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Industrial Building Allowance

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach



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The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The phased withdrawal of the industrial buildings allowance affects all businesses (not just companies) that are claiming industrial buildings allowances.

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Myners: We do not believe that the withdrawal of industrial buildings allowances will affect how buildings are maintained. Expenditure incurred in repairing and maintaining property is invariably revenue expenditure and as such not affected by the abolition of industrial buildings allowances.

Iran

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The US authorities are well aware of the the UK's position towards the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MeK). However, US proscription is a matter for those authorities alone.

Iraq

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): I refer the noble Baroness to the Statement made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister on 15 June 2009 to the House of Commons, (Official Report, col. 21).

The Prime Minister announced that the membership of the Committee of Inquiry consists of highly respected, entirely non-partisan experts in their fields. The committee members were consulted before agreeing to join the inquiry. There was also consultation with the Opposition on the membership. As a Privy Counsellor Committee of Inquiry, it will be a completely independent inquiry.



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NHS: Surplus Land

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): National Health Service trusts are responsible for the management and disposal of land and buildings in their ownership. The department does not collect information centrally on what land and buildings have been declared surplus to requirements, neither does the department audit for accuracy or completeness nor how long such property has been declared surplus by NHS bodies.

Guidance for NHS organisations on all land and property transactions, including the disposal of surplus land or buildings, is contained in the Health Building Note 00-08: Estatecode, a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

NHS foundation trusts are authorised and regulated by Monitor, the independent regulator, which does not require the reporting of surplus assets. NHS foundation trusts are restricted in their ability to dispose of assets required for the provision of services, but under their authorisation they must also be managed in an effective, efficient and economic fashion, including the effective use of their land and buildings.

Northern Ireland Office: Hire Cars

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office, including the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, overstated the total amount paid to suppliers of private hire cars by £120,000 in the following years:

Year£k

2003/04

4

2004/05

43

2006/07

73

Total

120

These amounts should have been charged to air travel.



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Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty's Government who is responsible for appraising the chair of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and on the basis of what criteria. [HL4848]

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Permanent Secretary of the Northern Ireland Office is ultimately responsible for advising the Secretary of State on the overall performance of the chief commissioner. The role of the chief commissioner is set out in the NIHRC Management Statement and Financial Memorandum, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: It is the Northern Ireland Act 1998 that requires the Secretary of State when making appointments to the Human Rights Commission to secure "as far as practicable" that the commissioners, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland, so the requirement must be read in the context of that legislation.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Atlantic Philanthropies is an independent organisation and the noble Lord may wish to write to it if he wants to know its reasons for making the grant to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Other public bodies may be able to access external funding where and in the circumstances in which their governing arrangements allow them to do so.

Northern Ireland: Youth Justice Agency

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: In developing its policies and services, the Youth Justice Agency will consult with and obtain feedback from a broad range of key stakeholders and partners, and in particular, children, their families, victims of youth crime and those organisations representing them. It will also take into account developments and best practice in other jurisdictions. Where appropriate, the agency will also consult Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, local councillors and Members of both Houses of Parliament.

The agency will also continue to strengthen engagement and links with other statutory bodies and devolved departments with responsibility for cross-cutting issues such as education and social services, which are relevant to the work of the agency.

In preparation for the devolution of policing and justice functions to the Northern Ireland Executive, the agency recently undertook a process of engagement with locally elected representatives and Members of Parliament. This consisted of briefings and visits to Youth Justice Agency premises and events with the purpose of raising awareness of the work of the agency. To date, this has not included any Members of the House of Lords. However any requests from noble Lords interested in participating would be welcomed.

Passports

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Personal passport interviews are conducted through the interview office network of the Identity and Passport Service. The recorded number of personal passport interviews conducted since the scheme was established in July 2007 up until the end of June 2009 was 454,973.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Personal passport interviews are conducted through the interview office network of the Identity and Passport Service. The recorded number of personal passport interviews carried out by the interview office network in 2008 was 286,444.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Personal passport interviews are conducted through the interview office network of the Identity and Passport Service. The cost of the personal passport interview scheme since it was

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established and became operational in July 2007 to the end of June 2009 has been £50.2 million. The full costs of the interview office network are met by passport fees.

Planning: Plants, Hedges and Trees

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty's Government in respect of conditions attached to the granting of planning permission for landscaping with plants, hedges and trees that specify that it must take place during a particular "planting season", what that means in relation to the months during which it is to take place. [HL4946]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Clarification of the terms of a condition attached to a planning permission is best sought from the decision-maker-usually a local planning authority-who granted the permission. In setting conditions, local planning authorities should ensure that they satisfy the six tests set out in DoE Circular 11/95 (Use of Conditions in Planning Permission), that they are necessary, relevant to planning, relevant to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects.

Police: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Government are committed to providing the resources necessary to ensure the effective policing of Northern Ireland. It is principally a matter for the Chief Constable to determine the size and composition of the police service within the available resources. He has recently confirmed his intention that the full time reserve should be wound down in line with the existing severance programme by March 2011. The Government are committed to the commissioning of an independent review of policing numbers and structures during 2009-10.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): That is an operational matter for the chief constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.



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Public Expenditure: Regions

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Her Majesty's Treasury allocates spending on a department-by-department basis. Allocations by region for each department's programmes are designated by the department concerned. For example, the regional development agencies' single programme budget is divided between regions using a funding formula which takes into account the needs of the region including skills, worklessness and productivity.

Roads: Fatal Accidents

Question

Asked by Lord Condon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Figures available centrally show the numbers of casualties and degree of injury in road traffic collisions involving police vehicles in emergency/pursuit.

Figures for 2007-08 have been provided for 38 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. They show that there were (a) 11 fatal injuries and (b) 87 serious injuries.

Figures for 2006-07 have been provided for 41 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. They show that there were (a) 19 fatal injuries and (b) 136 serious injuries.

Figures for 2005-06 have been provided for 42 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. They show that there were (a) 26 fatal injuries and (b) 85 serious injuries.

The data provided here are a supplementary series collected on behalf and released with the approval of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). These data are normally used for inspection purposes only.

Asked by Lord Condon


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