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Extremist Organisations

Question

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): For operational and security reasons, we cannot release this information.



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Foreign Office: Travel Advice

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is designed to give British nationals information with which they can prepare themselves for travel to any of 220 countries. We discuss our analysis of a wide variety of risks, including those related to terrorism, crime and health, with international partners, including EU member states. These discussions are reflected in FCO travel advice, though our priority has always been and will remain the safety overseas of British nationals specifically. FCO travel advice is constantly reviewed, and country-specific advice was updated almost 4,000 times in 2008.

Higher Education: Accreditation Bodies

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The information reported in the Times on 29 June was known to the UK Border Agency and has been acted upon.

Marine Environment: Gibraltar

Question

Asked by Lord Hoyle

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): On Monday 7 December 2009, officers from a Spanish Civil Guard patrol boat chased another vessel into British Gibraltar territorial waters and then ashore in Gibraltar. We consider that their actions exceeded their jurisdiction and failed to respect the UK's sovereignty, and we have formally protested. Spanish authorities have apologised for the error and stressed there was no political motive. We welcome this. Officials from the UK, Spain and Gibraltar are committed to working

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together through the Trilateral Forum to improve law enforcement co-operation, and we welcome ongoing co-operation between police services from Gibraltar and Spain.

NHS: Cardiology Technology

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

Baroness Thornton: We will continue to work with industry and the National Health Service to promote patient access to new technologies, but it is important to realise that not all technologies are appropriate for everyone-it is up to clinicians to make a decision in discussion with patients, about the most suitable treatment in each case.

The Centre for Evidence-based Purchasing (CEP) provides independent, evidence-based information about innovative technologies across the entire range of medical devices available in health and social care today. It concentrates on projects where it is possible to make an impact upon the uptake of new technology or those cases where existing technology can be used in an innovative manner. In April 2009, it published an Evidence Review on implantable cardiac devices with remote monitoring facilities. One of its findings was that there was insufficient evidence to conclude whether or not investment in remote monitoring would yield direct cost savings for hospitals. A copy of this has been placed in the Library.

In addition, in 2007 we established the NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC), which works to identify and overcome the barriers to the uptake of innovative technologies that will improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. One of the projects that it is currently working on is cardiac resynchronisation therapy with remote patient monitoring. This project is about increasing the availability of advanced treatments, which can restore the normal co-ordinated pumping action of the heart, improving cardiac function in suitable people with moderate and severe heart failure. The role of remote monitoring technologies in the early detection of arrhythmias and its impact on follow up care are key components of this project. The findings from this project will be published by NTAC in May 2010 and disseminated across the NHS.

NHS: Race and Equality

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley



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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently issued the following organisations with compliance notices for breaches of the Race Relations Act 1976:

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust,Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust,NHS Surrey.

The Commission is currently investigating 133 other organisations for possible breach of race laws.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: Under Section 69 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has a wide-ranging remit, which includes keeping under review the effectiveness and adequacy of law and practice relating to the protection of human rights, as well as promoting the understanding and awareness of human rights in Northern Ireland. The NIHRC is independent of government and it is entitled to set its own programme of work, consistent with its statutory functions. Its business plan for the current financial year is available on its website: http://www.nihrc.org/index.php?page= subresources&category_id=27&from=0&resources_id= 57&Itemid=6l.

The Government have no reason to believe that this plan is inconsistent with the NIHRC's statutory functions.

Police: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: It is Government's intention to renew the temporary 50:50 recruitment provisions for a final year to 28 March 2011 to ensure we reach our target 30 per cent Catholic composition. When we are satisfied the 30 per cent target will be reached we will return to Parliament and end the provisions. It is anticipated that this may be prior to the end of March 2011.



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Presbyterian Mutual Society

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society is currently considering all available options for assisting members whose investments in the society have been frozen. This issue raises a number of complex problems that require careful consideration and it would be premature to speculate about how the Government will respond until these have been resolved.

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society will take account of all of the Government's previous interventions in the financial services sector when deciding how to respond to the problems facing investors in the Presbyterian Mutual Society.

Questions for Written Answer

Question

Asked by Lord Jopling

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): Ministers and officials at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the previous Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) are committed to providing Peers with accurate and timely Answers to Parliamentary Questions. Following changes to ministerial portfolios in the summer, and the merger of DIUS and BERR, the Parliamentary Unit was restructured and more resources were made available within the Unit to improve the answering time for Peers Questions. The department is pleased that in October 2009, 91 per cent (20 of 22) of Answers were provided to Peers within 14 days and 100 per cent (7 of 7) in November prior to prorogation.



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Railways: Crossrail

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The current estimated total bulk volume of excavated material is 7.3 million cubic metres split as follows:

Westbourne Park Western tunnelling site-1 million cubic metres;

Central stations and shafts-3.1 million cubic metres;

Limmo Peninsular Eastern Tunnelling site-2.3 million cubic metres; and

Plumstead Portal/Woolwich Station-0.9 million cubic metres.

At the peak it is estimated that approximately 200,000 cubic metres (bulked) of excavated material will be produced per month across all the Crossrail sites. This peak is predicted to occur in late 2012. The need to reduce the number of such movements during the periods of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is recognised and is being actively considered by Crossrail Ltd in consultation with the Olympic Delivery Authority. As the detailed design develops, the programme and rates for individual sites will be determined.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: Excavated material from the tunnel drives from Royal Oak will be removed by rail, while that from the tunnel drives from Limmo will be removed by boat. Excavated material from other sites, including the central stations and Plumstead portal will be removed by road.

It is intended that this material will either be recycled or transported to Wallasea Island in Essex to create a nature reserve for the RSPB. Other sites being considered for this material include South East of England Development Agency regeneration sites in Kent. Eighty five per cent of the excavated material from the tunnel drives will be removed by rail and boat, removing an estimated 500,000 lorry movements from the streets of London during the life of the project.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: The majority of the Crossrail works are being built on land that has previously been developed. At some locations, previous uses, such as industrial processes, may have led to contamination of the ground.

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However, virtually all of the 7.3 million m3 of excavated material is expected to be clean and non-contaminated and can be reused elsewhere.

The Environmental Impact Assessment process identified sites where there was a high, medium or low risk of contamination (referred to as Category 1, 2 and 3 respectively). These sites are specified in the Specialist Technical Report on Assessment of Contaminated Land, which supported the Environmental Statement. Both are available from the Crossrail web site: http://www.crossrail.co.uk/.

Control and mitigation measures, applicable to design and construction, for Contaminated Land are given in section 8 of the Crossrail Construction Code. For higher risk sites (Category 1), these require ground investigation and assessment in accordance with the Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination (CLR11) published by Defra and the Environment Agency. For medium-risk sites (Category 2), generic procedures have been developed and agreed with the local authorities and the Environment Agency. Low-risk sites do not require further investigation.

The assessments (site specific or generic) will determine the measures required to deal with contamination. For high and medium risk sites, contractors will be given information from ground investigations that provide an indication of ground quality and the presence of contamination. When the contractors undertake excavations, they will carry out tests on excavated materials to comply with Duty of Care Regulations and to determine the destination of these materials.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: The specification for the sprayed concrete lining will be finalised when the contractors are appointed. Approximately 0.4 per cent by volume of the sprayed concrete to be used by the project is estimated to be steel residue.

Sprayed concrete lining residue will not be used for the creation of the land form at Wallasea Island; however, the sprayed concrete lining residue material may be used to create some of the footpaths to allow pedestrian access.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: Lord Adonis: Crossrail Ltd's procurement strategy for removing excavated material is currently being developed and contracts are expected to be let in 2010. The exact scope and specification of each contract, including who will be responsible for the testing of contaminated waste, is still subject to further work.

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Virtually all of the 7.3 million m3 of excavated material is expected to be clean and non-contaminated and can be reused elsewhere.

Railways: Eurostar Terminal

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): Under the terms of the wider funding agreement for High Speed 1, the terminal transferred to the Secretary of State rather than Network Rail. BRB (Residuary) Ltd took ownership of the facility on behalf of the Secretary of State.


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