|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Game birds reared for sporting purposes are currently covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This Act makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and also contains a duty of care so that people responsible for an animal must take such steps as are reasonable to ensure its welfare.
In addition, the Government are proposing to use powers under the Act to produce a code of practice, which will provide guidance on accommodation and management methods, including aggression reduction. Any code would be subject to public consultation and endorsement by Parliament.
In preparation for the introduction of a code, a Defra-commissioned study into the welfare implications of using bits and spectacles is currently underway and is expected to be completed in November 2008. The results of the research will then be subject to peer review and will inform members of the working group tasked with writing the code.
We are aware that there are also concerns about the use of cages for the breeding of game birds, and Defra has asked the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) to assess this system of management and report back on its findings. It is anticipated that the report will be ready by autumn 2008 and it will inform the working group about this type of breeding system, and the extent to which any identified problems can be addressed through a code of practice.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The levels of compensation paid under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme vary significantly according to severity and type of injury. For example, a larger amount of compensation is paid for an above the knee amputation than is paid for a below the knee amputation. Full details of the levels of compensation paid under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are contained in the statutory instrument, the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2005 (2005 No 439) (which is available at: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20050439.htm) as then subsequently amended by SI 2006/1438; SI 2007/2609 and SI 2008/39.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We keep the size of the Army, like the other two services, under regular review. Where possible, we have rebalanced Army manpower better to meet current and future challenges, and the Army's manpower requirement remains at around 102,000. Further requirements will be kept under review. The more immediate priority is to ensure that we achieve full manning as rapidly as possible and we have recently approved a series of measures to improve recruitment and retention.
As we announced in March this year, we are conducting a review of Reserve Forces to ensure that they remain appropriate to support defence now and into the future and are better integrated with the Regular Forces.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 17 June (WA 141) concerning the cost of naturalisation as a British citizen, when the current fee was set; whether the fee has varied; and, if so, how. [HL4376]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The current fee of £575 for naturalisation as a British Citizen (excluding the £80 fee for the citizenship ceremony) was set on 2 April 2007.
The variation in the fee for an application for naturalisation over the past 10 years is detailed in the table below. The fee is based on an application made by a single person and does not include the fee for the citizenship ceremony which was introduced in January 2004.
|From: Naturalisation Fee|
What consideration they have given to the key findings of the National Deaf Children's Society's recent survey of the needs and views of deaf children and young people as they affect government departments; and what action they will be taking. [HL4148]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The National Deaf Children's Society's report Changing Your World Youth Consultation was launched on 10 June 2008. This said that young people want to see more mainstreaming of activities for deaf children and young people. The Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds which we introduced in 2006 give young people a direct say over activities and facilities in their area. It is a universal programme with a focus on reaching disadvantaged young people, including those with disabilities. Young people can participate in three ways: as an applicant for funding, as a grant giver; and as a beneficiary of the activity or facility provided through the programme.
Young people also want more information and advice made available to them. The National Core Offer was launched as part of Aiming High for Disabled Children on 15 May 2008. The National Core Offer is a statement of the standards which families with disabled children can expect across the country from local services. It is concerned mainly with early years, education, youth, social care and health services, but is also relevant for those delivering housing, leisure and transport services.
The core offer will ensure that parents of disabled children are involved in determining provision; have a single assessment of need where possible; are clear what they are entitled to and how to access the service; give disabled children and young people the option of being fully involved in the development of local services and designing their package of care; and are not subject to multiple assessments before services are provided.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): We intend to appoint a successor to the noble Lord, Lord Turner, who has announced his intention to stand down from his post as chair of the Committee on Climate Change in the new year. As with all appointments to the committee, the appointment will be made in a fair and transparent way (and against set criteria), regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
How many companies were registered in the most recent year for which records exist; of these, how many companies were newly registered during that year; and how many companies withdrew their registration during that year. [HL4246]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): 2,543,753 companies were registered with Companies House at the end of March 2007.
449,722 new companies were incorporated with Companies House in the financial year 2007-08. 225,440 companies were dissolved by Companies House in the financial year 2007-08, of which 125,780 were voluntary dissolutions.
Definitive figures to the end of March 2008 should be available on the Companies House website at: www.companieshouse.gov.uk during July 2008.
What is the cost to an organisation of a Criminal Records Bureau check; and whether an individual who has recently been checked for one employment would need a separate check to work with children as a volunteer; and [HL4063]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) charges £31.00 for a standard disclosure and £36.00 for an enhanced disclosure. The CRB continues to process disclosure applications for volunteers free of charge.
Payment is required for each CRB check, regardless of whether an individual has had a previous disclosure. All applications are processed individually and the fee was last prescribed in 2006. This is in accordance with Part V of the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Record) Regulations 2002 which states that a disclosure shall be issued to any individual who makes an application in the prescribed format and pays the prescribed fee, which was last prescribed in 2006.
Disclosures are primarily designed to be used by an employer at the point of recruitment for a particular position. Ultimately it is for each employer, and not the CRB, to decide whether a new disclosure should be applied for, bearing in mind their legal and other responsibilities and subject to any statutory requirements.
The disclosure process may also include a search to establish whether an individual is subject to a direction under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002, or a check against them, Protection of Children Act and Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoCA 2and PoVA) lists.
Each disclosure is specific to the circumstances of a particular job application and any decision to disclose any non-conviction information held by individual police forces is unique to that position.
What is the risk to witnesses, especially those from the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, of the loss of a disk containing confidential data by the Rosemary Nelson inquiry; and what safeguards have been put in place to prevent further loss of protectively marked material. [HL3859]
Lord Tunnicliffe: The initial investigation and advice from the PSNI has stated that there are no grounds to suspect that there will be any adverse consequences as a result of the loss of these data. Further risk analysis of the data is being carried out by those organisations involved. It is not believed that the disk has been stolen.
The Rosemary Nelson inquiry has also identified a number of steps to prevent any further loss of protectively marked material and is taking a proactive approach to ensuring that security guidance is understood and followed.
The Government have appointed an independent security adviser to review all the arrangements that are in place at each of the Northern Ireland public inquiries for the handling and storage of protectively marked material.
The Government have also engaged an independent security adviser to review all the arrangements at the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, and the other independent public inquiries, for the handling and storage of protectively marked material to determine events surrounding the loss of the disk and make recommendations.
What are the estimated numbers in the United Kingdom of (a) temporary workers (including domestic workers), (b) agency workers, and (c) workers who fall between these two categories; and what are the estimated numbers in each of the above categories who will get extra protection from the proposed United Kingdom legislation implementing the European Union legislation on workers' rights. [HL4110]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): The Labour Force Survey estimates the number of temporary workers to be about 1.4 to 1.5 million. The recruitment industry estimates there are about 1 million agency workers. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is currently in the process of updating its own estimates, through independent research, of the number of agency workers.
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Government want to encourage farmers' markets which are sustainable and have done this in a number of ways: directly by providing funding under our grant schemes; and indirectly by working with other bodies such as FARMA (the organisation representing farmers marketsmerger of the Farm Retail Association and the National Association of Farmers' Markets) and local authorities to facilitate the establishment of farmers' markets.
Our support for this work continues with the award, last autumn, of funding under the agriculture development scheme to FARMA for a project to develop a national producer verification scheme for farmers' markets and an assurance scheme for farm shops. As a result of this project, it is hoped that the combination of producer verification with the farmers' market certification scheme will result in strengthened consumer confidence in farmers' markets.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|