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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): It is established practice not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet, including average duration of meetings. It is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Both the department and the Medical Research Council (MRC) support research into Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Annual expenditure figures are shown in the following table.
|Expenditure on dementia research (£millions)|
|Year||Department||Medical Research Council||Total|
The departmental figures for the years from 1997-98 to 2003-04 relate to national research programme expenditure. They do not include the part of the research and development allocations made annually at that time to National Health Service providers and spent on dementia research. That information was not collected prior to 2004-05.
Whether they have any plans to seek amendment of the Medical Devices and medicinal products directives, which control the classifications of products
6 May 2008 : Column WA53
Whether they regard it as appropriate that copies of a proprietary laxative preparation, licensed in the United Kingdom and classified as a medicinal product under the medicinal devices and medicinal products directives, are being sold in some countries of the European Union as medical devices. [HL3171]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): There are no current plans to amend either the medical devices or the medicinal products directives in order to clarify the status of some borderline products. The definition of a medicinal product in the Community code relating to medicinal products, the directive on medicinal products, was only recently clarified with regard to the borderline with medical devices and other legislation in an amendment to the medicinal products directive which came into force in 2005. The medical devices directive was only recently amended in September of 2007 when the legislators considered that there was no need to further clarify the borderline with medicinal products.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which is responsible for the regulation of medicinal products and medical devices in the UK, is aware of differences between the regulation of laxative preparations within Europe and has been actively seeking to have these discussed at a European level and included within relevant publications to enable a consistent interpretation between member states.
|Jan to March of each year||Total Starts|
|Source: New build completions from P2 returns submitted by local authorities and the National House Building Council (NHBC)|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Following a change in the system in which information is collected, statistics on all persons detained under sole Immigration Act powers by length of detention are not available after September 2006. Information on minors has only been made available through the examination of individual cases, which would only be possible for adult detainees at disproportionate cost.
The UK Border Agency is committed to ensuring its published data are of the highest standards. A robust method for the collection and production of statistics on length of detention is being formulated and data will be published when the agency is satisfied the quality meets its standards.
Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Whether they have received representations directly from Physicians for Human RightsIsrael; if so, whether they have responded; and whether the quartet and its representative have acted on its representations. [HL3248]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We greatly appreciate the work of humanitarian organisations working in the Gaza Strip. We have received a written report from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on the situation in Gaza. I understand that Physicians for Human Rights-Israel gave a presentation to various officials in the Department for International Development on 28 April. Unfortunately I am not in a position to comment on correspondence between the quartet, its representative, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.
What progress has been made by United Kingdom scientists, working with their counterparts in France, the Republic of Ireland and Spain, to secure the
6 May 2008 : Column WA55
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): In 2006, the UK, Ireland, France and Spain made a joint submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, regarding the continental shelf area beyond 200 nautical miles in the Bay of Biscay, as provided for by Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The submission is currently under examination by the commission. The process is in its final stages and the results of the commission's deliberations are expected in the next six to 12 months. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, together with scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, assisted by the UK Hydrographic Office, are engaged in researching and presenting this submission to the commission.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 1 April (WA 159) concerning the number of employees in the Northern Ireland Office, what is the meaning of the CSR07 settlement reduced the department's administration cost budget by five per cent year on year, but these reductions have been reallocated to front-line service delivery areas, so may not affect overall headcount numbers. [HL3080]
Lord Rooker: As part of the NIO's CSR07 settlement the department had its administration budget reduced by 5 per cent year on year. This equated to administration cuts of £-2 million, £-4 million, and £-6 million across 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively, and this will result in a reduction in staffing levels to live within the reduced administrative baselines.
The money saved has been re-allocated to additional front-line service delivery programmes in criminal justice and policing. This additional funding for service delivery areas could lead to an increased staffing requirement within those areas which may mean there is no overall reduction in the staffing numbers.
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