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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We are working to develop a statutory code of practice on the management of police pursuits. Pending issue of such a code, we put out on 13 July to chief officers of police a Home Office circular announcing our intention and urging, in the mean time, compliance with the existing guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers from which we propose to develop the code.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The safety standards applicable to the loading, storage, transport and use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are published and publicly available. The standards are of the following types:3. Regulations, approved codes of practice and guidance published by HSE. These tend to apply to hazardous flammable substances that include, but are not restricted to, LPG. These standards are available in full from HSE Books at PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA or telephone 01787 88165. HSE's website at www.hse.gov.uk also contains summaries of some of this guidance and leaflets which can be freely downloaded.4. Standards published by industry associations. The main ones have been produced by UKLPG (the trade association for the UK onshore LPG industry), the Energy Institute in the UK and the American Petroleum Institute in America.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have estimated what the difference in grant size would be between the Scottish Block Grant under the Barnett Formula and a needs-based grant system for Scotland; and, if so, what is their estimate. [HL4917]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Government do not have any current plans to change the Barnett formula and therefore are not in a position to provide such an estimate.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they or the European Union are making to the government of Serbia about their treatment of the Roma minority, including evicting them from Blok 67, Belgrade. [HL4993]
The Minister for Europe (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government, through our embassy in Belgrade, is engaged, alongside a number of partners, in encouraging the Serbian Government to improve the conditions of the Roma minority in Serbia.
The Department for International Development office in Serbia is working with the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), the City of Belgrade and Roma representatives to draw up a sustainable relocation plan for the informal Roma settlements located under the arterial Gazela bridge, in order to allow for its complete overhaul. EBRD and EIB funds will not be released for the overhaul of the bridge until the resettlement plan has been agreed. The intention is that the plan will serve as a model for use by the government authorities in handling similar situations involving relocation of Roma communities, helping to ensure that situations similar to Blok 67 are avoided in future.
The European Commission (EC) delegation in Belgrade supports the rights of minorities in Serbia, including the Roma, through its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. The EC assists registration and return of displaced persons, durable solutions for housing and employment, legal assistance and income support. EC funds also assist the Commissariat for Refugees, minority national councils, the Agency for Human and Minority Rights and non-governmental organisations in order to support vulnerable groups' rights.
A full list of all these sites can be found on the Home Office website at http://security.homeoffice.gov. uk/legislation/current-legislation/terrorism-act-2006/criminal-trespass-sites.
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Her Majesty's Government and the Irish Government are actively engaged in discussions to agree a long-term funding arrangement for the provision of marine aids to navigation in the Republic of Ireland.
To enable a more informed consideration of the matter, the two Governments are carrying out an overall assessment of the provision of these aids to all regions in the UK and Ireland, including their financing. While the assessment is being carried out, negotiations between the two Governments will continue.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the review of the support functions of the three General Lighthouse Authorities will commence; when it will make proposals; and when they will be implemented. [HL5076]
Lord Adonis: The review of the provision of aids to navigation will commence shortly and is due to report in the spring 2010. The proposals it makes, including the timescale for their implementation, will then be considered by Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Republic of Ireland.
In addition, the reports drew data from direct contacts with the industry-shipping companies, terminal operators and service providers, augmented by materials from websites such as Clarkson's for the vessel size details and of the relevant port authorities.
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The UK is a signatory of the International Labour Organisation's Convention ILO 108 of 1958. Under this convention, seafarers from all signatory states on board any vessel docking in the UK are, upon presentation of a recognised seafarers' identity document, allowed ashore for leave and transit purposes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have an agreement with Sinn Fein, the IRA, and other groups or individuals not to investigate historic cases of smuggling from the Republic of Ireland. [HL5005]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding (a) the Home Office, (b) each of its agencies, and (c) non-departmental public bodies, have given to the Sufi Muslim Council in each of the past five years. [HL4482]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office, its agencies, and non-departmental public bodies have not made any payments directly to the Sufi Muslim Council. However, it is possible that the Sufi Muslim Council may have benefited indirectly under the department's grant funding of other recipients. This information is not held by the department.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to deal with young right-wing extremists who are potential targets for radicalisation by right-wing extremist groups recruiting new terrorists. [HL5111]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As the CONTEST strategy, published in March 2009 says "much Prevent activity takes place with Muslim communities. But the principles which are the basis for this work can apply to different contexts too". Channel, the police-led, multi-agency process to identify and support those vulnerable to violent extremism is intended to support those vulnerable to radicalisation by right-wing extremist groups as well as others.
Similarly, other projects and interventions to support the vulnerable, such as those sponsored by the Youth Justice Board, do not discriminate on the type of extremism to which an individual might be vulnerable.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether recent changes in penalties for road traffic offences have led to a reduction in the number of heavy goods vehicles breaking the law on the A55 in North Wales. [HL5109]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency introduced graduated fixed penalty deposits on 29 May 2009. It is still too early to form accurate statistical analysis on enforcement levels as a result of these changes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what meetings they have held with the new Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands since the resignation of the previous Premier and his cabinet, and what were the outcomes of any such meetings. [HL4914]
The Minister for Europe (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): On 18 May 2009, my honourable friend, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs responsible for the Overseas Territories, Gillian Merron, met Premier Galmo Williams during his visit to London.
Ms Merron welcomed the Premier's stated commitment to reform, but explained that the situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands was very serious. The severity of the interim report of the Commission of Inquiry was such that the UK had no choice but to take decisive action if the final report did not significantly alter our assessment of the situation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, in view of the United Nations' closure of their anti-corruption unit, to ensure that the Office of Internal Oversight Services secures the
20 July 2009 : Column WA296
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The absorption of the functions of the Procurement Task Force into the investigations division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services in December 2008 secured permanent capacity to deal with outstanding investigations specifically related to the Oil for Food programme. We will work with the Secretary-General to ensure adequate resource provision to enable completion of remaining investigations into allegations of corruption in the Oil for Food programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to support the acquisition by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services of the capacity and the broad mandate of the United Nations Procurement Task Force to permit it to investigate allegations and sanction staff and contractors who engage in bribery, collusion or fraud in procurement of United Nations funds. [HL4958]
Lord Malloch-Brown: The United Kingdom supported the absorption of the functions of the Procurement Task Force into the investigations division of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services in December 2008. This anti-corruption unit has now become a permanent part of the oversight structures of the Office of Internal Oversight Services.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice the UK Border Agency's visa service gives to women in the later stages of pregnancy who wish to visit the United Kingdom for less than three months as private patients to give birth on whether to seek entry as a visitor or for private medical treatment. [HL4618]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There is provision in the Immigration Rules for entry as a general visitor and in various categories of special visitor, including as a visitor for private medical treatment. This would be the appropriate entry category for a woman who wishes to enter the UK in order to give birth in a private medical establishment.
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