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|Table 2: Electoral register at 1 December 2008 by parliamentary constituency, Scotland|
|Parliamentary Constituency||Electoral Register|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): I will write to my noble friend and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): As set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, police and crime commissioners will be limited to serving two terms of four years each. A commissioner's time in office will be decided by the public at the ballot box, not by a performance review by central government.
Baroness Neville-Jones: As set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, Police and Crime Commissioners will be required to produce a policing plan for their force area at the beginning of the reporting year, and an annual report on progress in the policing of their area at the end of the reporting
22 Dec 2010 : Column WA352
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of the Northern Ireland Executive (NIE) proposal that HM Treasury would lend £175 million and donate £25 million towards the rescue of the Presbyterian Mutual Society, the £25 million to be provided by the NIE was to be a loan or a donation comparable to that by HM Treasury.[HL5419]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Treasury's £25 million increase in funding to the Northern Ireland Executive provides funding for a donation to the Mutual Access Fund to help those in hardship. The provision of funding to the Presbyterian Mutual Society is devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive (NIE). The NIE announced in their recently published draft budget that the £25 million from HM Treasury is to be matched by an equal contribution from the NIE.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government have no plans to change legislation in order to ban marches through central London. The policing of marches in London is an operational matter for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Under the Public Order Act 1986, the commissioner can apply to the Home Secretary to consent to a ban on a march. The commissioner could apply for a ban only if he considers that powers to place conditions on a march would not prevent serious public disorder, serious disruption to the life of the community or serious damage to property.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): I refer the noble Lord to the Statement that my right honourable friend the Home Secretary gave to the House on 13 December. Water cannon are not approved for police use in England and Wales.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is given to members of non-departmental public bodies about first class train travel; and what is the current use of first class train travel by such members.[HL5403]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many chairmen of non-departmental public bodies are able to claim accommodation expenses when working away from home; where their main offices are situated; and whether they are entitled to claim travel costs at first class fares.[HL5405]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is given to civil servants and members of non-departmental public bodies about the standard of travel they can use on government business; and whether a record is kept of travel that is not at the standard fare.[HL5406]
Lord De Mauley: Information on this is not held centrally. Chairs and board members of non-departmental public bodies claim allowances and expenses in line with the rules set out by the relevant board or body. All claims must be reasonable and in keeping with the general principles governing the use of public funds as set out in the HM Treasury publication Managing Public Money. Civil servants are required to abide by the rules set out in the Civil Service Management Code and in departmental handbooks.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Government have not quantified the volume of all of the public benefits on the public forest estate (PFE) in England.
The PFE is the largest single landholding owned by the state and is managed by the Forestry Commission. It covers 258,000 hectares of land, 2 per cent of the total land area of England, and 18 per cent of England's woodland in 1,500 sites.
It provides a significant proportion of all the goods and services from England's woods and forests. The remaining non forested areas are composed of open habitats, such as heath land, upland mires and open space, including as part of wooded green space around urban areas, as well as other non-wooded land use types such as car parks.
The PFE is a significant place to in our country's carbon sequestration. It currently stores about 129 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e): in the trees (48MtCO2e); and in the soil (81MtCO2e). The harvested timber and wood-fuel also have the potential to substitute for 1-2 MtCO2 per year through reduced fossil fuel emissions as a consequence of its use. Also, trees are one of the most cost-effective solutions for an expensive problem like climate change.
The Forestry Commission is the largest single provider of countryside leisure visits in England with over 40 million visits per year. PFE is certified. In 2009, 343,000 hectares, or 30 per cent of all England's woods, were certified with 199,000 hectares, or 58 per cent of this being on the public forest estate.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 14 December (WA 175), why nine Questions for Written Answer allocated to the Cabinet Office between 5 October and 11 November were still awaiting reply after ten working days on 1 December.[HL5325]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 14 December (WA 175), what percentage of the 111 Questions for Written Answer allocated to the Cabinet Office between 5 October and 11 November were answered within ten working days.[HL5326]
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Cabinet Office answered within 10 working days 70 per cent of the Questions for Written Answer that it was allocated between 5 October and 11 November. The Cabinet Office aims to answer Questions for Written Answer within the 10-working-day period. I regret the delay in responding to a number of Questions for Written Answer that were tabled by noble Lords.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether in their discussions over extended or new franchises with rail operating companies they intend to discuss (a) reasonable comfort levels for passengers, (b) reasonable levels of heating in carriages during the winter months, and (c) reasonable levels of air conditioning during the summer months.[HL5230]
Earl Attlee: Rail seating is primarily a matter for train operators. The Department for Transport does not specify seating arrangements, although franchise requirements on crowding levels and seat availability influence the decisions train operators take in this area. Heating and cooling arrangements are managed under the safety management systems which train operators are required to have in place and which are monitored by the Office of Rail Regulation as the independent safety regulator.
Funding support for railways in Wales is provided by the Welsh Assembly Government via the Arriva Trains Wales franchise. Further funding is provided by the Department for Transport to the First Great Western, Virgin West Coast and Cross Country franchises but is not broken down between their Welsh and English operations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they issue to schools regarding the amount of time schools should devote to education at each level on the health consequences of smoking, drug-taking, obesity and alcohol consumption; and what materials are available to teachers for this purpose.[HL4673]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We do not stipulate, at any key stage, the amount of time that schools must devote to the teaching of the health consequences of smoking, drug-taking, obesity and alcohol consumption. There is a range of guidance available to schools on all of these subjects, but it is up to individual schools to decide on the content and duration of the teaching. The same is true for teaching support materials; it is for schools to select what is best for their pupils, taking into account local circumstances and the age and maturity of their learners.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education provides schools with a context for teaching young people about alcohol, substance abuse, and obesity. We have said we want all young people to benefit from high quality PSHE teaching and, in the department's recent White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, we announced our intention to hold an internal review of PSHE.
The Government have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the procedures for applying to, and being considered by, institutions are transparent and fair and command the respect of prospective students, parents, teachers and advisers. All universities are required, as a condition of receiving widening participation allocation, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to produce widening participation strategic assessments (WPSAs). An WPSA must include a statement on admissions policy showing how the university will ensure transparency, consistency and fairness.
The higher education sector also keeps under review its admission policies and continually strives to improve them. The Supporting Professionalism in Admissions Programme (SPA) is a sector-led initiative. In July 2009 it issued guidance on admissions policies. In its formal "Request for Widening Participation Strategic Assessments", issued in January 2009, HEFCE indicated that all universities should, in the development of their admissions policies, be "guided and informed" by the work undertaken by SPA.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): All budgets are kept under review and adjusted as appropriate. However, we are confident that the new higher education funding system will put universities on a stronger and more sustainable financial footing. We do not expect the overall income of the sector to reduce as a result of our reforms and we expect improved teaching quality and better informed students to have a positive impact on the economy.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The information is in the table below and is provided by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
|Accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses via UCAS at UK institutions and accepted applicants choosing to defer their course entry 2006 - 2010|
|Year of entry||Accepted||Of which deferring entry by a year or more|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the annualised costs of applying visa regulations to pupils aged under 19 who have secured plans to study full time at independent schools affiliated to the Independent Schools Council; and what benefit to the United Kingdom is derived from those costs.[HL3879]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to restrict the number of non-European Union students granted visas to enter the United Kingdom during the period of the Home Office consultation on proposed changes to visa rules and before the introduction of any such new rules; and how many such visas were issued in each of the last 12 months.[HL5248]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government have no plans to restrict the number of non-European Union students granted visas during the period of the Home Office consultation on proposed changes to the visa rules and before the introduction of changes arising from the consultation.
These figures are based on approved main applications only. These data are not provided under National Statistics protocols. They have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Home Secretary is currently considering funding arrangements for crime grants in 2011-12. The Home Office does not itself provide youth services.
22 Dec 2010 : Column WA360
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