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Further to the announcement by the Minister for Public Health, Dawn Primarolo, on 6 February regarding additional funding for contraception services, whether a proportion of (a) the £14 million allocated to strategic health authorities for innovative service delivery in the area of contraceptive provision, and (b) the £12.8 million allocated to primary care trusts for improving access to contraceptive services, will be ring-fenced for improving the accessibility of contraceptives after termination of pregnancy, particularly in the light of their latest statistics showing that 32 per cent of women who had a termination in 2006 had previously undergone one or more abortions; and [HL2470]
What plans exist to monitor the way in which (a) strategic health authorities spend the £14 million allocated to them for innovative service delivery in the area of contraceptive provision; and (b) primary care trusts spend the £12.8 million allocated to them for improving access to contraceptive services and on services designed to reduce the number of repeat abortions among young women, including the provision of advice on contraception after termination; and [HL2471]
What will be the process for the national evaluation of strategic health authorities' ideas for improved contraceptive provision, which would attract some of the additional funding announced by the Minister for Public Health, Dawn Primarolo, on 6 February; and whether any weighting will be given to ideas designed specifically to reduce the number of repeat abortions through the provision of advice on contraception after termination to address the 32 per cent of terminations carried out in women who have previously undergone one or more abortions. [HL2472]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): On 6 February my right honourable friend the Minister of State (Dawn Primarolo) announced £26.8 million funding to improve access to contraceptive services; £12.8 million of this funding will be allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) in their main allocations. It is for PCTs to determine how this funding is allocated to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.
The remaining £14 million will be allocated to strategic health authorities (SHAs). Service level agreements (SLAs) will be negotiated with SHAs to agree how the funding should be used. Monitoring arrangements will be agreed as part of the SLA.
Proposals for commissioning a national evaluation of any pilots of innovative models of service delivery are still being drawn up. We will welcome pilots that
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What advice they are giving on risk to this year's lambs and spring-born suckled calves in the light of the fact that the bluetongue vaccine is only being licensed for stock over four months old. [HL2403]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is assessing the applications it has received for provisional marketing authorisations for bluetongue virus serotype 8 vaccines. None of the assessments has been completed, so it is not yet possible to state how any of the vaccines may be used in lambs or young calves. As soon as a provisional marketing authorisation is granted, the summary of product characteristics, which includes details of how the vaccine may be used, will be published on the VMD's website.
Lord Rooker: Vaccines for bluetongue virus serotype 8 are currently being developed. Relevant experiments on the transmission of immunity from dams to offspring have not yet been carried out. Provided sufficient levels of antibody are present in the dam, it is likely that colostral immunity would be passed to unvaccinated offspring. Such immunity might protect the offspring for around the first three months of its life. However, this needs to be confirmed experimentally.
What funding or contingency planning is in place for the National Fallen Stock Company or other bodies to provide an increased level of clearance service for fallen stock, given the risk of greater demand beyond May due to bluetongue. [HL2405]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): A partial regulatory impact assessment which identifies the benefits of electronic identification has been prepared. This is available on the Defra website.
Whether, in view of the fact that after 10 years' research no discernible trace of BSE has been discovered in sheep, they will seek from the European Union a derogation exempting the United Kingdom sheep flock from additional tracing costs arising from the proposed electronic tagging. [HL2422]
Lord Rooker: No. Council Regulation 21/2004 was put in place to address animal traceability issues identified during the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001. It was not introduced to address concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 25 February (WA 97), whether they will carry out full-scale trials before implementation of the directive requiring the electronic tagging of sheep by 2009. [HL2423]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government support people without children who are on low incomes and working full time primarily through the working tax credit (WTC). Together with the national minimum wage, tax credits have enabled the Government to guarantee minimum levels of income and tax credits entitlement for full-time workers.
The Government also provide the in-work credit to eligible lone parents, and couple parents in London, who have been on benefits for at least a year, during their first year in work. This further improves incentives to work.
From October 2008, a pilot will test a new better-off-in-work credit, which will seek to ensure that long-term
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The Government keep the tax and benefit system under review with a view to ensuring that workers who see an increase in their gross income also see an increase in their net income, to maintain incentives to work. Since 1997, the Government have reduced by 540,000 the number of households facing marginal deduction rates of over 70 per cent, so more households can keep more of their income as they progress in work.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): A package of measures has been put in place to improve compliance with part L of the building regulations, as identified at page 15 of the 2007 United Kingdom energy efficiency action plan. These included a major dissemination and training campaign, the introduction of mandatory pressure testing, simplified guidance, extending the time period for local authorities to prosecute and more use of self-certification schemes.
Monitoring the Sustainability of Dwellings was published in February 2007 to meet, among other things, the statutory requirements of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006. It includes a progress report on improving compliance with relevant provisions of the building regulations which have been made in connection with the use of fuel and power for the purposes of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, and is the document referred to on page 21 of the action plan. The report is available on the department's website and can be downloaded via the link at www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/381414.
Whether they will include provisions for a coastal access corridor in the forthcoming Marine Bill; and, if so, whether those provisions will apply to England, Wales and Scotland or only to some of those countries. [HL2370]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government propose to publish the draft Marine Bill including provisions on coastal access in early spring of this year. The coastal access provisions within the Bill will only apply to England.
What is their response to the statement by Professor Justin St John at the University of Warwick that transferring a human cell into recipient pig eggs will generate the first human only cloned embryonic stem cell line, as quoted on the website of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. [HL2524]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The statement by Professor Justin St John is an extract from the lay summary of a research licence application taken from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) website that is currently before the HFEA for consideration. Decisions on the licensing of such research is a matter for the HFEA.
Whether they have anything to add to the Answer by Baroness Vadera to the first supplementary question on 19 March (Official Report, col. 252) about the proposed National Nuclear Laboratory and the process of tendering for the management contract. [HL2741]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): I would like to clarify my Answer about the proposed National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). NNL is being set up with the intention of protecting the skills of Nexia Solutions, in particular with respect to decommissioning skills. Its major clients will be the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the site licence companies, including at Sellafield. BERR will finalise the business case for the NNL when it is clearer about the revenue stream from the Sellafield site licence company, whose research programme will have a significant impact on NNL's immediate revenue. The process for the contracting of the site licence for Sellafield is current. In the mean time, Nexia Solutions has been able to carry on providing its vital services to industry and the NDA without interruption. We anticipate the setting up of NNL as soon as the business case is agreed.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Environment Agency have records of 198 fisheries (instruments or groups of instrument) holding certificates of privilege. Of these only seven across England and Wales are recorded as having recently (in the past 10 years) operated or as being now operable.
Lord Rooker: Privileged fixed-engine certificates are known to exist for instruments on 13 rivers in which the salmon stock did not meet its conservation limit in 2006. The six privileged fixed-engine fisheries that have operated recently and remain operable are all on rivers in which the salmon stock exceeded the conservation limit in 2006. Three of these fisheries are on the Severn. There is evidence that these fisheries also exploit salmon returning to the River Wye where the salmon stock has failed to meet the conservation limit.
Lord Rooker: The Government recognise the potential deleterious effect that unrestricted fisheries operating under certificate of privilege can have on fish stocks and fisheries in rivers not meeting their conservation limits. For that reason, we are proposing to introduce new legislation that will enable the Environment Agency, as fisheries managers, to control the effectiveness of these instruments in order to limit the number of salmon which they can take; where the agency considers it necessary to do so for the protection of fisheries.
How many salmon netting stations operating under certificates of privilege in rivers not meeting their conservation limits have changed their method of operating from that identified at the time of the granting of the certificates. [HL2445]
Lord Rooker: The River Severn salmon stock exceeds the conservation limit but there is evidence that fishery stations operating here also exploit salmon returning to the River Wye, the stock of which does not meet the conservation limit.
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