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3 Dec 2010 : Column WA491



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA491

Written Answers

Friday 3 December 2010

Advisory Council on Public Records

Question

Asked by Lord Rowlands

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): In 2009-10 there were 18 appointed members of the Advisory Council on Public Records. Their total travel and subsistence spend was £2,666.88.

Burial Law

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): We are currently considering whether to permit the reuse of old graves as a solution to the shortage of burial space in some areas. We recognise that such arrangements could relieve local authorities from the costs of acquiring and developing new land for burials. Authorities in London are already permitted, under provisions within the London Local Authorities Act 2007, to reuse old private graves.

Driving: Licences

Questions

Asked by Lord Lucas

Earl Attlee: Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides 12 months' cover to drive for those motorists who have previously held a valid licence and made a qualifying application which has been received by the Secretary of State. The legislation allows the driver to continue driving while they await receipt of the new licence.



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA492

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) had previously applied this concession to drivers whose licences had been revoked regardless of whether or not they had complied with the requirement under Section 99(3) of the Act to surrender the licence for endorsement of a conviction.

The Home Office and the police challenged this view arguing that the 12-month concessionary period was never intended to cover those drivers who failed to comply with an order by the court for the driver to surrender their licence for endorsement. Following a review of the legislation, the Department for Transport has agreed with the Home Office's view that drivers who failed to surrender their licence for endorsement should not be covered to drive under Section 88 of the Act.

The DVLA assessed the number of drivers affected and, in order to limit the impact, applied the change going forward to all drivers who failed to surrender their licences from 7 November 2010 rather than look at the whole population of drivers retrospectively.

Asked by Lord Lucas

Earl Attlee: The information requested in the first part of the Question is not available.

A driver who has committed a motoring offence will generally be issued with a fixed penalty notice within 14 days of the offence being committed. This will inform the driver that they have 28 days to accept the penalty and surrender their driving licence for endorsement. If the driver does not accept the fixed penalty or surrender their licence, the case will be prosecuted through the courts. The court will instruct the driver to surrender their licence to the court in advance or bring it with them to the hearing. Within a few days of the hearing, the court notifies the DVLA of the outcome and whether or not the licence was surrendered.

If the licence was not surrendered, the DVLA will advise the driver he has a further 28 days to comply before the licence is revoked. Licences surrendered to the DVLA within this 28-day period will be endorsed and returned. A driver who surrenders his licence after the licence has been revoked will have to submit an application to renew his driving entitlement. A new licence will then be issued within 15 days of the application being received at the DVLA.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the centre, at which the data published in the Human Fertility paper originated, is not identified in papers presented to the research licence committee. As the paper contains details of the particular clinical treatment of two individuals, the HFEA has also advised that it considers that confirming the identity of the centre could result in a breach of Section 33A of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, which protects the confidentiality of people to whom treatment services are provided. In relation to the reporting of cases of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome to the HFEA, the authority has advised that it has nothing to add to my Answer of 22 November 2010, Official Report, col. WA 263.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it would be inappropriate for it to add to information already in the public domain about a public interest disclosure case without the prior agreement of the person concerned. On the basis of concerns raised about Centre 0102, the HFEA carried out an unannounced inspection in February 2006. The HFEA's corporate policy on public interest disclosure is published on its website at: www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2010-06-30_Public_Interests_Disclosure.pdf.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA494

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that an initial examination of the information it holds suggests that it may not be possible to determine accurately which of the licensable activities centre staff are authorised to carry out is actually carried out by each particular member of staff. The HFEA has advised that it will examine its records further and will write to me to confirm what relevant information the records show. I will write to the noble Lord when I receive this information and place a copy of that letter in the Library.

EU: Schengen Agreement

Question

Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government have no plans to join the visa and border control aspects of Schengen. Despite our position outside the Schengen travel area, the UK remains open for business. We are a highly attractive and competitive destination for investors, business travellers and students.

Fluoridation

Questions

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We understand that the Chief Dental Officer was aware of criticisms of the Griffin report when he published the letter, but when the outcome of the judicial review of the decision made by South Central Strategic Health Authority to fluoridate Southampton is known, he will be issuing revised guidance which will take account of any new evidence on the effects of fluoridation.

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Earl Howe: Yes, this observation remains accurate. There is no conclusive evidence of risks to systemic health from water fluoridated at the one part per million level used in fluoridation schemes in England.

Government Departments: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Bassam of Brighton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Since 12 May 2010, the Home Office has appointed one official on a fixed-term contract to support the Secretary of State. The post is at SEO and the pay range for that grade is £33,953 to £39,537. The name of the individual and their exact salary are personal data and cannot be disclosed.

The jobholder was appointed specifically for this role following a limited competition exercise. This is a temporary appointment which was not advertised. The Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Principles provide for departments to be able to recruit individuals, without advertising, for short-term appointments of up to two years to meet a short-term need.

These principles are incorporated into departmental policies. The freeze on civil service recruitment is in respect of permanent employees.

Asked by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: I have written to the noble Lord with copies of the lists. The information has also been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Gross Domestic Product

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA496

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 the ONS, to Lord Barnett, dated November 2010.

As Director General of the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question to Her Majesty's Government asking for the latest estimate of the current percentage of gross domestic product represented by the National Debt (HL4636).

The Office for National Statistics and HM Treasury jointly publish estimates of Public Sector Net Debt (PSND) and Public Sector Net Debt excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions (PSND ex) in the Public Sector Finances Statistical Bulletin. PSND is calculated from financial balance sheets that are measured at nominal value so as to reflect the debt that will have to be repaid when gilts or other debt instruments mature. Assets are also recorded at nominal values. PSND is calculated as the difference between liabilities and liquid assets (currency, deposits, and short term securities).

At end October 2010 PSND was estimated at £955.0 billion, equivalent to 64.5 per cent of gross domestic product, while PSND ex was estimated as £845.8 billion, equivalent to 57.1 per cent of GDP.

An alternative measure of national debt is gross general government debt, which is reported to the European Commission, as required under the Maastricht Treaty. This differs from PSND insofar as it excludes the debts of public corporations and is a gross measure ie. liquid assets are not subtracted from liabilities to arrive at this measure. The most recently published estimate is that general government debt at end March 2010 was £1000.4 billion, equivalent to 71.3 per cent of GDP.

Health: Bladder and Bowel Care

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The White Paper Liberating the NHS set out our proposals to devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to local consortia of general practitioner (GP) practices.

GPs play a crucial role in co-ordinating patient care and committing National Health Service resources through daily clinical decisions. Our proposals for this new model of commissioning draw on the regular contact that GPs have with patients and their more detailed understanding of patients' wider healthcare needs.

We propose that GP consortia will be responsible for commissioning the great majority of NHS services. We will expect consortia to involve relevant health and

3 Dec 2010 : Column WA497

social care professionals from all sectors in helping design care pathways or care packages that achieve more integrated delivery of care, higher quality, and more efficient use of NHS resources. This will create an effective dialogue across all health, and where appropriate, social care professionals.

To support GP consortia in their commissioning decisions, we will also create an independent NHS commissioning board.

Liberating the NHS: Commissioning for Patients invited views on a number of areas of the commissioning agenda. The engagement exercise closed on 11 October and the department is now analysing all of the contributions received.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Earl Howe: The case for developing a quality standard on bladder and bowel care in children and young people will be considered as part of work to commission a comprehensive library of such standards from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, in line with plans set out in the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.

Health: Blood Clots

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The All-Party Parliamentary Thrombosis Group (APPTG) is an important partner for the National VTE Prevention Programme in England and we welcome the survey it carries out on an annual basis. The collection of data on venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment from National Health Service acute service providers started in June this year so it is very early days, and the department has pre-announced the date of 3 December 2010 for the publication of the second quarter data (July-September).

From April this year all providers of acute services have been required to assess the risk of every adult patient on admission and from June providers have been required to report the numbers of patients receiving this risk assessment as a percentage of their total adult admissions. As these are recent developments we expect to see continuous improvement throughout the NHS in reducing the risk of avoidable death and disability from VTE. The 90 per cent National Commissioning for Quality and Innovation goal is rightly ambitious

3 Dec 2010 : Column WA498

and we know that NHS acute service providers are putting enormous efforts into VTE prevention activities and most will be aiming to achieve the 90 per cent VTE risk assessment goal during January to March 2011.

Health: Head Lice

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Information on the number of prescription items written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community in England, for all head lice treatments, and the net ingredient cost, is shown in the following table. Prescriptions issued by nurse and pharmacists prescribers, which are dispensed, will be included in these figures. Any prescriptions issued as part of a minor ailment scheme, which are dispensed, would also be included in these figures. However, such schemes do not normally use prescriptions; rather, products are supplied directly to patients, and data on such supply are not collected centrally.



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA499

Number of prescription items written in the UK and dispensed in the community in England and the net ingredient cost (NIC)-January 2008 to June 2010
Chemical nameProduct nameItemsNIC(£'s)

Carbaryl

Carylderm Liquid 1%

4,035

18,169

Carylderm Liquid Shampoo 1%

1

5

Carylderm Lotion 0.5%

312

1,411

Carbaryl total

4,348

19,585

Dimeticone (parasiticidal)

Hedrin Lotion 4%

90,817

617,936

Hedrin Lotion Spray 4% 100 ml

277

2,022

Hedrin Lotion Spray 4% 120 ml

1,487

12,624

Hedrin Lotion Spray 4% 60 ml

42

267

Dimeticone parasiticidal total

92,623

632,849

Malathion

Derbac-M Liquid 0.5%

201,694

1,190,974

Prioderm Cream Shampoo 1%

246

969

Prioderm Lotion 0.5%

52,595

292,846

Quellada-M Cream Shampoo 1%

3,607

14,312

Quellada-M Liquid 0.5%

23,039

114,918

Suleo-M Lotion 0.5%

525

2,892

Malathion total

281,706

1,616,910

Other parasiticidal preparations

Nitty Gritty Head Lice Repellent Spray 250 ml

12

69

Other parasiticidal preparations total

12

69

Phenothrin

Full Marks Foam Aero 0.5% 150g

2,059

14,438

Full Marks Foam Aero 0.5% 50g

2,369

8,800

Full Marks Liquid 0.5%

16,439

93,921

Full Marks Lotion 0.2%

7,883

43,291

Phenothrin total

28,750

160,450

Combs

Nitcomb-M2 Comb

691

1,567

Nitcomb-S1 Comb

261

318

Nitty Gritty NitFree Comb

12,408

73,098

Combs total

13,360

74,982

Grand total

420,799

2,504,846

Health: Incontinence

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The White Paper Liberating the NHS set out our proposals to devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to local consortia of general practitioner (GP) practices.

GPs play a crucial role in co-ordinating patient care and committing National Health Service resources through daily clinical decisions. Our proposals for this new model of commissioning draw on the regular contact that GPs have with patients and their more detailed understanding of patients' wider healthcare needs.



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA500

We propose that GP consortia will be responsible for commissioning the great majority of NHS services. We will expect consortia to involve relevant health and social care professionals from all sectors in helping design care pathways or care packages that achieve more integrated delivery of care, higher quality, and more efficient use of NHS resources. This will create an effective dialogue across all health, and where appropriate, social care professionals.

To support GP consortia in their commissioning decisions, we will also create an independent NHS commissioning board.

Liberating the NHS: Commissioning for Patients invited views on a number of areas of the commissioning agenda. The engagement exercise closed on 11 October and the department is now analysing all of the contributions received.

Higher Education: Funding

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The table below shows the annual resource funding for 16 to 19 participation in education and training in each financial year from 2005-06 to 2009-10.

The figures only include: the funding allocated to sixth forms in schools and further education (FE) institutions to support 16 to 19 year-olds in education; the funding for the Entry to Employment programme; and 16 to 18 apprenticeships.

Financial Year

2005-6

2006-7

2007-8

2008-9

2009-10

TOTAL (£m)

5,278

5,613

5,921

6,247

6,788

The figures in the table do not include the participation funding allocated to support 16 to 25 year-olds with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD). The funding highlighted supported both those in full-time and part-time learning. It is not possible to identify the historic levels of funding specifically supporting those in full-time education, as the 16 to 19 funding system operates to fund institutions as a whole rather than individual styles of learning programme.

Higher Education: Student Protests

Question

Asked by Lord Palmer



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA501

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Home Office does not hold this information.

Immigration

Questions

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Organisations will not be able to exempt migrants from the limit on an ad hoc basis. Only specified exemptions will exist.

As the Government announced on 23 November, the tier 2 (general) category of the points-based system will be subject to a limit of 20,700 places for 2011-12.

The following will be exempt from the limit:

specified in-country applications;dependants;tier 2 (intra-company transfer) applicants who will be paid more than £40,000, or where they are paid more than £24,000 and are coming for less than 12 months;tier 2 (general) applicants filling a vacancy that attracts a salary of more than £150,000;tier 2 (minister of religion) applicants; andtier 2 (sportsperson) applicants.

There will also be a limit of 1,000 in the new exceptional talent category of tier 1 of the points-based system. Only dependants will be exempt from the limit for this category.

The tier 1 categories for investors and entrepreneurs will not be limited.

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

Baroness Neville-Jones: The Government will in due course publish an impact assessment on the changes we are making to economic migration routes.

Immigration: Detention

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The number of children entering detention as part of a family unit held under immigration powers May to October 2010 inclusively is provided in the attached table.

No information is available which would distinguish between those families with children who were detained (a) prior to a decision to grant or refuse entry to the United Kingdom, (b) after they or their family member had been refused leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but still had exhausted rights of appeal against a decision to refuse leave to enter or remain, (c) after they or their family member had been made subject to deportation proceedings, or (d) after any appeal rights they or their family member had held had been exhausted. The information requested could only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Month (2010)Number of Children Detained as part of a Family

May

40

June

25

July

15

August

5

September

15

October

15

Immigration: Refugees

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The UK Border Agency works with the UNHCR to resettle to the UK up to 750 refugees per financial year who have been identified as being in particular need of resettlement. Those resettled under the Gateway protection programme include former employees of the British forces in Iraq and many vulnerable refugees who have experienced rape, torture or have witnessed the killing of family members:

total arrivals in 2007 calendar year 463;

total arrivals in 2008 calendar year 642;

total arrivals in 2009 calendar year 867;

total arrivals in 2007-08 financial year 416;

total arrivals in 2008-09 financial year 684; and

total arrivals in 2009-10 financial year 677

Resettlement figures for 2010 will only be published in Q4 2010 bulletin on 24 February 2011.



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA503

UKBA at present meets the full cost of resettlement in the first year, providing an integration support package including housing, healthcare, education and casework support services. Most post-arrival services are provided by partner NGOs, who work closely with the participating local authorities. National figures relating to the employment of individuals entering the UK under the Gateway programme are not collected. We receive quarterly reports from participating NGOs which show that a very small proportion (10 per cent) of those resettled gain paid employment in the first year, although a number (25 per cent) undertake voluntary work. UKBA does not secure employment on behalf of resettled refugees. They are signposted to mainstream services and have the same opportunities as any other UK resident. We do not monitor Gateway refugees beyond the first year.

Police: Expenditure Cuts

Questions

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Decisions about the number of police officers and other police staff engaged by the police service are a matter for individual chief constables and their police authorities. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has been clear that the police service must play its part in reducing the deficit. Details of the Government's provisional funding allocations for individual forces will be placed before Parliament in early December.

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

Baroness Neville-Jones: This information is not held centrally. It is a matter for individual chief constables and their police authorities.

Railways: Ebbw Vale Railway

Questions

Asked by Lord Touhig

Earl Attlee: This is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Asked by Lord Touhig

Earl Attlee: All phases of the Ebbw Vale Railway project are a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA504

Railways: Ticketing

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: Officials at the Department for Transport first became aware of this issue at Guildford station from correspondence from a member of the public in July 2008. This was further supplemented by Passenger Focus's report highlighting the three stations to which my noble friend refers. South West Trains has been taking remedial action to improve queue times at these stations throughout 2010.

Officials will continue to keep this under review.

Schools: GCSEs

Question

Asked by Lord Quirk

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government believe that learning a language is important to the social and economic future of the country and to help children understand the world in which they live. We will be announcing more details about a review of the national curriculum later this year. This review will consider the status of languages at both primary and secondary level. We plan to consult a wide range of academics, teachers and other interested parties to ensure that our core curriculum can compare favourably with those of the highest performing countries in the world.

On 6 September, in a speech at Westminster Academy, the Secretary of State announced an English Baccalaureate, to include a modern or ancient language as one of the core academic subjects that children should learn at GCSE level, along with English, maths, science and a humanity subject. We expect this to lead to an increase in take up of languages at key stage 4. Detailed proposals will be announced later this year.

Schools: Languages

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick



3 Dec 2010 : Column WA505

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government believe that learning a language is important to the social and economic future of the country and to help children understand the world in which they live. We will be announcing more details about a review of the national curriculum shortly. This review will consider the status of languages at both primary and secondary level. We plan to consult a wide range of academics, teachers and other interested parties to ensure that our core curriculum can compare with those of the highest-performing countries in the world.

The Government's White Paper The Importance of Teaching, published on 24 November, sets out our plans to encourage all schools to offer a broad set of academic subjects to students aged 16, including an ancient or modern language. We will give special recognition in performance tables to those schools which are helping their pupils attain this breadth and we will mark individual students' achievements through a certificate.

Schools: Reading

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We have not made an assessment of the use of computer technology to promote children's reading skills. It is for individual schools to determine the extent to which they make use of technology in teaching early reading.

There are a number of phonics products on the market which make use of technology to support early reading. As long as a product adheres to the revised core criteria recently published by the department, schools are free to choose which one they use.

South Wales Police

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): This information is not held centrally.

UK Borders Act 2007

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The UK Borders Act 2007 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations to roll out biometric residence permits that go beyond the requirements of the EU regulation. To date the current regulations have enabled biometric residence permits to be issued only to categories of migrants covered by the EU legislation. All regulations under the Act are subject to scrutiny and approval of both Houses of Parliament.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): As the Home Secretary stated on 23 November, the Government have listened to business concerns about intra-company transfers. We accept that business needs the ability to transfer key staff for short periods.

The new salary threshold of £40,000 for any intra-company transfers of longer than 12 months will ensure those coming for longer periods are only senior managers and key specialists.

Of the intra-company transfer visa applicants sponsored for employment of 12 months or less in 2009, 1,835 had a salary below £24,000 and 6,915 had a salary of £24,000 and above.


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