At any given time, there may be countries to which the UK Border Agency does not enforce returns due to practical and logistical considerations.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they ensure that deported asylum seekers in need of medical attention are not deported to countries where the necessary medical treatment is not available.[HL3167]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Individuals whose asylum claims have been refused and who require medical treatment which is either unavailable or difficult to access in their countries of origin will not be removed to those countries where this would be inconsistent with our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Each person in this situation is considered individually, but for removal not to take place, there must be truly compelling humanitarian considerations.

Asylum Seekers: Children

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they ensure that children under 16 are not deported to countries where they are threatened with harm.[HL3166]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The UK Border Agency does not seek to remove any individual—whether adult or child—unless the agency and the courts are satisfied that they are not at risk of harm on return. All asylum applications are given full consideration within the requirements of the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, and by using up to date and wide ranging country specific information.

Bank of England

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 2 November (WA 159), whether the cancellation of government debt acquired by the Asset Purchase Fund for quantitative easing falls within the remit of monetary policy and the terms of reference of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England.[HL3195]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) was given authorisation to use the Asset Purchase Facility (APF), for monetary policy purposes, by the then Chancellor, on 3 March 2009.

The APF is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of England. Gilts purchased under quantitative easing are a tool for the MPC to use in order to meet the inflation target.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many attendances at accident and emergency units have been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning in the past year; and how many deaths have been recorded as resulting from it.[HL3418]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA381

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This information is not routinely collected or reported by the department; however analysis conducted by the department in 2011 estimated that there had been around 4,000 attendances at accident and emergency units in England in 2009-10 as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning based on the experimental Accident and Emergency Hospital Episode Statistics.

Information provided to the Department by the Office for National Statistics shows that there were 33 deaths in England in 2011 as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Care Services: Autumn Grange Residential Home

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to take any action against the owners of Autumn Grange Residential Home in Nottingham following concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission about the standard of care at the home and the closure of the home by its owners at very short notice. [HL3307]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government cannot comment in detail on this matter, which is the subject of police investigation. However, it is not for the Government to take action directly against the owners of the home. If the home is found not to have complied with any regulatory requirement, it will be for the organisation(s) responsible for enforcing those regulations to decide what action, if any, may be appropriate.

Asked by Baroness Pitkeathley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultation with residents and their families owners of care homes are required to undertake before closing a home; what consultations with residents and their families were carried out by the owners of Autumn Grange Care Home in Nottingham before their decision to close it; and whether the Care Quality Commission or others were able to carry out any such consultation.[HL3381]

Earl Howe: The Government cannot comment in detail on this matter, which is the subject of police investigation.

We understand that no consultation with residents and their families took place between the owners and residents and their families, or with the Care Quality Commission, in this case. Nottingham City Council and residents received very short notice of the owners' intention to close the home. The council responded rapidly to ensure that all residents were supported to move into a suitable alternative accommodation and met with residents and their families to discuss and explain the matter at the time.

The decision to close a care home voluntarily is taken by the operator, either the local council or National Health Service or, if it is an independent

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA382

home, the proprietor(s). There is no specific requirement on an operator to consult. However, the department is concerned that any decision to close a home should be handled as sensitively and appropriately as possible.

It is essential that proper arrangements are made for the safe and satisfactory transfer of residents to other suitable homes. Adequate time should be allowed for the process, so that residents and their relatives can make decisions and arrangements in a way that minimises stress. Local authorities have a statutory duty to reassess the needs of residents of a home which closes and to arrange suitable alternative accommodation for those who are assessed as needing residential care.

In June 2011, the University of Birmingham and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, in association with the Social Care Institute for Excellence, published guidance for councils entitled, ACHIEVING CLOSURE, Good practice in supporting older people during residential care closures. The guidance includes advice on how to cope with the closure process and how to reduce any negative impact on residents. It addresses issues such as providing continuity of care, needs assessment and choice for residents, intelligence and information sharing, resource implications and legal issues.

It is available on the University of Birmingham website at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2011/06/08JuneCareReport.aspx.

Charities: Religious Charities

Questions

Asked by Baroness Berridge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many churches and Christian charities have successfully applied for charitable status in the past 12 months.[HL3494]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many churches and Christian charities have had their applications for charitable status turned down as not satisfying the public benefit test in the past 12 months.[HL3495]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many religious places of worship, excluding churches, have successfully applied for charitable status in the past 12 months.[HL3496]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many religious places of worship, excluding churches, have had their applications for charitable status turned down on the grounds of failing to satisfy the public benefit test in the past 12 months.[HL3497]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many religious-based charities, excluding Christian charities, have successfully made applications for charitable status in the past 12 months.[HL3498]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many religious-based charities, excluding Christian charities, have had their applications for charitable status turned down in the past 12 months on the grounds of not satisfying the public benefit test.[HL3499]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA383

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the Commission's Chief Executive to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger CBE, Chief Executive, Charity Commission to Baroness Berridge, dated 21 November 2012.

I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions on the registration of religious organisations in the past 12 months.

How many churches and Christian charities have successfully applied for charitable status in the past 12 months [HL3494].

1175 churches and other charities identifying themselves as Christian on the register of charities have successfully applied for charitable status in the past 12 months (1 November 2011-1 November 2012). There may be additional Christian charities which do not show as such from their entries on the register because they have not self-identified as Christian or having purposes to advance the Christian religion.

How many churches and Christian charities have had their applications for charitable status turned down as not satisfying the public benefit test in the past 12 months [HL3495].

One Christian organisation has had its application for charitable status turned down in the past 12 months on grounds which included not satisfying the public benefit requirement.

How many religious places of worship, excluding churches, have successfully applied for charitable status in the past 12 months [HL3496].

It is not always possible to identify from the details a charity has given for its entry on the register whether or not it operates a place of worship. To produce a definitive figure would require a manual search which unfortunately is not possible in the time available.

How many religious places of worship, excluding churches, have had their applications for charitable status turned down on the grounds of failing to satisfy the public benefit test in the past 12 months [HL3497].

None of the five organisations with purposes to advance religions other than Christianity which have had their applications for charitable status turned down in the past 12 months appears to operate a place of worship.

How many religious-based charities, excluding Christian charities, have successfully made applications for charitable status in the past 12 months [HL3498].

433 religious-based charities, excluding the Christian charities and churches counted above, have successfully made applications for charitable status in the past 12 months.

How many religious-based charities, excluding Christian charities, have had their applications for charitable status turned down in the past 12 months on the grounds of not satisfying the public benefit test [HL3499].

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA384

One charity with purposes to advance a religion other than Christianity has had its application for charitable status turned down in the past 12 months on grounds which included not satisfying the public benefit requirement.

Child Protection

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish the recommendations from the Department for Education Expert Data Group.[HL3193]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): As part of urgent action to improve the care and protection of children in residential care, the department has chaired an Expert Data Group. This has been considering how to safeguard looked after children who go missing, or are at risk of going missing, by developing improved local and national data collection arrangements, and strengthening practice amongst carers, children's homes, local authorities and the police. The group includes representatives from the Association of Directors of Children's Services, police organisations, the Office of the Children's Commissioner, the Children's Society and Ofsted. It has met frequently since July and is in the final stages of its work. We will consider its proposals and announce the action we intend to take in due course.

Children: Care

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will publish the recommendations from the task and finish group on out of area placements of children in care.[HL3194]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Out of Area Placements Task and Finish Group has been focusing on how to improve arrangements, and the quality of care and support, for looked after children placed out of area by their local authorities. This is part of the wider work announced by Ministers in July to reform children's residential care. The group has comprised senior expert representation from children's services, local authorities, providers, Ofsted and others. It has met frequently since the summer. We will consider its proposals and announce the actions we intend to take in due course.

Cultural Olympiad

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to embed the success of the Cultural Olympiad in future arts initiatives.[HL3444]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA385

Viscount Younger of Leckie: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is delighted with the huge impact that the Cultural Olympiad has made.

This Government purposely intended that the Cultural Olympiad be delivered by and through the cultural sector, and in that sense, the opportunity remains for the sector to build on the many individual projects that were inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, rather than for the Government to attempt to prescribe future artistic and cultural initiatives.

However, DCMS has asked Lord Hall of Birkenhead, as chair of the Cultural Olympiad Board, to continue to lead the board as it oversees and ensures that the legacy from the Games becomes fully embedded within the cultural sector.

Education: Careers Advice

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are monitoring changes to the National Careers Service; and what steps they are taking to ensure that the quality of advice to young people is improved.[HL3262]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Schools are subject to a new duty to secure access to independent and impartial careers guidance on the full range of 16-18 education and training options, including apprenticeships. This is underpinned by statutory guidance and a practical guide, published by the Department for Education. Ofsted is carrying out a thematic review of careers guidance, reporting in July 2013, which will highlight good practice and provide a benchmark for future improvements in the quality of provision. Schools are expected to work in partnership, as appropriate, with external and expert careers providers. This can include organisations engaged in delivering the National Careers Service (NCS) or other specialist providers. Young people can also access support from appropriately qualified advisers through the NCS helpline, or by visiting their website. The Skills Funding Agency is responsible for the delivery, design and development of the NCS, reporting to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Changes to the NCS are monitored by BIS and the Agency through the Careers Guidance and Accounts Board, involving the Department for Education in consideration of the service for young people. The board reviews performance data, quality, policy updates and customer satisfaction and progression reports for consideration and advice as appropriate.

Education: Special Educational Needs and Disability

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of secondary school pupils (1) overall, and (2) entering academies in 2011–12 and 2012–13 had special educational needs.[HL3257]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA386

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): From next year all young people in England will be required to remain in education for a further year after the compulsory school leaving age. They will have a choice of curriculum and route of full-time education at a school or college, an apprenticeship or full-time work combined with part-time study.

We have accepted all of the recommendations from Professor Wolf's report on vocational education. A new fairer, simpler and more transparent funding system will support the introduction of study programmes for 16-19 year-olds from 2013. The published principles for study programmes will ensure post-16 education has a focus on substantial qualifications, English, maths and work experience—the key ingredients that employers want. A series of workshops has been held to help schools and colleges understand these reforms, and we trust them to put on programmes that meet the needs of young people, employers and universities.

We are also considering how best A-levels can meet the needs of universities and employers. Ofqual have consulted on A-level reform and, further to the recent announcement on the ending of January exams, are giving further thought to how best to engage universities in the design of the qualifications.

Energy: Fuel Prices

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what date they expect the planned increase in fuel duty to take effect.[HL3367]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): On 26 June 2012, the Chancellor announced that the 3.02 pence per litre rise in fuel duty that was due to take effect on 1 August 2012 would be deferred until 1 January 2013.

The Chancellor keeps all taxes under review.

Energy: Wave Power

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they encourage the generation of renewable energy from wave power; and, if so, in what way.[HL3372]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The UK Government encourage the development of wave and tidal energy through active engagement with the industry through the Marine Energy Programme Board (MEPB) and bringing together key players for the development of the industry through marine energy parks. We have also contributed to the development of testing centres for these devices such as the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and the WaveHub in Cornwall.

In the past, various funding schemes have been made available towards the development of these technologies; the most recent being the £20 million

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA387

marine energy array demonstrator (MEAD) scheme. Support is also given under the Renewables Obligation (RO) which is currently 2 ROCs/MWh but will increase from 2013-17 to 5ROCs/MWh for projects up to 30MW.

EU: Common Agricultural Policy

Question

Asked by Lord Monks

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which agricultural estates in the United Kingdom were the 10 highest recipients of funds from the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy in the last year for which records are available.[HL3168]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): The following businesses and organisations were the 10 highest recipients of funds from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy in 2011.

Beneficiary NameTotalPaying Agency

National Trust

£8,095,950.58

RPA

Lantra

£4,526,362.71

RPA

RSPB

£3,997,559.71

RPA

Herefordshire Council

£3,193,885.15

RPA

Northumberland County Council

£2,904,194.64

RPA

Serco Regional Services Ltd

£2,729,017.63

RPA

Cadwyn Clwyd Cyfyngedig Ltd

£2,318,476.63

WG

Farmcare Limited

£2,179,353.17

RPA

Berry Gardens Growers Ltd

£2,173,062.83

RPA

Frank A Smart & Son Ltd

£1,824,206.97

SGRPID

Food: Aspartame

Questions

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what average daily intake (ADI) was established for methanol at the time when an ADI for diketopiperazines was established at 7.5mg/kg by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food and the Environment in 1982 when they considered aspartame for approval. [HL3337]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In 1982, the Committee on the Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) classified aspartame as Group A, “Substances that the available evidence suggests are acceptable for use in food”. In 1992, when the COT moved towards the use of acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) in the assessment of food additives, ADIs were established for both aspartame and its breakdown product diketopiperazine. The COT did not establish an ADI for methanol as they noted that the amounts

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA388

of methanol that could be present in aspartame sweetened products were lower than those present in some foods and were not of concern.

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what testing measures have been established for the Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards officials to ensure that the amount of aspartame added to food and drink by manufacturers meets the prescribed average daily intake of 40mg/kg; and how many prosecutions there have been for infringement.[HL3338]

Earl Howe: Maximum permitted levels for aspartame are established in legislation, which also specifies the various foods in which it is permitted. These levels are set so that consumers, including certain sub-populations such as children, are unlikely to exceed the acceptable daily intake of aspartame.

It is the food businesses' responsibility to comply with food law; however, enforcement of food legislation is the responsibility of local authorities. Data held by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for 2012 shows that 175 samples were analysed for aspartame. Only one sample was found to be non-compliant as it was not permitted to contain aspartame. This figure only covers those local authorities who are using the UK Food Surveillance System national database.

The FSA is not aware of any prosecutions regarding aspartame.

Government Departments: Coalition Agreement

Questions

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Attorney General's Office has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3177]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Attorney-General's Office does not have any direct policy responsibilities relating to the commitments made in the coalition agreement. Information on the progress made by the Government as whole in meeting these commitments can be found in a Written Ministerial Statement made by Lord Wallace of Saltaire dated 11 June 2012, which provides an update on actions as of May 2012, and the live display of the 2012-13 business plans on the structural reform plan section of the No 10 website.

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3181]

Viscount Younger of Leckie: Structural reform plans detail the concrete steps this Government are taking to implement their agenda.

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA389

Information on progress can be found in a Written Ministerial Statement dated 11 June 2012, which provides an update on actions as of May 2012, and the live display of the 2012-13 business plans on the structural reform plan section of the No.10 website.

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Department for International Development has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3286]

Baroness Northover: The commitments in the coalition agreement relevant to the Department for International Development have, in the main, been taken forward through actions set out in the department’s structural reform plans. The link below provides information on progress to date as well as actions which are currently in progress for each commitment for which the department is responsible for delivery.

Details of progress against the department’s structural reform plan for 2012-13 can found in the No.10 Transparency website http://transparency.number10. gov.uk/

Details of progress against the department’s structural reform plan for 2011/12 can be found in the DfID website http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/DfID-Business-plan-2011-2015/

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Scotland Office has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3289]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The coalition's programme for government in May 2010 included a commitment to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. This commitment was delivered through the Scotland Act 2012, which received cross-party support in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments. The Act strengthens the devolution settlement and marks the most significant transfer of financial powers from Westminster to Scotland in 300 years.

Government Departments: Correspondence

Question

Asked by Lord Norton of Louth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) letters, and (2) emails, were received by the Home Office in each of the past five years for which information is available; and, of those, how many were sent by (a) Members of the House of Commons, (b) Members of the House of Lords, and (c) members of the public.[HL3136]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Please see the information requested presented in the table below. All ministerial correspondence is recorded as having been received by letter. Information on the split between correspondence

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA390

received from Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords is not available for 2007-09.

Ministerial Correspondence (Correspondence from Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords)
YearHouse of CommonsHouse of LordsTotal

2007

N/A

N/A

6,568

2008

N/A

N/A

6,933

2009

N/A

N/A

6,684

2010

4739

16

4,755

2011

7909

42

7,951

Treat Official Correspondence (Correspondence from Members of the Public)
YearLettersEmailsTotal

2007

10,271

8,357

18,628

2008

9,625

7,401

17,026

2009

6,586

9,030

15,616

2010

5,838

7,552

13,390

2011

6,056

6,226

12,282

Government: Air Travel

Questions

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Strathclyde on 24 October (WA 67), why his response did not state how much was charged to news organisations and the Conservative Party or the date on which they received funds from the party, as the original Question asked.[HL3267]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Strathclyde on 24 October (WA 67), why names of individuals are not normally disclosed; and why the Answer did not give the names of those who travelled with the Prime Minister on a chartered flight to the United States on 13 March.[HL3268]

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): A charge of £5,310 was made for international and internal flights, hotels and transport for the Prime Minister's visit to Washington in March. Three members of the Prime Minister's political office accompanied the Prime Minister; the names of staff accompanying the Prime Minister are not usually published. The invoice totalling £15,930 was paid by the Conservative Party on 16 October.

Health: Cardiology

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of Omacor for treating post-heart attack patients; and whether they will intervene following the decision by Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group to deem it not suitable for prescription.[HL3308]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA391

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) Clinical Guideline 48 on secondary prevention of a myocardial infarction (MI) described best practice in the effective diagnosis and treatment of MI. We expect commissioners to take these guidelines fully into account in their decision-making. In view of their complexity and because of the different states of readiness for implementation in the National Health Service, clinical guidelines are not subject to the same statutory funding direction as NICE's technology appraisals.

Asked by Lord Sharkey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the analysis submitted by Professor Sir Brian Jarman to the NHS Medical Director that child heart surgery units at Glenfield Hospital and the Royal Brompton Hospital rank 1 and 3 in terms of outcomes performance, what is their response to the recommendation of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts that these units be closed.[HL3312]

Earl Howe: The Safe and Sustainable review of children's congenital heart services is a clinically led, National Health Service review, which is independent of Government. However, we understand that the standards against which all the units providing children's congenital heart surgery were assessed were agreed by the relevant professional organisations. The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts accepted advice from the professional associations, including the Central Cardiac Audit Database, that mortality rates should not be used to compare hospitals as meaningful comparisons are not possible given the low caseloads.

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions will be taken to address inequalities in rates of cardiovascular disease between different areas of England under the Cardiovascular Outcomes Strategy.[HL3353]

Earl Howe: This Government are committed to reducing the gap between the health of the richest and the health of the poorest, so more people can look forward to an independent and active old age. The forthcoming cardiovascular disease outcomes strategy will reflect how this will be achieved for people with and at risk of this group of diseases.

Health: Hypercholesterolaemia

Questions

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the population in England considered to have the condition familial hypercholesterolaemia are known to have been diagnosed with the condition.[HL3350]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the United Kingdom population have been diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia; and how this compares with other European Union countries.[HL3351]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA392

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what initiatives are being undertaken to increase the number of people diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia in England.[HL3352]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information requested is not available centrally. However, Heart UK's survey of lipid clinics and clinical practice published in 2008 estimated that around 15,000 people have been diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) in the United Kingdom. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that the prevalence of FH in the UK to be around 1 in 500, which means that approximately 120,000 people may have the condition. This would mean that around 12.5% of those estimated to have the condition have been diagnosed.

NICE's Clinical Guidelines 71 on the identification and management of familial hypercholesterolaemia described best practice in the effective diagnosis and treatment of FH. We expect commissioners to take these guidelines fully into account in their decision-making. In view of their complexity and because of the different states of readiness for implementation in the National Health Service, clinical guidelines are not subject to the same statutory funding direction as NICE's technology appraisals.

In addition, everyone who has an NHS Health Check will have a cholesterol test. The department has taken the opportunity in the Best Practice Guidance for the NHS Health Check programme to highlight FH for consideration if an individual's total cholesterol is >7.5 mmo1/1- as set out in the NICE clinical guideline.

Honours and Knighthoods

Questions

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in relation to the granting of (1) knighthoods, and (2) other honours other than peerages, what checks are made with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the tax status of individuals under consideration for an honour and on whether they have been the subject of special investigations or prosecution by HMRC; and, if so, over what period.[HL3108]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the criteria for granting (1) knighthoods, and (2) other honours other than peerages, to (a) non-resident United Kingdom citizens, and (b) non-domiciled United Kingdom citizens; and what proportion of honours granted in each of the last five years have been to (i) non-residents, and (ii) non-domiciled United Kingdom citizens.[HL3109]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: As part of the process for considering nominations, the Honours and Appointments Secretariat invite government departments with an interest in a particular case to contribute their view.

All nominations for honours are judged on merit and on a case by case basis. Meritorious candidates for honours who are non-resident in the UK would usually appear on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas List.

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA393

Housing

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many affordable housing starts there were in each year from 2005 until the last year for which records are available.[HL3357]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Statistics on new housing starts taken from the National Statistics on House Building are published in live table 211 on the Department for Communities and Local Government's website, which is available from the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-house-building.

International Crimes Tribunal: Bangladesh

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what reports they have received of the conduct of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh; whether they consider that it confirms with international norms for such tribunals; and whether they will find monitors to attend some of the tribunal's hearings.[HL3468]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The UK follows the conduct of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh closely including through direct observation by staff based in our High Commission in Dhaka, reports from concerned human rights organisations, and through discussions with a range of stakeholders including representatives of the government, civil society, and defendants.

We have called on the Bangladesh Government, publicly and privately, to ensure that trials meet appropriate international standards. We continue to do so, including this year with the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Law Minister, Home Minister, and, most recently with the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary earlier this month. With EU partners, the UK also continues to make clear our strong opposition to the application of the death penalty in all circumstances.

We welcome the Government of Bangladesh's commitment to allow independent observers to attend the ICT. The UK has no plans to fund independent monitors, but Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff based in Bangladesh will continue to attend certain hearings as appropriate.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel about the incident at the Erez crossing on 24 October.[HL3011]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA394

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We have no information about the incident on 24 October. However, the escalation of violence in Gaza and southern Israel was raised by our ambassador to Tel Aviv with the Israeli National Security Adviser and the Israeli Defence Minister in the week beginning 22 October.

I also refer the noble Baroness to the oral statement regarding the current crisis in Gaza and the Middle East Peace Process made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), on 20 November (Official Report, col. 443-446).

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will resist attempts to divide the West Bank into two blocks by creating a continuous zone of settlement extending from East Jerusalem to the Dead Sea; and if so, by what means.[HL3464]

Baroness Warsi: We regularly raise our concerns over settlements with the Israel Government, including at the highest levels, most recently with the Prime Minister's office on 24 October and in the course of the UK's strategic dialogue with Israel in London on 1 November. We regularly make clear concerns about any settlements that would risk separating East Jerusalem from the West Bank or dividing the West Bank into two blocks.

Lobbying

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in implementing the coalition commitment to regulate lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists.[HL3173]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The consultation document, Introducing a Statutory Register of Lobbyists, was published earlier this year to gather evidence from experts in the field and members of the public. It asked a number of specific questions, the answers to which are informing policy development in this area. We are currently analysing the evidence collected through the consultation exercise.

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 30 October (WA 125), whether they are working with the European Commission to ensure that the Commission adopts as policy the provision of humanitarian aid without exception to provide safe abortion care for victims of rape in armed conflict.[HL3248]

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA395

Baroness Northover: UK aid without exception can be used to provide safe abortion care where necessary, and to the extent allowed by national laws, for victims of rape in conflict zones. The UK Government are not working specifically with the European Commission to ensure the European Commission adopts this as policy.

Pakistan

Questions

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the value of Department for International Development support for Pakistan in each of the next three years.[HL3196]

Baroness Northover: DfID's planned bilateral support to Pakistan in each of the next three years is:

2012-2013—£266.6 million;

2013-2014—£412 million; and

2014-2015—£446 million.

This information can also be found in the Bilateral Aid Review technical report: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/barmar.

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much Department for International Development education awareness programme money is being spent on advertising in Pakistan.[HL3197]

Baroness Northover: Through a combination of political advocacy, media campaigning, civil society engagement, and international pressure, the UK is encouraging the Government of Pakistan and Pakistan's provinces to supply better education. As part of this strategy to improve the amount and quality of education, DfID has spent just over £950,000 to date on a media campaign to raise awareness of Pakistan's education emergency, through print radio and television. This is a powerful campaign designed to raise awareness of Pakistan's education emergency and the need for immediate action. It represents less that 1% of the total projected education spend in Pakistan.

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding they have given to Geo/Jang Group in the present and previous financial years; and what is the predicted allocation of funds for this organisation in the next two financial years.[HL3199]

Baroness Northover: DfID has not provided any direct funding to the GEO/Jang group. The Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation, which implements the awareness raising component of a DfID funded education programme in Pakistan, has however purchased television time from GEO at a discounted rate, as part of a transparent process of subcontracting media organisations to deliver this aspect of the programme.

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Police: Overseas Service

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many British police officers have been sent to Bahrain since 31 July; what duties they are carrying out there; and what charges are being made, and to whom, for their services.[HL3296]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): No serving police officers from England and Wales have been sent to Bahrain since 31 July 2012. However, staff from National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) have recently provided assistance to the Bahrain authorities.

Post-2015 Development Agenda

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received on the inclusion of peacebuilding in the post-2015 development framework.[HL3188]

Baroness Northover: The Government have received a number of representations on the inclusion of peacebuilding in the post-2015 framework. These were letters from two UK-based organisations to the Secretary of State for International Development, and a joint public statement by 42 civil society organisations from across the world entitled Bringing Peace into the post-2015 Framework.

Religious Freedom

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Guildford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to publishing a strategy on freedom of religion or belief overseas to help guide the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's human rights annual work programme in this area.[HL3347]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Freedom of religion or belief is one of the Government's human rights priorities. We do have a strategy on strengthening our approach to defending this fundamental freedom.

The strategy sets out our objectives and makes a series of recommendations to further promote the freedom of religion or belief both through our bilateral work and within various multilateral institutions. These recommendations were shaped by discussions among the Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights, a Wilton Park conference on freedom of religion in July 2011, and discussions with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) departments and posts.

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The strategy also draws on the FCO's freedom of religion or belief toolkit, which was compiled after extensive consultations with non-governmental organisations. It contains a large amount of detail, some of which relates to sensitive country situations. We will give consideration to whether there would be value in publishing an edited version.

Schools: Sport

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they will ensure that all young people continue to participate in school sport; and what funding they will provide beyond 2012–13 to support a comprehensive school sport service.[HL3261]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The draft programme of study for national curriculum physical education will be released for consultation in the new year. It will have a greater focus on competitive sport and will remain compulsory for all four key stages. The new curriculum is expected to be introduced in schools for first teaching from September 2014.

The department fully supports the School Games, which has provided opportunities for young people of all ability levels and backgrounds to enjoy competitive sport. The national level School Games event is held yearly and will next take place in Sheffield in September 2013. Over 10,000 schools are currently signed up for the School Games. We are currently looking at ways in which we can increase this number.

The Secretary of State is considering a range of measures to improve school sport and will make an announcement in due course.

Shipping: Employment Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many non-European Economic Area citizens have been employed on United Kingdom-flagged fishing vessels in each of the past five years; and on what types of employment visa.[HL2742]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Crew employed on fishing vessels which fish in international waters are not subject to visa or work permit requirements; the Home Office does not have the basis for records of crew members. Any non EEA crew members entering the UK for other reasons are subject to immigration control in the usual way, but are not differentiated in records.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether their procurement from small and medium-sized enterprises has increased in value since May 2010.[HL3174]

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Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Yes. Government procurement from small and medium-sized enterprises continues to increase quarter on quarter at a time when overall spending on goods and services has been reduced.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which small and medium-sized enterprises have been awarded contracts under the Civil Service Learning Contract.[HL3175]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: SMEs that have been selected to deliver discrete pieces of work under this contract as a result of competitive procurement since March 2012 are shown in the table:

Epic Performance Improvement Ltd

Roffey Park

Elevation Learning

Stephen Lloyd Associates

John Cooper Associates

JRT Associates

Dove Nest Group

Technical Training

Teetch

Yellow Hat

Cordie

Praesta

 In-Company Training Services

Good Practice

Training Synergy

Development Partnership

Rare Recruitment

Challenge Consultancy

Premier Partnerships

Axis12

Userfocus

BYG systems

The Knowledge Academy

Catalyst

QA

Media First

Course Monster

Media Friendly

Mind Gym

Government Knowledge

Assist KD

Global Knowledge

Steve Radcliffe Associates

Techniques for Change

Roffey Park

SLA Training

Stephen Lloyd Associates

Westminster Explained

JRT Associates

 Ashridge

Technical Training

Yellow Hat

Praesta

Good Practice

Development Partnership

Challenge Consultancy

Axis12

In addition, a number of independent trainers are used for ongoing training delivery services and they would also be classified as SME suppliers.

South Sudan

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of conditions in Yida refugee camp in Unity state in South Sudan; whether those conditions have recently deteriorated; and, if so, whether relocation further from the Sudan border will be in the interests of the refugees.[HL3265]

Baroness Northover: The UK monitors the conditions in Yida camp and, despite the regular inflow of refugees that put additional pressure on facilities, there has

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been a gradual improvement in service provision. However, we are concerned that water provision currently stands at 10.2 litres per person per day, which is below the recognised minimum standard of 15 litres. Similarly there are fewer latrines per person, at one latrine for every 54 people, than the recognised minimum standard of one per 20 people. The humanitarian community is working to improve this. The UK has been providing supporting through the Common Humanitarian Fund in South Sudan, and the Secretary of State for International Development recently decided to provide a further £5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support the response.

UNHCR has consistently lobbied for Yida camp to be moved away from the border, although this is for security reasons rather than as a result of the conditions in the camp. There has been little progress so far. UNHCR is continuing to engage with the Government of South Sudan, the refugee leadership, and the refugees in order to resolve the issue, including through efforts to identify a new site away from the border to which all future arrivals will be sent.

Sport: Disabled People

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to increase funding to disability sport. [HL3329]

Viscount Younger of Leckie: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport wants to inspire more people with disabilities to play sport regularly, and for opportunities to be included within all London 2012 legacy programmes. Sport England will confirm investment into a number of National Governing Bodies of sport in December 2012, and for the first time, this investment will require delivery of specific targets around delivering an increase in participation by disabled people.

In addition, Sport England has established “The Inclusive Sport Fund” with at least £8 million of National Lottery Funding to invest in programmes designed to grow the number of disabled young people (age 14+) and adults regularly playing sport, and is looking at other possible funding streams.

Sudan

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have provided any funding for the Sudanese Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Partners summit in London on 27 November; and, if so, how much.[HL3170]

Baroness Northover: We will not be providing any financial or other support to the Sudanese Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Partners summit that will be held in London in November.

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The UK does remain supportive of the need for DDR in Sudan following political agreement with armed groups.

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will discuss with the Government of Sudan the case for humanitarian access by aid agencies to displaced persons facing starvation in South Kordofan.[HL3263]

Baroness Northover: We have consistently urged the Government of Sudan and Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North immediately to cease hostilities, and allow humanitarian agencies access to Southern Kordofan to deal with the great humanitarian need there. We continue to believe that the United Nations/African Union/League of Arab States Tripartite process remains the most effective way to provide an independent assessment of needs and to deliver the required relief. The UK continues to make it clear to both parties that they must immediately implement the Tripartite proposal that they signed in August to allow full humanitarian access—further delays are unacceptable. When access does become available, the UK will provide funding—including through non-governmental channels. We will not cease in our efforts until humanitarian access is secured.

Asked by Baroness Rendell of Babergh

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made recently to the Government of Sudan, rebel groups, and international bodies to promote greater access for humanitarian organisations to Darfur; and what is the result of those representations.[HL3311]

Baroness Northover: We regularly raise these issues in bilateral discussions with the Government of Sudan and with members of the Darfuri rebel movements. We also stand firmly behind the United Nations (UN) and partners in their broader efforts on humanitarian access to Darfur. We raised our concerns through the UN Security Council in discussions on 24 October.

The Security Council President sent a letter earlier this month to the Government of Sudan raising specific concerns about access. The UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan also raised the issue during a meeting of the Implementation Follow-Up Commission, which oversees the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, on 12 November.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Clarke of Hampstead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the value of the funding Hezbollah currently receives from the European Union.[HL3203]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Hizballah does not receive funding through the European Union.

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA401

Taxation: Corporation Tax

Question

Asked by Lord Sharkey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had in the past two financial years with water utility companies regarding their past and planned corporation tax payments; and what was the response.[HL3313]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Revenue and Customs has had regular discussions with water utility companies in the last two years, in relation to tax affairs, in line with its strategy for ensuring that all large businesses pay the tax they owe.

Taxation: Cycling

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will introduce a hypothecated bicycle sales tax allocated to the cost of new dedicated bicycle lanes and other facilities to improve the safety of bicycling.[HL3207]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): All tax revenues are passed to the Consolidated Fund (the Government's current account) because this is the most efficient way to fund the Government's public spending objectives. Hypothecating taxes to particular spending programmes causes inflexibility in spending decisions and can lead to a misallocation of resources.

In June 2012, the Government announced a £15 million fund to improve safety for cyclists outside London, by tackling dangerous junctions. This was in addition to the £15 million fund awarded to Transport for London in March 2012, for the same purpose.

21 Nov 2012 : Column WA402

Universal Credit

Question

Asked by Lord Touhig

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of employers in the United Kingdom who will have to supply details of their employees' salary and national insurance each month as part of universal credit.[HL3213]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not hold information on the number of employers who will have employees claiming universal credit. However, of the, approximately, 1.7 million PAYE schemes in the UK, HMRC would expect the majority of these schemes to employ at least one person who claims tax credits.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 30 October (WA 130–2), why the information on the number of student migrants with visas at each A- and B-rated and legacy tier 4 sponsoring institution is not centrally recorded; whether the information is held electronically; and, if so, what is the estimated cost of extrapolation.[HL3123]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The number of students currently at A rated, B rated and legacy institutions is not centrally recorded on the sponsorship IT system linking it to a tier 4 sponsor.

Information relating to migrants is electronically recorded on a separate system and the two cannot be reconciled without incurring disproportionate cost.