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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 16 June (WA 202), whether they will consider funding any organisation furthering the advice of the two Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioners who dissented from its report on a possible bill of rights for Northern Ireland; and whether the concept of parity of esteem applies to such external funding. [HL4478]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My Answer of 16 June (Official Report, col. WA 202) referred to a request from the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to receive funding from an external organisation for projects relating to a Bill of Rights. The Government have no plans to provide funding to any external organisation in this respect.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Crawley on 15 June (WA 186), what are the relevant passages of the Cabinet Office's Civil Superannuation Resources Accounts which cover the percentage of civil servants paying 1.5 per cent or 3.5 per cent of their pensionable earnings towards their pensions. [HL4551]
Baroness Crawley: Details of the percentage employee contributions payable and the approximate split of active membership between the sections of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme are contained in the Report of the Actuary and Report of the Manager in the Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts. Copies of the resource accounts for the years up to and including 2007-08 can be found in the Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to reinstate the No. 10 Downing Street online petition function once the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill becomes law. [HL2778]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Downing Street e-petition system has been operating continually since November 2007 and will be unaffected by the passing of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the Bradley review into mental health, they will evaluate progress with, and consider making changes to, the abbreviated two-hour version of the one-day learning disability awareness training course for inclusion in prison officer entry level training, as outlined in the Ministry of Justice's Disability, Equality Scheme 2008-2011. [HL4374]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Lord Bradley's review recommends that awareness training on mental health and learning disabilities must be available for all prison officers.
Currently, newly recruited officers receive training in caring for vulnerable individuals in custody. Options regarding the inclusion of learning disability awareness in new entrant prison officer training are currently under discussion with all relevant stakeholders.
In addition, all Bradley review recommendations will be taken forward as part of the remit of the newly established National Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board which meets for the first time on 24 June 2009 and which will publish a national delivery plan in October this year.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): In 1996 Ministers announced that "slopping out" had ended. All prisoners in normal accommodation have had access to sanitation since then in one of four ways:integral sanitation: a toilet and wash basin in a cell or in a separate annex;open access: in open conditions prisoners can leave their rooms and use central toilet facilities;electronic unlocking: cell doors are opened electronically to allow prisoners access to toilet facilities; andmanual unlocking: staff are deployed to unlock cells and allow prisoners access to toilet facilities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the forecast cost of the proposed prison in Caernarvon; when the prison will be complete; and how many prisoners will be housed in the proposed prison. [HL4358]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Proceeding with prison development on the Caernarvon site depends on the outcome of ongoing negotiations with the owner, confirmation that contamination on the site will not impede a prison development, and a successful application for outline planning permission.
The precise numbers of jobs created through construction and operation vary from prison to prison according to the size and type of prison. Previous studies have shown that a prison of 800 places will, on average, generate an income of over £7 million per year in the local economy and provide around 400 full-time jobs in operation, 250 from within the local area.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 17 June (WA 216), how many times this session the Northern Ireland Office has not applied the presumption concerning the provision of information in Written Answers. [HL4445]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Out of the 260 Lords Questions answered up to 15 June, the Northern Ireland Office referred to websites on 15 occasions. Ten of these were answered substantively, but in order to provide noble Lords with additional information on the subject, the Answers included links to websites where further information could be found.
For the remaining three Answers, the information requested was held by bodies that are independent of the Northern Ireland Office: in two cases the Chief Electoral Officer and in the third case a committee of the United Nations. It was therefore judged more appropriate to refer to the website of those bodies so that noble Lords had access to those organisations' own statements on the matters in question rather than an interpretation of these statements by government Ministers.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 14 May (WA 239), when the announcement will be made on the placing of the order for the 202 new diesel train carriages. [HL4578]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Further to my Answer of 17 June (Official Report, cols. WA 216-7), for a passenger ship to operate in UK waters it must have a valid passenger certificate or
29 Jun 2009 : Column WA23
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Rathlin Island ferry MV "CANNA" held a valid operating passenger certificate between 1 September and 11 September 2008; and, if not, when the Maritime and Coastguard Agency became aware of that. [HL4477]
Lord Adonis: The Rathlin Island ferry MV "CANNA" did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 September and 11 September 2008. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency became aware of this on 3 October 2008, while completing the annual survey.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Enterprise Champion is appointed as an unpaid independent adviser to government and small businesses. He has disclosed his commercial interests in full to the Cabinet Office and has made arrangements for managing these interests for the duration of his appointment.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): There is no intention at this time to extend the smokefree law to any outdoor places. To make any non-enclosed place smokefree would require new regulations to be made; that would usually happen only after a process of public consultation. However, there will be a review of the smokefree legislation in 2010.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 18 June (WA 232) concerning the cost of smoking-related illnesses to the National Health Service, what proposals they have to reduce that cost. [HL4487]
Lord Darzi of Denham: Over the past 10 years the Government's comprehensive programme to deal with tobacco has successfully reduced the prevalence of smoking from 28 per cent in 1998 to 21 per cent. in 2007. As a direct result of this success in reducing smoking prevalence there will over time be a reduction in real terms in the costs to the National Health Service. We will be publishing a new tobacco control strategy later this year with the aim of reducing prevalence further and thereby further reducing costs to the National Health Service.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many telephone calls (a) in the past 12 months, and (b) in the past three months, were made to (1) all Social Fund helplines, (2) all crisis loans lines, (3) all crisis loans initial claim lines, (4) all crisis loans living expenses lines, and (5) all crisis loans initial claim living expenses lines. [HL4285]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many telephone calls made to (a) all Social Fund helplines, (b) all crisis loans lines, (c) all crisis loans initial claim lines, (d) all crisis loans living expenses lines, and (e) all crisis loans initial claim living expenses lines, led to the caller speaking to a call-taker (1) in the past 12 months, and (2) in the past three months. [HL4286]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The information is not available in the requested format.
Calls made to the helplines are received into a queue and these are recorded as "calls offered". At busy times, some calls may not reach the queue and will receive the busy tone; information on those calls is not available. Of those which are held in a queue, those calls which reach a member of staff are counted as "calls answered".
All calls to crisis loan 0800 lines are for crisis loan living expenses claims. Other crisis loan applications for items such as new bedding or furniture are included within the 0845 Social Fund calls.
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