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Written Answers

Wednesday 8 July 2009

Children: ContactPoint


Asked by Lord Moynihan

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): ContactPoint is an online directory to enable the delivery of co-ordinated support for children and young people. It will be the quick way for practitioners to find out who else is working with the same child. ContactPoint will contain basic identifying information about all children and young people in England up to their 18th birthday and contact details for their parents/carers and for services working with the child or young person-nothing more. It does not and will not contain any financial information (such as bank details) or case information (such as case notes, assessments, medical records, exam results, comments or subjective observations).

We have always sought a balance between children's and families' rights to the services to which they are entitled, and their individual rights to privacy, and we take our responsibilities under the European Convention on Human Rights very seriously. We have ensured that ContactPoint complies with the relevant legal obligations and had a public consultation on the draft ContactPoint regulations in 2006. The primary legislation and ContactPoint regulations were scrutinised by Parliament.

ContactPoint has a significant set of security measures and controls in place and meets recognised industry and Government assurance levels for security. We have an ongoing commitment to security and regular testing will be carried out. All ContactPoint users have to state clear reasons for access and all use of the system will be subject to monitoring and audit. Sanctions are in place for misuse under the provisions of the Data Protection Act and Computer Misuse Act.

Courts: Fees


Asked by Lord Carlile of Berriew

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Legal Services Commission (LSC) are reviewing the system of payment for counsel's services in the Family Court as part of the Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010 consultation which closed on 3 April 2009.

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The proposed family advocacy scheme in the consultation proposes paying the same fee for the same work regardless of whether the advocate is a self employed, or in-house barrister or solicitor, and we proposed an intermediate rate which we believe is fair to all advocates. The scheme includes higher fees for more complex work: for example, by paying for additional interim hearings or paying extra for lengthy final hearings. Some respondents to the consultation were concerned that the proposed scheme did not contain sufficient graduation to reward more complex cases. The LSC has been working closely with stakeholders on further development of the scheme. It is likely that the final scheme will have more graduation and complexity, than that originally proposed.

Digital Britain


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): The Digital Britain final report stated that the energy consumption of digital radios is now broadly comparable to that of analogue, but cheaper digital equipment has yet to achieve parity. The Government have committed to work closely with manufacturers to examine this and other aspects of the environmental impact of the digital radio upgrade. A full analysis will form part of the impact assessment to be produced as part of the planning for the implementation of the digital radio upgrade.

Education: Sponsorship


Asked by The Earl of Dundee

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Department for Children, Schools and Families is working closely with the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) in helping schools to plan and teach personal finance relevant to students' lives and needs. It is widely recognised as a leading force in the delivery of personal finance education within schools in England covering the 4 to 19 age range and receives cross sector support from business, government and the educational establishment. It currently receives private sector support through a number of projects.

The What Money Means is a ground-breaking research and development project funded by HSBC Bank plc (£3.4 million). This is in addition to the £10 million committed by the DCSF over three years (2008-11) to support personal finance education in schools through the My Money programme.

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During the five year project (January 2007 to December 2011) What Money Means works with local authorities to develop and deliver a range of different approaches to personal finance education in primary schools, and offers training and support to local authorities and schools in how to translate these approaches into classroom practice and integrate them into the authority's future strategic planning.

A minimum of 36 local authorities over the five years of the project will be engaged in this project directly and receive support from a dedicated (PFEG) consultant.

There is also a ground-breaking volunteering programme and partnership between PFEG and the financial services sector titled "Use Your Expertise". It aims to match the unique skills of people working in financial services with schools to help make financial education real and relevant for young people.

The following organisations have currently signed up to this scheme:

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);the Personal Finance Society;the Coventry Building Society;Rathbones; andthe Co-op.

Finally, the PFEG Quality Mark accreditation system which is sponsored by Prudential also ensures that resources and materials for teaching financial capability are suitable, effective and of the highest educational quality-whether for year 1 or year 13. To date, more than 50 carefully selected resources have been awarded the Quality Mark, a number of which have been provided by financial service organisations as part of their corporate and social responsibility programmes.

Emergency Services: Common Talk Groups


Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): To date, 647 staff have been trained in the use of the Common Talk Groups on the Airwave communications network system as part of an ongoing training plan which runs ahead of the system going live in different operational areas. This training will be provided to a total of about 3,000 staff over the next few months.



Asked by Lord Selkirk of Douglas

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The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The latest available figures for the Armed Forces pension scheme (AFPS) relate to financial year 2007-08. This period has therefore been used for the figures given for the average monthly payments made under both schemes:

Gurkha pension scheme-£122.64; and AFPS-£578.41.

The figures are based upon average pensions paid to former members of the Armed Forces, their spouses, and dependants. These averages are not comparable because of different lengths of service, different rank structure between the Brigade of Gurkhas and the wider Army and, chiefly, because Gurkhas begin drawing on their pensions much earlier than British soldiers with equivalent service. For example, a Gurkha rifleman or corporal with 15 years' service (approximately 85 per cent of those receiving GPS payments) can claim an immediate pension after 15 years' service (from age 33) whereas equivalent service under the AFPS would not attract pension payments until age 60.

Health: Cancer


Asked by Lord Bradley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidance on supportive and palliative care for adults with cancer in March 2004. The National Cancer Action Team is working closely with cancer networks to monitor and support the implementation of this guidance by the end of December 2009. Plans for the implementation of this guidance are now in place in every cancer network, and it is expected to be fully implemented by the December 2009 deadline.

Health: Non-UK Residents


Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The following table shows the actual cash payments made

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to Latvia, Poland and Lithuania in the financial years since their accession to the European Union (EU) in 2004 for the healthcare of United Kingdom citizens in accordance with EU Regulation (EC) 1408/71.

Payments by UK under EU Regulation (EC) 1408/71
Financial YearLatviaPolandLithuania

2003-04 amount (£)




2004-05 amount (£)




2005-06 amount (£)




2006-07 amount (£)




2007-08 amount (£)




2008-09 amount (£)




Claims for medical costs are typically submitted by member states one to three, and sometimes more, years in arrears. Payments made in one year do not necessarily relate to claims for that year nor do they reflect the full value of claims for that year.

In the financial years up to and including 2008-09, the United Kingdom did not receive any cash payments from Latvia, Poland and Lithuania for the healthcare of their citizens since their accession to the EU in 2004.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Darzi of Denham: Under the terms of a bilateral healthcare agreement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, both countries make payments to cover the cost of healthcare provided to each other's tourists, workers, pensioners and dependants of the latter two groups. In terms of healthcare for tourists and workers, payments are made by both countries on an actual cost basis. In terms of pensioners and their dependants and dependants of workers, payments are made by both countries on an average cost basis.

Human Rights Act 1998


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government remain committed to consulting on this issue. Should the

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consultation process conclude that primary legislation is required, this would be introduced when parliamentary time allowed.

Local Authorities: Contingency Planning


Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Government increased their contribution for local authorities' civil protection activities in England and Wales from £19.3 million in 2004-05 to £40.7 million in 2005-06 to reflect the new duties established by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

Since then, civil protection funding has been integrated into the formula grant for local authorities. The amounts for individual services and functions, including civil protection, are not hypothecated within the grant. Each local authority decides how much of its formula grant it will allocate to individual services.

As the Government grant is not hypothecated, it is also not possible to separate the amount authorities spend from the income they raise locally. However, the Local Authority Revenue Expenditure and Financing-Final Outturn Statistical Releases, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, sets out total local authority expenditure on emergency planning in England (which may include other activity not covered by the Act). This shows an increase from £31.5 million in 2004-05 to £43.1 million in 2005-06, £51.1 million in 2006-07, and £58.5 million in 2007-08 (the latest figure available).

NHS: Foundation Trusts


Asked by Lord Warner

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