Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the services provided to the authority by Hanover Communications during 2007 and 2008 were strategic communications advice regarding regulatory action and associated litigation regarding licensed centres 0157 and 0206. These services were in addition to those provided by the HFEA's head of communications and press officer. The HFEA has also advised that the head of inspection did not receive the same financial support.

HFEA has advised that the matter to which its chief executive was referring is described in paragraph 2 of that same internal memo, which, I am informed, has been given to the noble Lord. As individual cases relating to this matter were resolved, details were placed on the HFEA's website. In addition, a programme of change at the HFEA (known as "Programme 2010") was commenced in late 2007 and extensively publicised. This programme has now been completed. To assess its effectiveness, the HFEA has commenced an internal governance review. Again, I am informed that the terms of reference of the review have been provided to the noble Lord.

The HFEA has advised that it does not hold a record of the particular witnessing system used in each licensed centre because it considers that this is not necessary to fulfil its statutory duties. The HFEA has implemented the recommendations of the Toft report and, in 2007, further recommendations regarding witnessing were incorporated into the seventh edition of the authority's code of practice. With regard to Ms Trish Davies, the HFEA has advised that it has nothing to add to the press statement of 11 January 2010.

With respect to the nature of the disproportionate costs referred to in my Written Answer of 8 February 2010 (Official Report, cols. WA81-2) the HFEA has advised that it would need to scrutinise all records created since 1991 in order to establish whether any have been lost following a request from researchers. The resources that this would involve would be substantial and would breach the £800 cost limit.

The incidents at centre 0102 relate to a complaint against the HFEA about the handling of events to which the noble Lord refers. This complaint is currently

15 Mar 2010 : Column WA123

the subject of an investigation. Once the investigation into this complaint is complete, the HFEA has undertaken to inform the noble Lord of the outcome.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Thornton: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that, regarding the use of eggs for research, it has nothing to add to the information that I gave in my Written Answer of 19 January 2010 (Official Report, cols. WA224-5). The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, applies to embryos, whether created by means of fertilisation or by parthenogenesis.

The HFEA has advised that the response from Dr Alexandra Plows and others, to which the noble Lord refers, was received and considered during the authority's public consultation in 2006. It is referred to in Annexe D to the paper to which the noble Lord also refers.

The HFEA has advised that the document Summary of Edinburgh Meeting, to which the noble Lord refers, is a publicly available document.

In respect of the noble Lord's final Question, the HFEA has advised that it understands this reference to relate to a written account of the authority's annual conference 2005, by Dr Neville Cobb, published on the website of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics. The HFEA has no comment to make about third-party accounts of its proceedings.



15 Mar 2010 : Column WA124

Energy: Wind Farms

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The lead scenario for meeting our renewable target, as set out in the renewable energy strategy, suggests that the majority of the UK's renewable electricity will come from onshore and offshore wind.

However, the Government do not set targets for individual energy generation technologies but take a market-based approach to generation. It is therefore not possible to predict the exact number of units (wind turbines) that will be generating in 2015.

Expenditure: Office Equipment

Questions

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 Health and Safety Executive does not distinguish between photocopier and computer printing paper. The average cost for a 500 sheet ream of white A4 80gsm paper for 2008-09 was £2.18.

All paper used is 100 per cent recycled.

The total amount spent on all photocopying and printing paper for 2008-09 was £113,427.46.

Asked by Lord Bates

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission does not record expenditure on photocopier paper separately and is unable to provide this information. The Government Equalities Office spent in the order of £4,500.

Asked by Lord Bates

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The table below shows the total expenditure, excluding value added tax, on photocopier paper by the Environment Agency (EA), Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Defra.

Figures are for the financial year 2008-09.

EAWRAPDefra

Paper brand

Evolve Office

Evolve

Evolve Office and Evolve Business

Recycled content

100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW)

100%

100%

Paper type and volume

A4-ream wrapped, 80 gsm, 120,000 pa. A3-ream wrapped, 80 gsm, 2,000 pa.

A4-80 gsm A3-N/A*

A4-80 gsm, 45,125 reams A3-714 reams

Total approx. cost (excl. VAT)

A4-£240,000 pa A3-£8,500

£620

A4-£94,177 A3-£3,247

Asked by Lord Bates

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): It is for the relevant public sector body to account for their expenditure on office stationery. This information is not held centrally and to collect it would incur disproportionate cost.

The Office of Government Commerce has been notified by departments of five framework agreements covering office supplies. These are available on OGC's contracts database (www.ogc.gov.uk/contractsdatabase/).

Buying Solutions is the contracting authority for one pan-government office supplies framework.

Asked by Lord Bates

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty's Stationery Office merged with the National Archives in 2006. All expenditure is carried out by the National Archives.

To disclose the average purchase price of these products would prejudice the commercial interests of the National Archives and would give an unfair advantage to other suppliers.

The National Archives spent a total of £7,580 on all photocopier paper in 2008-09.

Forced Marriage

Questions

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Since implementation of the Act on 25 November 2008 and up to 28 February 2010, a total of 123 forced marriage protection orders (FMPOs) have been made, including in the areas of Blackburn, Bradford and Leicester county courts. This well exceeds the projected number of 50 orders per annum.

The initial impact of the legislation was set out in the policy paper One Year On. The policy paper highlighted the need for continuing publicity especially within the communities, for training, and for better interagency co-operation. One of the recommendations of that paper is to liaise and work with the Forced Marriage Unit to maintain awareness of the provisions of the Act and to reach "closed" communities.

The Forced Marriage Unit undertakes around 80 outreach events a year to both professional groups and communities to raise awareness of forced marriage and appropriate responses. This work includes raising awareness of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act and forced marriage protection orders.

The paper also highlighted the need for action balanced with caution and understanding of the impact of an application on a young person who then loses family and community and will need long-term protection and support. The policy paper is online at http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/10508.htm.



15 Mar 2010 : Column WA127

Forests

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The decline in new planting is due to a number of factors including the attraction of alternative land uses and the implementation of the response to the 2002 Sustaining England's Woodlands Review. This review led to our support mechanisms from 2005 placing an increased emphasis on the sustainable management of existing woodland, including the restoration and maintenance of our ancient woodlands.

The 2000-06 England Rural Development Programme woodland creation target was 30,000 hectares and this was exceeded. In the current Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 we have committed to creating 15,400 hectares of new woodland and we expect current planting levels to at least be maintained.

In its 2009 Low Carbon Transition Plan, the Government set out its intention to support a new drive to encourage private funding for woodland creation and options to achieve this are being explored.

G8

Question

Asked by Lord Cameron of Dillington

Lord Brett: In 2008 the Secretary of State for International Development made a commitment to double funding to international agricultural research, reaching a target of £80 million per year by 2013. This commitment was reaffirmed in the recent White Paper, Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future.

The Department for International Development (DfID) is on track to meet this target. In the current financial year, DfID has spent more than £61 million on international agricultural research, contributing to the total UK support to food and agriculture of over £1 billion.



15 Mar 2010 : Column WA128

Government: Office Equipment

Questions

Asked by Lord Bates

Lord Brett: The Department for International Development (DfID) spent approximately £44,000, excluding VAT, on standard A4 paper during 2008-09. This paper was used in both photocopiers and printers.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page