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More than 60 local authorities also received funding from a £3 million Challenge and Innovation Fund in 2009-10. A full list of the local authorities who received funding is available on the Communities and Local Government website at http://www.communities.gov.uk /communities/preventingextremism/challengeinnovationfund/

DCSF also provided £1.6 million to all top-tier local authorities (150) in 2008-09 to support the roll-out of the schools toolkit "Learning to be Safe Together".

Courts: Family Cases

Questions

Asked by Lord Rooker

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government's proposed measures to be included in the Children, Schools and Families Bill will strengthen the anonymity afforded to children and families involved in care proceedings by making it of indefinite duration and extending it to all persons involved in the proceedings. The Bill will also include provisions for the court to prohibit or

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restrict publication of information if it is likely to prejudice the welfare of a child or the safety of any person.

Asked by Lord Rooker

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): It is clearly right that children who are of sufficient age and understanding are informed about the presence of accredited media representatives in the court and the fact that material may be published. We would expect professionals to use their judgment about the most effective and appropriate way to do this.

Crime: Religiously Aggravated Offences

Question

Asked by Lord Vinson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The information requested is not collected centrally. The Home Office collects statistics on recorded racially or religiously aggravated offences for some specific categories of offence. However, it is not possible to determine from the police recorded crime data whether an offence was of a racial or religious nature because the data received is in aggregate form. In addition, the recorded crime data series does not collect any information on the religion of victims.

Crime: Violence

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The information requested is not collected centrally. The police-recorded data supplied to the Home office are in aggregated form and it is not possible to determine the time at which individual offences occur. In addition, it is not possible to determine centrally the location of recorded offences of violence.

Latest findings from the 2008-09 British Crime Survey show that the overall number of violent incidents decreased by 10 per cent between 2005-06 and 2008-09

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from 2,349,000 to 2,114,000. However, the proportion of violent incidents that occurred at night (between midnight and 6 am) has increased from 12 per cent in 2005-06 to 19 per cent in 2008-09.

Evidence from Home Office research in specific locations such as an evaluation of the impact of the licensing Act of 2004 and an evaluation of Tackling Alcohol-Related Street Crime in Cardiff and Cardiff Bay in 2003 indicate that incidences of violent crime and disorder are more prevalent between 11 pm and 3 am. The evaluation of the licensing Act found that some crime was displaced into the small hours of the morning, but overall levels of crime associated with the night-time economy remained largely unchanged, and there was a small fall in serious crimes of violence.

Department for Communities and Local Government: Meeting with MPs

Question

Asked by Lord Bates

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Austin Mitchell MP (Grimsby), Shona Mclsaac MP (Cleethorpes); Ian Cawsey MP (Brigg and Goole); and Louise Ellman MP (Liverpool Riverside) attended the meeting. No formal minutes were taken.

Disabled People: Leonard Cheshire Report

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Government welcome the Leonard Cheshire Disability Review 2009 and are considering the policy implications of its findings. We are progressing work across many of the areas mentioned in the review towards our goal of equality for disabled people by 2025.



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Drugs: Cannabis

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As my right honourable friend the former Home Secretary (Jacqui Smith) advised in her Statement of 7 May 2008 in the other place, the reclassification of cannabis as a class B drug is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to scientific evidence. Reclassification on 26 January 2009 was a preventative measure to protect the public, particularly the future health of young people.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, in its report Cannabis: Classification and Public Health, published in April 2008, set out its assessment of the harms of the drug based on the available scientific evidence.

Dublin: British Embassy

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The annual cost of running our embassy in Dublin in each of the past five years was:

financial year 2008-09-£2,217,968;financial year 2007-08-£2,362,167;financial year 2006-07-£2,975,981;financial year 2005-06-£1,600,844; andfinancial year 2004-05-£1,591,670.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: All of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's overseas missions have a responsibility to monitor and report on social developments in their host countries.

Education: Home Schooling

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Local authority data on electively home-educated children not in education, employment or training has been placed on the Every Child Matters website in the form of a histogram (http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/ete/independentreviewofhomeeducation/irhomeeducation). We have not provided the names of individual local authorities, as some of the figures provided by smaller local authorities were so small that there was some risk that individual children could be identified. The evidence provided by 47 local authorities found that 270 electively home-educated leavers who had turned 16 in the year to the end of August 2008 were not in education, employment or training when contacted in the autumn of 2008. The total number of electively home-educated leavers reported by the 47 local authorities is 1,220.

Elections: Armed Forces

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The report of a survey on service voter registration conducted by Defence Analytical Services and Advice in November 2008 provides an estimate of the number of service personnel who are currently registered to vote and draws comparison with the results of similar surveys carried out in each of the previous three years. The survey indicates that 65 per cent of service personnel were registered to vote in 2008 compared to 60 per cent in 2005. A copy of the survey is available in the Library of the House. Information prior to 2005 is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

We do not hold data on the numbers of service personnel registered to vote who have applied for a postal or a proxy vote.

Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Medical Research Council acts in full accordance with the legislative principles regarding human somatic cell nuclear transfer referred to by my noble friend, Lord Darzi of Denham, on 29 October 2008. Research excellence continues to be the primary consideration in the MRC's funding decisions. The MRC has not awarded funding to Dr Stephen Minger to undertake research involving admixed embryos.

EU: Article 308

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The information requested cannot be provided except at disproportionate cost.

In assessing the legal basis of proposals brought forward by the Commission, the Government apply criteria laid down by the Court of Justice in case law dating back to the 1980s and consider each proposal as a whole, and in particular its aim and content. Article 308 requires that a proposal be necessary for the attainment of a Community objective, and that the council must act unanimously. The Government have given an undertaking that where the Commission puts forward a legislative proposal citing Article 308 as its legal base, the Commission's justification of its choice of legal base will be provided to the Scrutiny Committee.

EU: Council President

Question

Asked by Lord Bates

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The 2005 non-domestic rating list and the draft 2010 non-domestic rating lists are published on the website of the Valuation Office Agency and are available to be inspected at http://www.voa.gov.uk/.



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The rating lists are compiled at billing authority level. The Valuation Office Agency does not hold lists at a lower spatial level, for instance for smaller locations such as ports. The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Properties located within the ports that satisfy the tests of rateability have always been subject to separate assessment-this is not a new regime. The Valuation Office Agency's review of ports was to ensure ports and separate business properties located within ports are accurately assessed for rates. Prior to review, around 1,600 business properties located within ports were separately assessed for rates. Around 700 were separately assessed for the first time following review.

The Government have listened to the concerns of businesses with significant and unexpected backdated bills, including some businesses within ports. It has legislated to enable such bills to be repaid over an unprecedented eight years rather than in a single instalment, helping affected businesses to manage the impact on their cash flow during the downturn by reducing the amount they are required to pay now by 87 per cent.

As at 8 October 2009, local authorities have reported that ratepayers occupying 221 properties within ports had fully discharged their backdated liability and ratepayers occupying a further 200 business properties within ports had been granted a schedule of payments.

Extremism

Question

Asked by Lord Sheikh

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Government are determined to tackle extremism wherever it arises and have a wide range of policies to do this. We are not persuaded that it would be effective to seek to deal with extremism of different origins through a single fund.

Finance: Lending

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

Lord Brett: In the year following the onset of the crisis last September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made new commitments of $3.4 billion to 26 low-income countries. This is nearly six times the average level of IMF lending to low-income countries

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in the three years before the crisis. The IMF expects to lend a total of $8 billion to low-income countries in 2009 and 2010. The sharp increase in the IMF's assistance to the poorest countries follows the London Summit commitments to double the level of finance available from the IMF for each low-income country and to double the total capacity of the IMF to lend to all low-income countries.

In order to help poor countries tackle the effects of the economic downturn, the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank has agreed measures to fast-track and frontload funds. Fast-tracking refers to using streamlined processes that allow new funding to be approved more quickly. Frontloading means allowing countries to anticipate funding from next year to allow more investment in the current year. In response to the crisis, IDA members agreed to increase the amount of funding that could be frontloaded from 30 to 50 per cent. These measures resulted in IDA commitments reaching $14 billion in the IDA's financial year 2008-09, which ended in June 2009. This is a record, and 25 per cent higher than the previous year. However, there has not been a similar increase in the spending of these funds, and we continue to press for reforms that will improve the Bank's performance in this area.


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