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22 Jun 2009 : Column WA241



22 Jun 2009 : Column WA241

Written Answers

Monday 22 June 2009

Agriculture: Sheep

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Farmers will not be required to buy an electronic reader; they can record individual information using a pen and paper. However, should they choose to do so, prices begin at around £400.

Armed Forces: Human Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): I refer the noble Lord to the oral Answer I gave on 15 June (Official Report, cols. 838-839) to the noble Lord, Lord Astor of Hever.

Asylum Seekers

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): I refer the noble Lord to the Answers I gave on 1 June 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 6) and 30 June 2008 (Official Report, col. WA 12) and my letter to him of 18 June 2008, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

Bees

Questions

Asked by Lord Moynihan



22 Jun 2009 : Column WA242

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Decisions on what projects will be funded under the insect pollinator initiative will be made by the funders on the basis of whether they fulfil the eligibility criteria, address the issues outlined in the research call and on the basis of their quality. Therefore, it is not possible to predict at this stage what proportion of funds will be allocated to specific areas. A meeting will be held in London on 3 July to launch the call for proposals and further details can be found on the Living With Environmental Change website.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Lord Davies of Oldham: Defra has recently provided increased funding of £4.3 million to bee health. Of this, £2.3 million will be provided to the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit over the next two years to implement the first stage of the Healthy Bees plan.

The remaining £2 million is being made available to the insect pollinator initiative on pollinator decline.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Lord Davies of Oldham: Defra has allocated £2 million to the new insect pollinator initiative being developed under the Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) programme. We anticipate proposals on a wide range of important insect pollinator issues will be submitted which may include proposals for research on the native British black bee. However, decisions on what projects will be funded will be made by the funders on the basis of whether they fulfil the eligibility criteria, address the issues outlined in the research call and on the basis of their quality. A meeting will be held in London on 3 July to launch the call for proposals and further details can be found on the LWEC website.

Asked by Lord Dykes

Lord Davies of Oldham: Defra launched its Healthy Bees plan on 9 March which seeks to address the challenges facing beekeepers and is aimed at sustaining honey bees’ health and beekeeping in England and Wales over the next decade.

Additional funding of £2.3 million over the next two years has been allocated to the Food and Environment Research Agency's National Bee Unit to implement the first stage of the plan. These funds will be targeted at gaining a more accurate picture of the health of

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honey bee colonies and developing an enhanced education programme to drive up husbandry standards and disease awareness.

Our improved understanding of the national position will allow the development of a new robust disease control and surveillance programme for implementation from 2011 onwards. Scotland and Northern Ireland are developing their own strategies reflecting the different structures and agencies involved.

Blackburn Diocese Board of Social Responsibility

Question

Asked by Baroness Howells of St Davids

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Grassroots, Family Days and Support Project was allocated £1.4 million for a fixed three-year period through Her Majesty's Treasury Invest to Save programme. The scheme provides the opportunity to pilot innovations to evaluate outcomes, to disseminate learning and to determine whether such practice can be encompassed within the delivery of mainstream services. In the event of such funding being awarded, no assurance can be given that funding can be sustained from any source.

Some valuable learning from the project has been adopted by the four participating prisons which are now themselves running family-specific events within their establishments. The project overall presents learning and practice development which will be used to good effect in developing national service specifications relating to both mentoring and children and families of offenders. It also informs work in developing and implementing the recommendations of Baroness Neuberger's report into volunteering in the criminal justice system.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The table below shows the total amount of compensation paid to farmers in England in each of the past 10 financial years for cattle compulsorily slaughtered for bovine tuberculosis control reasons.



22 Jun 2009 : Column WA244

YearCompensation paid* £m

2008-09**

33.1

2007-08

16.8

2006-07

14.5

2005-06

33.2

2004-05

24.1

2003-04

24.4

2002-03

24.7

2001-02

6.2

2000-01

5.6

1999-00

4.8

* Compensation includes payments to farmers for “reactors” and “direct contact” animals which are compulsorily slaughtered. This data have been taken from the Defra Oracle Financial System.

** Data are provisional and subject to change.

Business Support

Question

Asked by Lord Tebbit

Lord Brett: The government response of March 2009 to the Anderson review noted that a number of government departments operate a complaints process in respect of regulatory guidance. This process applies to government guidance on domestic and European legislation. It may include a discretionary ex gratia payment as one of the options for redress. Any such complaints would be considered on a case by case basis in the light of all the relevant circumstances.

Cattle Compensation Advisory Group

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Cattle Compensation Advisory Group, set up to help monitor the roll out of the table valuation based compensation arrangements, has not convened since 2006 because of the long running and ongoing legal challenge against this system. We have no plans to reconvene the group.

Children: ContactPoint

Questions

Asked by Lord Moynihan



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): We expect that ContactPoint management teams will have completed their training by the end of August.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: ContactPoint management teams and trainers are subject to testing as part of the ContactPoint training. There is no mandatory written exam for practitioners to become authorised users of ContactPoint.

In order for professionals who work with children and young people to become authorised users of ContactPoint they must:

have an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check, renewed every three years;

attend and successfully complete mandatory training on the use of ContactPoint, which includes security responsibilities, the importance of good security practice, the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Act;be provided with the ContactPoint security operating procedures; andsign an end-user agreement form which sets out the responsibilities and commitments that an authorised user of ContactPoint agrees.

ContactPoint users will also need to be subject to monitoring by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) when it is introduced.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: The department and local authorities are making information about ContactPoint available to young people and their parent/carer using a variety of means and channels; for example, local direct mailing in some areas, leaflet availability at public outlets and leaflet distribution, articles and notices in national, local and regional publications, and posting information on websites. This has been happening for many months, and will continue to happen as ContactPoint is rolled out nationally. Local authorities are responsible for determining themselves how best to make information about ContactPoint available to the public, and the department has provided guidance to support them to do this. The department does not collect information about local direct mailing on ContactPoint; and therefore we cannot estimate the cost of this type of activity.



22 Jun 2009 : Column WA246

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: ContactPoint is designed, built, operated and managed to HM Government standards for security and complies with the strict controls imposed by HM Government security policy. Data contained within the system are made available only to those authorised users and administrators who have been subject to vetting and have completed mandatory training.

Shielding is an additional measure of security, relevant for the small minority of children and young people considered to be at an increased risk should their whereabouts become known. Shielding hides the contact details of the child or young person and their parent/carer, together with those of any practitioners involved with them.

The decision to shield a record must be taken by the local authority on a case-by-case basis and will be based on the level of threat posed. Local authorities must also take into account any views expressed by the child/young person and, where appropriate, their parents/carers and any relevant involved practitioners. We have provided statutory and non-statutory guidance and business processes to local authorities to help them in making these decisions and to help ensure consistency in decision-making across authorities.

It is vital that shielding is only applied where there are strong reasons—for example, where there is reason to believe that not doing so is likely to:

place a child at increased risk of significant harm;put a child's placement at risk (in the case of adoption);place an adult at increased risk of significant harm, and/or;prejudice the prevention or detection of a serious crime.

Children: Nutrition

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Government are committed to promoting breastfeeding as the best form of nutrition for infants and have undertaken a range of interventions to promote and raise awareness about infants’ nutrition. These include: an investment of £7 million to support primary care trusts to implement the Baby Friendly Initiative in hospitals and in the community; the provision of easily accessible and timely advice through the National Breastfeeding Helpline; the breastfeeding DVD “From Bump to Breastfeeding” given to all new mothers in

22 Jun 2009 : Column WA247

England via their midwives and health visitors and a number of promotional materials provided and activities held locally during the National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. In addition, the department's Healthy Start scheme promotes breastfeeding to mothers from low-income and disadvantaged households.


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