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20 Oct 2010 : Column WA171



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA171

Written Answers

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Police: Recruitment

The Answer printed to Written Question HL2303 on Tuesday 19 October 2010 was incorrect. The correct version appears below:

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): This is a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service.

Algeria

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have been monitoring the situation closely from both Algeria and Morocco and will continue to do so following the announcement by the Polisario that Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud was released on 6 October 2010.

Armed Forces: Medical Discharge

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): All medical discharges from the Armed Forces are considered on a case by case basis. The Armed Forces have always looked for opportunities to retain injured personnel where they can continue to be usefully employed in areas that they find fulfilling and this continues to be the case. Where this is not possible, the driving imperative is to deliver the best appropriate care and information to ensure that injured personnel make the transition to civilian life smoothly.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA172

The following table presents the number of UK regular naval service, Army and RAF personnel medically discharged who have been identified as having been deployed to either Afghanistan and/or Iraq, although the reason for discharge is not necessarily due to injury in either of those theatres.

Medical boards recommend medical discharges but do not attribute the principal disability leading to the board to service or deployment. A medical board could take place many months or even years after an event or injury and it is not clinically possible in some cases to link an earlier injury to a later problem which may lead to a discharge. Decisions on attributability to service are made by the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency.

The processes for administering a medical discharge differ between the three services and as a consequence the numbers have been presented by service rather than annual tri-service totals.

ServiceAllAfghanistan2 onlyIraq3 onlyIraq and Afghanistan

Naval Service1

Male

409

74

281

54

Female

52

~

~

~

Army

Male

946

117

756

73

Female

83

~

70

~

RAF

Male

248

13

198

Female

38

0

~

37

Armed Forces: Recuperation

Question

Asked by Lord Selkirk of Douglas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The following table shows the capital expenditure for the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) Headley Court by financial year since 2006, giving an overall total of £19.6 million. The percentage of capital expenditure attributed to public funds was 59.2 per cent (£11.6 million).



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA173



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA174

FY2006-07 £ MillionFY2007-08 £ MillionFY2008-09 £ MillionFY2009-10 £ MillionFY2010-11 £ MillionTOTAL £ MillionPublic Funds £ Million

Total

1.7

1

4.8

11.7

0.4

19.6

11.6

The financial data prior to financial year 2006-07 are not held in a readily accessible format and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Remuneration measures are kept under continuing review. In the June Budget, the Government announced that action would be taken to tackle unacceptable bonuses. The Government have established an Independent Commission on Banking to look at measures to reform the banking system and promote competition. In addition to the banking levy, the Government will consult on a remuneration disclosure regime and is working with international partners to explore the costs and benefits of a financial activities tax. The Financial Services Authority is consulting on the implementation of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD3) remuneration provisions and, at the request of the Government, is considering measures in its review of the remuneration code. The impact of these measures will be reinforced by the capital and liquidity requirements arising from agreement in the Basel Committee.

Banking: Iceland

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have continued the discussions with Iceland undertaken by the previous Government, to agree a process for Iceland to repay the loan provided by the UK to fund compensation payments to UK depositors of Icesave on behalf of Iceland's Depositors' and Inventors' Guarantee Fund. Announcements will be made in due course.

Charity Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the commission to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, Chief Executive, Charity Commission, to Lord Myners dated 13 October 2010.

As the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, I have been asked to respond to your written Parliamentary Question on whether the Charity Commission is investigating the activities of the Atlantic Bridge and its compliance with charity legislation.

The Atlantic Bridge Education and Research Scheme ("the Charity") is a registered charity (number 1099513). Last year the Charity Commission, as the independent regulator of charities, received a complaint from a member of the public that the Charity appeared to be a party political organisation and that consequently its objects are not charitable as defined by law. We opened a regulatory compliance case in August 2009 and concluded our substantive investigations in July 2010. Having regard to the principles of best regulatory practice, we decided to publish a Regulatory Case Report on our investigation, and this was published on 26 July 2010. The report remains publicly available on our website (at www.charitycommission.gov.uk), and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the House of Lords Library.

For ease of reference, our conclusions as set out in the report were that:

the Atlantic Bridge Education and Research Scheme is established as a charity with exclusively charitable purposes and is capable of operating for the public benefit;the educational objects of the Charity have not been advanced by its activities because these activities promote a particular point of view which is not uncontroversial, and are consequently not educational. In addition the results and findings of the work of the Charity have not been sufficiently disseminated to the public. The activities of the Charity have not furthered any of its other charitable purposes in any way; andthe activities of the Charity may lead members of the public to call into question its independence from party politics. The promotion of the Special Relationship is not the purpose of this Charity, nor can it be. The Commission has made clear to the trustees their legal and regulatory responsibilities and that the Charity's current activities must cease immediately.

20 Oct 2010 : Column WA175

As a result of the Commission's intervention the trustees of the Charity have committed to undertake a review over the next twelve months to include:

the activities of the Charity to ensure that they are compatible with and capable of furthering its charitable objects-as written in its governing document-for the public benefit;ensuring that decisions to undertake activities are made from the starting point of considering how best to further one or more of the Charity's objects for the public benefit as set out in its trust deed;the content of the Charity's website-in particular how the Charity explains its aims and purpose, whether its content is politically neutral and giving greater clarity between the Charity's website and that of Atlantic Bridge Inc;the maintenance of proper records regarding trustee decision-making; andregular risk assessments in relation to the Charity's activities and records steps taken to mitigate these.

We have requested that the trustees report on the outcome of the review within two months of its completion.

I hope this is helpful.

Courts: Fines

Questions

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The amount of financial penalties outstanding at the end of each of the past five years is as follows:

2005-06-£474,292,175;2006-07-£486,597,240; 2007-08-£500,630,569; 2008-09-£544,890,624; and 2009-10-£588,475,303

The amount outstanding can relate to fines imposed in that year or any previous year as fines are not always paid in the period which they are imposed and includes fines which are being paid in accordance with payment plans and the outstanding balance is therefore not all in arrears.

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

Lord McNally: Figures showing the numbers of prisoners received into all prison establishments in England and Wales from 2005 to 2009 (latest year for which data are available) are shown in the following table:



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA176

Fine defaulter receptions into prison establishments in England and Wales 2005 to 2009

2005

2,038

2006

1,904

2007

1,475

2008

1,528

2009

1,343

Offenders may be committed to prison for fine default but their sentence remains a fine.

These figures are taken from table 6.1 in the Ministry of Justice Statistics bulletin Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2009.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible error entry and processing.

Employment

Question

Asked by The Earl of Clancarty

Baroness Rawlings: The number of visas issued under the endorsements of artist, composer and writer, recorded by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), from 2005 to 2008 are in the table.

YearArtistsComposersWriters

2005

76

16

26

2006

75

14

33

2007

132

16

19

2008

59

4

5

Since November 2008 visitor numbers to the United Kingdom for creative and sporting work have been recorded together, and it is not possible to disaggregate creative workers specifically.

The Government recognise the importance of visiting creative workers, who make a huge contribution to the cultural and economic wealth of the country. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and UKBA continue to work closely with representatives of the sector.

Energy: Nuclear Industry

Question

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA177

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government recognise that there is a challenge in ensuring that the UK has enough skilled workers to maintain and decommission existing nuclear power stations as well as building new ones. Officials work closely with Skills Bodies (including Cogent) and industry to ensure that the skills gap is addressed. Government endorsed the recommendations from the "Next Generation: Skills for New Build Nuclear" report and officials sit on the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance (along with other key skills stakeholders) that acted as the Steering Group for the report. The department also provides the Secretariat for the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance which continues to meet on a quarterly basis to ensure that the recommendations are acted on and are updated as we move forwards. The National Skills Academy for Nuclear leads the work of the skills alliance and is playing a critical role in driving up employer investment in skills in the sector, and approving training providers to plug any emerging skills gaps.

The National Skills Academy for Nuclear is an employer-led organisation and works to ensure that the UK nuclear industry and its supply chain has the skilled, competent and safe workforce it needs to deal with the current and future UK nuclear programme. It has a central position in raising quality standards via both its high quality provider network and the nuclear skills passport system, which is to be rolled out across the nuclear industry later this year. The skills academy has developed a number of skills initiatives including the award for nuclear industry awareness and a foundation degree in engineering (nuclear). They will shortly be launching the triple bar standard, which is a set of three industry-wide standards to provide people who are embarking on a career in the nuclear sector with a foundation level of understanding of the industry and its specific requirements. At the higher skills level, the skills academy is currently launching a pilot of the certificate of nuclear professionalism which is a postgraduate qualification supporting continued professional development of existing and new members of the UK nuclear industry workforce.

EU: Borrowing

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Article 126 (11) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies that euro area member states in the Council of Ministers may impose sanctions upon a euro area member state in excessive deficit that has failed to comply with the council's recommendations. However this does not apply to the UK as we are not members

20 Oct 2010 : Column WA178

of the single currency. Moreover, the UK's treaty protocol explicitly states that sanctions under the stability and growth pact cannot be applied to the UK.

Additional measures to strengthen the economic governance of the European Union are currently the subject of discussions by a taskforce, on which my right honourable friend the Chancellor represents the UK, set up at the request of the European Council and led by its President, Herman van Rompuy. The Government believe that, in line with current treaty provisions, Council should continue to play a role in deciding what sanctions to apply to member states that have breached their obligations under the stability and growth pact.

The taskforce continues to discuss these issues and will present its final report to the October European Council.

EU: Expansion

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union states that "any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union". In October 2005 the European Council unanimously agreed to open EU accession negotiations with Turkey. The Government support accession negotiations with Turkey.

EU-Israel Association Agreement

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK has regular discussions with its EU partners on a number of issues related to the Middle East peace process including the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

The UK has worked hard, with support from other member states, to ensure that the EU has regular discussions about human rights in Israel. This is in line with the human rights elements of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA179

Exports: High Technology

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The coalition agreement makes it clear that we are committed to working with universities, research councils and business to enhance the effectiveness of the innovation system to support successful UK innovation. We are considering the recommendations of Sir James Dyson's report, Ingenious Britain, including refocusing the R&D tax credit on high tech, small firms and start-ups and will consult with business in the autumn.

We will issue a new cross-government innovation strategy in spring 2011 that will focus on supporting innovation activity across all the important sectors of the UK and with those that offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity.

UK Trade & Investment will also set out the Government's approach to growing high-tech exports when it published its strategy in 2011.

Financial Services: Equities

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer dated 16 June (WA115). Formal proposals for the revised markets in financial instruments directive are expected to be published by the Commission in early 2011.

Fluoridation

Question

Asked by Lord Colwyn

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We are not aware of any robust evidence of a detrimental effect on children's IQ from water in which the fluoride content has been adjusted to the one-part-per-million level used in fluoridation schemes in England.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA180

Government Departments: Salaries

Question

Asked by Lord Newby

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The 2010 DECC pay award will be determined in line with the 2010 HM Treasury Pay Remit Guidance and has not been implemented yet.

For 2010-11 all DECC employees other than those earning less than £21,250 (full-time equivalent earnings) are subject to a pay freeze.

Forty-five staff (4.13 per cent of employees) earning under £21,250 will be eligible for a consolidated salary increase and we estimate that the increase to the paybill will be around £25,000 or 0.05 per cent.

This response covers the Department of Energy and Climate Change staff.

Health: Dangerous Pathogens

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Both the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) and the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections are currently constituted as expert advisory non-departmental public bodies. There are no staff employed solely for these committees by the department, although staff do attend meetings and ensure appropriate governance as part of their wider departmental duties.

Secretariat functions for both committees are provided by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on behalf of the department. The HPA has provided the following breakdown of costs of its secretariat staff for each committee and the expenses incurred on meetings and members' travel and subsistence costs. The department separately meets the costs associated with member appointments and reappointments by the Appointments Commission. The ACDP secretariat is additionally supported by the Health and Safety Executive and by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. The cost of this support is not readily identifiable as it is part of the wider duties of those staff.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA181

2007-082008-092009-10

Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP)

Staff costs

41,457

42,493

43,343

Committee running costs

5,488

4,917

5,000

Total

46,945

47,410

48,343

Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI)

Staff costs

53,984

55,333

56,440

Committee running costs

9,355

19,872

20,679

Total

63,339

75,205

77,119

House of Commons: September Sitting

Question

Asked by Lord Grocott

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The sitting of the House of Commons in September was not a recall. The House of Commons resolved on 15 June that the Government should bring forward proposals for a sitting in September, following the recommendation of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons that the House should be asked to decide on the issue of September sittings early in the new Parliament. The Government brought forward a Motion to provide for a September sitting, which the House of Commons agreed to on 15 July. Expenditure associated with the September sitting of the House of Commons was overseen by the House of Commons Commission, which will have incurred such expenditure on behalf of the House.

Houses of Parliament: Electric Cars

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Charging points for electric cars have been installed on the parliamentary estate for use by government cars only, on a trial basis. Each government car has a unique key, which allows the correct department to be charged for electricity used. There are no plans at present to introduce charging facilities for private cars.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA182

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): According to the non-governmental organisation Defence for Children International, in September 2010 there were 269 children in Israeli detention compared to 318 in January 2010.

However, the UK is concerned by reports with the number of children who have been detained without trial. We have called on the Israeli Government to take immediate action to ensure all cases are reviewed by a court in accordance with fair procedures, and that human rights and international law is upheld.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK is concerned by reports of alleged torture and abuse of Palestinian children held in detention by Israel. We have called on the Israeli Government to take immediate action to ensure all cases are reviewed by a court in accordance with fair procedures, and that human rights and international law is upheld.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK is concerned by reports of alleged torture and abuse of Palestinian children held in detention by Israel. We have called on the Israeli Government to take immediate action to ensure all cases are reviewed by a court in accordance with fair procedures, and that human rights and international law is upheld.

The EU has regular meetings to discuss human rights concerns in Israel which includes the mistreatment of prisoners.

NHS: Interpreters

Question

Asked by Lord Palmer



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA183

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The provision of interpretation and translation services is a matter for local determination. National Health Service bodies are not required to report their planned or actual spending on interpretation and translation services to the department. When planning such services, NHS bodies should take due account of their legal duties, the composition of the communities they serve, and the needs and circumstances of their patients, service users and local populations.

NHS: Primary Care Trusts

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department is currently examining the implications for the management and ownership of the estate following the dissolution of primary care trusts in 2013. An option appraisal of the various alternatives is being undertaken before making recommendations to Ministers. The outcome of this process will be announced shortly.

The current rules governing the sale of National Health Service assets will continue to apply. These should ensure that surplus assets are sold at the best price reasonably obtainable in the market.

Population

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Lord Oakeshott dated October 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking what percentage of the total population in (a) Kensington and Chelsea, and (b) Glasgow, was aged (1) 60-79, and (2) 80 and over, in the most recent year for which figures are available (HL2742).

The table shows the requested information for mid-2009 the latest period available.



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA184

Percentage of total population, mid-2009
Percentage aged 60-79Percentage aged 80 and over

Kensington and Chelsea

15.1

4.2

Glasgow

14.7

3.7

Prisoners

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The implementation of a standard core day (SCD) was agreed for most public sector prisons in England and Wales and implementation started in June 2008.

The SCD was implemented in an organised and co-ordinated way across a large number of prisons without increasing overall levels of disorder or significantly impacting on activity levels in the majority of prisons. For example, teaching and other learner contact is accommodated within the remaining four and a half days available.

There are no ongoing central recording of time spent in prison by professional visitors providing religious and education activities, although a review of data collected three months either side of the SCD implementation date reported that 46 prisons had experienced a lower number of visits by chaplaincy volunteers-23 reported a higher number and nine reported no change-an overall decrease of 6 per cent in the total number of visits. The reduced level of visits may be directly attributable to prisons being unable to rearrange visits or volunteers being unable to change their visiting days.

Seasonal variations may also have impacted.

Table I shows the levels of purposeful activity achieved before and after implementation of the SCD.

Table 1-Purposeful Activity
Average hours per prisoner per week
Financial YearReligious activitiesEducationTrainingWork

2007-08

0.65

6.52

1.16

12.57

2008-09

0.65

6.51

1.24

12.14

2009-10

0.63

6.44

1.31

11.80

2010-11 Aug YTD

0.62

6.40

1.30

11.96



20 Oct 2010 : Column WA185

Schools: Meals

Question

Asked by Lord Teverson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The coalition Government are currently considering whether a review of the standards set by the school food regulations is required. The School Food Trust advises that the very nature of the nutrient based standards encourages schools to put a wider variety of food into their lunch menu cycles. The requirement to serve a portion of fruit and a portion of vegetables or salad every day is encouraging schools to serve more seasonal products.

20 Oct 2010 : Column WA186

Information on the range of suppliers of school food is not collected, but we are aware that there is a wide variety of suppliers available.

Treasure

Question

Asked by Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

Baroness Rawlings: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport plans to review the Treasure Act Code of Practice and this will include the definition of Treasure contained in the Treasure Act 1996. This review will take the form of a public consultation and so will provide the opportunity to consider whether it would be appropriate to extend the definition of treasure to include items such as the Roman parade helmet found at Crosby Garrett.


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