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27 Sep 2010 : Column WA496

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Home Office does not hold information in relation to how much paid police time is spent on administering police staff associations. No announcement has been made on Home Office funding for police diversity staff support associations in 2010-11, which will need to take account of the public sector's financial position.

Population

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): There are many factors affecting population levels in the UK generally, and its individual areas, that it is not in the Government's power to control, e.g. birth and death rates, personal preference. It is clearly the case that some areas in the United Kingdom have declining or growing populations which public policy can influence, should it be appropriate to do so. Housing supply, infrastructure and access to jobs and public services all have an impact on where people settle. The Government have also committed to introducing an annual limit on non-EU economic migrants, which is expected to have an impact on the make-up of the UK's population.

Prisoners: Transfers

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): British nationals imprisoned abroad receive sentences deemed appropriate to the country in which they have committed the offence.

Prisoner transfer agreements enable those prisoners to serve their sentences in their own country where the difficulties associated with imprisonment abroad can be alleviated. Prisoner transfer agreements are not intended to enable the prisoner to receive a reduction in a sentence lawfully imposed in a foreign jurisdiction, simply as a consequence of transfer. The UK will therefore continue to enforce a sentence imposed abroad in accordance with the relevant international arrangements.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA497

Schools: Academies

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): There is no minimum timescale for schools to consult interested parties on plans to set up an academy trust. However, schools must register the academy trust with Companies House before the funding agreement is signed. In order to register, schools must file a model memorandum and articles of association with Companies House. The memorandum has to contain the names and signatures of the subscribers who wish to form the academy trust and is required to set up the academy as a company limited by guarantee.

The Academies Bill provides that consultation can take place before academy arrangements are agreed and before or after an academy order has been made.

Smuggling

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Estimates of the revenue lost from all forms of smuggling in South Armagh are not available because it is not possible to split revenue losses between regions. However, estimates of the illicit market for excise goods for the whole of the UK for 2007-08 have been published by HMRC in Measuring Tax Gaps-2009 in November 2009, which is available in the House of Commons Library and can be found on the Internet at http://www.hmrc.qov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-.qaps.htm.

Spending Challenge

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Of the approximately 90,000 ideas received from the Spending Challenge websites, 60,000 of these were received through the public sector website. Following an initial sift of these ideas to remove non-compliant ones, the remaining sixty-five per cent are now being actively reviewed by government departments.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA498

The other 30,000 ideas have been received through the general public spending challenge website and ideas are still being submitted through this process. The Government have committed to considering the best ideas received through this channel and we will be providing further updates on this process over the summer.

Taxation

Questions

Asked by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Treasury continues to develop the way in which it assesses the impact of tax changes on exchequer revenues, including through considering the case for the use of dynamic models. It is also committed to greater transparency around the public finances forecast and the assumptions and methodologies underlying policy costings.

HM Treasury published the direct effects of tax policy changes on Exchequer revenues in table 2.1 of Budget 2010. Alongside this, for the first time, the Treasury also published a supplementary document, Budget 2010 policy costings, providing further details on the Noble Lord's previous question on the tax models used by the Government.

Taxation: Capital Gains Tax

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): If an individual's chargeable capital gains do not exceed any unused amount of their basic rate band, they are taxed at 18 per cent. Any balance of capital gains over that amount is taxed at 28 per cent.

If a basic rate taxpayer acts as a trustee of a trust, or as the personal representative of a deceased person, gains arising on disposals of assets held in the trust or forming part of the estate are taxable at 28 per cent. This tax may be charged on the individual in their capacity of trustee or personal representative, but is not the individual's personal liability.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA499

Taxation: Controlled Foreign Company Tax System

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are fully committed to controlled foreign company (CFC) tax reform and have announced that a new CFC regime will be legislated in spring 2012, allowing time to consider carefully how to make the rules more competitive, to enhance long-term stability and to provide adequate protection of the UK tax base.

The Government are also consulting on CFC interim improvements to be legislated in spring 2011. The aim of these interim measures is to make the current rules easier to operate and, where possible, increase competitiveness ahead of full reform in 2012. Further information, including a note on the aim and scope of the CFC interim improvements, can be found at: www. hmtreasury.gov.uk/controlled foreign companies.htm.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): No. The Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK, has been proscribed in the UK since 2000.

Universities: Afghan Studies

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): We are not aware of any specific Afghan studies departments in British universities. A range of universities carry out relevant research and offer students the opportunity to undertake Afghan studies as part of their degree courses; for example, in South Asian and middle eastern studies, war studies and international studies.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA500

Visas

Question

Asked by The Earl of Clancarty

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord De Mauley on 22 July (HL Deb, col. 1066), when the findings of the survey of tier 5 applicants for visas, including artists and performers, will be published.[HL1877]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The survey is currently being analysed. The findings will be published in autumn 2010, once this analysis is completed and the usual quality assurance procedures have been completed.

Answers received between Monday 16 August and Monday 23 August 2010

Anti-Slavery Day

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Minister of State for Immigration (Damien Green) has decided that 18 October will be designated Anti-Slavery Day, which is the same day as the European Union Trafficking Awareness Day. The relevant statutory instrument is in the process of being drafted and will be laid before Parliament by the end of September.

Broadcasting

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government have received no representations other than by the noble Lord, Lord Black of Brentwood.

The broadcast pool operates entirely independently from Government. The Government understand that, following discussions, the BBC, ITN and Sky have agreed that all news organisations, including the Press Association, should be given access to broadcast pool material and be able to purchase the footage.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA501

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Question

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government recently published Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting police and the people (CM 7925). This set out the Government's proposals for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and the creation of a new National Crime Agency. These proposals are now the subject of a public consultation.

European Investigation Order

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The decision whether to opt in to directives such as the European Investigation Order (EIO) has to be taken within three months of their publication. Parliament, through the European Scrutiny Committee of each House, has the opportunity to give its opinion on whether the UK should opt in as part of the scrutiny process.

The EIO directive was published on 29 April. The House of Lords Scrutiny Committee recommended on 1 July that the UK opt in to the EIO. During the three-month period from 29 April to 28 July, the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee was not constituted and did not therefore have the opportunity to take a view on the issue. Because of this, the Home Secretary took the decision to make an Oral Statement in the other place on Tuesday 27 July setting out the reasons behind the Government's decision to opt in to the EIO.

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Baroness Neville-Jones: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced in her Oral Statement to the other place on Tuesday 27 July that the Government have opted in to the European Investigation Order (EIO).



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA502

The decision was taken to opt in to the EIO because it offers practical help for the British police and prosecutors by speeding up the time it takes for other member states to respond to our requests for assistance. The Government are determined to do everything they can to help police and prosecutors cut crime and deliver justice.

As people have become more mobile, so too has crime, and that has serious consequences for our ability to bring criminals to justice. To deal with cross-border crime, countries enter into mutual legal assistance (MLA) agreements. These agreements provide a framework through which states can obtain evidence from overseas.

MLA has therefore been an important tool in the fight against international crime and terrorism. It has been crucial in a number of high-profile cases.

But MLA has not been without its faults. The process is fragmented and confusing for the police and prosecutors. And it is often too slow, taking in some cases many months to obtain vital evidence.

The EIO seeks to address these problems within the EU by simplifying the system with a standardised request form and providing formal deadlines for the recognition and execution of requests. The EIO will also impose obligations on the United Kingdom to meet formal deadlines for the recognition and execution of requests received from other member states.

The EIO is intended to replace many of the current instruments in this field in order to create a comprehensive instrument covering the vast majority of MLA between EU member states. Consequently, the EIO, once operational, would be the mechanism through which the UK made MLA requests to, and received MLA requests from, other participating member states.

The Government believe that by opting in to the European Investigation Order at this stage there will be the opportunity to influence its precise content. In particular, the Government will seek to ensure that there is a proportionality test so police forces are not asked to do work in relation to trivial offences and also to ensure that appropriate legal safeguards are in place. I have already had discussions with my German counterpart about these issues and I am confident that we will shape the draft directive so that it helps fight crime and deliver justice, while protecting civil liberties and avoiding unduly burdening the police.

Government Departments: Websites

Questions

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA503

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Royal Parks is the department's only agency. The cost of maintaining its website, and the number of visitors its website received in the last three years, can be seen in the table:

Year*Cost of operation** (£)Number of visitors

2007-08

34,551

972,115

2008-09

69,052

1,221,710

2009-10

65,229

1,572,573

Of the websites that the department maintains, the number closed between July 2007 and July 2010 can be seen in the table:

Websites closed by year

2007

4

2008

1

2009

3

2010

2

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Scotland Office is required to measure website costs and website usage data in line with the guidance issued by the Central Office of Information, Measuring Website Costs (TG128) and Measuring Website Usage (TG1 16) starting in this financial year from 1 April 2010, with collation of data at year end. Usage data for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09 is not available centrally and cannot be calculated without incurring disproportionate costs.

(a) The cost of maintaining the Scotland Office website for the years 2007-08 to 2009-10 are:

2007-08-£2,990;

2008-09-£15,052.50*; and

2009-10-£3,500.

(b) Page views for the Scotland office website are only available for 2009-10. The total number of page views for 2009-10 is 151,450^

(c) The Scotland Office has closed no websites in the past three years.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA504

Immigration: Detention

Question

Asked by Baroness Stern

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The United Kingdom Border Agency tries as a matter of policy to move the returnee to an Immigration Removal Centre close to the airport of departure the day before the flight to minimise the impact of an early flight on the welfare of detainees.

UKBA seeks to avoid night time transfers and an overnight move would only take place on an exceptional basis. Nevertheless, when weighing up detainee welfare and length of stay issues, a night transfer is occasionally unavoidable. There are no current plans to phase out overnight moves completely for detainees given that these are conducted only under the most exceptional circumstances.

There are no plans to review the practice of booking returnees on morning flights from Heathrow.

Licensing: Live Music

Question

Asked by Lord Colwyn

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): On 31 March 2009 there were 197,900 premises licences in force and 17,300 club premises certificates in England and Wales.

The estimated total premises licences without authorisation for facilities for making music was 145,500, and the total club premises certificates without authorisation for facilities for making music was 11,500 as at 31 March 2009.

The estimated total premises licences without facilities for entertainment similar to making music or dancing was 164,500, and the total club premises certificates without facilities for entertainment similar to making music or dancing was 13,500 as at 31 March 2009.

Multiple activities can apply to a particular premises.

Official Statistics: Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Colwyn



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA505

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's official statistics already comply with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics so no methodological changes are needed for the Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment bulletin. The UK Statistics Authority has, however, asked us to provide clarification on how to interpret a specific data item on live music licences. We will do this.

Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by Lord Bates

Lord Shutt of Greetland: It has become customary for each country hosting the Olympic Games to table a resolution in the UN General Assembly, in advance of the Games, which urges member states to observe the Olympic Truce for the duration of the competition. The UK has co-sponsored these resolutions in advance of recent Games. There are currently two years until the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and, as the host country, we will therefore consider this custom in due course.

Olympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In neither instance do the Government hold a register of interests of all the bodies' board members, but details are published on the organisations' websites and can be found via the following links:

http://www.london20l2.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/the-london-organising-committee/locog-board.php.

http://www.london20l2.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/the-olympic-delivery-authority/oda-board/index.php.

I am arranging to have the most recent edition of the ODA's register of board members' interests placed in the Libraries of both Houses.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA506

Schools: A-Levels

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We plan to give universities and learned bodies more say over the development of A-level examinations, to ensure that they are robust and rigorous, and properly prepare students for higher education. We shall make a further announcement on the detail of reforms to the development of qualifications later in the year.

Schools: Inspection

Questions

Asked by Baroness Williams of Crosby

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): These are matters for Ofsted. The deputy for HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the noble Baroness and a copy of her response has been placed in the Libraries.

Letter from Lorraine Langham, Director, Corporate Services, Ofsted, to Baroness Williams of Crosby, dated 9 August 2010.

Your recent parliamentary questions have been passed to Her Majesty's Chief Inspector for response. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector is currently on leave and I am deputising for her in her absence.

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 primary and secondary schools (including academies and city technology colleges) which were open on 21 April 2010 and had received an inspection on or before 31 March 2010.

Under the school inspection frameworks used between January 2000 and August 2005 (commonly known as section 10), the school's overall effectiveness judgement was made using a seven point scale: "excellent", "very good", "good", "satisfactory", "unsatisfactory", "poor" and "very poor". Since September 2005, the overall effectiveness judgement has been made under the current school inspection framework (commonly known as section 5) using a four point scale: "outstanding", "good", "satisfactory" and "inadequate".



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA507

Given the differences in the measurement of overall effectiveness between the frameworks, it is not possible to operate a simple read-across approach between section 10 and section 5 inspection frameworks.

As the question refers to those schools which were found to be "outstanding", this answer only looks at those inspections that took place under section 5 (from September 2005). It does not include those schools currently "outstanding" under section 5, with consecutive inspections under the previous section 10 framework. Scheduling of inspections now places emphasis on inspecting those with previous overall effectiveness judgments of "inadequate" or "satisfactory" to a greater degree, so there is a deliberate bias in the way we schedule inspection. Therefore the number of inspections scheduled under section 5 and found to be consecutively "outstanding" on three occasions or more are likely to be negligible.

Information on which schools were open on 21 April 2010 has been taken from the Department for Education's

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA508

Edubase system. Information regarding section 5 inspections was taken from archived information on Ofsted's systems.

Of the 1,611 secondary schools inspected more than once under section 5, there were 110 secondary schools rated "outstanding" where their previous section 5 inspection was also rated "outstanding". Of the 7,545 primary schools inspected more than once under section 5, there were 359 primary schools rated "outstanding" where their previous section 5 inspection was also rated "outstanding".

Of the 370 secondary and primary schools that have been inspected three times under section 5, none have had three consecutive "outstanding" judgements.

Tables 1 and 2 below contain the information requested.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for Schools, and will be placed in the Library of both Houses.

Table 1: Secondary schools, and primary schools rated "outstanding" in their most recent Ofsted section 5 inspection and rated "outstanding" in their previous section 5 inspection and the proportion of the total numbers they represent
Open schools at 21 April 2010 and inspected on or before 31 March 2010Schools inspected more than once under section 5Currently graded outstanding at 31 March 2010 and inspected more than onceWith a previous consecutive section 5 inspection graded outstandingTotal as a proportion of all schools currently graded outstanding and inspected more than once under section 5Total as a proportion of all schools inspected more than once under section 5

Secondary1

3,189

1,611

274

110

40%

7%

Primary

16,905

7,545

991

359

36%

5%

Total

20,094

9,156

1,265

469

37%

5%

Table 2: Secondary schools, and primary schools rated "outstanding" by Ofsted in each of their last three section 5 inspections and the proportion of the total number of schools they represent
Open schools at 21 April 2010 and inspected on or before 31 March 2010Schools inspected at least three times under section 5Currently outstanding at 31 March 2010 and inspected three times under section 5With three consecutive section 5 inspections graded outstandingTotal as a proportion of all schools currently graded outstanding and inspected more than onceTotal as a proportion of all schools inspected at least three times under section 5

Secondary1

3,189

112

2

0

0%

0%

Primary

16,905

258

11

0

0%

0%

Total

20,094

370

13

0

0%

0%

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our embassy in Damascus will raise the case of Ms Hassan with the Syrian Government at the next available opportunity. We will also continue to raise our wider concerns about the poor human rights situation in Syria.

Answers received between Monday 23 August and Tuesday 31 August 2010

Budget Responsibility Committee

Question

Asked by Lord Myners



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The interim Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was established on 17 May 2010 to make an independent assessment of the public finances and the economy for the emergency Budget. The Budget Responsibility Committee (BRC) had direct control over the forecasts and made all the key judgments that drive the official projections. Ministers were not present when decisions on the forecast were taken.

Members of the BRC met Treasury Ministers on five occasions between May 2010 and the middle of July 2010 to brief them on the OBR forecasts and provide advice on the permanent arrangements for the OBR. Further details are set out in the National Audit Office report of 22 June 2010. This report is available from the National Audit Office website at: http://www.nao.orq.uk/publications/1011/obrbudget forecasts.aspx.

Care Homes

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Care and nursing homes must be registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Registration with CQC provides assurance of safety and quality for people who use services and patients. From 1 October 2010, the CQC will begin to operate a new system of registration for care homes under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, under which all providers of regulated activities will have to register with the CQC and meet registration requirements that set out essential levels of safety and quality.

Where providers are found not to be meeting these requirements, the CQC will be able to use a range of enforcement powers to bring them back into compliance, or to prevent people who use services from being exposed to the risk of harm.

The department and the CQC are presently discussing the replacement for the quality or "star" ratings system for adult social care providers which, by publicising the CQC's assessment of the quality of services, helps drive improvement in services that perform less well.

The present ratings are based on the existing registration system under the Care Standards Act 2000, so will cease to have legal basis from 1 October.

There will continue to be a system of providing comparative information about adult social care provision, since this is valuable for both service users and commissioners. The intention is that the new system, which will be more comprehensive and user-friendly, will be in place by April 2011. In the mean time, the quality ratings under the existing system will remain available on the CQC website.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA510

Elections: Voting System

Question

Asked by Lord Rooker

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Instant run-off systems, of which the alternative vote is one, will not necessarily produce a Condorcet winner. This is true of systems used for elections across the UK-including the first past the post system, single transferable vote, and open-list systems.

Under the form of the alternative vote specified in the Bill, candidates must achieve more than 50 per cent of the votes in the count-either at the initial counting stage or, if necessary, at a further counting stage-in order to be elected.

Government Departments: Websites

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): Buying Solutions, an agency of the Office of Government Commerce within the Cabinet Office operates one website. The main URL of the Buying Solutions website is www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

2007/082008/092009/10

Cost of maintaining site

£118,275.52

£144,396.87

£129,338.13

Staffing costs

£84,323.74

£64,734.71

£83,042.54

Number of hits (visits)

826,335

543,453

548,715

Number of page impressions

5,198,598

5,255,077

5,317,995

Average visit duration

4 mins 4 secs

6 mins 44 secs

6 mins 16 secs

Over the past three years Cabinet Office has closed 48 websites through the web rationalisation programme.

Health: Pharmacology

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA511

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This is a matter for the university concerned. Quality assurance is provided through the General Medical Council (GMC), whose Basic Medical Education process ensures that all GMC- recognised medical courses deliver a curriculum that meets the requirements contained in Tomorrow's Doctors.

Answers received between Tuesday 31 August and Monday 6 September 2010

Elections: Local Government

Question

Asked by Lord Rennard

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Elections: UK Referendum

Question

Asked by Lord Rennard

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Northern Ireland Office: Taxis

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Comparable figures for the department as it is now configured are not available following the completion of devolution on 12 April 2010. However, the invoiced expenditure on taxi fares for the period from 12 April 2010 to 31 July 2010 for the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), excluding its Executive NDPB, is £3,587.

These figures exclude taxi fares paid by employees and reimbursed as miscellaneous expenses. These costs can only be provided at disproportionate cost.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA512

The NIO keeps the cost of travel on official business under regular review. Departmental guidance requires all staff to use the most efficient means of transport.

Schools: Academies

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We have made no assessment of the extent to which academies are offering vocational qualifications. In order to achieve good results in the achievement and attainment tables, all schools, including academies, must provide core GCSEs in English and maths.

We are committed to reforming the tables to increase their rigour and ensure a focus on improving educational outcomes for all children and will be making announcements about that in the coming months.

Answers received between Tuesday 7 September and Monday 13 September 2010

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Section 147B of the Licensing Act 2003 provides for the magistrates' court to suspend a premises licence for a period not exceeding three months, following a conviction under Section 147A of the Licensing Act 2003. Data for licence suspensions under Section 147B are not held centrally.

However, in 2008, seven defendants were convicted under Section 147A of the Licensing Act 2003. There were no convictions for this offence during 2006 or 2007. Data for 2009 will be published in October 2010.

Government Departments: Websites

Question

Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): There are 14 websites (excluding commercial partner websites) run on behalf of or by Home Office agencies. They are as follows:



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA513

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) www.crb.homeoffice.gov.uk/

Security Industry Authority (SIA) www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/

National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) www.npia.police.uk

Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) www.isa-gov.org.uk/

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) www.ipcc.gov.uk/

Identity and Passports Service (IPS) www.ips.gov.uk/

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (DISC) www.oisc.gov.uk/

Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) www.soca.gov.uk/

UK Border Agency (UKBA) www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

UK Border Agency's Visa Services website www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas

Visa4UK www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk

Life in the UK test www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk/

National refugee integration forum www.nrif.homeoffice.gov.uk/

Office for the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency http://icinspector.independent.gov.uk/

For each of the sites, the maintenance costs (a) and website hits (b) are

as follows:

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) www.crb.homeoffice.gov.uk/

Financial Year (FY) 2009-10 £52,3112008-11,009,125 2009-12,440,427 2010 (to July) - 8,040, 070

Security Industry Authority (SIA) www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk/

No maintenance cost figures availableNo site hits figures available

National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) www.npia.police.uk/

£27,450 annuallyNo figures available for 2008 and 20092010 approx 3,600,000

Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) www.isa-gov.org.uk/

January 2009 to December 2009 - £9,910.10January 2008 to July 2009 - 1,560,000.July 2009 to July 2010 - 2,500,000

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) www.ipcc.gov.uk/

FY 2009-10 £59,400FY 2007-08 -1,951,245FY 2008-09 -1,765,633FY 2009-10 -1,585,432.

Identity and Passports Service (IPS) www.ips.gov.uk/

FY 2009-10- £119,892FY 2008-09 - 8,692,093 FY 2009-10 - 6,379,477 FY 2010 to July - 2,088,605.

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Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (DISC) www.oisc.gov.uk/

FY 2009-10 - £12,000

July 2009 - March 2010 17,642,438. No other figures are available.

Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) www.soca.gov.uk/

Dec 2009 to July 2010 - £7,496. No other prior figures are available.Dec 2009 to July 2010 - 419,526. No other figures are available.

The following websites are run by the UK Border Agency.

Costs and page views are provided where available. In some instances costs are not separately identifiable from other IT or contract costs.

UKBA Main website (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk)

FY 2009-10 - £427,093.57. No other prior figures are available.FY 2007-08 - 71,551,848FY 2008-09 - 157, 530, 882FY 2009-10 - 192, 992, 803

Visa Services

The UK Border Agency's Visa Services website (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas) is the former "UKvisas" website, providing policy and operational information for people from overseas applying for visas to come to the UK. The website is hosted on the web platform used by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The UK Border Agency contributes to the overall platform costs on an annual basis which is calculated on a proportionate basis according to the amount of traffic to the Visa Services site.

FY 2009-10 - £272,000FY 2008-09 - 57,795,005FY 2009-10 - 73,228,170

Commercial Partner (CP) websites

Our commercial partners, CSC Worldbridge and VFS Global, run 140 country websites overseas on behalf of the UK Border Agency, which provide information on how to make an application in individual countries. It is not possible fully to isolate the costs of maintaining these sites as they fall under a wider contract for the provision of visa information services (for example hard copy documentation, responses to e-mail enquiries, translations). However we estimate that in the past two financial years we have spent around £600,000 per annum on the maintenance of the OP websites.

We do not have data on the total number of visitors to the OP sites. However we assume that the majority of the 2.48 million visa applicants in FY2009-10 will have visited one of the OP country sites at least once during the application process.

Visa4UK

Visa4UK www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk is the online application service for applicants overseas. The following costs include all IT work conducted on the Visa4UK

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA515

and supporting admin websites. The figures do not include the ongoing support costs which cannot be separately identified.

FY 2009-10 - £301,642We do not have information on the number of "hits" on the Visa4UK website. However in 2008-09 there were 847,280 completed applications processed on Visa4UK and for 2009-10 there were 923,376.

Life in the UK test

This site helps individuals prepare for the Life in the UK Test that is now required in applications for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK or British citizenship.

www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk

Maintenance and hosting costs are included in those for the main agency website. Page view figures are not available.

National refugee integration forum

This website is for health, education and other professionals and volunteers that work with refugees.

www.nrif.homeoffice.gov.uk

Maintenance and hosting costs are included in those for the main agency websiteFY 2007-08 - 76,377FY 2008-09- 55,866FY 2009-10- 56,313

Office for the Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency www.icinspector.independent.gov.uk/

Maintenance and hosting costs are included in those for the main agency website. 2009-10 39,059 (website created 23 April 2009)During the period 2007-10, the Home Office has closed 49 websites

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): 10 Downing Street is an integral part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 31 August. No. 10 has no such agencies.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many websites are operated by, or on behalf of, agencies of HM Treasury; and what is (a) the cost of maintaining those websites, (b) the number of hits each website received, and (c) the number of websites closed by the department, in each of the last three years for which information is available.[HL1866]



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA516

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Maintenance costs during the period 2007-10 for websites which come under the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer are shown in the table below.

Maintenance costs include direct costs, for example web hosting, support, and infrastructure. Staff costs are not included as they could only be established at disproportionate cost.

Website addressMaintenance costs 2007-08 (£)Maintenance costs 2008-09 (£)Maintenance costs 2009-10 (£)

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

117,332

168,549

185,193

thegfp.treasury.gov.uk

Nil

Nil

Nil

http://www.dmo.gov.uk

73,000

55,000

63,000

Visitor statistics during the periods 2007-10 for websites which come under the responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer are;

Website addressPage impressions in 2007-08Page Impressions in 2008-09Page impressions in 2009-10

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

3,174,007

6,655,955

12,048,998

thegfp.treasury.gov.uk

101,443

Unavailable

Unavailable

http://www.dmo.gov.uk

Unavailable

Unavailable

Unavailable

Maintenance costs for websites closed during the period 2007-10 are as follows;

Website addressMaintenance costs 2007-08 (£)Maintenance costs 2008-09 (£)Maintenance costs 2009-10 (£)

www.isb.gov.uk

9,750

Integrated into HMT website

Nil

www.stakeholdersavinggov.uk

Unavailable

Closed

Nil

www.ges.gov.uk

Nil

Nil

Integrated into Civil Service website

www.gsr.gov.uk

Unavailable

Unavailable

Integrated into Civil Service website

www.financialinclusion-taskforce.org.uk

Unavailable

Integrated into HMT website.

Nil

www.euro.gov.uk

11,985

Integrated into HMT website

Nil

www.financial-reporting.gov.uk

Unavailable

Integrated into HMT website

Nil



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA517

Visitor statistics for websites closed during the period 2007-10 are as follows;

Website addressPage impressions in 2007-08Page impressions in 2008-09Page impressions in 2009-10

www.isb.gov.uk

195,671

Integrated into HMT website

8,203

www.stakeholdersavinggov.uk

51,495

Closed

Nil

www.ges.gov.uk

46,976

Integrated into Civil Service website

Nil

www.qsr.gov.uk

198,557

Integrated into Civil Service website

Nil

www.financialinclusion-taskforce.orq.uk

27,320

Integrated into HMT website

11,492

www.euro.gov.uk

42,0876

Integrated into HMT website

67,376

www.financial-reporting.gov.uk

Unavailable

Integrated into HMT website

41,687

Local Communities

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The big society vision is that more power and opportunity are shifted to individuals and communities. A key part of this is developing the capacity of communities to take the opportunities that this agenda presents and to be more active in shaping the decisions that affect their lives locally.

Community organisers will focus on developing this capacity, encouraging people to help themselves and to improve their quality of life. Over the lifetime of this Parliament, the community organisers programme will identify, train and support 5,000 people who want to make a difference to their community. The organisers will have a strong understanding of local needs and will catalyse social action by neighbourhood groups, reconnecting local institutions with the community.

Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA518

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): A successful school is one which is led effectively, and in which pupils of all abilities progress well and achieve high standards. Such schools have strong teaching, a stimulating curriculum, good behaviour, and pupils feel safe.

One of the ways that a school can be defined as being successful is through inspection by Ofsted. Ofsted identifies schools which are good or outstanding.

The Government plan to reform inspection, including freeing outstanding schools from routine inspection if they maintain their performance, and placing a sharper focus on core areas linked to teaching and learning.

Successful schools will have an important role to play in leading by example, sharing best practice and working with other schools to bring sustained improvement. For instance, every outstanding school that acquires academy freedoms will be expected to partner another school, working collaboratively to drive improvement across the board and tackling underperformance in schools in challenging circumstances.

Schools: Water Supply

Question

Asked by Baroness Wilkins

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): When the Secretary of State for Education announced on 5 July that the Building Schools for the Future programme would be stopped, he also announced a comprehensive review of the department's capital expenditure. This will make recommendations to the Secretary of State on the most effective use of available capital funds. This will include how best to provide funding for maintenance and improvement works, such as to water and toilet facilities in schools.

Schools and local authorities have already received allocations of devolved capital funds for this spending review period and can choose to spend these funds on water and toilet facilities as they see fit. Allocations from next April will be determined as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review and will be informed by the conclusions of the capital review.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Time spent in the United Kingdom on a student visa does not count towards the qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA519

Answers received between Tuesday 14 September and Monday 20 September 2010

Armed Forces: Economic Impact

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence has not undertaken any studies into the income that is generated for the local economy by RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Kinloss, RAF Leuchars and RAF Marham. However, the Ministry of Defence is aware of a study conducted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise on behalf of Moray council into the economic impact of RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Kinloss.

Armed Forces: Education

Question

Asked by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): We are currently conducting a strategic defence and security review that is looking at all items of expenditure. Where savings can reasonably be made we will do everything we can to realise them.

Armed Forces: HMNB Devonport

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Approximately 320 civilians and 440 military personnel are employed at Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport. These numbers are full-time equivalent staff employed on 8 September 2010 and are rounded to the nearest 10.

These figures do not include: private contractors working at the naval base or the adjacent Devonport Dockyard; Military Guarding Service or Ministry of Defence Police; or military units which are lodging at the naval base, such as Flag Officer Sea Training or the Devonport Flotilla.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA520

Armed Forces: Nimrod MRA4

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The total expenditure on the Nimrod MRA4 programme as at 31 July 2010 was approximately £3.9 billion including £3.4 billion for procurement costs. A further £0.15 billion has been contractually committed.

All projects are being considered as part of the strategic defence and security review, and the outcome of this is expected to be announced in the autumn.

Armed Forces: Pilots

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Royal Navy currently has seven personnel qualified to fly the AV-8B aircraft and two for the F/A-18 aircraft. By April 2014 the Royal Navy expects to have a total of 12 qualified for the AV-8B and 11 qualified for the F/A-18.

Currently, the RAF has one pilot who is qualified to fly the AV-8B and three are qualified to fly the F/A-18 aircraft. By April 2014, it is planned that there will be one RAF pilot qualified to fly the AV-8B and two qualified to fly the F/A-18.

Currently the RN has 53 and the RAF has 20 Harrier pilots qualified for carrier operations. However, this will increase by five per year, over the next three years, as new pilots are trained.

Armed Forces: Puma Helicopters

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The value of contracts placed as part of the Puma Life Extension Programme is £347 million. To date, £98 million has been spent.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA521

Armed Forces: Relocation

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): There has been ongoing work since 2006 to relocate some of the existing force elements from Germany to the UK under the BORONA programme. BORONA is responsible for the moves of three major formations: HQ ARRC which completed its move to Gloucester in August 2010; 1 Signal Brigade (7 & 16 Regiments), which is planned to move to Stafford in 2015; and 102 Logistic Brigade which is planned to move to Cosford in 2018. Completion of the moves will result in 3,600 military personnel and their families relocating to the UK, leading to the closure of Rhine Garrison by 2016 and Muster Station by 2019. These moves are dependent on endorsement by the department's Investment Approvals Board, which considers all significant financial investment proposals to ensure value for money.

Post-BORONA, some 15,000 military personnel will continue to be based in Germany in the three remaining garrisons of Gutersloh, Hohne and Paderbom.

The relocation of these remaining troops from Germany is being considered as part of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR), which is considering a variety of issues, including personnel. The SDSR is running in parallel with the spending review and together they will ensure decisions are resourced. This work is not yet complete and no mature cost estimates therefore exist.

Armed Forces: Services to Senior Personnel

Question

Asked by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Proposals for future support to Ministers, senior officials and senior officers are currently being considered. Any conclusions will be subject to consultation with the trade unions.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA522

Armed Forces: Training

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The tables below show the figures for pilots, weapon systems officers and landing safety officers for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force who have undertaken catapult-assisted take-off and arrested recovery carrier operations training over the past five years and how many such training programmes will be undertaken in each of the next three years. Historical figures given represent numbers meeting the required standard in each year. "Landing Signals Officers" is US terminology-the UK equivalent is "Landing Safety Officers" (LSOs).

Royal Navy
YearPilotLanding Safety Officers (LSOs)

2005

1

1

2006

1

1

2007

1

1

2008

1

1

2009

0

0

2010

3

2

Planned Training

2011

7

4

2012

10

5

2013

9

5

The Royal Navy has not had any Weapon Systems Officers (WSO) since 1978 because all current RN fast jets are single-seater only.

Royal Air Force
YearPilotLanding Safety Officers (LSOs)Weapons Systems Officers

2005

2

0

1

2006

3

0

1

2007

3

0

1

2008

3

0

1

2009

3

0

1

2010

3

0

1

Planned Training

2011

3

0

1

2012

3

0

1

2013

2

0

1

The RAF does have a small number of LSOs supporting Harrier aircraft as part of Joint Force Harrier. However, none of these is qualified in catapult-assisted take-off and arrested recovery carrier operations.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA523

Current UK aircraft carriers are only capable of deploying Short Take-off and Vertical Landing aircraft. Consequently, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force training in catapult-assisted take-off and arrested recovery carrier operations takes place only for UK personnel deployed to US carriers as exchange officers. The current design of the proposed "Queen Elizabeth" class aircraft carriers is also configured for the Short-Takeoff and Vertical Landing aircraft variant of the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) but this carrier design could be adapted for the operation of catapult-assisted take-off aircraft. If this option is chosen, the training plan would be altered.

Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Services Authority monitors banks' funding plans, including whether they are preparing appropriately for the withdrawal of support and what implications this has for their liquidity position and overall business models. The Bank of England has also been reviewing the plans of the major UK banks.

The Government take account of this information in considering their policies, including whether credit flows are likely to be sufficient to support stable and sustainable economic growth. As we recently set out in the Green Paper on business finance, the Government are considering whether there are risks to the future provision of finance that should be addressed now, so that an appropriate range of business finance is available for viable businesses as the economy recovers.

Banking: Equity Securities

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the independent regulator of the financial services industry in the UK. The FSA does not generally restrict pension (or other) funds' rights to sell or lend their assets. Stock lending is an investment technique

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA524

which can contribute to the efficient functioning of financial markets while also generating incremental returns for investors (such as pension funds and insurance companies) on portfolios of shares and bonds.

Industry has recently issued guidance to improve the understanding of those investors who lend stock. The guidance identifies the risks inherent in stock lending and advises on how to manage those risks. This work has been co-ordinated by the Securities Lending and Repo Committee of the Bank of England. The guidance is available at www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/gilts/slrc.htm.

Citizens Advice: Report

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): This Government have not yet formed a view on the 2009 report Unreasonable Demands? from Citizens Advice.

Civil Recovery

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government are aware that different views exist as to whether the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) are capable of applying to the activities of civil recovery agents.

The CPRs are enforced by the Office of Fair Trading and local authority trading standards services. It is for these enforcement authorities to consider whether there has been a breach of the regulations, on the facts of a particular case. And ultimately it is of course for the courts to rule on the issue after hearing evidence from both parties.

Cuba: Political Prisoners

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have long-standing concerns about the detention of political prisoners in Cuba and, along with the EU, regularly raise these concerns with the Cuban Government.

Our embassy in Havana also maintains links with unofficial non-governmental organisations in the country that keep track of individual cases. From these contacts we understand that Ramón Velazquez Toranzo has been released.

We remain concerned that "pre-criminal social dangerousness" remains on the statute books and continues to be used by the Government of Cuba to curb dissent or criticism. At the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva the UK formally recommended that Cuba refrain from using such laws to restrict freedom of expression in the country.

The Government of Cuba committed in July to release all 52 remaining political prisoners detained in the wave of arrests in 2003 and we note that more than half of these individuals have now been released. This is a positive step which we hope will lead to the release of all political prisoners in Cuba and further progress on other human rights issues.

Cybermoor Ltd

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Approximately 350; and none.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Wilcox: Audits relating to the work of Cybermoor are available at http://www.cybermoor.org/index.php?option=com_mtree&;task=viewlink&link_id= 825&Itemid=10. The Government will provide copies of the reports to the Library of the House.

Debt: Advice

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government provide support through a number of programmes which seek to help members of the public manage their debts.

BIS administers a face-to-face debt advice project which helps around 100,000 individuals a year to address problem debt. In addition BIS contributes funds to the telephone debt advice sector via the National Debtline and runs an Illegal Money Lending Project to tackle loan sharks.

The Legal Services Commission runs the debt advice in prisons project and manages the Community Legal Service Direct legal advice line and face-to-face advice for debt-related problems.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has a range of measures in place with the aim of preventing repossessions, including funding for debt advice services; support for mortgage interest (paid by DWP to unemployed homeowners); the Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme; and the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, which enables the most vulnerable homeowners at risk of repossession to remain in their homes, in most cases as social tenants.

Going forward, the Government are reviewing the support we provide for debt advice in the context of the current spending review. We want to ensure that future support is properly targeted and achieves value for taxpayers' money.

Defence: RAF Civilian Personnel

Question

Asked by Lord Tunnicliffe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The numbers of Ministry of Defence civilian and Service personnel

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA527

employed at RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Kinloss, RAF Leuchars and RAF Marham are shown in the following table.

Data as of July 2010
LocationPersonnelTotal1

Lossiemouth

Civilian2

370

Armed Forces3

1,870

Kinloss

Civilian2

300

Armed Forces3

1,200

Leuchars

Civilian2

270

Armed Forces3

1,060

Marham

Civilian2

390

Armed Forces3

2,550

DfID: Governance and Transparency Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Department for International Development (DfID) has no plans to close the Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF). DfID committed £130 million between 2008 and 2013 to the GTF. The amount committed to the GTF will be assessed as part of DfID's ongoing aid reviews.

DfID: International Development Programme

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Department for International Development (DFID) is currently conducting three reviews: bilateral aid, multilateral aid and humanitarian emergency response.

The bilateral aid review will consider which countries should receive UK aid, how much they should receive and which countries should stop receiving UK aid. It

27 Sep 2010 : Column WA528

will also consider which aid instruments are most effective at delivering poverty reduction in different contexts.

The multilateral aid review will assess the effectiveness of aid channelled through international agencies such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Each organisation will be tested to ensure that the UK is getting maximum value from its aid money. This will include an assessment of the relevance of each body to the UK's objectives on poverty reduction and their ability to deliver results on the ground.

The humanitarian emergency response review will review the way the UK responds to humanitarian emergencies. It will look at how we can best work with international bodies and UN agencies in emergency situations to ensure that the global response to disasters is most effective.

Each of these reviews will be subject to external scrutiny and stakeholder consultation. We expect the bilateral and multilateral aid reviews to be completed by February 2011 and the humanitarian emergency response review by March 2011.

East Jerusalem

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Forcible transfer of people out of the city for political reasons, however abhorrent we may find their views, is illegal under international humanitarian law. The EU has raised these specific cases with the Israeli Government, making its views clear. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv has also raised these cases with Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. The UK was part of a joint European delegation that attended the Supreme Court hearing on the case of Mr Muhammed Abu Teir.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: East Jerusalem is occupied territory. Its Palestinian population has rights under the Geneva conventions. Unilateral attempts to change the demographics of the city by forcing people out are illegal under international humanitarian law and an obstacle to peace.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA529

The EU has raised this issue with the Israeli Government. Our embassy in Tel Aviv has also raised this matter with Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK believes such construction will only undermine and prejudge the negotiating process. We have consistently made it clear that settlements are illegal and a clear violation of international law. We continue to call on the parties to work hard to agree a solution that prevents further settlement construction. EU Higher Representative Cathy Ashton made this clear in her statement of 27 July following the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK believes such construction will only undermine and prejudge the negotiating process. We have consistently made it clear that settlements are illegal and a clear violation of international law. We continue to call on the parties to work hard to agree a solution that prevents further settlement construction. EU Higher Representative Cathy Ashton made this clear in her statement of 27 July following the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

Economy: Growth

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The second estimate of 2010 Q2 Gross Domestic Product (GDP), produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and released on 26 August, provided the first estimate of GDP by expenditure component.

The tables below set out contributions to the 1.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in the second quarter of 2010.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA530

Contributions by expenditure components of GDP
GDP growthppts

Private consumption

0.5

Govt consumption

0.1

Net trade

0.0

Investment

-0.4

Inventories including alignment adjustment

1 .0

Contributions by output components of GDP
GDP growthppts

Agriculture

0.0

Production

0.2

Construction

0.5

Services

0.6

The output, income and expenditure first release for GDP contains a more detailed breakdown and is available from www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/oie0810.pdf. The final estimate of GDP growth in the second quarter with detail on income released on 26 October 2010 may contain revisions.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing forecasts for the UK economy. Its June 2010 forecast published alongside the Budget contains forecasts for the quarterly growth in GDP. These forecasts are presented in Table C4 on page 85 of the Budget 2010 document, and an assessment of near-term prospects for GDP growth is provided in paragraph C18 on page 80.

The Budget and the OBR forecast is available from www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/junebudget_complete.pdf.

Education: Research Excellence Framework

Question

Asked by Lord Boswell of Aynho

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): My right honourable friend the Minister for Universities and Science announced on 9 July, with the agreement of the UK's higher education funding bodies, a one-year delay to the implementation of the research excellence framework. This longer timetable will allow HEFCE, its devolved counterparts and the Government to discuss further with experts and to make full use of the pilot impact assessment exercise that is due to conclude in the autumn. Guidance on submissions will be published in mid-2011.The first assessment will take place during 2014 and the outcomes published in late 2014 to inform funding allocations in 2015.



27 Sep 2010 : Column WA531

Education: Schools Admission Code


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