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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK is responsible for ensuring that all the overseas territories act in accordance with the UK's international obligations. In implementing any such obligations that apply to the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Government take care to ensure that necessary measures are in place to ensure full compliance.
Further to the answer by the Minister for Energy, E-commerce and Postal Services, Mr Stephen Timms, on 8 July 2004 (Official Report, Commons, col. 1005), what percentage of homes and businesses (a) have access to broadband and (b) are connected to broadband in (1) market towns and (2) rural villages.[HL3826]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): Data are no longer collated on broadband availability and take-up by market town and rural villages.
The 2008 Ofcom Nations & Regions Communications Market report shows that over 99.99 per cent of households in urban areas and 99.92 per cent of households in rural areas were connected to a digital subscriber line (DSL) enabled BT exchange at the end of 2007. However, some of those households will not be able to receive broadband services for a variety of reasons, including distance from the exchange and the
5 Jun 2008 : Column WA72
The 2008 Ofcom Nations & Regions Communications Market report shows that household broadband take-up in rural areas (59 per cent) has now overtaken that in urban areas (57 per cent). More granular splits can be found in the full report, which can be accessed from Ofcom's website at www.ofcom.org.uk/research/cm/cmrnr08/.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): A founding principle of the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services is that children and young people should have a strong voice in the prioritisation and commissioning of health services and this is reflected in the standard for hospital services, the core standards and the disabled child standard. Copies of this publication are in the Library.
Further, the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 contained important measures designed to strengthen the patient and public involvement system in England, including the introduction of local involvement networks (LINks) and the updated duty on National Health Service bodies to involve users of health services.
The Act established duties on health and social care services providersincluding primary care truststo respond to LINks when they report on the needs and experiences of local people in respect of their health and social care services.
LINks, together with the new duty on NHS bodies to involve and report on consultations, will play a vital role in encouraging and enabling a greater range of people, including children and young people, to influence the commissioning and provision of health care, bringing meaningful engagement to the whole system, from commissioning to front-line care.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 10 March (WA 199), whether their welcome of the ruling of the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court on 10 February took account of the referral of Article 47 of the civil and personal status law to the Egyptian High Constitutional Court to determine its compatibility with Article II of the Egyptian constitution. [HL3815]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government are aware that the ruling has now been referred to the constitutional court. The Government regularly raise religious freedom issues with the Egyptian Government and will continue to do so. Most recently, our ambassador in Cairo raised human rights concerns with the Egyptian Minister of Interior on 22 April. We acknowledge the steps that the Egyptian Government have taken to engage with us on these issues and welcome their willingness to hold further human rights dialogue.
We recognise the difficulties that some Egyptian citizens have faced in their attempts to have religious conversion recognised under Egyptian law and will continue to urge the Government of Egypt to implement transparent and effective procedures in this respect. We look forward to these issues being discussed at the June EU-Egypt political sub-committee established under the European neighbourhood policy action plan.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): It is too early to say. We will, however, be actively engaging with the newly established and Seafish-sponsored National Scallop Group and the Scallop Association to explore appropriate mechanisms to deal with the issues of both stock conservation and protection of the marine environment.
Whether they will consult the Judicial Appointments Commission as to whether there are minimum non-statutory entry requirements which reduce the diversity of those available for selection for judicial appointments; and[HL3818]
Whether they will amend the requirement for candidates for most salaried judicial posts to have had fee-paid experience to make it desirable but not essential, as recommended by the Judicial Appointments Commission, in order to promote diversity.[HL3819]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): All measures that could help to improve the diversity of the judiciary are being considered, including the development of a comprehensive and collaborative new approach to the use of non-statutory eligibility criteria in the judicial appointments process. The Ministry of Justice continues to work very closely with the JAC and the judiciary to look at what more can be achieved.
How many Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) recruits have failed to complete their training course each year since the formation of the PSNI; and what is the gender and community background of those recruits. [HL3778]
Lord Rooker: I am advised by the chief constable that, since November 2001, 96 student officers have failed to complete their training course. The following tables show the gender and community background of these recruits.
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