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Fluoridation

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The British Fluoridation Society has a wide range of contacts with academic bodies, professional associations and

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other voluntary organisations here and abroad. Its advice on infant formula, which is now also available on the National Fluoride Information Centre's website, replicates that given by the American Dental Association and the Centre for Disease Control.

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The University of York identified 88 research studies relating to dental fluorosis of which only one was ranked in category B (evidence of moderate quality) and the remainder in category C (lowest quality of evidence). The researchers qualify their estimates of the extent of fluorosis of aesthetic concern by reporting that “the precision of these rough estimates is low”.

We share the British Fluoridation Society's view that new research is required, which is why the department is funding a project aimed at measuring the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis.

Health: London Review

Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The information requested is not held centrally.

Proposals for changes to services are a matter for the National Health Service locally. The department does not hold information on the detailed breakdown of Healthcare for London's costs and responses—this is available directly from NHS London.

The noble Baroness may wish to raise this issue locally with NHS London.



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Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The information requested is not held centrally.

Proposals for changes to services are a matter for the National Health Service locally. The department does not hold information on the detailed breakdown of Healthcare for London's costs and responses—this is available directly from NHS London.

The noble Baroness may wish to raise this issue locally with NHS London.

Health: Next-stage Review

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The estimated costs of consultation undertaken by strategic health authorities (SHAs) as part of the nationwide National Health Service next-stage review, Our NHS, Our Future, is not held centrally. The committed spend on Our NHS, Our Future activity and materials organised and produced nationally by the department in 2007-08 is £3 million. The review process is ongoing and we do not have a final figure at this stage.

Implementation of the final report's recommendations will depend on what those recommendations are. The final report, to be published in June, will include details of how the recommendations will be implemented. Implementation of new models of care is of course a matter for local organisations.

The department has purchased the services of a range of consultancies during 2007-08 and some of this activity will have contributed to work in connection

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with the next-stage review. The project team itself has procured consultancy services from 15 companies.

These organisations have assisted the project team in a range of areas including the following:

supporting the development of the SHA strategic visions and the contributing reports of the 74 local clinical pathway groups;design and facilitation of review events; andcommunications including production of materials, including the interim report, and website management.

The total amount paid to these companies is approximately £2.6 million.

Iraq: Food Security

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We welcome the report as an attempt to disseminate existing scientific evidence. Understanding the science of climate change is key to creating the political conditions for a global agreement on greenhouse gas reduction and allowing Governments and international organisations to better prepare for the consequences of climate change. The transition to a low-carbon, high-growth global economy is crucial to our security and prosperity.

Climate change will hit the poorest countries hardest. While scientific models of the distribution of climate change effects are uncertain, as this report indicates, the Middle East is predicted to be at considerable risk over the next 60 to 90 years. As this report highlights, most models suggest water availability is likely to decline in the region and this could have serious consequences for food production.

However, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (November 2007) concluded that even with the combined challenges of population growth and climate change, global capacity to produce staple food commodities is unlikely to be compromised. Certain regions may increasingly depend on imports from other countries but, at the global level, higher productivity is likely to compensate for this.

We welcome the growing international debate linking climate change and security, such as the recent EU report presented to the spring Council. Food security is an important part of this debate and will increasingly become an issue, even if overall global capacity is not compromised. We are taking the security impacts of climate change very seriously, continuing to develop our evidence base and analysing its impacts on our own policies. We are also supporting the work of the World Bank and other international organisations to assist developing countries in preparing for the effects of climate change.



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Iraq: Prisoners

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

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): As it will take time to prepare the information necessary to respond to this Question, I will write to the noble Lord as soon as officials have provided me with the details and arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Iraq: Women and Girls

Baroness Northover asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government share the noble Baroness's concerns about the Iraqi girls and women who have turned to prostitution in Syria. We are assisting these women through contributions to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is leading the international humanitarian response to the Iraqi refugee situation. In March, the Department for International Development announced an additional £3 million contribution to the UNHCR's work with displaced Iraqis in Syria and other countries in the region. This takes its total contribution to the UNHCR to £7.75 million and its overall humanitarian contributions for Iraq to £147 million since 2003.

The UNHCR provides assistance to Iraqi refugees, including food aid and financial grants. The objective is to prevent destitution among the refugee population and avoid situations whereby young women feel forced to turn to prostitution to provide for themselves and their families. Furthermore, the UNHCR plans to expand the number and capacity of safe houses it already supports in Syria in 2008 to protect vulnerable women and children and prevent them turning to prostitution. The UNHCR is also currently exploring options for collaborating with women volunteers in areas where prostitution is particularly prevalent to help women already in the industry.



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Manchester: Regeneration

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): I refer Lord Morris to the Written Statement made by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 25 March. The work will be ongoing as projects are completed and new opportunities arise, but the role of the group will be reviewed no later than March 2009 to ensure it continues to add value.

Northern Ireland Office

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The NIO has no specific commitment to reduce the number of employees in the department.

The CSR07 settlement reduced the department's administration cost budget by 5 per cent year on year, but these reductions have been reallocated to front-line service delivery areas, so may not affect overall headcount numbers.

The department allocated its CSR settlement across spending areas in January 2008 and work is ongoing to establish final headcount figures for the three CSR07 years.

Northern Ireland: Terrorist Threat

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Government are looking forward to receiving the next IMC report at the end of April. The last report on paramilitary activity indicated dissident republicans continue to pose a real threat while the Provisional IRA is not involved in terrorist activity. Loyalist organisations clearly need to underpin their encouraging statements with action on decommissioning.



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Northern Rock

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Northern Rock has received initial cash consideration for the mortgages it has sold to Granite, and may also be entitled to receive additional deferred consideration payments from time to time. Northern Rock also receives payments of principal and interest in respect of its “seller's share”.

In addition, Northern Rock has entered into certain commercial arrangements with Granite, which provide additional economic benefits such as the cash flow provided by Granite's wholesale deposits with Northern Rock and the fees payable to Northern Rock in respect of servicing and cash management agreements.

Details of Northern Rock's revenues are set out in its published accounts.

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Granite is a privately owned company. HMRC has a legal obligation to maintain taxpayer confidentiality. The Government do not comment on the tax affairs of named individuals or organisations.

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The mortgage assets sold by Northern Rock to Granite are held in a trust. On a winding up of this trust, any net surplus would accrue to Northern Rock.

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: There are 10 other UK banks and financial institutions with similar securitisation arrangements to Granite, involving a master trust and residential mortgages, and several others with

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securitisations on a different model. The Government do not discuss the business arrangements of particular institutions.


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