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12 Dec 2011 : Column WA205



12 Dec 2011 : Column WA205

Written Answers

Monday 12 December 2011

Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

Questions

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Tourism Quality Services Ltd (TQS) holds the contract to deliver licensing on a not-for-profit basis on behalf of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA). As required under the terms and conditions of the contract, its performance against the contract specification is monitored via monthly statistical and financial reports. These detail year-to-date expenditure against the forecast expenditure, which is agreed by the Health and Safety Executive at the start of each year. Further monitoring of performance is provided through quarterly contract meetings, ad hoc meetings and dialogue and annual reports submitted to the HSE board. TQS is independently audited annually and has been subject to an HSE internal audit-both providing additional verification of performance standards.

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Freud: In light of the recommendation to abolish the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority in Common Sense, Common Safety, (a review of the operation of health and safety laws commissioned by the Prime Minister) the Health and Safety Executive sees no value in re-tendering the contract to provide the licensing service.

Agriculture: Dairy Farms

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government have no immediate plans to collect and record either wholesale or retail prices and production volumes for drinking milk.

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However, we are aware that the EU Commission has this under consideration and we are part of the discussions at Commission management committee meetings.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We will bring together the Government's approach to alcohol in a new strategy. The strategy document should address the full range of harm from alcohol. We expect to publish the strategy in the first months of the new year.

Arts: Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: The Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries holds meetings every three months with Councillor Chris White of the Local Government Association to discuss a range of subjects including arts activities.

Autumn Statement

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): It has been the policy of successive Administrations not to comment on the initiation of, content of, or outcome of internal leak inquiries.

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): We have no plans to calculate and pay benefits and allowances according to region.

Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): On 29 November, the Chancellor announced credit easing. Credit easing builds on the action the Government have already taken to support businesses through the Project Merlin commitments agreed with the major banks.

British Embassies: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): As at November 2011, 19 per cent of our ambassadors are female and 22 percent of our high commissioners are female. These numbers are proportionate to the current representation of women at the senior levels of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (22 per cent). The number of female heads of mission is currently at an all time high of 37, compared with 18 only five years ago.

Broadcasting: Digital Radio

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The latest figures for the third quarter of 2011 show that over 28 per cent of all radio listening is to digital platforms. This is compared to 24 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 showing a rise of around 18 per cent.

This Government have always been clear that the consumer is at the heart of any decision in relation to a digital radio switchover. Whilst we are fully committed to a digital future for Britain, no switchover date will be set until the criteria of 50 per cent of all radio listening being on digital platforms is met.



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Cyclists

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Earl Attlee: We currently have no plans to amend the rules pertaining to cyclists in the Highway Code. With regards to cycling offences, the enforcement is an operational matter for the police, and we support any action taken by the police to deter and reduce the number of cycling offences.

Dominican Republic

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our ambassador highlighted the concerns of Dominicans and British companies about corruption. He was right to do so. The ambassador's comments were accurate, balanced and fair. The British Government fully support the Dominican Republic in their fight against corruption. The ambassador commended this work in his speech at a recent anti-corruption master class organised jointly by our embassy and the Dominican Republic Attorney-General.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the purpose of information provided to patients participating in research is to inform consent and is not related to the number of eggs used.

The HFEA has also advised that when research licence R0122 was issued in April 2003, none of the stated objectives referred to the use of eggs. A new objective, referring to the use of eggs, was added in the progress report for research licence R0122, received by the authority in April 2004. A copy has been placed in the Library.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it is not possible to interrogate its register to confirm whether individuals were contacted by the relevant centre in a case where embryos were used in research without the gamete provider's consent. The HFEA has also advised that without further information to identify the gamete provider involved, the centre is unable to check its records to confirm whether such contact was made.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The product to be used in the clinical trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital does not employ retinal pigmented epithelial cells generated by direct reprogramming of other adult cell types.

Testing is undertaken to ensure that chromosomal alterations during culture do not occur.

Details of these tests are commercially confidential and therefore we are unable to reveal them.



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Employment: Agency Workers

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government will be asking our embassies in EU member states, in early 2012, to provide detail on how the agency workers directive has been implemented in each member state.

EU: Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government do not support the European Commission's proposal for a financial transaction tax.

The European Commission's own impact assessment of the proposal highlights significant detrimental impacts on the European Union (EU), including a reduction in EU GDP between 0.17 per cent and 3.43 per cent. It is difficult to disaggregate this figure to the UK only. However, it is clear that, given that the UK has the largest financial sector in the EU, the UK economy could expect to see a disproportionate impact compared with other EU member states.

Agreement to a directive on a financial transaction tax would require unanimity in the Council of Ministers, giving the UK Government a veto over any such proposal. Therefore, such an EU tax cannot be imposed on the UK without the UK's agreement.

While the Government could support a global financial transaction tax, the Government oppose an EU-only financial transaction tax.

Finance: Creditworthiness

Question

Asked by Lord Myners



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Under the national loan guarantee scheme, banks will be responsible for assessing the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Under the Business Finance Partnership, private sector fund managers will decide which businesses to lend to.

The Government expect to make a net positive return on the credit easing schemes.

Government Departments: Buildings

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): All Defra's new build and refurbishment projects include a specific requirement to consider a range of renewable technologies, including photovoltaic (PV) solar systems at design stage. Where cost carbon benefit is demonstrated, appropriate technologies are implemented.

A 120m2 solar PV system has been installed at Defra's office at Alnwick and this currently generates approximately 13,000kWh per annum. All other major properties on the Defra estate, including the department's Nobel House HQ building, were assessed in 2009, but there were factors in each location which outweighed the benefit (shadowing and aspect).

As solar PV technologies and return on investment have improved, all properties are being reviewed as part of the department's ongoing carbon reduction programme, where projects are assessed against stringent value for money and carbon savings criteria.

Government Departments: Procurement

Questions

Asked by Lord Prescott

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): During October, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published information on departmental government procurement card transactions over £500 for 2011-12 on our website and www.data.gov.uk and we will continue to report on a monthly basis. The information can be found at: www.bis.gov.uk/transparency/financial. Information on transactions over £500 for 2010-11 will be published by the end of March 2012.



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The cost work required to obtain, contextualise and report data for central government departments from the previous three years, or regarding those transactions under £500, would exceed the cost limits of a freedom of information request or a parliamentary question and therefore can only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Asked by Lord Prescott

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Details of Government procurement card transactions undertaken by the Home Department in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08, (c) 2008-09, (d) 2009-10 and (e) 2010-11 can only be obtained at disproportionate cost due to the need manually to redact sensitive information. Information would be regarded as sensitive and redacted from publication in the interest of national security or if a release would breach data protection legislation.

A consistent method of reporting government procurement card purchase information for individual transactions over £500 in value dating from 1 April 2011 is available. This information was published on our departmental website, http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ publications/about-us/transparency/transparency-gpc -spend/ at the end of October 2011.

Asked by Lord Prescott

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): This Government are committed to transparency and we believe the information regarding government procurement cards for this financial year is the most relevant.

During October we began to publish information on transactions over £500 for 2011-12 for the Wales Office on our website and will continue to do so on a monthly basis: http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/ transparency/government-spend/.

Information on transactions over £500 for 2010-11 will be published by the end of March 2012.

The cost work required to obtain, contextualise and report data for central government departments from the previous three years, or regarding those transactions under £500, would exceed the cost limits of a freedom of information request or a parliamentary question.



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Health Innovation Challenge Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Expenditure by the department in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 through the Health Innovation Challenge Fund will depend on applications received and contract negotiation for successful applications.

Health: Lyme Disease

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Health Protection Agency's (HPA) Lyme Borreliosis Reference Laboratory does advise clinicians that antibody tests may be negative for several weeks after infection has occurred due to the low level of antigenic stimulation in the early stage of infection. It provides information on its test result sheets about the appropriate application and limitations of tests for antibodies to borrelia burgdorferi and indicates that the predictive value of any test result is greatly affected by the pre-test probability of infection. It advises clinicians that the clinical significance of results should be assessed in light of the patient's clinical findings. The advice on the HPA's test results sheet indicates that antibody tests are rarely negative in late Lyme borreliosis. It advises clinicians that alternative causes should be carefully excluded before a diagnosis of seronegative late Lyme borreliosis is accepted. It also advises that antibody positivity may be related to past rather than current infection.

The HPA reports its test results to the requesting clinician and it would be for the clinician to inform patients about the significance of their test result.

Health: MRSA

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Health Service is making significant progress toward a zero tolerance approach to all avoidable methicillin-resistant staphlylococcus aureus(MRSA) bloodstream infections. Over the past 12 months, reported MRSA bloodstream infections have fallen by 29 per cent.

Health: Professional Standards

Questions

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department has provided details in November 2011 on its Supply2Health procurement website of how the qualification process will work. Further details of the qualification process, including guidance and the qualification questionnaire itself, will be published early next year. Whilst developing the qualification process we will look at the assured voluntary registration scheme to see how it can fit into our assurance mechanism.

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

Earl Howe: Work is currently focused on the development and delivery of the legislative framework required to enable the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care and to quality assure voluntary registers.

However, we recognise the need to promote awareness of and use of assured voluntary registers by employers, providers, commissioners, and representative bodies for service users and staff employed in the delivery of health and social care. Subject to the proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill receiving royal assent, we will consider levers and incentives to promote assured voluntary registers.

Discussions are already ongoing between the department and the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence about how policy on any qualified provider will take account of, and link to, assured voluntary registers.

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham



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Earl Howe: The proposed system of assured voluntary registration will be designed to encourage high standards of practice, and to drive further improvement in standards. It will complement, rather than replace, existing systems of assurance.

Discussions are already ongoing between the department and the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence about how policy on any qualified provider will take account of, and link to, assured voluntary registers.

Holy See

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our embassy to the Holy See cost £849,584 in 2010-11. There are around 400 citizens (and 800 residents) of the Vatican City. Spending per citizen of the Vatican City in 2010-11 was therefore around £2,124. It should, however, be noted that our embassy is to the Holy See, whose global network consists of about 5,000 bishops working with 500,000 priests and 800,000 religious across 220,000 parishes, rather than to the 400 citizens of the Vatican City.

Justice: Family Justice Review

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): I must apologise for the typographical error in a previous Written Answer to Lord Roberts of Llandudno. The name of the feed is @FamJustReview and not @famjusticereview as was incorrectly stated. The twitter feed is still live.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Lord McNally: I am satisfied that the Family Justice Review adequately consulted with children in person. Private law issues were considered at the event held in Leicester on 3 and 4 June. In addition, panel members met the Cafcass Young Person's Board to consider private law issues. Coram held a seminar about the voice of the child on behalf of the review. The review team also actively sought input from organisations that advocate for children's interests.



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Children responded to the call for evidence stage and to the Children and Young Person's Guide to the interim report. Both the interim and final reports were accompanied by a Children and Young Person's Guide.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Lord McNally: The Government are reviewing all the recommendations in the Family Justice Review including those relating to improving the quality, scope and co-ordination of research, data and management information. The evidence gaps listed in Annexe E of the review are being considered as part of this.

The Government expect to issue their response to the Family Justice Review in due course.

In our response to the Justice Committee's report on the operation of the Family Courts, we acknowledged that there were limitations with the current data and evidence on family justice, set out a number of improvements that had already been made and our intention to develop a strategy for improving the evidence base going forward.

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/corporate-reports/MoJ/gov-response-operation-of-the-family-courts.pdf.

The Ministry of Justice released three research reports on 3 November 2011 which provide evidence in relation to a number of the evidence gaps listed in Annexe E. These are:

Outcomes of Family Justice Children's Proceedings -a Review of the Evidence;Family Justice Children's Proceedings-Public and Private Law Case Files; andSustainability of Mediation and Legal Representation in Private Family Law Cases.

These reports can be found on the Ministry of Justice website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis/moj/outcomes-family-justice.htm

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis/moj/family-justice-children.htm

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis/moj/sustainability-mediation-legal-rep.htm

We will be keeping the evidence needs under review as the Government take forward reform of the family justice system, prioritising needs in light of the reforms and available resource.

Justice: Sentencing

Questions

Asked by Lord Ouseley



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The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Ministry of Justice Court proceedings database contains information on sentencing and ethnicity. Analysis of these data was reported in Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2010.

Table 1 below shows the number of persons sentenced for indictable offences at all courts by observed ethnicity, and the average immediate custodial sentence length (ACSL) in months in 2010.

Table 1: Persons sentenced at all courts for indictable offences by ethnic appearance, England and Wales 2010
SentenceWhiteBlackAsianOtherUnknownTotal

Fine

16.4%

18.9%

18.8%

11.0%

21.4%

17.1%

Community Sentence

32.2%

29.5%

27.6%

20.7%

28.7%

31.2%

Suspended Sentence

9.8%

8.5%

10.4%

11.9%

10.4%

9.8%

Other

18.5%

16.5%

14.1%

14.0%

17.7%

18.0%

Immediate Custody

23.0%

26.6%

29.2%

42.4%

21.8%

23.9%

Total Sentenced

259,593

31,945

16,588

6,066

33,230

347,422

Average immediate Custodial Sentence Length (months)

14.9

20.8

19.9

19.7

17.6

16.2

It shows that a higher percentage of those in the black, asian and minority ethnic (BME) groups were sentenced to immediate custody for indictable offences than in the white group in 2010 (white 23 per cent, black 27 per cent, asian 29 per cent and other 42 per cent).

Table 2 shows the average custodial sentence length (ACSL) in 2010 for the 81,536 who were given determinate sentences for indictable offences. It indicates that there are differences in ACSL by ethnic group within offence group.



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Table 2: Average immediate custodial sentence length at all courts by offence group and ethnic appearance, England and Wales 2010
Average immediate custodial sentence length (months)
Offence groupWhiteBlackAsianOtherUnknownTotal

Violence against the person

16.8

20.1

23.6

21.8

20.2

17.8

Sexual offences

48.9

60.4

39.0

46.0

45.5

48.7

Burglary

18.5

22.7

16.9

17.5

18.7

18.7

Robbery

34.5

36.6

31.3

35.2

32.4

34.5

Theft and handling stolen goods

3.7

4.5

6.3

7.6

5.1

4.1

Fraud and forgery

11.5

9.3

11.7

10.3

11.9

11.0

Criminal damage

18.1

14.8

21.8

18.2

17.8

18.0

Drug offences

28.5

34.3

29.4

28.9

41.4

30.7

Other (excl motoring offences)

8.3

14.7

16.2

13.3

9.4

9.6

Indictable motoring offences

9.9

9.6

9.0

9.2

8.6

9.6

All indictable offences

14.9

20.8

19.9

19.7

17.6

16.2

Note: Average immediate custodial sentence length excludes indeterminate sentences.

Further information on sentencing by ethnic groups for specific offence types can be found in the supplementary tables that accompany Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2010.

The identification of differences should not be equated with discrimination as there are many reasons why apparent disparities exist. Differences between ethnic groups may occur for a number of reasons including: the mix of crimes committed; the seriousness of the offence; the presence of mitigating or aggravating factors; whether a defendant pleads guilty; or whether the defendant was represented or not. Research by Thomas (2010) for the Ministry of Justice indicated that people from BME backgrounds were more likely to plead not guilty and be tried. A guilty plea can reduce a sentence by up to a third.

Asked by Lord Dubs

Lord McNally: As I announced on 21 November, we will be consulting on reforms to community sentences to ensure that they effectively punish and rehabilitate offenders. Part of this review will also look at the important issue of restorative justice. We intend to publish a consultation shortly.

Legislation

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development has no legislation passed during the 2005-10 Parliament that has yet to be brought into force, either in full or in part.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



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Earl Attlee: The Acts passed during the 2005-10 Parliament that are the responsibility of the Department for Transport and which contain provisions that are not yet in force are as follows:

Civil Aviation Act 2006 (Section 9);Road Safety Act 2006 (Sections 2, 10, 13, 15 - 19, 34, 35, 37 - 39, 42, 47, 48, 56 and 57 and Schedules 3, 6 and 7 (paragraphs (4), (6) - (8), (10), (11), (14), (15), (17) and (18));Local Transport Act 2008 (Sections 2, 4 and 5);Driving Instruction (Suspension and Exemption Powers) Act 2009 (Sections 1-4 and Schedules 1 and 2).

This answer gives information about primary legislation only. Information about secondary legislation could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Scotland Office is not responsible for any legislation that was passed during the 2005-10 Parliament and is yet to be brought into effect.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): During the 2005-10 Parliament, five Acts of Parliament were passed for which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible. Those Acts have been fully brought into force.

The Bills that were led on by the FCO during their parliamentary passage during the 2005-10 Parliament were:

European Union Accessions Act 2006;International Tribunals (Sierra Leone) Act 2007;European Union Amendment Act 2008;Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Act 2009; andCluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Questions

Asked by Lord Storey



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): To date, four out of the 38 local enterprise partnerships have yet to appoint a permanent chair. They are: Swindon and Wiltshire, Hertfordshire, Dorset and Liverpool City Region. In each case the recruitment process is well advanced.

Asked by Lord Storey

Baroness Hanham: Local enterprise partnerships are developed at the local level and each partnership will decide locally how best to communicate their decision making.

Partnerships will be directly accountable to local authorities, businesses and other members for their activities. This may take different forms and it will be up to local partners to agree scrutiny arrangements that are sufficiently robust and transparent to ensure proper accountability.

Northern Cyprus

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): UN Security Council Resolution 541 (1983), states that the attempt to create a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was invalid, and would contribute to a worsening of the situation in Cyprus. The Security Council therefore called upon all states not to recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: Whilst the Belfast agreement does not provide a definition of "particular circumstances of Northern Ireland" in the context of a Bill of Rights, the Government remain clear that reaching agreement within Northern Ireland is essential to further progress on rights issues.



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Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 28 November (Official Report, col. WA 27).

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: There are currently no plans for the Northern Ireland Office to change its long-standing policy of referring noble Lords to arm's-length bodies when seeking information on operational matters. This reflects the fact that such bodies are both independent and best placed to answer such questions. It also makes sense that, when noble Lords seek information on a very regular basis relating to a particular arm's-length body, whose independence from government is of particular importance, that noble Lords engage with that body directly rather than to seek to do so through Ministers. This Government are always mindful of disproportionate expense.

Northern Ireland: Parades Commission

Questions

Asked by Lord Empey

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government have had no recent discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive regarding the future of the Parades Commission. The Parades Commission is legally responsible for issuing determinations on parades and will continue to do so unless, through a locally agreed solution, new legislation is enacted in Northern Ireland.



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Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The chief interpreter was appointed by the London 2012 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in January 2011. He has been advising LOCOG since then on plans for language services at Games time and will play a key role in their delivery.

Passports

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): There are eight locations outside the UK where passports are issued. Since October 2010 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has operated seven regional passport processing centres, plus a passport section in the British embassy in Dublin.

The regional passport processing centres are located in Wellington, Hong Kong, Pretoria, Dusseldorf, Paris, Madrid and Washington.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Question

Asked by Lord Dubs

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government proposed a review of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act as part of the consultation on the Green Paper, Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders, which closed earlier this year. That review has now been completed and, as I said in Parliament on 21 November, the Government now intend to bring

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forward reforms to the Act. The clauses will be introduced as amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in due course for debate at Committee.

Roads: A1

Question

Asked by Baroness Quin

Earl Attlee: In October 2010, the Department for Transport set out the outcomes of the Government's 2010 comprehensive spending review, publishing details of their investment decisions for major road projects on the strategic road network.

Plans to dual the Al between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Berwick-upon-Tweed were not included amongst the schemes identified, and the Highways Agency has therefore not made a recent estimate of the cost of such a proposal.

Roads: Fatal Accidents

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Earl Attlee: Information that explicitly identifies the cause of accidents is not held by the Department for Transport. However information on factors which, in the opinion of the reporting police officer at the time of attendance, may have contributed to the accident is held by the department and is available from the following address: http://www.dft.gov.uk/statistics/releases/ road-accidents-and-safety-annual-report-2010.

The table below shows the number of reported killed or seriously injured casualties in road accidents involving a motor vehicle driver, and the estimated rate of involvement, for drivers aged 17 to 24 or 70 and above in Great Britain for 2010.

Driver age (years)
17-2470+

Reported killed or seriously injured casualties in road accidents involving a motor vehicle driver, in 2010

6,758

2,065

Estimated number of motor vehicle drivers involved in fatal or serious accidents per 100,000 driving licence holders, in 2010

129

44



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State Recognition

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I refer to the response given by the then Lord Privy Seal, Mr Humphrey Atkins, in the House of Commons Debate on 25 January 1982 (Official Report, Commons, 25 January 1982, vol. 16, col. 245-46W) when asked why Her Majesty's Government have decided to upgrade the legation at the Vatican to an embassy. He said:

"The previous level of relations was an anomaly, based on historical considerations which have long lost their significance. The majority of states, including all but one of the United Kingdom's Community partners, have full diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Pope has influence in several areas of the world where important British interests are at stake and by raising the status of their representative at the Holy See to ambassadorial level, Her Majesty's Government are underlining the importance attached to the views of the Vatican".

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): It is up to the recently formed Cross-Party Conciliation Commission in Turkey, in consultation with civil society, to reform the country's constitution. The Turkish Government have indicated that they are also looking at the constitutions of several European Union countries to inform their own reform. We continue to monitor the reform's progress and stand ready to assist if asked.

Unemployment: Under-25s

Question

Asked by Lord Northbourne



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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 Northbourne, dated December 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what proportion of currently unemployed young people (1) completed their compulsory school attendance to age 16, (2) failed or did not take (a) GCSEs or (b) A-levels, (3) come from a family where neither parent is in work, (4) have been in trouble with the police before the age of 16, (5) have a diagnosable mental illness, and (6) belong to each ethnic group. HL13931

Estimates of unemployment are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Information on completion of compulsory schooling and on criminal records is not collected in the survey. The employment status of young people and their parents is only collected if they are all living in the same household.

The attached table provides the requested proportions of unemployed people aged 16 to 24 where suitable data are available. As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

In accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention, people are classed as unemployed if they are: without a job, and have

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actively sought work in the last four weeks; or, out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks.

Status of unemployed people aged 16 to 24 years
Three months ending September 2011 (unless otherwise stated)
United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted
Per cent

Education

No qualifications

13

Qualified to GCSE below grade C and equivalent

11

Qualified to GCSE grade A*-C or equivalent

26

Domestic Situation1 (three months ending June 2011)

Live with parents

67

Of whom parents are not in work

22

Health2

Have reported a long-term mental health condition

3

Ethnicity

White

85

Mixed/multiple ethnic groups

2

Asian/Asian British

6

Black or African or Caribbean or Black British

6

Other ethnic group

1

Source: Labour Force Survey (ONS)

1 The employment status of children in relation to their parents employment status is only known if they are all living in the same household.

2 Health-related questions in the LFS are self-classified. Comprises mental illness, phobia and panics, depression, bad nerves, anxiety or other nervous disorders.


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