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Written Answers

Thursday 22 November 2012

Armed Forces: Medals

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received about awarding the Military Cross posthumously to 2nd Lieutenant Walter Tull; and what responses they have made. [HL3430]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence has not received any direct representations about awarding the Military Cross to 2nd Lieutenant Walter Tull.

Banks: Money Laundering

Question

Asked by Lord Browne of Ladyton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to ensure that all United Kingdom banks are fully implementing anti-money laundering regulations following the cases at HSBC and Standard Chartered.[HL3266]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Where evidence of banks failing to implement the money laundering regulations in the UK is found, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will investigate and take action.

The FSA is currently undertaking in-depth reviews of banks in the UK presenting the greatest level of risk and, where failings are identified, will investigate and take action as appropriate. The Financial Conduct Authority will take responsibility for combating financial crime from the FSA from April 2013. The Government are committed to ensuring that financial institutions adhere to the highest level of compliance.

Benefits

Question

Asked by Lord Patel of Blackburn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of planned reductions in child benefit on the contribution of family spending to economic recovery.[HL3228]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The economic assessment of the impact of the high income child benefit charge was published in the Tax Information and Impact Note at Budget 20121.

The new charge will reduce disposable incomes for those households affected. Individuals within these households might respond by changing their labour supply, consumption and savings. The overall macroeconomic effects of this are expected to be small.

1 www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget20l2/tiin-0620.pdf

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what guidance they have issued to doctors about identifying the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at an early stage; and whether they have discussed with medical schools the adequacy of training in this area.[HL3417]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department has issued comprehensive guidance on identifying the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The then interim chief medical officer and chief nursing officer published updated guidance on the diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning on 11 November 2010. This included a diagnostic tool to aid diagnosis, produced by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the College of Emergency Medicine. This is available at: www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Lettersandcirculars/Professionalletters/Chiefmedicalofficerletters/DH_121502.

Alerts were also issued in the GP and Practice Team Bulletin and Medical Directors Bulletin in September and November 2011 respectively, to highlight an estimate that accident and emergency departments diagnose around 4,000 people with the condition each year and to refresh messaging on the use of the diagnostic tool. These are available at:

http://gp.dh.gov.uk/2011/09/27/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-alert/.

http://mdbulletin.dh.gov.uk/2011/11/30/news-in-brief-november-2011/

The HPA is also involved in advising the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group on the production of a carbon monoxide poisoning awareness and diagnosis e-learning tool for medical professionals.

The Government do not specify the content of the training curricula for doctors. The content and standard of medical training is the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC), which is the competent authority for medical training in the United Kingdom.

China

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information they have received regarding self-immolations in Tibet on 7 and 8 November.[HL3270]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We are aware of reports of five individual self-immolations on 7 November. These included Dorjee, Dorjee Kyab and Samdup, young monks from the Ngoshul Monastery, Golmang, Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP), Sichuan Province. We understand that Dorjee died. The condition and

22 Nov 2012 : Column WA405

whereabouts of Dorjee Kyab and Samdup are unknown. A 23 year-old nomad and mother of a young son, Tamdin Tso self-immolated in Gemar market, near Tongren, Huangnan TAP, Qinghai Province. We understand she died. An unnamed Tibetan man self-immolated in Bankar village, Biru county, Naqu TAP, Tibetan Autonomous Region. His condition and whereabouts are unknown.

On 8 November 2012, Jinpa Gyatso, an 18 year-old nomad and former monk, self-immolated in Dolma Square outside Longwu monastery, Tongren, Huangnan TAP, Qinghai Province. Xinhua News Agency confirmed the fatal self-immolation but wrongly attributed this to be Jinba, a 41 year-old nomad. Several thousand Tibetans reportedly gathered to protest in Dolma Square following the self-immolation. We will continue to raise our concerns over these tragic events with the Chinese Government at all levels.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information they have received about the possible use of Chinese security forces to prevent dissent in Tibet during the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.[HL3271]

Baroness Warsi: We remain deeply concerned about continuing tensions and human rights violations in Tibetan areas of China.

We have received reports of a strong security presence in Tibetan areas of China. We are aware that the Chinese authorities are restricting access by foreigners to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas.

Employee Ownership

Question

Asked by Lord Rooker

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their plans to encourage wider forms of company ownership, how they plan to ensure that all workers, including support workers such as cleaners who may be employed indirectly, will be included. [HL3134]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Marland): The Government are committed to raising the knowledge and understanding of employee ownership. Employee ownership takes many forms depending on the particular objectives and circumstances of a company. Any role for those employed indirectly would need to be considered by each company.

Energy: Electricity Generation

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Verma on 7 November (Official Report, col. 994), whether the total energy generating capacity in the United Kingdom is

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85 gigawatts; if so, what forms of energy make up that figure; and what was the maximum demand met during the winter of 2011–12.[HL3335]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The total electricity generating capacity of major power producers at the end of December 2011, was 81.8 GW. The majority of this is connected to the transmission network.

This was made up of the following types of generation:

Generation TypeTransmission Entry Capacity (MW)

Coal fired Conventional steam engine

23,072

Oil fired conventional steam engine

3,778

Mixed or dual fired conventional steam engine

5,053

Combined cycle gas turbine stations

30,183

Nuclear stations

10,663

Gas turbines and oil engines

1,532

Hydro-electric stations (natural flow and pumped storage)

4,135

Wind

1,391

Renewables other than hydro and wind

2,744

The capacity data above are on a transmission entry capacity basis, and are mostly un-derated, but wind, small-hydro and solar PV are de-rated to account for intermittency.

The simultaneous maximum load met by generation connected to the GB and NI transmission networks for winter 2011-12 was 57.1 GW.

In addition to the capacity listed above, there is around 7.4 GW of electricity capacity owned by smaller generators, which is largely connected to the distribution network rather than the transmission network. Including this capacity brings the total amount of capacity at the end of 2011 to 89.1 GW.

Some electricity demand at times of peak is likely to be met by this capacity although the level of this demand is not recorded officially.

The source of this data is The Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2012, Tables 5.7 and 5.10: http://www.decc.gov. uk/en/content/cros/statistics/energy_stats/source/electricity/electricity.aspx.

Equality Act 2010

Questions

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether their proposed changes to the Equality Act 2010 will satisfy the principle of non-regression; and whether they will ensure that the changes do not weaken the legal protection of alleged victims of unlawful discrimination, as provided by the previous legislation. [HL3105]

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Baroness Stowell of Beeston: On 10 October, the Government published their response to earlier consultations on repealing provisions in the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) concerning harassment by third parties (Section 40(2)-(4)); obtaining information about a possible contravention of the Act (Section 138); and employment tribunals' power to make wider recommendations in discrimination cases (Section 124(3)(b)). Following the consultation, the Government proposed taking forward each of these repeals through a suitable legislative vehicle.

The Government are satisfied that none of these changes constitute a reduction in the level of protection required by the relevant European directives. On the legal protection of alleged victims of discrimination, the Government's view is that none of the measures substantively reduce the protection available under the Act, or under the legislation which preceded the Act.

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 8 November (WA 229), what representations they have received from organisations opposed to the commencement of Section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010, other than those received verbally from the Hindu Council and the Hindu Forum of Britain; and whether those representations informed their response to UN Universal Periodic Review recommendation 110.61.[HL3297]

Baroness Stowell of Beeston: During the period 2010-12, our records indicate that four further organisations provided written representations opposed to the commencement of Section 9(5)(a) of the Equality Act 2010. Representations both for and against commencement of Section 9(5) informed the Government's response to UN Universal Periodic Review recommendation 110.61.

EU: Central Military Headquarters

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has discussed with them her support for a European Union central military command; and whether they intend to maintain their opposition to any such proposal.[HL3334]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Baroness Ashton, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has not formally discussed her opinion on a permanent EU operational headquarters at Her Majesty's Government ministerial or official level. The issue was referred to in the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 18 July 2011, where the UK made very clear our view that there is no case for a permanent EU military operational headquarters. The Government's position has not changed.

22 Nov 2012 : Column WA408

Government Departments: Archives

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which departments hold the archives for the Food Advisory Committee and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food and the Environment relating to the years prior to the formation of the Food Standards Agency in 2000.[HL3388]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is a non-statutory body that was established in 1978, and was the responsibility of the Department. The Food Advisory Committee (FAC) was formed in 1983 and its role was to advise Ministers on matters relating to the labelling, composition and chemical safety of food. The responsibilities of COT and FAC were transferred to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in April 2000. FAC was disbanded in 2001.

In 2000, the department provided the FSA with paper files containing copies of documents considered by COT for the period 1978 to April 2000. The original documents were retained by the department. Paper files containing documents relating to FAC for the period 1983-2000 were transferred to the FSA from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, now the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in 2000.

Government Departments: Coalition Agreement

Questions

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Department for Communities and Local Government has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement. [HL3180]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Department for Communities and Local Government is delivering its coalition agreement commitments through the structural reform plan within its business plan. Since May 2010, it has delivered 207 such commitments.

The department has responsibility for five coalition priorities:

decentralise power as far possible;reinvigorate accountability, democracy and participation (including transparency);support and incentivise local sustainable growth;meet people's housing aspirations; andput communities in charge of planning.

Along with all other government departments our business plans (November 2010, May 2011 and May 2012)

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and monthly progress on implementation of structural reform plan actions are available on Number 10’s transparency website

1

.

1 http://transparency.number10.gov.uk

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3233]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Progress made in implementing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)'s commitments as agreed in the coalition agreement has been set out in the FCO's business plan. The business plan includes a structural reform plan, against which progress is monitored monthly, and an annex of additional departmental actions.

The list of actions completed from May 2010 to May 2012, and detail on the additional departmental actions, is available at: www.number10.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/FCO-2012-Business-Plan-annex.pdf.

The 2012-15 structural reform plan is available at: http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/business-plan/9.

A list of all completed actions in this plan is available on the site.

Asked by Lord Ryder of Wensum

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress the Department of Health has made since May 2010 in respect of commitments relevant to it in the coalition agreement.[HL3234]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Structural reform plans set out the concrete steps this Government are taking to implement their agenda.

Information on progress can be found in a Written Ministerial Statement by my noble friend, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, dated 11 June 2012 (Official Report, col. WS 108-109) 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.

Government Departments: Contracts

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government who are the members of the Contract Awards Committee of the Department of Transport; what are their responsibilities; and which members have left or joined the committee over the past 15 months. [HL3303]

Earl Attlee: The membership of the Department for Transport's Contract Awards Committee varies depending on the project or projects under discussion.

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The roles and responsibilities of this committee are one of the areas that the Secretary of State has asked Sam Laidlaw to address as part of his independent inquiry into what went wrong with the West Coast franchising competition.

The results of this review will be available in the coming weeks.

Health: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many children are waiting, and for how long, for diagnosis and assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and each region of England; and how the figures compare as a percentage of all children for each region.[HL3322]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This information is not collected centrally.

The Secretary of State's Mandate requires the NHS Commissioning Board to support children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, and we are working with the Department for Education to introduce integrated commissioning of education, health and social care for those children and young people to ensure they have access to the care they need.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many health visitors are employed in each region of England; what percentage in each region have been trained specifically on Autism Spectrum Disorder; and how these percentages compare with those for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.[HL3323]

Earl Howe: The total number of qualified full-time equivalent (FTE) health visitors in the National Health Service in England in July 2012 was 8,287. This figure includes both the total health visitors employed by organisations that use the electronic staff record (ESR) and those organisations that do not use ESR, such as local authorities and some social enterprises. These data are collected through the health visitor minimum data set from strategic health authorities (SHAs).

The following table provides the number of FTE health visitors for both ESR and non-ESR by SHA region as at July 2012:

Total FTE health visitors as at July 2012 by SHA
ESRnon-ESRTotal

North East

584

0

584

North West

1,381

3

1,383

Yorkshire and the Humber

942

49

990

East Midlands

724

26

750

West Midlands

872

0

872

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East of England

694

68

762

London

1,094

5

1,099

South East Coast

521

46

567

South Central

527

0

527

South West

721

32

752

England

8,059

206

8,287

Source: Health visitor minimum data set.

Note: Totals may not equal the sum of their parts due to rounding.

Information on the number of health visitors trained specifically on autism spectrum disorder is not collected centrally. Health is a devolved matter and the department only responds on behalf of England.

Health: Child Development

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision there is in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and each region of England for home visits by health visitors or others to make a general developmental assessment of every two year-old child.[HL3324]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The key programme for health provision for children under five is the Healthy Child Programme—Pregnancy and the First Five Years of Life. This programme includes a review of the child at age two to two-and-a-half years old. This can take place in the child's home, or at another appropriate and convenient location depending on the family's needs and circumstances. If deemed appropriate by the health visitor, all or part of the review can be carried out by the community nursery nurse. The programme's goal is universal provision of this review. Information about provision is not collected centrally.

Health is a devolved matter and the department only responds on behalf of England.

Health: Organ Donation

Questions

Asked by Lord Moynihan

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of organs available for use in lung transplants come from donors with a lifetime history of smoking. [HL3393]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether consent forms signed by donor recipients or next of kin for lung transplants indicate clearly whether the donor's lungs come from a smoker.[HL3394]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in view of their anti-smoking health advertising campaigns, lungs donated by lifetime smokers are used in NHS lung transplant operations.[HL3395]

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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what campaigns they undertake to persuade non-smokers to donate lungs; and what are the costs of any such campaigns. [HL3396]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the methods used to register as an NHS organ donor require confirmation that a proposed donor who is a smoker will be disqualified from donating lungs. [HL3397]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In the three year period from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2012, 39% of lung transplants were from donors with a past history of smoking. All lungs are carefully evaluated before, during and after retrieval as every effort is made to ensure that a donated organ does not go to waste if clinically viable and there is someone who could benefit.

Specialist nurses in organ donation take a smoking history from the donor's family and medical notes. This information is provided to the transplant team to make a clinical decision as to whether to accept the offered organs for an individual patient on their waiting list. A recent NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) study published in The Lancet in May 2012 has shown that due to the shortage of organs, the patient's probability of survival is greater if lungs from smokers are accepted than if they are declined and the patient chooses to wait for a potential transplant from a donor who has no smoking history.

Guidelines for consent for solid organ transplantation, developed by NHSBT and the British Transplant Society aims to standardise practice for consent for adults across the United Kingdom. The guidelines state that the transplant team should explain to the potential recipient the risks associated with accepting the organ in the short and long term before obtaining consent and that the potential recipient has the right to specify the characteristics of the organ they would wish to receive.

We are constantly seeking to generate awareness of organ donation and to encourage people to add their name to the NHS Organ Donor Register. Registration does not require confirmation that a proposed donor who is a smoker will be disqualified from donating lungs.

Health: Ovarian Failure

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what scientific evidence they hold relating to naturally occurring ovarian failure in girls just entering puberty; and what is the incidence rate.[HL3340]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department does not routinely collect data on naturally occurring ovarian failure on girls just entering puberty. However, an article in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases suggests that clinically diagnosed premature ovarian failure affects approximately

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1 in 10,000 adolescent and young women up to 20 years of age. A copy of this article has been placed in the Library.

NHS Commissioning Board

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the detailed costings associated with the mandate from the Government to the NHS Commissioning Board.[HL3452]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The mandate from the Government to the National Health Service Commissioning Board (NHSCB) sets high level objectives for the NHSCB, rather than specific targets. For example, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets legal duties on the NHSCB to seek to secure continuous improvement in the quality of services and to have regard to the need to reduce inequalities in access to services and in the outcomes achieved for patients from those services. Accordingly, the mandate sets the expectation that the NHSCB will make continuous progress as measured against all five domains and the outcome indicators in the NHS Outcomes Framework. However, it does not set specific quantified targets for the level of progress with specific detailed costings. Rather, it will be the responsibility of the NHSCB to determine how best it can achieve its objectives set by the mandate and its other responsibilities within its available budget, which represents real terms growth in its recurrent funding in 2013-14 against a comparable baseline for 2012-13.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what sanctions they will apply to the NHS Commissioning Board if it fails to pursue successfully the objectives listed in its mandate from the Government.[HL3454]

Earl Howe: The mandate plays a vital role in setting out the strategic direction for the board and ensuring it is democratically accountable. Under Section 13A(2) of the National Health Service Act 2006, as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the board is legally required to seek to achieve the objectives set out in the mandate. The Government will work very closely with the board, and will be able to discuss progress and any risks as they emerge during the Secretary of State's regular accountability meetings with the chair of the board. The Government have a number of ways in which they can seek assurances from the board including asking the board to report on what action it has taken or asking the chair to write a letter setting out a plan for improvement. As a last resort, Ministers have powers to step in and intervene in the event of failure. The Government will and should be held to account for the success of the mandate.

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NHS Commissioning Board: Revenue

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the NHS Commissioning Board's 2013–14 revenue budget relates to each of sections 1–5 of its mandate for that year.[HL3412]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the NHS Commissioning Board's 2013–14 revenue budget will be retained by the board for the direct commissioning of specialist services.[HL3413]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Health Service Commissioning Board (NHSCB) has been allocated an overall budget, it has not been allocated specific amounts for specific objectives or policies. It is for the NHSCB to determine how best to achieve its objectives and discharge its responsibilities and to prioritise its resources in doing so.

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what level of efficiency savings, under the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme, the National Health Service Commissioning Board agreed to achieve in 2013–14 in order to operate within its revenue budget.[HL3414]

Earl Howe: The mandate to the National Health Service Commissioning Board (NHSCB) does not include an objective for it to deliver a specific level of efficiency savings. The overall requirement for the health system to deliver efficiency improvements of up to £20 billion by 2014-15 will require all parts of the system to contribute and is not solely the responsibility of the NHSCB.

NHS Leadership Academy

Question

Asked by Lord Crisp

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority the NHS Leadership Academy will give to the development of leadership and good management in public health; what proportion of its budget will be devoted to this; and what proportion of its budget will be devoted to the leadership and management of health services.[HL3343]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The NHS Leadership Academy is working with colleagues in public health and local government to co-design and develop programmes to support leaders across the National Health Service, social care and public health. To date, the academy has created two specific leadership programmes for directors and aspirant directors of public health. Directors of public health receive further leadership development by virtue of their role on health and wellbeing boards

22 Nov 2012 : Column WA415

and the academy is currently working with 25 boards. In addition, a number of directors of public health are participants on the NHS Top Leaders programme.

In 2012-13 the academy's overall budget is £31.4 million. £16 million is spent on fast-track graduate schemes. A further £15 million is spent on leadership development, of which £1 million is being spent directly on specific public health programmes: £615,000 on the two specific public health programmes and another £400,000 on the health and wellbeing board programme. In addition, public health professionals will be able to access the generic leadership development programmes in the same way as other professional groups.

Prisons: HM Prison Oakwood

Question

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the annual cost of each prisoner place at HM Prison Oakwood.[HL3242]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Information on the annual cost of a prison place for HMP Oakwood is not available. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) publishes average annual costs per prisoner and per prison place at the end of each financial year alongside the Management Information Addendum to the NOMS annual report and accounts. As HMP Oakwood opened on 24 April 2012, a full year's costs are not available for the prison to be able to calculate an annual cost per place at this time. Also, as a new prison it is NOMS policy that the prison population is built up slowly which allows the regime to bed in and reduces safety and control issues during the early operational period. The prison is therefore yet to fully operate at its certified normal accommodation (CNA) of 1,605 places.

22 Nov 2012 : Column WA416

Railways: Franchises

Question

Asked by Lord Palmer

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 12 November (WA 259), when they expect to publish the findings of the two inquiries into railway franchises that are underway.[HL3416]

Earl Attlee: I refer the noble Lord to the Statement the Secretary of State for Transport made to the House on 15 October 2012 (Official Report, cols. 46-47) along with the terms of reference of the Laidlaw inquiry and Brown review, both of which have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. The Laidlaw inquiry will report its final findings to the Secretary of State at the end of November and the Brown review will report its findings to the Secretary of State at the end of December. The final versions of both reports will be published after their findings are received by the Secretary of State.

Railways: Thameslink

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect financial close will be made on the order for new rolling stock for Thameslink; and whether that will be in time for rolling stock cascaded from Thameslink to be made available for the electrification schemes already authorised.[HL3390]

Earl Attlee: Financial close for the Thameslink rolling stock procurement is expected early in the new year. Notwithstanding the delay in reaching financial close for the Thameslink rolling stock, we are working with our industry partners to ensure sufficient rolling stock is made available to meet the needs of the electrification programme.