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To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the latest statistics they have on when abortions take place most often as regards (a) the marital status of the woman, (b) the age of the woman, (c) the gestation of the pregnancy, (d) the number of previous children borne by the woman, (e) the number of previous abortions undergone by the woman, and (f) the legal grounds under which the abortion was performed.[HL738]
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 Status||Age||Weeks||Number of Previous Children||Number of Previous Abortions||Ground|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many farmers have taken part in the Entry Level Stewardship environmental scheme and the Higher Level Stewardship environmental scheme in each year from 2004 to 2010.[HL744]
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:
|2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010 (as at 21 June)|
|2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010 (as at 21 June)|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost in each of the past five years of (a) United Kingdom Armed Forces and attached civilian personnel stationed in Germany by service, and (b) transport, housing and allowances available to the families of those personnel.[HL802]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be any retrospective element to the change made by the Assured Tenancies (Amendment) (England) Order 2010 (SI 2010/908) when it comes into force in October.[HL826]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what dates since presenting her credentials Her Majesty's Ambassador to Azerbaijan has called officially in a bilateral capacity on the President of Azerbaijan; what were the principal matters discussed during those audiences; on what dates the President of Azerbaijan has requested a meeting with her; and what was discussed in those meetings.[HL793]
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.
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations Her Majesty's Ambassador to Azerbaijan has made to the President of Azerbaijan and the Deputy Foreign Minister, Araz Azimov, about the status of the Nagorno Karabakh region, as determined by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243.[HL796]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they supported (a) United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 822, (b) UNSCR 853, (c) UNSCR 874, (d) UNSCR 884, and (e) United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243, about the territory of Azerbaijan containing the region of Nagorno Karabakh.[HL797]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England will have power to require the Prudential Regulatory Authority to restrict the availability or cost of credit extended to United Kingdom borrowers by banks that are not regulated in the United Kingdom or the European Union.[HL705]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulatory Authority will be able to exercise restraint over the pricing or availability of non-bank sourced finance including commercial paper, factoring, leasing, corporate loans and debentures, securitised debt obligations and covered bonds.[HL706]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have asked the Government of the United States whether they envisage any security problems with Chagossians resettling on the outer isles of the British Indian Ocean Territory.[HL724]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 17 June (WA 128), whether they will apply for funds to support the economic and social development of the Chagossian people once they are permitted to return.[HL755]
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
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the definition of child poverty used in the statement "We will maintain the goal of ending child poverty in the UK by 2020", in The Coalition: Our Programme for Government.[HL505]
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.
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
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many consultants were employed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as of 11 May; and what percentage of that number they expect still to be employing on 11 May 2011.[HL713]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 21 June (WA 141-2), what is the schedule of government consultations, including dates, times and venues, on ways to reduce the fiscal deficit.[HL720]
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
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 22 June (WA 166), what is their 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]
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.
|United Kingdom, metropolitan borough districts with elections involving the electorate in all wards are fixed for 5 May 2011 Area|
|Area||Total electors 1 December 2009||% of total UK local electorate|
|United Kingdom, unitary councils with elections fixed in all wards for 5 May 2011|
|Area||Total electors 1 December 2009||% of total UK local electorate|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 15 June (WA 99-100), on how many occasions questions
5 July 2010 : Column WA12
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 15 June (WA 100), what steps the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has taken to monitor the number of embryos used in research, as recommended by one of the HFEA's peer reviewers in 2006; how the HFEA has maintained a record of the data requested by that peer reviewer regarding how many embryos were utilised in each research project; and what was the HFEA's response to that peer reviewer's assessment that "the number of embryos used for ES cell derivation seems to be very high" at the Newcastle Fertility Centre.[HL685]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 21 June (WA 144), whether they will review their decision
5 July 2010 : Column WA13
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.
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.
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.
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).
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated United Kingdom contribution to European Union plans to build an advanced high voltage, direct current network dedicated to renewable power.[HL847]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which European Union member states are involved in the plan to build an advanced high voltage, direct current network dedicated to renewable power; and what are their individual contributions.[HL848]
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what ways they and other co-operating Governments will contribute to the storage of the European Union transitional renewable energy grid to overcome intermittence in supply.[HL849]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which renewable energy sources they and each of their eight partners are expected to contribute to the planned advanced high voltage, direct current network for renewable power in the European Union.[HL850]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 23 June (HL534), how many fines have been levied by the European Commission on (a) the United Kingdom, and (b) other European Union countries, since 1972; for what offences; of what amounts; how many remain unpaid; and by which countries.[HL778]
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 ask Her Majesty's Government whether the financial regulatory structure proposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Mansion House speech accords with the European Union's approach to financial regulation, which is arranged around the nature of businesses (banking, insurance and securities) rather than a single regulator.[HL741]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the agreement by the European Parliament to proposals requiring all meat, poultry, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables to carry labels identifying country of origin, they intend to bring forward a United Kingdom food labelling scheme.[HL745]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether individual responses to their consultation on the potential for greater efficiencies in public services, announced on 24 June, will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000.[HL790]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have experienced any problems relating to policy and action as a result of having no female Ministers.[HL645]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 9 June (WA 46), why the embassy car for the Calais to Dunkirk journey would have cost £1,600; whether other quotes were obtained for that car journey; and, if so, whether that was the lowest quote.[HL404]
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|
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with the Government of Iraq the provision of facilities and incentives to enable refugees in Syria, Jordan and other countries to return home; and whether they will seek the participation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in such discussions.[HL642]
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
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel about the deportation from east Jerusalem of four members of the Palestine Legislative Council, who have recently been released from prison in Israel.[HL680]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make suggestions for judges and magistrates to increase their knowledge of non-custodial sentences in their area and meet those providing them, particularly in the third sector.[HL749]
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
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total amount of discretionary government revenue grants to each principal local authority in England this year; and under which categories and programmes they have been allocated.[HL807]
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.
|Specific Revenue Grant 2010-11||£ million|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Answer by Earl Howe on 23 June (Official Report, col. 1314), whether they will publish the research on the effects of labelling prescribed medicines and appliances with prices.[HL789]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Lord Hill of Oareford on 21 June (Official Report, col. 1185-6), what mechanisms and instruments will be used to carry out the "reform of planning laws and building regulations" in relation to schools; what consultation will be carried out on them; and whether they will be carried out as part of a general review of planning legislation or as a separate exercise.[HL752]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the Minister of State for Transport, Theresa Villiers, on 17 June (Official Report, Commons, col. 58WS) that the procurement timetable for the new Greater Anglia rail franchise is to be revised, what arrangements are in place to ensure that the performance of National Express East Anglia is acceptable.[HL628]
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
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to encourage private bidders for High Speed 1 to attract new operators serving new routes; and whether such incentives will apply to freight traffic.[HL716]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the criteria by which they and the Office of Rail Regulation measure the success and value for money of public subsidies paid to train operating companies.[HL634]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the public subsidy paid to the First Group is allocated to overnight rail sleeper services operated by First Great Western and First ScotRail.[HL636]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many communications they have sent to (a) maintained secondary schools, (b) maintained primary schools, (c) maintained special schools and (d) academies in each week since 11 May.[HL430]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the proportion of students with a statement of special educational needs in schools rated outstanding by Ofsted; and how that percentage compares with those schools not rated outstanding.[HL719]
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.
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.
|Table A: number and proportion of pupils with a statement of SEN at schools judged outstanding at their most recent inspection|
|Phase||Pupils with a statement of SEN||Total Number of pupils||Percentage of pupils with statement of SEN|
|Table B: number and proportion of pupils with a statement of SEN at schools judged good, satisfactory or inadequate at their most recent inspection|
|Phase||Pupils with a statement of SEN||Total Number of Pupils||Percentage of pupils with statement of SEN|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether carried interest payments made to general partners in private equity are treated as compensation arising from employment, or as a capital gain arising from investment for tax purposes; and what is their response to United States tax authorities changing their treatment of such payments from capital gain to income.[HL814]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure that employers at prospective academies consult staff as required under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/246); and whether there will be full consultation, given the summer holiday and the time required for staff to liaise with their trade union representatives.[HL717]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made, or intend to make, representations to the Government of Turkey about the judicial process and imprisonment pending trial in the case of retired army general Cetin Dogan.[HL777]
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider seeking authorisation from the European Commission to extend the transitional arrangements for visa restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians for two years beyond 2011 because of recent changes in unemployment in the United Kingdom, particularly amongst young people, and long-term patterns in the labour market.[HL729]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether nationals of the A8 countries will enjoy the same freedoms and rights in the United Kingdom as other European Union nationals after the end of the worker registration scheme on 30 April 2011.[HL98]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether nationals of the A2 countries will enjoy the same freedoms and rights in the United Kingdom as other European Union nationals after the end of the worker registration scheme on 31 December 2011.[HL99]
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.
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