|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated administrative cost of establishing a single
23 Jun 2010 : Column WA181
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are employed in each of the agencies which will be abolished or merged into the proposed single economic crime agency; and how many will be employed by the new body.[HL295]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In accordance with the coalition programme for government, the Government are examining options for the creation of an economic crime agency and will announce decisions in due course. As yet, no decisions have been taken on the agency's structure.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps have been taken in Northern Ireland to ensure that the same voter registration requirements, including a requirement for a photograph, is used for elections to local authorities, the Northern Ireland Assembly and Parliament.[HL324]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Representation of the People Act 1983 makes provision for the registration of electors, and the requirements for voter registration in Northern Ireland are the same in respect of parliamentary, Assembly, local and European elections.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of alleged electoral malpractice in Northern Ireland during the general election on 6 May; how many persons allegedly attempting to vote illegally were arrested; whether a police officer with power to arrest was present in each polling station; and, if not, how persons could be arrested.[HL325]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not hold information regarding arrests made at the general election or numbers and locations of police officers. These are matters for the PSNI and the noble Lord may wish to write to the chief constable directly to obtain such information.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prosecutions for alleged electoral malpractice in Northern Ireland during the general election on 6 May (a) have been dealt with by the courts, and (b) are awaiting trial.[HL326]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: Although the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is responsible for maintaining the legal framework in respect of Northern Ireland elections, the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland is responsible for prosecutions in Northern Ireland and would be best placed to provide accurate information on any prosecutions for alleged electoral malpractice and their progress. The noble Lord may wish to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions directly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has permitted embryos or gametes provided by patients for a particular research project to be used in separate research, where the latter was a concurrent project with different stated aims from those described in the patient information literature on the original research project; and at which licensed research centres.[HL415]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which research licences have been required by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to cover oocyte karyotyping and studies of cell cycle proteins in human eggs; for which of those licences the corresponding patient information did not make reference to the creation of embryos within the same study; and what were the dates of duration of all such research licences.[HL416]
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Chief Executive indicated on 8 November 2009 that 681 human eggs (including 17 fresh eggs) had been used under research licence R0122 between August 2004 and March 2005; and how that related to the information on the study that was concurrently provided to patients which indicated that the only cells to be used for such research would be embryos considered unsuitable for freezing.[HL417]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 2 November 2009 (WA 7-8) and 10 February 2010 (WA 135), what was the source of the information described in the internal background note to Question HL5792, which stated that 66 eggs were donated for research at the Newcastle Centre for Life in 2008 and 52 eggs from six treatment cycles were similarly donated between 1 April 2009 and 31 August 2009; and whether they will place in the Library of the House copies of the original documents from which those data were derived.[HL418]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that on no occasion has it permitted embryos or gametes provided by patients for a particular research project to be used in separate research, in the circumstances set out in the noble Lord's Question.
In respect of the use of human eggs under research licence R0122, the HFEA has advised that this information was provided to the noble Lord, in response to his request to the HFEA for this information, by the authority's chief executive. The HFEA has also advised that it does not know how the number of eggs used in research projects relates to information provided to patients participating in that research because the use of human eggs for research purposes does not require a research licence from the authority.
The HFEA has advised that the source of the information contained in the background note to Question HL5792 was the authority's register of patients, donors and treatment cycles. The HFEA has also advised that the information quoted by the noble Lord was submitted by Newcastle Centre for Life via an electronic database interface; therefore, there are no copies of original documents to place in the Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Thornton on 10 February (WA 136-37), what was the average duration of a site visit by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority inspectors since 2004 (a) for licensed centres generally, and (b) for centres 0017, 0157 and 0206.[HL419]
Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it would need to examine all inspection reports produced since 2004 in order to establish the average duration of an inspection site visit. For that reason, the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which individuals employed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) used the pseudonym "Reeta Ngo" prior to 2006 or prompted others to do so for acquiring personal information from other public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; what were the reasons for doing so; and whether any of the information thus obtained directly concerned clinics licensed by the HFEA.[HL420]
In the mean time, the HFEA has advised that it cannot identify the employee, as disclosure may be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1990. The information that was obtained did not relate to clinics licensed by the HFEA.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many eggs from non-human species have been used in attempts to create cybrid embryos according to records held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA); how the number of eggs used from each species compares with the number expected to be used; and what information about the expected outcomes of such research was provided to participants who donated human nuclei at each of the HFEA licensed centres.[HL494]
Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it is not required in law to collect and hold information about the use of eggs, human or non-human, in research. The information it holds is, therefore, incomplete and limited. However, the information the HFEA does hold shows that the number of non-human eggs that have been used in attempts to create human admixed embryos is 222.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Government have committed to introducing the work programme by summer 2011. The work programme will be designed to meet the needs of a wide range of customer groups, including people with a disability or health condition.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government will implement a full programme of measures to fulfil their ambitions for a low-carbon, eco-friendly and fairer economy. Ensuring that the UK reduces its carbon emissions in a manner that maintains the UK's competitive position is important to drive economic growth and innovation.
We continue to push for global action to reduce carbon emissions, thereby creating an international level playing field for UK businesses. We believe that the risk of carbon leakage is limited to a small number of sectors (which are energy intensive). However, there are measures in the EU ETS directive which would allow this risk to be managed. Because these sectors are important to the UK economy, we are currently working together with other EU member states on the application of these measures.
Taking action on climate change also offers opportunities to UK business. Greater energy efficiency can help to save money, and the development of low-carbon technologies offers new markets for UK-based businesses. We continue to monitor the impact of the UK's carbon reduction policies on UK competitiveness, including the impact of rising gas and electricity prices on business.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated cost of upgrading the national grid from Scotland to London to take the surplus load from wind turbines due to be installed in Scotland as part of any undertaking to meet European Union carbon reduction targets.[HL284]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Electricity Networks Strategy Group (an industry group jointly chaired by DECC and Ofgem) report Our Electricity Transmission Network: A Vision for 2020, published in March 2009, set out the network companies' view of the potential transmission investments that would be needed to accommodate the growth of renewable and other low-carbon generation to 2020. These transmission reinforcements will support expected new generation, including in Scotland, where scenarios suggested between 6.6 and 11.4 gigawatts of renewable generation to 2020 are expected. The report estimated the capital cost of these reinforcements as around £4.7 billion, with around £2.7 billion of that specifically in Scotland or to convey electricity from Scotland to other areas of demand. However, transmission investments in England and Wales will be also significantly influenced by the flows of power from Scotland. The report is available on the ENSG website: http://www.ensg.gov.uk/ index.php?article=126.
In addition there will need to be further investment by transmission owner companies in the existing system through Ofgem's ongoing price control mechanism to accommodate changing flows of power across the system to meet the 2020 targets. As submissions from these companies are made during this process, these funding requirements will become clearer.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the cost of transmitting electricity from Scotland to London was taken into account when the economic viability of wind turbines in Scotland was assessed.[HL285]
Lord Marland: The Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) published in July 2009 considered the scenario for delivering about 30 per cent of the UK's electricity from renewable sources, the majority of which is expected to come from wind power. The RES included impact assessments that included an assessment of the costs and benefits of the proposed policies, including for renewable electricity. These assessments took account of cost estimates for connection to the grid (onshore and offshore), and for additional grid reinforcements as outlined in the March 2009 Electricity Networks Strategy Group report Our Electricity Transmission Network: A Vision for 2020, including those from Scotland to England. Transmission charges and grid connection costs were included in the technology cost assumptions for onshore and offshore wind. In respect of transmission charges, no differentiation was made between generation in different parts of the UK.
A copy of the RES and accompanying impact assessments are available at: http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/res/res.aspx.
A copy of the Electricity Networks Strategy Group 2020 report is available on the ENSG website at: http://www.ensg.gov.uk/index.php?article=126.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated additional cost to households in England of upgrading the national grid to take the surplus load from wind turbines due to be installed in Scotland.[HL286]
Lord Marland: Transmission-related costs currently account for around 3 to 4 per cent of consumers' electricity bills. The Electricity Networks Strategy Group (an industry group jointly chaired by DECC and Ofgem) report Our Electricity Transmission Network: A Vision for 2020 set out network companies' view of the potential transmission investments needed to accommodate the growth of renewable and other low-carbon generation to 2020. National Grid's estimate is that the level of investment envisaged in the report of up to £4.7 billion could result in around a 1 to 1.5 per cent increase in consumer electricity bills. Of the total £4.7 billion investment, around £2.7 billion would be specifically in Scotland or to convey electricity from Scotland to other areas of demand. However, the transmission investments in England and Wales, estimated at around £2 billion, would also be influenced by the flows of power from Scotland. No specific estimates have been made in relation to Scotland-related expenditure.
The ENSG report is available on the ENSG website at http://www.ensg.gov.uk/index.php?article=126.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fines have been levied by the European Commission on (a) the United Kingdom, and (b) other European Union countries, since 1992; for what offences; of what amounts; how many remain unpaid; and by which countries.[HL534]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Commission has power to fine member states under Articles 126(11) and 260 of the treaty for the functioning of the EU. No such fines have been imposed on the UK since 1992. The UK does not have information on other member states.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): We have embarked on some very productive meetings with FND1 providers on how between us we best manage the transition from Flexible New Deal to the new work programme. It is too early to provide an estimate of the likely costs of making this transition and indeed some of this will depend on whether existing FND1 providers are successful in bidding for the work programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 23 February (WA 282-83) and 6 April (WA 398), whether it is normal scientific practice to cite as evidence studies which have not yet been published, and letters which report the results of those studies, without making clear the status of such documents.[HL400]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We agree that the studies have not been peer reviewed. The department's intention was to provide all the relevant information that was currently available centrally. The report on the analysis of osteosarcoma trends in the West Midlands was placed in the Library with the agreement of its authors at the West Midland Cancer Intelligence Unit.
The unit accepts that case control studies would offer the best means by which the causes of osteosarcoma could be assessed but, with such low incidence, it would take a long time for significant results to appear. The study by the Bone Cancer Research Trust is near to completion and we understand the results will be peer reviewed.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|