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12 Nov 2009 : Column WA229

Asked by Lord Sheikh

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Victims of child trafficking have the same entitlement to education as all other children of compulsory school age. Schools should consider the specific needs of all children who are newly arrived from overseas. They should set them suitable learning challenges by modifying the curriculum to meet their needs, taking account of their cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds and of their prior learning experiences and communication skills to help them overcome any barriers to learning and assessment.



Asked by Lord Carlile of Berriew

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): Royal Navy vessels participating in counterpiracy operations are provided with the required rules of engagement to conduct deterrence and disruption operations. The Royal Navy can seize and dispose of suspected piratical equipment. If it is considered that there is sufficient evidence on which to charge suspected pirates they will be detained and transferred to a regional state for prosecution. The UK has a transfer arrangement with the Kenyan and Seychellois Governments. The guidance given to ships draws on UK and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Prisons: Extremism Unit


Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Extremism Unit was formed in February 2007 to take forward and co-ordinate a programme of work to address risks of extremism and radicalisation in prisons. Following the creation of the new National Offender Management Service (NOMS)

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in 2008, the role of this programme expanded to cover offenders both in custody and under supervision in the community.

Funding for the NOMS extremism programme, which includes the staffing of the Extremism Unit, has been provided by the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in the Home Office. The table below shows the amounts within those grants which were identified for the Extremism Unit, and the total expenditure subsequently invoiced and received.

YearAmount Granted (£)Amount Spent (£)










The resource requirement for 2010-11 has not yet been determined.

Questions for Written Answer


Asked by Lord Jopling

Baroness Crawley: It is not the Government's practice to release details of internal discussions and advice.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: As part of an internal review of communications (which took place in mid-2008), Ministers decided that any Question tabled on the Public Prosecution Service that concerns operational matters should be passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions for reply. The Public Prosecution Service is operationally independent of government, so it is more appropriate that the director responds on operational matters.

To date, only six Questions have been referred to the body in this way. A copy of each response from the director is placed in the Library of the House.

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Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Officials in the Department for Work and Pensions are discussing the matter of tackling racism in the workplace with the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group. This matter, including recommendations from the advisory group, will be discussed at the next Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force. Jim Knight, Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, chairs this task force. Six other Ministers also sit on the task force.

RAF: Official Visits


Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): Repatriation ceremonies at RAF bases are primarily military in nature and the current protocols reflect this. The Prime Minister and other government Ministers have accepted the advice of the service chiefs that these ceremonies are very much an occasion for the families and the military to pay their respects.

Rates: Non-Domestic Valuations


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): A revised table of aggregate rateable values in each port showing the current 2005 and the draft 2010 rating lists will be placed in the Library.

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Regional Development Agencies


Asked by Lord Bates

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): I will write to the noble Lord and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Regional Development Agencies: North West


Asked by Lord Fearn

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): The Northwest Regional Development Agency is to review the detailed proposals for £4 million funding towards Southport Cultural Centre on Monday, 2 November 2009. Funds will then be released as soon as practicable, subject to normal contractual discussions.

Royal British Legion


Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): We have been working with the Royal British Legion on this idea, which we believe is very promising. We hope to announce shortly plans for it to be available to bereaved families. In the interim, the family can, of course, raise any questions that they have about the inquest process, or about areas of concern that they would like to be investigated at the inquest, with the coroner direct or through their visiting officer.

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Royal Prerogative


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government believe that to place all the executive prerogative powers under specific parliamentary authority without detailed consideration of individual powers would considerably increase uncertainty, delay and the risk of legal challenges, to no significant advantage. Ministers are already accountable to Parliament for the exercise of all executive prerogative powers. The Government consider that there is nevertheless a case to be made for reform of some individual powers in order to increase the level of parliamentary scrutiny and control. For example, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill would place management of most of the Civil Service on to a statutory footing and would increase the level of parliamentary scrutiny of treaty-making. The Government will also propose a parliamentary resolution dealing with the commitment of Armed Forces to armed conflict overseas.

Russia and Belarus


Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The military exercises held during the period 18 to 29 September in western Russia and Belarus involved troops from the Russian Federation and Belarus. Belarus notified this exercise to the OSCE, as required by the terms of the Vienna Document 1999, and invited observers from neighbouring countries and diplomatic representatives based in Belarus to attend. No UK observer attended this year. Exercises of this nature are routinely assessed by the MoD.

Russia: Human Rights


Asked by Lord Judd

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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary visited Moscow from 1-3 November 2009. He raised with Foreign Minister Lavrov our concerns about human rights, including the dangers faced by human rights defenders and journalists, particularly in the north Caucasus. As part of his visit the Foreign Secretary also met with non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives to hear more about their concerns and to confirm that the UK will continue to raise human rights issues as part of a comprehensive dialogue with the Russian authorities.

Through the EU and bilaterally we continue to press Russia to live up to her international commitments and obligations, including respecting the territorial integrity of others.

Schools: Inspection


Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): All approved independent inspectorates, including the School Inspection Service (SIS) and the Bridge Schools Inspectorate (BSI), operate under strict quality assurance arrangements. Ofsted carries out monitoring to satisfy the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the wider public that the inspection judgments made by other inspectorates are consistent with those made by Ofsted. Ofsted publishes an annual assessment of the reliability of the work of other inspectorates which can be found at

The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, the German School and other similar institutions are inspected by Ofsted, as they have not made alternative arrangements.

St Andrews Agreement


Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): Good progress has been made on the issues relating to human rights and equality set out in Annexe B to the St Andrews agreement.

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Action on a number of issues remains to be completed, including the conclusion of the 50:50 recruitment arrangements to the PSNI when the 30 per cent recruitment for Catholic officers has been achieved; and the introduction of an Irish Llanguage Act, responsibility for which has now passed to the devolved Administration.

The Government will continue to work, including where appropriate, with the devolved Administration, to meet the commitments contained in the agreement.

St Helena: Airport


Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

Lord Brett: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development last met with Impregilo on 10 February. The Government have held no further discussions with Impregilo and no meetings are currently planned.

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