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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied children who applied for asylum between 2005 and 2010 and were granted discretionary leave to remain have since applied to extend their leave to remain; and how many of these were (1) granted an extension to their leave to remain, or (2) refused an extension.[HL15137]
However, published statistics are available on a quarterly and annual basis which covers the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children granted discretionary leave. Between 2005 and 2010 the number of grants was 10,501.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the expansion plans announced by Jaguar Land Rover and other automotive companies, whether they consider that the necessary skills are available in the United Kingdom to meet the technical requirements of new engine plants.[HL15405]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Jaguar Land Rover's decision to locate its advanced engine plant in the UK is a vote of confidence in the UK's world-leading auto sector and our talented workforce. It is also recognition of what the Government have done to support sustainable growth through record investment in apprenticeships to improve our skills base and support for research and development.
Jaguar Land Rover and other automotive companies are in the best position to understand what skills are required for its sector. To that end, we are reforming the skills system, with apprenticeships at its heart, so that it is not led by government but by employers. We are radically simplifying the system to enable colleges and providers to respond to that need. This approach will secure a dynamic future for the automotive sector, and contribute to this country's return to economic growth.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with the Government of Bahrain the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Commission of Inquiry, especially about the use of force during demonstrations and arrests, the treatment of persons in custody and the use of civilian courts in public order cases.[HL15268]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Following publication of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report on 23 November, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) spoke to the Crown Prince and has since been in regular contact with the Bahraini Foreign Minister to monitor government progress towards fully implementing the commission's recommendations.
The Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), had a useful meeting with the King of Bahrain on 12 December to discuss plans for implementation, during which he urged swift delivery and offered UK expertise to help Bahrain in this process, in particular to improve the judicial system. The King welcomed this.
Similar messages were delivered by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), during his visit to Bahrain in mid-December.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will use their shareholdings in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland to encourage the boards of those banks to publish, in full, the performance objectives set for their executive directors. [HL15142]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has recently announced proposals aimed at improving the alignment of risk and reward in executive pay. These proposals include the expectation that in the future, remuneration committees will have to explain why they have used specific benchmarks and how they have taken into account employee earnings, including pay differentials, when setting pay.
The Government's shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are managed on a commercial and arm's-length basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI), a company which is wholly owned by the Government. As shareholder representative, UKFI will exercise shareholder powers in accordance with good practice to protect the shareholder interest and encourage full and informative disclosures in compliance with all relevant reporting requirements.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills receives the individual figures for gross and net lending provided by each bank participating in Project Merlin to the Bank of England each quarter; and, if not, why not.[HL15310]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills receives monthly figures on gross and net lending from the four UK banks who participated in the Merlin agreement.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills's Written Statement of 12 December explained that support for the Green Deal will be one of the priority sectors in the spending review period to 2015-16. This applies to both the Green Investment Bank (GIB) and UK Green Investment (UKGI). We expect to commence discussions shortly with potential providers of Green Deal finance. All investment decisions will be made against a double bottom line of green impact and financial return.
Baroness Wilcox: On 12 December 2011, this department published a document setting out the criteria that will be taken into account in reaching a decision on the Green Investment Bank's location. The document invited interested parties to self-assess their location against those criteria and submit relevant information for consideration. The deadline for submission of self-assessments was 30 January and we received submissions from 32 locations in the UK. All submissions are now being reviewed against the criteria set out in the December guidance document. The decision will be announced later this month.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Lord Chief Justice is the independent head of the judiciary in England and Wales. His responsibilities include maintaining appropriate arrangements for the welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary, within the resources made available by the Lord Chancellor.
There is no automatic arrangement by which judges receive feedback on the efficacy of orders made in private law proceedings once the proceedings have concluded. A judge will normally only receive further information if the case returns to court, or if one of the parties subsequently contacts the court.
When making, or varying, any order in private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 the court is required by law to make the welfare of the child its paramount consideration. Any order made will be designed to meet this principle. The specific terms of the order will reflect the welfare needs of the child informed by the information before the court as to his or her family circumstances. In most private law cases, the judge is scrutinising and formalising agreements reached between the parties themselves during the course of the proceedings, in some cases facilitated by mediation. Such orders are made with the consent of the parties and relatively few cases proceed to a contested final hearing. The ability of the parents to work together co-operatively in compliance with the terms of the order will be a key factor in its efficacy.
In respect of contact orders specifically, however, it is possible for a judge to order monitoring of a contact order under the provisions of Section 11H of the Children Act 1989. The court can ask a Cafcass or CAFCASS Cymru officer to monitor compliance with the contact order, and such other matters as the court shall request. The officer will then report to the court on the matters concerned.
The court can also make a family assistance order requiring a Cafcass or CAFCASS Cymru officer to "advise, assist and befriend" a person involved in an order in private law proceedings under Part II of the Children Act 1989. The order can last up to 12 months and the officer can be required to report on such matters as the court shall direct in connection with any order under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989.
The Government agree in principle that there is little feedback available to judges once a case leaves court. In response to the final report of the Family Justice Review, the Government propose to carry out a small-scale pilot to test the benefits and assess the resource and time implications of case reviews. This is in line with the Munro review of child protection in England which recommends continuous learning, reflective practice and increased co-operation among agencies in the family justice system. The pilot will test a mechanism for providing structured feedback on the long-term outcomes of the decisions which are taken by the courts.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are no specific guidelines for National Health Service practitioners caring for a child who they believe is being denied a relationship with one of its parents but health professionals should refer to Working Together to Safeguard Children -a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and protect the welfare of children (DCSF, March 2010) www.workingtogetheronline.co.uk/.
The guidance requires any person, and this includes health professionals, to refer children to social services if they think a child is in need or is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average age of retirement from the Senior Civil Service in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; what that figure was for its predecessor departments; and what was the average pension paid to those retired senior civil servants in each year since 2001.[HL15048]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The table below shows the average age of retirement from the Senior Civil Service for financial years 2004-05 to 2010-11. Data from before 1 April 2004 are not available.
|Financial Year||Average Age|
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many United Kingdom Civil Service jobs are currently located in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Northern Ireland, and (4) Wales (HL15346).
Estimates of regional Civil Service employment are published annually by the Office for National Statistics on the National Statistics website. The data available refer to the survey reference date of 31 March 2011.
|Regional distribution of Civil Service employment 12|
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office does not hold information on numbers of false claims of domestic violence. Investigating domestic violence is an operational matter for individual police forces.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office does not make payments directly to individuals or businesses-this is the responsibility of insurers and police authorities. Insurers have settled 80 per cent of claims made by householders and have fully paid out, or made interim payments, to almost three-quarters of businesses affected by the riots.
Over half of all valid claims have now been settled by police authorities. Outstanding claims include issues where documents have not yet been produced. We are striving to contact all claimants to ensure that they receive the help available to them.
We are committed to reimbursing police authorities for the compensation they pay out, and it is in their interests to put in claims as swiftly as possible. Our key concern is to ensure that individuals and businesses receive the compensation to which they are entitled, and the majority already have.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Home Office last issued guidance to the police with regard to the enforcement of the rights of displaced residential occupiers or protected intending occupiers as defined in Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.[HL15332]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Home Office has not issued guidance to the police for this area of the law. The enforcement of the rights of displaced residential occupiers or protected intending occupiers as defined in Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 is an operational matter for individual forces.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Country of Origin Information report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has not been revised since July 2009; and whether they will publish an updated report in view of the allegations in the
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA90
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) report has not been updated since 2009 as it has not consistently featured in the top 20 asylum intake countries. However, where there is a specific operational need a report may be produced on countries outside the top 20. The UKBA's COI service is currently updating its report on DRC and this is scheduled for publication shortly. The report will include information on the treatment of failed asylum seekers returned to the DRC.
As regards the report Unsafe Return, relevant and reliable information received from published sources such as human rights organisations and non-government organisations regarding the treatment of failed asylum seekers on return would be incorporated in UKBA COI material. We will include reference to the Unsafe Return report, among other sources, in the forthcoming COI report.
The revised DRC COI report will be made available on the UKBA website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice. gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/coi/.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The 2011 Skills for Life survey provides the most recent estimate of adult literacy (for people aged between 16 and 65 years old) in England, based on fieldwork conducted between May 2010 and February 2011. The headline findings of the survey were published in December 20111; table 1 below provides the information about the current distribution of literacy skill levels among this population, both in terms of proportions and counts.
|Table 1: Literacy estimates among the adult population of England, 2011 (percentage and counts)|
|%||Margins of error||Adult Population estimate (million)|
The most recent available evidence on literacy levels across the United Kingdom is more dated, from the International Adult Literacy Survey 1994-982. This showed that 22 per cent of adults, aged 16-65 in the UK, had the equivalent of entry level 3 and below (ie IALS level 1) prose literacy3 and 23 per cent had the same level of document literacy4.
1 TNS-BMRB and AlphaPlus Consultancy Ltd. (November 2011) 2011 Skills for Life survey: headline findings, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, BIS research paper 57. Available online at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/further-education-skills/docs/0-9/11-1367-2011-skills-for-life-survey-findings.pdf, accessed on 8/2/12.
4 Defined as the knowledge and skills required to locate and use information contained in various formats, including job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables and charts.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Further Education and Skills is a devolved matter and, as such, I can only reply in respect of England. From the 2011-12 academic year, FE colleges and providers have been given a single adult skills budget providing them with flexibility to respond to local learner and employer needs. Full government subsidy is provided for courses that support adults to gain basic literacy and numeracy qualifications.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Egypt about the recent detention of two Swedish journalists
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA92
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my honourable friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), raised the case of the Swedish journalists with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalgn, at the African Union summit on 26 January. Our ambassador in Addis Ababa also discussed the case with Prime Minister Meles on 9 January and handed over a letter from the Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron). The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) and the Secretary of State for International Development, my right honourable friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell) have raised related issues, including about Ethiopian counterterrorism legislation, with Prime Minister Meles in contacts over the past three months. The European Union is currently developing a strategy on the way forward in this matter, with UK support.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their current funding level for (1) embryonic stem cell research, and (2) adult stem cell research; what it was in each of the past 10 years; what they anticipate will be allocated for these purposes in each year of the spending review period; what discussions (a) the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and (b) the Minister of State (Universities and Science) have had with (i) Department of Health Ministers, and (ii) HM Treasury Ministers about this issue since July 2011; and with what results. [HL15233]
|Adult||Embryonic||Adult*/Embryonic||**Generic/Cell type not defined||Total|
The allocations under the spending review do not specify funding assigned to different areas of research.
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA93
In line with the agenda set out in the Delivery Plan, the MRC will continue to support all types of stem cell research and the level of future funding in embryonic and adult stem cell research will be dependent on the quality and strategic relevance of any proposals received.
The Cell Therapy Catapult, announced in the Strategy for UK Life Sciences, will be a unique centre where academics, businesses and clinicians will work together to focus on the commercial development of cutting-edge technologies in cell therapy. The centre will receive up to £10 million per annum of core funding from the Technology Strategy Board.
Ofgem is responsible for regulating gas and electricity supply, including matters related to prepayment meters. New rules introduced by Ofgem in 2009 to prevent unfair price differentials, such as those between different payment methods, mean that prepayment meter customers now pay, on average, £20 less than standard credit customers for their gas and electricity.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of homes that will have energy efficiency measures installed through the Green Deal scheme in each of the first five years of its operation.[HL15381]
Baroness Stowell of Beeston: DECC's current estimates for the uptake of measures under the Green Deal can be found in the impact assessment, which was published alongside the Green Deal and ECO consultation document in November 2011.
We are currently considering responses to the consultation, which closed on 18 January, and the Government will be publishing their formal response in due course. This will be accompanied by an updated impact assessment.
Baroness Stowell of Beeston: Phase 2 of the feed-in tariffs (FITs) scheme review, published today, sets out several proposals for consultation in relation to community schemes, including seeking views on an appropriate definition of "community".
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they formally oppose the use of the European Union's institutions and facilities for any new treaty on fiscal union to which they are not a signatory. [HL15161]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have a number of legal concerns regarding the use of the EU institutions in the inter-governmental treaty on stability, co-ordination and governance in the economic and monetary union.
However, the Government want the eurozone to do what is necessary to solve the crisis as long as it does not damage the UK's national interest. The Government are, therefore, reserving their position on use of the EU institutions in the new agreement. It is clear that they cannot encroach on the competencies of the EU, or justify measures that undermine the single market.
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA95
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the human rights clauses of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement were discussed at the recent European Union-Israel Economic Dialogue; and, if not, when they will next be raised.[HL15269]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK is clear that the human rights clauses of the European Union (EU)-Israel Association Agreement are an important part of the framework governing co-operation between the EU and Israel.
The issue of the human rights clauses of the European-Israel Association Agreement was raised at the EU-Israel informal working group on human rights on 13 September 2011. It will be discussed again at the next meeting of the group, currently scheduled for September 2012.
The first meeting of the EU-Israel sub-committee on economic and financial matters took place in Jerusalem on 23 January 2012. The framework of the meeting is to conduct a regular economic dialogue, as foreseen by the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which allows an in-depth discussion of the economic situation in Israel and the EU, assessing the risks and opportunities for both economies. The issue of human rights was not raised at this meeting as it was not directly pertinent to the technical economic matters being discussed.
However, the issue of human rights is likely to be raised at the next EU-Israel Association Committee meeting which is planned for May 2012. The association committee reviews the progress of all sub-committees and working groups operating under the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a list of the directives and regulations of the European Union which have a direct relevance to the operation of the single market.[HL15350]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): No. A full list of regulations and directives considered relevant to the operation of the single market would run to several thousand and could only be achieved at disproportionate cost. The information is available from the following European Commission webpage: www.eur-lex.europa.eu/en/legis/latest/index.htm.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): There are controls on the import and export of a wide range of goods. These controls are contained in a large number of Acts and statutory instruments which are the responsibility of a number of departments. As a result, the information sought is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
I am not aware of any Acts or statutory instruments falling within the responsibility of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that regulate re-imports or re-exports. However, as the noble Lord is aware, the assessment process for strategic export licence applications takes full account of the risk of the goods being re-exported or diverted to undesirable end-uses or end-users. It would be an offence for a UK exporter knowingly to make a false statement regarding the ultimate destination of the goods when exporting them from the UK.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 25 January (WA 232), whether, when considering the review of United Kingdom extradition law, the Home Secretary will take into account evidence of the conditions in United States prisons, such as those described recently by extradited banker Gary Mulgrew.[HL15280]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Further to the Written Answer given on 25 January, the Extradition Act 2003 provides for the requested person's human rights to be considered by the court during the extradition hearing. If the district judge in the UK decides that a person's extradition to another jurisdiction would result in a breach of that person's human rights, he must order the person's discharge. That decision is subject to review on appeal to the High Court.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 8 December (WA 192), whether the Home Office Firearms Forms Working Group met in January; and, if not, why a meeting was not arranged.[HL15299]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each of the next three years for which figures are available and according to Civil Service band, how many people are eligible to receive performance and special bonuses in the Scotland Office; how many people they estimate will receive each type of bonus; what they estimate will be the average payment for each type of bonus; and what they estimate will be the maximum payment for each type of bonus. [HL14937]
The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): Staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment, mainly from the Scottish Government or the Ministry of Justice. Staff may be eligible for non-consolidated performance payments in different ways. First, through end of year performance payments under their parent bodies' performance management arrangements, and in the case of the Senior Civil Service, within a common framework set by the Cabinet Office. Depending on these arrangements, and departmental pay remits, over each of the next three years, all staff may be eligible for end of year performance payments. However, it is not possible to provide an estimate of such costs as pay arrangements have not been settled for forward years.
Secondly, under Scotland Office reward and recognition arrangements, staff below SCS are eligible for non-consolidated performance payments or small and instantaneous awards, eg vouchers, in recognition of special effort, achievement and commitment. Over the past seven years such awards made by the Scotland Office have varied in value between £750 and £25. It is not possible to estimate future spend on these arrangements.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many civil servants employed by the Home Office and each of its agencies were (1) prosecuted, and (2) convicted of a criminal offence, and how many were as a result (a) suspended, and (b) dismissed, from their post in each of the past five years, broken down by age, sex and directorate.[HL15070]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what meetings and other ministerial duties the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, undertook in Bahrain on 12 and 13 December 2011; and what contact he had before and during that visit with members of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.[HL15266]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): During his visit to Bahrain the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt) met senior members of the Government, including the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Remuneration contracts are subject to Employment Law. The precise legal status of terms and conditions is dependent on the contract of employment between the employer and the individual being appointed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were detained in United Kingdom immigration and removal centres on 1 January 2012; what was the total number of those detained during 2011; and how many of those detained during 2011 have been removed and to which countries.[HL15295]
A figure for the number of people detained as at 1 January 2012 could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The equivalent figure for 31 December 2011 will be published on 23 February 2012. Figures are published annually on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September.
Published figures on people in detention relate to those solely detained under Immigration Act powers in immigration removal centres, short-term holding facilities and pre-departure accommodation and exclude those recorded as entering police cells, prison service establishments and short-term holding rooms at ports and airports (for less than 24 hours), those recorded as detained under both criminal and immigration powers and their dependants.
The Home Office publishes statistics on detention, solely under Immigration Act powers on a quarterly and annual basis, within Immigration Statistics, which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Science, Research and Statistics website at: http://homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of whether Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, in the light of the comments by the United States Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, on CBS Face the Nation on 8 January.[HL15307]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): As the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) most recent report on the Iranian nuclear programme makes clear, Iran has conducted activities relevant, and in some cases specific, to the development of nuclear weapons. Much of the evidence that the IAEA presents relates to activities prior to 2003; but the IAEA also presents significant evidence, from multiple sources, indicating that some of these activities have continued beyond this point. Iran also continues to expand its stockpile of near-20 per cent enriched uranium and to expand its capability to produce this material far beyond that required for its declared intended civilian use, all in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. These activities bring the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon closer, and cause us grave concerns about the ultimate purpose of the Iranian nuclear programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the costs they have incurred by losing the judicial review on solar panel tariff payments, and losing the appeal in the Court of Appeal; and
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA100
Baroness Stowell of Beeston: We estimate that the Government have incurred costs of approximately £66,400. This includes the cost of approximately £58,000 up to the point of judgment in the High Court and a further £8,400 to include the recent hearing in the Court of Appeal.
If the Supreme Court agrees to hear our case then we will incur more costs, but it is not possible to estimate this cost at this stage. If the Supreme Court ultimately finds in our favour, we will expect to recover all or a substantial proportion of our costs.
We are doing this to protect consumers' bills. The annual cost to consumers if we did not act could be £100 million per year-more than 1,000 times our legal costs to date. The cost of defending ourselves in court pales in comparison to the £1.5 billion additional lifetime cost if we do not act.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received reports about the case of Mr Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa, who is on hunger strike in Ramleh prison hospital, Israel; and whether they will make representations to the Government of Israel about his access to independent medical advice, his family and a fair trial.[HL15271]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are aware of the case of Mr Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa. On 31 January 2012 Mr Musa was transferred to Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Centre in central Israel after 45 days on hunger strike. The Israeli non-governmental organisation, Physicians for Human Rights, has had access to Mr Musa to advise him on the impact of the hunger strike on his health. Israeli authorities assess his medical condition to be satisfactory and say that if necessary he will be given medical treatment. Other Palestinian detainees have also started a hunger strike in solidarity with Mr Musa.
We have raised our concerns with the Israeli authorities about ensuring that prisoners in detention have access to independent medical advice, that family visitation rights are upheld and that they have access to legal advice and are given a fair and open trial.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations within the European Union in support of representations by the Israeli organisation Physicians for Human Rights regarding the case of Mr Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa.[HL15272]
Lord Howell of Guildford: We are in regular discussion with the European Union regarding Palestinians held in administrative detention and co-ordinate our monitoring and lobbying on the ground with European Union (EU) partners in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Along with our colleagues in the EU we are monitoring the case of Mr Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa and will continue to make representations to Israel regarding our concerns about the situation of Palestinians in Israeli detention.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 31 January (WA 320), what funds have been released during the past six months by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation to countries in the Middle East and North Africa in order to increase employment; and what was the amount released to Tunisia during the past six months.[HL15321]
Baroness Northover: Information on African Development Bank (AfDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank disbursements during the past six months to increase employment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is currently not available. Where information on aggregate disbursements or commitments for calendar year 2011 is available, it is shown below. Although these figures cannot be disaggregated to provide an exact figure on spend to increase employment, a large share is expected to contribute directly or indirectly to job creation.the World Bank disbursed US$ 1.56 billion to the MENA region during the period 1 July to 31 January 2011, of which US$ 510 million was for Tunisia;the IFC committed $1.314 billion to the MENA region during the period 1 January to 31 December 2011, of which $29.9 million was for Tunisia; andthe AfDB disbursed $618 million for Tunisia during the period 1 January to 31 December 2011.
More information on disbursements by country and sectors will be available in AfDB's annual report which is expected to be published in May, and in the World Bank and IFC annual reports which will be published by October.
All three institutions have approved a number of new investments over the past 12 months to boost job creation in the MENA region. These include: i) World Bank and AfDB loans totalling $100 million to increase access to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance in Tunisia; ii) an IFC $200 million loan and $50 million equity investment in an Egyptian construction company; iii) a World Bank $250 million development policy loan to the Government of Jordan; and iv) an AfDB €20 million investment in an SME equity fund for Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The latest published police personnel statistics shows that there were 15,469 full-time equivalent police community support officers employed in the 43 English and Welsh police forces on 30 September 2011.
These statistics were published on 26 January 2012 in the Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2011 statistical bulletin, available online at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many British police officers are on assignment in Bahrain; and whether they will place in the Library of the House a report giving details of their activities, and the amounts and sources of their funding.[HL15404]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) oral, and (2) Written Questions, on matters for which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is responsible have been answered by (1) Baroness Wilcox, and (2) Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, since Lord Green became a Member of the House.[HL15139]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): My noble friend Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment on 11 January 2011. From that date to the end of January 2012, Lord Green has answered 45 Written Questions and one oral Question relating to trade promotion and the operations of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
In my role as Parliamentary Secretary, I lead on all other Business, Innovation and Skills issues in the Lords, assisted by Baroness Verma on higher education matters. I have answered a total of 409 Written Questions and 39 oral Questions during the same period.
To ask the Leader of the House, further to his Written Answer on 21 November 2011 (WA 208) and with reference to the Written Answer by Baroness Wilcox on 25 January 2012 (WA 248), what use is made of the data provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to the Leader of the House of Lords about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions; why information about the number of House of Lords Questions for Written Answer that each government department answers in each month is not held centrally; and whether they will place the information provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the Library of the House.[HL15246]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The office of the Leader of the House of Lords uses the data relating to Questions for Written Answer submitted by government departments to monitor each department's performance in answering QWAs within 10 working days. The overall volume of QWAs tabled to each department is not monitored centrally. Information supplied by departments in relation to their performance during 2011 will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15335]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Home Office to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15336]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15337]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Ministry of Defence to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15338]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Department for Education to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15339]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Witten Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Cabinet Office to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House. [HL15340]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Department of Health to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15365]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data about Written Answers to parliamentary Questions is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions to the Leader of the House of Lords; and whether they will place such information in the Library of the House.[HL15366]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The Leader of the House of Lords requests information from government departments relating to their performance in responding to Questions for Written Answers on a monthly basis. Information submitted by government departments in relation to their performance during 2011 will be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) standard national rail card will be available; whether they have chosen an operator for the card; and why customers cannot use Oyster cards, which are ITSO compliant, for commuter journeys while the national system is being developed.[HL15345]
Earl Attlee: There are no current plans for a single, centrally developed ITSO smart rail card. The Government strategy is to roll out ITSO-compliant smart ticketing on rail incrementally through the re-franchising process. To accelerate the roll-out, the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement has provided extra funding of £45 million in respect of smart ticketing on rail in the South East. Where franchises have already been let with an ITSO ticketing requirement the franchisee owns and manages their smart cards.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in implementing the recommendations in Sir Roger Singleton's report, Physical punishment, improving consistency and protection, published in March 2010.[HL15193]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): So far 1,629 schools have been approved to open as academies. There are currently 232 schools which have applied to convert awaiting approval. Further details are available on the DfE website at http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies/a0069811/open-academies-map-and-schools-submitting-applications.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, for schools converting to academy status, the Secretary of State for Education may agree to increases in admissions numbers higher than those previously agreed with local authorities.[HL15214]
To ask Her Majesty's Government in respect of how many schools converting to academy status the Secretary of State for Education has agreed to increase the admissions number beyond that previously agreed by the local authorities; and what were the schools and admissions numbers concerned. [HL15215]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Education has rejected any requests by schools converting to academy status to increase their admissions numbers; and what were the details of the schools concerned.[HL15216]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The School Admissions Code, which came into force on 1 February, gives more freedom to schools to increase their published admission number (PAN) to respond to parental demand. Schools that are their own admission authority (foundation schools, voluntary aided schools, academies and trust schools) are not required, if setting the same
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA106
There is no requirement in legislation or in academy funding agreements for former maintained schools converting to become academies to agree their admission arrangements or admission numbers with the Secretary of State on conversion: they simply retain their previously determined admission arrangements and numbers. Nor are academies required to agree any subsequent changes, post-opening, with the Secretary of State. Instead, they are required by their funding agreements to comply with the provisions of the School Admissions Code. This allows academies to make changes to their admission arrangements and numbers following the same rules as all other own admission authority schools must follow when setting and varying their admission arrangements.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The existing legislative framework would allow any school, whether an academy, free school or maintained school to outsource the management of, and teaching at, that school to a third party, which could include a for-profit company. Under such arrangements, the academy trust or the governing body of a maintained school remain legally responsible for the running of the school and manage the contract accordingly. Academy trusts must be established on a non-profit-making basis and use all income and assets for the charitable purpose of the trust.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The pupil premium was introduced in April 2011 and allocations have so
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA107
In Greater Manchester there were 81,650 pupils on the January 2011 school censuses recorded as known to be eligible for FSM or recorded as service children who qualified for the pupil premium. This was approximately 22 per cent of pupils in Greater Manchester.
9 Feb 2012 : Column WA108
The total number of pupils eligible for the pupil premium in Greater Manchester and all its parliamentary constituencies may be higher, but it is not possible to identify the number of pupils in each parliamentary constituency recorded as being in care or recorded in the alternative provision census as, in both cases, the returns are provided at local authority level rather than at establishment level.
|State-Funded Primary, Secondary and Special Schools, and Pupil Referral Units (1)(2)(3)(4):|
|Number of Pupils Eligible for the Pupil Premium on 2011-12 (9)*|
|By Parliamentary Constituency in Greater Manchester|
|Total Pupil Premium|
|Number on roll (5)||Total Pupils eligible for the Pupil Premium (6) (7) (8)||Proportion of Pupils in each Parliamentary constituency eligible for the Pupil Premium|
5. Full-time equivalent (FTE) pupils in year groups R-11 (where National Curriculum year-groups do not apply pupils aged 4 to 15). For all those aged 5 and over includes sole or dual main registrations only. In Pupil Referral Units, FTE pupils aged 4 (all registration types) and headcount of pupils aged 5 to 15 (sole or dual main registrations as well as pupils who are registered with other providers and further education colleges).
6. Full-time equivalent (FTE) number of pupils known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals in year groups R-11, (where National Curriculum year groups do not apply pupils aged 4 to 15). For all those aged 5 and over includes sole or dual main registrations only. In Pupil Referral Units, FTE pupils aged 4 (all registration types) and headcount of pupils aged 5 to 15 (sole or dual main registrations as well as pupils who are registered with other providers and further education colleges) known to be eligible for and claiming free school meals.
7. Full-time equivalent (FTE) number of pupils in State-Funded Primary, State-Funded Secondary and Maintained Special Schools recorded on roll as service children on the January 2011 school census in year groups R-11 (where National Curriculum year groups do not apply pupils aged 4 to 15). For all those aged 5 and over includes sole or dual main registrations only.
9. It is not possible to determine the number of parliamentary constituency pupils recorded on the alternative provision census or recorded as looked-after children as they are both local authority returns, and not an establishment level return. Therefore, this figure will be lower then the corresponding figure on the local authority table.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan's Jonglei state; and what aid is being made available to those displaced by the ethnic violence there.[HL15165]
Baroness Northover: Britain is playing a lead role in providing emergency relief to Jonglei and other states in South Sudan. In December 2011, the Secretary of State approved a two-year package of support for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) in South Sudan. UK support to the extended 2011 CHF and the new 2012 CHF will assist in providing emergency relief to Jonglei and other states over the coming months.
According to the latest information from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, dated 30 January, 141,787 people have been registered as affected by the latest conflict in Jonglei state, and a further 95,889 have been reported as in need. Registration and reported numbers are being verified and assessments are ongoing. The international community, including the UK through its support to the CHF, is providing food and other emergency assistance to affected areas; 78,883 people have received food aid to date.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 25 January (WA 250-1), how many evictions from squatted properties have been carried out by the police or bailiffs in the London metropolitan area in each of the last five years.[HL15331]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The information requested is not available. Although we hold data on the number of possession orders granted by the county courts in the London area, these do not provide a reliable indicator of the number of evictions from squatted properties which followed a court order.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each parliamentary Session since 2001, how many statutory instruments laid by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor departments were reprinted due to (1) defective drafting, and (2) other error; how much each reprinting cost; and who paid for each reprinting.[HL15151]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The information requested by the noble Lord is not held centrally within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI) publish annual departmental returns, which list by department, the number of statutory instruments reported by it as being, in its opinion, defective. Copies of these reports are available in the Library of the House. Where an order requires a reprint, the Stationery Office issues this free of charge to all known recipients, with the actual costs being met by BIS Legal Directorates.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each parliamentary Session since 2001, how many statutory instruments laid by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its predecessor departments were reprinted due to (1) defective drafting, and (2) other error; how much each reprinting cost; and who paid for each reprinting.[HL15187]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Since 1988, 94 correcting instruments have been made and issued free of charge to purchasers of the statutory instrument (SI). This covers SIs laid by Defra or its predecessor departments-where the policy responsibility remains with Defra. Defra is in the process of compiling a list of legislation made by Defra or its predecessor departments, with current records suggesting that more than 2000 SIs in total were made over this period. Cost records are available for 70 of the 94 replacement instruments and date from 1997. The total cost of these 70 was £17,537 and met by the department. Information as to the reason for SIs being reprinted is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost, if at all, given the timescales involved.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what humanitarian organisations are currently operating in Abyei and what assessment they have made about whether current conditions would allow the resumption of activity by aid organisations which have withdrawn.[HL15231]
Baroness Northover: Humanitarian organisations are currently providing relief assistance to approximately 110,000 people who have been displaced from Abyei. The continued presence of unauthorised forces and the risk of landmines continue to deter the return of those displaced by conflict and limit the activity of humanitarian organisations in Abyei itself. Several United Nation agencies have returned to Abyei town, including UNICEF (the UN Children's Fund), the World Health Organisation, and the UN High Commission for Refugees. Most of the humanitarian international non-governmental organisations have been operating out of Agok, across the Kiir River in South Sudan, since 2008 and have not had a sustained presence in Abyei town.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what exchange programmes exist between the United Kingdom and Tunisia; and what plans they are aware of within Tunisia for internal and external dialogue designed to create national consensus.[HL15320]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK is working hard to support the transition to democracy in Tunisia. Our bilateral efforts have focused on the Arab Partnership programme which provides a wide range of UK-led assistance, including support for visits of UK experts from Parliament and the BBC. The work of the British Council in Tunisia builds links with Tunisian civil society and young people in Tunisia. We also fund scholarships for the best Tunisian students to study in the UK, through the Chevening Scholarship programme.
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