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23 Mar 2010 : Column WA271



23 Mar 2010 : Column WA271

Written Answers

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Agriculture: Genetically Modified Crops

Questions

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): I have arranged for a copy of the concordat on the implementation of Directive 2001/18/EC and Regulation 1946/2003/EC to be placed in the Library of the House. A copy of the concordat can also be viewed on the Scottish Executive's website.

The Food Standards Agency is an independent government department set up by Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food. Government Ministers will take account of the agency's advice when formulating policy on food issues, including genetically modified food.

Asked by The Countess of Mar

Lord Davies of Oldham: The UK voted in favour of authorising all three maize varieties in line with the scientific evidence in each case. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the lead government department under the EU GM Food and Feed Regulation (1829/2003/EC) and is the single UK-wide competent authority for the GM food and feed safety aspects of this legislation. The FSA consults Defra on the environmental risk assessment of food and feed applications, and Defra in turn consults the competent authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales on the environmental aspects prior to any votes.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty at all courts for the

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sale or allowing the sale of alcohol to a person under 18 in the Greater Manchester police force area from 2004 to 2008 can be viewed in the attached table.

A penalty notice for disorder (PND) can be issued for the offence of sale of alcohol to person under 18 and these figures have been included in the table.

Court proceedings and PND data are not available at district level; therefore information is given for the Greater Manchester police force area.

Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned to be published in the autumn of 2010.

The number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued, defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty within Greater Manchester for the sale, or allowing the sale, of alcohol to a person under 18(1), England and Wales, 2004 to 2008(2)(3), is as follows:

YearTotal PNDs issued(4)Proceeded againstFound guilty

2004

*

180

135

2005

127

117

92

2006

211

160

112

2007

141

35

30

2008

135

39

29

* = Not applicable.

(1) Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:

Selling etc intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises-Licensing Act 1964 S.169 A & B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 S.1, Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983 S.3 [Sch. Para. 4 (1)].

Sale of alcohol to person under 18-Licensing Act 2003 S.146.

Allowing sale of alcohol to person under 18-Licensing Act 2003 S.147.

Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18 -Licensing Act 1964 S.181A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 S.17.

Persistently selling alcohol to children-Licensing Act 2003 S.147A as added by Violent Crime reduction Act 2006.

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(3) The "total proceeded against" statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(4) First year of PND scheme. PNDs were rolled out nationally on 1 April 2004.

(5) We don't collect the data below Police Force Area.

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Ref: 151-10



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Ambulance Service: Voluntary Crew

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council (Lord Mandelson): Planning for the Diamond Jubilee is at an early stage. Eligibility and criteria for receipt of the medal is under consideration. Further details will be released in due course.

Armed Forces: Equipment

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): Values of exports of military equipment and services to Oman are shown below for the past three years for which figures are available. Values for 2009 have not yet been finalised.

Year£ million

2006

12

2007

427

2008

16

Bovine Tuberculosis

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Part of the reduction in the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in new parishes is due to pre-movement testing, which is performed on animals moving out of herds in parishes tested yearly or two-yearly. This form of testing was first introduced in the spring of 2006 and intensified in 2007, and is intended in the main to protect herds in low-incidence areas that might receive animals from high-risk areas. Herds in low-risk areas are precisely the herds that are monitored under the bovine TB indicator as part of Public Service Agreement 9 (PSA 9) and that tend to be skin-tested once in four years. The indicator commenced

23 Mar 2010 : Column WA274

in 2003 and targets a reduction in the spread of bTB to new parishes to below the incremental trend of 17.5 confirmed new incidents per annum by the end of 2008. Since it would take up to four years for any reduction in bTB infection resulting from pre-movement testing to show its full effect on skin-testing results, we would expect any effect on the PSA 9 indicator to continue into 2010.

Although the apparent year-on-year reduction in bTB incidence in new parishes (despite the increase in numbers of herds and animals tested for bTB in 2009) is welcome, the Government remain cautious and do not want to read too much into the short-term disease trends, given the cyclical and multifactorial nature of bTB incidence in the endemic areas. The incidence of bTB in parts of England is still far too high for EU standards and we continue to take the fight against the disease very seriously, not least because of the serious impact it has on farmers.

Buying Solutions

Question

Asked by Lord Newby

Lord Brett: The following amounts have been paid in the UK by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and its agencies to the following companies over the past five years. Information regarding spend with those companies by our posts overseas is not available centrally and is only available at disproportionate cost.

FCO paid PricewaterhouseCoopers £6,228 in 2004-05, £254,446 in 2005-06, £384,197 in 2006-07, £313,299 in 2007-08, and £341,287 in 2008-09; KPMG £41,918 in 2004-05, £139,536 in 2006-07, £135,733 in 2007-08, and £1,701,658 in 2008-09 (in connection with the vital upgrading of FCO's secure international communications system); Deloitte £13,353 in 2004-05; Ernst and Young £44,148 in 2008-09; PKF £13,113 in 2005-06, and £8,948 in 2006-07; McKinsey and Company £111,625 in 2005-06; and Accenture £65,393 in 2005-06.

FCO Services, an Executive Agency of the FCO operating as a Trading Fund since 1 April 2008, paid PricewaterhouseCoopers £38,008 in 2007-08, and £111,186 in 2008-09; and KPMG £128,912 in 2007-08, and £24,320 in 2008-09.

For all other years and firms the figure is nil.

Total consultancy spending at end December 2009 was £17 million and is tracking at just over £22 million for this financial year-about 1 per cent of the overall

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FCO budget. The figure for consultancy spending in 2008-09 was £29.9 million. So overall our expenditure on consultancy is falling.

Contracts were awarded on the basis of supporting key government initiatives and were the result of rigorous competitive tendering processes conducted in strict accordance with the Office of Government Commerce guidelines, making best use of existing framework agreements.

Annual expenditure on consultants is published each year in our annual departmental report, copies of which are available in the Library of the House and on our website.

Departmental contract managers within the FCO manage the day to day contract performance and delivery in line with best practice. Departments are not required to report spend data to Buying Solutions, although we periodically provide information to it on request to assist with its audit requirements.

Child Carers

Question

Asked by Lord Bradley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): This data are not held centrally.

Community Broadband Network

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): There are no plans for Government to make these requests. A seedcorn grant of £30,000 was given to the Community Broadband Network in financial year 2003-04 by the Department for Trade and Industry. A further grant of £30,000 was provided by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in Financial Year 2004-05.



23 Mar 2010 : Column WA276

Cyprus: Property

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Lord Brett: The Government maintain a keen interest in human rights issues in Cyprus and this will continue.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Lord Brett: The Government have no intention of altering their commitment to the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus, or of proposing a memorandum of understanding with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot community. The Government fully support the leaders of both communities in the settlement negotiations.

Debt: Reduction

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Treasury does not use debt reduction instruments.


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