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1 Nov 2011 : Column WA223



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA223

Written Answers

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Abingdon Green

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Abingdon Green is private property, owned by the House of Commons. However, Black Rod is responsible for the utilisation of, and access to, Abingdon Green. It is intended that on completion of the maintenance works, Abingdon Green will again be open to public access and enjoyment as it has been in the recent past, although public access will, as before, be permissive and conditional in character. It will also continue to be available to the media, under the control of Black Rod, and there is no intention to alter the well established arrangements for managing this.

Agriculture: Soil Management

Questions

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government monitor soil parameters at the national scale through the countryside survey. Other soil data are available in the form of national soil maps and the national soil inventory. Soil degradation can be modelled using these parameters.

Whether the outputs of these monitoring or modelling exercises would be sufficient for identifying geographical risk or priority areas would depend on the purpose of such an exercise and the level of accuracy desired.

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: There is presently no agreed definition of soil quality that incorporates soil's ability to meet these requirements. None the less, the Government acknowledge the importance of soil quality and continues to commission research investigating its sustainable use and capacity to fulfil diverse uses.



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Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: We promote a range of soil management options to enhance carbon sequestration in soils and protect against loss of organic matter. Details of the options can be found in the handbooks at the following links:

http://rpa.defra.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/0/c39ae2bb7b 8ab8l58025768e005e57cd/$FILE/Soil%20Protection% 20Review%202010.pdf.

http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/Natural EnglandShop/NE226.

http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/NaturaI EnglandShop/NE227.

http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/NaturaI EnglandShop/NE228.

Arms Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I refer my noble friend to the answer given by my noble friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Baroness Wilcox, on 13 July 2011. The agenda and minutes of meetings of the European Union Council Working Group on Conventional Arms Exports (COARM) are not made publicly available and are restricted in order to enable full and frank discussion of export control policy issues by the representatives of EU member states. The United Kingdom is represented at COARM meetings by an official from the Counter Proliferation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The dates for COARM meetings in 2012 have not been set, but meetings are planned for 11 November and 8 December this year.

Bank of England

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Under the Bank of England Act 1998, the procedure to be followed by the Court of the Bank of England in relation to the preparation and publication of minutes of its meetings is for the Court itself to determine. The Bank does not routinely volunteer copies of Court minutes to Ministers or officials and the Treasury does not have a specific power to require them to do so.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: This is a matter for the Court, as the governing body of the Bank of England.

The Bank of England contributed substantially to the analysis of the lessons from the financial crisis, both for the regulators and for central banks, in speeches and in public evidence to parliamentary committees from the start of the crisis. It also contributed to the previous Government's review during 2008.

Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are closely monitoring the banks' progress in meeting the commitments made under Project Merlin and will provide further information at the appropriate time.

Burma

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Northover: UK aid to Burma is delivered in line with the European Union Council Decision on Burma which restricts development assistance to certain sectors and to aid delivered through United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations and through decentralised co-operation with local civilian Administrations. These restrictions will continue until the council decision is revised in response to genuine and substantive political change in Burma.



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Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Northover: I am deeply concerned about reports of rape having been committed by members of armed forces in Burma.

The Government have consistently called upon all armed actors including the Burmese army and ethnic militia to protect civilian populations. The United Kingdom secured a strongly worded resolution at the March 2011 UN Human Rights Council which called on the Burmese Government to end continuing grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the targeting of civilians in conflict areas, and to immediately end impunity for such actions.

The Department for International Development (DfID) does not have programmes in Burma which provide direct assistance to women who have been raped by members of armed forces. However, DfID does provide support for legal assistance centres in Burmese refugee camps in Thailand, which can help in dealing with rape cases.

Civil Service: Staff

Question

Asked by Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Baroness Liddell, dated October 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many people are currently employed in Scotland by the Home Civil Service, other than in devolved departments. [CO] HL 12867.

Estimates of regional Civil Service employment are published annually by the Office for National Statistics on the National Statistics website. The latest available estimates refer to the 31 March 2011.

The number of people employed in Scotland by the Home Civil Service, other than in devolved departments, was 31,700.

Colombia

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are determined that the values we uphold at home be consistent with our actions overseas. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides support to businesses to ensure they address any potential human rights implications of their overseas operations. This includes support through the FCO's Charter for Business, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the FCO's Overseas Business Risk Guide (www.ukti.gov.uk/ovberseasbusinessrisk).

Our embassy in Bogota supports a project which sets out the framework for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in a Colombian context. They are developing a toolkit for companies to monitor their compliance with these principles and are promoting this initiative to businesses along with other initiatives such as guidelines for Colombia.

Courts: Magistrates' Courts

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Hereford

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The cost of the magistrates' courts to Her Majesty's Government in the financial year 2005-06 was £521.4 million and in the financial year 2010-11 was £514.7 million.

Crime: Motoring Convictions

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The table below gives the number of licensed cars there were in Great Britain on the 31 December of 2008, 2009 and 2010, as registered on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) database.

YearNumber of cars

2008

28,160,702

2009

28,246,470

2010

28,420,877

The number of cars that drove on Britain's roads is higher than these actual figures for three reasons:

(a) A number of cars will have been licensed and used earlier in the year. These cars could have been exported, scrapped or had a statutory off road notification (SORN) made for them by 31 December. In these cases they will not have been licensed at the end of the year;

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(b) A number of foreign cars will have visited Great Britain during the year. These will not be recorded on the DVLA database; and(c) A number of unlicensed cars will have been used during the year. The Department for Transport estimates that roughly 165,000 to 250,000 additional unlicensed vehicles in the private and light goods tax class (which includes all cars aside from those that were exempt from vehicle excise duty) were used each year on British roads in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The Department for Transport has estimated that about 2.8 per cent of the vehicles in the private and light goods tax class on the road in 2008 did not have a valid MoT certificate. This equates to about 610,000 vehicles. Estimates for 2009 and 2010 have not been made. It should be noted that many vehicles on the road do not require an MoT certificate, most notably cars under three years old.

The department does not produce any statistics on the number of cars without valid insurance. The Roads Policy Operation V79 survey, carried out in March 2008 on behalf of Association of Chief Police Officers, estimated that 1.2 per cent of the vehicles stopped were without valid insurance. The survey did not produce a figure specifically for cars. In addition, most insurance policies make having a valid MoT certificate a requirement of the policy and could declare the policy invalid if the car is without a valid MoT certificate.

Deficit Reduction

Questions

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. The OBR's March 2011 Economic and fiscal outlook included projections of public sector net borrowing and the cyclically adjusted current budget for 2011-12.

The OBR will publish updated forecasts on 29 November 2011.

Diplomatic Service

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary stated in his speech at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 8 September, there is not and will never be any substitute for a strong British Diplomatic Service that advances the interests of the United Kingdom. We continue to work to ensure that the External Action Service does not encroach on the duties of HM Diplomatic Service, and that the division of competences is respected. As my right honourable friend the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, said to the House on 25 October, we have recently secured agreement to General Arrangements on EU statements and representation which underline this point.

Driving: Disqualification

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport does not hold information regarding the number of road accidents involving drivers driving while disqualified.

Employment: Agency Workers

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): It is my understanding that the majority of European member states that have transposed the agency workers directive have done so on the basis of Day 1 rights for equal treatment.

This Government have had no discussions with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on their plans for transposition or any proposed qualifying period.



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Energy: Fuel Poverty

Question

Asked by Lord Vinson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Assessments of the impact of individual policies are made and published in the relevant impact assessment for each policy. These assessments typically contain estimates of the impacts of the policies on household bills and fuel poverty. For example, the recent impact assessment for the extension of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target estimated the impact on domestic energy bills and fuel poverty: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/consultations/certextension/121-iacertextension.pdf.

DECC also published Estimated Impacts of Energy and Climate Change on Energy Prices and Bills in July 2010: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en./content/cms/about/ec_social_res/analytic_projs/price_bill_imp/price_bill _imp.aspx.

This presented the estimated combined impact of policies on energy costs faced by households. This analysis is due to be updated to account for policy announcements since July 2010 alongside the forthcoming annual energy statement later this year.

Work to model the combined impacts of all of these policies on fuel poverty has not been undertaken and is not planned. Modelled estimates of the fuel poverty impacts of individual policies contain a degree of uncertainty within them, as they are dependent on household circumstances, incomes and dwelling characteristics which will change in the future. Combining a number of policies into a single fuel poverty impact estimate would significantly increase the level of uncertainty associated with the estimate.

EU: Financial Assistance

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Heads of State and Government of the euro area announced on 26 and 27 October proposals to leverage the resources of the euro area-only European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

The UK does not participate in the EFSF.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed to Parliament on 27 October that the UK would not put resources into any special purpose vehicle established

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by the euro area to leverage the EFSF. The Chancellor also made clear that the UK could not support the International Monetary Fund putting its own resources into any such vehicle.

In the assessment of the European Banking Authority, published on 26 October 2011, no British bank requires additional capital. The Government will not be contributing directly or indirectly to recapitalisation of other European banks.

EU: Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government oppose the introduction of a European financial transaction tax. Since an EU decision to introduce the proposed European financial transaction tax has to be taken by unanimity, we do not envisage introducing legislation to impose such a tax.

Export Control

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had since December 2010 with officials in (a) France, (b) Germany, (c) Russia, (d) China, and (e) the United States, about the reasons why those countries enacted re-export control provisions; what information they have about the background to each; and whether, in any such discussions, they have been told that those provisions (1) are unenforceable, (2) have no deterrent effect, or (3) are to be rescinded. [HL12747]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): I refer the noble Lord to my reply of 2 December 2010 (WA 477).

We have had no further such discussions.



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): I refer the noble Lord to my previous answers to him of 14 December 2010 and 13 July 2011 (WA155) and (WA192).

We have received no further such reports since 13 July 2011, made no such representations, and have no plans to raise this issue at the United Nations.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: Officials from my department hold very regular discussions about export control with representatives of the Department of State, the Department of Commerce and other US government departments and agencies. The majority of these discussions are informal and transacted via telephone and e-mail. Comprehensive records do not exist of the frequency and dates of these discussions, nor of the issues discussed.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: I have responsibility for all aspects of policy for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. My honourable friend the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise has responsibility for export control. I keep in regular contact with him on a range of departmental issues. Information relating to these internal discussions and advice is not normally disclosed.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: I remain entirely satisfied with the resources allocated to support export control policy (including the Re-Export Controls Bill) within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.



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Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: There are no such contracts.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: There have been no such discussions.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: No.

Fire Services: Privatisation

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Following the cancellation of the FiReControl Project, the Government consulted the fire and rescue sector on the future of control services, and in July, the Fire Minister announced a new £81 million funding scheme to help fire and rescue authorities to develop their own solutions for their control room arrangements to improve resilience and efficiency. A further £1.8 million will support cross-cutting initiatives that enhance resilience and efficiency, such as the development of common standards.

The Government are not imposing a central solution-we wish to increase collaboration and build national resilience in a locally determined way.

Fluoridation

Questions

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Fluoridated water is not a medicinal product. Drinking fluoridated water does not constitute receiving a medical treatment. Nor does drinking naturally fluoridated water at either the same or a similar concentration to that which is achieved through fluoridation constitute receiving a medical treatment. Individual valid consent is therefore not required in either instance.

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Earl Howe: Cochrane Review Groups are funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and managed by the NIHR Evaluations, Trials and Studies Co-ordinating Centre (NETS CC) based at the University of Southampton. The Cochrane Groups themselves identify areas within their disciplines that they consider require investigation and submit their business plans to NETS CC for approval. Therefore, as the acknowledged experts in their fields, the Cochrane Groups have autonomy over the work they decide to take forward. Occasionally the Health Technology Assessment Programme commissions Cochrane Review Groups to conduct or update reviews where there is an identified need.

We understand that the Oral Health Group has no immediate plans to carry out a systematic review of water fluoridation and we are guided by this. In the past, the group has carried out work on adding fluoride to milk and its use by dentists in dental treatments.

Gift Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): At Budget 2011, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a number of improvements to gift aid which will benefit charitable sports clubs and community amateur sports clubs as well as charities generally. These included updated and improved HMRC guidance on how the scheme works, the introduction of an online filing system for making gift aid claims and the development of a supporting electronic gift aid database.

Altogether, this means that from 2013, many more sports clubs will benefit through increased income and reduced administrative burdens.



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Government Departments: Buildings

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: This information is not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Gross Domestic Product

Question

Asked by Lord Temple-Morris

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Lord Temple-Morris, dated 28 October 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question (HL12828) concerning what proportion of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK was attributable to visible and invisible trade with the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics produces trade data broken down by goods and services (broadly comparable with visible and invisible respectively).

The latest available data are for the second quarter of 2011 and were published on 5 October 2011. These figures show (in value terms):

exports of goods to the European Union were equivalent to 10.8 per cent of UK GDP;imports of goods from the EU were 13.2 per cent of GDP;exports of services to the EU were 4.9 per cent of GDP; andimports of services from the EU were 3.9 per cent of GDP.

Health: Cancer

Questions

Asked by Lord Sharkey



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We have made no assessment of lung cancer survival in the United Kingdom compared with the United States. However, we know England's cancer survival rates are currently poorer than many comparable countries.

To understand more about the reasons for these persisting differences we are part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP). The ICBP seeks to understand how and why cancer survival rates vary between countries and jurisdictions.

Membership of the ICBP covers 12 jurisdictions in six countries comprising Australia (New South Wales and Victoria); Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario); Denmark; Norway; Sweden; and the UK (England, Northern Ireland and Wales). To ensure the validity and comparability of data between countries, ICBP partners were invited on the basis of broadly comparable wealth, universal access to health care and the existence of long-standing, high-quality, population-based cancer registration.

Lung cancer is one of the four cancers we are looking at as part of the study. In December 2010 the ICBP published Cancer Survival in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK, 1995-2007: the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership. Using data from the report, the following table sets out the UK's one-year and five-year lung cancer survival rates (2005-07), alongside those of Sweden (as an example of one of the highest performing countries) and those of the best performing jurisdiction (sometimes a province/state rather than a country) in each case.

UKSwedenLeading JurisdictionGap to leading Jurisdiction

Lung cancer (1yr)

29.7%

43.6%

43.6% (Sweden)

13.9%

Lung cancer (5yr)

8.8%

16.3%

20.1% (Manitoba)

11.3%

Analyses for 2005-07 are period estimates for patients diagnosed during 2005-07, or diagnosed earlier but alive on January 1, 2005.

A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.

Improving public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encouraging people to visit their general practitioner (GP) when they have symptoms is a key ambition of Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer, published on 12 January. Last year we provided £9 million to support 59 local awareness campaigns to raise awareness of lung, breast and bowel cancer and early indications are that there has been a positive response to the campaigns. We expect to have a full evaluation of the local projects, including how effective they have been in achieving earlier diagnosis, towards the end of the year.

On 10 October 2011 we launched a regional lung cancer awareness campaign in the Midlands that will run for five weeks and use TV, radio and press and face-to-face events.

The aim of the Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer campaign is to raise awareness of the key signs and symptoms of lung cancer and encourage people with these symptoms to go to their GP. We will undertake a full evaluation of the impact of the campaign.



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Asked by Lord Avebury

Earl Howe: The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) piloted a national patient-reported outcome measures survey of cancer survivors between July and October 2011, in order to improve understanding of the quality of life outcomes for cancer survivors. The pilot focused on breast, prostate, colorectal and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Around 5,000 people were identified to participate who were either one, two, three or five years after diagnosis. The pilot included patients identified from King's College Hospital and other National Health Service trusts.

The pilot will provide valuable information on areas where cancer survivors have ongoing unmet needs at different points following treatment, in order to support work to improve quality of life outcomes for them.

The overall survey response rate across all tumour sites has been 68 per cent with a 65 per cent response rate for NHL survivors. The department will publish a report of results of the pilot survey in the winter.

Health: Elderly People

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There is a range of initiatives the department has taken or is taking in this area including:

there are a number of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence quality standards commissioned by the department that are either in place or are being developed for a range of conditions and pathways affecting older people including incontinence, nutrition support in adults, patient experience in adult National Health Service services, delirium, dementia, osteoarthritis and falls in a care setting;one of the eight high-impact actions developed for nursing, relates to keeping people nourished and getting better and aims to stop unintentional weight loss and dehydration in patients. This action is taken locally with initiatives such as red trays to identify patients who need help with eating and drinking and better management of charts. Since April 2010, it has been a requirement of a hospital's continuing registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), that service users are protected from the risks of dehydration and inadequate nutrition;within the NHS Operating Framework and the NHS Outcomes Framework, there are a number of indicators to support better care for older people. These include

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dementia care, hospital-acquired infections, emergency readmission rates, improving recovery from fragility fractures and helping older people to recover their independence after illness or injury; andthe department is also funding national audits of falls and bone health, dementia, continence and hip fractures.

Local involvement networks in each local authority area are able to enter and view services to obtain the views and experiences of patients, service users and their families about their experiences of care and treatment at the time they are receiving it. Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, local healthwatch organisations will continue this enter and view activity. This information can be shared with the CQC's compliance inspectors, which will help to focus the inspection on specific concerns and thereby help the CQC to hold local services to account. Local healthwatch will also be the champion for public and patients, service users and carers in health and social care services. HealthWatch England will be able to use information from local healthwatch, and elsewhere, to form a national picture of services. Locally and nationally, HealthWatch will have a remit to make recommendations about how services could or should be improved.

The department supports the partnership on dignity in care, which has been established by the NHS Confederation, Age UK and the Local Government Group. The partnership aims to help drive improvements in the levels of care provided to older people in hospitals and care homes and has an independent commission which is currently taking evidence.

The department has commissioned a further round of CQC dignity and nutrition inspections for older people in hospital and care home settings.

Health: Social Determinants

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The United Kingdom was represented at the conference by Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Health. The conference agreed the declaration by consensus. It was not signed by any of the countries represented.

Homeless People

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Housing is a devolved matter for the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive who have their own approaches to tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.

The Government in England have acted decisively to introduce a more accurate assessment of rough sleeping levels so that there is clear information in all areas, to inform service provision and action to address the problem. Previously only local authorities where there was a known, or suspected, rough sleeping problem were required to provide a count. All areas across England now provide counts or robust estimates giving a clear national picture. Latest statistics show 1,768 rough sleepers in England on any one night in autumn 2010 and are published at the following link: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/statistics/xls/1845849.xls.

There were 42,390 households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty in England in a snapshot at the end of 2010.

This Government in England 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. 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.

Housing

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Information on the number of properties occupied or needed due to family breakdown is not collected centrally.

According to the latest household projections in the period from 2008-18, the number of households in England is projected to increase from 21.7 million to 24.1 million, an increase of 11 per cent. During the same period, the average household size is projected to decrease from 2.33 to 2.25 persons per household.

More information can be found at: http://www. communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/2033household1110.



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA240

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Hanham: The department has national and regional level information on market rents for privately owned properties from the English Housing Survey from 2008-09 onwards and the Survey of English Housing prior to 2008-09. The most recent national level estimates were published on 5 July 2011 in the English Housing Survey Household Report 2009-10 which is available from: http://www.communities.gov. uk/publications/corporate/statistics/ehs200910householdreport.

The Valuation Office Agency publishes its Private Rental Market Statistics release which provides statistics on the private rental market for England. The release presents the mean (average), median, lower quartile, and upper quartile gross monthly rent paid, for a number of bedroom/room categories for each local authority in England. The latest release provides statistics for the 12 months to the end of June 2011: http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/statisticalReleases/110929 _PrivateResidentialRentalMarketStatistics.html.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Hanham: The Government do not provide estimates of future new build numbers, as forecasting is imprecise and could affect market sentiment. The number of new homes that are built will depend upon market conditions and decisions that are taken at the local level. The new homes bonus is a fiscal incentive for local authorities to develop housing and local communities to share the benefits of new development. The Department for Communities and Local Government has set aside almost £1 billion over the spending review period for the scheme, including some £200 million in 2011-12.

The new homes bonus impact assessment, published with the consultation document at: http://www. communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/newhomesbonusconsult illustrates the potential effect of local authorities' response to the incentives.

Inflation

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England is responsible for maintaining price stability.



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At Budget 2011, the Chancellor reaffirmed the MPC's remit to target 2 per cent inflation as defined by the 12-month increase in the consumer prices index. The MPC stated in the minutes of its October meeting that it judged that "inflation was likely to fall back sharply in 2012 as the influence of the factors temporarily raising it diminished and downward pressure from spare capacity persisted".

Iraq: Camp Ashraf

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, met Ambassador Jean De Ruyt on 27 October 2011 to discuss Camp Ashraf. Ambassador de Ruyt has been appointed to advise Baroness Ashton, Vice-President of the European Commission, on Camp Ashraf. He does not act for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, but since his appointment has engaged in meetings with EU member states and international partners, including the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross. We highlighted the urgent need to address the humanitarian situation at Camp Ashraf, and agreed that the Government of Iraq and the leadership of Camp Ashraf should negotiate a constructive and durable solution. We continue to urge the Iraqi Government, most recently on Mr Burt's visit to Baghdad from 17-19 October, to ensure the protection of the human rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf in accordance with international and domestic Iraqi law. We will remain in close touch with Ambassador de Ruyt in his attempts to encourage a resolution of the situation at Camp Ashraf.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UN continues to visit Camp Ashraf regularly. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has now accepted individual applications for refugee status from residents of Camp Ashraf. We encourage all parties to co-operate with the UNHCR process. Along with our international partners, we will continue to urge the Iraqi authorities to treat residents of Camp Ashraf in accordance with domestic Iraqi and international human rights laws, and to ensure a peaceful resolution to the future of the Camp.



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA242

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Iraqi Government have confirmed to our embassy officials that food, water, fuel and medical supplies are allowed to enter Camp Ashraf. However, we are aware of reports from camp residents claiming that they have been denied access to medical care. The Iraqi Government's Ashraf Committee has informed our embassy that residents are given access to medical treatment and that serious cases are referred to hospitals in Baghdad or Erbil in northern Iraq. We have also received reports from camp residents of loudspeakers operating within the camp. During a visit to the camp, embassy officials noted the presence of these loudspeakers. The Government of Iraq have publicly said that the purpose of the loudspeakers is to allow family members to communicate with the residents inside the camp.

Along with our international partners, we continue to press the Iraqi authorities to ensure that the residents of the camp are treated in accordance with the rights and protections they enjoy under international human rights law and domestic Iraqi law, including the Iraqi constitution. Most recently the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, raised UK concerns during his visit to Baghdad from 18 and 19 October.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Villagers from Bil'in and other villages in the West Bank demonstrate weekly against the route of the security barrier. However, demonstrations on 21 October became violent when demonstrators clashed with the Israeli Defence Force.

We are aware that one individual, Mr Ashraf Abu Rahma, was arrested and is currently being detained in Ofer prison. He is accused of stone-throwing.

The British Government support the general right to peaceful protest everywhere, including Palestinians' legitimate right to protest non-violently against the occupation. We urge all parties to ensure that everything is done to avoid violent clashes and casualties.

During his visit in June 2011, my honourable friend Alistair Burt, visited Nabi Salah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed for himself the

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA243

non-violent protests. We have noted parliamentary concerns over the handling by the Israeli Defence Force of such protests and will continue to raise them with the Israeli authorities.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: Villagers from Bil'in and other villages in the West Bank demonstrate weekly against the route of security barrier. However, demonstrations on 21 October became violent when demonstrators clashed with the Israeli Defence Force.

We are aware that one individual, Mr Ashraf Abu Rahma, was arrested and is currently being detained in Ofer Prison. He is accused of stone-throwing.

The British Government support the general right to peaceful protest everywhere, including Palestinians' legitimate right to protest non-violently against the occupation. We urge all parties to ensure that everything is done to avoid violent clashes and casualties.

During his visit in June 2011, my honourable friend Alistair Burt visited Nabi Salah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed for himself the non-violent protests. We have noted parliamentary concerns over the handling by the Israeli Defence Force of such protests, and over the arrest of Mr Abu Rahmah, and will continue to raise them with the Israeli authorities.

Israel and Palestine

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My honourable friend, Alistair Burt, raised this matter during his visit in June directly with the Minister of Justice, indicating the UK's concerns about both the detention and the treatment of children. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv most recently raised the issue on 26 October during his visit to the Israel Prison Service, at the invitation of the Public Security Minister, and emphasised the importance of Israel fulfilling its obligations under international law.

We have concerns over the treatment of children in detention, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and have an ongoing dialogue with the Israeli authorities. Israel's decision to raise the age of legal majority for Palestinian children in the Israeli military justice system, when fully implemented, will be an important step towards protecting children's rights in the West Bank. We continue to lobby for

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA244

further improvements, including a reduction in the number of arrests that occur at night, the introduction of audio-visual recording of interrogations and the treatment of minors, including cuffing and shackling.

The Government of Israel have reaffirmed to us their commitment to treating prisoners in line with international human rights standards. The UK will continue to monitor the situation with regard to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and encourage the Government of Israel to meet their stated commitments.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK regularly lobbies the Government of Israel on issues relating to Israel's obligations under international law, including settlement building, house demolitions, evictions, detentions, movement and access, as well as other human rights issues.

Most recently, my honourable friend Alistair Burt, raised the importance of Israel meeting its commitments under international law at his meeting on 26 October with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK, including concerns related to settlements, child detainees and the impact of restrictions on Gaza. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv most recently raised visitation rights for detainees, especially for minors, and the treatment of minors, particularly cuffing and shackling, on 26 October during his visit to the Israel Prison Service at the invitation of the Minister for Public Security. We also issue public statements condemning announcements of settlement building, which we view as illegal under international law, and support joint action with our EU partners on these issues.

We view any attempt to change the facts on the ground in disputed areas as a serious provocation likely to raise tensions on the ground and cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, as well as being harmful to the peace process and in contravention of international law.

We call on the Israeli Government to fulfil their obligations under international law.

Justice: Out-of-court Disposals

Questions

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Hereford



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA245

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): A range of guidance has been issued to the police and prosecutors on administering out-of-court disposals to offenders, and this clearly sets out the types of offences for which each out-of-court disposal can be offered.

Monitoring is the responsibility of the administering police force. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate published a joint inspection of the use of out-of-court disposals across police forces in June 2011.

The use of out-of-court disposals and informal community resolutions across different police forces will depend on the profile of crime in those areas and the priorities of communities and local agencies. It is for the police and in some cases the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to decide in individual cases the appropriate response to a crime. National guidance on the use of out-of-court disposals provides a framework within which the police and CPS will take operational decisions using their own professional judgement.

There is no national guidance on community resolutions, but each police force will have their own policies and training for officers on the use of these types of informal sanctions. Force policy on community resolutions is an operational matter and, therefore, the responsibility of the chief officer.

Statistics on the use of out-of-court disposals are collected by police forces and are published as National Statistics by the Ministry of Justice.

Since April 2011, forces have been able to return data to the Home Office on the number of restorative justice and community resolution disposals they have administered on a voluntary basis. These are included within the annual National Statistics publication on detections and are published as part of the "other detections" category.

The Home Office and Ministry of Justice made a commitment in July to provide justice outcome information alongside street-level crime data on Police.uk by May next year, which will include data on out-of-court disposals. This will make information on the outcomes of recorded crimes more transparent and meaningful to the public.

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA246



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA247

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The impact assessment published alongside the Government's response to consultation lays out the best estimates of the costs and benefits of the legal aid reforms. Extensive discussions were also held with other government departments as part of the policy development and clearance process, which included discussions on systemic costs. Ultimately, costs to other departments will be driven by behavioural responses to the changes, and these are very difficult to predict with any real degree of accuracy.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill does not impose additional costs on DCLG. As the lead department for the Bill, Ministry of Justice is responsible for assessing the costs and providing any necessary funding, including in respect of local authorities under the New Burdens' doctrine.

Maikel Nabil Sanad

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister visited Egypt on 20 October. In his meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister, he raised the case of the arrested blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad. On 7 October 2011 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), issued a statement expressing our serious concerns about the treatment of Mr Sanad.

Our ambassador in Cairo raised our grave concerns about the detention of protesters, use of military courts in trials against civilians and the case of Mr Sanad, following his sentencing to three years' imprisonment, with the Egyptian Interior Minister in April. Staff from our embassy have also raised the issue of military

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA248

trials and the arrest of bloggers, including the case of Mr Sanad, on a number of occasions with the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: Both the Belfast agreement and the Northern Ireland Act 1998 refer to the provision of advice to Government by the commission on this issue. We have raised this with the commission and it has made clear that this was an unintentional administrative error.

Northern Ireland: Teachers

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: EC Directive 2000/78/EC explains that particular provision was contained in the directive regarding the recruitment of teachers in Northern Ireland "in order to maintain a balance of opportunity in employment for teachers in Northern Ireland while furthering the reconciliation of historical divisions between the major religious communities there". Both education and employment law are matters for the Northern Ireland Executive and the noble Lord should contact the NI Executive directly for further information on policy in this area.

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Northover: The Government use four partnership principles to ensure that the UK now only provides budget support directly to Governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to:

reduce poverty and achieve the millennium development goals;

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA249

respect human rights and other international obligations;improve public financial management, promote good governance and transparency, and fight corruption, and;strengthen domestic accountability.

This Government take very seriously the treatment of opposition and dissidents by our partner countries. When we have specific concerns about a Government's failure to protect their citizens' rights, we raise these either directly or in conjunction with international partners at the highest levels of the Government concerned. We may judge that specific human rights concerns are sufficiently serious to merit a suspension of our financial assistance to the Government. If budget support is suspended, we may change the way that we provide aid so that the poorest and most marginalised do not suffer as a result.

The majority of UK aid is provided to countries indirectly, through multilateral agencies or non-governmental agencies. This provision is essential to lifting millions out of poverty, preventing unnecessary deaths through disease or inadequate medical treatment, and getting children into school.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The findings of the survey contributed to negotiations between the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, which, along with other factors, led to the UK being liable for 40 per cent of the pensioner caseload in Ireland. This does not, however, constitute a 60 per cent reduction in liability, as it was never the case that the UK paid for 100 per cent of these pensioners.

There is no future survey planned, as both Governments agree that it is no longer fit for purpose. From January 2012, a system of pensioner registration will take effect.

Planning

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA250

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): According to the latest district level planning applications statistics, in 2010-2011 an estimated 355,800 planning permissions were granted, 6 per cent up on 2009-10.

Police: Expenditure Cuts

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Government have made clear that they will support the police with the additional costs they faced in dealing with the disturbances in order to ensure that front-line services are not hit.

To date, two police authorities have submitted requests for special grant and we will continue to work closely with them and the other affected authorities to ensure that we can assess their applications, and make the payments required as quickly as possible.

Police: Tasers

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Decisions on the use of tasers are operational and therefore for police commanders to make.

Railways: Procurement

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: The relevant extracts from the specifications of the adviser contracts for the Thameslink rolling stock competition which required the bidders to set out their arrangements for managing conflicts of interest

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA251

and the responses made by the bidders which satisfied these requirements have now been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Re-Export Controls Bill [HL]

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): No. I consider that the Government's position has already been clearly set out during the Second Reading of the Bill in this House on 3 December 2010.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: I refer the noble Lord to my replies that I provided him on 6 June (WA58).

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: Information relating to internal discussion and advice is not normally disclosed.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: The Private Members' Bills were:

Furskins Bill [HL] 1979-80 Session; British Nationality (Honorary Citizenship) Bill 1988-89 Session and Raoul Wallenberg (Memorial) Bill 1989-90 Session.

1 Nov 2011 : Column WA252

Roads: Speed Limits

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: It would be for the police to consider their approach to enforcement were the speed limit to change. We would expect the police to want to adjust their approach to enforcement in the light of any speed limit increase to ensure the highest levels of compliance with available policing resources.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: We have no plans to reduce the national speed limit for all-purpose single-carriageway roads to below 60 mph, nor to reduce the national speed limit for all-purpose dualled roads to below 70 mph.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: We are assessing all the principal effects of raising the national speed limit on motorways. We will include these estimates as part of the documentation for the consultation planned for later this year.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: We will be looking at all the effects caused by raising the motorway speed limit, including road safety, which is a key priority for the Government, and will be making a balanced judgment on the basis of them all.

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

Earl Attlee: We are assessing all the principal effects of raising the national speed limit on motorways. We will include these estimates as part of the documentation for the consultation planned for later this year.



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA253

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: We are assessing all the principal effects of raising the national speed limit on motorways and on some all-purpose trunk roads which are close to motorway standard.

Our assessments include estimates of fuel use, carbon emissions and implementation costs. We will include these estimates as part of the documentation for the consultation planned for later this year.

Royal Mail: Charges

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Under the Postal Services Act 2011, Parliament established Ofcom as an independent regulator for postal services with a primary duty, in relation to post, to secure the future provision of a universal service, which includes its financial sustainability.

Ofcom launched its consultation Securing the Universal Postal Service on 20 October. The regulator's proposals-which were developed independently of Government-include giving Royal Mail freedom to set its own prices for the majority of its products. Royal Mail will reach decisions on any future price changes in the light of Ofcom's proposals and conclusions from this consultation.

The Government encourage anyone with an interest in the future of the universal postal service to take the opportunity to participate in the consultation, which runs until 5 January 2012. More information about the consultation can be found on Ofcom's website (www.ofcom.org.uk).



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA254

Trade and Investment

Questions

Asked by Lord Temple-Morris

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The latest available figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are for the year 2009. The 2010 figures are due to be published 8 December 2011.

The foreign direct investment flow in the UK from EU countries was recorded at £21,164 million.

The value of foreign direct investment stock in the UK from EU countries was £351,544 million.

Asked by Lord Temple-Morris

Baroness Wilcox: The value of inward investment (FDI stock) into the UK from bodies outside the European Union was £302,047 million in 2009.

The average increase since 2000 has been 7 per cent.

This does not provide a direct prediction of future developments, but is an indicator of recent trends.

Transport: MoT Scheme

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The information requested is in the table below:

2008-092009-102010-11

(a) Garages carrying out MoTs

19,902

20,431

21,476

(b) Garages monitored

9,973

9,854

10,779

Tests Monitored

8,720

8,929

10,496

(c) #MoT Compliance Survey (Test error rate)

15.4%

17.7%

12.4%

(d) *Authorised Examiners withdrawn

115

94

94



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA255

Unemployment

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradley

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for ONS, to Lord Bradley, dated October 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions asking:

how many people are unemployed in each constituency in Greater Manchester (HL12771);how many (a) men, and (b) women, are unemployed in each constituency in Greater Manchester (HL12772);how many people under the age of 21 are unemployed in each constituency in Greater Manchester (HL12773); andwhat percentage of the potential workforce are unemployed in each constituency in Greater Manchester (HL12774)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions. Unfortunately, the sample size does not support the requested analyses of unemployment levels for parliamentary constituency areas.

As an alternative, in Table 1, we have provided the total number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), along with the number of males and females claiming JSA resident in each of the parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester for September 2011. Data are not available for the number of people under the age of 21 claiming JSA. As an alternative, Table 1 also shows the number of people claiming JSA under the age of 20.

Table 2 shows the unemployment rate (unemployed as a percentage of economically active) for each parliamentary constituency in Greater Manchester for 12 month period ending March 2011 from APS, which are the latest data available.

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.



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA256

Table 1: Number of people resident in parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, September 2011
MaleFemaleTotalAged under 20

Altrincham and Sale West

925

465

1,390

105

Ashton-under-Lyne

1,935

1,015

2,950

305

Blackley and Broughton

3,145

1,495

4,635

385

Bolton North East

2,195

950

3,145

280

Bolton South East

2,410

1,170

3,580

330

Bolton West

1,370

695

2,065

200

Bury North

1,480

625

2,105

215

Bury South

1,220

620

1,840

250

Cheadle

775

410

1,185

85

Denton and Reddish

1,680

775

2,450

235

Hazel Grove

930

460

1,390

145

Heywood and Middleton

2,240

1,150

3,385

355

Leigh

1,905

920

2,825

300

Makerfield

1,555

725

2,280

260

Manchester Central

3,860

1,805

5,665

385

Manchester, Gorton

3,005

1,410

4,415

305

Manchester, Withington

1,770

910

2,680

165

Oldham East and Saddleworth

2,270

1,125

3,395

355

Oldham West and Royton

2,545

1,185

3,735

390

Rochdale

2,980

1,390

4,370

450

Salford and Eccles

2,555

1,130

3,690

280

Stalybridge and Hyde

1,935

935

2,870

310

Stockport

1,900

815

2,715

255

Stretford and Urmston

1,865

875

2,740

240

Wigan

2,200

1,055

3,255

315

Worsley and Eccles South

2,250

1,045

3,290

355

Wythenshawe and Sale East

2,405

1,145

3,550

335



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA257

Table 2: Unemployment rate for parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester for period April 2010 to March 2011
Unemployment Rate %

Altrincham and Sale West

6.6

Ashton-under-Lyne

12.6

Blackley and Broughton

19.9

Bolton North East

10.2

Bolton South East

6.2

Bolton West

4.8

Bury North

6.4

Bury South

8.4

Cheadle

4.6

Denton and Reddish

8.7

Hazel Grove

4.5

Heywood and Middleton

7.7

Leigh

7.5

Makerfield

7.5

Manchester Central

11.6

Manchester, Gorton

8.3

Manchester, Withington

7.5

Oldham East and Saddleworth

11.3

Oldham West and Royton

9.4

Rochdale

7.6

Salford and Eccles

8.2

Stalybridge and Hyde

11.0

Stockport

8.0

Stretford and Urmston

7.6

Wigan

6.1

Worsley and Eccles South

10.7

Wythenshawe and Sale East

9.1

UNESCO

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK Government take an interest in the issue of archaeological excavations within the Old City and we support organisations that track such developments to make sure they reflect the sensitivity of such an historic site of importance to several religions. We are also closely following decisions over the possible demolition of the Mughrabi Gate bridge.

There are resolutions concerning archaeological excavations at the Old City of Jerusalem at each UNESCO Executive Board. However, the UK is not a member of this board and we have not had specific consultations with UNESCO concerning past or current excavations.

Vehicles: Semi-trailers

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The range of impacts around the 1.6 per cent figure is between zero and a reduction of 2.1 per cent.

The TRL report The likely effects of permitting longer semi-trailers in the UK: vehicle specification performance and safety considered the points at (b) and (c) and provided assessments where the potential impacts were identifiable.



1 Nov 2011 : Column WA258

A copy of the report is available from the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: Current motorway speed limits were used in the impact assessment on longer semi-trailers.


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