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The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): There is no special status for legislation which applies to Cornwall or to Cornish localities. There were provisions in 19th century primary legislation relating to the stannaries, but these have largely been repealed. Stannary customary law was formerly enforced through the Stannaries Court, but that court was abolished and its jurisdiction transferred to the county courts of Cornwall in consequence of the Stannaries Court (Abolition) Act 1896. That body of customary law has not been systematically repealed but it is likely that such law has been superseded by modern legislation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Verma on 12 May, what parliamentary scrutiny has taken place over the decision to transfer responsibility for charging from the Crown Prosecution Service back to the police for some offences.[HL9180]
The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The chief executive of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) explained the transfer of responsibility to the police, for charging in certain further offences, when he gave evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee in January 2011. The issue of statutory charging has also been raised in a number of Parliamentary Questions during recent years.
Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the CPS was given the power to charge, although the police retained the responsibility to charge in the more minor cases, which made up around two-thirds of the overall casework. The detailed division of responsibility for charging is set out in the Director of Public Prosecutions' Guidance on Charging, which is regularly updated. Since implementation, the issue of statutory charging has been the subject of review, most recently in the reports on police bureaucracy from Sir Ronnie Flanagan and Jan Berry. The Association of Chief Police Officers and the CPS agreed a programme of work in response and this included piloting the return of certain further offences to the police in 2010. The pilots were subject to a careful evaluation process that concluded in agreement to a national rollout, which will be completed at the end of June this year. The Home Secretary recently announced that further cases are to be returned to the police to charge following agreement between the CPS and ACPO. This will be the subject of a further pilot and evaluation. It is important to note that the CPS will remain responsible for the charging decision in the most serious and complex cases, and all cases charged by the police will be reviewed by the CPS following charge in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The situation for women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains a serious concern and we monitor the situation closely. Women continue to face unacceptably high levels of sexual violence with limited access to justice and healthcare as reported by non-governmental
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA31
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), is to table information on unpaid parking fines and congestion charge payments in June 2011, as part of the annual Written Ministerial Statement on offences and debts.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to ensure wide consultation with disabled people and their organisations on the report on implementation in the United Kingdom of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People; and what other action they are considering. [HL9309]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) co-ordinates the Government's progress report on implementation of the convention, from regular meetings with a group of disabled people's organisations, chaired by the UK Disabled People's Council (UKDPC), and from a virtual network of other disabled people's organisations. ODI has worked with government departments and the devolved Administrations to consider the issues that these organisations raised when preparing their contributions to the draft report, and in their future work.
On 16 May a draft report was placed on ODI's website for public comment, and informed disabled people's organisations and other stakeholders about it. Government departments and the devolved Administrations will review their contributions to the report in the light of the views expressed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the proposed national strategy for rare diseases will address the need for the research and development of orphan medicines. [HL9497]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government welcome the opportunity that the 2009 European Council recommendation on a European action in the field of rare diseases presents for gathering expertise, exchanging information and best practice between member states. The department is working with the devolved Administrations and key stakeholders in developing the United Kingdom's plan for rare disease, and will ensure that the area of research and development is adequately addressed in the plan. The plan will be finalised by 2013 in line with the European Council recommendation.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Subject to the passage of the Education Bill, schools will be under a duty to secure access to independent careers guidance for all pupils in years 9 to 11 from September 2012. All guidance must be presented in an impartial manner and in the best interests of the pupils concerned. This summer, we will consult on extending the duty to young people up to the age of 18 studying in schools and further education institutions.
Schools will be free to determine how best to fulfil this duty based on the needs of their pupils but the careers guidance must include information on apprenticeships alongside all other 16-18 education or training options. A range of high quality sources of information on apprenticeships are widely available including those produced by the National Apprenticeship Service.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Jobcentre Plus provides careers guidance as part of work focused
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA33
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The available information is given in the table. This shows the number and proportion of teachers gaining qualified teacher status via postgraduate college based initial teacher training courses specialising in classics, in each year since 1998-99.
|Teachers gaining qualified teacher status via postgraduate college based courses|
|Academic Years: 1998-99 to 2008-09|
|Secondary ITT||% teachers gaining QTS specialising in Classics|
|Total||of which Classics|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of those qualifying with a postgraduate certificate of education in classics in England in each year since 1990 have taken their first post in (a) a state comprehensive, and (b) a fee-paying school. [HL9276]
Lord Hill of Oareford: The available information is given in the table. This shows the number and proportion of classics teachers who were employed in a teaching post within six months of gaining qualified teacher status (QTS).
|Teachers gaining QTS via postgraduate college based courses in Classics: Employment status six months after gaining QTS|
|Academic Years: 1998-99 to 2008-09|
|Teachers gaining QTS in Classics||Of which (number):||Of which (number):|
|In teaching post-maintained sector||In teaching post-non-maintained sector||In teaching post-sector not know||Other||In teaching post-maintained sector||In teaching post-non-maintained sector||In teaching post-sector not known||Other|
To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) which colleges in England offer a postgraduate certificate of education in classics, (b) how many students each trained in 2009-10, (c) how many they are training currently, and (d) how many are expected to be trained in the next academic year.[HL9278]
Lord Hill of Oareford: The table shows the number of postgraduate classics initial teacher training places allocated to mainstream providers in 2009-10 and 2010-11, together with the number of recruits in these years.
|Mainstream providers offering postgraduate initial teacher training courses in Classics|
|Academic Years: 2009-10 to 2011-12|
|Number of allocated places||Number of new entrants||Number of allocated places||Number of new entrants||Number of allocated places|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to work with international partners to increase the political priority given to ensuring that girls across the world are able to complete a basic education.[HL9401]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development led international support for the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) and we continue to support UNGEI to help ensure that commitments translate into meaningful results. We also work with the World Bank and the Education For All Fast Track Initiative, in addition to co-ordinating with our donor partners and partner countries to help ensure that education, including education for girls, remains a priority.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the quality of teaching in countries in which they have a bilateral aid programme in order to ensure that more girls stay in school and complete their education.[HL9402]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) is placing the empowerment of girls and women at the heart of the UK's development policy. An additional year of female schooling reduces the probability of child mortality by 5 to 10 per cent and increases female earnings by 10 to 20 per cent.
DfID is supporting all countries where we have education programmes to develop plans for recruiting, training and retaining teachers. DfID provides technical expertise and guidance to partner countries to help ensure that teacher training is of high quality and that teachers are responsive to the needs of all their students, especially girls.
As stated in UK Aid: Changing Lives, Delivering Results we pledge to support at least 9 million children in primary school, over half of whom will be girls, and 2 million children in secondary school by 2014.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures of education outcomes they plan to use to evaluate the success of United Kingdom efforts to ensure that more girls receive a quality education in the developing world.[HL9403]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) is committed to helping retain girls in education through to lower secondary. Completion of a full cycle of primary education will be tracked, as a key indicator, in each of our partner countries where we have education programmes. We recognise the importance of ensuring that girls and boys are not just in school, but learning. DfID is already working with partner governments to measure early grade reading as a proxy for learning in many of the countries in which we have education programmes.
As stated in UK Aid: Changing Lives, Delivering Results we pledge to support at least 9 million children in primary school, over half of whom will be girls, and 2 million children in secondary school by 2014.
Baroness Verma: Department for International Development (DfID) Ministers and officials are in regular contact with their donor partner and European Union (EU) counterparts to help ensure that education, including education for girls, remains a high priority. DfID played a key role in the task team that drafted the EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development. A DfID official seconded to work on education policy at the European Commission led the development of a staff working document, More and Better Education in Developing Countries.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): There were violent clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt on 7 and 9 May 2011, leaving up to 15 dead and over 250 people injured. Peaceful demonstrations about these events were attacked on 15 May 2011 by unidentified gunmen, again resulting in injuries.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), condemned this violence in a Statement to Parliament on 16 May 2011. He called on both sides to find a peaceful resolution to their differences and welcomed the fact that many in Egypt had been appalled by the violence. The noble Baroness, Lady Ashton, issued a statement on behalf of the EU condemning the clashes on 7 May 2011.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), visited Egypt on 1-2 May 2011. He raised his concerns about the dangers of extremism and sectarianism in Egypt with the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Field Marshal Tantawi, and with the Prime Minister.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): A simple calculation, which divides total storage capacity by average daily UK gas consumption in 2010, yields a
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA38
Shippers, whose responsibility it is to ensure inputs and off-takes into the transmission system are exactly balanced, are incentivised to do so through the cash-out regime, which ensures they are charged at the system marginal price to the extent they are out of balance. Storage is one of a number of flexibility tools available to shippers to meet this balance; there are other supply side tools, such as imports from a diverse range of routes (LNG from global markets, pipeline from Norway and the Continent, domestic production) as well as demand-side measures-such as entering into interruptible contracts with their customers, or fuel-switching in the power sector. The extent to which shippers rely on any of these tools is a commercial matter, and a potential source of competitive advantage.
Government have brought forward proposals to sharpen these commercial incentives through Clause 79 of the current Energy Bill. Subject to parliamentary approval, the clause would confer on Ofgem the ability to make changes to the cash-out regime to reduce the duration, likelihood and severity of a gas supply emergency. In so doing, this should help underpin commercial demand for additional flexibility options, such as holding more gas in store.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 26 April (WA 43), what aspects of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's guidance relating to the requirement on public authorities to provide information on the race, disability, gender, age breakdown and distribution of their workforces will be revised to take account of the 17 March policy review paper on those duties.[HL9209]
Baroness Verma: The Equality and Human Rights Commission will be revising its draft guidance comprehensively to take account of the final draft regulations, which will be laid before Parliament in due course.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what enforcement measures they intend to put in place to ensure that egg producers in European Union member states who will not be compliant with the 1999 European Union Directive on the welfare of laying hens by 1 January 2012 are not able to sell their products in the United Kingdom.[HL9400]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): We wish to protect compliant producers from any competitive disadvantage of illegal production in other member states or indeed the UK. The Secretary of State has urged the Commission to put additional enforcement measures in place at European Union level to prevent market disturbance.
One of the options proposed at a stakeholder meeting in Brussels in January 2011 was for the introduction of a time-limited intra-Community trade ban which would restrict the sale of eggs and egg products which continue to be produced from conventional cages after 2012 from being exported outside that member state's border. This and other options are still under consideration by the Commission's legal services.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support the European Commission's recommendation for a dairy package which would allow member states to introduce minimum legal standards for milk contracts.[HL9399]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): We can accept much of the European Commission's Dairy Package as currently drafted. With regard to the proposals on contracts, the Government agree with the Commission that member states should be free to decide whether to make them compulsory. We can also accept the proposals on inter-branch organisations and transparency, so long as these do not create additional burden, have funding implications, or distort inter-state trade.
Under the Commission proposals, milk producers could also collaborate and set up producer organisations. This would be a good opportunity to enhance their bargaining power. As for the scale of negotiations
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA40
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 13 May (WA 251), whether they are aware of any threats by the Greek Government in 2004 to veto the accession to the European Union of the countries of central and eastern Europe unless the island of Cyprus was admitted as the "Republic of Cyprus"; and whether they consider that such a threat would have constituted a breach of European Union rules.[HL9266]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government are not aware of any threat by the Greek Government to veto the accession to the European Union of the countries of central and eastern Europe after the Treaty of Accession was signed in 2003. Decisions to admit new member states to the EU are taken by unanimity.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Warner on 9 October 2006 (WA 38), (a) when and in what form guidance was issued to Strategic Health Authorities about monitoring appropriate health indices relating to the effects of existing water fluoridation schemes; and (b) how many health monitoring schemes are now in operation.[HL9238]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A duty to monitor the effects of fluoridation on persons living in areas covered by fluoridation schemes was inserted in Section 90 A of the Water Industry Act 1991 by the Water Act 2003. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) were required to publish a report on the results of the monitoring at four yearly intervals. This section of the Act was commenced in February 2009 but, as the order which applied the provisions of the Act to the existing pre-1985 fluoridation schemes was not made until March 2010, the first reports are not due until March 2014. We have just undertaken a consultation with academic experts on the indicators which might be monitored. We shall be issuing guidance to SHAs after considering the comments received. Public Health Observatories already publish health profiles with overviews of health for each local authority. These show no significant variation
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA41
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Warner on 24 March 2006 (WA 88) and Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 October 2007 (WA 146), (a) what high quality research into the association of water fluoridation with infant mortality, congenital defects, bone problems and IQ they have carried out as recommended in section 12.4 of the 2000 report of the York systematic review; and (b) which part of the Written Answer of 24 March 2006 is a quotation from the Department of Health report on Health and Human Subjects 41 in 1994, and which part forms a commitment to research, and whether they will reissue the Written Answer accordingly.[HL9239]
Earl Howe: Following publication of the York report, the department funded the Medical Research Council to identify areas of uncertainty regarding the balance of benefits and risks of water fluoridation, and to make appropriate recommendations for research to address these uncertainties. The department has since funded the School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University to compare the bioavailability of fluoride in naturally fluoridated water with artificially fluoridated water. Currently, the School of Dentistry at Manchester University is investigating the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis with funds from the NHS National Institute for Health Research. We are also considering an evaluation of a new fluoridation scheme to address further recommendations in the York report to strengthen the evidence base on fluoridation. The quotation from the report on Health and Human Subjects 41 ends at "....a further wide safety margin above the more usual fluoride intakes in fluoridated areas".
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that the Forced Marriage Unit's current review considers measures to extend the statutory guidance to all agencies in all parts of the country. [HL9344]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage applies to all persons and bodies in England and Wales who exercise public functions in relation to safeguarding children and adults. It also applies to third parties who exercise public functions on behalf of those persons or bodies.
The review intends to evaluate how agencies have applied the strategic principles for dealing with forced marriage as set out within the guidance, with a view to identifying patterns, good practice and possible areas for improvement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide more support to enable and encourage teachers to protect children against the risks of forced marriage; and whether they will ask Ofsted to have particular regard to the implementation of the statutory guidance on forced marriage in assessing school arrangements.[HL9345]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government already provide considerable support to protect children against the risk of forced marriage, which is a serious form of child abuse. The joint Home Office/Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), which was launched in January 2005, provides advice to teachers in schools. The FMU produced statutory guidance on Forced Marriage in 2008 (revised 2010); revised multi-agency practice guidelines on handling cases of forced marriage in 2009; and supplementary guidelines on handling cases of forced marriage involving persons with learning disabilities in 2010. The guidance documents are targeted at Front-line practitioners and volunteers.
In schools, the risks relating to forced marriage are principally, although not exclusively, explored within personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). An internal review into PSHE will determine how we can support schools to improve the quality of all PSHE teaching. It is for individual schools to decide how to address forced marriage issues, according to the needs of their pupils.
The Government are committed to refocusing school inspection around the core areas of pupil achievement, teaching, leadership and behaviour safety. The issue of forced marriage may be relevant to inspectors' evaluation of schools' arrangements for keeping pupils safe. If concerns are brought to the attention of inspectors they will be expected to satisfy themselves that the school is doing everything it can to support pupils. There are no plans to ask Ofsted to consider compliance with statutory guidance on forced marriage as part of every school inspection or for forced marriage to be covered specifically as a discrete aspect of an inspection.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Depending on the context and the circumstances, the term "foreign country" would normally be interpreted as meaning a country outside the UK and the Commonwealth. The term can be given a specific meaning in legislation;
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA43
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the past three years, how many applications for a gangmaster licence have been for businesses with (a) 1-2 employees, (b) 3-5 employees, (c) 6-15 employees, and (d) over 16 employees.[HL9385]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) does not hold figures for the number of workers employed by licence holders as it does not use this information when processing licence applications. However, the GLA does hold information on the size of the financial turnover in the regulated sectors for each business that holds a gangmasters licence as it is this that determines the level of the licence fee charged.
|Annual Turnover in the GLA regulated sector||Fee Band|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will give consideration to exempting rural fencing contractors from the provisions of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 under Section 3(5) of that Act.[HL9386]
Lord Henley: The Government have no plans to exempt rural fencing contractors from the provisions of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. However, fencing contractors already benefit from an exclusion from licensing in the Gangmasters Licensing (Exclusions) Regulations 2010 provided they use directly employed workers to operate, or support the operation of powered machinery they own or lease.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no records of a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister visiting either Nauru or Tuvalu.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the comparative rates for the occurrence of all cancers in airline crews, farmers, and Gulf War Veterans as a percentage of the whole population within the age range 25 to 55 years for each of the past 10 years. [HL9624]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question, asking what are the comparative rates for occurrence of all cancers in airline crews, farmers and Gulf War Veterans as percentage of the whole population within the age range 25 to 55 years for each of the past 10 years. [HL9624]
ONS publishes figures on the comparative risk of death from various causes, including cancer, by occupational group. These reports are available on the National Statistics web site at: www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vink=1624
The Health and Safety Executive publishes information on certain cancers which are linked to occupational exposures. The latest report is available at: www.hse. gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr800.htm.
The latest published figures on the incidence of cancer in England are available on the National Statistics website at: www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme health/mbl-39/mbl-no39-2008.pdf.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are no plans to legislate for the provision of chiropody services. It is
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA45
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the range and number of NHS hydrotherapy pools available to NHS patients; whether pools are available in all regions in England; and to what extent existing public or private pools are available for the use of NHS patients.[HL9331]
National Health Service organisations will decide locally on the provision of hydrotherapy pools based on the clinical needs of their patients. The decision will be informed by their strategies for responding to those needs and the local availability of hydrotherapy pools, both public and private.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Podiatrists are regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC) and certain podiatrists who have completed post-registration education and training do carry out some surgical tasks. The title "podiatric surgeon" is not protected in law but should a podiatrist carry out such surgical tasks without appropriate training and experience then they are at risk of action from the HPC, for acting outside of their scope of practice. The HPC has taken such action in the past.
All healthcare professionals, including podiatrists, who perform surgery in England are required to register with the Care Quality Commission, except where providing nail surgery and nail bed procedures on any area of the foot, and the curettage, cautery or cryocautery of warts, verrucae or other skin lesions on any area of the foot.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Where possible, ingredients and produce used in all catering outlets in the House are sourced from the United Kingdom. Ninety per cent of all meat products come from the United Kingdom and all fish products are sourced from sustainable stocks. Fruit and vegetables are sourced from the United Kingdom when in season, although some of the popular produce has to be sourced from abroad when out of season.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Catering and Retail Services (CRS) use a number of fair trade branded products which include the standard tea bags used in all outlets (excluding the fruit or speciality teas), drinking chocolate, sugar sachets, some chocolate confectionery products and bananas (when available from the market).
Furthermore, CRS also uses other methods of ethical sourcing. The range of finest teas served in the Peers' Dining Room is sourced from an ethically responsible supplier which gives an assurance that it uses fair trade principles. The filter, bulk brew and espresso coffee supplied to all outlets is UTZ certified, which provides an assurance of responsible coffee production. However, there are a number of coffee pod products used for speciality coffees which are not fair trade.
To ask the Leader of the House whether the forthcoming debate on the Government's proposals for reform of the House of Lords will end in a vote, so that it is possible for the Lords' members of the Joint Committee scrutinising the Draft Bill and White Paper to be appointed to reflect accurately the views of the House as a whole.[HL9366]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The forthcoming debate on the Government's proposals for reform of the House of Lords set out in Cm 8077 will take place on a Motion to take note of those proposals. Such Motions are usually agreed to (Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords, Para. 6.54). The debate has been scheduled in order to provide an opportunity for those Members participating in the debate to put their views on record.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): It is estimated that in Tower Hamlets 1,150 claimants were receiving the Shared Accommodation Rate of Local Housing Allowance in March 2010.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 13 May (WA 250) concerning criteria for their recognition of states, what are the international
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA48
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): All states have obligations under the human rights treaties to which they are a party. All states are also bound by peremptory norms of international law (for example, the prohibition against torture) even if they are not party to a particular treaty containing such a peremptory norm. If a state does not comply with its human rights obligations, the Government can and do, when appropriate, raise their concerns with the Government of the state concerned.
Lord Howell of Guildford: We have a regular dialogue with the Holy See on human rights issues. Over the past 12 months our embassy to the Holy See has discussed a range of issues with its Holy See interlocutors, including questions of religious freedom, discrimination against minorities, and the rights of women.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of the United States to honour the guarantees they gave as an occupying power in 2003 to the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.[HL9427]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have no plans to make representations to the United States of America. The United States of America handed over responsibility for Camp Ashraf to the Iraqi Government in January 2009. We and our international partners continue to monitor events in Camp Ashraf closely and we have expressed our strong concerns to the Iraqi Government about the recent events and the appalling loss of life and injury that ensued.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the killing of Palestinian refugees on Nakba Day by Israeli forces; and what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel regarding this.[HL9549]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Demonstrations took place in many countries across the Middle East on the weekend of 13-15 May 2011. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA49
"I am deeply concerned by the violence on Israel's borders today and saddened by the loss of life. I call on all parties to exercise restraint and ensure that civilian life is protected. These developments make clearer than ever that a lasting and comprehensive resolution to the conflicts in the region is urgently needed and will only be achieved through negotiation".
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are aware of reports alleging the torture of Javid Houtan Kian and his sentencing to seven years in jail with a further four-year suspended sentence. We are working to verify this information with international partners, but if true, both constitute gross violations of Mr Kian's human rights. Mr Kian was a court-appointed lawyer simply defending his client to the best of his ability. The harassment he and his family have been subject to is entirely unacceptable and should cease. We raised his case with the Iranian Embassy in London on 18 May 2011.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the value in United States dollars of oil exported by the Government of Libya since the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.[HL9114]
Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK does not hold comprehensive information on countries that have imported oil from Libya since the passing of UNSCR 1973. The Libyan Government and any importing states are best positioned to provide the detail required.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the international community's response to the United Nations' Flash Appeal for Libya; and what contributions they will make to support this humanitarian work.[HL9591]
Baroness Verma: The United Nations Flash Appeal for Libya is currently 46 per cent funded. Many Western and Arab countries have already provided generous support and we continue to press others to ensure that everyone contributes their share.
The UK is currently the third largest contributor to the Flash Appeal. We have helped fly home more than 12,700 migrant workers who fled Libya, provided emergency shelter for up to 12,000 people who have been displaced by fighting, and funded the emergency evacuation of around 5,000 people from Misurata. Our humanitarian assistance has also helped pay for the supply of urgently needed food, medical supplies and medical personnel.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost to public funds of the prosecution brought by the Attorney General against Lindis Percy for alleged trespass, which was dismissed by the District Judge at Bury Magistrates' Court on 5 April 2011. [HL9303]
The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): Lindis Percy was prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) after consent had been given by the Attorney General's for the prosecution to take place. It is estimated that the prosecution's costs in this case will be in the region of £945. This figure relates to counsel advocacy costs and does not include staff or running costs, which are attributable to the operation of the CPS as a whole and cannot be assessed on an individual case basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the case brought by the Attorney General against Lindis Percy for alleged trespass, who paid for the return flight from Nevada of the key US military witness, Kyler Sherman Brown; and whether any other persons from the United States had travel costs paid to attend this case.[HL9304]
Lord Wallace of Tankerness: Senior Airman Brown was flown back from the United States to give evidence. All costs of flight and overnight accommodation were met by the United States Air Force (USAF). There were accordingly no additional costs incurred by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in calling him as a witness. Given the occupations, nationalities and location of the other witnesses called, no travel expenses were paid by the CPS.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with their international partners the status of ancient churches in the Middle East; and whether representations should be made to national Governments regarding measures to protect minorities. [HL9204]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The effective promotion of human rights, including religious freedom, is at the very heart of our foreign policy. We will continue to raise freedom of religion or belief with other Governments when necessary. We will also work in the UN and with other international organisations to uphold universal standard, including the status of churches in the middle east. The UK will continue to defend the right of all people to practise their religion or belief freely.
All of our embassies and high commissions have a responsibility to monitor and raise human rights in their host countries. Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff routinely raise our concerns with host Governments and where possible they take action on individual cases and lobby for changes in discriminatory practices and laws.
Lord Shutt of Greetland: During the 2010-11 financial year the Northern Ireland Office made reward and recognition payments totalling £13,650 to staff working in the department through the in-year Reward and Recognition scheme. The reward payments were made to 39 members of staff.
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The department will reduce its baseline budget by 25 per cent during the Spending Review Period as agreed with HM Treasury. This will include reductions in staff salary and related costs.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what taxi journeys paid for by the office were made by staff of the Northern Ireland Office on Friday 13 May; from where to where; at what cost; for what reasons; and who authorised the expense.[HL9511]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: There was one taxi journey paid for by the Northern Ireland Office on Friday 13 May. The journey was from Belfast (residential address) to Stormont House. The cost was £4.35. The journey was made for work-related purposes and was authorised by the relevant line manager.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Andrew Mitchell, on 5 April (Official Report, Commons, col. 58WS), for each financial year from 2005-06 to the present what was the annual funding for (a) Peacekeeping (non-official development assistance (ODA)), (b) Conflict Pool total, (c) ODA conflict pool funding, (d) non-ODA conflict pool, and (e) total settlement, divided into (1) non-ODA, and (2) ODA.[HL9548]
Baroness Verma: The Government have only reported Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Peacekeeping Budget since Financial Year 2006-07. Since then, the amount of ODA reported from the Peacekeeping Budget has increased, in line with changes to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Development Assistance Committee's (OECD DAC) guidelines on what can be reported as ODA and as a result of more systematic reporting.
The Conflict Pool as it is currently structured has only existed since Financial Year 2009-10. Until Financial Year 2007-08, the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool (ACPP), which was part of the Department for International Development's baseline, and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP), which was part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's baseline, were separate budgets. Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the ACPP and GCPP was aggregated with Departments' own ODA reporting; the ODA figures for Financial Years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 in the table above are therefore estimated. At the start of Financial Year 2008-09, a new joint conflict resources settlement merged the ACPP and GCPP into a single Conflict Prevention Pool and created a new instrument, the Stabilisation Aid Fund (SAF), which provided resources for stabilisation activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The SAF was merged into the Conflict Prevention Pool the following financial year and a single Conflict Pool was established. ODA and non-ODA figures for Financial Year 2010-11 are provisional. Final ODA figures for the Conflict Pool and the
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA53
|Conflict Expenditure, 2005-2010 (£m)|
|FY 05/06||FY 06/07||FY 07/08||FY 08/09||FY 09/10||FY 10/11|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of United Kingdom official development assistance was allocated to OECD DAC codes 15230 (participation in peacekeeping operations) and 15220 (civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution) in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2007-08, and (c) 2009-10 .[HL9592]
Baroness Verma: Details of UK Official Development Assistance are published on the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) website www.oecd.org/dac and are available to download from their online database at http://stats.oecd.org/qwids/. The relevant figures are reproduced below.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of United Kingdom official development assistance is allocated to OECD DAC codes 15230 (participation in peacekeeping operations) and 15220 (civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution) in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2013-14, and (c) 2015-16. [HL9593]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing a requirement that all British passport holders register with the Home Office Identity and Passport Service details of any valid non-British passports that they hold.[HL9000]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): There are no current proposals to introduce a requirement for British passport holders to provide the Identity and Passport Service with details of any valid non-British passports held simultaneously. The key information of the name, date of birth, place of birth and photograph of a person holding a British and a non-British passport will be the same.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that United Kingdom experience in the implementation of human trafficking legislation and its enforcement, since the United Kingdom's ratification of the United Nations human trafficking protocol, will be shared with enforcement agencies in India.[HL9244]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We warmly welcome the recent announcement that the Government of India has ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its three protocols, including the protocol on human trafficking. We hope that this will provide additional momentum to the Government of India's efforts to fight human trafficking and to ensure that the provisions of the protocol are enforced effectively.
We support co-operation between UK and Indian enforcement agencies in a range of areas and will continue to engage the Indian authorities on measures to combat human trafficking and illegal immigration, including offering UK experience and expertise where appropriate.
The UK Government are committed to working with international partners to address the problem of human trafficking. The issue was raised with the Government of India at the last EU-India Human Rights dialogue, held on 22 March 2011. The EU is currently funding three major anti-trafficking projects in India (and neighbouring countries) with local partners through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Our High Commission in New Delhi is involved in a pilot project to improve the exchange of information between agencies dealing with the prevention of trafficking and the rehabilitation of
6 Jun 2011 : Column WA56
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The Government's forthcoming strategy on human trafficking will set out the steps we will take to strengthen our response, including how we will improve co-ordination of law enforcement efforts in the UK.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is currently taking a number of actions to increase the number of successful prosecutions for human trafficking, including encouraging victims of trafficking to engage with criminal proceedings. The CPS will shortly be publishing a public policy statement on how they deal with victims of human trafficking. This will provide information for practitioners and the public on what can be done to protect and support victims who decide to give evidence.
The CPS is also working with other jurisdictions through joint investigation teams to target trafficking chains and to develop improved co-operation with other jurisdictions to allow for better mutual legal assistance.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the progress of the International Contact Group towards resolving the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Government of the Philippines; what the annual budget of the group is; how much the United Kingdom has contributed to the group in terms of cash or personnel; and how long they expect the group will have to continue working.[HL9479]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The International Contact Group (ICG) continues to support the resolution of the conflict between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Government of the Philippines as the peace talks continue.
The UK is one of four state members of the ICG. The ICG consists of four impartial states and a number of non-state organisations and was set up to complement the Malaysian facilitation of the peace process and to offer impartial advice and international oversight to both sides. The Government of the Philippines and MILF signed an accord on 15 September 2009 to form the ICG. This accord was one of the three accords required for official peace talks to proceed.
Both peace panels have expressed their ongoing support for the work of the ICG, and have thanked UK for its involvement. Both sides have reiterated that the role of the ICG should continue to be as a support mechanism and a validation of the process. The ICG does not act as a facilitator.
The ICG has no budget. ICG members are responsible for finding the resources necessary for their individual commitments. Membership does not entail any commitment of additional funding for project work or development assistance.
We have no personnel working exclusively on the ICG. Where invited by the Facilitator and peace panels, a UK official attends each session of peace talks in Kuala Lumpur. This is either a Kuala Lumpur based diplomat or a Manila based diplomat. There have been two rounds of talks so far in 2011. The UK contributes no cash funding to the ICG.
ICG members may review their commitment as appropriate. Further, when a final peace agreement is reached, the ICG, Facilitator, MILF and Government of the Philippines should review its role and membership.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the possibility raised by Mr Janez Potocnik, European Union Environmental Commissioner, of a European Union-wide ban on plastic carrier bags.[HL9454]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Commission is currently consulting on a number of possible options for the reduction in the use of plastic carrier bags.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 18 May (WA 352), when the scoping review on the future needs of medical facilities at RAF Valley began; when it is expected to be completed; and what further work will then be undertaken.[HL9436]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The scoping review on the future needs of medical facilities at RAF Valley began in January 201 1 and is expected to complete in the summer. Following this work. it is anticipated that an assessment study will be initiated, which will consider options for the way forward including, for example, the need to refurbish, rebuild or outsource alternative medical facilities. No decisions have been taken pending the outcome of this work.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 26 April (WA 94), on what basis the decision was taken to oppose the Re-Export Controls Bill being referred to a Second Reading Committee in the House of Commons; and whether previous precedents of Private Members' Bills being referred to such a Committee were considered.[HL9428]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): As I stated in my reply of 26 April, I regret that the Government are unable to support the Re-export Controls Bill during its Commons stage, and the motion to refer the Bill to a Second Reading Committee was not supported on that basis. I can confirm that precedents for such referrals were considered as part of that decision.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 26 April (WA 94), what discussions they had with (a) ministerial colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and (b) other ministerial colleagues, prior to taking their decision to oppose a Motion to refer the Re-Export Controls Bill to a Second Reading Committee.[HL9429]
Baroness Wilcox: Mark Prisk is the Minister for export controls and I have worked with him on the Government's response to the Re-export Controls Bill. The appropriate Cabinet Committee clearance was obtained before I expressed my reservations about the Bill on 3 December.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 26 April (WA 94), what was the evidential basis for the reservations expressed by Baroness Wilcox about the Re-Export Controls Bill on 3 December 2010; and who was consulted prior to those reservations being expressed.[HL9431]
Baroness Wilcox: Discussions on arms export controls take place between EU member states in the Council Working Group on Conventional Arms and between participating states in the Wassenaar arrangement. The information we have received from our EU partners with regards to re-export controls has informed the evidence base for our position on the Re-Export Controls Bill.
The UK export control system, while administered by the Export Control Organisation within BIS, is a cross-Whitehall effort involving the FCO, MoD and other Government Departments. The FCO was consulted, alongside the appropriate Cabinet Committee, before I expressed reservations about the Bill on 3 December.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 26 April (WA 94), whether they will reconsider their decision to oppose a Motion in the House of Commons to refer the Re-Export Controls Bill to a Second Reading Committee.[HL9432]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): A comprehensive list of Regional Development Agency (RDA) owned land and property assets can be found in the Library of the House. RDA boards remain responsible for determining which RDA assets are subject to disposal. They have put forward proposals, to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), to dispose of around 20 per cent of their land and property assets, in the short term and on the open market, as part of an orderly wind down. This information has been made public via the BIS website and the Library of the House. In many instances these assets would have been sold in any event as the RDAs have long established programmes of bringing properties to market when development is completed.
A schedule of assets disposed of by the North West Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, Yorkshire Forward and One North East since May 2010 and to whom will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the litter problem caused by wrappings from fast-food outlets, they will consider imposing a tax on such outlets to cover the cost of retrieving and disposing of that litter.[HL9441]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): There are no plans at present to impose a tax on fast-food outlets to cover the cost of retrieving and disposing of wrappings litter.
The Government also believe that behaviour change is a vital element in overcoming the issue of littering, and is working closely with the charity Keep Britain Tidy, for example through the Love Where You Live campaign funded by business.
Lord Shutt of Greetland: A full breakdown of the cost of the Rosemary Nelson inquiry is available on the Northern Ireland Office website www.nio.gov.uk.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what grants (a) the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (b) the Environment Agency, (c) Natural England, and (d) the Forestry Commission have given to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds over each of the past five years.[HL9398]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The table below represents payments made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds over each of the last five years and the description identifies the programme objective. To identify specific grant payments within these would incur disproportionate cost.
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