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For the United Kingdom, the impact of sea level rise on flooding and coastal erosion is certainly a challenge and risk for Defra and operating authorities (Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards). The potential increase in intensity, severity and frequency of coastal storms, as another consequence of climate change, also needs to be considered in this context. The risks may include an increased frequency of coastal flooding, with greater potential for coastal erosion.

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Aerial photography is a technique that UK scientists have been using to a limited extent, primarily as an indirect means of estimating sea level rise caused by ice loss from glaciers.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), has a unique archive of aerial photography for Antarctica, going back to the 1940s. Scientists at BAS have made extensive use of this time-series photography to identify ice volume loss in Antarctic peninsula glaciers, which is contributing to sea level rise. Using data from both this archive and other sources of information, a collaborative study between BAS and the US Geological Survey, published in the journal Science in 2005, found that 87 per cent of the 244 glaciers studied had retreated over the last half-century. Loss of ice volume in Antarctic peninsula glaciers contributes to sea level rise.

More generally, direct measurements of sea level rise are made using satellite altimetry. Monthly and yearly mean values of sea level at all UK sites are retained by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), which is based at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. Also, Defra is working with the Environment Agency and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory to measure and understand the effects of vertical land movement (sinking in south-east England and rising in the north of the country), caused by melting of ice at the end of the last ice age.

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Crime: Fuel Smuggling

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Estimates of the revenue lost through the illegal consumption of diesel and petrol in Northern Ireland are not available because it is not yet possible to split revenue losses between those resulting from the illicit market and those from legitimate cross-border shopping. However, latest estimates of the total non-UK duty paid consumption are available to 2005-06, and are reported in Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007 which is published alongside the PBR and can be found in the House of Lords Library.

Crime: Restorative Justice

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Youth Justice Board issued a consultation document to practitioners on referral orders at the end of last year entitled Referral Orders Priorities for Action. It is now in the process of drawing up an action plan to address issues raised in the responses, which it is anticipated will include how to improve the use of restorative justice in referral order panels.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Although youth offending teams do not have any specific targets or key performance indicators in 2008-09 for restorative justice, their performance management framework and inspection focuses on the outcomes for young offenders. Youth offending teams are best placed to decide on the right approach in individual cases, including the use of restorative justice, to meet these overall objectives. It allows options to be tailored to the needs of individuals and areas. This allows for local discretion on how to best use restorative justice approaches. In addition the Youth Justice Board works with youth offending teams to disseminate best practice. We believe that this approach is likely to be more effective than a simple target to use restorative justice processes in a specific number of instances as it will allow its use to be targeted more appropriately where it can be most effective for offender and victim.

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Disabled People: Mencap Report

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): We have given consideration to Mencap's policy statement Making rights a reality. The rights of people with a learning disability were looked at as part of the consultation Valuing People Now: From Progress to Transformation. A copy of this has been placed in the Library. The deadline for responses to this consultation was 28 March 2008 and the responses are currently being analysed. The valuing people now delivery strategy will explicitly include a strand of work around promoting awareness of a human rights approach to learning disability services.


Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) research licence committee's decisions are made in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Comments received are among the material considered.

The HFEA has assured me that no member of the authority is in favour of human reproductive cloning, nor does the citation referred to approve of human reproductive cloning.

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Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has informed me that Dr David Thorne was employed as a licensing manager between January 1994 and August 2000. The HFEA holds no information on Dr Thorne's activities since that date.

The HFEA has advised me that the information leaflet on egg sharing for research was provided by the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life. The leaflet was approved by the HFEA's research licence committee via correspondence with HFEA staff, concluding on 11 July 2006.

The overall incidence of hospitalisation where 20 or more egg follicles develop, described in the journal Human Fertility, volume 10, issue 3, pages 183-187, is 14.5 per cent. For women who develop fewer than 20 follicles the risk is described in the article as less than 0.1 per cent. The HFEA has informed me that the written representations considered by the research licence committee set out this information on risk, which has subsequently been published.

I have also been informed that there is an error in the minutes of the HFEA research licence committee held on 14 September 2006, which incorrectly recorded the risk of hospitalisation, following superovulation due to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, as 1 in 2,000 for “women who grow 20 or more follicles”. The correct phrase should be “less than 20”.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: Decisions on what treatment should be offered to a patient in these circumstances are matters of clinical judgment, to be decided on a case by case basis. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's Code of Practice stipulates that where donated material is used for research, the licensed centre shall ensure that clinical and research roles are separated, so that individuals involved in advising patients regarding clinical decisions about their treatment are not involved in the research project to which patients are considering donating eggs.

Energy: Long-term Supply

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): As part of the analysis for the 2007 energy White Paper the department commissioned a study from the UK Energy Research Centre using the MARKAL energy model on the cost of and options for meeting the Government's target in 2050 of a 60 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared with 1990. The full report is available at

A summary of the report is available at

The department may commission further research using the model to inform future policymaking.

Health: Long-term Neurological Conditions

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has recently announced its intention to award a programme grant entitled “Cost-efficient service provision in neurorehabilitation: defining needs, costs and outcomes for people with long-term neurological conditions” to Professor Lynne Turner-Stokes, North West London Hospitals NHS Trust/King's College London.

The award is subject to contractual negotiation, but we anticipate that it will be for some £2 million and will run for five years starting in July 2008. The research will be governed by a standard departmental research and development contract an example of which is available on the NIHR website at

Housing: Home Insulation Grants

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government's main programme for eradicating fuel poverty in England is the Warm Front scheme, which provides a variety of heating, insulation and energy efficiency measures to vulnerable households. The scheme engages with those in greatest social need, including rural, private landlord and black and minority ethnic households, through targeted activities run in conjunction with landlords' forums, private sector housing and regeneration teams at a number of local authorities. In addition, working closely with local authority benefit managers remains a key priority by providing opportunity to successfully target the most vulnerable households readily eligible for assistance. Warm Front also has a network of organisations operating in the charitable sector that proactively promote and refer back to Warm Front. Marketing of the Warm Front scheme is continually developing to ensure the right information reaches those in most need of assistance.

The carbon emission reduction target (CERT), which started in April 2008, is an obligation on energy suppliers to achieve targets for promoting reductions in carbon emissions in the household sector. Under CERT, energy suppliers are required to direct 40 per cent of their carbon savings to a priority group of low income and elderly consumers. Suppliers may use a variety of methods to identify priority group consumers. These include setting out the priority group criteria in promotional material; partnership arrangements with bodies like social housing providers or charities that work with priority group consumers; and showing consumers the priority group criteria when giving out measures person-to-person.

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Immigration: Failed Asylum Seekers

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Individuals, including failed asylum seekers, subject to deportation orders may be detained while the travel documentation process to facilitate their removal is taking place. It is not possible to identify separately such individuals from within the statistics on all persons detained under Immigration Act powers. This would only be possible through the examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

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 children has only been made available through the examination of individual cases, which would only be possible for adult detainees at disproportionate cost.

Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web site at

Immigration: Oakington Removal Centre

Baroness Stern asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Although there are no immediate plans to replace the tannoy system, which is used to alert detainees to hospital and other routine appointments, the UK Border Agency and its contractor, GSL, are examining other methods of alerting detainees. These other options are very much in the discussion stage at present and they include the use of mobile phones as pagers, pagers and even the possibility of using runners to pass messages as a paid work opportunity.

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