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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 10 March (WA 425), how much funding was given to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for its review The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion; what conditions were attached to this funding; and on what basis the funding was given. [HL7691]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): As a result of a recommendation from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee in 2007, the department commissioned the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) to carry out an independent, systematic review of the evidence on induced abortion. The RCOG was given £50,000 funding to review and update the 2004 version of the guideline The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion, and work started on the project in December 2009. A number of conditions were placed on the funding. These were that the review would not consider the ethical or moral issues associated with abortion, that the reviews of the 1997 RCOG working party report on foetal awareness and 1996 guidance on Termination of Pregnancy for Fetal Abnormality would feed into and inform the guidance and that the RCOG will share the final guidance with the department ahead of publication. The date of publication would be agreed by the department and the RCOG.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 10 March (WA 425), why the Department for Health will not be asked to agree or endorse the final contents of the review The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion; on what basis this decision was made; and by whom.[HL7692]
In commissioning clinical guidelines from organisations such as the RCOG, we are clear from the outset that the work is independent of government and it is therefore not appropriate for the department to agree or endorse the final contents of the review.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Between 1 June and 31 August 2010 there were eight incidents of heat illness to UK forces in infantry roles on Op Herrick that resulted in the need to attend the UK hospital at Camp Bastion.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Under the terms of the gas supply licence, suppliers are required to provide customers with gas safety information at least once a year. Ofgem monitors suppliers' compliance with licence conditions and can take enforcement action where required.
Ofgem has also set up a working group to encourage the gas distribution network companies to consider a range of carbon monoxide awareness initiatives. Trials, which will start shortly, will look at a variety of methods for protecting customers from carbon monoxide poisoning. The outcome of these trials will help define specific outputs which the distribution companies will have to deliver as part of the next price control in April 2013.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) assesses the effectiveness of consumer awareness campaigns by the gas safe register through a series of key performance indicators (KPIs). These include specific targets to raise awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and latest survey results show that 80 per cent of consumers were aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and steps they could take to protect themselves.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which issues of non-compliance have been raised with them by the European Commission about infraction proceedings in respect of the Channel Tunnel concessionaires and the First Railway Package.[HL7169]
Earl Attlee: The European Commission has raised a range of issues relating to the implementation and transposition of the First Railway Package (Directives 91/440/EEC as amended, 95/18/EC as amended and 2001/14/EC), as far as these relate to the Channel Tunnel.
These concern the independence of the infrastructure manager from any railway operator; the separation of profit and loss accounts and balance sheets for businesses relating to infrastructure management from those of transport services; the charging scheme and framework for setting charges; the independence, powers and international co-operation of the regulatory body; and the fairness of capacity allocation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the European Parliament's proposal to prohibit the use of uncovered sovereign debt credit default swaps, and the likely impact on credit provision and risk management.[HL7604]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In September 2010, the European Commission published a draft proposal on short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps. This is currently being considered by the European Parliament and member states. The Government are seeking to ensure that the proposals, including those on uncovered sovereign credit default swaps, are proportionate and do not lead to unforeseen circumstances.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Four hundred and sixty four bids have been received in round 1 of the regional growth fund. Of these, 62 bids have been received from the east Midlands. A summary of bids received in round 1 of the regional growth fund is available on the BIS website at www.bis.gov.uk/RGF.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 6 April 2010 (WA 393) and by Earl Howe on 8 March (WA 389), what answers were provided by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in response to an e-mail on 17 August 2004 by Dr Bob Spink MP whilst sitting on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, in
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Correspondence sent to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and replies sent in response are matters for the HFEA. The HFEA is an independent statutory regulatory body and details of the correspondence it receives are not held centrally by the department. For these reasons, Ministers cannot comment on the content of such correspondence.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is permitted for healthcare professionals to gain financially by preparing a patient in the United Kingdom to travel abroad for treatment that involves activities prohibited by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended).[HL7859]
Earl Howe: As I stated in my Written Answer of 16 March 2011 (Official Report, cols. WA 62-63) no activities prohibited by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, may be carried out within the United Kingdom, even if they are to prepare a patient to travel abroad to continue their treatment. However, the 1990 Act cannot be invoked to prevent healthcare professionals taking part in activities that are not prohibited by its provisions; nor can it be used to prevent healthcare professionals gaining financially from the provision of such healthcare services.
As I also stated in my Written Answers of 16 March 2011 and 8 March 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 389) where National Health Service resources and facilities are to be used for any private practice, the healthcare professionals involved must first have the approval of the NHS trust.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether former employees of primary care trusts or regional development agencies who secure other public sector employment not subject to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations are also eligible for redundancy payments.[HL7610]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many chief executives of regional development agencies or primary care trusts have received redundancy payments and secured other public sector posts not subject to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations since 1 April 2010.[HL7611]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Regional development agency (RDA) staff who are made redundant are entitled to receive redundancy payments at the time of redundancy in accordance with prevailing contractual and statutory provisions. Whether such a payment is repayable, either as a whole or in part, in the event of re-employment in the public sector is determined by the Civil Service Compensation Scheme and depends both on the length of time between redundancy and re-employment and the part of the public sector re-engaging the person. In the event of an individual subsequently being made redundant again, redundancy would be payable in accordance with either contractual or statutory terms. No RDA chief executive was made redundant between 1 April 2010 and 10 March 2011.
The Department of Health advises that primary care trust (PCT) employees who have obtained suitable alternative employment with the same or another NHS employer within four weeks of their termination date are not entitled to an NHS redundancy payment or early retirement on the grounds of redundancy. Where a PCT employee obtains alternative employment with another public sector organisation, they are entitled to an NHS redundancy payment. In respect of the re-employment of PCT chief executives in the public sector, the Department of Health advises that it does not collect this information centrally.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Marland on 16 February (WA 170), whether the Department for Energy and Climate Change will use loans as part of its four-year innovation delivery plan.[HL7924]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): DECC intends to design technology interventions that meet specific innovation needs and offer value for money. A range of interventions will need to be considered, and loans are one possible type.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government consider that the Holford rules form the basis of a common-sense approach to be applied to the potential routeing of new overhead electricity lines. As such the rules are included in the revised draft National Policy Statement for Electricity Networks Infrastructure (EN-5). The Government have carefully reviewed the
24 Mar 2011 : Column WA200
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Prices paid by consumers for transport fuels, domestic gas and heating oil are all unaffected by the traded value of carbon. The price of carbon allowances is a cost borne by electricity generators that we assume to be fully passed to consumers though their electricity bills.
The exact relationship between the traded carbon price and the electricity price depends on the generation mix at the time. The cost of carbon allowances are currently estimated to make up around 5 per cent of consumer electricity prices. A relatively large change in carbon prices will have a small impact on consumer prices because carbon costs constitute such a small part of the final bill.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the new national planning policy framework maintains a high level of protection for national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.[HL7791]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The coalition agreement commits the Government to maintain the green belt, sites of special scientific interest and other environmental designations. This will include protecting national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Forensic Science Service has provided data relating to the number of cases it has worked on, as well as the number of PACE and crime scene DNA samples it has analysed for each year in the period
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Crime scene stains (or BF4 samples) are samples recovered from volume (non-serious) crimes such as car crimes and low-level thefts in which there are no suspects, in the hope of obtaining a DNA profile to load to the NDNAD to try and identify a suspect.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which Permanent Secretaries the Cabinet Secretary has met to discuss the implementation of departmental business plans; and on what dates those meetings took place. [HL8012]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what level of display energy certificate was awarded to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs building at Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, in each of the past three years.[HL7882]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The display energy certificates for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs building at Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, in each of the past three years for 2008, 2009 and 2010 are listed below:2010 display energy certificate rating level is E, with a score of 116;2009 display energy certificate rating level is E, with a score of 113; and2008 display energy certificate rating level is E, with a score of 106.
Whilst this demonstrates a very slight increase over the past three years, this must be considered in the context of an increase of the occupancy level of this building as staff have relocated from other buildings. This is part of Defra's estate reduction strategy.
These performance data and more details on display energy certificates and other energy efficiency details can be found at: http://www.ogc.gov.uk/government_ delivery_display_energy_certificate_data.asp.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the functions transferred from non-departmental public bodies, next steps and trading fund agencies to government departments will be administered transparently, will be subject to targets and budgets, and will have responsible officials known and accountable to the public, Ministers and Parliament.[HL7476]
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Departmental implementation planning, with support from the Cabinet Office, will ensure that functions from public bodies transferred to government departments will be carried out effectively, and that successor arrangements are subject to the Government's transparency agenda.
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what circumstances Ministers are entitled not to accept the advice of the Attorney-General on the legal obligations of the United Kingdom under European Union law.[HL7833]
The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): A Minister of the Crown may seek advice from the Law Officers on any legal question, including those arising under EU law. It is for Ministers to decide how to act on that advice. In doing so, Ministers are subject to their overarching duty to comply with the law, including EU law, as noted in paragraph 1.2 of the Ministerial Code.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the impact on public expenditure of capitalisation by local authorities; and what guidance they have provided on this since the 2004 guidance note by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which stated that "capitalisation does not of itself increase public expenditure".[HL7613]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): As set out in the department's capitalisation guidance for 2011-12, capitalisation scores as revenue expenditure in the national accounts. It therefore impacts directly on the deficit reduction programme. The guidance is available on the department's website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/ localgovernment/capitalisationguidance201112.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to ensure that the allocation of additional 3G spectrum encourages fair competition in the United Kingdom mobile communications market.[HL7672]
Baroness Rawlings: The recent direction to Ofcom requires that Ofcom carries out a competition assessment to inform the design of the auction. Whilst the design of the auction is a matter for Ofcom, it will be consulting on its proposals shortly and I would anticipate that Ofcom will address the issue of encouraging fair competition in the UK mobile communications market through that consultation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): United Kingdom National Health Service productivity has been measured by the Office for National Statistics on an annual basis since 1995. The Centre for Health Economics at York
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Productivity is calculated as the ratio of the growth in the volume of outputs, adjusted for some measures of quality, to the growth in the volume of inputs. Output is a count of the activities undertaken by the NHS, weighted by their average costs. The volume of inputs is estimated by deflating spend on staff, intermediate goods and services and capital. Adjustments are also made to account for the fact that NHS activities are valued higher than their cost and include waiting times, survival rates, outcomes from interventions in primary care and patient experience.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will upgrade the east coast main line between Leeds and Berwick-Upon-Tweed so that when HS2 is completed a top class conventional railway is available for the high speed trains to continue the journey northwards.[HL7643]
Earl Attlee: The Government's proposed high speed rail strategy, on which they are currently consulting, would include a link from a new high-speed rail network on to the existing east coast main line to enable through-running high-speed trains to continue beyond Leeds to destinations further north.
In the longer term, as the national infrastructure plan sets out, the Government propose to continue development of the high-speed rail network and rail connections between the north and south of the country to further reduce journey times.
Proposals for further upgrading of the east coast main line will be considered by the Department for Transport along with other enhancement proposals as part of the work to inform investment decisions in the next railway control period beginning in 2014.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): There is no reliable estimate of the red squirrel population in the UK. It is difficult to obtain an accurate figure as the number of squirrels per hectare varies considerably, as a result of environmental factors such as food supply, weather conditions and breeding success.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Department for Education is collecting this information on behalf of Her Majesty's Government. I shall write to the noble Baroness with the information before the House rises for Easter Recess.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): On 16 February the Home Secretary announced plans to consult on proposals to further strengthen the management of sex offenders and to close existing loopholes in the legislation, including making it compulsory for registered sex offenders to notify the police of all foreign travel. The consultation will also seek views on proposals to require a registered sex offender to notify the authorities if they are residing in a household where there is a child or children under the age of 18 and to notify weekly if they do not have a permanent address. And the rules will be tightened so that sex offenders can no longer avoid being on the register when they change their name (including by deed poll). The consultation will be launched shortly, and we anticipate that the necessary legislative changes will be brought into force by the end of the year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will require the Crown Prosecution Service to review the use and efficacy of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003; whether they will ask the Director of Public Prosecutions to report on action taken since his review of the case of PM in Gloucestershire; and whether they will place copies of both reviews in the Library of the House.[HL7822]
The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): There are currently no plans to review the use and efficacy of Section 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. At the instigation of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), an internal review was carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) into the case of PM, and it was conducted by the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Gloucestershire. The internal review was not intended for publication, but I have been advised that as a result of the review, a number of lessons have been learnt. All CPS lawyers and their managers across the south-west have been advised that any similar requests for advice from the police should be referred to the regional Complex Casework Unit for assistance and guidance. Furthermore, the DPP has ensured that legal guidance on international inquiries available to all CPS staff in England and Wales has been substantially updated to ensure that the service provided nationally is consistent with CPS core quality standards.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Marland on 16 March 2011 (WA 63), what are the estimated set-up costs and annual running costs of the Single Community Registry; and who will pay those costs.[HL7861]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The set-up costs and the annual running costs of the Single European Community Registry will be paid for by the European Commission from within existing budgets.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not currently publish statistics on corporation tax (CT) paid by the banking sector. HMRC does publish historical financial services sector CT receipts, which will include the banking sector. This information is updated regularly and published in table 11.1, on the HMRC National Statistics website. The latest update is available here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate _tax/table11_1.pdf.
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