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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 14 September (WA 58), whether the assessments made at the time are in the public domain; and, if so, where.[HL12009]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Recommendations that are unsuccessful are destroyed, lest they inadvertently cause disappointment or embarrassment to the persons concerned.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 3 October (WA 154-5), why the list of approved persons in AIB Group (UK) plc was not published in the Official Report as requested.[HL12155]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I refer the noble Lord to my Written Answer on 3 October which sets out that a full list of Financial Services Authority (FSA) approved persons associated with AIB Group (UK) can be found on the FSA's register: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do.
The FSA approved persons register is a living document subject to regular review following supervisory approval of staff operating in FSA-registered banks in the UK. The information requested in the previous Question would exceed the limit specified for publication in the Official Report.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 11 August (WA 387) concerning the supervision of banks, whether the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has now assessed the control the government of the Republic of Ireland have taken over the First Trust Bank; what was its conclusion; what assessment it has made of the management of the bank; and whether the FSA has cleared the appointment of the Bank's senior management.[HL12060]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 3 October (WA 154-5) concerning the First Trust Bank, whether they will list in the Official Report the Financial Services Authority Approved Persons associated with that bank.[HL12239]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Allied Irish Banks plc (AIB plc) is supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland. Appointments to the board of AIB plc are a matter for AIB plc, its shareholders and the Central Bank of Ireland.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any estimates of the number of small and medium-sized enterprises that have failed, or suffered significant business damage, as a result of the treatment of business creditors in pre-pack administration; and how many employees have directly and indirectly lost employment through pre-packs. [HL12224]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): While the Government recognise that pre-packs can make an important contribution to rescuing businesses and preserving jobs, the question raises an important issue about potential damage to small and medium-size enterprises and consequential loss of employment caused by pre-packs. No direct estimates have been made of the number of SME enterprises that have failed or on the direct or indirect impact on the loss of employment.
In March 2011 the Government announced proposals to tighten controls on pre-packs where the administrator intends to sell a significant proportion of the assets of a company or its business to a connected party, in circumstances where there has been no open marketing of the assets.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are initiating studies of how the future availability of wind and solar energy in different regions of the United Kingdom is likely to be affected by climate change, especially in periods of low wind and extensive cloud cover.[HL12209]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): DECC has commissioned the Met Office, through the Hadley Centre Climate Programme that DECC co-funds, to (i) scope the department's requirements for Met Office support on meteorological aspects of wind energy variations and (ii) undertake a study on the historical occurrence of low wind periods in the UK, to inform DECC's 2050 work.
In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) funds the UK Climate Change Projections, an iterative process known as UKCP09. In relation to solar energy, UKCP09 includes projections on cloud cover, net surface longwave and shortwave flux and total downward surface shortwave flux. Details of the projections can be accessed at http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/content/view/12/689/.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Agreement to a directive on a financial transaction tax would require unanimity in the Council of Ministers, giving the UK Government a veto over any such proposal. Therefore such an EU tax cannot be imposed on the UK without the UK's agreement.
Lord Sassoon: Agreement to a directive on a financial transaction tax would require unanimity in the Council of Ministers, giving the UK Government a veto over any such proposal. Therefore such an EU tax cannot be imposed on the UK without the UK's agreement.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Red Tape Challenge review of the retail sector, which included hallmarking, closed on 10 May. As part of their response to this phase of the review, the Government announced in July that well designed and valuable regulations, such as hallmarking, which attracted widespread public support, would be kept.
Baroness Verma: The Government made 10,000 additional places available for 2011-12 across all disciplines. Data on the number of students who took up university places in particular disciplines for 2011-12 are not yet available.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Working with business, this Government are taking action to strengthen and grow modern manufacturing in the UK by encouraging higher levels of innovation, exports, business investment and technical skills as well as cutting excessive red tape. The Plan for Growth announced as part of Budget 2011, included a package of measures to stimulate the growth of engineering and advanced manufacturing, including changes to capital allowances, the launch of a high value manufacturing
13 Oct 2011 : Column WA257
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the reduction in the number of Ministry of Defence police officers on local policing in communities where they operate. [HL12040]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): A range of options for the Ministry of Defence (MoD)'s future requirement for civil policing services is currently the subject of formal consultation with the relevant staff associations of the MoD police and the trades unions pending final decisions by Ministers. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage. However, if any of the proposed MoD police changes could potentially have implications for local police forces, there will be the opportunity for consultation and discussion as part of the implementation process.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 3 October (WA 131), whether the flexible early retirement terms being provided for Hilary Jackson, the director-general of the Northern Ireland Office, are generally available to staff on voluntary indication of their intention to leave the civil service; and what is the capitalised value of the proposed package.[HL12299]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The director-general of the Northern Ireland Office will leave under the terms of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme which is a matter for the Cabinet Office and applies to all civil servants. The date of her departure, and therefore the financial details, are not yet finalised.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the salary of the previous Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; what is the proposed salary of the new chief commissioner; and whether authority was sought for the new chief commissioner to be part-time. [HL12065]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is appointed on terms and conditions approved by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, subject to the provisions contained in Schedule 7 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The new chief commissioner will receive remuneration of £77,000; the previous incumbent received remuneration of £75, 300.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The purpose of the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour-Based Risk Identification checklist (DASH) is to identify and assess the level of risk of victims of domestic violence.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all police services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are signed up to using the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour-Based Violence Risk Identification checklist.[HL12052]
Lord Henley: The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Council agreed the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model to be implemented across all police services in the UK from March 2009. Although we understand that the majority of forces currently use DASH, it is for individual forces to decide which risk assessment models to use and the training their officers and staff receive.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of additional people who fell below the poverty line worldwide in 2010-11 in comparison to the previous year; to what extent they estimate this to be related to the increase in world food prices; and what multilateral action they are pursuing to address the situation.[HL12105]
Baroness Northover: DfID does not produce independent global estimates of annual variations in the global poverty rate. According to the most recent World Bank estimates since June 2010, an additional 44 million people fell below the $1.25 poverty line as a result of higher food prices. Global food prices in July 2011 remained significantly higher than in July 2010 and close to the 2008 peak levels. Prices for the period April to July 2011 have declined slightly from their
13 Oct 2011 : Column WA259
The Government are working with international partners to address issues of food security. In June, G20 Agriculture Ministers agreed an action plan on food price volatility and agriculture to take forward some concrete actions in this area. On the basis of the action plan and through work of international organisations, DfID has taken specific actions including; (1) strengthening research, innovation and dissemination mobilising the G20 agriculture research networks (2) promoting efforts to scale up responsible investments and activities related to agricultural production and food security in co-operation with the multilateral development banks and the private sector.
DfID also recognises the importance of timely, accurate and transparent information in helping to address food price volatility. We have supported the launch of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) in order to encourage major players on the agri-food markets to share data, to enhance existing information systems, to promote greater shared understanding of food price developments, and further policy dialogue and co-operation. The AMIS will involve G20 countries in the early stage and invite other main grain and oilseeds producing, exporting and importing countries, representatives from major commodity exchange markets and the private sector to participate.
To ask the Leader of the House what has been the reason for the failure of the Department for Transport to answer Lord Bradshaw's two Questions for Written Answer tabled on 13 July, due for answer on 27 July, which remained unanswered on 4 October.[HL12128]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): My office makes regular contact with all government departments that are unable to meet the target of 10 working days to answer Questions for Written Answer. Every effort is made to address delays and to remind departments of their responsibilities to Parliament. I understand that Lord Bradshaw's Questions for Written Answer have now been answered (Official Report, 4 October, col. WA 206).
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be responsible for school nurses currently employed by primary care trusts if the trusts cease to exist following the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill. [HL12131]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The public health White Paper reinforced the importance of school nursing as part of the public health workforce, securing the best health outcomes for children and young people, including delivery of the Healthy Child Programme 5-19. School nursing will be commissioned through public health resources and local authorities from 2013.
The department is undertaking a programme of development for school nursing and this work will provide information for local commissioners to use in making commissioning decisions. Currently school nurses are employed by a range of organisations including social enterprises and community foundation trusts. Future decisions regarding the positioning of school nursing staff will be for local determination.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: To find the next chair of the Statistics Board (UK Statistics Authority) advertisements were placed on the website of the Royal Statistical Society, the main website and a dedicated website of Gatenby Sanderson, the search consultants, and on the Public Appointments website. It attracted a salary of £71,250 for two and a half days per week, which is in line with the Prime Minister's salary.
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