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19 Oct 2012 : Column WA489

Written Answers

Friday 19 October 2012

Food and Drink: Sales and Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will support the strategies of the Food and Drink Federation to promote the growth of domestic sales and exports by its member companies. [HL2443]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): The Food and Drink Federation represents the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. The sector employs some 400,000 people with a turnover of over £76 billion. The Food and Drink Federation’s 20/20 vision for this sector sets out a shared commitment to deliver sustainable growth in this sector. Defra and other parts of the Government including the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UK Trade and Investment and the Food Standards Agency have been working closely with the Food and Drink Federation, their members and other parts of the food and farming industry to help achieve our shared goals.

This includes developing a joint government and industry action plan for driving exports growth in the farming, food and drink sector, now being implemented; strengthening relationships with major food and drink exporters and investors to identify and unlock barriers to growth and investment; and supporting growth by promoting innovation through industry-led collaborative R&D to develop innovative products, processes and approaches to improve access to markets.

Government Departments: Procurement

Questions

Asked by Lord Bates

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to increase the transparency of public spending on government procurement cards in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister between 2001 and 2006.[HL2129]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to increase the transparency of public spending on government procurement cards in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office between 2006 and 2007.[HL2130]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Under the coalition Government, the Department for Communities and Local Government has been at the forefront of the transparency agenda and publishing open data on spending.

This has included publishing past and present data on government procurement cards administered by the department, including transactions under the auspices

19 Oct 2012 : Column WA490

of the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from 2004 (from which data are held), the then Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

This spending data can be found online at: www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/transparencyingovernment/spenddata/.

As I observed in my answer of 17 January 2012 (Official Report, col. WA 122) such transparency has highlighted wasteful and profligate spending, which is a legitimate area for ongoing parliamentary and public scrutiny.

This Administration have put in place tough controls on such card spending and the very act of transparency acts as a valuable check and balance to ensure greater protection of taxpayers’ money in the future.

Asked by Lord Bates

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to increase the transparency of past public spending on government procurement cards in the Department for Communities and Local Government.[HL2131]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the value for money and efficiency of past spending on government procurement cards in the Department for Communities and Local Government and its predecessor departments. [HL2132]

Baroness Hanham: Sir Philip Green’s report into government efficiency in October 2010 criticised insufficient monitoring and poor spending controls on such corporate charge cards. Under the coalition, the Department for Communities and Local Government has been at the forefront of the transparency agenda and publishing open data on spending. We have also published historic data, including transactions on government procurement cards, to help identify wasteful spending and to place current spending patterns in context.

Combined with introducing tougher spending controls on card holders, this new transparency regime has helped the department reduce our card spending by over three-quarters, from £321,076 a year in 2009-10, to just £70,835 in 2011-12.

Such online scrutiny has highlighted wasteful and profligate spending. It is the opinion of Ministers in this Administration that a number of transactions do not represent value for money for the taxpayer. As noted in previous parliamentary answers, pertinent examples include ministerial meetings at the Wolseley and Boisdales, (24 October 2011, Official Report, Commons, col. 62W); an away day at a venue offering burlesque entertainment (13 July 2011, Official Report, Commons, col. 361W) and hospitality at Sky City Casino in New Zealand and Star City Casino in Australia (3 November 2011, Official Report, Commons, col. 784W) and (17 January 2012, Official Report, col. WA 122).

Asked by Lord Bates

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps the Department for Communities and Local Government has taken to stop fraudulent spending on government procurement cards.[HL2133]

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Baroness Hanham: Under this Administration, my department has introduced new internal checks and audit trails on the use of the government procurement card, from pre-approvals to requiring post-transaction reporting. Our transparency agenda of publishing spending data online has also increased internal and external scrutiny of every single transaction on such charge cards.

Departmental practice is for the card holder to check statements against usage and report any anomalies to the card issuing company; cards are cancelled if they are lost, stolen or there is a risk that the card number could become known to a third party. As I outlined in my answer of 17 January 2012 (Official Report, col. WA 122), there were seven identified cloned transactions in 2004-06 out of approximately 4,800 authorised transactions. These were refunded by the card company, and for the avoidance of doubt, I am not aware of any other cloned transactions in that time period.

Health: Sleep Apnoea

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking with regard to the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.[HL2489]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Clinical Directors for Respiratory Disease have identified obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) as one of the priority areas for the respiratory programme in the department for this year. As a result, a clinical lead and a project manager were appointed and are currently mapping existing services and identifying priorities for action on OSA. Working groups have been established to support this work, involving a range of experts and stakeholders, including representatives from the British Lung Foundation, British Thoracic Society, British Sleep Society, Association of Respiratory Technology and Physiology, Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists, Primary Care Respiratory Society and the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association.

The national programme for physiological diagnostics continues to monitor access to investigations for OSA and other sleep-related breathing problems, and promotes best practice in service delivery.

Waiting time data are available in the public domain and was included in the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare for People with Respiratory Disease: www.rightcare.nhs.uk/index.php/atlas/respiratorydisease.

It will also be included in the Diagnostics Atlas of Variation for England which will be published shortly. The current median waiting time for diagnostic sleep studies is 2.3 weeks.

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Malaria

Question

Asked by Lord Judd

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what contingency planning they are undertaking in case of the advent of malaria in the United Kingdom.[HL2345]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Since the beginning of the 20th century there has been no indigenous malaria in the United Kingdom but travel-associated cases are reported in those who have travelled to or arrived from malaria-endemic areas. The number of cases of imported malaria remains at around 2,000 per year, with the most recent figures being 1,677 for 2011.

The environmental conditions in the UK are currently not favourable for multiplication of the parasite or widespread distribution of vectors. A recent report on Health Effects of Climate Change on Public Health in the UK considered the risk of malaria in the UK to be low, but field-based research continues and investigators share data in order to be better able to observe trends.

Malaria is a notifiable disease in the UK, to ensure that any cases are investigated and that if necessary appropriate control measures can be taken.

Prisoners: Foreign Nationals

Question

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many foreign national prisoners were detained in each prison in England and Wales on the latest date for which information is available, and how many such prisoners had completed their sentence.[HL2397]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Table A as follows provides information on the foreign national prisoner population by establishment as at 30 June 2012. These figures are published quarterly in the Offender Management Statistics quarterly bulletin on the Ministry of Justice website.

As at Monday 8 October 2012, there were 557 immigration detainees held in prison and Table B provides the number held in each prison.

Table A: Foreign National Prisoner Population by Establishment (including those in NOMS operated Immigration Removal Centres), England and Wales, 30 June 2012
EstablishmentForeign nationals

Males

Altcourse

38

Ashfield

28

Aylesbury

68

Bedford

92

Belmarsh

198

Birmingham

190

Blantyre House

2

Blundeston

40

Brinsford

56

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Bristol

73

Brixton

83

Buckley Hall

6

Bullingdon

146

Bullwood Hall

212

Bure

68

Canterbury

294

Cardiff

38

Channings Wood

45

Chelmsford

82

Coldingley

30

Cookham Wood

14

Dartmoor

21

Deerbolt

6

Doncaster

103

Dorchester

15

Dovegate

77

Durham

33

Elmley (Sheppey cluster)

161

Erlestoke

13

Everthorpe

16

Exeter

21

Featherstone

47

Feltham

151

Ford

29

Forest Bank

50

Frankland

62

Full Sutton

73

Garth

66

Gartree

109

Glen Parva

79

Gloucester

27

Grendon / Spring Hill

20

Guys Marsh

47

Haverigg

40

Hewell (2)

157

High Down

190

Highpoint (North and South)

195

Hindley

13

Hollesley Bay

4

Holme House

51

Hull

52

Huntercombe

291

Isis (3)

108

Isle of Wight (4)

199

Kennet

3

Kingston

22

Kirkham

9

Kirklevington Grange

1

Lancaster Farms

19

Leeds

92

Leicester

58

Lewes

70

Leyhill

22

Lincoln

83

Lindholme

95

Littlehey

217

Liverpool

79

Long Lartin

86

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Lowdham Grange

101

Maidstone

165

Manchester

111

Moorland / Hatfield

170

Mount

106

North Sea Camp

11

Northallerton

8

Northumberland (6)

8

Norwich

96

Nottingham

98

Onley

16

Oakwood

30

Parc

67

Pentonville

349

Peterborough (5)

105

Portland

34

Preston

28

Ranby

119

Reading

18

Risley

195

Rochester

63

Rye Hill

105

Shepton Mallet

14

Shrewsbury

16

Stafford

45

Standford Hill (Sheppey cluster)

26

Stocken

17

Stoke Heath

31

Sudbury

21

Swaleside (Sheppey cluster)

218

Swansea

19

Swinfen Hall

49

Thameside

155

Thorn Cross

3

Usk / Prescoed

20

Verne

249

Wakefield

64

Wandsworth

448

Warren Hill

17

Wayland

22

Wealstun

14

Wellingborough

76

Werrington

14

Wetherby

17

Whatton

37

Whitemoor

105

Winchester

50

Wolds

10

Woodhill

110

Wormwood Scrubs

407

Wymott

67

Total Male (excluding NOMS IRCs)

9,529

Females

Askham Grange

4

Bronzefield

112

Downview

91

Drake Hall

60

East Sutton Park

1

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Eastwood Park

29

Foston Hall

26

Holloway

172

Low Newton

6

New Hall

20

Peterborough (5)

35

Send

24

Styal

34

Total Female (excluding NOMS IRCs)

614

NOMS Operated Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs)

Dover IRC

295

Haslar IRC

137

Morton Hall IRC (1)

286

Total IRCs

718

All establishments

10,861

(1)

On 13 January 2011 the Secretary of State for Justice announced that HMP Morton Hall, will close (having previously been a female prison) and then re-open as an Immigration Removal Centre, holding immigration detainees on behalf of UKBA. On 16 May Morton Hall began operating as an Immigration Removal Centre.

(2)

HMP Hewell was created by an amalgamation of the three former prisons, Blakenhurst, Brockhill and Hewell Grange on 25 June 2008; as of the 30 September 2011 the Brockhill site closed.

(3)

HMP and YOI Isis, which opened on 28 July 2010, is sited within the perimeter wall of HMP Belmarsh.

(4)

HMP Isle of Wight was created by an amalgamation of the three former prisons, Albany, Camp Hill and Parkhurst on 1 April 2009.

(5)

Peterborough is a dual purpose prison for men and women.

(6)

HMP Northumberland is the new name for Acklington and Castington.

Data Sources and Quality

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Table B: Number of immigration detainees held in prison on Monday 8 October 2012, by establishment
PrisonNumber of Immigration Detainees held on Monday 8 October

Altcourse

3

Ashfield

1

Aylesbury

1

Bedford

6

Belmarsh

15

Birmingham

10

Blundeston

3

Brinsford

3

Bristol

2

Bronzefield

3

Bullingdon

6

Bullwood Hall

13

Bure

4

Canterbury

6

Cardiff

2

Chelmsford

9

Dartmoor

1

Doncaster

11

19 Oct 2012 : Column WA496

Dorchester

5

Dovegate

4

Downview

1

Drake Hall

1

Durham

3

Elmley (Sheppey Cluster)

33

Exeter

1

Featherstone

1

Feltham

15

Forest Bank

5

Foston Hall

1

Full Sutton

1

Garth

2

Glen Parva

7

Gloucester

3

Guys Marsh

3

Hewell

9

High Down

21

Highpoint (North and South)

18

Holloway

12

Holme House

9

Hull

5

Huntercombe

1

Isis

4

Isle of Wight

1

Lancaster Farms

2

Leeds

8

Leicester

3

Lewes

6

Lincoln

17

Lindholme

3

Littlehey

23

Liverpool

7

Long Lartin

3

Maidstone

10

Manchester

3

Moorland / Hatfield

19

Mount

9

New Hall

2

Norwich

15

Nottingham

6

Oakwood

1

Parc

5

Pentonville

25

Peterborough

7

Portland

1

Preston

2

Ranby

6

Risley

19

Rochester

2

Rye Hill

1

Stafford

2

Stoke Heath

5

Styal

1

Swinfen Hall

1

Thameside

22

Usk / Prescoed

1

Verne

2

19 Oct 2012 : Column WA497

Wakefield

2

Wandsworth

21

Whatton

2

Winchester

4

Woodhill

14

Wormwood Scrubs

8

Wymott

2

Total

557

Prisons: Strip Searches

Question

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes have been made at New Hall prison in the light of the report of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, published in August, describing as “unacceptable and unnecessary” the practice of cutting the clothes off women prisoners when forcibly strip searching them. [HL2529]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is considering the recommendations made in HM Inspectorate of Prisons’ (HMCIP) report on HMP and YOI New Hall published on 29 August 2012. As with all establishment inspection reports by HMIP, NOMS intends to produce an action plan responding to all the recommendations made in the report between three and six months after the date of publication. I will therefore write to the noble Baroness detailing the response to the recommendations about this matter once the plan has been sent to the chief inspector.

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The national policy on full searching prisoners under restraint is contained within Prison Service Order (PSO) 1600, Use of Force. It is lawful for all prisoners, including women, to be forcibly full searched and for their clothing to be cut off them as part of the search. However, this should only be done when it is absolutely necessary, where there is no alternative and with the authority of the duty governor or supervising officer in charge.

Since the HMIP inspection, HMP and YOI New Hall has reinforced the specific techniques on how and when to remove clothes from prisoners without the need to cut them off in ongoing control and restraint training and also via a notice to staff which clarifies the process.

Trees: Ivy

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Newby on 24 September (WA 295), on what evidence they base their view that ivy poses no threat to trees; what other problems cause the death of ivy-clad trees; and whether they believe that a reduction in the spread of ivy could be beneficial.[HL2415]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): We based our view on advice from the Forestry Commission, which has found that ivy may be a contributory factor in the death of some declining trees but its investigations suggest this is a result of exacerbating problems in already weakened or diseased trees rather than actually killing healthy ones.

While some may see a reduction in the spread of ivy as beneficial, we have no plans to encourage its removal: this is a decision for individual land owners and managers.