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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government share the assessment of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) that there has been an increase in protest activity in size, frequency and spread across the United Kingdom. The Government will continue to work with the police to assess threats and risks of public disorder going forward and agree
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA265
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Data are not collected centrally on the number of prisoners receiving methadone prescriptions. However, data are available on the combined total of substitution treatments for both methadone and buprenorphine for treating heroin dependence in prisons. In 2009-10 there were 60,067 treatments, of which 36,323 were detoxifications and 23,744 were longer-term maintenance treatments. The data show the number of treatments prescribed but not actual prisoner numbers.
Information on actual prisoner numbers receiving methadone prescriptions is available from spot survey data. The National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse and the department applied to the Review of Central Returns to collect these data last year. Data collection will begin shortly, and this information will be available later in the year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many foreign nationals given custodial sentences in the United Kingdom were transferred to another country in each year from 1990 to 2010; and to which countries they were transferred.[HL6820]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British citizens given custodial sentences abroad were transferred to the United Kingdom in each year from 1990 to 2010; and from which countries they came.[HL6821]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The United Kingdom is a party to prisoner transfer agreements with 108 countries and territories. The countries and territories with which the United Kingdom has prisoner transfer agreements are listed below.
|Territories with which the United Kingdom has Prisoner Transfer Agreements|
|Territories that have Prisoner Transfer Agreements with the UK|
Prior to 2007, the National Offender Management Service did not separately record the states to which prisoners were transferred from England and Wales to continue serving a sentence of imprisonment. The table below sets out the number of prisoners transferred to other countries to continue serving their sentences of imprisonment in the calendar years 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
To ask Her Majesty's Government who attended the Government roundtable to develop policy on prostitution held on 14 February; whether other meetings of that group will be scheduled; and why the English Collective of Prostitutes was not invited. [HL7001]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The roundtable was chaired by the Home Secretary and also attended by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities and Criminal Information. A range of organisations were represented including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and organisations working with people involved in prostitution. Other meetings of this group may be scheduled to discuss future policy issues as they arise.
The meeting was limited to a small number of organisations for the purposes of an initial discussion on prostitution policy. These organisations provided a range of experience and perspectives. It was not possible to invite every organisation that has experience of and an interest in prostitution policy but we will seek to include all such organisations, as appropriate, in the development of policy in this area.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many persons in England and Wales were (a) imprisoned, and (b) fined, for an offence under Section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in each year since 1998.[HL6723]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of persons found guilty at all courts, and the number of persons sentenced and given a fine, custodial sentence or other disposal under Section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, in England and Wales, 1998 to 2009 (latest available) is shown in the table below.
|Number of persons found guilty at all courts, sentenced and given a fine, custodial sentence or other disposals under Section 2(1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, England and Wales, 1998 to 2009(2)(3)|
(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HM Treasury will ensure that when it requests the Financial Services Authority or another agency to write to a member answering a Question for Written Answer, that answer is published in the Official Report. [HL6787]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Treasury Ministers ensure that the department and its associated bodies report to Parliament in the appropriate way, according to the status of the individual entities. As was the practice under the previous Government, the Government currently request that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) write to a Member to answer any Parliamentary Question that falls under the FSA's area of responsibility. Mindful of the FSA's independence, HM Treasury will consider whether any changes should be made to this process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 8 February (WA 52), what is the number of passengers forecast for the Northern Rail franchise in (a) 2012, (b) 2014, (c) 2016, (d) 2018, and (e) 2020; what is the earliest date between 2011 to 2020 when extra rolling stock will be available for use by Northern Rail; and by which year they forecast that passenger overcrowding on Northern Rail will fall significantly. [HL6863]
The department has not undertaken detailed forecasting of when passenger crowding on the Northern franchise might decline. However, bidders for the new franchise will be required to undertake comprehensive demand forecasting. Bids will be assessed in part on the quality of proposals to manage crowding.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): There are currently around 3,000 employees in Remploy's factories. The Government confirmed in the autumn that Remploy's
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA271
In December 2010, the Minister for Disabled People announced an independent review and call for evidence of the support that the Government provide to disabled people who want to work. This review also covers the work of Remploy and is being led by Liz Sayce, chief executive of the disability network RADAR. This review provides an opportunity for trade unions, disabled people and disability organisations to submit evidence to inform the development of our future strategy. This call for evidence will close on 28 February.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total amount of the recent bilateral loan to the Republic of Ireland; how much of it has been drawn; what is the interest rate; whether the interest rate is open to renegotiation; and on which date the first interest payment is due.[HL7003]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): A total of £3.227 billion is available to lend to Ireland. 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 interest rate on each tranche will be at a rate set by adding a margin of 2.29 per cent to the sterling 7.5 year swap rate at the time of disbursement. The terms of the loan cannot be amended without agreement from both parties. The first interest payment will be due six months after the first tranche of the loan is drawn.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): We are in regular contact with the Royal British Legion across a wide range of issues, including the Government's commitment to rebuild the covenant. In addition, the director-general of the Royal British Legion is a member of the External Reference Group, which monitors the Government's work to support the Armed Forces community.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of entrants in English schools were awarded A* to C grades by each of the examination boards at GCSE in (a) 1995, (b) 2000, (c) 2005, and (d) 2010. [HL6425]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The figures requested for 1995 and 2010 are presented in the table below. Figures for 2000 and 2005 are only available at disproportionate cost.
|Number of GCSE examinations entered and percentage of entries awarded grades A*-C by examination board, 1995 and 2010|
|Exam board and year||Number of GCSE entries||Percentage of entries awarded grades A*-C|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many pupils in English schools were entered by each of the examination boards for the GCSE in (a) mathematics, (b) geography, (c) history, (d) French, and (e) German, in (1) 1995, (2) 2000, (3) 2005, and (4) 2010.[HL6426]
|Number of GCSE examinations entered in selected subjects by examination board, 1995 and 2010|
|Exam board and year||Entries in mathematics||Entries in geography||Entries in history||Entries in French||Entries in German|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The following table provides the number of qualified teachers entering regular service in local authority maintained schools in England, March 2000-01 to March 2008-09, the latest information available. These figures exclude academies.
|Headcount of qualified teacher entrants to service in local authority maintained school1|
|Years: 2000-01 to 2008-09|
|2000-01||2001-02||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||Total entrants between 2000-01 to 2008-09|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The NHS Information Centre for health collects data on expenditure by councils with adult social services responsibilities (CASSRs) via the personal social services expenditure return (PSSEX1), but they are not collected at the level of detail requested. The nearest category is "assessment and care management", which is defined as:
"The process of receiving referrals, assessing need, defining eligibility and arranging for packages of care to be provided and reviewing the quality and continued relevance of that care for older people. It includes field social work costs (including hospital social worker), other social services staff based in primary healthcare settings, occupational therapy services to older people and relevant support staff costs".
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will investigate the procedures and management of the South Wales Police Authority and its chief executive; and whether they will investigate the Authority's compliance with articles 8, 10 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL6853]
Lord De Mauley: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary cannot undertake an investigation of South Wales Police Authority, as she has no official powers to investigate or to initiate an investigation of this nature. If the noble Lord has a particular concern, he should raise it with the relevant authority, such as Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary or the Independent Police Complaints Commissioner.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ask HM Inspector of Constabulary, HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate, the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Welsh Audit Office to investigate the management, procedures and efficiency of the South Wales Police Authority and its chief executive.[HL6854]
Lord De Mauley: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary does not have the authority to commission any of those organisations to conduct an investigation of that nature of South Wales Police Authority. However, if the noble Lord has real concerns, he should raise them with the relevant authority directly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what aid they have made available to the Beja people of north-east Sudan, especially to those displaced and living at Port Sudan and those suffering the effects of drought and locusts.[HL6929]
Baroness Rawlings: British humanitarian support is channelled through the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) which provides aid to reduce dependency, increase self-reliance and build livelihoods. In 2010 the CHF provided $12.8 million to address urgent humanitarian needs in Eastern Sudan, which covers the areas populated by the Beja people and those displaced and living in Port Sudan. North-eastern Sudan experiences drought almost every year in some parts of the region and the droughts are of varying magnitudes. (Desert locust infestations do pose a threat in north-eastern Sudan, but there has been little damage to crops from locusts in the last few years. However, this is something that the CHF monitors and is able to respond to if the need arises).
In the eastern states in 2009, the CHF helped improve the provision of health services, including immunization coverage, treatment for tuberculosis and the provision of essential drugs and laboratory services. It also trained 100 health care staff in the management of acute malnutrition and infant and child feeding.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Technology Strategy Board received government funding of £208 million in 2008-09 and £385 million in 2009-10. It is due to receive a total of £363 million in 2010-11.
These figures comprise core funding from my department plus co-funding received from other government departments for specific Technology Strategy Board activities that look to support business innovation, such as funding for collaborative research projects, and focus on those opportunities which offer the greatest scope for boosting UK growth and productivity on the basis of business and academic strength.
The overall framework governing the Technology Strategy Board is provided by the Science and Technology Act 1965 and the Royal Charter under which it was established. These are supplemented by a management statement and financial memorandum which establish the broad framework within which the board operates.
Additionally, the Technology Strategy Board is issuing a tasking framework letter each spending review period. This includes the board's spending review settlement and an indication of the Government's policies and overall strategic objectives for technology and innovation over the spending review period. This tasking framework informs the board's strategic and delivery plans.
Baroness Wilcox: Dr Graham Spittle, VP Software for UK and Ireland at IBM, is Chair of the Governing Board of the Technology Strategy Board. More information can be obtained from the Technology Strategy Board's website at www.innovateuk.org/aboutus/governingboard.ashx.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the chairman of the Technology Strategy Board was selected; by whom; what process was followed in his or her selection; where the post was advertised; how many persons applied for the position; how many were short-listed for interview; how candidates were appraised; what criteria were adopted for the appointment; and whether candidates' views on (a) abortion, (b) reproductive rights and reproductive health, (c) embryo experimentation and (d) stem cell research were sought.[HL7103]
Baroness Wilcox: The position of chairman of the Technology Strategy Board was advertised on the Cabinet Office's public appointments vacancy website from 28 July to 29 August 2008 and the successful candidate took up the post from 1 December 2008. The process was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of the Commissioner of Public Appointments (OCPA). Under the terms of the Technology Strategy Board's royal charter, the selection was made by the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Two applications were received and both were invited to interview. Candidates were appraised against the criteria in the role and person specification published at the time to assess their suitability for the role. Candidates' views on abortion, reproductive rights and reproductive health, embryo experimentation and stem cell research were not sought as part of the selection process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the £25 million five-year programme against Phytophthora pathogens commenced; how many known outbreaks in Japanese larch trees there were at the time; how many there are now; and what proportion of the programme has been diverted into countering the problem in that species.[HL6966]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): When the £25 million programme against the Phytophthora pathogens in England and Wales was launched on 1 April 2009, there were no records of infected Japanese larch anywhere in the world. The first reports of ill health in Japanese larch were made in the south west of England during July and August 2009, with laboratory confirmation of the presence of P. ramorum later that month. A survey of woodlands in the area commenced immediately and by December 2009 the pathogen had been confirmed at five sites distributed across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. The surveillance was extended the following spring once needles had flushed. There are now 129 woodland sites in Great Britain with confirmed, or assumed, infected Japanese larch trees. Further surveillance and resurvey will commence once trees have come back into needle this spring.
In the current financial year, about 26 per cent of the annual programme fund (£980,000) has been diverted to investigate and support action on the disease in larch. This includes assistance to woodland owners in clearing infected Japanese larch trees in England and Wales; aerial surveys to identify the extent of infection; diagnostic testing of samples in the laboratory; and diversion of some staff time to provide specialist advice for the larch situation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what contingency plans they have to deal with any further species jump of Phytophthora ramorum of a similar nature to that which occurred in Japanese larch plantations which might affect large numbers of trees.[HL6967]
Lord Henley: The Forestry Commission, which is working closely with the Food and Environment Research Agency to address the threats from two Phytophthora pathogens, has put in place an Outbreak Management Team. This is in place to monitor the situation and to keep under review the disease management strategy to deal with tree infection and includes representation from the private sector. The pathogens have a wide host range but Forest Research scientists, who advise the Outbreak Management Team, are alert to the possibility of a further species jump and are engaged in research into species' susceptibility and resistance. A further programme of aerial surveys to detect signs
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA280
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): UKTI has identified Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan as priority markets for the region. These are markets where UKTI is actively represented and offer the full range of UKTI services. Political support to UK business is available in Mongolia and the other central Asia and south Caucasus markets. UKTI is reviewing its strategy in Mongolia.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much public money is allocated by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to each of the markets in central Asia, including Mongolia and the south Caucasus; how many personnel in UKTI are based in (a) the United Kingdom working on those markets, and (b) each of those countries; and how they measure the effectiveness of UKTI in those markets.[HL6655]
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: Responsibility for these markets in UKTI in London is held by teams which cover a number of other markets and sectors. A proportion of their time is devoted to work on these markets and is dependent upon demand.
The effectiveness of UKTI in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan is measured as part of UKTI's performance impact monitoring survey (PIMS). This independent evaluation reports the value that UKTI trade services deliver for UK business customers in global markets including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. UKTI is reviewing its strategy for Mongolia.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the role of trade and industry councils; which countries in central Asia, including Mongolia and the south Caucasus, have bilateral trade and industry councils with the United Kingdom; how much public money they receive; how many officials in the United Kingdom
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA281
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: There are three such trade and industry councils: with Kazakhstan (KBTIC), Uzbekistan (UBTIC) and Turkmenistan (TUKTIC). An Azerbaijan council has not met since 2002; instead a self-standing business council now exists. These councils' overall aim is to develop strategies that directly support the efforts of firms to win business and maximise investment opportunities.
There are differing arrangements for Kazakhstan because UKTI has dedicated resources in that market and is able to support KBTIC directly. In 2010-11 the amount spent on KBTIC was £9,000 and on UBTIC was £2,000. TUKTIC was initiated by business with the support of HM ambassador in Ashgabat but does not receive specific UKTI support. There are no officials in the UK dedicated to working on trade and industry councils but they fall within the work scope of UKTI's Russia, Turkey, central Asia and south Caucasus unit which comprises 5.7 officials.
Meetings are held annually and alternate between London and the partner capital. KBTIC met in London in July 2008 and 2010 and in Astana in 2009. UBTIC met in London in November 2007 and 2009 and in Tashkent in December 2008 and 2010. TUKTIC first met in September 2010 in Ashgabat.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which sectors UK Trade and Investment promotes as offering opportunities for United Kingdom businesses in each of the countries in central Asia, including Mongolia and the south Caucasus.[HL6658]
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: There are full UKTI services provided in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. In the other countries in central Asia, including Mongolia and the south Caucasus, political support is available to UK businesses.
The key sector offering opportunities for UK businesses in Azerbaijan is energy. There are also significant opportunities for British business in the financial services, infrastructure, retail, education and construction sectors.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Prime Minister or other ministers have visited countries in central Asia, including Mongolia and the south
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA282
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: There have been no recent visits to central Asia, south Caucasus or Mongolia by Ministers specifically to promote trade and investment, although all embassies are looking closely at commercial opportunities and how they can support British business. Ministers take every opportunity in multilateral fora and in other visits to support UK business.
The Deputy Prime Minister, accompanied by the Minister for Europe, visited Astana in Kazakhstan for the OSCE summit in December 2010. This provided a range of opportunities to promote British business. The then Minister for Energy in the previous Government visited Turkmenistan in early 2010 to promote UK expertise in the oil and gas sector.
The UK does not have a general trade MoU with Kazakhstan. However, the Kazakh British Trade and Industry Council (KBTIC) operates under a MoU concluded in 1994. KBTIC is led by the private sector and an action plan in the financial services, education, mining and minerals and nuclear sectors was agreed by the two sides in November 2010. This will be taken forward in the summer when the council next meets. We are keen to develop our bilateral relationship with Kazakhstan further and when an appropriate opportunity occurs, we will explore a trade MoU.
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): In 2010, the UK's top 10 export markets for goods were the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, France, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, China, and Sweden. Eight of these are members of the European Union.
In 2009, the UK's top 10 export markets for services were the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Australia. Six of these are members of the European Union.
Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: In 2009, UK exports of goods to the European Union were worth about £124 billion on a balance-of-payments basis, and exports of services about £66 billion, to give a total of £190 billion.
In 2010, UK exports of goods to the European Union were worth about £142 billion. Exports of services to the EU were worth about £49 billion in the first three quarters of 2010; an initial estimate of full-year figures is due to be published on 29 March.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 3 December 2010 (WA 506), whether employers can bring in an unlimited number of non-European Economic Area workers for up to a year using intra-company transfer visas if their earnings are between £24,000 and £40,000 per annum; what is the effect on the economy of allowing such migrants to compete with unemployed workers in the United Kingdom; and why such temporary posts require filling.[HL6784]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): We have exempted intra-company transfer visas from our annual limit in response to views expressed in our consultation. Salary thresholds are not the only condition attached to the intra-company transfer route. For example, transferees who are filling posts must have at least 12 months' previous experience with the company; the post must be on the list of graduate level occupations; and an intra-company transferee will not be able to return within 12 months of the expiry of his previous leave. This ensures that the route is used only to meet business needs for temporary posts that require established company knowledge and experience, not for posts that could be filled by a new recruit from the UK. It is for sponsoring employers to determine why such posts require filling.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on overseas students studying in the United Kingdom of the changes in visa policy proposed by the UK Border Agency, with particular reference to the Tier 1 post-study work visa and the Tier 4 student visa.[HL6804]
Baroness Neville-Jones: A consultation on the student immigration system closed on 31 January. It sought the views of all respondents on the effect of the proposals. The results and an impact assessment will be published in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 10 January (WA 423), why it would be inappropriate to comment on the details of Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly's activities in relation to the national origin of his passport or passports and visas; when they will permit that information to be made public; and what social security benefits were being paid to him before his death.[HL6936]
Baroness Neville-Jones: The Government cannot comment on individual immigration matters unless the subject themselves has made this information public. In any case, given the subject on this occasion is a matter of ongoing investigation by the Swedish authorities, it would be inappropriate for the Government to comment.
As for the issue of Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly's social security benefits, a deceased customer's benefit details will be released only to the executor of the estate, or a person so authorised by the executor or, where appropriate, a close relative.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 2 February (WA 280), why winter fuel payments are paid to persons residing in warm countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and not subject to European Union law; how many such people receive the payments outside EEA countries; and what is the annual cost.[HL6935]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Winter Fuel Payments are paid to former UK residents living in the European Economic Area and Switzerland if they qualified for a payment before leaving the UK.
Winter Fuel Payments may be made to people living outside the European Economic Area, if a person was eligible during the qualifying week but subsequently moved to a non-European Economic Area country. Such individuals would still receive payment for that year but there would be no continuing entitlement.
In 2009-10, the last year for which figures are available, fewer than 500 payments were made to people living outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland. Expenditure data for these payments is not available.
Baroness Rawlings: The Government support World Book Day's aim of encouraging children to explore the pleasures of books and reading. The promotion of literacy and the love of reading remain central to the purpose of the modern public library service, and events to celebrate World Book Day will be taking place in libraries across the country.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Young offender institutions in England and Wales provide offenders with three meals a day: normally
28 Feb 2011 : Column WA286
Educating all offenders, including young people, to eat a more healthy diet is key. Increasingly the National Offender Management Service is adopting a multi-disciplinary approach and working with the Department of Health, the Food Standards Agency and others to encourage individuals to eat more healthily.
The individual clinical needs of offenders are assessed by medical officers. Any additional necessary nutritional supplements would be given on the authority of the establishment medical practitioner.
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