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5 July 2010 : Column WA1

Written Answers

Monday 5 July 2010

Abortion

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information we can provide is shown in the following table. This is based on the 189,100 abortions that took place in 2009.

Most likely* conditions for women having abortions in 2009, residents of England and Wales
Marital StatusAgeWeeksNumber of Previous ChildrenNumber of Previous AbortionsGround

England and Wales

Single with partner

20

7

0

0

C

Agriculture: Farming

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Total number of new Environmental Stewardship agreements (entry level, higher level and organic entry and higher level) in each of the years 2005 (when Environmental Stewardship started) to 2010 are as follows:

200520062007200820092010 (as at 21 June)

11,509

13,836

6,412

4,351

3,855

2,524



5 July 2010 : Column WA2

The number of Higher Level Stewardship and Organic Higher Level Stewardship agreements for these years are as follows:

200520062007200820092010 (as at 21 June)

-

1,206

781

992

1,373

853

Armed Forces: Overseas Bases

Question

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The number of personnel stationed in Germany over the past five years has changed significantly due to the rotation of units and the drawdown of forces. These factors plus the fact that data are not held centrally means that an answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Assisted Dying

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government believe that any change to the law in this emotive and contentious area is an issue of individual conscience and a matter for Parliament to decide rather than government policy.

Assured Tenancies (Amendment) (England) Order 2010

Question

Asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes



5 July 2010 : Column WA3

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): No. When the order comes into force on 1 October, it will apply to all existing and new tenancies from that date onwards. However, it will not affect actions taken in respect of existing tenancies prior to its coming into force, for example if notice to quit has already been served. It will affect the existing rights of tenants and landlords in their ongoing relationship, but this is not the same as having retrospective effect.

Aviation: Regulatory Framework

Question

Asked by Lord Rotherwick

Earl Attlee: The Queen's Speech in May included a statement of our intention to reform the framework for the economic regulation of airports to benefit passengers and to drive investment in better airport facilities. We will be announcing more details shortly.

We are aware that there may be other parts of the aviation regulatory framework that need updating. However, before the Government commit to legislation on these, they want to ensure that changes are made in a way that avoids increasing the overall regulatory burden.

Azerbaijan

Questions

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our current ambassador to Baku has had eight audiences with the Azerbaijani President while accompanying senior UK delegations to Baku. She was also present at a number of meetings during President Aliyev's visit to London in July 2009. These meetings covered a wide range issues including human rights, trade and investment, energy security, regional issues and Nagorno Karabakh.

The Azerbaijani President has never specifically requested a meeting with our ambassador.

Asked by Viscount Waverley



5 July 2010 : Column WA4

Lord Howell of Guildford: Our ambassador to Azerbaijan leads the staff of our embassy in Baku in delivering against priorities agreed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. These priorities reflect wider British interests and foreign policy objectives. For 2010-11 they include: conflict prevention and regional security, promotion of EU energy security and protection of British business interests, human rights and democratisation, provision of consular and visa services. Similar priorities have applied in previous years.

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Howell of Guildford: The present ambassador to Baku is due to end her tour in the summer of 2011. Her successor will be identified through the normal Foreign and Commonwealth Office recruitment process and the successful candidate will, like the current incumbent, have all the suitable experience and competencies required to pursue UK objectives in Azerbaijan.

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Howell of Guildford: Our ambassador to Baku, as well as other senior UK interlocutors, have discussed the issue of Nagorno Karabakh in the context of discussions on wider regional security with the Azerbaijani President, Foreign Minister and Deputy Foreign Ministers.

The UK, like all other UN member states, does not recognise Nagorno Karabakh as an independent state. We strongly support the conflict settlement efforts of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group to find a solution for Nagorno Karabakh on the basis of international norms and principles, including non-use of force, territorial integrity and self-determination.

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Howell of Guildford: All members of the UN Security Council, including the UK, voted in favour of Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884. UN General Assembly Resolution 62/243 was passed with 37 votes in favour and seven against; the UK abstained from that vote as the resolution did not take into account the Madrid Principles or Minsk Group process.



5 July 2010 : Column WA5

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Howell of Guildford: Azerbaijan currently contributes 90 troops to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. They have been providing a contribution since 2003.

Bank of England

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will set out more detail on the Financial Policy Committee, including its interaction with the Prudential Regulation Authority, in a consultation document to be published before the Summer Recess.

Banks

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In February 2009. the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) entered into two-year legally binding lending commitments.

In year two of the lending commitments, RBS and LBG have agreed to lend £50 billion and £44 billion respectively to businesses, on commercial terms and subject to market demand. These commitments include business overdrafts.

British Indian Ocean Territory

Question

Asked by Lord Luce



5 July 2010 : Column WA6

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The US authorities have made clear their concerns about the possible restoration of a settled civilian population in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) which, they have said "would severely compromise Diego Garcia's unparalleled security and have a deleterious impact on our military operations". The US welcomed the judgment of the Law Lords in October 2008, which found the BIOT constitution order lawful, and it has stressed the importance that it attaches, as we do, to our treaty obligations.

Burma

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My honourable friend Jeremy Browne, the Minister for South East Asia, raised Burma with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministers at the EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting on 26 May, at which the Burmese Foreign Minister was present. He made clear that without the release and participation of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's elections will not be free and fair. The subsequent summit statement reflected the EU's concern. To mark Aung San Suu Kyi's 65th birthday, my right honourable friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and my honourable friend the Minister for South East Asia called on the military regime to end her detention.

Our ambassador in Rangoon repeatedly raises the need for the release of prisoners of conscience, including Aung San Suu Kyi, with Ministers in the Burmese military Government. We will continue to raise the plight of Burma's political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, through the EU, with Burma's neighbours, and we will highlight the issue in the UN Security Council and with the UN's human rights bodies. We endorse the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's recent observation that the ongoing detention of Aung San Suu Kyi is illegal and in violation of international human rights law.

Chagos Islands

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Given that the legal situation at present is that the Chagossians do not have the right of return, the British Indian Ocean

5 July 2010 : Column WA7

Territory is not entitled to such funding. Even if any funds were to come from the European Commission, the contingent liability for resettling the Chagossians in the territory would remain with the UK taxpayer.

Children: Poverty

Question

Asked by Lord Lawson of Blaby

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Child Poverty Act places a duty on government to ensure that, in 2020, targets are met on four measures of child poverty:

a relative low-income target that less than 10 per cent of children will live in households where income is less than 60 per cent of median household income for the financial year;a combined low-income and material deprivation target that less than 5 per cent of children will experience material deprivation and live in households where income is less than 70 per cent of median household income for the financial year and experience material deprivation;an absolute low-income target that less than 5 per cent of children will live in households where income is less than 60 per cent of median household income in 2010-11 adjusted for prices; and a persistent poverty target based on the percentage of children living in households where income is less than 60 per cent of median household income for the financial year for three of the previous four years.

However, income measures do not necessarily capture all aspects of poverty or inequality facing children and their families, and the Government are committed to tackling the causes of poverty and not just treating the symptoms. It is only by tackling the root causes of how people get trapped in poverty that we can break the cycle of disadvantage and dependency culture to stimulate social mobility.

The Prime Minister has therefore asked Frank Field to lead an independent review of poverty and life chances that includes examining the case for reforms to poverty measures, in particular for the inclusion of non-financial elements. The review will explore whether there are measures that can improve the way poverty is tackled, ensuring that we focus on the root causes of and the paths into poverty as well as on the non-financial side.

Crime: Drink-Driving

Questions

Asked by Viscount Simon

Earl Attlee: Sir Peter North's report of his review of drink and drug driving legislation covers a wide range of issues, including the legal alcohol limit for drivers,

5 July 2010 : Column WA8

and contains 51 detailed recommendations. The Department for Transport is giving careful consideration to its conclusions in conjunction with colleagues in other departments. We will respond to the report in due course.

Asked by Viscount Simon

Earl Attlee: The Government's priority is to tackle drink and drug driving in the most effective way possible to protect law-abiding motorists and other road users, and to reduce drink- and drug-related casualties to the minimum possible.

Further steps to discourage this behaviour will be considered in the context of the recommendations of the North review of drink- and drug-driving legislation, to which the Government will respond in due course.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Consultants

Question

Asked by Lord Inglewood

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The department's systems do not record information on the number of consultants used daily. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The department has reduced significantly the number of external consultants used in recent years, as evidenced by the tables in the departmental reports. The department is implementing additional processes to ensure that any consultants are employed in accordance with the freeze on the use of consultants announced by the Government. It is not possible to estimate at this time how many may be employed on 11 May 2011, but it is expected that the numbers will be even lower.

Economy

Question

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As announced at Budget, the Government have now launched an online portal for public sector workers to give their views on ways to reduce the fiscal deficit. This went live from Thursday 24 June for two weeks. A further online portal, through which any

5 July 2010 : Column WA9

member of the general public will be able to give their views, will be launched following the public sector engagement. These online engagements will be complemented by a range of other engagement processes over the summer. Their details are still being worked up but will include events organised by HM Treasury and those undertaken by other departments.

Elections: Voting System

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General of the ONS, to Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, dated June 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, 1 have been asked to reply to your question asking for an estimate of the percentage of the total United Kingdom electorate in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, and (c) metropolitan borough district and unitary councils in England where elections are fixed for 5 May 2011 (HL765):

(a) The percentage of the total United Kingdom local electorate in Scotland for 1 December 2009 is 8.4 per cent. There is a full Scottish Parliament election on 5 May 2011, for which the electorate is identical to that for local government elections. The number of electors registered to vote in this election as of 1 December 2009 is 3,919,219;

(b) The percentage of the total United Kingdom local electorate in Wales for 1 December 2009 is 4.9 per cent. There is a full election for the National Assembly for Wales on 5 May 2011, for which the electorate is identical for local government elections. The number of electors registered to vote in this election as of 1 December 2009 is 2,280,240;

(c) ONS does not have all the information needed to provide an answer for all metropolitan borough districts and unitary councils in England. Tables 1 and 2 provide information for metropolitan borough districts and unitary councils where the necessary information is available.

Table 1 shows the percentage of the total United Kingdom local electorate in each metropolitan borough district in England where elections involving the electorate in all wards are fixed for 5 May 2011.

Table 2 shows the percentage of the total United Kingdom local electorate in each unitary council in England where all wards have elections fixed for 5 May 2011.



5 July 2010 : Column WA10

Table 1 Percentage of total United Kingdom local electorate in metropolitan borough districts in England where elections involving the electorate in all wards are fixed for 5 May 2011

United Kingdom, metropolitan borough districts with elections involving the electorate in all wards are fixed for 5 May 2011 Area
AreaTotal electors 1 December 2009% of total UK local electorate

United Kingdom

46,455,890

Tyne and Wear (Met. County)

Gateshead

148,127

0.3

Newcastle upon Tyne

195,677

0.4

North Tyneside

155,797

0.3

South Tyneside

116,056

0.2

Sunderland

213,898

0.5

Greater Manchester (Met. County)

Bolton

197,935

0.4

Bury

143,196

0.3

Manchester

350,748

0.8

Oldham

161,347

0.3

Rochdale

158,607

0.3

Salford

166,873

0.4

Stockport

220,112

0.5

Tameside

166,529

0.4

Trafford

166,628

0.4

Wigan

235,607

0.5

Merseyside (Met. County)

Knowsley

111,613

0.2

Liverpool

321,131

0.7

St Helens

138,870

0.3

Sefton

208,864

0.4

Wirral

241,570

0.5

South Yorkshire (Met. County)

Barnsley

177,084

0.4

Doncaster

220,814

0.5

Rotherham

191,331

0.4

Sheffield

383,936

0.8

West Yorkshire (Met. County)

Bradford

325,870

0.7

Calderdale

149,050

0.3

Kirklees

304,202

0.7

Leeds

551,310

1.2

Wakefield

253,652

0.5

West Midlands (Met. County)

Birmingham

741,113

1.6

Coventry

226,340

0.5

Dudley

241,320

0.5

Sandwell

224,798

0.5

Solihull

160,022

0.3

Walsall

190,302

0.4

Wolverhampton

170,769

0.4

Total

8,331,098

17.9



5 July 2010 : Column WA11

Table 2 Estimated percentage of total United Kingdom local electorate in unitary councils in England where elections are fixed in all wards for 5 May 2011

United Kingdom, unitary councils with elections fixed in all wards for 5 May 2011
AreaTotal electors 1 December 2009% of total UK local electorate

United Kingdom

46,455,890

Darlington UA

80,198

0.2

Middlesbrough UA

101,386

0.2

Redcar and Cleveland UA

105,962

0.2

Stockton-on-Tees UA

141,495

0.3

Blackpool UA

113,040

0.2

Cheshire East UA

291,844

0.6

Cheshire West and Chester UA

254,236

0.5

East Riding of Yorkshire UA

267,078

0.6

North Lincolnshire UA

126,705

0.3

York UA

151,206

0.3

Leicester UA

225,788

0.5

Nottingham UA

192,616

0.4

Rutland UA

29,259

0.1

Herefordshire, County of UA

142,218

0.3

Telford and Wrekin UA

121,476

0.3

Luton UA

131,422

0.3

Bracknell Forest UA

84,190

0.2

Brighton and Hove UA

200,079

0.4

Medway UA

188,784

0.4

West Berkshire UA

116,016

0.2

Windsor and Maidenhead UA

101,292

0.2

Bath and North East Somerset UA

136,775

0.3

Bournemouth UA1

135,542

0.3

North Somerset UA

157,306

0.3

Poole UA

114,870

0.2

South Gloucestershire UA

202,214

0.4

Torbay UA

104,593

0.2

Total

4,017,590

8.6

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In respect of the disproportionate costs referred to in my Written Answer on 15 June 2010 (Official Report, col. WA 99-100), the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that inspection reports set out the main findings, and evidence supporting them, of a process of technical and professional assessment of compliance. They are not an exhaustive record of every single aspect of an inspection.

The HFEA has advised that in order to be able to give further information on this question it would have to cross-reference all the inspection note-books against the corresponding published inspection reports. The resources involved would be substantial and would exceed the £800 cost limit for Written Parliamentary Questions.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it issued general directions requiring research centres to maintain a record, in any format, of the total number of embryos created, used or disposed of during that project of research. Compliance with this direction is monitored during renewal inspections. The number of embryos used in each inspection is recorded in the report of inspection visits to research centres.

The authority's Research Licence Committee considered the peer reviewer's assessment when deciding whether to renew the research licence R0145 at Newcastle's fertility Centre for Life at its meeting on 20 November 2006. Members of the committee noted that the HFEA has never specified an expected success rate in the derivation of stem cell lines and that the number of completed lines did not deviate significantly from the reviewer's expectations when taking into account the large margin of error entailed by the small numbers involved. The licence committee was satisfied that the proposed use of human embryos were necessary for the purpose of the research.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Government currently do not have any plans to review the decision on collection of data on the number of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures which end in abortion above that which is already notified under the Abortion Act. As such, we have made no estimate of how much additional expenditure would be involved in collecting such information.

Environment: Uplands

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) has issued an initial summary report, which the Government welcome. The report raises a range of important issues concerning the future vitality and viability of upland farms and communities-and indeed of remote rural communities more generally.

Two of the key issues raised in the report concern hill farming and rural broadband, which already feature in the coalition agreement and which we are currently working on.

We look forward to seeing the full version of the report and will be examining closely all its recommendations. The Government, via the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will respond to the report in the autumn.

EU: Coal Subsidies

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): No decision will be taken until we have seen the proposals. It is understood that what is under discussion is a partial extension which would allow member states to fulfil existing commitments to support mines subject to closure plans which do not extend beyond 2022, rather than a simple prolongation of the existing coal state aid regulation (EC 1407/2002).



5 July 2010 : Column WA14

EU: Renewable Energy

Questions

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The UK, together with France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway, launched the North Sea Offshore Grid initiative last December because we recognised the role that the renewables resources in the North, Irish and Baltic seas could play in our common efforts to decarbonise our electricity supply.

The UK has more offshore wind than any other country in Europe, and current plans would provide a total of up to 40 gigawatts of electricity. Many of our partner countries also have ambitious plans for offshore wind. We will therefore examine in this initiative the potential for strategic and co-ordinated offshore grid development and the contribution this might make to managing intermittency.

We plan to sign a memorandum of understanding at the end of the year setting out a programme of work for delivering the initiative's objectives, including an evaluation of the costs and benefits of possible grid configurations and how any legal, regulatory and technical barriers may be addressed.

European Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon



5 July 2010 : Column WA15

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): For all member states not in the euro area, including the UK, fiscal and monetary policy decisions remain a matter for national Governments.

European Commission: Fines

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The fines procedure was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. Prior to 1992 there was no procedural framework to levy fines against member states.

Under Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) the European Commission can consider whether a member state has failed to fulfil treaty obligations and bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the EU. Under Article 260 of the TFEU, the Court of Justice of the EU can require a member state to take the necessary measures to comply with any judgment of the court regarding a failure to fulfil an obligation under the treaties. If the court finds that a member state has not complied with its judgment it may impose a lump sum or penalty payment.

To date, the Court of Justice of the EU has not imposed any fine against the UK under Article 260 of the TFEU.

Since 1992, the following member states have had fines levied against them by the Court of Justice under Article 260.

Greece

Case C-387/97 (Waste)Failed to implement Directives 75/442/EEC and 79/319/EEC. EUR 20,000 per day until implementation.Case C-109/08 (Free Movement of Goods)Failed to comply with judgment in Case C-65/05.EUR 3,000,000 lump sum and EUR 31,536 for each day of delay in implementation.Case 568/07 (Freedom of Establishment)Failed to comply with judgment in Case C-140/03 within the required time frame. EUR 1,000,000 lump sum and no penalty payment imposed.Case 369/07 (State Aid)Failed to comply with judgment in Case C-415/03 and therefore failed to fulfil its obligations under Commission Decision 2003/372.EUR 2,000,000 lump sum and EUR 16,000 per day until compliance.FranceCase 304/02 (Fishery Conservation)Failure to comply with the judgment in Case-64/68.

5 July 2010 : Column WA16

EUR 20,000,000 lump sum and EUR 57,761,250 for each period of six months from the date of the judgment at the end of which Case C-64/68 had still not been fully implemented.Case C-121/07 (Genetically Modified Organisms)Failure to comply with the judgment in Case C-419/03 establishing its failure to fulfil obligations under Directive 90/220.EUR 10,000,000 lump sum.Case C-177/04 (Defective Products)Failure to comply with the judgment in Case C-52/00 and had incorrectly transposed the Product Liability Directive.EUR 31,650 penalty payment for each day of compliance delay.SpainCase C-278/01 (Bathing Water)Failure to comply with the judgment in Case C-92/96EUR 624,150 per annum and per percentage of inshore bathing areas not complying with the limit values of Directive 76/160/EEC.Portugal Case C-70/06Failure to comply with the judgment in Case C-275/03 and fulfil its obligations under Council Directive 89/665/EEC.EUR 19,392 for each day of delay in compliance.

The UK does not hold information regarding unpaid fines.

Finance: Regulation

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The proposed European financial regulation architecture recognises the need to focus on systemic issues, as does the structure proposed by the Government. The new UK structure will preserve appropriate sectoral expertise within the successor bodies to the Financial Services Authority.

Food: Labelling

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford



5 July 2010 : Column WA17

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Most food labelling, including on origin, is harmonised at European Union level. There are origin labelling requirements for fresh and frozen beef and most fruit and vegetables. Food labelling rules are currently under discussion in Europe and the Government are considering their view on origin and other key issues in the proposal.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have committed to publishing regular summaries of key themes on the website.

All information held by the Government is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Any requests for sight of individual responses will be considered under the terms of the Act.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK supports the statement issued by the quartet on 21 June. It reaffirms that the current situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable and welcomes the new policy towards Gaza announced by the Government of Israel on 20 June. The quartet statement underlines the need for full and effective implementation of this policy.

We have made no specific representations on the issue of fishing limits. However, whilst my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary welcomed Israel's announcement on Gaza restrictions as an important step in the right direction, he underlined the need for swift implementation to allow the necessary movement of people, aid and goods in and out of Gaza. It is also imperative to allow Gazans the opportunity to rebuild their economy.

Government Departments: Female Staff

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead



5 July 2010 : Column WA18

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): No assessment has been carried out. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office works on a gender-neutral basis and values the input of all its staff.

Government: Efficiency Review

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has announced today that Lord Browne of Madingley will become the Government's senior non-executive director. In his new role, Lord Browne will be the lead non-executive director on the Cabinet Office board and will also work as an adviser to the Efficiency and Reform Group board.

Government: Ministerial Visits

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans used the most cost-effective and efficient form of travel to visit the commemorations of the 70th anniversary of Dunkirk. Using an exchange rate of £1 = €1.15, the costs provided by the British embassy in Paris of using an embassy car were:

Costs€ Euro£ Sterling

Tolls

40.40

35.13

Fuel

36.00

31.30

Driver's Wages

698.40

607.30

Car Hire

953.60

829.22

Subsistence

100.00

86.96

Total

1,828.40

1,589.91

Another, subsequent, estimate indicated that commercial car costs would have been at least £870 for the car alone, plus accommodation, expenses and travel costs to and from the UK. All this indicates that the total costs incurred of £810 were the most cost- effective use of taxpayers' money.



5 July 2010 : Column WA19

Health: Mixed-sex Wards

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Guidance to the National Health Service has always required single-sex accommodation rather than single-sex wards. Even within a mixed ward, good single-sex accommodation can be achieved by using single rooms or single sex-bays and toilet facilities.

The 2010-11 operating framework for the NHS1 required all providers of NHS-funded care to publish a declaration before the end of March 2010 that they had virtually eliminated mixed-sex accommodation and had plans in place for the continued delivery of this commitment. At the end of March 2010, 95 per cent of trusts declared that this had been achieved.

The revised operating framework for the NHS in England 2010-112 reiterates this Government's commitment to eliminating mixed-sex accommodation except where it is clearly in the overall best interests of the patient. It also refers to potential additional sanctions to be imposed on those services not meeting these requirements.

We will bolster the information about same-sex accommodation made available to patients and the public so that they can make informed choices about their place of treatment.

Iraq: Refugees

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development supports Iraqi refugees externally displaced in the region through our funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has a legal mandate to assist and protect refugees, and to find durable solutions for displaced people. The UNHCR continues to encourage the Government of Iraq to invest in the provision of basic services and incentives to enable large-scale returns to Iraq. To date the Government of Iraq have responded by providing return grants worth 1.5 million Iraqi dinars (approximately £850) per household to approximately 65,000 Iraqi families. In addition, the Government of Iraq assist returnee families to reclaim possession of occupied houses and have agreed in principle to issue land to

5 July 2010 : Column WA20

homeless and destitute returnees and internally displaced people. DfID provided £1.5 million to the UNHCR in 2010. We currently have no plans to discuss this matter directly with the Government of Iraq.

Israel

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK is extremely concerned by recent reports of Palestinians' residency permits being revoked. We can confirm that President Abbas has requested the Israeli Government to rescind their decision.

Justice: Non-custodial Sentences

Questions

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Guidance was issued by the senior presiding judge for England and Wales in 2008 outlining the arrangements for liaison between probation areas/trusts and judges and magistrates. This guidance establishes the framework for liaison to ensure courts are best equipped to do their work, and are aware of prevalent or particular local issues and trends in the provision of probation services.

The guidance also outlines the categories of information that judges and magistrates would find most helpful at the local level, including completion rates of community penalties, programmes available locally as part of a community order, use of custodial sentences in the magistrates' courts, and the availability of local provision for those on bail.

Probation trusts liaise regularly with judges and magistrates and provide information about the availability and effectiveness of different non-custodial sentencing options. They also provide newsletters for judges and

5 July 2010 : Column WA21

magistrates, participate in magistrates' training events, and hold regular forums to disseminate information. Close liaison has taken place at the local level with the design and implementation of the Intensive Alternatives to Custody project and with similar national and local initiatives. Third-sector organisations may be represented in both regional and local liaison.

Third-sector organisations have also developed their own channels of communication with sentencers. These include arranging meetings with judges or magistrates within the specific area where there is third-sector provision available.

Regional directors of offender management hold regular forums with judges and magistrates to outline the range of non-custodial options available and consider how they are being used.

National liaison between judges, magistrates and providers of non-custodial sentences also takes place at the NOMS (National Offender Management Service) Sentencer Forum, attended by representatives of all levels of the judiciary, and by senior staff from NOMS and the Ministry of Justice.

Local Government: Revenue

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The following table provides a list of the revenue grants provided to local authorities in the current year. Where a grant is provided on a non-discretionary (ring-fenced) basis the grant is marked with an "R". Where a grant has not been marked with an "R" local authorities have discretion on how to allocate the funding to their service areas.

Information on individual local authority allocations for the current year is not collected as a matter of course. However, where the information was available at the time of the announcement of the local government finance settlement in January this year, provisional information was published on the Communities and Local Government website at: http://www.local. communities.gov.uk/finance/1011/specgrants.htm.



5 July 2010 : Column WA22



5 July 2010 : Column WA23

Specific Revenue Grant 2010-11£ million

Department for Education

R

Dedicated Schools Grant

30,817.1

R

School Development Grant (schools element)

1,980.6

R

Ethnic Minority Achievement

203.0

R

School Lunch Grant

77.3

R

Targeted Support for Primary and Secondary Strategy

276.6

R

Music Grant

82.6

R

Playing for Success

13.0

R

School Standards (including personalisation)

1,590.9

R

1-2-1 Tuition (formerly Making Good Progress)

246.6

R

London Pay Addition Grant

27.7

R

Early Years: Flexibility of Free Entitlement for 3-4 Year Olds

340.0

R

Extended Schools - Sustainability

189.5

R

Extended Schools - Subsidy

166.9

R

Prospectus and Common Application Process

1.7

Youth Opportunity Fund

40.8

R

Sure Start. Early Years and Childcare

1,594.0

R

Contact Point

15.0

R

Short Breaks - Aiming High for Disabled Children

183.1

R

Targeted Mental Health in Schools Grant

27.6

R

Two Year Old Offer - Early Learning and Childcare

66.8

Think Family Grant

94.1

Youth Crime Action Plan

12.0

Challenge and Support Funding

3.9

Total

38,050.7

Department of Health

AIDS Support

25.5

R

Social Care Reform

237.0

Learning Disability Campus Closure Programme

51.0

Stroke Strategy

15.0

Total

328.5

Home Office

Police Grant

4.373.5

R

Neighbourhood Policing Fund and CSOs

326.6

R

Basic Command Units

38.2

Crime Fighting Fund

265.1

R

Counterterrorism

569.0

Rule 2 Grants

88.1

Total

5,660.5

Communities and Local Government

Fire Control

25.8

Homelessness

52.3

Growth Areas, Points and Eco Towns

5.3

Housing Market Renewal

25.0

Total

108.3

Department for Transport

Concessionary Fares

223.0

Bus Challenge and Kickstart

10.0

Potholes

84.0

Cycle Training

5.6

NEXUS (Tyne and Wear Metro)

25.3

Smart Ticketing

5.0

Cycle Towns

7.0

Total

359.9

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Health and Welfare Enforcement

8.5

Waste Management Pilots

1.5

Coastal Change Pathfinder

3.0

Total

13.0

Other Departmental and Cross Service Grants

GLA General Grant (£46.5m revenue and £1.6m capital)

48.1

Area Based Grant

4,431.3

Generations Together

2.8

PFI

909.0

Housing and Council Tax Benefit Subsidy Admin Grant

484.8

Total

5,876.1

Grand Total

50,397.0

NHS: Budget

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The research was published in May 2007 and is available at: http://defineinsight.co.uk/published/page/2. A copy has also been placed in the Library.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission and Equality Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



5 July 2010 : Column WA24

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will continue to perform its statutory duties as set out in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 reflecting the commitments agreed in the Belfast agreement.

Sponsorship of the Equality Commission is a matter for the devolved Administration. The noble Lord may wish to write directly to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland or to the relevant sponsor department, the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

Planning: Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Work is taking place across government to make it easier for local communities to set up new schools. This will include allowing a wider range of sites to be used as schools without the need for change of use consent following a public consultation on the proposals over the summer. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will also issue guidance, before the Summer Recess, to local planning authorities on handling planning applications for new schools. These measures will be taken forward separately from other changes to the planning system. The Department for Education and Partnerships for Schools are looking at how the school premises regulations and other legislation and guidance which affects all schools buildings can be simplified. We will work closely with those setting up the initial free schools to consider what barriers they face and whether other measures can be brought forward in due course to make it easier to set up a school.

Railways: Franchises

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

Earl Attlee: Current contractual provisions in relation to performance on the National Express East Anglia franchise will remain in place and will be fully enforced

5 July 2010 : Column WA25

by Department for Transport officials. These include benchmarks for punctuality, reliability, capacity and cancellations which, if contravened, can result in enforcement action. Current contractual provisions in relation to performance on the National Express East Anglia franchise will remain in place and will be fully enforced by Department for Transport officials. These include benchmarks for punctuality, reliability, capacity and cancellations which, if contravened, can result in enforcement action.

Railways: High Speed 1

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: The High Speed 1 concession agreement contains clear incentives. Once the regulated costs of operation are met, the remainder of the payable track access charge contributes directly to the profitability of the concessionaire HS1 Ltd. So, the more trains the company runs, the more money it makes. Trains to new destinations, or freight services, are less likely to compete with existing peaks and so have the further potential to make positive use of otherwise under-utilised capacity. This increases the incentives on HS1 Ltd to develop such business.

Railways: National Express

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

Earl Attlee: Current contractual provisions will continue to apply to the National Express East Anglia franchise and will be rigorously enforced by Department for Transport officials. Although there are no specific passenger satisfaction targets in the contract, there is a service quality regime which attracts incentive or penalty payments for train and station quality standards.

Railways: Public Subsidy

Questions

Asked by Lord Glenarthur



5 July 2010 : Column WA26

Earl Attlee: Assessing the value for money of subsidies paid to train operators is a matter for the Department for Transport and the National Audit Office.

Value-for-money assessment of departmental spending programmes takes into account the costs and benefits to the general public, as well as to businesses, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations, relative to the level of funds committed. Formal guidelines on value for money assessment are set out in the HM Treasury Green Book and WebTAG, the department's own appraisal guidance. Relevant guidance is available online at: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/data_greenbook _index.htm and www.webtag.org.uk.

Success is measured regularly by monitoring key performance indicators for each franchise, to be certain that operators are fulfilling contractual obligations.

Asked by Lord Glenarthur

Earl Attlee: First Great Western's franchise agreement commits it to operate the franchise services, including the sleeper service, in return for a premium.

The First Great Western franchisee currently receives, in accordance with the terms of the franchise agreement, financial support reflecting a shortfall in anticipated passenger revenues. This is not split up between provision of different individual services but covers the operation of the franchise as a whole.

The First ScotRail franchise was let and is managed by the Scottish Executive.

Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The department has sent two communications to schools since 11 May, as outlined below.

A letter was sent to the head teacher and chair of governors of each maintained school in England on 26 May containing information about proposed legislation to give more schools the opportunity to become academies.

A letter was sent to the head teacher of each maintained school in England on 7 June containing important information on the primary curriculum and key stage 3 level descriptions.



5 July 2010 : Column WA27

Schools: Special Educational Needs

Question

Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert has written to the noble Baroness and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, Chief Inspector, Ofsted, to Baroness Goudie, dated 25 June 2010.

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for response.

The latest period for which published figures about maintained school section 5 inspection outcomes are available is the spring term of 2009-10. This answer, therefore, takes into account those schools which were open on 31 March 2010 and had received an inspection up to 31 March 2010. This period spans two school inspection frameworks, the first covering September 2005 to August 2009 and the second from September 2009 onwards.

Information about the number of pupils on roll and the number of pupils with a statement of special educational needs in each school has been taken from the Department for Education's 2009 January School Census. Information on which schools were open on 21 April 2010 has been taken from the Department for Education's EduBase system.

On 31 March 2010 there were 22,249 schools open and eligible for a section 5 inspection in England. Two hundred and fifty-eight open schools which have not yet been inspected by Ofsted are excluded from this analysis. In addition, 421 pupil referral units and 13 hospital schools which have been inspected by Ofsted are excluded from the analysis because they are not required to provide the pupil level data in the School Census which is used in this answer.

Of those schools judged outstanding during their most recent inspection, 3.5 per cent of pupils had a statement of special educational needs. Of those schools that were judged good, satisfactory or inadequate during their latest inspection, 2.7 per cent of the pupils had a statement of special educational needs. A breakdown of this by phase of education can be found in Table A and Table B enclosed below.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Lord Hill of Oareford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, and will be placed in the Library of both Houses.



5 July 2010 : Column WA28

Table A: number and proportion of pupils with a statement of SEN at schools judged outstanding at their most recent inspection
PhasePupils with a statement of SENTotal Number of pupilsPercentage of pupils with statement of SEN

Nursery

191

20,089

1.0%

Primary

7,835

641,454

1.2%

Secondary

11,237

661,310

1.7%

Special

29,026

30,123

96.4%

Academy

360

18,139

2.0%

City Tech College

31

3,386

0.9%

Total

48,680

1,374,501

3.5%

Table B: number and proportion of pupils with a statement of SEN at schools judged good, satisfactory or inadequate at their most recent inspection
PhasePupils with a statement of SENTotal Number of PupilsPercentage of pupils with statement of SEN

Nursery

96

16,687

0.6%

Primary

50,114

3,404,000

1.5%

Secondary

49,944

2,406,392

2.1%

Special

59,046

60,418

97.7%

Academy

1,325

54,968

2.4%

City Tech College

0

0

0.0%

Total

160,525

5,942,465

2.7%

Taxation: Carried Interest Payments

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The tax treatment of carried interest payments is prescribed by legislation on employment-related securities and applies to all individuals in receipt of these, not just to individuals working in the private equity industry.

Carried interest payments are treated as capital gains for tax purposes where they meet the conditions of the legislation and are a return on investment.

It is not the Government's practice to speculate on potential changes to the tax systems of other jurisdictions.

Taxation: Property Tax

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As with other taxes, the Government keep property taxes under review as part of the Budget process.



5 July 2010 : Column WA29

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006

Question

Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance on the DfE academies website for schools wishing to convert to academy status. This refers to the obligations for employers under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE). The employers of staff at schools wishing to convert to academy status will be required to meet their obligations under TUPE, including the obligation to consult.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): It is not our practice to comment on ongoing legal cases in Turkey. The Government continue to encourage judicial reform in Turkey and discuss issues around the judiciary.

Vehicles: Accidents

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Earl Attlee: In 2009, there were six heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) involved in reported personal injury road accidents on the A55 in North Wales.

Information regarding the origin and destination of vehicles involved in reported road accidents is not collected as part of the road accident data collection form (STATS19) and could be collected only at disproportionate costs.



5 July 2010 : Column WA30

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The United Kingdom may, under the terms of the accession treaty, extend the labour market restrictions currently applied to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania beyond 2011 until the end of 2013, in the event of a serious disturbance to the labour market. The Government will assess the labour market case for extending the restrictions during the course of next year and notify the European Commission if it decides to extend the restrictions.

The Government will apply transitional controls as a matter of course in the future for all new EU member states.

Worker Registration Scheme

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Under the terms of the accession treaty, transitional measures relating to labour market access for nationals of member states that acceded on 1 May 2004 must end by 30 April 2011. The worker registration scheme must cease to apply to nationals of those countries from that date. When the scheme ends they will enjoy the same rights as other European Union nationals in terms of their freedom to take employment in the United Kingdom.

Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania are not subject to the worker registration scheme and are instead subject to separate work authorisation requirements. These restrictions will continue until 31 December 2011, and under EU law may, in the event of a serious disturbance to the labour market, be extended until 31 December 2013.

The Government will apply transitional controls as a matter of course in the future for all new EU member states.


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