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Whether there is an agreement between Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre and Bedfordshire Primary Care Trust on the services to be provided at the centre by the trust; and whether they will place a copy of any such agreement in the Library of the House. [HL5876]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There is no formal agreement with Bedfordshire Primary Care Trust and Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre to provide services at the centre. Primary healthcare is the responsibility of the centre's operator who works with the PCT to ensure that detainees healthcare requirements are met.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Neither the Serious Organised Crime Agency nor the Police Service of Northern Ireland has required Thomas Murphy to forfeit any illegally obtained funds.
Whether they intend to make the installation of white street lamps to minimise upward light pollution mandatory (a) in all new housing developments; and (b) when existing yellow sodium lights are replaced; and [HL5943]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Street-lighting service levels are a matter for individual highway authorities. This includes determining the type of lighting to be used and whether to reduce or switch off lighting in certain circumstances.
The effects of reducing lighting levels or turning lights off will vary from case to case. Any cost savings from reduced energy use would have to be balanced against potential adverse effects; for example, on accidents or crime.
The UK Lighting Board in conjunction with the Institution of Lighting Engineers has published Invest to Save, which provides guidance to local authorities considering adopting energy-saving measures such as dimming or switching off lights. The document can be found at the Institution of Lighting Engineers' website at www.ile.org.uk.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon) on 3 November (WA 20) concerning payments to and by the Northern Ireland Parades Commission, how much was paid to the commission for payments to its members each year since 2004. [HL6137]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Information relating to payments to commission members can be found in the Northern Ireland Parades Commission annual report and financial statements. Copies of these reports are held in the Library.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The work of the Bill of Rights Forum is now complete. The forum's financial records, which are now held by the Northern Ireland Office, indicate that £2,401.40 was spent on taxis.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: This is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Official Report and the Library of the House.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Of the contracted workforce of 2,701 currently on the Olympic site, 24 per cent (637) are residents of the Olympic host boroughs. This compares favourably to the average local workforce of 5 to 10 per cent of other recent major construction projects. The Olympic Delivery Authority is seeking to maintain and improve on this as the build programme continues, working closely with local agencies.
The Games provide a catalyst to improve the employment prospects for disadvantaged communities across London. The London Employment and Skills Action Plan for 2012, co-owned by the London Development Agency, Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus, aims to reduce worklessness in London by 70,000, (20,000 of these in the host boroughs). Supporting local people into jobs on the Olympic Park is just one element of this work. In the longer term, we shall build on the collaborative work of agencies in the host boroughs as a basis for tackling endemic problems of high unemployment through a strategic regeneration framework for the area incorporating the Olympic Park post-2012. This will be as much about removing barriers to employment, such as benefits entitlement, childcare and language skills, as providing training in jobs.
Both the immediate work in securing Olympic jobs for local people and the longer-term aim to reduce worklessness in the host boroughs will be subject to a longitudinal evaluation of all this work to measure its impact beyond 2012 to 2015. This will also look at the impact on employment of other contractors (non-construction) in delivering the Games and its legacy.
Lord Davies of Oldham: £99.956 million of lottery funding will be transferred from the National Lottery Distribution Fund, in respect of Sport England, to the Olympic Lottery Distribution Fund, between 2009 and 2012. Additionally, Sport England is contributing £263.8 million to elite and community sport as part of the overall Olympic budget over the period 2004 to 2012.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The amount of public subsidy required to support the Olympic Village will be determined in the light of commercial negotiations. However, the Minister for the Olympics is confident that this subsidy can be provided from within the £9.325 billion public sector funding envelope.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 7 July (WA 66) concerning consultants to the Northern Ireland Parades Commission, why the commission used different processes for selecting Biznet Solutions and Parity Training Ltd. [HL5989]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Given the nature of the products to be delivered, two different approaches were taken in selecting the respective consulting firms; that is, Biznet Solutions for IT and Parity Solutions for recruitment of the secretary to the Northern Ireland Parades Commission. Both, however, were engaged in accordance with Northern Ireland Office procurement guidance.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 28 October (HL5449), how many of the 216,581 applicants interviewed by passport personal interview officers from 31 July 2007 to 31 July 2008 were refused a United Kingdom passport. [HL5973]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Identity interviews were added to the passport process mainly to deter fraud by increasing the difficulties for impostors seeking to obtain passports in other people's identities. The interviews therefore also act as a protection for British citizens against one form of identity theft. Extensive checks are carried out prior to interview and in a number of cases this will uncover issues which will mean that the passport application is withdrawn or refused. At the present time, no applicants have been refused a passport as a result of an interview at a passport interview office.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): All local planning authorities are required to agree with the Secretary of State and publish a local development scheme (LDS) which sets out the number, type and timing of proposed development plan documents and publish the scheme on their websites.
10 Nov 2008 : Column WA104
On how many occasions during 2008 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has overturned a planning inspector's recommendation; and how many times this was done in 2006 and 2007. [HL6016]
|Total number of decisions
|No. of decisions where the Secretary of State went against inspector
What was the average period of time between submission of a planning application and a decision being reached by the relevant authority in each of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008; and how the figures compare with the average time in the three years preceding the coming into force of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. [HL6017]
Baroness Andrews: The department does not hold information on the average length of time for planning decisions to be reached. However, we do hold data on the number of decisions meeting the 13-week target for decision-making (for major applications) and the eight-week target (for minor and other applications). These are presented in the table below:
|Percentage of decisions
|Major planning applications determined within 13 weeks
|Minor planning applications determined within 8 weeks
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Government are undertaking sweeping reform of the immigration system. This includes introduction of the points-based system to ensure that only those who the UK really needs come here to work. The points-based system is flexible and responsive to the needs of the economy and we will use these levers taking advice from the Migration Advisory Committee on where our economy needs migration, and from the Migration Impacts Forum to tell us about the pace of change that is right.
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