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To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to publicise the availability of home-based kidney dialysis from the National Health Service and to encourage informed choice for kidney dialysis patients as to the location and the manner in which they may be dialysed. [HL1398]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the relative costs and benefits to the National Health Service and the wider economy of hospital-based and home-based kidney dialysis. [HL1399]
Baroness Thornton: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published technology appraisal guidance-Guidance on home compared with hospital haemodialysis for patients with end-stage renal failure-in September 2002. This recommended that all suitable patients should be offered the choice between home haemodialysis or haemodialysis in a hospital/satellite unit. The department is currently considering how to extend patient choice for people on dialysis.
In addition, the improvement organisation, NHS Kidney Care, has recently published a specification for the commissioning of peritoneal dialysis as a comprehensive guide to best practice, offering greater choice and flexibility for patients.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to establish the new European Asylum Support Office approved by the European Council last autumn. [HL1196]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The setting up of the European Asylum Support Office will fall initially to the European Commission, but the Government will co-operate closely with the Commission to ensure that the office is able to start work in its host country of Malta as soon as possible.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the new Frontex plans for regular use of chartered joint return air flights for extraditions to be functioning. [HL1198]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There are no arrangements in place for Frontex to use chartered joint return flights for extradition purposes, nor are there any plans to do so.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have modified the education provision for children at Tinsley House immigration removal centre since HM Chief Inspector of Prisons noted it was "inadequate". [HL1127]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As we are not currently holding children at Tinsley House for more than 24 hours, planned education provided by a trained teacher is neither appropriate nor practicable.
Where children are to be held for longer than 24 hours, they are transferred to Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre, where comprehensive education provision is available for children of all ages, delivered by qualified nursery nurses and teachers.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for International Development is supporting projects in the Kandhamal districts of Orissa State; and, if not, where their nearest project which is benefiting members of all faiths is operating. [HL611]
Lord Brett: The Department for International Development (DfID) is providing £10 million for community development in four districts of Orissa, including Kandhamal. The Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP) which runs
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To ask Her Majesty's Government which professional and semi-professional football clubs have been issued with petitions for insolvency by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in each of the past 10 years; and what was the outcome in each case. [HL1318]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): HM Revenue and Customs is under a strict, statutory duty of confidentiality and cannot comment on the tax affairs of individual businesses.
Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following reports by the World Bank, all Department for International Development resources pledged to assist primary education in Kenya have been fully accounted for. [HL1305]
Lord Brett: A recent Kenyan Ministry of Finance internal audit report, supported by the World Bank, provided evidence of the misappropriation of both government and donor funds totalling over Ksh 100 million (£800,000) in the month of June 2009.
Department for International Development (DfID) resources for education in Kenya (primary and secondary) have been frozen since these allegations, pending a satisfactory response by the Government of Kenya. This would need to include the reimbursement to donors of all funds lost through fraud if the allegations are found to be correct.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Equality and Human Rights Commission or its predecessor bodies in recent years initiated investigations into alleged or actual discriminatory activities by the National Health Service; if so, when those investigations commenced; when any were discontinued; and why. [HL1004]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has initiated investigations into the NHS for breaches of the equality duties. The commission's predecessor bodies, the Commission for
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The commission had decided initially to undertake a formal assessment under Section 31 of the Equality Act 2006 of the Department of Health's compliance with the public sector duties, but has since held discussions with the department about reaching an agreement on this matter, the details of which are still under negotiation.
As for cases that have been discontinued, the commission is prevented from disclosing information on reasons why they were discontinued under Section 6 of the Equality Act 2006.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether staff in the Northern Ireland Office will be eligible for compensation under the proposed equal pay settlement in the Northern Ireland Civil Service; if so, what is their estimate of the cost; whether the compensation will be taxable; and from what source funding for the settlement will come.[HL1059]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The equal pay settlement for staff in the Northern Ireland Civil Service department does not apply to staff in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).
The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance has indicated that it would like to discuss this matter with NIO management and a meeting has been arranged. The NIO has its own pay and grading arrangements and does not accept that there are similar equal pay issues to be addressed in the department. This will of course be a matter for discussion with the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 14 December 2009 (WA 184), when they instructed the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland and the Crown Prosecution Service not to pursue outstanding extradition proceedings against convicted fugitives appearing to qualify for early release under the terms of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998; by what means they issued those instructions; and whether the policy was subjected to an equality impact assessment in Northern Ireland. [HL1061]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Neither the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland nor the Crown Prosecution Service has any role in respect of
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The general policy on extradition requests was subject to equality screening as part of the Northern Ireland Office's initial screening of policies following its designation as a public authority under Section 75. This screening found that no impact assessment was necessary. The decision not to pursue the extradition of convicted fugitives appearing to qualify for early release involved consideration of the public interest in relation to a limited number of specific cases and was not subject to an equality impact assessment.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advisory committees covered by the Official Secrets Acts there are in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; who are the members of each such committee; and why they are required. [HL1298]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): None of Defra's advisory bodies is explicitly identified in the Official Secrets Act legislation.
Were Defra's advisory NDPBs to handle information on security and intelligence, defence or international relations then that advisory body's members would be bound by the provisions of the Official Secrets Act 1989, as these apply whenever office-holders handle those categories of official information.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advisory committees covered by the Official Secrets Acts there are in the Northern Ireland Office; who are the members of each such committee; and why they are required. [HL1299]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office does not sponsor any advisory committees covered by the Official Secrets Act.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports they have received from the World Bank concerning the development of economic enclaves in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. [HL815]
Lord Brett: We have received no reports from the World Bank specifically addressing the development of economic enclaves in the West Bank. The World
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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is any law whereby prisoners may be obliged to wear identity cards or an arm-band; if not, why the practice is carried out in HM Prison Wakefield; and what assessment they have made of the effect of the practice on prisoners' rights to exercise and to attend religious services. [HL1397]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): There is no legal requirement for prisoners to wear identity cards. However, prisoners at Wakefield high-security prison and some other prisons are issued with identity cards. Prisoners at Wakefield, when leaving their residential unit, are expected to display the identity card on the outer layer of clothing using an armband. This enables staff throughout the prison to readily identify any prisoner. For security reasons, where a prisoner declines to wear his identity card he will not be permitted to leave his residential unit.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made as to the use being made of the new railway station at Corby; and how the level of use differs from that which was forecast before the station was built. [HL1457]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport is currently reviewing station usage against that which was originally forecast for the 40 stations that have opened in England, Scotland and Wales over the past 10 years. This includes Corby station, which opened on 23 February 2009. The study will be reporting in April 2010.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made an assessment of the impact of the Government of France's new tax on rail passenger vehicles operating in France but not registered in France, coupled with a partial abolition of an asset-based tax applicable to vehicles registered in France, on the ability of United Kingdom operators to
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The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): We estimate the impact on the wider Eurostar business to be in the region of €7 million per annum. We have not made any assessment of the impact on other specific operations. The proposed taxe sur le material roulant needs to be seen in the context of a wider restructuring by the French Government of taxe professionnelle and the introduction of other carbon taxes. Nevertheless the UK Government are concerned about the potential burden this tax represents on a green form of transport at a time when we and our European partners are seeking to grow and develop international rail markets and competition. I have written to the French Government to convey these concerns. The UK, along with a number of other member states, has also made representations to the European Commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in providing 1,300 additional carriages for the railway system by March 2014, as stated in the high-level output statement; and whether that figure has been adjusted to allow for the growth in passenger traffic. [HL1458]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): I refer the noble Lord to my Written Statement of 14 December 2009 (Official Report, cols. WS 213-4).
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering amending the renewable transport fuel obligation to lessen the effect of deforestation on sensitive rainforests. [HL1371]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport is currently in the process of amending the renewable transport fuel obligation to incorporate the mandatory sustainability requirements set out in the renewable energy directive. Following these changes, biofuels will only be awarded a certificate if suppliers can demonstrate that the biofuels they supply achieve at least 35 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and also that they did not either come from converting high-carbon stock land, including forests, or have other negative environmental impacts, including upon biodiversity.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Royal Mail has considered investing in freight bicycles to enable cycling postal workers to carry more weight; if so, what conclusions were reached; and for what reasons. [HL1465]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Decisions regarding its delivery operations are matters which are the direct responsibility of Royal Mail's senior management team.
I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to respond directly to my noble friend and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment Royal Mail has made of the effects on health, road safety and the environment that would arise from its plan to switch deliveries from bicycles to vans. [HL1466]
Lord Young of Norwood Green: Decisions regarding its delivery operations are matters which are the direct responsibility of Royal Mail's senior management team.
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