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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Andy Burnham) and I today welcome the publication of the report of the Byron review of the risks to children of potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games. A copy of the report, Safer Children in a Digital World, will be placed in the Library.
In September 2007, the Prime Minister asked Dr Tanya Byron to lead an independent review to helpparents and their children to get the best from new technologies while protecting children from inappropriate or harmful material. This review has been jointly sponsored by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The objectives of the Byron review were: to undertake a review of the evidence on risks to childrens safety and well-being of exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games; to assess the effectiveness and adequacy of existing measures to help to prevent children from being exposed to such material and help parents to understand and manage the risks of access to inappropriate material; and to make recommendations for improvements or additional action.
Dr Byrons final report, published today, sets out a detailed analysis of the evidence on the risks and benefits of new technologies and evaluates the work already being done to protect children online and to ensure appropriate access to age-rated video games. In doing so, Dr Byron recognises the need to develop a shared culture of responsibility with families, industry and government all playing their part to reduce the availability of potentially harmful material, to restrict access to it by children and to increase childrens resilience and ability to understand and manage risk. We welcome and support this approach.
The creation of a new UK Council for Child Internet Safety, established by and reporting to the Prime Minister, including representation from across government, industry, childrens charities and other key stakeholders. The council is to be chaired jointly by the Home Office and DCSF. DCMS will play a key role given its important policy responsibilities and expertise in this area of media and content regulation. A range of other departments will also be closely involved.
On video games, Dr Byron recommends a range of high-profile and targeted efforts to help to inform parents and children of the appropriateness of different video games and to restrict inappropriate access such as:lowering the statutory requirement to classify video games to 12+, which is consistent with film classification and easier for parents;putting in place a hybrid classification system, using both PEGI and BBFC mechanisms with one set of symbols, from BBFC, for parents to understand;having clear and consistent guidance for industry on how games should be advertised; andchallenging industry to provide sustained and high-profile efforts to increase parents understanding of age ratings and improved parental controls.
We accept Dr Byrons recommendations in full and commend her for delivering a groundbreaking report that will make a real difference to children and young peoples lives. In particular, we would like to congratulate Dr Byron on conducting such a thorough and open process, giving all those with an interest an opportunity to engage with the review on this important debate. The Government will develop a comprehensive action plan in response to Dr Byrons recommendations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The Governments plans to reform the coroner system were set out in the draft Coroners Bill, which was published in June 2006. Extensive consultation since then has helped to refine several policy areas. Today I am publishing a briefing note that explains the policy changes and compares the revised policy with that set out in the draft Bill.
Some of the changes have been announced already, such as the addition of provisions to strengthen the public protection role of coroners and a return to the current position on the reporting of inquests. Other
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The briefing note refers to the removal from the Bill of a provision on restricting the reporting of some inquests. Instead, I have been working with the Press Complaints Commission to produce a short discussion paper on how its press code can be improved to protect bereaved families. The discussion paper also considers how the code, and the role of the commission, can be better brought to the attention of families. This paper is also being published today.
Copies of the briefing note, Coroners BillChanges made resulting from consultation, and of the discussion paper on press reporting of inquests have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.
Copies of the briefing note are also available on the internet at www.justice.gov.uk/publications/draft-coroners.htm.
Copies of the discussion paper are also available on the internet at www.justice.gov.uk/publications/coroners-sensitive-reporting.htm.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Jack Straw) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) and I wish to make the following Statement to the House. It concerns the Governments response to recommendations made by the coroners following the inquests into the tragic deaths of Gareth Myatt at Rainsbrook secure training centre in April 2004 and Adam Rickwood at Hassockfield secure training centre in August 2004.
In reply to a letter from HH Judge Richard Pollard, who presided at the inquest into Gareths death, we promised a full response to his recommendations. To that end, we have drawn up an action plan that sets out the measures that the Government and the Youth Justice Board have taken, and are taking, in response to Judge Pollards recommendations and those of Mr Andrew Tweddle, who presided at the inquest into Adams death.
We are placing copies of the action plan in the Library of the House. Copies have also been made available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. It can also be accessed on the publications section of the Ministry of Justice website at www.justice.gov.uk/publications/publications.htm or the publications section of the Department for Children, Schools and Families website at www.dfes.gov.uk/publications.
The action plan demonstrates the volume and variety of work that is being done to enhance safeguarding and child protection in the under-18 secure estate. One important strand of that work is the independent joint review of the use of restraint, which is due to report to the Ministers of State for Justice and for Children, Young People and Families by 20 June.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Purnell) has made the following Statement.
Further information on the plans of Jobcentre Plus and the Rent Service in 2008-09 is contained in their individual business plans, which have been published today. Copies have been placed in the Library. The Child Support Agencys business plan has also been placed in the Library and will be published shortly. The business plan for the Pension, Disability and Carers Service will be published in due course.
|Job Outcome Target (JOT)*|
|* The target will be a 5 per cent increase on actual outturn for 2007-08, which will be calculated in the autumn when the end-of-year JOT performance figures for 2007-08 are available|
|Interventions Delivery Target|
|Average Actual Clearance Times|
|Fraud and Error|
To prevent and detect overpayments and underpayments of benefit consistent with DWPs aspiration for the proportion of expenditure overpaid and underpaid due to fraud and error as set out in the departments business plan for 2008-09
|Customer Service Target|
|Employer Engagement Target|
To prevent and detect overpayments and underpayments of benefit consistent with DWPs aspiration for the proportion of expenditure overpaid and underpaid due to fraud and error. Prevent and detect fraud and correcting fraud and error in a minimum of 50,600 cases.
By 31 March 2009, in 69 per cent of cases across both the new and old schemes in which a liability to pay maintenance exists, the non-resident parent has either made a payment via the collection service or a maintenance direct arrangement is in place.
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