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20 Oct 2008 : Column WA75



20 Oct 2008 : Column WA75

Written Answers

Monday 20 October 2008

Access to Justice

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Civil Justice Council has provided an interim report. Its final report is expected towards the end of the year. Once the final report has been received, the Government will consider its contents and respond.

Airports: Stansted

Baroness Hamwee asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): In the run-up to and since the publication of the 2003 air transport White Paper, Ministers have regularly met many different stakeholders to discuss aviation policies, including airport expansion.

Following a public inquiry held in 2007, and in line with the planning inspector's recommendation, the Secretaries of State for Transport and Communities and Local Government allowed a planning appeal and granted planning permission to change two planning conditions attached to the Stansted Airport 2003 permission. The reasons for these decisions are set out in the Secretaries of State's letter of 8 October 2008.

As is normal for cases of this kind, Ministers in both departments were advised by their respective officials on the issues relevant to the determination of this appeal.

Armed Forces: Short-take-off Aircraft

Lord Moonie asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): MoD has considered tilt-rotor aircraft in the context of studies to inform the composition of our future aircraft fleet.

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Tilt-rotor aircraft can take off, land and hover in a similar way to a helicopter but can also convert to a turboprop aeroplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. Studies have examined the potential utility of tilt-rotor aircraft in a wide range of operational scenarios including casualty evacuation in Afghanistan, but we do not currently assess that tilt-rotor aircraft would provide an advantage over the aircraft in our existing fleet in meeting our operational requirements.

Children: Poverty

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government have set a challenging target to halve child poverty by 2010 and eradicate it by 2020. It does not make future projections of the number of children in poverty. The Government have recently announced their intention to legislate on the 2020 commitment.

Courts: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Taking notes in court by members of the public in Northern Ireland is a matter for the direction of the individual judge. There is no legislative provision governing the matter. However the Northern Ireland Court Service has produced guidelines for members of the public advising that they should not take notes in court unless authorised by the court to do so. These guidelines are available on the court service website at www.courtsni.gov.uk.

Disabled People: Clay Pigeon Shooting

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord Carter of Barnes): Sport England has advised that it is currently assisting in the development of a whole sport plan and funding proposals for target shooting for the period 2009-13. This plan is being developed by representatives of a number of shooting

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national governing bodies, including the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association. It is anticipated that disability shooting will form one important part of the whole sport plan, and as such disability clay pigeon shooting will be a beneficiary of investment.

Education: Land-based Diploma

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): There has been a wide consultation to ensure that there is industry input into the development of the content of the diploma in environment and land-based studies.

Among the members of the industry group covering farriery and veterinary nursing that took part in these consultations were:

the Worshipful Company of Farriers;National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers;British Small Animal Veterinary Association;Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons;British Veterinary Nursing Association; anda number of private veterinary practices.

Among the members of the industry group covering agricultural crops and livestock that took part in the consultations were:

Home Grown Cereals Authority;

National Farmers Union;

Soil Association;

National Federation of Young Farmers;

Tennant Farmers Association;

BASIS;

Farming and Countryside Education;

Country Land and Business Association;

British Institute of Agricultural Consultants;

Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers;

British Poultry Council;

National Beef Association; and

National Sheep Association.

In addition to the organisations listed, representatives of relevant trade associations were also consulted.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: Information from Consortia indicates that there will be approximately 3,621 places available for students wishing to enrol in 2009 for the diploma in environmental and land-based studies.

Work experience will be a key feature of all the diplomas. Each diploma will require a minimum of 10 days in the workplace, at each level. Wherever possible, this work experience should be directly related to the diploma being studied, but its focus will be on developing employability skills so could be undertaken with a wide range of employers.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: There is a common delivery model across all of the 17 diplomas. Diploma development partnerships bring together employers, further and higher education institutions, schools and awarding bodies to set out the content of the diploma. In addition, there is a programme of support for all consortia that are approved to deliver the diploma, along with a dedicated range of workforce development to support teachers.

Food: Pork and Bacon

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's (Defra) report to Parliament in November 2007 shows that the Department for International Development (DfID) procured 30 per cent of bacon and 30 per cent of pork from British sources during the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007. These figures were also reflected in the more recent BPEX report “Is the Government Buying British” in July 2008. This is available online at www.bpex.orq.uk/Article.aspx?ID=296231. More up-to-date data will become available towards the end of the year when Defra plans to publish its new report. However, early indications show that DfID's percentage figures for British pork and bacon have increased significantly for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008.

The issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is highlighted within our tendering documentation for all new contracts. We are currently reviewing CSR policy and will ensure that the public sector food procurement initiative (PSFPI) is covered effectively.



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Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): No. The difference in cost between English bacon and Dutch bacon is a matter for the agricultural industry. We will continue to source bacon in line with House of Lords procurement policy.

Food: Prices

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The report concerned did not make specific recommendations on environmental taxation.

As a general principle, the Government's spending priorities are not, except in limited circumstances outlined in the Treasury's budgeting guidance, determined by the way in which the money is raised. Hypothecating taxes to particular spending programmes causes inflexibility in spending decisions and can lead to a misallocation of resources, with reduced value for money for taxpayers. The spending review process ensures that resources are allocated efficiently to deliver government objectives and ensures priorities, such as education and health, receive the increased levels of funding, as set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Homelessness

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The majority of our homelessness grants are allocated to local authorities to support them in their work on tackling and preventing homelessness effectively, which includes rough sleeping, and it is for them to determine how they spend this grant.

In December 2007 we announced homelessness grant funding of at least £150 million over the three years 2008 to 2011 to continue to support local authorities and voluntary sector organisations in tackling and

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preventing homelessness in their area. In addition, we have allocated £51 million of homelessness grant over the three years 2008 to 2011 directly to the voluntary sector—the biggest ever cash injection for homelessness services.

Also, local authorities spent £17.5 million under our supporting people programme for rough sleeping services in 2006-07.

Immigration: False Passports

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We have no plans to review the provisions for sanctions against those persons who seek to enter the UK without travel documents which satisfactorily prove their identity and nationality.

Immigration: Worker Registration Scheme

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): All the funds raised from the workers registration scheme fees are used to cover the costs of processing and considering the application.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: There is no charge for applications for work authorisation made by A2 nationals. There is no gain to HM Treasury from the fees for the workers registration scheme paid by A8 nationals as the fee is set to only recover the costs of processing and considering the application.

Information about the net gain to HMT from A8 and A2 nationals is not available since the income tax and national insurance paid by migrants is not reported separately.

India: Orissa

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:



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Lord Tunnicliffe: Camps such as the one at Raikia are organised and maintained by the Government of Orissa. At their request, the Indian Red Cross Society is providing medical services in Raikia through a non-governmental organisation. At the central level, the Department for International Development (DfID) supports the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, of which the Indian Red Cross Society is a member.

It would not be appropriate for the UK Government to consider providing aid directly unless a specific request is received. However, DfID's Orissa tribal empowerment and livelihoods programme supports work with tribal communities in Kandhamal district in which the Raikia camp is located. So far the incidents in the district have not directly impacted on this programme.


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