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It is the Government's intention that the former Eurostar terminal at Waterloo is used to provide increased capacity for domestic passengers. The Department for Transport is in discussion with Network Rail and Stagecoach South West Trains to establish what would be the most cost-effective way to integrate Waterloo International terminal into the domestic station that maximises benefits for the short, medium and long term. This includes the issue of the station's ownership and operation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they require supermarkets and retail organisations to use supply contracts that are the same for United Kingdom and overseas suppliers; if so, whether they require such contracts to have the same break clauses and penalties; and, if not, whether they will propose such a system, at domestic or European level. [HL386]
The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): In England, contracts are the free expression of the choice of the parties, which are then given effect by law. However, there are exceptions to this general rule-for example, provisions in the Race Relations Act 1976, Sale of Goods Act 1979, Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
Contracts with overseas companies would be drawn up under the appropriate national laws of contract and any business regulations that apply, and determining which country's legal/regulatory framework would take
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On UK retailers' contracts with domestic suppliers, the Competition Commission recently put in place a new Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), which comes into effect in February 2010. This is part of the Competition Commission's recommended remedies to address problems identified in the UK groceries market concerning large grocery retailers passing on excessive risks and unexpected costs to suppliers. The GSCOP, which applies to large UK grocery retailers, requires that retailers keep better records of contracts with suppliers and incorporate the code into supply agreements which will be made available in writing to their suppliers. The code aims to prevent retrospective changes to agreed terms of supply and will extend to agreements between retailers and those who deal with them direct.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there have been problems with the website of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (online.hmrc.gov.uk); if so, when those problems started; why they occurred; whether they have resulted in taxpayers having difficulty paying income tax and value added tax; whether the technical help numbers provided have continued to work; whether taxpayers have been able to make reasoned complaints; who is responsible for maintaining the website; whether they have estimated the revenue lost or delayed; and whether the website has been altering taxpayers' names. [HL510]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is not aware of any major service disruptions or other significant problems that would have impacted large numbers of customers or affected their ability to pay their Income Tax or VAT liabilities.
http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWeb App/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true &_pageLabel=pageOnlineServices_ShowContent &propertyType=document&id=HMCE_MIG_ 009921
http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWeb App/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true &_paqeLabel=paqeOnlineServices_ShowContent &propertyType=document&id=HMCE_PROD1 _028772
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Royal Mail is phasing out the use of bicycles for postal deliveries; what means of transport will replace them; and what will be the effect of this on carbon dioxide emissions. [HL602]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): The department does not hold the information requested. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to respond directly to my noble friend and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how Royal Mail will dispose of bicycles no longer used for postal deliveries; and whether they will be offered to a charity for use overseas before being dismantled or scrapped. [HL603]
Lord Young of Norwood Green: The department does not hold the information requested. I have therefore asked the Chief Executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to respond directly to my noble friend and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Department for Children, Schools and Families does not collect this information. However, the report of the School Food Trust's fourth annual survey of take up of school meals in England includes information on catering facilities at national and regional level; although not at local authority level. In response to the trust's 2009 survey, local authorities reported that, across England, 75 per cent of primary schools and 94 per cent of secondary schools had a full production kitchen.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The expenditure on recreation and sport by local authorities in England since 1997 is tabled below.
Revenue expenditure from 2003-04 onwards has been collected on a Financial Reporting Standard 17 (FRS 17) basis. Under FRS 17 most of the pension schemes covering local government employees are classed as defined benefit schemes. The main implication of defined benefit status is that retirement benefits are accounted for on the basis of the retirement benefit entitlement to which employment in the year gives rise, rather than the cash amounts of employer's contribution or pension due for the year. As a result comparisons between FRS 17 data and data on a non-FRS 17 basis may not be valid.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Planning guidance for sport and recreational activity is set out in Planning Policy Guidance note 17: Planning for Open Space, Sport and Recreation (PPG 17). Good practice guidance is set out in Assessing Needs and Opportunities: A Companion Guide to PPG17.
Earlier this year my department also issued, jointly with Sport England, Making a planning application-A guide for sports clubs, which provides practical advice to help clubs across the country who want to improve their facilities.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Funding to the Sufi Muslim Council in 2007-08 and 2008-09 was allocated under the Preventing Violent Extremism Community Leadership Fund. Funding in 2006-07 was made as part of central support for National Prevent Projects.
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): VAT is a broad-based tax upon consumption, which operates within a framework of rules, which are agreed by unanimity within the European Union. This framework does not permit reduced rates of VAT to be charged for the repair or construction of all types of buildings.
Estimates for unemployment are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). For the period July-September 2009 it was estimated that 12.8 percent of all persons under the age of 25 were unemployed. The rate of unemployment for people under the age of 25 as published in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin is 19.8 percent. This estimate is based on the number of people who are unemployed divided by the number of people who are economically active, i.e. in employment or unemployed, in accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention.
People aged 16 and over are classed as unemployed by the LFS if they are: without a job, want a job, and have actively sought work in the last four weeks; or, out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Typically, new graduates take time to move into employment in the months after graduating, with more graduates out of work in the first few months after graduation.
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