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To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps are being taken to ensure that the same standard of compliance with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 in respect of traffic signs and road markings, which is a condition for authorising new civil parking enforcement powers to a local authority, is applied as a condition for lawful parking enforcement in local authorities that were exercising de-criminalised parking enforcement under the Road Traffic Act 1991. [HL5330]
Lord Adonis: The Department for Transport has, since late 2005, required a senior official from the local authority to confirm, in writing, six weeks before civil parking enforcement can come into force that there has been a complete review of the Traffic Regulation Orders, traffic signs and road markings within the entire proposed civil enforcement area, any deficiencies highlighted by this review have been rectified, and as a result they all conform to legislation and are consistent with one another. The Government have no plans to seek such an undertaking from local authorities that were given parking enforcement power before this requirement was introduced.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when officers of the Department for Transport and its predecessors have addressed meetings of the Joint Committee of Parking And Traffic Regulations Outside London; whether such officers have informed the joint committee in any such addresses of the condition of compliance of traffic signs and road markings with the traffic signs regulations and general directions before lawful enforcement of parking restrictions is possible; and, if not, when such instructions will be presented. [HL5331]
Lord Adonis: On 7 October 2008 the head of traffic management division at the Department for Transport (DfT) gave a speech to a meeting of the Joint Committee of Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London (PATROL), on behalf of DfT Ministers. The speech reviewed parking enforcement six months after the implementation of relevant parts of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, and encouraged local authorities to adopt best practice in parking enforcement, in particular by taking full account of statutory guidance and carrying out regular reviews of policy and processes. DfT has no plans to address PATROL members about their duty to comply with specific items of legislation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 7 May (WA 145-6), whether in their second consultation on implementing the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Hirst (No. 2) v United Kingdom they will consult prisoners. [HL5303]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The second consultation on the voting rights of convicted prisoners was opened on 8 April 2009. We have sought to engage directly with a broad range of groups and organisations that support or campaign on behalf of prisoners, and sent copies of the consultation to organisations representing prisoners, together with other stakeholders, including those organisations who represent victims of crime.
Although we have already received some responses from serving prisoners, in the light of the limitations prisoners may face in accessing the consultation, we
5 Oct 2009 : Column WA405
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The following table provides resource expenditure figures for probation boards and trusts. This is taken from the published annual consolidated accounts of local probation boards for 2004/05 to 2007/08. For 2008/09 the consolidated accounts for local boards are not yet published and the figure is taken from the National Offender Management Service annual report and accounts.
Due to organisational and structural changes, the expenditure on probation services met directly by local boards and trusts (and hence included in their accounts) has changed. Some expenditure, notably some IT and premises costs, has been met centrally by the National Probation Directorate or by the National Offender Management Service. Care should be taken in comparing figures over a long period of time.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many staff by grade are employed by the Probation Service in England and Wales; and what are the projected workforce employment figures for (a) 31 March 2010, and (b) 31 March 2011. [HL5294]
Responsibility for resourcing levels ultimately lies with each probation board or trust, as they are the employers of probation staff. It is for them to take the action necessary at a local level to ensure they can deliver the required service within available resources.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The department last directly commissioned research on this topic from Ofsted in April 2005. Ofsted conducted a survey involving 13 local authorities and found that most were aware of a small number of unofficial exclusions, and had mechanisms in place to detect these.
However, we also funded TreeHouse, a non-maintained special school in North London, for children with autism, to work with 10 local parent support groups to campaign constructively for better autism services. One of the groups was particularly interested in informal exclusions and TreeHouse decided to survey the parents in all 10 projects. This reported that 55 per cent of parents reported that their child had been illegally excluded at some time.
The department recognises the importance of tackling informal/unofficial exclusions, since they can have serious impact on children's education, particularly if they are used repeatedly or result in the child being removed from education for a long period of time. For these reasons, the department's guidance on exclusions, to which head teachers and local authorities must have regard, gives an unequivocal message that unofficial exclusions are illegal and should not take place. Additional
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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Myners on 8 July (WA 173-4), what percentage of the respective populations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (a) paid income tax in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and (b) are projected to pay income tax in 2008-09 and 2009-10. [HL5156]
These figures are based on estimates for the number of taxpayers in 2006-07 and projections for later years prepared by HM Revenue & Customs, and the population
5 Oct 2009 : Column WA408
The decline of the proportion of people with an income tax liability in recent years is mainly due to above indexation increases to personal allowances. Country variation reflects levels of employment.
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Government have committed to reforming the way in which the UK taxes foreign corporate profits. From the first of this month, a wide-ranging dividend exemption was introduced which enhances the UK's competitive position, allowing companies, including UK headquarters, to bring profits back to the UK tax free.
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