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27 Jun 2011 : Column WA355

27 Jun 2011 : Column WA355

Written Answers

Monday 27 June 2011

Agriculture: Health and Safety


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The proposals contained in Lord Young's report Common Sense, Common Safety focus on reducing unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on business and have no immediate bearing on the health and safety record of the agricultural industry. The Government intend to implement Lord Young's recommendations in full, as confirmed at the 2011 Budget.

Agriculture will remain a focus for HSE and stakeholders in the sector as they work together to address the unacceptable health and safety record.

Armed Forces: Accommodation


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): I confirm that I will place in the Library of the House details of the en-suite and non-en-suite accommodation available in the United Kingdom for service men and women in the Army and Royal Navy. The information will be drawn from the annual audit of service accommodation.

Armed Forces: Aircraft


Asked by Lord Empey

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Harrier fleet is currently in storage and is receiving minimum maintenance including anti-deterioration measures to keep the aircraft in an airworthy condition for future sale. A number of disposal options are currently being considered for the Harrier airframes but no decisions have yet been made.



Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is the scientific body with the statutory role of advising Ministers on the list of prescribed diseases under the industrial injuries disablement benefit scheme, and in particular which diseases and occupations should be prescribed for industrial injuries scheme purposes.

The council has completed its review of osteoarthritis of the knee in construction workers which ended with publication of the Command Paper Osteoarthritis of the Knee in Carpet Fitters and Carpet and Floor Layers (Cm 7964) in November 2010 a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House of Lords. The council concluded that there was evidence strong enough to recommend including work as a carpet fitter or as a carpet layer or floor layer to the list of prescribed occupations for which IIDB could be paid for osteoarthritis of the knee (prescribed disease A14). There was insufficient evidence to support including any other occupations from the construction industry in the prescription for osteoarthritis of the knee.

IIAC, through its research working group and scientific adviser, regularly reviews the current scientific literature to see if the necessary evidence may have become available with regard to diseases and occupations not currently included, such as agricultural and horticultural workers, or if further consideration is required in respect of those already listed.

IIAC will revisit any subject if new, sound and consistent scientific evidence becomes available, and will be happy to receive any such evidence, including any in relation to horticulture and agriculture. The Government will give careful consideration to any advice the council may provide, and consider legislative proposals in the light of that advice.

Care Quality Commission


Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is not possible to answer the question in the format requested.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulation is increasingly based on a wide spectrum of information, including: the views of people who use services and members of staff; complaints and whistleblowing concerns; inspection visits; data sets (eg mortality and infection rates); and information from other regulators. This information is contained in a quality and risk profile (QRP) for each provider. QRPs are constantly updated and are used to identify problems and act as a prompt for further action.

Any concerns raised with the CQC by a member of the public or a whistleblower are added to the provider's QRP. This helps the CQC to:

spot problems or concerns in local services that it may need to act upon;make decisions about whether a service should be registered;monitor on an ongoing basis whether care services continue to meet the essential standards of quality and safety;look at how commissioners of services find out what services people need, and if money is being spent wisely to provide services in the local area; andcheck what providers tell CQC about their own performance.

Using the CQC's inspection guidance, the inspector responsible for oversight of the provider determines whether the issue requires an immediate response.

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

Earl Howe: All providers of regulated activities must meet requirements set out in regulations under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.

Regulation 13 of the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2010 requires a service provider to,

This regulation does not apply where the service provider is a local authority or a National Health Service body.

Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence.

Child Maintenance


Asked by Lord German

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Support for separating families already exists. The difficulty is that there are many issues to be addressed during separation and it can be difficult for parents-particularly at a time of distress-to access the information and support needed. Accessing support early is especially important for vulnerable parents.

The Green Paper, Strengthening Families, Promoting Parental Responsibility: The Future of Child Maintenance outlined our commitment that we will fast-track victims of domestic violence through the gateway to the statutory service and that they will also be exempt from the application charge. This is designed to minimise the impact that this process may invoke on these vulnerable people.

We also outlined plans to join up support for parents to make it easier for all parents to access all the information and support they need.

Exactly which support is joined up and how best to join up the support will be determined in discussion with the voluntary and community sector organisations who work with families and understand their needs. Alongside this, we also plan to test different support programmes to build the evidence base on what support works, and we plan to ask an external expert to help us with this work.

Our role, as a Government, is to facilitate the joining up of existing support so it is easier for people to access all of this support and that they are able to make a decision as to whether or not to use the statutory scheme. We plan to do this through web-based, phone-based and community-based face-to-face support.

We aim to publish the Government's response to the Green Paper shortly.

Children: Care


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The department collects statistics on looked after children living in family and friends' care through the SSDA903 statistical return, and on those who are not looked after but are in receipt of other children's services through the Children in Need (CIN) census.

There are no official figures on the number of grandparents caring for grandchildren. However, a study by the University of Bristol of the 2001 census, published on 16 June 2011, identified some 143,000 children living with family and friends' carers in England, of whom 44 per cent were living with a grandparent.

Children: Special Educational Needs


Asked by Lord Touhig

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): There is a robust framework of duties that place clear requirements on local authorities and schools in regard to co-ordinating provision for children with special educational needs (SEN). Alongside this, new inspection requirements, set out in the Education Bill, are quite explicit with regard to disability and SEN.

We are removing the overarching and high level Children Act "duty to co-operate" from schools and colleges but not from bodies such as health and the police which have the capacity and need to co-operate at a strategic level.

Cornwall: Stannary Law


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): I refer the noble lord to the Answers I gave on 11 May 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 214) and 6 June 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 30).

Crime: Homicide


Asked by Lord Tebbit

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Between 1963 and 2009-10 a total of 140 persons in England and Wales are known to have been killed by persons who had previously been convicted of homicide.

This figure excludes persons killed by those who may have previously been convicted outside England and Wales (for whom there is incomplete information) and persons killed by those not previously convicted of homicide by reason of their mental state.

Disabled People: Access to Work


Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The information requested is not routinely collected and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

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Asked by Baroness Goudie

Lord Freud: The Access to Work programme can fund the costs of an interpreter or advocate assisting a disabled person to communicate at an interview. There are no plans at present to extend the support available from the programme to cover the costs of travelling to an interview.

Education Maintenance Allowance


Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) which operates the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the noble Baroness with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.

Egypt and Tunisia


Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Baroness Verma: The G8 Deauville summit did not specify a total figure for assistance to Egypt and Tunisia, although the summit declaration on the Arab spring states that multilateral development banks could provide over $20 billion for Egypt and Tunisia in the period 2011-13. The UK is an important shareholder in most of these banks.

The UK has committed £110 million over four years to support Arab countries, beginning with Egypt and Tunisia, in their transition to free and democratic societies, in line with the Deauville partnership, which will support reforming governments to ensure that sustainable and inclusive economic growth and an accountable and transparent political process underpin transition. The Department for International Development will contribute £90 million of this money, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office contributing £20 million.

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Employment: Deaf People


Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Government have introduced welfare to work reforms which aim to fight poverty, support the most vulnerable and help people, including deaf people, to break any cycle of benefit dependency and to find employment.

Jobcentre Plus advisers will be given more responsibility to assess individuals' needs within local labour markets and to offer them the support they think is most appropriate, including a number of Get Britain Working measures, designed to provide help for those seeking work or to move into self-employment. The exact nature and range of help on offer, delivered in conjunction with local and national partner organisations, will vary from area to area as local managers have the discretion to deliver the services that they believe will help people in their area to secure work the most.

In addition, Jobcentre Plus is committed to helping disabled people find a suitable, sustainable job in their local area through the support it delivers through its network of disability employment advisers. Disability employment advisers can identify suitable job opportunities and act as an advocate on a customer's behalf with employers, if appropriate. They will also aim to identify work solutions that will overcome or minimise difficulties relating to a customer's disability and can signpost customers and their employers to the Access to Work Service. Jobcentre Plus also has specialist programmes that help disabled people move into paid work, such as residential training, or for those with the most complex support needs, Work Choice. Disability employment advisers also use the professional expertise of work psychologists specialising in working with disabled people, or refer people for occupational health assessment, if required.

Underpinning Get Britain Working is the introduction of the Work Programme which was launched on 1 June. The Work Programme will provide a single, personalised, welfare to work programme for all customer groups. It will be delivered through a combination of contracted employment provision via private, public and voluntary sectors as well as Jobcentre Plus-led service delivery. The Work Programme is a new approach to delivering employment-related support services. It will simplify the complex array of existing employment programmes and deliver coherent, integrated support more capable of dealing with complex and overlapping barriers to work, providing personalised help for people who find themselves out of work regardless of the benefit they claim.

Disability employment advisers will also be able to refer customers to Work Programme where appropriate.

On 9 June the Government published the independent report to Government by Liz Sayce, chief executive of RADAR, reviewing specialist disability employment programmes: Getting in, Staying in and Getting on.

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The report contains a range of specific recommendations, and the Government intend to consult on these before making any decisions. A full response and consultation will be issued in the summer.

Energy: Generation


Asked by Lord Rooker

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): A liberalised energy market has served the UK well with cheap and secure energy since the 1990s. However, new challenges call for careful but fundamental reform.

A quarter of our existing generation capacity will need replacing by 2020, as many nuclear and coal plants reach the end of their lives. In order to tackle climate change, the power sector needs to lead the decarbonisation of our economy. We must largely decarbonise this sector during the 2030s to keep us on track for meeting our climate change goals.

The aim of electricity market reform is to ensure that the right long-term signals are in place to enable cost-effective private sector investment in all forms of low-carbon generation while maintaining security of supply. It also aims to ensure the UK has a balanced portfolio of electricity generating assets-nuclear, renewables and CCS coal and gas-so we never become too reliant on one source of electricity. Over the long term the UK stands to benefit from cleaner, cheaper and more reliable sources of low-carbon energy. An estimated £110 billion of investment is needed in electricity generation and transmission to 2020 in Great Britain, of which around £70-75 billion is in generation.

We also need the public sector to lead the way in tacking climate change and this is why we have set government-wide targets on reducing carbon emissions across the central government estate.

The Government will set out their policy in the electricity market reform White Paper.

Energy: Shale Gas


Asked by Lord Moynihan

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The UK has a long history of onshore gas exploration. The technology-including hydraulic fracturing-is established practice and there is a strong regulatory safety and environmental regime in place to ensure that potential risks to safety or the environment are properly managed.

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The Government continue to closely regulate and monitor drilling activity, and do not currently see a need for a review of shale gas drilling activity and processes.

However, following the recent seismic tremors, my department had discussions with the operator, Cuadrilla, and agreed that a pause in operations is appropriate so that a better understanding can be gained of the cause of the seismic events experienced in Poulton-le-Fylde. A geomechanical study is being undertaken, along with further work by the British Geological Survey and Keele University. The implications of this information will be reviewed before any decision on the resumption of hydraulic fracture operations is made.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Lord Marland: A geomechanical study is being conducted, funded by the operator, Cuadrilla, along with further work by the British Geological Survey and Keele University. These will result in a better understanding of the cause of the seismic events experienced in Poulton-le-Fylde. This work recently commenced and is expected to take between 30-60 days. Upon completion, the operator's study will be published and the implications of this information will be reviewed before any decision on the resumption of hydraulic fracture operations is made.



Asked by Lord Chidgey

Baroness Verma: This year the Department for International Development (DfID) will provide around £25 million to assist Ethiopia in modernising its agriculture sector and market its produce. Our assistance includes: programmes that support the Government's agricultural extension system that provide skills and knowledge to farmers; programmes to increase access to microfinance; support to local government for rural roads that connect farmers to markets; and funding for the International Food Policy Research Institute to provide agriculture policy analysis. Each of the programmes will run until 2015.

As part of DfID's operational plan for Ethiopia, DfID will design new programmes in the areas of private sector development, climate change and support for the peripheral regions of Ethiopia that will further help to modernise the agriculture sector.

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EU: Trade Agreements


Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The EU-India free trade agreement is still under negotiation. As part of the ongoing negotiation, we are assessing the requests India has made in mode 4. We expect the agreement to be consistent with the increased minimum salary requirements for intra-company transfers recently introduced by the Government.



Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my noble friend, Baroness Wilcox, on 22 June (OfficialReport, col. WA 304).

Government Departments: Research and Data


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Rawlings: The information you have requested can be found in the following table:

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Project typeResearchData collections



Taking part longitudinal panel


Licensing statistics (moved to Home Office)




The Economic Contribution of the Communications Sector

Creative Industry (CI) Small/Medium Enterprises access to finance

Digital Radio cost-benefit analysis

Volunteering analysis via Culture and Sport Evidence programme (CASE)

CASE database update

Philanthropy research via CASE

CASE local profile tool

Analysis of Taking Part data

Broadband impact evaluation


Free swimming data


CI outputs

Taking Part survey

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): This information cannot be provided due to disproportionate costs.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Deputy Prime Minister's Office is located within the Cabinet Office. I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 23 June 2011.

Government Departments: Scientific Advisers


Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Attorney-General's Office does not have a Chief Scientific Adviser.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The post of departmental Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is currently vacant.

Until 31 May 2011, Professor Brian Collins was the BIS Chief Scientific Adviser. He was appointed in May 2008 for three years, working part time (0.4 full-time equivalent). He was a senior civil servant, pay band 2. Professor Collins met regularly with the Minister of State for Universities and Science and also provided advice to other Ministers depending on the issue.

Professor Collins was also the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Transport from May 2008 to 2011 and maintained an academic position at the University of Cranfield. He has extensive experience at a senior level in government, academia and commerce, including roles as International Director of Information Technology at Clifford Chance, Head of Information Systems at the Wellcome Trust and Director of Science and Technology at GCHQ.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Following an open recruitment campaign Professor Sir Mark Welland was appointed on 7 April 2008 at Permanent Under-Secretary level for a period of three years. This period was subsequently extended and now ends on 31 August

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2011. The post is part time (full-time equivalent of 0.8) which allows Sir Mark to spend one day a week to continue with his research at the University of Cambridge.

Sir Mark received a BSc in Physics from the University of Leeds in 1979; a PhD in Physics from the University of Bristol in 1984 and an MA from the University of Cambridge in 1988.

After a position as world trade visiting scientist at IBM research division in the USA from 1985 to 1986, Sir Mark was appointed to a lectureship in electrical engineering at the University of Cambridge where he is currently Professor of Nanotechnology researching into a broad range of both fundamental and applied problems. These include protein misfolding problems related to human disease, nanostructured materials for solar cells, biologically inspired functional nanomaterials, nanoelectronics and developing tools for fabrication and characterisation of nanostructures.

Sir Mark established the Nanoscience Centre at the University of Cambridge in 2003 and was made Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) in Nanotechnology funded through the Government's research councils in 2002. Sir Mark has been involved in a number of national and international reports on nanotechnology including the highly cited Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering report: Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties, published in 1994. He has substantive international connections in the USA, Japan, Europe, India and the Middle East; he has established and now co-directs the Science and Technology Research Centre at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and is international principal investigator of the recently established £100 million World Premier Research Institute in nanomaterials based in Tsukuba, Japan. He has given a number of prestigious lectures that include the Turing lecture, the Institute of Electrical Engineers and the British Computing Society, 2002; the Sterling Lecturer, annual appointment made by the Sterling group of Universities, 2003; the annual Materials Research Society of India lecture, Mumbai, India, 2006 and the Max Planck Society Lecture 2007, Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart, Germany, 2007.

Sir Mark was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2002. He is also a member of council of the Royal United Services Institute. In 2008 Sir Mark was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, India, as a foreign fellow in recognition of his contributions to science and engineering both generally and specifically in relation to his work in India.

During the past year Sir Mark has met regularly with my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Fox) and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Peter Luff).

Government Departments: Private Secretaries


Asked by Lord Laird

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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): An updated list of parliamentary private secretaries will be published in due course.

Gypsies and Travellers


Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The ministerial working group on preventing and tackling inequalities experienced by Gypsies and Travellers has met on two occasions to date-9 December 2010 and 21 March 2011, with a third meeting scheduled for 6 July. The group is looking at ways to address issues which have an adverse impact on these communities and agendas and working papers cover:

better engagement between Gypsies and Travellers and service providers;community-led promotion of small privately owned site development;identifying ways to improve health outcomes;community-led proposals to raise Gypsy and Traveller educational aspirations and encourage greater parental engagement and support for children to remain in the education system;better access and engagement with employment and benefits services; improving access to financial products and services; andtackling unlawful denial of access to commercial premises.

Health: Liver Disease


Asked by Baroness Randerson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Professor Martin Lombard, National Clinical Director for Liver Disease, is currently leading work with National Health Service and public health stakeholders to ensure that the response to the rising demand for liver disease services is adequate and supports improvement against the NHS outcomes framework and the public health outcomes framework (which is expected for publication in the autumn). No publication date for the liver disease strategy has yet been identified.

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Health: Malnutrition


Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Good nutrition is essential for health and well-being. Improved nutrition in the community, acute, residential and sheltered care settings requires working in partnership at a national, regional and local level.

The Government will retain responsibility for running national nutrition programmes, whilst local authorities would take on responsibility for locally led initiatives. The Government will publish a response to the Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Consultation on the Funding and Commissioning Routes for Public Health, later this year.

There are a number of initiatives in place to improve and sustain high-quality care of patients in hospital, including the essence of care benchmarking system, the productive ward series, the confidence in caring programme and the red tray scheme, which identifies patients at risk of poor nutrition for special attention.

The Government take this matter very seriously and we continue to discuss possible mechanisms for improvement.

Health: Mental Health


Asked by Baroness Hollins

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Care Quality Commission has 290 locations registered with the service type "Hospital services for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and problems with substance misuse" and the service user band (among others) of "Learning disabilities or autistic spectrum disorder".

One hundred and eighty two are National Health Service organisations and 108 are run by the remaining sectors which includes private, voluntary and local authority provision but this information is not further disaggregated.

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Health: Organ Donation


Asked by Baroness Randerson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Welsh Government have now announced that they will press ahead unilaterally with an Assembly Bill to attempt to change the existing system on organ donation and introduce an opt-out system of consent in Wales. The Government will examine thoroughly the detail of the Bill when it is introduced to the National Assembly.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is an arm's-length body with responsibility to implement government policy on blood and organ donation. However, the Government will consult NHSBT to seek its views, alongside those of the Human Tissue Authority and any other body that is relevant, on the Assembly Bill's implications when it is introduced.

Housing Benefit


Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): I have spoken with a number of people who have direct experience of housing benefit and will continue to do so as part of my ongoing ministerial engagement. I am committed to engaging with a number of organisations including local authorities, private landlord associations, housing associations, and homelessness organisations which work in this area.

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Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The detained fast-track process is a fundamental part of our immigration system as it allows fast, fair and sustainable decisions and saves the taxpayer money. There are no plans to end the detained fast-track process. The UK Border Agency is making improvements to the asylum system to ensure that cases are concluded faster, making better quality decisions and reducing costs.

Immigration: Detainees


Asked by Lord Tebbit

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The UK Border Agency uses the word "detainee" to describe anyone who is detained in this country at one of its immigration removal centres or at a prison under immigration powers. To the UK Border Agency's knowledge it is not used to refer to anyone who is prohibited from entering the country.

Asked by Lord Judd

Baroness Browning: We have noted the concerns published in the report and officials worked closely with Bail for Immigration Detainees among others during the child detention review and took their views and evidence into account in designing the new family returns process. We are not responding formally to the report.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Browning: The UK Border Agency does not record the information on compensation payments in a way which allows these payments to be disaggregated by cause.

The UK Border Agency's annual resource accounts will be published in July 2011 and will disclose by way of a note the total value of compensation payments made by the agency in the 2010-11 financial year.

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Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Browning: The Government do not consider that such an inquiry is necessary.

Decisions to detain persons under Immigration Act powers are taken after careful consideration by the UK Border Agency, taking full account of the individual circumstances of the persons concerned. The UK Border Agency's published guidance to staff involved in authorising detention makes it clear that individuals considered vulnerable should only be detained in exceptional circumstances. This includes individuals for whom there is independent evidence that they have been tortured.

Asked by Lord Avebury

Baroness Browning: The UK Border Agency takes health and well-being of those in its care very seriously. Where it is known that a detainee has a referral for a hospital appointment or treatment, he or she will not be transferred to another immigration removal centre in advance of that appointment unless in exceptional circumstances or in their best interests.

Asked by Lord Avebury

Baroness Browning: The UK Border Agency does not publish information relating to the nationalities of those it detains following a sentence of imprisonment. However, according to our quarterly publication of Control of Immigration Statistics figures of 31 March 2011, there were a total of 2,655 persons detained in immigration removal centres solely under Immigration Act powers, of which 50 were of Somali nationality.

These are individuals we are seeking to remove or deport from the UK and will include some form of foreign national prisoners.

Immigration: Detention of Children


Asked by Lord Hylton

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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The UK Border Agency has introduced a number of arrangements as a result of implementing Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 that will improve current provision for children within the immigration and asylum process. There are now around 60 safeguarding co-ordinators throughout the UK Border Agency with the role of raising awareness of and embedding best practice on children's issues throughout the agency. More than 13,000 staff members have now taken part in an online programme of training on safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Improved arrangements have been introduced in the way that we work with children and families, such as our approach in asylum screening, closer engagement with local authorities, improvements in our culture of care, and facilities such as child-friendly areas. Last year we announced the ending of detention of children for immigration purposes. This is now being put into effect by the introduction of a new process which focuses on engagement with families. There is now the opportunity for these stages of the immigration and asylum process to be adapted to the circumstances of individual families in an appropriate way.



Asked by Lord Chidgey

Baroness Verma: The Government are co-ordinating closely with the European External Action Service and European Commission, as well as with other actors including the United Nations, as the situation in Libya develops. The Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been in discussion with the European Union about possible support for the Libyan people, including on security sector reform. They will continue to co-ordinate with the EU, both at headquarters and on the ground, to ensure a joined-up approach to stabilisation in Libya, and will draw on Stabilisation Unit resources as appropriate.

Media: Local Television


Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: The Government expect to publish their final proposals for local television in a statement in July 2011. This will set out the framework for viable local services, the expected timescales and processes involved.

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Mortgage Lenders


Asked by Baroness Randerson

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Council of Mortgage Lenders issued guidance for its members on the role of Law of Property Act (LPA) receivers on 21 February 2011. The guidance is available on the CML website at uk/cml/policy/guidance. The guidance has no regulatory status.

The obligations of LPA receivers to borrowers are enforceable through the courts under the general civil law. The Government have no plans to change the law relating to these obligations but are keeping the situation under review.

Museums and Galleries: Governance


Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: The Government have no plans to change the governance of national museums and galleries.

NHS: Foundation Trusts


Asked by Lord Reid of Cardowan

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Our expectation is that in the future, each National Health Service trust will become a foundation trust (FT), part of an existing FT or will be subject to another organisational form. Each NHS trust is currently working on a tripartite formal agreement with their strategic health authority and the department. Once the agreements have been signed by all parties, they will be published locally. We will then have a clearer picture of when each NHS trust will submit their FT application and expects to achieve FT status.

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NHS: Reform


Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A high-level organogram reflecting the Government's proposals for modernising the National Health Service was published on page 39 of the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. The document has already been placed in the Library and is also available at: H_117353.

Since the White Paper was published in July 2010, the lines of responsibility between the department and the proposed and existing NHS and regulatory bodies have not changed. However, we announced in our response to the NHS Future Forum that general practitioner commissioning consortia would in future be called clinical commissioning groups, and that there would be clinical senates and clinical networks to advise commissioners. These would be hosted by the NHS Commissioning Board rather than being organisations in their own right.

Offenders: Work


Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): All providers of community payback including private sector companies (unpaid work) are required to deliver services in line with the specification and operating manual. The manual provides guidance on the way in which the diverse needs of offenders should be matched to suitable work placements. It requires that sufficient group and individual placements are made available for female offenders. It is also a requirement that offenders who are pregnant or new mothers are carefully considered and subject to risk assessment.

Olympic Games 2012


Asked by Lord Tebbit

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Baroness Garden of Frognal: Members of the Libyan Government, including their head of state, are subject to international travel bans and would not be able to travel to the EU, including the UK, to attend the Olympics.

Overseas Aid


Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: The UK's total operational plan commitment for Nepal is £331 million from 2011 to 2015. Of this, the Department for International Development (DfID) will provide up to £66 million of support to health and HIV/AIDS .

This will include up to £46 million in financial and technical support to the five-year national health plan, which runs from 2010 to 2015. Nepal aims to meet millennium development goal 5 on maternal health, with 60 per cent of all births attended by health workers with the right skills, 49 per cent of emergency obstetric care need met by the health system, and 90 per cent of all pregnant women receiving iron supplementation by 2015.

We will also provide up to £16 million of support to improve access by women to family planning. Worldwide, effective family planning has been shown to contribute significantly to declines in maternal mortality, as women have fewer unplanned pregnancies and are less likely to seek unsafe abortions.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

Baroness Verma: We agree with the humanitarian emergency response review led by Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon that the private sector represents a huge source of capacity and expertise to reduce suffering and help communities in the aftermath of a disaster. In Haiti, for example, Digicel, the main telecoms provider, gave free credit worth £10 million to its 2 million subscribers allowing them to keep in touch with family and friends. It also prepaid its taxes to local government to give them extra resource.

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DfID already has important relationships with private sector actors providing transportation, logistics and expert assistance in disaster relief. We will become more active and focus on those areas where private sector actors have specific comparative advantages, for instance when responding to disasters in an urban area. By building up relationships pre-disaster as part of our resilience and preparedness work we will ensure rapid deployment is possible once a disaster has struck.



Asked by Baroness Randerson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): There are no plans to increase the level of payments from the Financial Assistance Scheme, which already pays assistance at 90 per cent of a scheme member's expected pension, subject to an annual cap, which is broadly equivalent to the level of PPF compensation.

The Government are currently consulting on draft regulations which would extend the Financial Assistance Scheme qualifying conditions. This change would extend Financial Assistance Scheme eligibility to certain closed defined benefit schemes which were being supported by an employer that did not meet the statutory definition of employer on 10 June 2011, and had not begun to wind up by 22 December 2008. Schemes in this position would not currently be eligible for the Pension Protection Fund or qualify for help from the Financial Assistance Scheme.

Police: Armed Unit


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The management, command and deployment of armed officers is a matter for individual chief officers. The Government have no plans to create a central armed police unit for England.

Police: Elected Commissioners


Asked by Lord Touhig

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The Government are committed to ensuring that police and crime commissioners are supported by clear and co-ordinated national arrangements. The

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National Crime Agency will be at the centre of the reformed policing landscape, connecting the efforts of local police forces and their regional teams with national agencies and action overseas. It will have the authority to undertake tasking and co-ordination of the police to ensure that the appropriate and prioritised action is taken against criminals at the right level led by the right law enforcement agency.

This will be underpinned by the Home Secretary's strategic policing requirement, provided for within the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill. This will ensure that both police and crime commissioners and chief officers balance national policing responsibilities alongside local priorities.

Collaboration between forces will be an important part of this, and the Bill removes obstacles to effective collaboration and places strong duties on chief constables and police and crime commissioners to collaborate with those of other forces.

Public Libraries


Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: It is a matter for library authorities to decide how to arrange their public library service in order to meet local needs, and they are not obliged to consult or inform the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport about their plans. While we continue to monitor proposals about changes to library services across England through information gathered by correspondence, media coverage and relevant bodies such as the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, it would not be possible to provide a definitive picture of libraries whose opening hours are either being reduced or facing closure because implementation of proposals is still to be finalised.

Schools: Closures


Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): All academy and free school proposals are assessed to determine their viability before the Secretary of State decides whether to enter into a funding agreement. That agreement sets out the respective roles and responsibilities for all parties, including the Secretary of State. It allows for the agreement to be terminated in the event of insolvency and for the orderly transfer of business to a new provider. Should such circumstances arise, the primary concern of the Secretary of State would be to protect the interests of pupils and ensure continuity of education.

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In practice the YPLA, on behalf of the Secretary of State, would work with any academy which was at risk of financial failure to ensure it had a remedial action plan in place well in advance of its financial situation becoming critical.

Schools: Free Schools


Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): To date, eight proposals have been approved to business case stage and beyond for free schools that intend to open in September 2012. A further application round for groups seeking to establish a free school in 2012 ended at the beginning of June. We will be assessing these applications during the summer, with a view to announcing further 2012 projects that have been approved to move to the next stage of development this September.

South Wales Police


Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The information requested is not available.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery. Holding a mobile phone while driving (without using it) is not a criminal offence; the only relevant offence is the offence of using a mobile phone while driving, which is not a notifiable offence.

Sport: Supporters' Trusts


Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The recent events have been disappointing and the sentiments expressed cannot be condoned. However, it is important that decisions do not distract from the central task of helping supporters to become more involved in the running of their clubs.

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So, it is pleasing to learn that the Football Stadia Improvement Fund has been clear that funding will still be available to supporter' trusts. The Minister for Sport and the Olympics is reassured that the new acting chief executive has met the fund and understands that a new funding application will be welcomed.



Asked by Lord Fearn

Baroness Rawlings: According to data published by the Office for National Statistics, the number of overseas visitors to England and Wales in 2009 and 2010 was as follows:

YearEngland (million)Wales (million)







Data for overseas visitors in the first quarter of 2011 will be published on 15 July 2011.



Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Verma: The UK has regular discussions on its development assistance to Zimbabwe with a large range of partners, including parts of the Government of Zimbabwe. This helps to maximise the impact of our support through aligning it closely with the support of others and where we judge it appropriate the Government's own policy priorities. To that extent the Government of Zimbabwe can have an influence over the direction of development assistance and vice versa. But the Zimbabwean Government do not hold any control over development assistance provided by the UK.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Verma: Trusted partners include international organisations such as UNICEF and the African Development Bank, non-governmental organisations

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such as Oxfam and commercial companies like Crown Agents. All our partners have robust monitoring and financial accounting systems to ensure that our development assistance reaches its intended recipients.

In 2011-12, about £36 million of Department for International Development (DfID) funds will be directed towards improving access to health and education

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services. This support will deliver vital medicines to millions of Zimbabweans, extend access to family planning commodities such as condoms and reduce the number of women dying during childbirth. It will also increase in the number of girls and boys who complete five years of primary school and help provide 8 million text books to children in secondary school.

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