|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to make it a requirement of allowing research on embryonic stem cells that the specific consent of the donor has been given; and whether they will prevent the use of previously donated cells where there is good reason to believe that the donor would have specifically objected to their use in embryonic stem cell research. [HL5765]
Baroness Thornton: It is a requirement of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) that effective consent be obtained from gamete (sperm and egg) or cell donors before their egg, sperm or other cell may be used to create an embryo, including for use in research. This includes cells donated before the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 came into force, except where those cells are considered to be qualifying cells under paragraph 20 of Schedule 3 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Cells may only be considered to be a qualifying cells if, among other considerations, the researcher does not have reason to believe that the donor of the cells would have objected to the use of their cells to bring about the creation of an embryo or human admixed embryo.
Any research project licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and involving human embryonic stem cells needs to comply with the consent requirements set out in licence condition R20 within Guidance Note 22 of the HFEA Code of Practice (8th ed.)
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 21 October 2009 in which I set out how the Government seek to maintain the right conditions for investment in low-carbon power generation.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP) is the Government's £131 million capital grant programme offering capital funds for small-scale onsite energy technologies to householders, public, community and not-for-profit sectors. The grant funding requires that provision is made for suitable insulation measures.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 5 October (WA 483), whether they have estimates of the cost per mile of constructing cross-channel power cables; and, if so, what they estimate the cost to be. [HL5727]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government do not have such estimates as the construction of new cross-channel power cables is a commercial matter for potential project developers.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ask Ofgem to promote the development of charging systems that provide an allowance of electricity or gas at a lower price than supplies above that level. [HL5738]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government and Ofgem continue to consider and to promote various means of incentivising energy efficiency, including by charging systems. However, it is important to avoid mandating systems which would penalise vulnerable people who may be obliged to use higher levels of energy because of physical needs, or because of housing with relatively poor energy efficiency. Ofgem's recent discussion paper considers these issues: Can Energy Charges Encourage Energy Efficiency? http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Documents1/Final%20discussion%20paper%2022%20July.pdf.
To ask Her Majesty's Government with regard to their commitment to ensuring security of energy supply in the United Kingdom, what is the status of the outstanding consultation process on the construction of a Severn barrage. [HL5798]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are currently carrying out a feasibility study to decide, in the context of the UK energy and climate change goals and the alternative options for achieving these, whether Government could support a Severn tidal scheme and if so on what terms. A first public consultation was held between January and April this year to gather views on the scope of the study and which schemes under consideration should be taken forward for high-level analysis. The Government response to the consultation was published on 15 July 2009. It confirmed that high-level analysis of the impact of five shortlisted schemes will be carried out, and announced funding to aid the development of three other tidal power schemes using embryonic technologies.
A second public consultation is expected to be held in 2010 before a final decision is taken by Ministers. This decision will assess the relative costs, risks, impacts and benefits of a Severn tidal scheme compared to the other options available for meeting the UK's energy challenges, including security of supply.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the Crown Estate regarding the current round of licensing of the Pentland Firth for tidal energy; and why the results of the licensing round have been delayed until February 2010. [HL5751]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The officials in the department are in regular contact with the Crown Estate on issues relating to marine energy and the Crown Estate is participating in the development of the marine action plan which the Government announced as part of the UK renewable energy strategy.
It is for the Crown Estate to decide when it announces the results of the Pentland Firth licensing round, taking into account progress of negotiations with prospective developers prior to award of agreement to lease. I understand that the Earl of Caithness has been advised by the Crown Estate that its programme is on schedule to deliver 700 MW of energy by 2020.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many hours of down-time has been incurred for all mechanical, electrical or systems failures for each of the wind turbines in the installation at Rye in Sussex over the past six months. [HL5833]
The department does not retain records of downtime incurred for mechanical, electrical or systems failures at Little Cheyne Court or any other wind farm. I suggest that in this case the noble Lord contacts the developer, npower renewables.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): Homophobic and transphobic hate crime can ruin people's lives, and the Government are determined to tackle it in all its forms. We face particular problems of underreporting for all kinds of hate crime. As we become more successful in giving
28 Oct 2009 : Column WA155
Last month the Government published a cross-government hate crime action plan. This sets out our strategic vision for preventing and tackling all hate crime, including homophobic and transphobic hate crime. A number of actions seek to improve support for victims, bring more perpetrators to justice, increase our evidence base and address the underreporting of hate crime. It also commits the Home Office to deliver a guidance document on crime and disorder reduction partnerships to support them in tackling hate crime at the local level.
The Equality Bill supports the action plan by introducing a public sector equality duty which means public sector bodies, including the police, will have to think about making their services accessible to and appropriate for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or trans status. This might mean finding ways of making it easier for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people to report hate crime.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The post of European President does not exist at present and nor would it be created by the Lisbon treaty. The post of President of the European Council, which is currently held by the Head of State or Government of a member state on a six-monthly rotating basis would become a permanent position should the Lisbon treaty be ratified by all member states. The diplomatic precedence of the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament is below that of Heads of State or Government of member states.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which initiatives of the Attorney General's Office or its agencies have been advertised in each of the past five years; how much was spent in each case; and which were carried out via the Central Office of Information. [HL5322]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome and flash pulmonary oedema have been diagnosed in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [HL5806]
It is estimated that there are 500-600 unexplained sudden cardiac deaths each year. Most sudden cardiac deaths in people under 30 years old are caused by inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias, with the majority having a genetic basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of the Republic of Ireland concerning that government's decision to cut the funding to Protestant schools in the Republic of Ireland; and, if they have not made representations, whether they intend to. [HL5884]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government have not made and have no intention of making representations to the Irish Government on this issue. Funding for Protestant schools in Ireland is a matter for the Irish Government.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have considered ways, alongside other aid donors, of strengthening the effectiveness of the Parliament of Zimbabwe through such channels as the United Kingdom parliament, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. [HL5848]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Zimbabwean Parliament has an important role to play in promoting reform. Within the last year, the Zimbabwe All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has facilitated visits to Parliament by Zimbabwean Ministers, Senators and
28 Oct 2009 : Column WA157
In the mean time, and alongside the international community, we are also working directly with the Inclusive Government to look at ways in which we can support key priorities which will deliver much needed reform and improvements to the well-being of ordinary Zimbabweans. This is likely to include support to the constitutional review process, in particular ensuring parliamentary and civil society oversight and accountability. We stand ready to broaden our engagement and support as we see evidence of commitment to reform by the Inclusive Government.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the European Union contacted the United Kingdom prior to its decisions to designate Gibraltar territorial waters as a Spanish protected location under European Union nature laws; whether the United Kingdom Permanent Representation made any representations prior to the European Union decisions; whether this European Union decision caused any problems in Gibraltar waters; and whether Spain advised the United Kingdom that it was making the application to the European Union. [HL5788]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The European Commission consulted member states bilaterally in 2008 on the draft updated Community list of Sites of Community Interest (SCI) put forward by each state. The UK therefore discussed only its own sites (including two in Gibraltar) with the Commission. The UK was not made aware of the existence of the proposed Spanish site, 'Estrecho Oriental', which wholly encompasses the existing UK listed site 'Southern Waters of Gibraltar' in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW), until the complete list of sites across the EU was published in the Official Journal in February 2009.
Spain did not advise the UK that it was making the application to list the site Estrecho Oriental. This contrasts with the situation when the UK first listed its own sites in BGTW in 2006 and, at the request of the Commission, notified Spain in advance of doing so.
As the UK was not made aware that the Spanish site Estrecho Oriental encompassed BGTW until the complete list was published, the UK was not in a position to make any representations before the decision was taken. We have since made representations to both the European Commission and Spain on this matter and have placed on record that the UK does not recognise the validity of the Spanish listing.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|