must be inspected at the point where it first enters the EU. Where plant and plant material from a specific country can be shown not to present a plant health risk, a reduced rate of inspection reflecting that risk may be applied.

The reduced rate of inspection is determined by the European Commission in consultation with the member states according to a fixed formula. This takes account of the volume of that particular trade from the country in question over a three-year period and the history and seriousness of interceptions of quarantine pests associated with that trade. The safer a trade proves to be, coupled with the volume of trade in the particular product from that country, the lower will be the reduced inspection rate which may be applied. Therefore, the reduced inspection rate may vary for the same material depending on its origin. Where a trade already subject to a reduced frequency of inspection proves to be less safe than previously, the reduced frequency percentage may be increased according to a fixed formula back up to the maximum of 100 per cent inspections.

I have arranged for a full list of the current reduced inspection rates to be placed in the Library of the House.

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Regulators: Criminal Prosecutions

Lord Lyell of Markyate asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Financial Services Authority —The FSA's prosecutions fall into two categories: prosecutions brought under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and prosecutions under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.

Offences under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 usually relate to the failure of industrial or provident societies to provide the FSA with financial or other documents (such as balance sheets) when they are to do so. The FSA brought 41 prosecutions under this Act in the relevant period.There have been three prosecutions under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. These prosecutions were for unauthorised deposit taking, making a misleading statement to the market and for offences relating to acting as an unauthorised stockbroker.

Private Security Industry Act 2001—These offences are prosecuted by a range of different authorities, including the Crown Prosecution Service, local authorities and the Security Industry Authority itself.

Of the 335 prosecutions under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 from 2004 to 2006, 306 prosecutions were for offences related to carrying out licensable activities without a licence.Other prosecutions were for a range of offences, such as using an unlicensed wheel-clamping operative, or offences related to the Security Industry Authority's powers of entry and inspection.

Statistics Board/Office for National Statistics—All prosecutions brought by the Office for National Statistics were brought under the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. These offences usually relate to the failure to provide the Office for National Statistics with information when requested to do so in accordance with the Statistics of Trade Act.

Schools: Teachers

Lord Quirk asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The following table provides the number of full- and part-time regular qualified teachers who left service from local authority-maintained sector secondary schools in each year from 1997-98 to 2005-06, the latest year available, broken down by the total length of service. It is not known whether these teachers were leaving service permanently.

Full- and part-time1 regular qualified teachers leaving service from local authority maintained secondary schools2
Coverage: England
Length of service3
YearLess than 5 years5 and less than 10 years10 and less than 15 yearsOver 15 yearsTotal leaving service











































2004-05 (p)






2005-06 (p)






Source: Database of Teacher Records (DTR).
(p) Provisional estimates.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The rights of way legislation in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides only for the recording, on the definitive map and statement, of public rights of way that already exist and that consequently the public may already use. Therefore, when making a decision under this Act, a local highway authority, or the Secretary of State, would be beyond their jurisdiction to consider anything other than the existence of the public right of way in law. There are provisions in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that enable local authorities to manage any impact from a public right of way through a site of special scientific interest.

Utilities: Direct Debit

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): Over the years, telephone and other utility service providers have applied a price differential between customers who pay their accounts by direct debit and those who pay by other means. This reflects the increased processing and debt-management costs associated with payments not made by direct debit. Such differentials are common practice.

The independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), announced on 6 June 2007 that it would carry out a full review of communications providers' additional charges. Ofcom expects to announce the conclusions of its review soon, and progress may be monitored on its website Whilst gas and electricity suppliers also have differentials between various payment methods, they do not impose additional monthly charges for customers who do not pay by direct debit.

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