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Health: Tuberculosis


Asked by Baroness Tonge

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): The diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) is free to all people, including failed asylum seekers and those in detention centres.

The healthcare in immigration removal centres operates to a standard which is equivalent to that found in the community.

Detainees who have possible TB symptoms are investigated in line with standard NHS procedures, and treatment delivered is in line with the NHS clinical protocols, including for multi-drug resistant TB.

All detainees are seen by a nurse within two hours of arrival for health screening and are given an appointment to see a general practitioner (GP) within 24 hours. Where there are concerns, an appointment is made earlier. Thereafter, detainees can access healthcare on demand subject to a triage service similar to that found in a GP's surgery.

Detainees who require secondary treatment are referred to the local primary care trust in the community.

House of Lords: Members


Asked by Lord Morris of Aberavon

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The position on the creation of new peerages remains as currently provided for until such time as Parliament decides differently.

House of Lords: Members' Broadband Useage


Asked by Earl Attlee

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): For access to the internet off the Parliamentary Estate, PICT currently provides broadband connectivity through a contract with Demon which uses BT to provide the connection lines to the BT exchange, with an average speed ranging from 2 to 8 Mb. The actual speed of the line for each user is dependent on the level of modernisation at the local BT exchange to which each user's service is attached, and also on the distance of the user from the BT exchange. PICT provides services across the United Kingdom and does not measure the capacity at each BT exchange used to connect its customers to broadband.

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For access to the internet on the Parliamentary Estate, on the parliamentary network, the lines have a maximum speed of 100Mb per second.



Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Our records show almost 22,000 incidents of persons being refused entry to the UK at the border between 1 March 2009 and 28 February 2010. Of these, 425 claimed asylum. This is in addition to 29,000 incidents of persons who attempted to enter the UK illegally but were thwarted by officers at juxtaposed controls.

The monthly breakdown is as follows*:

MonthTotal number of refusals at UK borderNumber of which claimed asylum

March 09



April 09



May 09



June 09



July 09



August 09



September 09



October 09



November 09



December 09



January 10



February 10






* Data are management information and are from a live database. They have not been subject to the detailed checks required for National Statistics.

India: Dalits and Adivasis


Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Brett: The Department for International Development (DfID) has not carried out an assessment of the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs) among Dalits and Adivasis in India. However, DfID recognises that tackling social exclusion is critical to achieving the MDGs in India. All our programmes there have a clear focus on supporting marginalised groups such as Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims, to gain greater access to development and economic

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opportunities. In addition, DfID supports specific programmes that help marginalised groups to access their rights. We gather data disaggregated by social group to track our progress.

Evidence shows that our approach is making an impact: DfID support to the Government of India's Education for All programme has helped to increase the number of Dalit children in the school population. The proportion of Dalits amongst school children now exceeds their share in the overall population.

India: Orissa


Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Brett: The Department for International Development (DfID) evaluates the impact of all its programmes on a continuous basis. To date, our programme in Orissa has had some notable successes, including:

supporting an additional 275,000 children from tribal districts to complete primary education;enabling 360,000 people to move out of poverty through improved watershed management;reducing the prices of essential drugs by 25 per cent through improved procurement practices; andsupporting reform of the commercial tax system, leading to 20 per cent year on year increases in tax collection since 2004-05.

Israeli Embassy: Demonstrations


Asked by Lord Ahmed

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Crown Prosecution Service has informed me that a total of 75 people were charged with criminal offences arising out of the protests. Some 41 of those have pleaded guilty and been sentenced, of whom 22 have received custodial sentences by the Crown Court. Six further defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentence. Nine individuals have pleaded not guilty and await trial.

Information about how many individuals arrested are Muslim is not held.

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Local Authorities: Funding


Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): It is estimated that it would cost £675 million in 2011-12 and £1,380 million from 2012-13 onwards for central Government to reimburse local authorities in England for the income forgone by not increasing their band D council tax by 2.5 per cent in each year.

Levels of council tax are determined annually by local authorities, not by the Government. Therefore, the council tax figures for 2010-11 used to support this costing are based on the arithmetic average of council tax increases over the past three years. These figures cover all authorities, police authorities and fire and rescue authorities in England. Responsibility for council tax and other local authority matters in Scotland and Wales rests with the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government. The above calculation assumes that all authorities are compensated for lost revenue if freezing their council tax in 2011-12 and 2012-13, after taking any council tax base increases into consideration.

EU: Scrutiny Override


Asked by Lord Roper

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The sanctions measures against the leadership of the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova were due to expire on 27 February 2010. If the new Council decision was not adopted before then, the existing measures would have lapsed. The override arose due to an error by Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials who were unclear when the Scrutiny Committees would sit after the Recess in February.

The FCO takes its scrutiny commitments very seriously. It does everything it can to avoid an override and to keep the Scrutiny Committees informed on sanctions matters. The relevant teams within the FCO are therefore discussing what steps to take to prevent this error occurring again.

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Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Soufrière Hills volcano is monitored continuously at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), which is permanently staffed by professional volcanologists. The MVO regularly assesses the hazard and risk posed by the volcano to the community of Montserrat. The director of the MVO provides advice to the Governor and the Government of Montserrat on the volcanic activity and decisions on appropriate responses are taken. The safety of the community is the top priority.

The current increased activity and accelerated dome growth began on 4 October 2009. This resulted in major pyroclastic events before Christmas 2009, which forced the night-time evacuation to the north of the island of those residents living in the zones closer to the volcano. Further large pyroclastic events followed on 8 January, 5 February and 11 February. Since the last event, volcanic activity has returned to relatively low levels. The evacuation order remained in place until 23 February 2010, when residents were allowed to return to their homes full time. The current Montserrat hazard level rating is 3, on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 is the lowest and 5 is the highest.

With support from the Department for International Development (DfID), Montserrat's National Disaster Response Advisory Committee, chaired jointly by the Governor and the Chief Minister, has commissioned an assessment of the pyroclastic flow and surge models in the occupied zones closest to the volcano to review current risk and hazard levels.

In addition, a disaster management capability review of Montserrat was carried out by Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DfID officials in November 2009, which examined Montserrat's state of preparedness and its plans for all disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

Nuclear-powered Submarines


Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

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The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The UK and US are currently discussing the proposed stationing of the US submarine tender "Emory S. Land" to the British Indian Ocean Territory.



Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): The Health Protection Agency advises that no specific evaluation has been made. However, potential toxicological effects due to disruption of mitochondrial function would be identified from the standard package of toxicological tests required for the active ingredients of pesticides, including organophosphates.

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