|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all Suspicious Activity Reports submitted to the Serious Organised Crime Agency are recorded on the database
2 Apr 2009 : Column WA288
Lord West of Spithead: All suspicious activity reports (SARs) are recorded on the database known as ELMER. The Serious Organised Crime Agency does not consider the basis on which individual SARs are reported, nor does it remove any SAR from the database on this basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Nottingham County Council has access to the Suspicious Activity Reports database of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; and which other local authorities have access to the database. [HL2615]
Lord West of Spithead: There is an accredited financial investigator in Nottingham County Council who is able to access and use the Serious Organised Crime Agencys database of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from a terminal in a local police unit. The financial investigator uses SARs when investigating housing benefit fraud. No other local authority currently has access to the SARs database. Accredited financial investigators were established in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (Amendment) Order 2005 (SI 2005/386) added local authority fraud investigators to the list of financial investigators who could use various powers in the Act.
Lord West of Spithead: The database of suspicious activity reports, known as ELMER, allows the Serious Organised Crime Agency to extract information about access of the data by users of the system. SOCA undertakes analysis of this usage and retains the results of this for the period of time for which the information has operational value.
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The matter of which types of vessel may enter a port or harbour is not for Her Majesty's Government but for the designated harbour authority. In the case of the River Mersey this is the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company. The Government encourage ports to compete for business including the cruise liner trades. The Port of Liverpool can accommodate cruise vessels and we understand that a number of visits are scheduled for 2009.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Carter of Barnes on 23 March (WA 105) concerning the depiction of smoking in television programmes, whether they propose to restrict further the depiction of smoking as a glamorous lifestyle choice. [HL2474]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on European Union aid for reconstruction in south Sudan of the Government of Sudan not signing the Cotonou agreement; and what contingency plans are being explored by the European Union. [HL2446]
Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government have been in close consultation with the European Union (EU) (both in Brussels and Sudan) and are concerned about the potential impact of the Government of Sudan's not signing the Cotonou agreement on Sudan's access to European Development Fund (EDF). The main impact would be the net loss to Sudan of approximately €300 million from the 10th EDF. Although we do not have clear figures, we know that southern Sudan would lose a substantial amount of development assistance, and this is an issue that the Government of Southern Sudan has raised with us. The withdrawal of these funds leaves potentially significant gaps in support to the World Bank managed Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the South, and other programmes which the EC has previously supported such as the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, and recovery and rehabilitation needs throughout Sudan.
Contingency options are being explored at the moment by the European Commission. We believe that the principle that all countries receiving EDF support must be signatories of the Cotonou agreement is fundamental to the partnership between these countries and the European Union and should be upheld.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The department currently provides £14,246,621 in grant funding to telephone helplines for children and adults. The individual helplines and associated funding is outlined in the table below.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will commission a review of the processes for listing and de-listing terrorist groups and individuals and for imposing sanctions, nationally and by the European Union and United Nations. [HL2434]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The processes involved in the UK proscription of terrorist organisations are reviewed by Lord Carlile as part of his annual review into the operation of the Terrorism Act 2000. In his latest report, issued in June 2008, he described the proscription processes as generally efficient and fair. These processes are additionally kept under internal review to ensure they remain proportionate and effective.
The domestic processes for asset freezing found in the Terrorism (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 are kept under review by the Treasury to ensure that these remain proportionate and effective. Part 6 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 recently strengthened these processes by making provision for rules of court to govern challenges to asset-freezing decisions, including providing for special advocates and closed hearings where the underlying information cannot be disclosed to the designated party for reasons of national security.
The UK is committed to improving current listing and delisting procedures in the EU and the UN, as well as the provision of information to designees. The UK is currently exploring a range of proposals for reform of the UN regime in particular. We will explore these proposals with our international partners in the coming months.
Lord West of Spithead: The Terrorism Act 2000 made provision, for the first time, for the proscription of organisations concerned in international and domestic terrorism (as well as terrorism connected to the affairs of Northern Ireland). Organisations listed in Schedule 2 to that Act are proscribed. On receiving Royal Assent on 20 July 2000, 14 organisations connected to the affairs of Northern Ireland were listed in Schedule 2; these organisations were until that point proscribed under previous legislation either with effect in Northern Ireland only, or, in respect of the Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army, with effect in the whole of the UK. The organisations are:The Irish Republican ArmyCumann na mBanFianna na hEireannThe Red Hand CommandoSaor EireThe Ulster Freedom FightersThe Ulster Volunteer ForceThe Irish National Liberation ArmyThe Irish Peoples Liberation OrganisationThe Ulster Defence AssociationThe Loyalist Volunteer ForceThe Continuity Army CouncilThe Orange VolunteersThe Red Hand Defenders
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the Project ARGUS training exercises developed by the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office for night-time economy businesses, airport and railway terminals and the hotel sector will deal with a scenario involving armed and mobile terrorists employing hit and run or seize and hold tactics; and whether they will place a copy of those training exercises and materials in the Library of the House. [HL2581]
Lord West of Spithead: The police National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has delivered Project ARGUS training exercises for the following sectors: high street/retail (including businesses at airports, seaports and railway terminals); the night-time economy; health; and for those involved in the built environment, specifically architects, planners and design professionals. Project Argus training materials are currently being updated to include advice for businesses on dealing with firearms attacks. More detailed advice will be incorporated in the Project Argus training materials being developed for the hotel and the education sectors. The recently published NaCTSO protective security guidance on major events (available on the NaCTSO website www.nactso.gov.uk) includes the advice for businesses on firearms attack given at Project Argus events. A copy of NaCTSO protective security publications will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 12 March (WA 280), what legal entity, rather than the statutory powers, employs the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Manager of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and the Service Director of PATROL (the Traffic Penalty Tribunal Joint Committee); and what legal entity, rather than the statutory powers, is responsible for their remuneration. [HL2367]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 12 March (WA 280), how the Parking Adjudicators of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal are remunerated; and what is the legal entity, rather than the statutory powers, responsible for their remuneration [HL2368]
To ask Her Majesty's Government on which bus and coach services in England those aged 60 or over with bus passes could travel free of charge on 31 March, but can no longer travel free of charge on and from 1 April. [HL2693]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The statutory bus concession enables those aged over 60 and eligible disabled people to travel free on off-peak local bus services throughout England. From 1 April minor changes are being made to the eligibility criteria for which services are included in the statutory bus concession. The changes are intended to clarify the existing eligibility criteria and will explicitly exclude certain types of service that are outside the
2 Apr 2009 : Column WA294
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the approach of the Rural Development Agencies towards funding rural transport initiatives which were transferred to them from the Countryside Agency. [HL2669]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Since April 2005 it has been for individual regional development agencies (RDAs) to determine the socio-economic priorities for the rural parts of their regions and demonstrate through their annual reports how they are achieving them. The Government have made no specific assessment of the regional development agencies' approach to funding the rural transport initiatives inherited from the Countryside Agency, although we are aware that a number of the initiatives have been continued either by the RDAs or by other bodies.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in drawing up schemes for developing innovative rural transport, they consider sustaining initiatives from previous allocations which may be short of funds. [HL2670]
Lord Adonis: A total of £110 million was awarded to local authorities that were successful in Rural Bus Challenge (RBC) competitions held from 1998 to 2003. This scheme has encouraged the development of innovative solutions to meeting rural transport needs. Many of the 300 projects initially supported by RBC funding are now continuing with mainstream funding from local authorities and other sources.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|