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Both Ministers reiterated their opposition to any sort of new Sangatte reception centre which might act as a magnet for illegal immigrants, traffickers and smugglers. At the same time, both Ministers are concerned for the humanitarian situation faced by individuals in the Calais region and will provide support to those in genuine need.
Alongside this we are discussing a secure replacement facility in the UK control zone to hold illegal immigrants until they can be handed over to the French border police and processed under French law. The details, including financing, are still under discussion between officials.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the words a county council, or district council, in England in the draft Infrastructure Planning (National Policy Statement Consultation) Regulations 2009 that are set out in the Consultation on list of statutory consultees for National Policy Statements mean that county councils and district councils will be statutory consultees in two-tier areas. [HL2645]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): We intend that county councils and district councils will both be statutory consultees in two-tier areas, given the different roles and responsibilities that both carry.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to add Leaders' Boards, Multi-Agency Agreements and Economic Prosperity Boards to the list of statutory consultees in the draft Infrastructure Planning (National Policy Statement Consultation) Regulations 2009. [HL2646]
Baroness Andrews: Leaders boards and economic prosperity boards will not initially be added to the list of statutory consultees in the draft Infrastructure Planning (National Policy Statement Consultation) Regulations 2009 because the orders will be made ahead of the boards formal establishment. We will consider whether it is appropriate to add these bodies to the schedule when they are formally established.
Multi-area agreements will not be added to the list of statutory consultees as they are agreements between local authorities to deliver targets and are not bodies with statutory duties or legal status in their own right.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will reconsider their decision to stop paying the fees for United Kingdom membership of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage which were paid by the Department for International Development until 2003-04. [HL1081]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long they expect the process to take for holding an officer to account as proposed in Clause 16 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill; and what actions they propose to take if any such timings are not kept to. [HL2355]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The period of time will depend upon the local authorities internal management processes and the frequency of their overview and scrutiny meetings.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, under Clause 16(10) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, another officer of the authority can include any officials from a department of state or other public and private body who are on secondment to the authority; [HL2356]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether under Clause 16 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill a petition submitted to a local authority requiring an officer to be called to account can be accepted if the petition relates to an official who normally works for a department of state but is on secondment to the authority; if not, what guidance they plan to issue on how to respond to such a petition; and whether such guidance will include advice that the matter be referred to the relevant department of state from which the official is on secondment; and [HL2357]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they would take if a local council accepted a petition requiring an officer to be called to account, as proposed by Clause 16 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, if that officer normally worked for a department of state but was on secondment to the authority. [HL2358]
Baroness Andrews Any officer of a local authority can be required by Section 21(13) of the Local Government Act 2000 to give evidence to an overview and scrutiny committee. Whether a person on secondment to a local authority is an officer of the authority will depend on the circumstances of the case. A local authority would be able to make provision in any secondment arrangements to require the secondee to give evidence to the authoritys overview and scrutiny committee if requested, even if the secondee were not an officer of the authority.
Communities and Local Government is committed to working closely with the local government sector and other stakeholders to develop guidance to support principal local authorities to meet the petitions requirements set out in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill and in particular to identify the areas which the guidance should cover. The guidance will build on the views of respondents to the 2008 Local Petitions and Calls for Action Consultation and the Communities in Control: Real people, Real Power: Improving Local Accountability Consultation and a draft will be made available for consultation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what legal advice they have received on any human rights, employment law or other legal implications of the proposed Clause 16 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill; and whether they will place such advice in the Library of the House. [HL2361]
Baroness Andrews: I have made a statement that in my view the provisions of the Bill are compatible with the convention rights. I am also satisfied that Clause 16 has no adverse effect on any employment or other rights. Clause 16 imposes no new obligations on any officer of any local authority because every officer of every authority operating executive arrangements can already be required to attend before an overview and scrutiny committee and answer questions. The Government do not disclose their legal advice in these circumstances.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Carter of Barnes on 23 March (WA 98), whether the practice of filming media
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The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): It is an offence for a person to drive or cause or permit any other person to drive, if he is in such a position that he cannot have proper control of the vehicle or have a full view of the road and traffic ahead, under Regulation 104 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
Advice for all road users on distractions is set down in Rules 148 to 150 of the Highway Code (available from www.direct.gov.uk). Specific advice for broadcasters has been provided in the booklet Presenting Road SafetyA Guide for the Media, published by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents with support from the department, which is available online at www.rospa.com/roadsafety/info/roadmedia.pdf. Under the heading Bad Practice it includes, drivers having long conversations with a passenger, or speaking to camera, without watching the road ahead.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many copies of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice, issued by the Lord Chancellor in April 2007, have been printed; and how many copies of the code have been sold or otherwise distributed. [HL2379]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 was fully implemented on 1 October 2007. Section 42 of the Act requires the Lord Chancellor to prepare a code of practice to provide guidance and information to people about how the Act will actually work in practice. The code is a statutory document and a number of people who work with people who may lack capacity have an obligation to have regard to the contents. Since its publication in April 2007:44,945 copies were printed;41,699 copies have been sold at £15 each. This figure includes English, Welsh, audio, Braille and large print versions;10,000 CD-ROMs which contain copies of the English and Welsh versions of the code have been distributed;167,586 English versions and 1,566 Welsh versions have been accessed via the Office of the Public Guardian's (OPG) website;
A supplement to the code relating to the deprivation of liberty safeguards was issued by the Lord Chancellor in August 2008. The supplement is available to buy in hard copy at a cost of £12.50 or is available to download from the Department of Health website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government with reference to the National Park Authorities (Amendment) (England) Order 2009 (SI 2009/557), which gives the Secretary of State the power to select 16 members of the Northumberland National Park Authority where before he selected 10, how many other authorities, agencies or arms-length bodies will be similarly affected by legislation consequent on structural change. [HL2659]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): I am unable to confirm the extent of future changes to the membership of bodies such as the national park authorities which may arise from the establishment of unitary authorities, as this will vary depending on the extent of the local government changes and the membership structure in the individual bodies.
The changes to the membership of Northumberland National Park Authority arose following the establishment of the new unitary authority, Northumberland Council, and the resulting abolition of the district councils in Northumberland. As the sole local authority for the area, Northumberland Council would have been responsible for appointing all local authority members to the national park authority.
Defra consulted on proposals which would reflect the new local government structure while retaining the same overall size of authority and maintaining a strong local presence on the authority. The proposals, which have now been implemented, have reduced the local authority seats from 12 to six, increased the number of parish members from four to six, and increased the number of Secretary of State members from six to 10. Two of the extra four Secretary of State seats are being taken by those who have experience of living or working in the national park: one extra with experience of living or working in the Newcastle/Gateshead area; and one with particular knowledge of regional issues.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House the further report commissioned by the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games for presentation to the Olympics Minister to assist in the Olympic shooting venue choice of (a) Bisley, (b) Barking, (c) Woolwich, and (d) any reserve site; and whether they will include an itemised breakdown of the costings and comparisons of each of those sites. [HL2417]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) undertook detailed feasibility work on the location of the London 2012 shooting venue and presented its findings to the Olympic Board at its meeting on 19 March.
For continuing reasons of commercial sensitivity and so as not to prejudice the discussions and negotiations of the ODA and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on contracts they have not awarded for temporary venues, I am unable to place a copy of the ODAs detailed feasibility work in the Library of the House at this time.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Olympic Board confirmed on 19 March that the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich will host the shooting events in 2012 as it represents the most suitable and cost-effective venue. The board also agreed that further feasibility should be undertaken at Barking Reach, but only as a contingent fallback option. The Olympic Boards decision on the shooting venue is final and on this basis I will not be asking the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to reconsider its position or the boards decision.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 15 December 2008 (WA 17), whether they will place in the Library of the House the final copy of the KPMG report on possible temporary venues for the 2012 Olympic Games, without deleted or blacked out paragraphs. [HL2416]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) published a redacted version of the KPMG findings on 19 December 2008, which is available in the House Library. For continuing reasons of
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To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they have received from the Metropolitan Police on safety and security issues arising from the owners of car parks surrounding Wembley Stadium not opening their car parks earlier than three hours before the kick-off of major matches at the stadium; and what representations they have made to those owners on this matter. [HL2349]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We have not been advised of, or received any representations regarding, safety and security issues arising from the opening times of car parks in the vicinity of Wembley Stadium.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Petitions may be received by either the Cardiff or London offices of the Wales Office or sent there by post. They will be recorded by the departments correspondence unit and assigned to the most appropriate officials and monitored to ensure that a detailed response is sent within 15 working days.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take if a local authority refuses to accept a petition asking them to call an officer to account at a public meeting of the authority, as proposed in Clause 16 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill. [HL2354]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): If a local authority fails to comply with its legal obligations, petitioners could use the usual public law remedies, such as the authoritys complaints procedure, complaining to the local government ombudsman or bringing legal proceedings such as judicial review.
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