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9 Feb 2011 : Column WA55



9 Feb 2011 : Column WA55

Written Answers

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In return for taxpayer support provided by the recapitalisation scheme and the asset protection scheme, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) agreed specified commitments on pay restraint.

The previous Government placed copies of the legal agreements signed with RBS and LBG in the Libraries of both Houses, with redactions only in so far as they were necessary to protect commercial interests. The Government are not aware of any provisions in these agreements that facilitate tax avoidance.

UK Financial Investments (UKFI) manages the Government's investments in financial institutions on an arm's-length and commercial basis. As sole shareholder in Northern Rock plc, UKFI's approval will be required for remuneration packages and any incentivisation arrangements for directors and senior management.

The Government have clearly demonstrated their commitment to tackling tax avoidance. They have secured the adoption of the code of practice on taxation by the top 15 banks. The Government also announced on 6 December a package of measures to close down tax avoidance schemes.

Banks: Green Investment Bank

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government announced in the spending review that the Green Investment Bank would be funded during the spending review period with £1 billion of departmental budgets as well as significant proceeds from asset sales. Retail deposits are not likely to be an initial source of funding for the Bank. We are, however,

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looking to build an institution for the long term and will be examining possible, additional funding requirements.

Asked by Lord Myners

Baroness Wilcox: We are currently carefully considering the need, options and issues which would arise from a green investment bank (GIB) that borrows. Our analysis includes the need for a government guarantee and is being done in the context of work on the GIB's structure and products. We will be making a detailed announcement in May.

Asked by Lord Myners

Baroness Wilcox: As set out in the departmental business plan, the green investment bank will be operational by September 2012. We expect it to start making investments during 2012, but this is subject to the availability of funding and state aid approval. The products which might be offered by the bank are currently being analysed and market-tested.

BBC: World Service

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The budget for the BBC World Service for the period 2011-12 to 2013-14 was agreed as part of the 2010 spending review. In the current financial climate, my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary believes that a 16 per cent cut to the BBC World Service budget is reasonable. It maintains the same proportion of money coming from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) since 2008.

Under the broadcasting agreement between the FCO and the BBC World Service, the Foreign Secretary has to give his written authority for the closure of any language services. He approved the five language service closures after taking extensive advice from the BBC World Service as to where these closures could be made with least damage to the overall services and audience share.

The BBC World Service has managerial and editorial authority. Any further changes beyond the five language services closures were under its control alone.



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The BBC World Service has announced that the complete package of changes will result in an audience loss of 30 million. Of these, 3.5 million will be lost from the five language service closures approved by the Foreign Secretary.

Business Competitiveness

Question

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Since May 2010 Her Majesty's Government have launched a number of reviews including a review of employment law, a review of regulation affecting farmers and food processors and Lord Hodgson's Civil Society Red Tape Task Force. All departments are also conducting reviews scrutinising the overall stock of regulation as part of the "one-in, one-out" policy, alongside legacy measures inherited from the previous Administration. These have yet to conclude and so to date no significant regulations have been revoked.

Business Payment Support Scheme

Questions

Asked by Lord Newby

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Business Payment Support Scheme (BPSS) began in November 2008. The information requested regarding the number of businesses in each of the past five years which have entered a formal insolvency procedure after having been granted a time to pay agreement under the BPSS is not available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.



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At the end of December 2010 it is estimated that around £970 million agreed by the Business BPSS is still due for payment.

The amount still outstanding for payment comprises two elements: amounts still due for payment in the future in accordance with agreed payment schedules (around £320 million) and amounts which have not been paid as initially agreed (around £650 million).

Those arrangements which have not been paid in accordance with their schedules will have undergone standard HM Revenue and Customs recovery and enforcement action and this will involve further recoveries but it is not possible to separately identify these as being related to earlier time to pay agreements.

The information regarding the number of repeat and renegotiated referrals, and the amount of tax that amounts to, is also not available.

Commons Act 2006

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): In England the procedure which a commons registration authority must follow in deciding an application for voluntary registration of land by the owner under Section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006 differs depending on whether the application relates to one of the seven areas pioneering the implementation of Part 1 of the 2006 Act. In the pioneer areas, notice of an application must be published on the authority's website and sent to certain other persons who may have an interest in the application. Elsewhere, the authority is not required to advertise the application, but must proceed to grant it if satisfied that the application complies with the relevant regulations.

Where an application is made in the pioneer areas, the commons registration authority need give weight to objections only if it tends to show that the application is not made by the owner of the land, is not compliant with the relevant regulations, or where the necessary consent of any relevant leaseholder, or proprietor of any relevant charge over the land, has not been obtained in accordance with Section 15(9). In our view, an authority may also consider objections which relate to the applicant's description of any locality or the neighbourhood within a locality of which the inhabitants are to have the right to indulge in lawful sports and pastimes on the land.

Crown Stewards and Bailiffs

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The information requested is set out in the tables. The offices of the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern and the Crown Steward of the Manor of Northstead are granted alternately, thus enabling two Members or more to retire on the same day. There are no salaries or duties attached to either appointment.

Northstead
MemberDate of AppointmentDate Vacated

Peter Mandelson

8 September 2004

4 June 2008

Boris Johnson

4 June 2008

30 June 2008

David Marshall

30 June 2008

22 June 2009

Michael Martin

22 June 2009

26 January 2011

Gerry Adams

26 January 2011

-

Chiltern Hundreds
MemberDate of AppointmentDate Vacated

Tony Blair

27 June 2007

18 June 2008

David Davis

18 June 2008

18 June 2008

Ian Gibson

8 June 2009

13 January 2010

Iris Robinson

13 January 2010

8 February 2011

Eric Illsley

8 February 2011

-

Economy: Growth

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In preparing its preliminary estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the Office for National Statistics (ONS) made it very clear that the fall in GDP was driven by the extreme weather in December, and estimates that without this disruption output would have been flat in the fourth quarter.

Returning the UK to sustainable economic growth is the Government's overriding priority. Independent forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility and other external bodies are for a sustained economic recovery in the UK through 2011 and beyond.

Elections: Registration Forms

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The supply of electoral registration application forms and information on registering to vote is the

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responsibility of each local electoral registration officer (ERO). In addition, information on electoral registration is available from the Electoral Commission's website at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, from which registration application forms may be completed and printed, and individuals can find contact details for their local ERO.

Employment: Private Sector

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The spending review set out the Government's commitment to creating the conditions for private sector growth. The Path to Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth, published on 29 November, set out progress made by the Government and planned future activity to achieve this, including:

creating macroeconomic stability, so that interest rates stay low and businesses have the certainty they need to plan ahead;helping markets work more effectively, to encourage innovation and the efficient allocation of resources;ensuring that it is efficient and focused in its own activities, prioritising high-value spending and reducing tax and regulatory burdens; andensuring that everyone in the UK has access to opportunities that enable them to fulfil their potential.

Energy: Prices

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jolly

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government are sympathetic to the plight of many off-grid energy consumers who were hit hard by high prices and supply issues this winter.

We are keen that the reasons for this are thoroughly investigated by an independent authority. My honourable friend the Minister of State for Energy wrote to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in January to ask it to bring forward its competition and consumer study into off-grid energy. He also asked the OFT if the study could explore the longer-term consumer issues such as lifetime payback, consumer standards and labelling for alternative energy sources or supplies. Such a study would provide an independent assessment of the off-grid market and establish what further action may be necessary to ensure it works properly.



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Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Marland: DECC published estimates of future average annual household gas and electricity bills alongside the Annual Energy Statement (AES) in July 2010. This analysis is available online at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/markets/impacts/impacts.aspx.

DECC has committed to updating these estimates annually as part of the AES.

The table below presents a time series of these estimates (in real 2009 prices) from 2010 to 2015, which include the estimated impact of Government policies that were in place or planned to a sufficient degree of detail by the time of the AES 2010:

Estimated average household gas and electricity bills (real 2009 prices)
GasElectricity

2010

£591

£512

2011

£613

£503

2012

£630

£512

2013

£625

£494

2014

£646

£501

2015

£651

£499

Energy: Fossil Fuels

Question

Asked by Lord Donoughue

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The department has not provided estimates of the amount of fossil fuel generating capacity needed as back-up for wind by 2030. This would depend on a wide range of factors including demand profiles and the capacity mix.

Fossil fuel power stations are not the only way to provide back up for intermittent wind generation. There are a number of alternative solutions including responsive demand, interconnection and storage such as pumped storage, batteries and hydrogen, all of which are expected to play a role in the future energy mix.

The department has however published a number of studies on the impact of intermittent renewables on the UK electricity system. These studies, the Redpoint Analysis (2009) and UK Renewable Energy Strategy: Impact Assessment for the Centralised Electricity Sector, are available at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/renewable/res/res.aspx.



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In this wider context, the Government are currently consulting on future electricity market reform. This consultation is available at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/emr/emr.aspx.

Energy: Wind Farms

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): None. Based on data available at this point, wind output was above average in November and below average in December 2010-both within the range of DECC's expectations. Wind is a variable resource of energy, with variations in output, both up and down, experienced from month to month as well as over shorter periods. DECC's analysis of supply capacity and projections of the growth of wind energy take into account the need for, and cost of, back-up capacity. Wind energy is an important and cost-effective low carbon energy source for the UK.

EU: Employment

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Employment policy is a national competence. The effect of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union (EU), incorporating previous treaty terms, is such that there is a shared competence in order to achieve EU level objectives. The principle of proportionality and subsidiarity applies, that is that the EU shall take action only if the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states, and can therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the EU.

The EU role is to achieve a high level of employment by encouraging and facilitating co-operation between member states. The EU is also required to take the objective of high employment into account when formulating and implementing EU policies and activities.

The EU has exclusive competence on rules governing the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital which may impact on employment.



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On the size of the European Social Fund, this falls within the scope of the UK Government's continuing work overall with other EU member states to contain the cost of the EU Budget, and to deliver value for money for the UK taxpayer.

Finance: Republic of Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The loan to Ireland was signed on 22 December 2010 and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury placed copies of the loan agreement in the Libraries of both Houses on 10 January 2011. The loan cannot be drawn until after the approval of the third quarterly review of Ireland's Memorandum of Understanding with the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. The terms of the loan cannot be amended without agreement from both parties.

Food: Standards

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): As well as the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, and Slovenia did not transpose Council Directive 2007/43/EC by 30 June 2010.

The Government view animal welfare as a matter of high priority. As well as promoting high animal welfare standards in this country, we are keen to encourage high animal welfare standards internationally, both in other European Union countries and in Third Countries. World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules do not allow members to ban imports on the grounds of the welfare standards applied in third countries. However, we are working with other countries within the OIE (Office international des Epizooties) to develop and progress internationally recognised standards for animal welfare. We do not have detailed knowledge of the meat inspection process in Thailand.



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Freedom of Information

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government are committed to safeguarding the rights provided by Regulation 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents during the current revision process, while ensuring that sensitive information is adequately protected. The Government oppose any restriction to the definition of a document subject to the regulation. I intend to submit shortly to Parliament an Explanatory Memorandum setting out the Government's position in more detail.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government announced on 7 January that the Freedom of Information Act will be extended to the Financial Ombudsman Service. There are currently no plans to make the Financial Services Compensation Scheme subject to the Act. We will, however, keep the scope of the Act under review, and may consider its extension to further bodies in the future.

Government Departments: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): On 14 January 2011, the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed that the Crown Prosecution Service will conduct a comprehensive assessment of all the material in the possession of the Metropolitan Police Service relating to unlawful interception of mobile telephones, following developments in the civil courts.

The exercise will involve an examination of all the material considered as part of the original investigation into Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire and any material that has subsequently come to light. The

9 Feb 2011 : Column WA65

assessment will be carried out by the Principal Legal Advisor, Alison Levitt QC. The purpose of this assessment is to ascertain whether there is any material that could now form evidence in any future criminal prosecution relating to phone hacking.

The Metropolitan Police Service recently announced a new investigation into alleged mobile phone interception. Ms Levitt will evaluate any evidence gathered as a result of that investigation and will advise as to the progress of the investigation.

While both the investigation and assessment are ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.

Health: Quality Standards

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to determine the content of its Quality Standards. It does so after a public consultation and within a remit set by the Secretary of State. Details of the process NICE used can be found on the institute's website at: www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/qualitystandards

The topic of pressure ulcers was referred to NICE for Quality Standard development in December 2010. The Quality Standard will cover the management of pressure ulcers in all patients.

House of Lords: IT

Questions

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The upgrade project is currently in progress so forecast rather than actual costs are provided.

The capital cost of new equipment (personal computers and laptops) is forecast to be £288,000 (including VAT). Where equipment can be upgraded it will be at a forecast cost of £25,000 (including VAT). The revenue cost of rolling out the new and upgraded equipment is forecast to be approximately £80,000 (including VAT).

The new and upgraded equipment will move Members from software and hardware that is no longer supported

9 Feb 2011 : Column WA66

or will be unsupported in the near future. Many of the services are obsolete and need to be replaced-for example, the current dial-up and virtual private network (VPN) remote access services. The new software offers greater reliability and also additional features such as Office Communicator Suite (OCS). The upgrade will mean that Members in both Houses will be using the same software and range of hardware and this will allow improved support to be offered through the greater focus and depth of expertise that will be possible.

The Windows 7 solution was developed in January 2010. It was checked and tested during the spring and early summer. The complete package, Windows 7, Office 2007 and related software, has been deployed in the second half of 2010 to more than 3,000 devices.

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Chairman of Committees: The PICT Service Desk has received a small number of calls relating to the upgrade. It is still early in the migration and as a result it is difficult to assess efficiencies experienced by PICT. These should become clearer once the migration is complete and services are decommissioned.

PICT staff have been working with Windows 7 and Office 2007 since early in 2010. The engineers, Service Desk personnel and other support staff are experienced in the use of the system. PICT's experience with other groups in Parliament is that the Windows 7 and Office 2007 solutions are more stable and have fewer problems.

PICT's approach to training has been to work directly with Members during the upgrade. This has included the option of one-to-one coaching and specifically written training material available as a booklet and online.

Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Turnberg

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We welcome Israel's recent announcement of its intention to accept proposals put forward by the UN and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon to withdraw Israel Defence Force troops from the northern part of Ghajar. Talks to finalise plans for the withdrawal are not yet complete and we

9 Feb 2011 : Column WA67

call on Israel and the UN to work together to agree practical measures to implement this proposal as soon as is possible.

We continue to call on all parties to fulfil their obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Israel and Palestine

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We firmly believe that peace in the Middle East should be a comprehensive peace, and all parties should behave constructively in ways which help the prospect of peace and negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis and on the Israel-Lebanon track.

We urge Hamas to accept the quartet conditions and make credible movement towards renouncing violence, recognising Israel and accepting previously signed agreements. Peace should lead to the full integration of Israel in its regional environment, along the lines set out in the Arab Peace Initiative.

Lebanon

Question

Asked by Lord Turnberg



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My right honourable friends the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Under-Secretary of State, Alistair Burt, have both underlined the UK's support for the special tribunal for Lebanon and its aim to end impunity for political assassinations in Lebanon. As the chair, and a member of the Management Committee of the Special Tribunal, the UK continues to provide active support on all financial and administrative issues, including measures to ensure the safety of tribunal staff.

The Government have also committed a further £1 million to the special tribunal for 2011, bringing our total contribution to £2.35 million.

NHS: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information requested is shown in the following table.



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9 Feb 2011 : Column WA70

NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) monthly workforce statistics-April 2010, Provisional, Experimental Statistics
England
HeadcountFTERole Count

Total

1,216,149

1,076,935

1,241,341

Professionally qualified clinical staff (1)

625,996

570,978

640,251

All HCHS doctors (incl locums)

103,772

99,941

106,499

All HCHS doctors (non locum)

102,085

98,358

104,511

Consultants (including Directors of public health)

37,179

35,892

38,104

Registrars

36,899

37,560

37,233

Other doctors in training

14,020

14,153

14,042

Hospital practitioners and clinical assistants

2,220

474

2,390

Other medical and dental staff

12,148

10,278

12,742

All HCHS doctors (locum)

1,969

1,583

1,988

Consultants (including Directors of public health)-locum

1,284

1,080

1,284

Registrars-locum

262

216

262

Other doctors in training-locum

137

109

137

Hospital practitioners and clinical assistants-locum

53

13

53

Other medical and dental staff-locum

252

165

252

Total HCHS non-medical staff

1,112,084

976,994

1,134,842

Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff

353,880

319,883

360,963

Qualified Midwives

24,874

21,436

25,393

Qualified Health Visitors

10,124

8,705

10,302

Qualified School Nurses

1,471

1,220

1,504

Total qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff

149,994

132,626

154,281

Qualified Allied Health Professions

73,935

64,262

76,588

Qualified Therapeutic Radiography Staff

2,321

2,131

2,333

Qualified Diagnostic Radiography Staff

13,800

12,136

14,207

Qualified Speech and Language Staff

7,595

6,509

8,201

Qualified Healthcare Scientists

31,767

29,507

31,965

Other qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff

44,366

38,858

45,728

Qualified ambulance staff

18,498

18,527

18,508

Support to clinical staff

355,079

299,776

360,904

Support to doctors and nursing staff

278,800

233,992

283,325

Support to scientific, therapeutic and technical staff

62,385

52,337

63,062

Support to ambulance staff

14,457

13,446

14,517

NHS infrastructure support

237,685

206,182

240,186

Central functions

117,923

104,680

118,932

Hotel, property and estates

75,447

58,740

76,538

Senior managers

13,451

12,997

13,502

Managers

31,113

29,765

31,214

Palestine

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK is disappointed that elections did not take place in 2010, but understands the difficulties facing President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in organising national elections while Hamas remains in control of Gaza and refuses to allow the PA to operate freely in the territory. We would like to see free and fair elections take place as soon as possible but have significant concerns that elections in Gaza at this time would be neither.

Parking Fines

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

Earl Attlee: Section 11.4 of Operational Guidance to Local Authorities-Parking Policy and Enforcement (March 2008) advises that a local authority has a discretionary power to cancel a penalty charge notice at any point throughout the civil parking enforcement process. It can do this even when an undoubted contravention has occurred if the authority deems it to be appropriate in the circumstances of the case. Under general principles of public law, authorities have a duty to act fairly and proportionately and are encouraged to exercise their discretion sensibly and reasonably and with due regard to the public interest.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The numbers of people receiving state pension living abroad found not to be alive last year is contained in the table below:

Detection methodNumber of deaths 1 January 2010-December 2010

Data-matching

7,576

Life Certificates

1,798

Total

9,374

Where a customer is either housebound or unable to present themselves to an authorised person to verify their identity, they can have a doctor sign the life certificate. The doctor must provide a letter to state why the customer is unable to present themselves to an authorised person as stated on the accompanying letter. We can then contact the doctor to complete security checks.



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Police: Demonstrators

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The use of police tactics, such as containment, is an operational matter for police forces. The courts have ruled that containment is a lawful tactic when used proportionately.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has recently published revised guidance on public order policing which includes guidance on containment. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary will shortly be publishing a report on how recommendations from its 2009 Adapting to Protest Report, including those on containment, have been met.

Ports and Harbours

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced that two applications from Port of Falmouth cannot proceed in their current form.

In making this announcement, the MMO has evaluated all the available evidence and taken into account its statutory duty to manage activities by persons in its area with the objective of making a contribution to sustainable development. The evidence used by the MMO has been published and is available on the MMO website at: http://www.marinemanagement.org.uk/news /press/110127.htm.

We understand the MMO held talks with the developers and has invited them to submit new proposals that address the environmental issues raised because of the potential impacts on a site protected by European law, in this case a special area of conservation designated under Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the habitats directive).

Roads: Accidents

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



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Earl Attlee: The information requested is available for Great Britain from Table A in the following file, entitled "Reported personal injury road accidents, vehicles involved and their resulting casualties: GB 1979-2009": www.dft.gov.uk/excel/173025/221412/ 221549/227755/315281/AccVehCas19792009.xls

Our assessment is that a number of factors have contributed to the reduction in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain over this period. These include policy interventions related to vehicle design, engineering, enforcement and education.

Roads: Speed Cameras

Question

Asked by Lord Condon

Earl Attlee: Any decision to decommission speed cameras is for local authorities and the police to make, based on local needs, and the Government do not plan to monitor the practice comprehensively.

Traffic Regulation Orders

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

Earl Attlee: We have no plans to do so. We have not received any representations advocating such a change and are not aware of any problems with the existing limit.

Transport: Heavy Goods Vehicles

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The traffic commissioners' annual report lists cases of heavy goods vehicles operating centres that have been reviewed. Prior to 2009-10 the figures only include those that were reviewed as a result of a complaint having been made. The results are shown in the following table:



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Traffic Area2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-10*

Eastern

2

1

1

7

11*

North Eastern

20

4

1

4

10*

North Western

15

10

2

5

11*

South Eastern and Metropolitan

6

2

2

7

25*

West Midland

2

0

0

3

4*

Western

3

5

5

7

22*

Scottish

0

0

4

2

3*

Welsh

2

0

1

2

6*

Total

50

22

16

37

92*

The traffic commissioners' annual report is available from the DfT website using the following link: www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/trafficcommissioners/annualreports/trafficcommissioners/pdf/trafficcommissioners0910.pdf.

Vehicles: Electric Power

Questions

Asked by Lord Bates



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Liberty Cars Ltd is part of the EVADINE (Electric Vehicle Accelerated Development in the North East) project consortium involving five companies and Newcastle University. One North East is one of the public sector funders of the EVADINE project and has provided £1.49 million in grant support for the overall project worth £10.7 million via the Technology Strategy Board.

The EVADINE project is one of eight projects across the UK that together will trial 340 ultra low carbon cars with the public. The EVADINE consortium will provide 30 of these vehicles, of which two will be delivered by Liberty.

Along with the other projects, EVADINE will research how these vehicles are used and charged, learn whether these vehicles need any adaptations to use them, and learn how quickly they can be made, and finally to gather the views of users.

One North East has not purchased or made any agreements to purchase vehicles.

West Lothian Question

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): An English Parliament has been proposed in the past as a solution to the West Lothian question. It would be open to the commission, once established, to consider this as part of its review.


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