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The Government will also be responding to the Mary Portas review, which included policy recommendations on parking, in the spring.

Parliament Square

Question

Asked by Lord Trefgarne

Earl Attlee: Her Majesty's Government have made no such representations, as local road works are a matter for the local highway authority. The noble Lord may wish to inquire whether the House authorities have made any such representations.

Pensions

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Royal Mail pension plan is the principal pension scheme for Royal Mail employees. The pension scheme is not a body classified to the public sector and, therefore, not directly consolidated within whole of government accounts. However, the pension liabilities of the Royal Mail pension plan are reflected in the accounts of the Royal Mail and are included in the net public services pension liability disclosed in the 2009-10 whole of government accounts. Details for this liability are also publicly available in the Royal Mail's accounts on its website.

The pension liabilities of the Northern Ireland Local Government Superannuation Committee are included in the 2009-10 whole of government accounts, as described in notes 27.1 and 27.3 of the accounts.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) is the principal pension scheme provided by universities, higher education and other associated institutions for their employees. These bodies are not classified to the public sector. Therefore, the pension liabilities of the University Superannuation Scheme are not included in the 2009-10 whole of government accounts because its contributors are not bodies consolidated within the whole of government accounts. The scheme's liabilities are disclosed in its accounts on its website: http://www.uss.co.uk.

We aim to publish the 2010-11 whole of government accounts two months earlier in 2012 than in 2011, so by September 2012.

Asked by Lord Barnett

Lord Sassoon: The Government have published the Memorandum of Understanding on Her Majesty's Treasury public website: http://www.hm-treasury.gov. uk/foi_mou_2011.htm.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Sassoon: On 20 December, the Government announced that staff transferring out of public sector employment under Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations will be able to retain active membership of their public service pension scheme. Allowing transferred staff to stay in their public service pension schemes will remove pension

10 Jan 2012 : Column WA67

costs as a barrier to plurality of public service provision, as pension costs will be the same for both public and private sector bids.

These decisions have only been made possible having reached agreement on wider pension reform.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The European Commission has issued a call for advice on how the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive1 governing occupational retirement and pensions schemes can be made consistent with a Solvency 112 approach. It has made clear its intention to bring forward proposals for a reformed directive by the end of 2012.

In the event that it does bring forward proposals, the directive would be subject to agreement as provided for in the article of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union upon which the proposals would be based. Assuming that the Commission brings forward such proposals on the same legal base as the previous IORP directive, the decision of the European Council would be taken on the basis of a qualified majority vote.

1 Directive 2003/41/EC

2 Directive 2009/138/EC

People Trafficking

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Government are aware of 67 women who were held in immigration detention between 1 April 2009 and 26 October 2011 and who were later identified as victims of trafficking. In 66 of these cases the individuals were subsequently released for this reason and in one case the individual remained in detention prior to an assisted voluntary return. In one further case a victim was detained at the end of her period of recovery and reflection pending removal.

The Government's policy is not to detain victims of trafficking except in exceptional circumstances on public order or protection grounds. But individuals can find it very hard to disclose their trafficking experiences, making their identification as victims very difficult, even with the level of training given to all front line law enforcement officers. This can mean that people may be detained for a short period of time in

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connection with a suspected immigration or other criminal offence before their trafficking experience is identified. Following identification they will be released into appropriate care. The Government are continuing to enhance their ability to identify victims earlier by raising awareness of the national referral mechanism (NRM), the UK's framework for identifying and supporting trafficking victims, and enabling more organisations to refer victims to it.

The UK Border Agency medically screens all individuals on reception at an immigration removal centre. This includes an assessment of their mental health. Those found to be suffering from a serious mental health condition that cannot be satisfactorily managed in an immigration removal centre would not normally be regarded as suitable for detention, and alternative supervision arrangements will be made. Individuals formally identified as potential victims of trafficking are referred to the government-funded support network, and an initial needs and risks assessment will be conducted on the basis of the information available, including any identified mental health issues, to determine the most appropriate support arrangements for that individual. A specialist support provider will then provide support tailored to the individual's specific needs, including access to psychological assistance.

Police: Pursuits

Question

Asked by Lord Condon

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Figures collected by the Home Office show, for the 37 forces that could provide figures for both 2008-09 and 2009-10, that there were 4,581 road traffic collisions involving police vehicles resulting from immediate or emergency response and police pursuits in 2008-09, and 4,083 in 2009-10. Figures are not available for 2010-11 as this collection was stopped following a recommendation in Sir David Normington's review "Reducing the Data Burden on Police Forces in England and Wales".

The number of road traffic collisions involving police vehicles resulting from immediate/emergency response and police pursuits, 2008-09 and 2009-101,2

2008-09

4,581

2009-10

4,083

1. Figures are provisional and have not been confirmed with the police forces

2. Figures exclude Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Humberside, City of London and North Yorkshire as they didn't provide figures for both years.



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Public Procurement

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Derby

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: UK public procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money, which means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project. Public sector procurers are required to assess value for money from the perspective of the contracting authority using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract, including compliance with the published specification.

However, the Government are supporting Lord Newby's Public Services (Social Value) Bill, which is currently awaiting its Second Reading. It aims to make the concept of social value more relevant and important in the placement and provision of public services.

Pregnancy Advice Bureaux

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department conducted inspections of new premises up until February 1999. However, these were very resource intensive and did not identify any issues, as new pregnancy advice bureaux (PABx) were generally set up in existing healthcare establishments. As a result, ministerial approval was obtained to cease blanket inspections and no inspections have been undertaken on registration of PABx over the past few years. The department continues to maintain a register of bureaux but has no power to enter or inspect premises uninvited, without legal authority.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: Pregnancy Advice Bureaux do not receive funding directly from the department. They may receive funding from primary care trusts, subject to local commissioning arrangements. Information on these contracts is not held by the department.



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Private Sector: Labour Productivity

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): I will write to the noble Lord and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Public Sector: Hutton Review

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government welcomed Will Hutton's review as a basis for senior pay setting in the public sector at the 2011 Budget. Since then, departments have made progress in a number of areas in implementing Mr Hutton's recommendations.

For example, the Government publish the names, grades, job titles and annual pay rates for most senior civil servants and non-departmental public body (NDPB) officials with salaries above £150,000. The Localism Act now also requires councils and fire and rescue authorities to explain their approach to the pay of both senior and the lowest paid staff and how senior reward relates to the pay of a body's wider workforce.

On Mr Hutton's recommendation, the Government have also supported the publication of the Senior Salaries Review Body report on NDPB chief executive pay, which sets out a clear process of benchmarks and evaluation for these individuals, for the first time. Departments are now implementing this framework for their NDPBs.

Questions for Written Answer

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The number of Questions for Written Answer remaining unanswered after 10 working days by each government department is published every sitting day in House of Lords Business. We do not hold annual statistics centrally.



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Republic of Ireland: Commemorations

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government continue to engage with a range of interested parties on this issue with a view to encouraging better understanding and tolerance in all commemorations.

Republic of Ireland: Financial Support

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK bilateral loan to Ireland is part of an international assistance package, designed to stabilise the Irish economy and public finances. The UK bilateral loan is not hypothecated to specific purposes but contributes to Ireland's general government financing. Any bonus payments to staff of Allied Irish Bank are a matter for that bank and for the Irish authorities.

Roads: Noise

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

Earl Attlee: As part of any planning permission, it will be for local planning authorities to decide whether they require a detailed assessment of noise mitigation measures to protect a development from the adverse effects of environmental noise from road and other transport noise.

It is also for individual local highway authorities, under the Highways Act 1980, to assess which parts of its network are in need of repair and what materials should be applied when resurfacing based upon their local knowledge. Central government have no powers to override local decisions in these matters.

However, where running surfaces are renewed or resurfaced the opportunity may exist to mitigate the effects of traffic noise it will be for authorities to evaluate the option of a lower noise alternative which could provide significant benefit to local communities.



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Roma People

Questions

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): While there have been no representations made to Governments of countries from the former Yugoslavia concerning provision of passports to stateless Roma peoples, the UK continues to support minority rights across the region. We welcome the European Union General Affairs Council's statement on 5 December 2011 on minority rights in the western Balkans, reiterating the importance of protection of all minorities and calling on the Governments of the region to take the necessary actions to address outstanding concerns. The same conclusions also called for work to continue on improving the social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups including the Roma.

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

Lord Howell of Guildford: In May 2011 the European Union (EU) adopted Council Conclusions on an EU framework for national roma integration strategies up to 2020, encouraging member states to pursue efforts in the fields of education, employment, healthcare and housing, with a view to closing the gaps between marginalized Roma communities and the general population.

The EU Commission, in co-operation with the Court of Auditors, is responsible for monitoring the spending of EU funds by member states. The UK is not aware of any cases where funds allocated to Roma projects have been diverted to other projects. The UK supports efforts to ensure that EU funds are used correctly. Through our network of embassies, the Government also directly fund a number of projects aimed at improving the position of Roma people.

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government remain concerned about the violence and discrimination Roma continue to face in many parts of Europe. While countries hold the primary responsibility for promoting the inclusion of all their communities, there is scope for international co-operation too. In Bulgaria, our embassy regularly raises Roma integration issues with the Bulgarian government, and has joined other European Union missions in discussing the issues with the Deputy

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Prime Minister. In Romania, our embassy regularly raises the situation of the Roma and the national integration strategy with the responsible State Secretary (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State equivalent).

In addition our embassy raises Roma issues with a wide range of political, ecumenical and non-governmental organisation contacts, and has facilitated links between UK and Romanian partners, and funded UK experts, to share best practice on Roma inclusion in schools. We have also supported Roma health mediators to improve access for the Roma to the healthcare system. Our embassy in the Czech Republic regularly discusses issues affecting the Roma community with representatives of the Czech Government, including the Czech human rights commissioner. Our ambassador has been active in meeting Roma communities too. Earlier this year two student interns focussed on Roma issues joined the embassy to help enhance our understanding. In Slovakia our Embassy raises this issue at an official level. In addition, the chargé d'affaires called on the special representative for Roma issues shortly after he was appointed. Our embassy also funds several Roma projects, including on educational attainment.

Saudi Arabia

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Ministers and our embassy in Riyadh are in regular contact with the Saudi Arabian Government and Saudi human rights organisations on human rights issues. There is widespread acceptance in the Saudi Arabian Government and Saudi human rights organisations that the draft anti-terror law is unsuitable in its present form; the current draft is extremely unlikely to pass into law. Our embassy has raised the issue of arbitrary detentions with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice and has been given permission to attend a forthcoming terror trial.

Freedom of expression concerns largely relate to the periods of unrest in the Eastern Province this year. Following the most recent outbreak of unrest in November, our embassy asked the Saudi authorities for further information, noting the statement issued by the Saudi Government on 23 November that security forces have been instructed to exercise restraint.

School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007

Question

Asked by Lord Lexden



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We intend to make the amendment to the School Governance (Constitution) (England) Regulations 2007 in January 2012 and anticipate it will come into force in February 2012.

Schools: Academies

Question

Asked by Lord Lexden

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The framework within which an academy operates is set out in its funding agreement and articles of association. The department has agreed model articles with the Catholic Education Service and the National Society for the Church of England that would be appropriate for a voluntary-aided school to use when converting to an academy. Using the models allows such schools to continue, after conversion, with the same rights they currently have in relation to, for example, admissions, employment of staff, and the proportion of church representation on the governing body. We are willing to be flexible to capture local differences in the documentation where this is appropriate and where it does not result in a school using the conversion process to change its character.

Schools: Nutrition

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The department makes it clear on its website that providing good-quality food improves children's health, behaviour and performance. It also includes a link to the School Food Trust's website. The School Food Trust has presented the findings from their research into the impact of breakfast clubs and school lunches on the ability of pupils to concentrate and learn on numerous occasions: at national conferences of teachers and head teachers; in newsletters to cooks; in newsletters to those with a specific interest in the trust's research, including health professionals who have regular contact with parents; and in conversation and correspondence with parents in schools and on an individual basis. The information is also available on the trust's website in a user-friendly format.



10 Jan 2012 : Column WA75

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Lord Hill of Oareford: Academies that have opened since September 2010 and all free schools are not bound by the school food regulations. Therefore, the department has not received any representations from academies or free schools requesting that they be exempt from applying the nutritional standards for school lunches. Academies that opened prior to September 2010 were bound by the terms of their agreement with the department to meet those standards. Of those older academies none have applied to be exempt from the standards.

Schools: Teachers' Pay

Questions

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): On 1 October 1997 there was a 17-point pay spine for classroom teachers working in maintained schools in England and Wales. A teacher's salary would have been determined by the relevant body (usually the governing body) taking into account their qualifications, experience, responsibilities, performance and any recruitment and/or retention difficulties. At the start of their third year in the profession, a teacher with a good honours degree would be paid at least £15,876 per annum (point 4). Additional allowances were payable to teachers working in the Inner London, Outer London and fringe' areas. The employers' contribution rate for members of the teachers' pension scheme on 1 October 1997 was 7.2 per cent of salaries.

The classroom teachers' main pay scale now consists of six points. A maintained school's relevant body is still responsible for determining a teacher's salary on the basis of their experience, responsibilities, performance and any recruitment and/or retention difficulties. At the start of their third year in the profession, a teacher would be paid at least £25,168 per annum (point 3). There are higher pay scales for teachers working in the inner London, outer London and fringe areas. The employers' contribution rate for members of the teachers' pension scheme is 14.1 per cent of salaries.

However, academies and free schools who are not bound by the school teachers' pay and conditions document are able to set their own rates of pay.

Asked by Baroness Byford

Lord Hill of Oareford: On 1 October 1997 there were six pay groups for head teachers working in maintained schools in England and Wales. A head teacher's salary would have been determined by the relevant body (usually the governing body) having regard to the responsibilities of the post, the background of the pupils attending the school, whether the post was difficult to fill and the performance of the head teacher. The head teacher of a group 6 school would have been paid between £44,223 and £56,676 per annum. Additional allowances were payable to head teachers working in the inner London, outer London and fringe areas. The employers' contribution rate for members of the teachers' pension scheme on 1 October 1997 was 7.2 per cent of salaries.

There are now eight head teacher pay groups. A maintained school's relevant body is responsible for determining a head teacher's salary on the basis of the number of pupils attending the school, the responsibilities of the post and the performance of the head teacher. The head teacher of a group 6 school is currently paid between £61,288 and £86,365 per annum. A head teacher of a group 8 school is paid between £72,752 and £105,097 per annum. There are higher pay scales for head teachers working in the inner London, outer London and fringe areas. The relevant body may also award discretionary payments of up to 25 per cent of the head teacher's salary point for a number of factors, including substantial recruitment or retention difficulties. The employers' contribution rate for members of the teachers' pension scheme is 14.1 per cent of salaries. Academies and free schools that are not bound by the statutory school teachers' pay and conditions document are able to set their own rates of pay.

Smoking

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government have no plans to review the smokefree legislation introduced in England in 2007.

The independent academic review of the evidence on the impact of the smokefree legislation, published alongside the tobacco control plan for England in March 2011, clearly showed that the legislation has had beneficial effects on health. We also know that levels of compliance and public support for the law are high. The Government believe that the aims of the legislation continue to be achieved effectively.

Copies of the tobacco control plan and the evidence review have already been placed in the Library.



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Somalia

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The London Conference on Somalia on 23 February will seek to deliver a new, action-oriented international approach to Somalia, building on the progress being made on the ground. We would like the conference to agree a series of practical measures to support Somalia under six headings:

Confronting terrorism and piracy;Supporting peacekeeping activity;Broadening responsibility for a peaceful political settlement;Alleviating famine and displacement, and developing systems and livelihoods; - Promoting stability at the sub-national level; andImproving international co-ordination.

We are discussing with our Somali and international partners how best to address humanitarian issues at the conference, including the question of famine and resilience.

Stateless People

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK has ratified the 1954 UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The Government are satisfied that the UK meets the obligations contained in these conventions and provides protection to stateless persons in the UK. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has recently conducted research on the extent of statelessness in the UK and the Government are carefully considering the recommendations of that research.

Strategic Partners

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK-Turkey strategic partnership has led to a deepening of

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collaboration in the fields of trade, defence, counterterrorism, migration, and energy security. The recent state visit to the UK by the President of Turkey has reinforced this collaboration. The state visit saw the signing of a military co-operation treaty that will enable more joint training with Turkey, as well as an agreement to promote defence industrial partnerships between the UK and Turkey. Since the signing of the strategic partnership, there has been a focus on increasing trade through the launch of the UK-Turkey CEO forum and the UK-Turkey knowledge partnership. By the end of 2011, bilateral trade was estimated at over £9 billion, up by nearly 40 per cent from the previous 2009 baseline. The UK-Turkey strategic partnership has also enhanced co-operation in countering irregular migration through the greater sharing of expertise, technology and intelligence.

Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We remain greatly concerned by the ongoing internal conflicts in Sudan, and by the long-term impacts of this continued violence. We continue to work closely with our international partners to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities for each of these conflicts, pressing the parties involved to engage in or agree the establishment of agreed processes to address the root causes of violence. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), raised these issues personally with Sudanese Presidential Adviser Dr Ghazi Salah Eldin Atabani on 16 December, and the UK special representative visited Cairo on 21 December to discuss the challenges facing Sudan with the Arab League and the Egyptian Government. Our embassy in Khartoum regularly urges the Government of Sudan to allow humanitarian access in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and to establish a political process aimed at a lasting peace within Sudan.

Sudan and South Sudan

Questions

Asked by The Duke of Montrose



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The comprehensive peace agreement dealt with oil revenues only prior to South Sudan's independence. The two sides did not reach agreement for the longer term before South Sudan became independent in July 2011, but the oil pipeline remains open. Talks continue on oil revenues and other outstanding issues, including the border, the future of Abyei and citizenship, assisted by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel led by former President Mbeki, to which the UK contributes technical and other assistance.

Asked by The Duke of Montrose

Lord Howell of Guildford: The comprehensive peace agreement dealt with oil revenues only prior to South Sudan's independence. The two sides did not reach agreement for the longer term before South Sudan became independent in July 2011, but the oil pipeline remains open. Talks continue on oil revenues and other outstanding issues, including the border, the future of Abyei and citizenship, assisted by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel led by former President Mbeki, to which the UK contributes technical and other assistance.

Asked by The Duke of Montrose

Lord Howell of Guildford: The comprehensive peace agreement dealt with oil revenues only prior to South Sudan's independence. The two sides did not reach agreement for the longer term before South Sudan became independent in July 2011, but the oil pipeline remains open. Talks continue on oil revenues and other outstanding issues, including the border, the future of Abyei and citizenship, assisted by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel led by former President Mbeki, to which the UK contributes technical and other assistance.

Surveillance

Question

Asked by Lord Tebbit



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The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) and the Intelligence Services Act 1994 (ISA) set out which organisations may conduct surveillance and property interference for the purposes of, inter alia, national security and the prevention and detection of serious crime; and under which procedures.

Surveillance: Telecommunications

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The extent to which export controls should apply to surveillance equipment is something that the Government are actively considering particularly in relation to Syria and Iran. As part of that consideration, officials from my department will examine the licensing arrangements for surveillance technology operated by the US Government.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: I will write to the noble Lord and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: I will write to the noble Lord and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Taiwan

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I refer the noble Lord to my previous Answer on 19 December 2011 (WA 334). Our long-standing position on Taiwan has not changed.

Terrorism: Drone Attacks

Question

Asked by Lord Hollick

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We do not comment on intelligence matters. All activity, whether in support of UK or allied forces, is authorised and in strict accordance with UK policy and law.

Drone strikes are a matter for the United States and Pakistan. Both are key allies that are facing a shared and dangerous threat from violent extremists who also threaten the UK. There is a need for effective action and for Pakistani ownership of the fight against violent extremism. It is important that Pakistan and the international community continue to work together to combat this common threat.

Tobacco

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): As set out in the Written Statement on 15 December 2011 (Official Report, col. WS 167) we would encourage all those with an interest to respond to the forthcoming consultation on tobacco packaging.

All responses received during the consultation period will be carefully considered and included within the summary of consultation responses that will be published following the completion of the consultation.

Turkey

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government are aware of but have not analysed the proceedings and resolution of the 8th International Conference on the European Union, Turkey and the Kurds. We continue to support Turkey in its efforts to create democratic values and institutions that guarantee the rule of law, human rights and the protection of minorities, including the Kurds.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government have discussed with the Turkish Government issues surrounding the arrests of large numbers of Kurdish activists in Turkey; particularly freedom of expression, lengthy pre-trial detention, the definition of terrorist offences and use of anti-terror legislation.

We have not made representations on these specific cases. It is not general practice of the Government to comment on individual judicial processes, but we expect legal and judicial standards to be observed in line with Turkey's responsibilities as a member of the Council of Europe. Our embassy will continue to monitor closely the issue surrounding the arrests of large numbers of Kurdish officials and activists as well as journalists.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: It is not general government practice to comment on individual judicial processes, but we expect legal and judicial standards to be observed in line with Turkey's responsibilities as a member of the Council of Europe. We regularly raise human rights issues with our Turkish counterparts and will continue to do so. Our embassy will continue to monitor these cases closely.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government believe that greater freedom of the media is strongly in Turkey's interests. A free media and freedom of opinion and

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expression are fundamental to ensuring that citizens can exercise their full democratic rights. Turkey's European Union (EU) accession is conditional upon realisation of the economic, political and human rights guaranteed to all EU citizens.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: As a result of UK and wider European Union engagement Turkey has, amongst other issues, made progress on freedom of religion. The Turkish Government took decisive action in amending the 2008 Law on Foundations, aimed at returning properties to religious foundations. There have been several instances of progress on greater freedom of worship, for example, the continuing church services in Sumela Monastery, the Church of the Holy Cross in Akhdamar and the continued dialogue with non-Muslim religions.

In 2011 the Turkish Government ratified OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture), which has ensured a positive step in the prevention of torture and ill treatment.

The Turkish Government also made progress on cultural rights, particularly on the use of language other than Turkish by all nationwide radio and television stations.

Our embassy funds human rights-related projects, including efforts to reform counterterrorist legislation and improve awareness of children's, women's and lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The Turkish Ministry of Justice has announced that it is preparing an action plan on freedom of expression to resolve the problems arising from existing legislation and implementation in the area of freedom of expression and the media. The Government contributed to this by arranging a visit for the Turkish Ministry of Justice aimed at reform priorities in this area.

We will continue to encourage Turkey to make further progress in improving its overall human rights record.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: Our embassy in Ankara participates in the twice yearly meeting on the European Union (EU) Human Rights Defenders strategy for Turkey and in regular EU co-ordination meetings on human rights related projects. Our embassy contributed

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to two joint projects, on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and on refugee interpreter training. Our embassy also attends regular monthly meetings with "likeminded" embassies, including the EU Commission and EU member states. These meetings focus exclusively on human rights issues and have led directly to the co-funding of human rights-related projects.

The Government also contribute to the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession fund. In 2010 the UK Probation Service undertook a project in Turkey to help the Turkish authorities improve Turkish probationary procedures.

The UK-Turkey strategic partnership provides an overall framework for the relationship between the UK and Turkey. We will continue to encourage Turkey to make further progress in improving its overall human rights record.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: We have raised with the Government of Turkey our concerns over the arrests of journalists and lawyers. However, we do not plan to make representations in individual cases. It is not general government practice to comment on ongoing judicial processes, but we expect high legal and judicial standards to be observed in line with Turkey's responsibilities as a member of the Council of Europe. Our embassy in Ankara will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government do not plan to make representations to the Government of Turkey on prison visits to Abdullah Ocalan.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government are not planning to call for an independent inquiry into the alleged use of chemical weapons by Turkish Armed Forces in eastern Turkey. We are aware of reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons but we have no evidence to suggest that Turkey has used them.



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Turks and Caicos Islands

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I refer the noble Lord to a statement made by the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands on 14 December: http://turksandcaicosislands.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&;id=711656782.

UK Border Agency: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency has a range of measures in place to prevent collusion by members of UK Border Agency staff in relation to the administration, granting or confirmation of application for entry into, or residence in, the United Kingdom. I am unable to share detail on this as to do so could compromise the prevention or detection of crime. However, general examples include management and system controls, audits and assurances of systems and procedures and the use of sophisticated data mining technology.

UK Trade and Investment

Question

Asked by Lord Hoyle

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): Data published by the Office for National Statistics in the Balance of Payments, 2nd quarter 2011 statistical bulletin on 25 October 2011 show that in Q2 2011, the UK exported goods and services to the value of £59 billion to the European Union, and imported goods and services to the value of £64 billion from the European Union, resulting in a trade deficit of £5 billion in the quarter. Data for Q3 2011 is planned for publication on 22 December 2011.



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UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The European Commission was responsible for negotiating a number of the main articles in the firearms protocol and will be looking to ratify these once they are enshrined in European law. The Commission has already amended the European weapons directive to reflect most of the changes required by the protocol and has also been working to incorporate into EU law the relevant provisions of Article 10 on general requirements for export, import and transit licensing.

The Government will look to ratify the protocol once all these changes have been transposed into UK legislation.

Unemployment

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

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 Laird, dated 3 January 2012.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 8 December (WA 199-200), what is the internationally agreed definition of unemployment as prescribed by the International Labour Organisation; why it requires full-time students to be counted as unemployed if they are actively seeking work and are available to start a job; and how the Labour Force Survey collects its information on such students. [CO] HL14283

The internationally agreed definition of unemployment was established by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 1982 in order to enhance the international comparability of statistics relating to the economically active population. The definition of unemployment is

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contained in a resolution adopted by the Thirteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians in October 1982. The resolution concerns statistics of the economically active population, employment, unemployment and underemployment. The key elements of the resolution regarding the measurement of unemployment are as follows:

Paragraph 10 part 1 of the resolution states that the "unemployed" comprise all persons above a specified age who, during the reference period, were:

(a) without work;

(b) currently available for work; and

(c) seeking work.

In addition, people without work and currently available for work who are also waiting to start a job they have already obtained are regarded as unemployed.

The resolution also refers to students. Paragraph 10 part 6 states that students, homemakers and others mainly engaged in non-economic activities during the reference period, who satisfy the criteria in part 1, should be regarded as unemployed on the same basis as other categories of unemployed persons and be identified separately, where possible.

The labour force survey (LFS), carried out by ONS, is the main source of estimates of unemployment. The survey has applied the ILO definition directly since 1983 and estimates consistent with this basis have been produced back to 1971. The reference period is defined as the week prior to interview. The LFS also assumes that the period of seeking work relates to the four weeks prior to the reference week and that availability for work should be within the two weeks following the reference week.

Aggregate estimates of unemployment sourced from the LFS are published every month in the labour market statistical bulletin. The bulletin's tables include a breakdown of the economic activity of people aged 16-24 by whether or not they are in full-time education. This table therefore includes estimates of the number of young people who are in full-time education and unemployed, alongside an estimate of unemployment among those not in full-time education.

The LFS is a continuous survey of around 43,000 households per quarter, containing about 100,000 people in total. All persons in each household are interviewed. Also, any students living in halls of residence during term time but based at their family residence otherwise are included, by proxy if required. The LFS asks a series of detailed questions about people's employment status and their activity if not in work. All of these questions are consistent with the ILO resolution referred to above.

Welfare Reform Bill

Question

Asked by Baroness Browning



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Autism Act 2009 relates to the provision of relevant services by local authorities, NHS bodies and NHS foundation trusts to adults in England with autistic spectrum conditions. These areas are not the subject matter of the Welfare Reform Bill.

Full impact assessments and equality impact assessments on the measures contained within the Welfare Reform Bill have been conducted and are kept up to date. These are available at: http://www.dwp.gov. uk/policy/welfare-reform/legislation-and-key-documents/welfare-reform-bill-2011/impact-assessments-and-equality/.

Work Foundation

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Information on total public monies paid to the Work Foundation in the past three years is not held centrally. However, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) paid the foundation £43,125 in February 2010 and Lancaster University for the Work Foundation £41,125 in December 2010.

The foundation was acquired by Lancaster University, on 21 October 2010. The university is a charity which is exempt from registration with the Charity Commission under the Charities Act 1993 and 2006. Its principal regulator is the HEFCE.

Prior to its acquisition by the university, and before its removal from the register of charities, the Work Foundation's charitable objectives were:

to promote the industry and commerce of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Europe in particular (but not so as to limit the foregoing) by improving management and industrial relationships.

The Government do not hold information on the eligibility of staff to become members of a public sector pension scheme.

Young People: Creative Industries

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Young people have access to a wide range of academic and vocational courses that could lead to a career in the creative industries. Opportunities for apprentices in this sector have steadily grown over recent years and there are now 12 apprenticeships frameworks offered through Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative industries. Skillset will soon start work on the development of a new level 4 framework in creative industries, following a successful bid to the Higher Apprenticeship Fund. The principal learning qualifications in the creative and media diploma will continue to be available to students next autumn.

Creative subjects such as design, literature and film can play an important part in the syllabus. By slimming

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down the national curriculum, we want to free up time so that pupils have the chance of a well rounded education.

Schools should work with pupils to help them make informed choices that will allow them to achieve and progress, including in areas where they have an interest and aptitude such as the creative arts. That is why schools are being placed under a duty, from September 2012, to secure access to independent and impartial careers guidance for their pupils.

The Creative Industries Council Skillset Skills Group has been asked by the Creative Industries Council to assist and make recommendations to government on industry-led approaches and proposals for addressing skills and talent issues to boost the growth and competitiveness of the creative industries.


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