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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are currently in the process of looking at the feasibility of creating separate short-term holding facilities at terminal 3 for women as recommended in the recent Independent Monitoring Board report.
Detainees are given access to telephone calls either via their own mobile phone (except for those with cameras, recording or internet facility), or via a payphone. Alternatively, if they are not able to use these, access to a free telephone call is provided.
How many detainees in the past six months waited more than eight hours for transportation from the short-term holding facilities at Heathrow Airport to Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre. [HL3371]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The members of the panel which considered candidates for the Director of Service Prosecutions post were: Elizabeth McMeikan, Civil Service Commissioner; Sir Ian Andrews, Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence; General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff; and Sir Ken McDonald, Director of Public Prosecutions.
In what circumstances and on what grounds staff of BAA are entitled to instruct airlines to refuse to carry passengers; at what level such decisions are made; and how many such decisions have been made at each of London's airports in the past 12 months. [HL3603]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: BAA is not entitled to instruct airlines to refuse to carry passengers. Airlines within their own terms and conditions may refuse to carry passengersfor example, in circumstances where they have incorrect documentation, have been disruptive or have made hoax threats.
Whether they will allocate £8 million over five years from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's contingency fund specifically for research on bee health; and whether they will consult the British Beekeepers' Association and other interested parties to help prioritise research areas. [HL3523]
The expectation is that funding for commissioned research specific to honey-bee health will be around the same level as in previous years. In addition to this, honey-bee health benefits from other Defra-funded research activities.
A Bee Health Research Funders' Forum has been created to discuss priorities. Defra, the National Bee Unit and the British Beekeepers' Association participate along with other interested parties. Research priorities are also addressed in the draft bee health strategy, which is currently available for public consultation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We now calculate the fees for immigration applications with a flexible charging model. This means we use a number of factors to determine the fees working within strict financial limits agreed with HM Treasury. We no longer set fees on a straightforward cost-recovery basis but flexibly to cover the full end-to-end cost of the immigration system and by taking into account the value of a successful application in terms of entitlements and benefits to the migrant.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Our ambassador in Rangoon wrote to Senior General Than Shwe, Prime Minister Thein Sein and other members of the Burmese Government to put the referendum process to one side and mobilise all efforts on the urgent relief effort following Cyclone Nargis.
It is incomprehensible in the current circumstances that the regime went ahead with the referendum on 10 May, with the intention to conduct the remaining part of the process on 24 May. The referendum and any subsequent process leading to the planned election in 2010 need to be inclusive, transparent and conducted in an environment where all political parties can participate without fear of intimidation.
Whether they have identified specialist authorities with appropriate procedures and services for unaccompanied children who are suspected of being trafficked and who require care and protection; and whether they will appoint independent guardians and an independent rapporteur for such children. [HL3327]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are holding discussions with potential specialist authorities over the care and support of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Such care and support will include measures to identify and meet the needs of those who may have been trafficked.
On the appointment of guardians, I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 14 November 2007 (Official Report, col. WA 19). The Government do not currently believe that there is a role for an independent rapporteur for trafficked children. We have in place an interdepartmental ministerial group on human trafficking
21 May 2008 : Column WA192
Each provides opportunities for consultations on the Government's strategy for combating human trafficking. Key children's charities, and the Children's Commissioner, are represented on the NGO stakeholder group.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government recognise the valuable work carried out by care farms and support the National Care Farming Initiative's plans to create a database of all care farming providers. I will be visiting a long established care farm, Highfields Happy Hens, on 22 May.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): I am aware of recent articles about construction at Sanya Naval Base on Hainan Island. An enhancement of the facilities on Hainan Island would not be at odds with China's published 2006 national defence White Paper, which states that its navy aims at gradual extension of the strategic depth for offshore defensive operations and enhancing its capabilities in integrated maritime operations and nuclear counterattacks. We routinely monitor Chinese military developments and consistently encourage it to maintain transparency and a responsible approach to military modernisation.
Over the past year (a) how much money has been raised by the climate change levy; (b) what the cost of this levy has been per individual household; and (c) what the cost has been of the promotion, development and subsidy of renewable energy.[HL3629]
Lord Davies of Oldham: (a) Receipts from the climate change levy for the 2006-07 financial year were roughly £712 million. HM Revenue and Customs routinely publishes data on levy receipts in the climate change levy bulletin, which is available at www.uktradeinfo.com.
(b) The levy is charged on energy supplied to business and the public sector; supplies of energy to domestic consumers, charities and non-business use are excluded from the levy, so costs are not borne by individual households.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): There are eight payments outstanding for the 2005 single payment scheme (SPS) year and 42 outstanding for the 2006 SPS year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Section 32 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 permitted child witnesses under the age of 14 years in the case of offences of violence or cruelty, and child witnesses under 17 years of age in sex-offence cases, to give evidence by way of live link, so that they can give evidence from outside the courtroom. The availability of live links was extended by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 to all witnesses who are under 17 years of age. The legislation includes presumptions that live links will be used for young witnesses, particularly in cases of sexual or violent offences.
There are now video-link rooms in all Crown Court centres and in 77 per cent of all magistrates courts. Her Majesty's Courts Service has allocated £2 million this financial year to upgrade equipment in the Crown Court and the magistrates courts and, where required, provide a small amount of new equipment in the Crown Court and magistrates courts.
Whether they will set out the timetable for the incorporation of authority to carry within the United Kingdom's e-Borders programme; and when they expect full implementation of such a system. [HL3585]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The authority to carry capability will be available over a phased period from October 2008, with a manual response process to inform carriers. A fully automated response to carriers is a future service under the e-Borders contract.
Whether they will set out a timetable for the incorporation of other passenger information (OPI) data within the United Kingdom's e-Borders programme; and when they expect full use of OPI data within United Kingdom border checks. [HL3586]
Lord West of Spithead: The e-Borders system already collects and uses a small sample of OPI which it has used to de-risk the main programme. From summer 2009 the e-Borders solution will begin the incremental capture of other passenger information (OPI), and by the end of December 2013 will be processing 100 million targeted/selected OPI passenger movements.
What consultations they have had with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand with regard to the technologies they have employed to operate their authority to carry schemes for the past 10 years; and whether and when this technology will be employed within the United Kingdom's e-Borders programme. [HL3587]
Lord West of Spithead: Heads of Border Operations within the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States sit on a five-country steering group. The group is committed to strengthening links between the participating countries and has held discussions on the various authority to carry schemes.
The authority to carry capability will be available from October 2008, with a manual response process to inform carriers. A fully automated response to carriers is a future service under the e-Borders contract.
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