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To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to provide professional development and career opportunities, both inside and outside the Navy, for Navy fixed-wing pilots whose jobs no longer exist as a result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review; and how this compares with the RAF Harrier pilots in the equivalent situation. [HL10367]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): All Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots previously employed on the Harrier have been re-employed in flying or flying-related appointments within their respective services. These appointments allow the pilots similar career opportunities and professional development as other RN and RAF pilots.
RN pilots remain eligible for redundancy under the Armed Forces redundancy scheme. If selected, pilots will receive the normal resettlement support and training to help transition into civilian life. In respect of opportunities outside of the RN, a scheme providing targeted assistance for pilots to start a second career in the civilian aviation sector has been extended to include pilots who may leave the service under redundancy terms.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many officers, non-commissioned officers and servicemen and women have resigned or opted not to extend their engagements in 2009, 2010 and the first six months of 2011.[HL10370]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The following table lists those service personnel who have voluntarily left the Armed Forces in 2009, 2010 and up to 30 April 2011.
|Service||1 Jan-31 Dec 2009(1)||1 Jan-31 Dec 2010||1 Jan-30 Apr 2011|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Browning on 16 June (WA 203-4), whether they intend to address the statistical gap in relation to the unavailability of data on the numbers of asylum applications since 1997 (a) that have been accepted, and (b) where the applicants were otherwise permitted to remain in the United Kingdom.[HL10599]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Historically, data prior to April 2000 (asylum applications) and May 2000 (asylum initial decisions) were derived from manual counts of cases as they arrived and when decisions were taken and only relate to principal applicants. It would not be possible to generate the necessary statistics for these earlier years.
Generating statistics for between April 2000 (asylum applications)/May 2000 (asylum initial decisions) and 2004 for dependants and information on asylum applications from later years that have been accepted or been otherwise permitted to remain would involve matching databases which would be difficult, costly and time consuming and could not be done within existing resources.
The United Kingdom does not yet have full controls in place for people leaving the country, so information is not available on the number of these asylum seekers and dependants currently residing in the United Kingdom.
Data on numbers of principal asylum applicants between 2004 and 2009, as at May 2010 (tables provided in my answers to PQs HL8059 and HL9144), granted asylum, humanitarian protection and discretionary leave at initial decision and appeal are also available in the published tables of the Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2009. This does not include applications accepted at other stages of the process or those permitted to remain outside of the asylum process. This publication is available in the Library of the House and the Home Office Science website at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued to the UK Border Agency regarding the appropriateness of returning people of Nuba ethnicity to Sudan, in the light of reports of violent attacks targeted at that group.[HL10626]
All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual circumstances in light of the latest country information. Those found to need international protection will be granted asylum or another form of leave. If claims are refused, applicants have a right of appeal to the immigration courts.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fairness of the trial in Bahrain, before a military security court, of doctors and nurses, which resulted in two life-imprisonment sentences.[HL10421]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our embassy has been able to attend some of the many trials currently taking place in the national safety courts, including the trials of the 48 medical staff. Our primary concerns in the legal process have been the methods of arrest, early access to legal counsel, allegations of abuse in detention, methods of interrogation, alleged coerced confessions, the charges brought against defendants, and the implications that medical professionals may not be allowed to carry out their duties without fear of recrimination.
In the hearings we attended, the judging panel appeared to give due attention to the points raised by the defence and prosecution teams. One key difference between the national safety trials and the civil court hearings we observed is that the defendants have had
6 July 2011 : Column WA60
Lord Howell of Guildford: The national dialogue in Bahrain began on 2 July with an initial meeting and address by the chair of the national dialogue, the speaker of the National Assembly Mr Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani. The participants agreed that the dialogue would cover four main themes: political, economic, human rights and social issues. A range of political societies, civil and non-governmental organisations, prominent figures within the kingdom of Bahrain and the media attended.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current total expenditure on all major welfare benefits, including housing benefit and council tax benefit, by benefit type for the latest year for which figures are available.[HL10493]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the percentage expenditure of Gross Domestic Product devoted to all major welfare benefits, including housing benefit and council tax benefit, for the latest year for which figures are available; and how this compares with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.[HL10495]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total annual expenditure on all major welfare benefits, including housing benefit and council tax benefit, for each financial year since 1997, by (a) cash amounts, (b) real terms costs in 2010 prices, and (c) as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product. [HL10496]
Comparable OECD figures are not available, because of differences in individual countries' welfare systems. However, some information on OECD countries' welfare spending may be found at: http://www.oecd.org/els/social/indicators/SAG.
DWP benefit expenditure information can be found at the following website: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/index.php?paqe=expenditure.
DDP figures quoted are taken from the HM Treasury website as below. Please refer to this for more information regarding these figures http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/data_gdp_fig.htm.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the fact that 81 per cent of publicly funded home care is now provided by the independent sector, what assessment they have made of the Equality and Human Rights Commission's suggestion that independent providers of home care for older people may be operating outside the reach of the Human Rights Act 1998; and what plans they have to bring independent social care workers working in the home, or in care homes, within the social care regulatory framework.[HL10396]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, private companies which are exercising public functions will also be public authorities within the Act in respect of those functions. If a public authority of this kind has breached convention rights, a claim can be brought against it.
The vetting and barring scheme (VBS) already provides arrangements to bar those who pose a risk to vulnerable people from working in the sector. Social care workers are within the scope of the VBS and will continue to be when the scheme is remodelled as proposed in the Protection of Freedoms Bill, which is currently before Parliament.
However, ensuring that people are protected from abuse is also a key responsibility of employers, through effective training, good supervision of staff and robust disciplinary procedures to deal with misconduct. To support employers in their duties, the Government are committed to introducing, subject to parliamentary approval, a system of assured voluntary registration for unregulated workers, including social care workers in England, as a lever to improve quality and further safeguard people who use services.
In addition, care providers of regulated activities are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, in accordance with statutory regulations. Providers must comply with these requirements to ensure the quality and safety of care. This includes ensuring care workers are appropriately trained and experienced and that service users are safeguarded from abuse and neglect.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Freud on 23 June (Official Report, col. 1385), what is the recent research about the impact of in-kind support on the child poverty referred to.[HL10630]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): In my earlier Answer I restated our position that using income transfers alone is not the way to solve poverty and that a comprehensive approach is required. Thinking beyond income transfers to in-kind support is supported by the recent OECD report Doing Better for Families which highlighted that child poverty is lowest in those countries with strong service and childcare-based interventions.
Our child poverty strategy demonstrates that we are making a sustained, long-term attempt to lift people out of not only poverty of income but poverty of aspiration and poverty of outcomes. We have maintained funding for Sure Start, with a refocused core offer that supports disadvantaged families, introduced new grants for the most disadvantaged young people through the fairness premium and the 16-19 bursary fund, and our welfare reforms are also based on the principle that work is key to reducing poverty.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, made a Written Ministerial Statement on 14 October 2010 (Official Report, col. 36WS) setting out why court users surveys would not be commissioned for 2010-11.
In April 2011 Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) and the Tribunals Service came together to form a new integrated agency, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). To have commissioned surveys for 2010-11 for the two agencies that were soon to close would not have represented good value for money, as the results would have been of limited use and would not have been available until after the creation of the new integrated agency.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Witness and Victim Experience Survey (WAVES) was a useful source of information on victims' and witnesses' experiences of the criminal justice system. However, following a review, it was concluded that although WAVES provided valuable information on a subset of victims and witnesses, the department's future evidence requirements would best be met through alternative approaches, and the survey was ended.
The main reasons for this were that the principal findings from WAVES were stable over time, and the survey excluded some victim and witness groups of interest, such as domestic violence and sexual offences, victims and witnesses aged under 18, and cases that resulted in an out-of-court disposal or remained undetected. The data collected from WAVES are still relevant and continue to be analysed and used. Alternative methods for measuring victim and witness experiences are currently being explored by analysts within the department.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 3.32 in the Government's response to the reports by Sir Peter North and the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on Drink and Drunk Driving, what progress has been made on the Home Office specification for an approved portable evidential breath testing device; and what they envisage as the timetable for its publication. [HL10632]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Browning on 21 June (WA 275), whether they have made any assessment of the balance between cost savings achieved by
6 July 2011 : Column WA64
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): No such assessment has been made because the function which is undertaken outside the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom is the responsibility of Capita under the terms of the contract, which was originally fully evaluated through competition in accordance with EU procurement rules and regulations. The contract requires Capita to ensure the compliance of all its subcontractors, wherever they may be based, with all relevant provisions of the contract, including those relating to data protection.
Additionally, site visits have been undertaken on behalf of the Criminal Records Bureau by an appropriate security consultant, to ensure the appropriateness of the information assurance governance arrangements and assurance was given following these visits.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent contact they have had with Motability about the Motability scheme; what the outcome was; and what action they have taken or will be taking as a result.[HL10399]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Motability is an independent charity and is wholly responsible for the policies and overseeing the administration of the Motability scheme.
The Department for Work and Pensions regularly meets with Motability to discuss the performance of the specialised vehicles fund, which Motability administers on its behalf, and to discuss the Motability scheme more generally. These discussions are helpful to both parties in order to ensure that the scheme, in which disabled people can use their disability living allowance to lease a vehicle, gives personal mobility on terms which represent value for money and meet the needs of disabled people. Senior governors and directors of Motability have also met with DWP Ministers for similar discussions about the specialised vehicles fund, the Motability scheme and a wide range of mobility and transport issues.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The Home Office has not made a formal assessment of the correlation between the prohibition of controlled substances and the market for controlled drugs.
Previous research commissioned by the Home Office in 2007, The Illicit Drug Trade in the United Kingdom, provided some qualitative insight into the operation of illegal drug markets, including an indication that enforcement action taken against the trafficking of illegal drugs increased their price.
Controlling drugs that cause harm is a key part of our efforts to protect the public, not least vulnerable people, and to meet our obligations under the international conventions on reducing drug misuse and drug trafficking.
To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) on what date the HM Treasury consultation Relaunching the Northern Ireland Economy was originally due to close; (b) whether that date has now changed, and, if so, why, and on what date the consultation is now due to close; and (c) how this change, if any, was communicated to the Northern Ireland public. [HL10535]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The HM Treasury consultation Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy was originally due to close on 24 June 2011. The consultation closing date has now been extended to 8 July 2011. The consultation deadline has been extended to ensure all interested parties have sufficient time to submit a response. This includes attendees at a high-level consultation meeting, which will be held in Northern Ireland on 7 July. The extended deadline has been clearly stated on the HM Treasury Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy consultation web page.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the figures recently released by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority relating to the number of women who have become pregnant through IVF but have subsequently decided to abort the pregnancy.[HL10627]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the United Kingdom financial contribution to (a) the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, and (b) the European Institute for Gender Equality. [HL10483]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK makes its contributions to the EU budget as a whole and not to individual areas of spending within it. The UK's contribution to the EU budget in 2011 was around 12 per cent, post-abatement.
The Institute for Gender Equality received a total contribution from the EU budget of 7.5 million euros in 2011 and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights received a total contribution from the EU budget of €20 million in 2011.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): As a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK is obliged to comply with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) against the UK as a matter of international law. Article 46(1) of the convention, states: "The High Contracting Parties undertake to abide by the final judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties".
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Following an extensive review the Home Office published the new Prevent Strategy on 7 June 2011.
6 July 2011 : Column WA67
The Government will consider the Joint Committee's report and introduce the Bill shortly thereafter. The Government expect the Bill to receive Royal Assent by the end of 2012, subject to parliamentary scheduling considerations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The public forest estate in England, Scotland and Wales, managed by the Forestry Commission, was treated as a single entity between 1991 and 1997. During that time the total area managed decreased by 59,923 hectares or 5.3 per cent of the 1991 land area.
Forestry was devolved in 1999 and the area sold in Scotland and Wales from this time is a matter for the respective Administrations. Land sales in England from January 1997 to December 2010 are shown in the table below.
|Sales-by calendar year 1997 to 2010|
|Year||Total area (hectares))||% of 1997 land area|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Browning on 23 June (WA 334-6), when they expect to get the results of the research Satisfying labour demands through migration.[HL10587]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The report for the project Satisfying Labour Demand through Migration is due to be published on the European Migration Network (EMN) website: (http://emn.intrasoft-intl.com/html/index.html) in the week commencing 4 July 2011.
The findings from the UK report are included in a synthesis report on the topic, produced by the European Commission. The synthesis report was published on the EMN website on 15 June 2011 and can be accessed here: http://emn.intra_softintl.com/Downloads/prepare ShowFiles.do;jsessionid=3EOD982681B8144BED121 A00EA3EEAC6?entryTitle=01_Satisfyingpercent20 LABOURpercent20DEMANDpercent20through percent20migration.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 22 June (WA 338), whether they will answer now the questions put to them, which were why it took the Government 28 working days to respond to Lord Kennedy of Southwark's Question for Written Answer HL8962 when the target time for answering Questions for Written Answer is 10 working days, and why the Government have not yet counted the number of television sets in the Cabinet Office. [HL10559]
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Government always aim to answer Questions for Written Answer within 10 working days. Unfortunately there are occasionally delays in the process which means it is not always possible to achieve this.
The Cabinet Office is a large estate comprising 11 buildings in central London and four in the regions. Information relating to the exact number of television sets is not held centrally and to collate this information would incur disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what legal advice they have sought regarding the reduction in capacity at strategic health authority and primary care trust levels in advance of the Health and Social Care Bill.[HL10538]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department has sought legal advice as required across the range of reforms contained in the Health and Social Care Bill, including around issues of reductions of capacity in the current National Health Service organisations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take in response to the finding in the recent Frontier Economics report that investment in the Women's Royal Voluntary Service services in preventative care for older people provides significant savings for the National Health Service and local authorities.[HL10489]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Investment, by the National Health Service and local authorities, in integrated preventative services can lead to better outcomes for individuals including helping people to live independently for longer, and can realise efficiencies for both the NHS and local authorities. That is why we have invested £150 million in the NHS this year to support re-ablement, which will help people recover their independence after a spell in hospital.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 16 June (WA 209-10), which European Union member states, other than the Republic of Ireland, use an average cost basis for calculating health care payment claims between themselves and the United Kingdom; how the United Kingdom and Irish average costs of £3,600 and €6,800 are calculated; and what is the reason for the large differential.[HL10600]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Under Regulation 1408/71, all member states claim healthcare costs for pensioners and their dependants and the dependants of workers on the basis of an average cost. Under Regulation 883/2004, which entered into force on 1 May 2010, this changed, and all member states will claim actual costs, except those member states that choose to continue to claim an average cost for healthcare provided to those residents.
The calculation of each member state's average costs is for the Government of that member state to decide. The UK's average costs are calculated on the basis of domestic healthcare expenditure and the size and profile of the UK population for the reference year in question.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Department for Communities and Local Government is the lead department; however, given the sometimes complex nature of homelessness, other government departments need to be involved in helping meet the needs for homeless people-that is why my right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Local Government established a cross-government working group on homelessness bringing together Ministers from eight government departments to address the complex causes of homelessness and rough sleeping-not only housing, but just as importantly health, work and training.
|2000-01 (£m)||2005-06 (£m)||2010-11 (£m)|
The table below shows Supporting People Programme homelessness funding, this is collected retrospective year end from top-tier local authorities via the Supporting People Local Systems data set. This includes spend broken down by Supporting People client groups including single homeless with support needs, homeless families with support needs and rough sleepers.
|Homeless Families with Support Needs||Rough Sleeper||Single Homeless with support needs||Total|
This Government take homelessness very seriously: that is why we are maintaining investment in homelessness grant at £100 million a year for each of the next four years to support local authorities and the voluntary sector in their work to tackle homelessness.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what overnight sheltered accommodation is available for rough sleepers in (a) Glasgow, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Cardiff, (d) Belfast, (e) Liverpool, (f) Leeds, (g) Birmingham, and (h) the London Boroughs.[HL10592]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Government have introduced a new more accurate way of evaluating rough sleeping levels in England.
6 July 2011 : Column WA72
The department does not collect information specifically on the number of rough sleepers who were found to have died or overnight sheltered accommodation available for rough sleepers in cities. However, Homeless Link, the national umbrella organisation for front-line homelessness services, do offer a quick accommodation search facility at http://homelessuk.org/search/search AccomSimple.asp.
This Government are committed to tackling rough sleeping and preventing homelessness. We have maintained the level of homelessness grant, with £400 million for local authorities and the voluntary sector over the next four years. A cross-departmental ministerial working group has been set up to address the complex causes of homelessness and improve support for homeless people.
To ask the Chairman of Committees how many sitting days of the House since 1 January 2011 breached the firm convention that the House should rise no later than 10 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7 pm on Thursdays and 3 pm on Fridays; and, in each case, by how much the time was exceeded.[HL10580]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Companion to the Standing Orders states that "it is a firm convention that the House normally rises by about 10 pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, by about 7 pm on Thursdays, and by about 3 pm on Fridays". Between 1 January and 28 June inclusive, the House sat past these times on 44 occasions, as shown in the table below.
|Date||Day||Rising time||Time past 10 pm, 7 pm or 3 pm (in hours:mins)|
To ask the Chairman of Committees which House refurbishment contracts have been rescheduled as a result of the additional sitting week in October; and, in each case, what additional costs have been incurred.[HL10581]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): It is likely that the additional sitting week in October will disrupt works planned as part of the mechanical and electrical works programme, the purpose of which is to refit the mechanical and electrical building services within the Palace of Westminster. The contract for this programme will not be rescheduled, but the additional sitting week means that some work, previously scheduled for that week, will now need to be carried out when the House is not sitting and at weekends. It is estimated that these changes could cost
6 July 2011 : Column WA74
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many homes in receipt of funding by the Home and Communities Agency will be built to Code Level 4 of the Sustainable Buildings Code in the financial year 2011-2012.[HL10360]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The table below sets out forecast unit completions for the 2011-12 financial year, achieving Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 or better, funded through the National Affordable Housing Programme.
|Sustainable Homes||Forecast Completions 2011-12|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding was made available to (a) each local authority and (b) each other agency under the Overcrowded Housing Pathfinder Initiative in each year it operated.[HL10366]
Baroness Hanham: The funding made available to each local authority in England under the overcrowding pathfinder initiative in each year is set out in the table below. No funding was made available by the department to other agencies under this initiative.
|Local Authority Pathfinders|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Browning on 23 June (WA 342), how the absence of non-European Union students working in the United Kingdom can create a loss of output; whether that student output would not otherwise be produced; and why it was impossible to make estimates of the extra annual cost of providing housing for the current number of student residents. [HL10642]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The student proposals are estimated to reduce output because some students and their dependants will no longer contribute to economic output through work, either because they no longer come to the UK, or because their right to work while in the UK is removed.
The extent to which output is lost depends in part on the extent to which non-migrant labour fills the gap. The evidence from existing economic literature implies that there will be no displacement of non-migrant workers by migrants. However, it is not clear that this necessarily applies at a time when growth in the economy is less well established. If there was some displacement, the economic impacts would be significantly lower. The Migration Advisory Committee has been commissioned to research the labour market, social
6 July 2011 : Column WA78
The impact of providing housing for students, for example on rents or capacity, was considered but we were unable to estimate the impact this might have due to the absence of suitable data, and the complex way these impacts are felt.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Monthly figures are not available. Information on the number of children in detention is collected on the last day of each quarter. The latest published information shows that as at the 31 March 2011 there were no children recorded as being in detention. The table below shows the number of children entering detention, held solely under Immigration Act powers, by month, January to May 2011.
|Children entering detention (M)(1) held solely under Immigration Act powers, by place of initial detention, January to May 2011 (2)(3)(4)|
|United Kingdom||Number of children|
|Place of initial detention||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Total|
(1) Some detainees may be recorded more than once if, for example, the person has been detained on more than one separate occasion in the time period shown, such as a person who has left detention, but has subsequently been redetained.
(M) These figures are based on management information and are not subject to the detailed checks that apply for national statistics. They are provisional and subject to change. These figures may alter when produced for the national statistics publication following more detailed checking.
Information on numbers of children entering detention is published monthly and is available from the Home Office Science, research and statistics website at: http://homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/.
A copy of the latest month will be placed in the House Library. June 2011 figures will be available on 28 July 2011. Information on children detained as at the last day of each quarter, solely under Immigration Act powers, is published quarterly in the Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary, which is available from the same website and from the Library of the House. Figures for those detained as at 30 June 2011 will be published on 25 August 2011.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Jones on 27 January (WA 202), whether they will (a) review the purpose of the Migration Advisory Committee and its remit to advise on labour market needs and economic impacts in migration policy development, and (b) consider extending its membership beyond labour market economists to others with relevant interests.[HL10510]
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Peterborough Primary Care Trust has not signed a contract with the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust for the provision of clinical services for 2011-12.[HL10529]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many meetings directly related to the Peterborough Primary Care Trust's accumulated debt has (a) the chairman, and (b) the chief executive of the strategic health authority had with the chairman of Peterborough Primary Care Trust.[HL10532]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This is a matter for the National Health Service locally and as such, the information requested is not centrally collected.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the chairmen of primary care trusts have a contractual obligation to spend time at the trust in person; and, if so, who is responsible for monitoring that requirement.[HL10534]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued on the number of hours per week a chairman of a primary care trust is expected to devote to trust business; and who is responsible for monitoring time spent.[HL10560]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Chairs of primary care trusts (PCTs) are public appointments, and as such, are not subject to a contract of service or contract for services. The terms and conditions attached to a PCT chair's appointment states a time commitment of three to three and a half days per week. There is an expectation that a proportion of the time PCT chairs spend on their role will be on trust premises; however, the amount of time this involves will vary from week to week. The performance appraisal of PCT chairs is the responsibility of strategic health authority chairs.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration has been given to the second recommendation of the report by the King's Fund Commission on Leadership and Management in the National Health Service that the Government's plan to reduce net management posts by 45 per cent should be revisited.[HL10477]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Strong leaders, particularly clinical leaders, are essential to delivering a modern National Health Service that gives patients the best care and outcomes. We will consider the recommendations of the King's Fund; while we recognise that we will always need good managers in the NHS, we want those at the front line to have more of a say-less bureaucracy for managers, and a leadership role for clinicians. Our approach to reducing administration costs across the sector is based not upon simple cuts but on systematic modernisation, which will remove and streamline layers of bureaucracy while empowering professionals and patients.
The Government have committed to reducing administration costs across the public sector by one-third by the end of the spending review. The department will achieve this by removing layers of bureaucracy, closing primary care trusts and strategic health authorities and moving responsibility for commissioning closer to patients.
The coalition Government's commitment to reduce over 45 per cent of management costs (not posts) by the end of the spending review is included within the one-third reduction in overall administration costs.
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