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At the London Summit, G20 leaders asked the Prime Minister to review the adaptability and responsiveness of the IFIs. His report was submitted to G20 leaders in September and has been placed in the Library of the House. One of its key findings was that the World Bank lacked the means to provide additional funding to the poorest countries when shocks occurred, and the Prime Minister proposed a new crisis response facility within the IDA. Shareholders have agreed to ask the Bank to bring forward proposals on establishing such a facility.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they plan to close the Forensic Science Service in Chorley; and what proposals they have for the services it offers to be provided for elsewhere in the north-west. [HL6119]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The FSS has recently announced a transformation programme, which the Government fully support. As part of this, the FSS will move to a new national structure based around four primary sites at Birmingham, Huntingdon, London and Wetherby. A number of factors were carefully considered when selecting the sites to support this structure. One of the main considerations was the co-location of body fluid examination with DNA analytical facilities to meet customers' needs. DNA analytical facilities are currently based at Huntingdon, London, Trident Court (Birmingham) and Wetherby.
The services currently provided by the Chorley laboratory will become part of the new national structure, operated from the four sites listed above. It is worth highlighting that proximity to a forensic
12 Nov 2009 : Column WA211
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to preserve the prehistoric animal footprints on Formby beach in Sefton Metropolitan Borough; and what grants are available for that preservation. [HL6023]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The prehistoric footprints on Formby beach provide important insights into how animals and humans were moving about in the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. We have taken the advice of specialists in this period. The human and animal footprints have been exposed in soft tidal silts through coastal erosion, and therefore cannot be preserved "in situ", since they are constantly eroded by the tide, but they can be recorded as they appear.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked funding of £1,174,000 towards proposals for a Landscape Partnership Scheme on the Sefton coast, which covers the area with the footprints. The earmarked funding includes funding of £57,200 to further develop the bid. Landscape Partnerships is an HLF grant programme to support schemes of between £250,000 and £2 million led by partnerships of local, regional and national interests, which aim to conserve areas of distinctive landscape character throughout the United Kingdom. This scheme includes a project which involves training volunteers to record the footprints, and helping to make information available to the public about them.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they, the European Union and United Nations agencies have made to the Government of Israel about persons under 18 arrested in the West Bank and convicted by military tribunals on confession evidence obtained in the absence of parents or legal advisers; whether such representations referred to the number of education or family visits during their sentences in Israeli prisons; and what replies have been received. [HL6285]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): We are extremely concerned by aspects of the Israeli military justice and detention system, including allegations of Palestinian
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The Government expressed their concern about this issue at the Human Rights Council in November 2008. It was also one of several concerns highlighted in a report, published in May 2009, by the UN Committee Against Torture. Israel is a state party to both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and the UN Convention against Torture of 1984. Israel has also stated it takes seriously its periodic reports before the treaty bodies, using them as an opportunity for in-depth self-examination. We strongly urge Israel to abide by its obligations in the UN conventions and other relevant rules of international law.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Myners on 27 October (WA 128), for how long 3-5 Great Scotland Yard has been unoccupied; what was the cost of maintaining and safeguarding 3-5 Great Scotland Yard for each of the years it was unoccupied; whether the Crown Estate has a strategic plan for its unoccupied or part-used buildings; and, if so, what that plan says about the future of 3-5 Great Scotland Yard. [HL6216]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Since the building was surrendered with vacant possession in November 2004, its attributable maintenance and safeguarding have averaged £30,000 p.a.
The Crown Estate has plans for all of its unoccupied or part-used buildings, with specific asset plans for each individual property. Different options are being considered for the future of 3-5 Great Scotland Yard, and both timing and choice are affected by current market conditions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they propose to meet the challenges associated with the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours, in the light of the initiatives provided by International Brain Tumour Awareness Week. [HL6296]
Baroness Thornton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published Improving Outcomes guidance in 2006 on the healthcare that should be provided for people with brain tumours and other central nervous system (CNS) tumours to ensure the
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The National Cancer Peer Review Programme is currently developing measures for brain and CNS tumours, which will be incorporated into the Manual for Cancer Services. Other work includes supporting the British Neuro-Oncology Society with the development of national guidelines for rarer brain tumours. It is planned that all brain services in England will be reviewed against these measures from April 2011 in order to establish how well the Improving Outcomes guidance has been implemented.
In September 2009, we announced plans to further improve access to diagnostics in primary care by offering all patients access to tests and results, which can confirm or exclude cancer within one week. Our aim is to start rolling this out from 2011-12 over a five-year period.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their most recent estimate of the total value of assets currently held in heritage maintenance funds approved by HM Treasury; and on what date that estimate was made. [HL6050]
Information about the value of assets is not updated after a maintenance fund is approved. Details of the number of heritage maintenance funds approved at the specified dates could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. HMRC's systems do not capture the date of approval, and the documentation relating to funds is extensive.
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Although the phrase "community of scholars" may sound old-fashioned, it contains an important truth which is relevant today. Being "a cohesive and self-critical academic community" is still the key criterion for being a university. Our recently published framework for higher education, Higher Ambitions, shows that we are committed to maintaining the global excellence of research and scholarship in our universities, as well as wanting them to engage more effectively with business and the wider community.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when Kings College of Management in Manchester and Queens College International, formerly Yorkshire College Manchester, were accredited; by which accreditation body they were accredited; and whether they remain accredited colleges. [HL6219]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Kings College of Management in Manchester and Queens College International are not registered with the United Kingdom Border Agency. Kings College of Management in Manchester was accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC) and, according to the ASIC website, is still accredited. There is no trace of Queens College International on any accreditation body websites and the college does not appear to have its own website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Statement by Lord Mandelson on 3 November on higher education, to what extent the increase in university applications is due to applications from foreign students. [HL6269]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): In his Statement on 3 November, Lord Mandelson referred to the over 1 million entrants expected to enrol in higher education courses for the 2009-10 academic year. This relates to all levels of study (postgraduate and undergraduate) and all modes of study (full-time and part-time). At present information is not held on the region of domicile of all these expected entrants. The most detailed information available is the number of accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
|Accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses via Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) by region of domicile 2008-09 and 2009-10, as of 55 days after A-level results day|
|2008-09 (8 October)||2009-10 (14 October)||% increase|
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, David Lammy, on 15 July (HC Deb, col. 507W), which higher education institutions will receive further targeted support for Prevent funding in the new academic year. [HL6271]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Further targeted Prevent funding and support will be given to specific higher education institutions in Prevent priority funded local authority areas to ensure that these institutions are fully linked up to local police and Prevent partnerships that already exist in these areas. The exact list of institutions which will be receiving additional Prevent funding has not yet been finalised.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take, in considering the future of higher education, to recognise the effect of the relationship between research and teaching in a university on the quality of teaching and to ensure that all universities provide research opportunities. [HL6275]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The Government's policy is to invest in the very best research. This has helped ensure that we have a research base which is second only to that of the United States. Whilst it is appropriate for some universities to build on their own research expertise in their teaching, a healthy university system will have a diversity of missions and diversity of approaches to teaching. The choice on whether to provide research opportunities should be for individual universities to take as autonomous institutions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take, in considering the future of higher education, to support research in the social sciences and humanities in the context of the sustainability and qualitative well-being of society. [HL6276]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take, in considering the future of higher education, to ensure that original research is suitably recognised and funded in the context of the long-term well-being of society. [HL6277]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Following the Answer given by my noble friend Lady Taylor to the noble Lord on 15 July (Official Report, col. WA224), and recognising the unique heritage value of HMS "Caroline", the trustees of the national museum of the Royal Navy have agreed to broker a heritage solution to the ship's future. This process will take some time, but I would hope to be in a position to announce the plans for the ship in the spring. In the mean time the ship will remain in the commission of the Royal Navy.
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