|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Whether there is any requirement on BAA to give equal prominence in its signage in Heathrow Terminal 5 to London Underground services as to those operated by itself, Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express. [HL2319]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: I understand that there is a legal agreement between BAA and London Underground Limited which, among other things, requires BAA to provide equal wayfinding signage for rail and underground services in Terminal 5.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): In Ready for work: full employment in our generation we announced that we would amend regulations to increase Jobcentre Plus adviser discretion so that a lone parent who is claiming JSA will not be penalised if they leave a job, or fail to take up a job, because appropriate affordable childcare is not available.
Under the Childcare Act 2006, from April 2008 all local authorities in England and Wales are required to take reasonable steps to secure sufficient childcare to meet the needs of working parents. In doing so, they must have particular regard to the needs of lower-income working families. In determining an appropriate level of supply in their areas, local authorities will liaise with local Jobcentre Plus management to assess projected levels of demand from parents moving from welfare into work and to ascertain any specific requirements our customers have. The reforms announced in Ready for Work apply only to lone parents with school-aged children. In England, the aim is that all schools will offer extended school services by 2010, including for school holiday periods.
The provisions of the Childcare Act do not extend to Scotland. However, the devolved Administration has a stated objective of improving the availability of childcare for working parents and has invested significantly in this area in recent years. Following discussions, officials in the Scottish Executive have indicated that the projected levels of increased demand for childcare in Scotland resulting from these regulations can easily be absorbed by current provision.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Those who were citizens of Eire on 1 January 1949 could opt to remain a British subject under Section 4(2) of the British Nationality Act 1948. Such people continue to have that right under the British Nationality Act 1981.
Those who have no claim to British subject status would need to naturalise, in the same way as other foreign nationals, in order to become British citizens. For this purpose, the term Irish citizen would refer to those recognised by the Irish Government under their current legislation as being their nationals. When applying for citizenship, this would normally be demonstrated by possession of an Irish passport.
How long passengers in the Exeter area will be expected to use class 142 (or similar) units which were built as modified Leyland National bus bodies and which are regarded as obsolete by the bus industry.[HL2268]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): Since 1998-99, the Government have halted the rising trend of child poverty and 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative low-income; up to a further 300,000 will be lifted out of poverty as a result of last year's CSR and budget.
Since 1997, the Government have radically reformed the system of financial support for families, and by April 2009, families with children will be on average £1,800 a year better off in real terms as a result of the Government's reforms to the personal tax and benefit system. Families with children in the poorest fifth of the population will be on average £4,000 a year better off in real terms.
We are discussing changes to improve the lives of families with children; improving parents' access to training in and out of work and helping lone parents with older children prepare for and actively seek work. And, through last year's budget and the Children's Plan setting out further policies and measures to improve children's life chances and investing in improving services for children.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): All areas have restorative justice schemes in order to deliver youth justice out of court disposals and referral orders. There is no requirement on local criminal justice boards to set up adult restorative justice schemes, but a survey carried out in May 2006 showed that 13 boards were delivering a variety of adult restorative justice initiatives at all stages of the criminal justice system and 13 boards had appointed a restorative justice lead person. Since the survey, six more boards have appointed a restorative justice lead person and the conditional caution has been extended nationally, which provides a further opportunity to deliver adult restorative justice where appropriate.
Whether they plan to hold discussions with the police, fire and ambulance authorities with a view to reducing noise and light pollution from sirens and blue lights in central London, especially during the hours of darkness. [HL2311]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The use of sirens by the police and other emergency services is controlled by Regulation 99 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. This permits the use of sirens only when it is necessary or desirable to do so either to indicate to other road-users that the vehicle is responding to an urgent incident or to warn other road-users of the presence of the vehicle on the road.
Use of blue warning lights is controlled under the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended. These permit blue lights to be fitted to emergency vehicles, including vehicles used for police purposes. The aim is to prevent excessive use, as this could diminish the impact of the lights. Use of the lights is not mandatory but they may be used at emergency scenes, to indicate urgency when on the way to such scenes, or to warn others of the presence of the vehicle or a hazard on the road.
It is for the emergency services to consider how best to use sirens and lights for maximum effectiveness and minimum environmental disturbance. Subject to the regulations and any guidance from those services, drivers of emergency vehicles are expected to use their professional judgment to decide when and where the use of sirens and blue lights is appropriate. Drivers ought to be fully aware that sirens must be used with restraint, particularly at night, so as not to cause a nuisance to residents or other road users. There will, however, always be occasions when it is necessary for the emergency services to use sirens and/or blue lights in the interests of road safety and the protection of the public.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The immediate priority to facilitate reform of the European Court of Human Rights is the entry into force of Protocol 14. Russia is the only remaining Council of Europe member state yet to ratify the protocol. Now that the Russian presidential elections have been completed, the Government hope that Russia will ratify the protocol as soon as possible.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A Written Ministerial Statement was placed before the House on 7 March 2007. It confirms that we have signed memoranda of understanding (MoU), and have arrangements for the return of failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants with many countries, including China. The content of the MoU is confidential for operational reasons.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): No Government have ever been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are illegally in the UK as a whole, or specifically in Northern Ireland. By its very nature, it has been impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case.
Exit controls were phased out from 1994. As part of the Government's 10-point plan for delivery, by Christmas 2008 the majority of foreign nationals will be counted in and out of the country. This will build on the successes of our early testing of the e-borders programme (Project Semaphore) which already covers more than 30 million passenger movements and has led to 18,000 alerts and more than 1,500 arrests.
This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global rollout of fingerprint visas, compulsory watch-list checks for all travellers from high-risk countries before they land in Britain and ID cards for foreign nationals.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government of Iraq are working to establish a system of security and justice based on the rule of law. This will only be achieved when all Iraqi citizens have confidence that justice and law enforcement institutions are empowered and capable of administering justice impartially.
We are actively working with the Iraqi Government in support of their work towards this goal, as part of wider coalition efforts. We have provided technical support to a range of justice sector institutions, including the Iraqi police service, the Iraqi correctional service and the judiciary. We are also
11 Mar 2008 : Column WA224
Our work is designed to complement Iraqi and other international efforts and all our work is designed so as to be sustainable by the Iraqi authorities in the longer term. We evaluate our work carefully to ensure that we are building professional capability that will deliver real change on the ground. We seek continually to adjust our approach to respond to changing circumstances on the ground and our evaluation of what has been delivered.
Real change in how justice is administered in Iraq must be led by the Iraqi Government. While there has been some progress in building respect for the rule of law, long-term challenges remain. The parallel efforts of the UK and others to support security improvements and political reconciliation will also help create the conditions for the rule of law to operate effectively and fairly in Iraq.
Further to the Statement by Lord Malloch-Brown on 21 February (Official Report, cols. 3468), whether any prisoners captured in Iraq have been held within 100 miles of Diego Garcia; if so, when; and by whom. [HL2093]
As I said in my Statement to the House on 21 February 2008 (Official Report, cols. 346-8), the US Government have assured us that no US detainees have ever been held on Diego Garcia. US investigations show no record of any other rendition through Diego Garcia, other than the two occasions notified to us by the US and reported in my Statement.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 29 January (WA 112) on Regulators: Criminal Prosecution, what were the categories of offences for which the prosecutions were brought. [HL2155]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Information Commissioner's office has confirmed that prosecutions it has brought are for offences under one or more sections of the Data Protection Act 1998 as detailed below:
|Year||Section 17||Section 47||Section 55|
|* In one case, two defendants faced 44 offences each; in another case, two defendants faced 39 offences.|
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|