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23 Feb 2010 : Column WA265



23 Feb 2010 : Column WA265

Written Answers

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Afghanistan

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): It is not possible to say how many foreign nationals are fighting as part of the insurgency in Afghanistan. The majority of Taliban fighters encountered are of Afghan or Pakistani origin.

Air Force: F-35 Programme

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The UK has been briefed on the changes to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme announced by the US and there is no immediate impact on either the UK's ongoing participation in JSF or our future plans to acquire the aircraft. We do not expect any changes to the costs of the three aircraft we have agreed to purchase for operational test. Any potential increase in the unit cost of future jet procurement will depend on a number of factors and we will continue to monitor this position closely along with our US colleagues.

Alcohol

Questions

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): At Budget 2008, the Chancellor announced that alcohol duty rates on all products would increase by 2 per cent above indexation up to and including 2013. All taxes are kept under review.



23 Feb 2010 : Column WA266

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Well run pubs are part of the solution to alcohol misuse through the provision of a regulated and civilised environment. A well managed pub is one that complies with licensing law and promotes the four statutory licensing objectives in the Licensing Act 2003. For example, offences under the Licensing Act 2003 include selling alcohol to a person under 18 years of age or to a person who is drunk, allowing disorderly conduct on the premises and breaching the conditions attached to a premises licences.

The statutory licensing objectives include the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. Responsible pubs work with the police and licensing authorities on best practice initiatives such as Best Bar None and local pub-watch schemes, which help to promote these objectives.

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not hold specific information on why licences were refused, revoked or reviewed. The first comprehensive data collection exercise under the new licensing arrangements took place in 2007 and subsequently 2008 and 2009.

Information on the numbers of licences reviewed, revoked, suspended or withdrawn for this period can be found on the department's website: http://www.culture. gov.uk/what_we_do/alcohol_and_entertainment/3192 .aspx.

The Licensing Act 2003 came into force in November 2005. The terms "representations", "responsible authorities" and "reviews" derive from that statute and did not appear in alcohol licensing legislation prior to then. The old and new systems of regulation are fundamentally different.

The table lists the number of premises licences and club premises certificates granted and those refused for the years 2006-07 to 2008-09 in England and Wales, as collected in the Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Statistics Bulletin.



23 Feb 2010 : Column WA267

Type of licence2006-07 Licences granted/refused2007-08 Licences granted/refused2008-09 Licences granted/refused

Premises Licence

1420/220

11,700/310

10,600/280

Club Premises Certificate

330/6

190/3

200/4

Prior to the 2003 Act coming into force in 2005, Liquor Licensing in England and Wales was a triennial publication that contained statistics on liquor licences issued under the Licensing Act 1964. During this period alcohol licensing statistics were compiled from returns submitted by magistrates' courts in England and Wales and had a reporting period of 1 July to 30 June. These data were collated by the Home Office up until 2001. From 2004 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had responsibility for publishing these data.

The table therefore lists the total number of licences applied for and total number of licences granted, between 1995 and 2004. As with data collected since 2005, DCMS does not hold specific information on why licences were refused.

Year to 30 JuneLicences applied forLicences grantedRegistered Clubs applied forRegistered Clubs granted

1995

6,124

5,552

684

639

1998

7,034

6,118

707

539

2001

7,363

6,482

1,126

1,045

2004

7,958

7,717

704

557

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Lord Davies of Oldham: The table lists the number of premises licences and club premises certificates granted for the years 2006-07 to 2008-09 in England and Wales, as collected in the Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing Statistics Bulletin. A licence can be for the provision of alcohol, entertainment and/or late night refreshment.

We do not hold centrally data relating to new licences which include authorisation to sell or supply alcohol as one of the permissions.

Type of licence granted*2006/07*2007/08*2008/09

Premises Licence

14,158

11,651

9,962

Club Premises Certificate

328

186

203

*Figures for 2006/07 are based on 82 per cent returns from all Licensing Authorities, while figures for 2007/08 are based on 95 per cent of returns and 2008/09 on 98 per cent of returns.

Prior to the 2003 Act coming into force, Liquor Licensing in Great Britain was a triennial publication that contained statistics on the number of applications for liquor licences under the 1964 Licensing Act.



23 Feb 2010 : Column WA268

These statistics were compiled from returns submitted by clerks to justices in England and Wales and had a reporting period of 1 July to 30 June. These data were collated by the Home Office up until 2001 and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2004. Types of licences granted between 1995 and 2004 are listed in the table.

Year to 30 JunePublic houses etc.Residential and RestaurantLicensed ClubsOff-licensed premisesRegistered clubs

1995

2,128

1,403

198

1,823

639

1998

2,785

1,485

159

1,689

539

2001

3,072

1,211

142

2,057

1,045

2004

3,485

1,316

116

2,800

557

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Lord Davies of Oldham: There are a number of established national statistical surveys that collect data on alcohol-related health harms and alcohol-related crime and disorder. The Government have always been clear that the licensing of premises where alcohol is sold cannot be considered in isolation from other factors such as national and local alcohol strategies and other interventions to reduce and prevent alcohol- related crime and disorder.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) evaluation of the impact of the Licensing Act in 2008 found there were signs that crimes involving serious violence may have reduced since the changes to the licensing regime, but there was also evidence of increases in the small proportion of violent crime occurring in the small hours.

The evaluation also suggested that licensing reform has not been accompanied by an overall increase in alcohol consumption. The evaluation concluded that licensing regimes may be one factor in effecting change to a country's drinking culture, but do not appear to be the critical factor.

This document is available on the DCMS website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/Licensingevaluation.pdf.

Armed Forces: Compensation Scheme

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever



23 Feb 2010 : Column WA269

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) was introduced on 6 April 2005, and replaced two separate compensation arrangements under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 and the War Pensions Scheme.

The amounts paid in each financial year against claims made under the AFCS are set out below:

2005-062006-072007-082008-09

£1,274,000

£6,159,000

£13,067,000

£33,490,000

Under resource accounting the MoD is required to estimate provision for the future value of accepted claims, expected claims and guaranteed income payments under the AFCS. Details of these provisions can be found in the Armed Forces Pension Scheme Resource Accounts 2008-09, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Both the amounts already paid and future anticipated liabilities will be subject to amendment once the recently announced revisions to the AFCS have been implemented.

Armed Forces: Equipment

Questions

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The value of property lost or stolen, along with a range of other types of losses, is published in the summary of losses and special payments in the MoD's Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House and online at: http://www.mod.uk/Defencelnternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/AnnualReports/.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: MoD Consignment Tracking (CT) enables visibility of equipment moving within the Joint Support Chain (JSC), from industry to the front line, and covers every physical activity that happens to a consignment during its journey. It provides a demonstrable link between the consignor's and consignee's inventories, starting with an issue or task issue order requiring movement through the JSC and ending with receipt onto account by the consignee. The MoD uses a range of measures to track equipment across the JSC, governed by the Defence Logistic Support Chain Manual, which provides the general and system-specific processes and procedures for all stakeholders within the JSC to track consignments.


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