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In response to Question HL5509, by increased risk of significant harm, we mean that one or more individuals could cause significant harm to the child/young person and/or their parent/carer should their location be visible and therefore, the child/young person and/or their parent/carer are being, or will be, protected at a location that is not known to the individual(s) posing the threat. Shielding is an additional safeguard and wholly in line with the Data Protection Act 1998
The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children. Local authorities will make case-by-case judgments about whether a record should be shielded based on the ContactPoint guidance, which in turn makes reference to the well established principles and guidance, Working Together to Safeguard Children. There are, however, no absolute criteria on which to rely when judging what constitutes significant harm.
In response to Question HL5510, the answer is yes. Local authorities may shield child records when there are strong reasons to believe that not doing so would be likely to place an individual at increased risk of
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In response to Question HL5511, we have always sought a balance between children's and families' rights to the services to which they are entitled, and their individual rights to privacy. The purpose of ContactPoint is clearly set out in Section 12 of the Children Act 2004to support the Section 10 and 11 duties to co-operate to improve children's well-being and to safeguard and promote their welfare. The inclusion of all children and young people in England is a requirement of ContactPoint and we believe its purpose could never be achieved through a consent-based or opt-out system. We take our responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) very seriously. As with all legislation we have sought the necessary legal advice on the relationship between ContactPoint and the DPA and are confident that ContactPoint remains compliant with the Act.
ContactPoint has been, and continues to be, subject to regular risk reviews, both internal and external, conforming to Government best practice guidelines. A summary of the results of the Deloitte independent security review, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, was published in February 2008. The report identified that security is ingrained within the project. A further independent technical security check is scheduled before ContactPoint moves into live operation.
In response to Question HL5512, Section 12(4)(c) of the Children Act 2004 (which came into force on 1 January 2006), makes provision for ContactPoint to hold the name and contact details of any person with parental responsibility for the child or young person, or who has care of him at any time. Schedule 1(6) of the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 (which came into force on 1 August 2007), sets this requirement out in more detail.
Regulation 4(1) of the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 sets out that ContactPoint will contain information on all children in England up to their 18th birthday. In specific circumstances, young people (such as care leavers and those with learning disabilities), aged 18 or over may continue to have their records held on ContactPoint up to age 25, with their informed, explicit consent. This provision exists in Regulation 4(2), and helps to facilitate the transition to adult services for those young people who may have multiple, additional needs. These young people are known as participating young persons.
Section 12 of the Children Act 2004 provides the permissive gateway to hold such data without breaching the Data Protection Act's requirement of lawfulnessthis has been confirmed by Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner.
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Crossrail heads of terms, which were signed with Transport for London last November, sets out that the Government's planned grant contribution to the Crossrail project is £5.1 billion. This forms part of the £15.9 billion funding package which was secured as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2007. A copy of the Crossrail heads of terms was placed in the House Library on 26 November 2007.
Lord Patel of Bradford: It is not in the interest of UK national security, or that of the public, to disclose detailed information pertaining to e-crime attacks on government. Disclosing such information would enable criminals and those who would attempt to cause disruptive threats to the UK to deduce how to conduct attacks and therefore potentially enhance their capability to carry out such attacks.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): In November 2001, the Government set a target to reduce drug-related deaths in England and Wales by 20 per cent between 1999 and 2004, as part of their action plan to reduce drug-related deaths.
The publication by the Office for National Statistics of data on drug-related deaths in England and Wales during the period 2000-04 in February 2005, showed that there had been an overall reduction of 9.2 per cent against the target.
The action plan was implemented by improving surveillance and monitoring of drugs use, improvised access to and consistency of prescribing treatment and guidance to commissioner and providers of treatment to users on limiting the risk of overdose.
In February 2008, the Government launched Drugs: Protecting Families and Communities, the strategy which sets out new measures to enforce, educate and intervene on drugs, and support those who need it, into treatment. The new strategy emphasises the importance of treatment as a key plank of government policy.
The number of people receiving treatment has increased by 130 per cent in the past 10 years: 195,000 people received treatment in 2006-07, and almost 50 per cent of all problematical drug users, those who use opiates and/or crack cocaine, are in treatment.
Whether, if the Naxolone (N-ALIVE) trial, recently approved for funding by the Medical Research Council which aims at reducing heroin-related deaths by providing users with Naxolone, achieves its projected 30 per cent reduction in deaths, they will consider making it available to all heroin users. [HL5423]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Medical Research Council is funding the N-ALIVE (NALoxone InVEstigation) pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT). This study will provide evidence on the feasibility of a potential future main RCTprison-based Naloxone-on-release RCT to reduce drugs-related deaths. Any decision to fund a full trial would be dependent on the results of the feasibility work, which includes the participation of the relevant government departments across the United Kingdom.
Both the pilot and the potential full trial are specifically targeting prisoners with a history of heroin injection, who are at high risk of overdose in the first week of release. Any outcomes from that target group would need to be assessed by the relevant bodies for applicability more widely after the research was reported.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 29 September (WA 35354), what date has been set by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for its public consultation on the culture of embryos for more than 14 days, given that the authority indicated to Lord Alton of Liverpool on 22 September that it was seeking evidence to determine whether outgrowing embryos have the potential to implant and develop if transferred to a woman. [HL5468]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): I understand from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority that it has no plans for a public consultation. The authority has indicated that it is always willing to take into account evidence available to stakeholders which may shed light on policy and licensing issues.
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Triesman on 29 October 2007 (WA 144), 12 November 2007 (WA 12) and 12 December 2007 (WA 58) regarding funding for the development of patient-specific stem cell therapies, why financial inducements are used to obtain the highest grade eggs for use in nuclear transfer at Newcastle, if each of three licences
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How many eggs have been used for nuclear transfer under Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority research licence R0152; how many embryonic stem cell lines have been so derived; and how this compares to the stipulation in licences issued to Sydney IVF Ltd (309712, 309713 and 309714) that no more eggs may be used if no embryonic stem cell lines have been established after using 1,600 eggs. [HL5470]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) does not set limits on the kinds of eggs which can be donated to research. Women donating eggs to research can either be non-patients or women who are patients receiving in vitro fertilisation treatment. They donate eggs which are suitable for fertilisation.
The HFEA reviewed its policies in this area in 2007 and came to the view that donation to research through an egg-sharing arrangement was appropriate, subject to certain safeguards to protect the donor. The report of this policy review can be found at: www.hfea.gov.uk/en/1417.htm.
The latest inspection report for research licence R0152 is available on the HFEA's website at: www.hfea.gov.uk/en/1368.html#17. The inspection report sets out the numbers of fresh and failed-to-fertilise eggs that were used in the project during 2007 and the expected numbers for 2008. During 2007, 56 failed-to-fertilise eggs were used and 19 fresh eggs. It is expected that during 2008, the project will use 200 failed-to-fertilise eggs and 400 fresh eggs.
No embryonic stem cell lines have so far been derived. The HFEA does not set a limit on the number of eggs which can be used in embryonic stem cell research, although its licence committees monitor the efficiency of the process used and the number of eggs used in them.
With reference to the Food Standards Agency report, Delivery of Official Controls on Meat, how much of the cut in operational costs from £91 million to £74 million over the next five years comes from cutting bureaucracy and unnecessary work by officials; and how much by transferring the costs to abattoirs and their customers. [HL5538]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) is implementing radical changes to create a more efficient and effective service.
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Alongside these cost reductions, the Food Standards Agency's long-term regulatory vision for meat production is for an increasing proportion of the cost of official controls to be met by the meat industry, not the taxpayer. Proposals for a new charging system based on time costs together with a progressive increase in charges will be subject to full public consultation, including a regulatory impact assessment, during 2008-09.
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The information requested for 2006 and 2007 is shown in the following table. The data are compiled by the Department for Transport annually, therefore no information for 2008 is currently available centrally.
|Tonnage of merchant ship1 arrivals at the Port of Liverpool, 2006-07|
|Total gross tonnage of ships arriving (million gt)|
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 29 September (WA 420), when and from where First Great Western is due to receive the 52 additional vehicles to be deployed in the Bristol area; and whether that increase takes into account the number of vehicles currently on loan from Arriva Trains Wales and Northern Rail. [HL5490]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Written Answer of 29 September stated that 52 additional vehicles were to be deployed in the Bristol area and also on the London Thames Valley route. It also stated that this change would take place in stage 2 of the high-level output specification delivery plan. The purpose of the additional vehicles is to provide additional capacity as specified in the White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway, and the allocation of vehicles to achieve this will take account of the present composition of First Great Western's fleet, and any changes which might occur. The extent to which the vehicles will be new, or transferred from other routes, remains to be decided.
Further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jonathan Shaw, on 7 July (Official Report, Commons, 120204W), why the approval rate achieved by the East Midlands Development Agency is lower than for the other agencies. [HL5465]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Defra has devolved responsibility for delivery of elements of the Rural Development Programme for England to the regional development agencies. Each agency has its own procedures for handling applications and therefore, direct comparison between regions is not possible. The East Midlands Development Agency receives individual and collaborative business led applications.
Of the applications listed as received by the East Midlands Development Agency and not approved, some of those were in the process of being appraised and some had been rejected. The projects rejected thus far have not been of a suitable standard or merit to justify public funding through the rural development programme for England.
The Health Act 2006 includes powers to make regulations for specific non-enclosed (open air) places to be smoke free if there is significant risk that persons present there would be exposed to significant quantities of smoke. At present, the Government do not intend to make any non-enclosed place smoke free. We are committed to review the smoke-free parts of the Act by July 2010.
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