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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I am advised by the Department for Education that in 2010 in England 95 children under one year-old were placed for adoption. In 2010, 180,942 abortions were carried out in England.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest estimate of defence expenditure in respect of the United Kingdom's intervention in Libya; whether that spending has all been drawn from the Treasury reserve; and, if not, where the spending has been drawn from.[HL12435]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The latest estimate for the net additional costs of operations in Libya in support of the UK's commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 1973 was set out by the Secretary of State for Defence in a Written Ministerial Statement to the House on 12 October 2011, (Official Report, col. 30WS).
In summary, the Ministry of Defence's latest estimate for the costs of the operation, on the basis that it might run from mid-March to mid-December, was £160 million. The estimated cost of replenishing munitions used in Libya over this period was £140 million. The additional costs on Operation Ellamy will be borne by the reserve.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the preferred candidate to succeed to the role of the Governor of the Bank of England will be required to serve as a member of the Court of the Bank of England for a period before becoming governor if he or she is not already a member of the court; and, if so, how such a vacancy will be created.[HL12364]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in each of the London Boroughs and the City of London in the last period for which figures are available (HL12727).
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at http://www.nomisweb.co.uk.
|Table 1: Number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in each of the London Boroughs and the City of London in September 2011|
Baroness Garden of Frognal: "Media" is diverse and constantly developing and is not something that can easily be put in a simple definition. The areas of media that the department is currently responsible for are; broadcasting, creative industries, internet and international ICT policy, telecommunications and broadband. Further information can be found on their website at the following link http://www.culture.gov.uk/about_us/default.aspx. The department's media priorities have also been published in their Structural Reform Plan, which can be found at: http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/SRP_DCMS_150710.pdf.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The UK strongly supports the completion of the Doha development round. The 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in December will be key to deciding the future of the round. We are working closely with the European Commission to define an approach that will deliver on trade liberalisation, strengthen the multilateral system and advance the interests of poor countries.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The number of persons found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for driving whilst disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence, from 2008 to 2010, can be viewed in the attached table.
|Number of persons found guilty at all courts for driving whilst disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence(1), England and Wales, 2008 to 2010(2)(3)|
|Findings of guilt|
(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been allocated under the Regional Growth Fund to each region to date; and how much is anticipated to be so allocated by the end of this financial year.[HL12479]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Conditional allocation (subject to outcome of due diligence process of £450 million) has been made from the first round of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and regional breakdown is given below. The announcements from the second round will be made later in the autumn.
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many private sector jobs were created in the year ending in June 2011; and how many public sector jobs were lost over the same period (HL12682).
The Office for National Statistics collects employment statistics for the private sector as part of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and for the public sector as part of the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey (QPSES).
Statistics of new jobs created and jobs lost are not available explicitly. However, statistics from surveys enable comparisons to be made of net changes in employment, within both the public and private sectors.
|Public and private sector employment|
|United Kingdom, seasonally adjusted; headcount (thousands)|
|Public Sector1||Private Sector2|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Ofgem already has strong powers under the Gas and Electricity Acts, the Competition Act and consumer protection legislation that allow it to investigate possible breaches in these areas and take enforcement action if necessary. Using these powers, it has imposed fines totalling £12.5 million this year. It also has powers to monitor energy markets and has used these powers to undertake its market probe in 2008 and its current retail market review.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change recently announced that the Government are currently considering giving Ofgem new powers to require energy businesses to provide redress to consumers who have lost out as a result of a company breaching a licence condition.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to put in place a moratorium on the development of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) pending further assessment of the environmental and health impacts of fracking. [HL12726]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what licences, permissions or consents are required for shale gas exploration in the United Kingdom; from whom they should be obtained; and through which planning and consents processes.[HL12760]
Lord Marland: All onshore oil and gas projects, including shale gas exploration and development, are subject to appropriate environmental controls, including scrutiny by the relevant environmental agency (for England and Wales, the Environment Agency), and are subject to safety regulation by the Health and Safety Executive. They also require planning permission, and consent from DECC, before drilling activities, which may include hydraulic fracturing, can commence.
Further planning permission and development consent would be required, from the planning authority and DECC respectively, should the operator intend to move forward with the commercial development of the resources. An environmental impact assessment may also be required, depending on the area of the proposed works, or (if commercial production is proposed) on the expected level of production. Appropriate assessments under the habitats and birds directives may also be necessary in specific locations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure the United Kingdom's food security in 2050, in the light of the Office for National Statistics estimate of a possible United Kingdom population increase of 20 million by that date.[HL12433]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government welcomed the recent Foresight report on the Future of Food and Farming, which explores the pressures on the global food system between now and 2050. We recognise that in order to feed the predicted increase in population in the UK and the world by 2050, we will need to increase food
27 Oct 2011 : Column WA179
These challenges could offer real opportunities for our farming and food sector. The Government are taking action to meet our objectives of supporting British farming, encouraging sustainable food production, and helping to enhance the competitiveness and resilience of the whole food chain. This will help ensure a secure, environmentally sustainable and healthy supply of food with improved standards of animal welfare.
The publication of the Foresight report also gives us new emphasis to influence our domestic policy making. In the natural environment White Paper published by the Government in June this year, we committed to begin a project that would look at how we could reconcile our goals of increasing food production and enhancing the natural environment. We will use the outcome of this project to help us shape a more strategic framework for agri-food policy going forward.
Food security cannot, however, be delivered from a narrow, self-interested, national protectionist stance, or by focusing on self-sufficiency. International trade has an important role in providing food security. We are a trading nation in a global market and the UK is a significant exporter of wheat, lamb, dairy products and breakfast cereals. We are seeking to support our industry in accessing and maximising opportunities within export markets.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by Earl Howe on 12 October (Official Report, col. 1708) that the Health and Social Care Bill's proposals were in the coalition Government's party manifestos, what was the wording used in those documents to that effect; and whether they consider that they have a democratic mandate for the expansion of the external market in the National Health Service.[HL12538]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Both coalition parties, within their manifestos as well as the coalition agreement, committed to giving patients access to the best care available by securing services from the best provider whether from the public, private or voluntary sector.
The coalition agreement can be found at: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/coalition-documents.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what legal advice they have taken about what responsibility they have towards widows and dependants applying to the Skipton Fund who are unable to meet the criteria for payments due to records being destroyed or unavailable.[HL12552]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to my Written Answer on 17 October 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 16). Legal advice has been sought on a range of issues. However, I cannot disclose the nature of any legal advice the department may have received, in line with the usual position with regard to legal professional privilege. Our aim is to strike the right balance between meeting genuine claims and avoiding inappropriate ones, as set out in paragraph 5.19 of the report: Review of the support available to individuals infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV by NHS-supplied blood transfusions or blood products and their dependants (January 2011). The report has already been placed in the Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to establish an inquiry into the reasons why six senior consultant orthopaedic surgeons have resigned from Barts and the London NHS Trust; and whether they have sought guarantees from Barts and the London NHS Trust as to the maintenance of quality of work standards by locum replacements pending new appointments.[HL12673]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department does not intend to establish an inquiry into changes to the orthopaedic surgery team at Barts and The London NHS Trust. This is a matter for the trust.
All providers of regulated activities, including Barts and The London NHS Trust, must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and meet the registration requirements. These include a requirement that providers must take steps to ensure that, at all times, there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced persons employed to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of patients. If a provider is not meeting the registration requirements, the CQC can take independent enforcement action.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many full-time-equivalent podiatrists they estimate will be employed in the National Health Service in each of the next five years; and how well this provision will reflect the increasingly elderly population. [HL12588]
Earl Howe: The annual National Health Service workforce census shows that at 30 September 2010 there were 3,190 full-time equivalent podiatrists employed in the NHS in England. We have no estimate of how many will be employed by the NHS in each of the next five years.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that "Do Not Attempt Resuscitation" notices (DNARs) are not routinely placed in patients' files; and what plans they have to ensure that where DNARs are used contrary to national guidance such use will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.[HL12514]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government expect National Health Service trusts to ensure that appropriate resuscitation policies which respect patients' rights are in place and that such policies are subject to appropriate audit and monitoring arrangements. This expectation was set out in a health service circular issued in 2000. It commended the joint statement from the British Medical Association, Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing, Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, as an appropriate basis for a resuscitation policy.
The joint statement, the latest version of which is dated October 2007, states that "When a patient with capacity is at foreseeable risk of cardiac or respiratory arrest, and the healthcare team has doubts about whether the benefits of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would outweigh the burdens, or whether the level of recovery would be acceptable to the patient, there should be a sensitive exploration of the patient's wishes, feelings, beliefs and values". It goes on to say that any discussion with the patient about whether to attempt CPR should be documented, signed and dated in the patient's health record. If a DNAR decision is made and there has been no discussion with the patient-for example because the patient is unwilling to discuss the matter-this must be documented in the health record and the reasons recorded.
In the case of patients who lack capacity, a decision will be made on the basis of the patient's best interests and should include discussion with the patient's family or others close to the patient. Guidance to doctors on the issues to consider when considering whether CPR should be attempted for patients towards the end of life is given in the General Medical Council's publication, Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making (2010).
It is a matter for employing authorities, and where appropriate, professional regulatory bodies, to determine on an individual case basis whether an employee's actions merit disciplinary and/or regulatory action.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): We recently announced £42.5 million for the Homelessness Change Programme to improve hostels for rough sleepers and ensure that those coming off the streets get the support they need.
This Government are committed to tackling and preventing homelessness and protecting the vulnerable. We have maintained homelessness grant funding, investing £400 million over the next four years to support local authorities and the voluntary sector across England in their work to tackle and prevent homelessness.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights are given further effect in UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The Act applies to all parts of the UK.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of providing the public infrastructure required to accommodate the almost 10 million additional United Kingdom residents projected for 2033.[HL12432]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Investment in our infrastructure will be vital-the Government estimate some £200 billion of investment in our infrastructure between 2010-15 from both the public and private sector.
In considering planned investment, the Government and private investors estimate the level of future demand. Population growth is one of a number of factors. Population estimates are subject to change and the impact of an increasing population on our infrastructure need may also change.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel concerning the hunger strike protest by Palestinian prisoners against conditions in Israeli prisons.[HL12480]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: We are aware that Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike since 27 September. This was suspended for three days while awaiting confirmation that the Israeli prison service will officially end its policy on punitive isolation. Other demands, including education, seem to have been met as part of the prisoner exchange deal on 18 October.
The UK is continuing to monitor closely the situation with regard to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. We regularly raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities and issue statements as appropriate, emphasising that Palestinian prisoners should have access to a fair trial, and that Israel should ensure that it treats detainees in accordance with international law.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel concerning the discharge of sewage from settlements across the West Bank onto Palestinian villages and land, in recent months and currently. [HL12483]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: We raise the issue of settlements, which we view as illegal under international law, with Israel on a regular basis. We have not lobbied specifically on the issue of sewage from settlements, but are concerned about its impact on Palestinian communities.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The UK Government do not intend to consult on a generic right to bring class actions and do not support the introduction of such a right at UK or EU level.
The Government have indicated they would consider collective redress mechanisms in specific sectors such as competition, but will decide when and whether to consult on such proposals following a robust assessment of need.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why listed building status has not been granted, as requested by English Heritage, for the three sites (Preston Bus Station, Birmingham Central Library and London's South Bank Centre) which were included last week on the World Monuments Fund's 2012 World Monuments Watch.[HL12380]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Preston Bus Station, Birmingham Central Library and London's South Bank Centre were all considered for listing by previous Ministers who concluded, after considering all the evidence, that they did not reach the level of historic or architectural interest required to be added to the statutory list. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will review a listing decision where there is evidence of an irregularity in the process or significant new evidence which had not been considered when the case was originally decided. All three of these cases have been reconsidered at various points after the original decisions were taken and, in each case, it was concluded that there were insufficient reasons to merit listing.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the choose and book referral management system, funded by the National Health Service; and what steps they will take to ensure that primary care trusts and clinical commissioning groups work together to ensure effective local implementation of the choose and book system to provide choice and certainty for patients. [HL12506]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Choose and book is a comprehensive electronic clinical referral system with a number of innovative features which, when implemented effectively, help ensure that patients are offered choice from the most appropriate services available. Analysis shows that patients receive their appointments up to two weeks sooner when booked through choose and book and have reduced rates of non-attendance at hospital appointments.
We have set out our commitment, in Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control, to extend the choices available to patients for their care and treatment to cover the majority of National Health Service-funded services by 2013. We expect choose and book to have a key role in delivering this commitment, particularly in allowing patients to choose a named consultant-led team where clinically appropriate and in consultation with their general practitioner.
We intend to publish our response to the Greater choice and control consultation by the end of the year when we expect to be able to provide more detail on how the policy proposals could be implemented including the role of choose and book.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, given that half of referrals from general practitioners to consultant-led outpatient appointments are currently made using the choose and book system, what plans they have to enforce the contractual requirements currently placed on providers of NHS care to implement fully the choose and book system, thereby fulfilling the White Paper commitment to "look at ways of ensuring that choose and book usage is maximised".[HL12507]
Earl Howe: The National Health Service Standard Acute Hospital Services Contract includes requirements for providers to describe and publish all relevant services in choose and book through a directory of service and to offer clinical advice and guidance to general practitioners on potential referral through choose and book. It also requires commissioners to ensure that all referrals to the provider of elective care are made through the choose and book system.
The Health and Social Care Bill proposes duties on the NHS Commissioning Board and clinical commissioning groups to act with a view to enabling the involvement of patients and carers in decisions about the provision of health services and to enabling patients to exercise choices in relation to the services provided to them. Clinical commissioning groups would also be accountable to the public and will need to operate in an open and transparent way, including engaging with patients and public, and with elected local representatives on the health and wellbeing boards.
We intend to publish our response to the Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control consultation by the end of the year. We expect this will include more details on how to expect the choice policy to be implemented by commissioners and providers, including the most effective use of choose and book.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a strategic health authority director has any legal powers to prevent a serving primary care trust board member who refuses a request to resign from the primary care trust from being offered any further public appointments during the next two years; and, if so, what they are.[HL12662]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Strategic health authority (SHA) directors have no powers to prevent a serving primary care trust (PCT) non-executive director from being offered any further public appointments during the next two years. However, the Secretary of State has powers under the PCT (Membership, Procedure and Administrative Arrangements) Regulations 2000, which he has delegated to the Appointments Commission, to
27 Oct 2011 : Column WA186
If the commission decides to exercise these powers then the non-executive concerned would be disqualified for appointment to a non-executive role in a PCT (in the event of the first reason applying) or any National Health Service trust (in the event of the second reason applying) for a period of two years or such period as may be specified by the commission when terminating the appointment.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: The British Olympic Association (BOA), as the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, is responsible for allocating accreditation for the Olympic Games for media based in the United Kingdom. The Minister for Sport and the Olympics is corresponding with Lord Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, to request if further accreditations can be made available. A copy of the most recent letter from Lord Moynihan to the Minister for Sport and the Olympics on this matter will be placed in the House Libraries.
Baroness Northover: Since 2010, the Government have introduced more robust assessments on where and how DfID should provide aid, based on a range of factors including partner governments' overall commitment to improving management and transparency of public finances. We place great emphasis on the developing country's commitment to strengthening the accountability between government and its citizens, to increase the transparency of their budgets to allow citizens to hold their governments to account.
We will not give general budget support to countries if we are not confident that resources will be used in the interest of reducing poverty. DfID uses the most appropriate aid instruments to deliver the development results we want to achieve in each country, assessing which countries should receive aid, and measures to make aid support more effective.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in respect of the incident on Monday 17 October when a person being repatriated escaped from a moving Eurostar train near Folkestone, whether the person was being escorted; if so, by whom; and whether during the journey the person was secured in one of the two secure compartments in those trains.[HL12608]
However, passengers who are refused entry into the United Kingdom at St Pancras and who then voluntarily wish to return are not subject to escorts. Under the Immigration Act 1971, Paragraph 8 of Schedule 2, a passenger may be returned to the country or territory from which they embarked. The carrier company is required to facilitate this removal.
Passengers who volunteer to depart the UK are not confined to the secure compartments on the Eurostar. The compartments are normally used by officers to travel and to store protectively marked security items for onboard passenger controls.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements exist or will be created to supervise Sri Lankan nationals who have been or will be returned from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka with full consent.[HL12694]
Lord Henley: We would prefer that individuals who have no right to remain in the UK leave voluntarily. Accordingly the UK Border Agency operates various assisted voluntary return (AVR) schemes administered by Refugee Action's Choices' service. Many of those returning who take advantage of the various schemes will receive reintegration assistance helping both individuals and families to return home with dignity and support.
Refugee Action has very recently commenced work with the Siyath Foundation in Sri Lanka to deliver reintegration support upon return. While the UK Border Agency does not supervise those that have returned from the United Kingdom by these means, reintegration funds must be used within six months of return and "Choices", through overseas partners, will stay in contact with returnees during this period.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will continue to give aid to Rwanda in the light of reports of warnings on potential threats by the Rwandan government to murder Rwandan dissidents living in the United Kingdom.[HL12352]
Baroness Northover: Rwanda is home to five million poor people. Our commitment to help lift the people of Rwanda out of poverty is strong. As recently announced, the UK Government will provide direct support for 135,200 of Rwanda's poorest people each year, help register the land of 6.4 million men and women to give their families and businesses greater stability and distribute a million bed-nets and help 29,000 children to complete basic education.
The UK-Rwanda relationship is a candid one and we raise issues where we have concerns on a regular basis and at senior levels. We take every opportunity to raise with the Rwandan Government our concerns over political space, media freedom and extra-judicial killings.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much salt has been stockpiled to deal with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures on the roads this winter; and what discussions they have had with the relevant agencies on this issue.[HL12344]
Earl Attlee: A recent survey carried out by the Department for Transport estimated that total salt stocks of over 2.5 million tonnes were held by local and national highway authorities in Great Britain at the end of September 2011, including strategic stockpiles. Comparable data for the same time last year are available only for England and Scotland and show an increase in stocks of over 1 million tonnes, including the strategic salt stockpiles.
The Department for Transport regularly discusses winter resilience preparations with the Highways Agency, local government sector, Welsh Assembly Government, Transport Scotland and a range of other transport operators.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Sport England's £136 million Olympic Legacy Programme-Places People Play-will provide the landscape for sports clubs to thrive through improving up to 1,000 local sport club facilities, protecting and improving playing fields, and a new initiative to support disability sport. The programme will recruit 40,000 new community sports volunteers to involve more people in sport.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: VisitBritain publishes data on overseas visitors to the United Kingdom. The information in the following table provides details of the number of visitors from European countries in 2010:
|Country||Visits in 2010|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the British hydrogen vehicle industry's request for more promotion of their vehicles' benefits with regard to climate change reduction.[HL12112]
Earl Attlee: The coalition Government recognise that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could have an important part to play in the decarbonisation of road transport. We also recognise that challenges remain to be overcome before these vehicles will become mainstream, for example the commercialisation of refuelling infrastructure and the vehicles themselves, and the production and distribution of hydrogen from low carbon sources.
We are supporting hydrogen fuel cells and infrastructure in the UK by supporting the demonstration of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies, most recently under a £7.5 million competition for collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding via the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). Funding of £300,000 for two hydrogen refuelling stations was awarded earlier this year through the Department for Transport's Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Programme. In addition the UK has an excellent research base funded by the research councils with collaborative networks developed by UK universities to develop the UK's academic and industrial expertise in hydrogen related RD&D.
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