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Lord Darzi of Denham: No such estimate has been made by the Government. The number of lives saved annually by reducing average population intakes to 6 grams has, however, been estimated to be around 20,200.

Health: Training

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The information to answer this Question will not be available until the end of June 2008.

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The information to answer this Question will not be available until the end of June 2008.

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The information to answer this Question will not be available until the end of June 2008.

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The information to answer this Question will not be available until the end of June 2008.

Identity Cards

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The National Identity Register will hold the identity details of all UK residents aged 16 and above issued with an identity card. However, further primary legislation would be needed before everyone could be required to have an identity card.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: It is intended that biometric information, including fingerprints and a photographic image of the holder, will be recorded for all United Kingdom identity cards from the date of issue.

Iraq: Prisoners

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

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Further to my Written Answer of 1 April (Official Report, col. WA158). I apologise for the delay in responding. The original Answer given by Baroness Symons to the noble Lord's Question in January 2004 was based on thorough file and registry searches, this being the nonnal process for establishing answers of this kind. However, we are unfortunately unable to establish the precise chain of advice and documentation that lay behind this specific Answer. As a result, we are tightening up our record-keeping procedures.

Israel and Palestine: Gaza

The Earl of Sandwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. This was addressed at a series of high-level international meetings in London on 2 May involving

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Palestinian Prime Minster Fayyad and Israeli Foreign Minister Livni. Following these meetings, the quartet called for emergency and humanitarian assistance and provision of essential services to Gaza to be continued without obstruction.

The UK gave nearly £29 million in humanitarian assistance throughout 2007-08, including through European Commission funding mechanisms, to meet urgent basic needs. The Department for International Development is also funding a UN team to ensure access for humanitarian supplies and personnel.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Malloch-Brown: It would not be appropriate to provide information about the receipt of legal advice.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Malloch-Brown: My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Israeli Defence Minister Barak on 2 April to follow up his announcements on movement and access, and to press for rapid implementation. We have continued to urge all parties to ensure normal operations are restored at Gaza's border crossings and to ensure that the supply of essentials, such as food, medicine and fuel, are maintained.

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Malloch-Brown: The quartet's representative remains actively engaged on this and other issues related to the Middle East peace process. The humanitarian situation in Gaza was discussed at a series of high-level meetings in London on 2 May involving Palestinian Prime Minster Fayyad, Israeli Foreign Minister Livni, representatives of the EU and others. Following the meetings, the quartet called for continued emergency and humanitarian assistance.

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary and his EU counterparts are also fully engaged. The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council monitors the situation closely. The EU continues to play a vital role in supporting the quartet and remains the largest single donor to the Palestinian Authority, having committed some $650 million during 2008.



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Ivory Coast

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We welcome the Ivorian Government's decision to hold presidential elections on 30 November 2008, with the agreement of all the major Ivorian political parties. This is a tight deadline which can be met only through a concerted effort from both Ivorian and international institutions. The UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire has a mandate to certify the election process. Its most recent report on 15 April, which can be found at www.un.org/Docs/sc/sgrep08.htm, indicated that while there was a political consensus on holding elections there was still much work to be done. It also noted the elections would bear serious risks if they were not conducted in a transparent, free and credible manner.

The Federation of Students of Cote d'Ivoire (FESCI) is the focus for a report on human rights abuses published by Human Rights Watch in May 2008. The report focuses on the past role of FESCI as a political mob for hire. In December 2007 FESCI elected a new leadership team who have tried to refocus the work of the students’ union on educational matters rather than national politics. There has been a considerable reduction in the cases of abuse and intimidation by students on the wider population since the appointment of the new FESCI president. There does, however, remain a risk that politicians will attempt to mobilise FESCI support during the electoral process.

Local Government

Lord Christopher asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Local authorities have a wide range of statutory responsibilities including for planning, transport, the local environment, education, social services, housing and recreational and cultural needs. There is no centrally held list of functions or responsibilities that have been devolved to local authorities since 1997. This information could not be provided except at disproportionate cost.

Local authorities are responsible for setting their own budgets and spending priorities. However, certain services are allocated “ring-fenced” funding

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by central government to ensure minimum spend in the areas concerned. Excluding schools funding, the level of ring-fencing of local authority services in England was 5.1 per cent in 1997-98. On a comparable basis, ring-fencing in 2007-08 was 14.0 per cent. Over the next three years the level of ring-fencing is expected to reduce to 8.1 per cent in 2010-11.

Under the Government's new burdens principle they are committed to ensuring that the additional responsibilities it places on local government in England are fully funded.

Local Government: Leisure Facilities

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: This is a matter for the Charity Commission, as the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. The chief executive of the Charity Commission will write to the noble Lord and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

National Staff Dismissal Register

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The National Staff Dismissal Register is a commercial initiative of the Action Against Business Crime Group (AABC).

The Home Office, between 2004 and 2007, provided more than £1 million of funding to the group to set up and maintain 120 business crime reduction partnerships in towns and cities across England and Wales. All Home Office funding ceased in March 2007.

The Home Office has not been consulted about the setting up of the National Staff Dismissal Register and will not be involved in any way in its operation. It will be for AABC to ensure that the register complies with all relevant legislation.

Northern Ireland Office: Mobile Phones

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Relevant environmental issues can be considered throughout the procurement process: in defining and specifying what to buy, selecting suppliers to bid and awarding the contract. The OGC and Defra have published a Joint Note on Environmental Issues in Purchasing, explaining in detail how to do this.

Departments provide information on the environmental aspects of their procurement activities in their annual returns to the Sustainable Development Commission and in their published sustainable development action plans. The Government are now establishing a centre for expertise in sustainable procurement (CESP) within the OGC. The CESP will assist departments in addressing environmental issues in both procurement and operations and will monitor their progress.

The OGC is working with departments to establish and promote deals offering both value for money and sustainability benefits. OGCbuying.solutions offers framework contracts which already do this.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Davies of Oldham: All public procurers are required to seek value for money (VFM), normally through fair and open competition. Authorities must also comply with their legal obligations under the EU procurement rules and adhere to the EU treaty principles. Equality in the context of the Question refers to the principle that all suppliers be treated equally; ie opening supply opportunities to all, regardless of their status and reducing barriers to their participation in public procurement.


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