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From summer 2008 Defra and the Rural Payments Agency worked with stakeholders to help identify farmers who were potentially eligible to apply for new entitlements for permanent fruit and vegetables, nursery crops and vines. A series of information notes to explain the application process and deadlines was sent from August 2008 to all those farmers who had expressed an interest in the new entitlements. In addition, the application deadline was included in brochures sent to all farmers and was also advertised in the specialist trade press.

Coroners: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Rule 3 of the Coroners (Practice and Procedure) Rules (Northern Ireland) 1963 requires that where an inquest is necessary it shall be held as soon as is practicable after the coroner has been notified of the death. In order to meet this requirement, the following improvements have been introduced in the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland:

four full-time coroners have been appointed replacing the previous structure which largely depended on part-time coroners;a High Court judge has been assigned to be the presiding judge for the Coroners Service;additional support staff have been appointed to the Coroners Service, including a medical officer, a solicitor, and three family liaison officers;protocols have been agreed with partner agencies, including the State Pathology Department, setting targets for the production of reports prepared for the Coroners Service; andan improved IT system allows cases to be tracked effectively.

Counterterrorism

Question

Asked by Baroness Warsi



8 Dec 2009 : Column WA110

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Details of those charged and convicted under Sections 11 to 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are contained in a Home Office Statistical Bulletin: (Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Subsequent Legislation: Arrests, Outcomes and Stops and Searches), which was published on 26 November 2009.

Details of terrorist arrests under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 or under other legislation are also contained in the bulletin. However, the arrest figures do not include details of the specific offences of which an individual is suspected.

Education: Chevening Scholarships

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The number of Chevening scholarships awarded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to countries in central Asia in 2008-09 and 2009-10 is as follows (the figures for 2009-10 are provisional as the British Council does not yet have nationality details for all partnership scheme scholars):

2008-092009-10

Kazakhstan

7

7

Kyrgyzstan

13

10

Tajikistan

9

10

Turkmenistan

2

5

Uzbekistan

9

9

There are no present plans to increase the number of awards offered to central Asian countries in 2010-11.

EU: Scrutiny Override: Classified Information

Question

Asked by Lord Roper

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The override resulted from an unacceptable administrative error.

My honourable friend the Minister for Europe has asked officials to look again at our internal procedures and will write to the committees responsible for scrutiny updating them on the measures taken to address this problem.



8 Dec 2009 : Column WA111

Food: Horse-meat

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Figures are not available on the quantity of horse-meat used in pet food in the United Kingdom. However, the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, whose member companies account for over 90 per cent of the UK market, state that they do not use horse-meat in their products. Under the EU Animal By-products Regulation, to be eligible for pet food, meat from horses must have come from horses slaughtered in a slaughterhouse and originate from animals passed as fit for human consumption.

Higher Education: Migrant Students

Question

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): As at 2 December 2009, the UK Border Agency had approved 1,925 organisations to sponsor migrant students under tier 4 of the points-based immigration system.

Immigration

Question

Asked by Baroness Warsi

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It would be inappropriate to give details of individual cases.

Immigration: Detention

Questions

Asked by Baroness Warsi



8 Dec 2009 : Column WA112

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Information on the number of detainees who have escaped from each immigration removal centre and have been recaptured is taken from local management information. These data are normally used for management information only and are not subject to the detailed checks that apply for National Statistics publications. Data on the number of individuals recaptured are available from 2006. The information is provisional and subject to change.

Of the 19 detainees who escaped from immigration removal centres in 2006, 16 have not been recaptured.

Of the 90 detainees who escaped from immigration removal centres in 2007, 71 have not been recaptured.

Of the 35 detainees who escaped from immigration removal centres in 2008, 19 have not been recaptured.

In 2009, there have been four escapes from immigration removal centres. Two individuals have not been recaptured.

Inquiries Act 2005

Questions

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The criteria for considering the establishment of an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005, when a coroner's inquest cannot be held, will be the existence of highly sensitive matters-including, for example, intercept material-which are directly relevant to the purpose of the inquest, and which may not be disclosed either to a coroner or a coroner's jury, and where there is no alternative way of ensuring the matters are protected from public disclosure. A protocol is being developed and will set out the procedures to be followed in these circumstances. It is intended that the protocol will be published.

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord Bach: There is currently one death where an inquiry may be established under the Inquiries Act 2005.

Internet: Radical Websites

Questions

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones



8 Dec 2009 : Column WA113

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): I understand that the preferred route for removing potentially unlawful terrorist content is through informal contact between the police and the internet service provider. To date this approach has proved effective. As a result, it has not been necessary to use the formal powers given under the Terrorism Act 2006 to close any websites.

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

Lord West of Spithead: Action in this area could range from taking down individual videos to the closure of complete websites. It is not possible to provide information on the range of actions taken.

Asked by Baroness Warsi

Lord West of Spithead: The police have powers under Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006 to seek the removal or modification of unlawfully terrorism-related material from the internet. These powers apply whether or not the author is excluded from the UK. I understand that the police have so far found informal approaches to internet service providers have met their needs.

National DNA Database

Question

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): I refer the noble Baroness to my letter to Lord Ahmed dated 23 November, entitled: "Parliamentary Question Nos HL6309 and HL6310 on DNA and fingerprint retention under terrorism powers". A copy has been placed in the House Library.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: On application to become a commissioner and prior to reappointment, all commissioners are required to complete an equality monitoring questionnaire and return it to the sponsoring unit within the Northern Ireland Office. It is for individual applicants and commissioners to decide what they consider to be their own community background in completing this questionnaire. A copy of this form has been placed in the Library of the House.

Personal Care at Home Bill

Questions

Asked by Lord Warner

Baroness Thornton: The estimate of 110,000 younger adults eligible for free personal care at home is based principally on the referrals, assessments and packages of care (RAP) data from councils for 2007-081.

Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) guidance on eligibility for local authorities, a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, establishes four levels of eligibility for services. These are critical, substantial, moderate and low, with critical representing the highest level of social care need.

The RAP data shows 82,000 younger users of local authority home care and 35,000 younger users of direct payments on 31 March 2008-out of 395,000 younger recipients of community-based services. It is not known what proportion of the 117,000 who receive personal care are in the critical need group, but it is expected that they would be the majority.

Therefore, for the purposes of the impact assessment, it is assumed that there could be some 100,000 younger adult local authority-funded users receiving personal care in the critical category. It is likely that most of them receive their care free, as their incomes are generally low. It has therefore been assumed that 90 per cent already receive free personal care at home and that 10 per cent make a means-tested contribution towards the cost.

Little is known about the number of younger adults who currently fund their own care at home. It has been assumed that approximately a further 10,000 younger adults may be brought under state funding following the introduction of the Personal Care at Home Bill.



8 Dec 2009 : Column WA115

No specific estimate of a margin of error has been made. However, the figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000 to reflect the uncertainty. The figure of 110,000 should therefore be treated as an estimate.

The estimated cost of extending reablement services is based on an assumed cost per person of £1,000. This is an average cost and acknowledges that the actual cost of individually tailored packages will lie within a range depending on the length of time and specialist services required.


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