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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

On 5 February I made an oral Statement to the House on the case of Mr Binyam Mohamed, following the judgment handed down in the High Court on 4 February. As I underlined in the debate that followed, we are working as fast and as hard as we can to secure Mr Mohamed’s release from Guantanamo Bay and return to the UK.

I now wish to update the House regarding progress made in Mr Mohamed’s case.

Senior government officials, including Her Majesty’s ambassador to the United States, have held further talks with the US Administration in recent days. President Obama issued executive orders on 22 January which established a review of the cases of all those detained at Guantanamo Bay. Following our representations, the US Administration have now agreed that Mr Mohamed’s case should be treated as a priority in this process. We continue to work with the US to achieve a swift resolution.

We have long been concerned by reports of Mr Mohamed’s welfare and medical condition. Yesterday I met Mr Mohamed’s US military defence counsel, Lieutenant-Colonel Yvonne Bradley, and her account underlined those concerns. The US Government have also agreed that Foreign Office officials should visit Mr Mohamed as soon as possible. The visit will help us make preparations for his return, should the review confirm a decision to release him. The team will include a medical examiner, who would take part in any return, so that he may assess Mr Mohamed's condition himself and report back.

I will keep the House informed on this issue.

Health: Children and Young People


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, and I are announcing the publication of Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures: The Strategy for Children and Young People’s Health.

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A healthy start in life is at the heart of a happy childhood and the ability of every young person to achieve their potential and grow up well prepared for the challenges of adolescence and adulthood.

Children and young people are healthier than ever before, but we now have the opportunity to go further. We need to do more to achieve world-class health outcomes and minimise health inequalities, offering services of the highest quality and an excellent experience for the young people and their families who use them.

We know that we must do more to provide mothers and fathers with the support they need to give their children the best start and to help young people to make healthy choices as they grow up and take more responsibility for themselves.

Our two departments have come together to produce this long-term strategy to improve health outcomes for all children and young people from pre-birth to 19. It is a direct response to the views and concerns of young people, parents and professionals working with children and families.

Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures sets out how we will work in partnership with local authorities and primary care trusts and those working across children’s health services to build the quality of support for families at key stages in their children’s lives—during pregnancy and the early years of children’s lives, for school-age children as well as young people. Our package of support for children and young people with acute and additional health needs is backed by a total of £770 million funding over three years to 2010-11, the largest ever investment in these services.

Investing in children’s health from the early years through childhood and adolescence will benefit children, families, society and the NHS.

We have met many children, young people, parents and practitioners in the process of putting this strategy together. Children and young people want easier access to health services to support their psychological as well as physical health. Parents and carers want better information about what services are available locally, with better links between the services that their children use. Front-line staff want help with providing excellent, integrated health and healthcare services for children and families.

Through High Quality Care for All: NHS Next Stage Review Final Report we set out how the NHS would meet the challenges of the 21st century. Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures sets out how we will continue to deliver improvements in children’s physical and psychological health, building on existing policies such as the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services and the Every Child Matters reforms.

The strategy builds on work already in train to improve the quality and consistency of services, support and opportunities that families and children can expect in their local area. Services already aim to promote healthy lifestyles, intervene early where health problems arise and deliver support tailored to families’ needs: easily accessible support in pregnancy and early years of children’s life through Sure Start children’s centres and GP practices; helping children to take increasing

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personal responsibility for their health during their school years and young people to deal with the health challenges of adolescence; good access to urgent care; and specialist support for children with complex and long-term conditions, so that every child can reach their full potential.

Through the strategy, we are making commitments to improve this existing support for children, young people and families:

during pregnancy and the early years of life, more health visitors, and a strengthened role for Sure Start children’s centres with each centre having access to a named health visitor; further expansion of the successful family nurse partnership programme for vulnerable first-time mothers; and the development and testing of a new antenatal and preparation for parenthood programme for mothers and fathers; for school-age children and their families, a core health programme, the development of a healthy child programme to set out what services should be available to parents, children and young people from five to 19 with schools supporting pupils’ health and well-being, and pilots to test the impact of extending free school meals to a greater number of pupils; andfor young people, more opportunities for sport, access to health services that are young-people friendly, and a new campaign to increase young people’s knowledge of effective contraceptive methods, backed by increased investment of around £27 million a year from 2008-09 for contraceptive services in a range of settings.

The strategy emphasises the need to ensure that high-quality, timely and accessible support is available for children and young people with acute or additional health needs and their families. We are making new commitments to strengthen that support:

confirmation of £340 million in NHS allocations over three years to improve the experience of disabled children and their families through better access to short breaks, community equipment and wheelchair services, including £30 million for palliative care and end-of-life care, in addition to the £340 million revenue funding already announced by DCSF for the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme and the £90 million capital funding announced in the Children’s Plan; andwe will test innovative approaches to the provision of community equipment and make sure that by 2010 all children with complex health needs have individual care plans to support co-ordinated care.

Improving children’s health from birth to 19 is an ambitious agenda. In order to drive change in every area, we know that we need stronger joint leadership to plan, commission and monitor the delivery of excellent services. The strategy sets out how we will help those on the front line to make a reality of this vision.

The strategy sets out a clear expectation that children’s trust partners are to provide children and families with accessible and comprehensive information about the services, advice and support available locally. New commitments to support local provision include action to:

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promote stronger joint leadership and local accountability arrangements, with statutory children’s trust boards to include GP members as well as primary care trusts; ensure all organisations with responsibility for child health and well-being are fulfilling their statutory responsibilities for safeguarding children; develop the child health workforce, with a particular early focus on health visitors; deliver a support programme for local authorities and PCTs to commission child health services;strengthen the information available to help plan, monitor and improve services; andgive a stronger voice for children and young people in assessments of healthcare organisations, and robust arrangements to promote and ensure the quality of health services.

With schools, GP practices, hospitals, Sure Start children’s centres, the voluntary sector and government all playing their part in support of families, we can ensure that every child has a healthy start in life and a brighter future. Working together, we can continue to work towards our goal to make this the best place in the world to grow up.

Copies of Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures: The Strategy for Children and Young People’s Health and the accompanying guidance on joint commissioning will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Higher Education: Student Loans


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Today my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property (David Lammy) made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In July 2006, Bill Rammell announced that the Student Loans Company (SLC) would become the national delivery organisation of a transformed student finance service which provides a higher quality of service and is more convenient for the customer.

The SLC is undergoing a programme of change to equip itself for its new role. As part of this we asked the company to prepare a delivery strategy which sets out how it would deliver the policy objectives of DIUS and the devolved Administrations.

I received the final version of the company’s delivery strategy on 20 October 2008. It outlines what results the company will deliver over the next three years, and the capacity and capability it will need to build, to ensure the effective delivery of the aspects of the student finance service for which it is now responsible. It also proposes the success measures that DIUS will use to hold the company to account over its performance.

I am going to place the SLC delivery strategy in the Libraries of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

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Home Energy Efficiency Measures


The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Together with my right honourable friends the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Minister for Housing, I am today publishing three consultation documents, the Heat and Energy Saving Strategy (HESS), the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target uplift (CERT) and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), which together make up a comprehensive package to save energy and reduce emissions from now through to 2020 and beyond and increase the UK’s energy security.

The consultation on Heat and Energy Saving Strategy sets out the Government's long-term vision for dramatically improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses. If the UK is to achieve its targets on emissions reductions and renewable energy, we will have to move beyond conventional and easy-to-install energy efficiency measures and consider more radical ways of saving energy. We will also need to decarbonise the generation and supply of heat. By 2050, emissions from UK households need to be approaching zero if we are to meet our target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent. The Minister for Housing recently published a consultation setting out proposals on making new homes zero-carbon from 2016, and seeking views on the Government's ambition that non-domestic buildings should be zero carbon from 2019. This strategy therefore concentrates on existing buildings. By 2020, our ambition is to have made available comprehensive whole-house solutions to improve the energy performance of approximately 7 million homes. Building on this and by 2030, we aim to have made those measures available to all households.

In support of this, two consultations on increasing the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target by 20 per cent and the Community Energy Saving Programme set out the Government's immediate plans for households. In particular, they include increasing the current roll-out of energy efficiency measures and a new programme to deliver whole-house solutions to the most vulnerable households in deprived communities. The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is the Government's principal tool for delivering household energy and carbon savings. Under CERT, electricity and gas suppliers are required to meet challenging carbon-saving targets by encouraging households to take up energy efficiency measures. Suppliers are free to decide how to deliver their obligations, but typically will promote free and subsidised offers on key measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation and high-efficiency lights and appliances. They are obliged to meet at least 40 per cent of their targets in a priority group qualifying, low-income households, including those aged over 70. The obligation applies in England, Scotland and Wales. By way of increasing the number of energy-saving measures available to consumers and in response to high and rising energy prices, the Prime Minister, on 11 September 2008, proposed raising the CERT target by 20 per cent. Making a significant contribution to

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the UK’s environmental and social ambitions, increasing the level of CERT will mean a revised carbon target of 185 million tonnes lifetime CO2 savings (from 154MtCO2) to be delivered by 31 March 2011. This means annual savings of 5.3 MtCO2 (from 4.2 MtCO2), equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from 940,000 homes. It is expected to drive increased energy supplier investment of some £576 million, taking total energy supplier CERT investment to some £3.2 billion.

The Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) was also announced on 11 September 2008 by the Prime Minister, and aims to deliver holistic packages of carbon abatement measures to vulnerable households in low-income, deprived communities in Great Britain and offers an opportunity to pilot some of the approaches outlined in the Heat and Energy Saving consultation document. The key proposals will deliver substantial emissions reductions and permanent fuel bills savings for those in the targeted areas, and are:

a new obligation on energy suppliers and electricity generators to deliver an estimated £350 million of energy efficiency measures, and to ensure fairness to be targeted at the most vulnerable domestic consumers;ensuring targeted households, and hard to treat properties, receive the most effective and expensive actions like solid wall insulation;measures to be offered as a package to deliver whole house solutions, delivered in a house-by-house, street-by-street approach; and

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to deliver support through a community partnership where local authorities and community groups work with the electricity generators and energy suppliers to help identify the households in most need.

The proposals in these consultation documents will help us to tackle both the immediate difficulties people face in paying their energy bills and the longer-term issues we face in becoming more energy efficient and decarbonising our heat supply.

Home Office: DEL


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Plans of changes to the Departmental Expenditure Limit and Administrative Budget for 2008-09

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Home Office's Departmental Expenditure Limits for 2008-09 will be increased by £2,822,000 from £9,688,381,000 to £9,691,203,000 and the administration budget will be reduced by £618,000 from £399,289,000 to £398,671,000.

Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table.

ChangeNew DEL£'000

Resource DEL






of which:

Administration budget*






Near-cash in RDEL *












Less depreciation***












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