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The GLA is responsible for the implementation of measures for the achievement of air quality standards within Greater London. The Government would expect this to include consideration of any necessary steps to ensure air quality standards are not exceeded following attainment.

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Government's policy in respect of Gatwick Airport remains as set out in the 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper. The Government would not support the construction of a second runway there before 2019; and would only support it after 2019 under certain narrowly defined circumstances.

Airports: Gatwick

The 2003 White Paper sets out a policy framework to guide decisions on future planning applications. Under the terms of the Planning Act 2008, a decision

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on any planning application for a second runway at Gatwick would be likely to be a matter for the newly established Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Armed Forces: Accommodation

Questions

Asked by Baroness Sharples

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The provision of good quality living accommodation for both married and single service personnel continues to be a top departmental priority. Decades of underfunding means that the standard of service accommodation has lagged behind the expectations of our people. Some housing stock is old.

Investment over the past seven years has begun to correct this, but there is much more to be done. The department plans to spend some £3 billion in accommodation investment programmes over the next decade. Secured and planned funding levels for accommodation are at their highest levels for decades.

Since 2001, over £200 million has been spent upgrading some 14,000 service family accommodation (SFA) properties to the top standard for condition.

In addition, since 2003, some 35,000 new or improved single living accommodation bed-spaces have been delivered as part of a £1.4 billion programme that will see a further 21,000 delivered by 2013.

More remains to be done, but progress is being made and over 90 per cent of SFA is now at the two highest standards for condition. Our aim is to ensure that by March 2013 very little, if any, of the occupied SFA estate should be below standard 2 for condition.

Armed Forces: Aircraft Carriers

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Queen Elizabeth (QE) class in-service support solution is still being developed. Traditional refits will not be undertaken; instead, each ship will undergo an upkeep period approximately every six years.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: The Queen Elizabeth (QE) class in-service support solution is still being developed, which will include the upkeep cycle. At this stage, it is anticipated that an upkeep period for a QE class carrier will take less time than refits for the current CVS class, which is approximately 18 months.



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Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: Subject to cost certificate agreement by the MoD's Cost Analysis & Assurance Service (CAAS), around £852 million (CDEL, outturn) has been spent on the QE class to the end of September 2009. The contract for the manufacture of both carriers was signed in July 2008, and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has already placed £l.1 billion of supply contracts. We are committed to realising the benefits the carriers will bring and achieving value for money from the programme.

Banks: Shareholders

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The actions taken by the Government for the banking sector have been designed to ensure that financial stability is maintained and that confidence is restored to the financial system, while properly safeguarding the interests of taxpayers.

At the same time, the Government have been careful, in all cases, to respect the proper rights of shareholders. Shareholders formally approved the stakes that the Government took in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. The participation of those banks in the asset protection scheme will similarly be subject to shareholder approval. And in other interventions such as Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, we have put in place a mechanism that will see former shareholders receive proper compensation for their shares-as assessed by an independent valuer.

The Government will continue to give proper regard to the rights of shareholders. Indeed, shareholders now have a statutory right to independently assessed compensation if the Government should intervene using any of the special resolution powers available under the Banking Act 2009.

Carbons Emissions: Railways

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport uses a timetable-based environmental model to estimate the carbon dioxide emissions of rail services. The model has been calibrated using industry data on rail diesel and electricity consumption.



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Road transport carbon dioxide emissions are estimated using the department's national transport model. The model uses projections of GDP, population, employment, oil prices and vehicle efficiency to produce estimates of key road traffic metrics, including total vehicle kilometres driven and carbon emissions.

Children: Poverty

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Child and family well-being and quality of life are at the heart of the Government's child poverty strategy. The Government have taken measures to promote parental employment as the best route out of poverty, because there is clear evidence that moving into and progressing in work offers benefits to parents and children alike, including but not restricted to, additional income from earnings-a child's risk of poverty is 61 per cent in a workless household and reduces to 15 per cent if at least one parent is working. Work is also associated with wider benefits, for example in terms of health, well-being and autonomy, aspirations and self-esteem. The introduction of the national minimum wage, as well as working tax credits, has ensured that the minimum income guarantee has increased by almost 30 per cent since April 1999 in real terms. Also Train to Gain, the Government's flagship training service for employers, has enabled employees to develop their skills, which will help them to progress in work.

The Government's position is that they aim to help parents into work, and acquire the skills and training they need for well-paid jobs that support children and families, while also ensuring that work is family-friendly so that parents can combine employment and parental responsibilities.

To support families, the Government have taken action to increase and extend maternity leave and pay, and introduce paid paternity leave. A new right to request flexible working for those with parental responsibility for children under 16 (or 18, if disabled) has been introduced to help parents combine work and family responsibilities.

The Government have also taken substantial steps to support parents in work by increasing the number of childcare places that are available-at March 2009, the stock of registered childcare places stood at over 1.5 million places (more than double the 1997 level). Over £25 billion has been invested on early years and childcare in England since 1997, and there are over 3,000 Sure Start Children's Centres now open, providing integrated early years' services (including childcare) to over 2.4 million young children under five and their families.



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These and other measures put in place by the Government have lifted 500,000 children out of poverty since 1997. However, 2.9 million children remain in poverty, 1.5 million of which live in households with at least one person working. The Government are looking at ways to reduce in-work poverty by helping parents move into higher paid work, through skills and training for individuals and promoting the uptake of skills by employers, and also by promoting the availability of high-quality, affordable childcare. Increased working hours can help lift children out of poverty-either by the primary earner increasing hours from part-time to full-time hours, or with the introduction of a second earner into the household. However, the Government's approach is to support and incentivise parents into work, whilst respecting family preferences.

By promoting flexible, family-friendly work opportunities and putting in place sufficient, high-quality childcare that supports children's development, we are helping parents make an informed choice about their working arrangements.

The Government introduced the Child Poverty Bill into Parliament in June which will enshrine in law the commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020. The Bill will ensure that all levels of government, now and in the future, play a role in tackling child poverty. The Bill also requires the Government to prepare a strategy, to be refreshed every three years, which will set out the policies that will be put in place to meet the child poverty targets. The issue of tackling in-work poverty while maintaining a high quality of life for the child and the family will be addressed in the strategy.

Council Tax

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Since each local authority determines the level of council tax at the time of setting its own budget, it is not possible to make an accurate estimate of the difference that would arise from a decision by LAs to freeze council tax.

Criminal Records Bureau

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The department does not collect data on the number or purpose of school trips abroad or

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exchanges undertaken by schools. School staff accompanying pupils on school trips abroad will have had Criminal Records Bureau checks as part of the recruitment process for their employment and do not have to have further checks before taking part in such activity. The department's strong recommendation relating to volunteers who are in unsupervised contact with children, including those accompanying pupils on school trips, and new host families who provide care for students from overseas should be CRB-checked. We cannot impose this requirement on host families in other countries who provide care for British children. However schools should satisfy themselves that adequate safeguarding arrangements have been put in place to protect children. Under the new vetting and barring scheme those who provide care and accommodation for children under 18 for reward or by arrangement made outside the family will be engaged in "regulated activity", and this is made clear in interim guidance the Government issued on 12 October 2009 about the new scheme.

Cyprus

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Sovereign Base Areas (SBA) Administration has received a request from the Republic of Cyprus Government to build a waste management transfer station in Ormidhia. This request is supported by the elected community council of Ormidhia. The project is now being subjected to planning approval processes, which include formal consultation with local residents. The decision on whether to agree this request will be taken by the administrator of the SBA once the process has been completed.



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Elections: Local Government

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): This information is not held centrally.

Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Thornton: In deciding whether to grant or renew licences for research in this area, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) determines whether the proposed research and the use of embryos is both necessary and desirable. The proposed techniques to be used to perform somatic cell nuclear transfer, and any relevant publications referred to by peer reviewers, may form part of this consideration.

The HFEA has provided the following data on the use of fresh and failed-to-fertilise eggs in research under licence R0152:

Period (inspection report date)Fresh eggs usedFailed-to-fertilise eggs used

1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 (May 2008)

19

56

30 April 2006 to 30 April 2007 (July 2007)

9

26

30 April 2005 to 30 April 2006 (July 2007)

66

593

11 August 2004 to 3 July 2005 (July 2005)

36 (total figure)

In deciding whether to grant licences for research in this area, the HFEA ascertains whether the embryo research is both desirable and necessary at the time the assessment is made. Any application for a licence renewal involves a check on whether the particular proposed use of embryos still fulfils these criteria. This is also part of the assessment made by HFEA peer reviewers.

Records of publications in this area are not collected centrally by the department or the HFEA.

Energy: Tidal Generation


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