21 Jan 2013 : Column WA163

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Written Answers

Monday 21 January 2013

Amazon Rainforest

Question

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they have provided, or plan to provide, to humanitarian and health programmes that protect Yanomami Indians in the Amazon rainforest from ill-health, the spread of disease, and environmental damage caused by mineral exploitation; and what representations they have made to the Brazilian Government on this issue.[HL4499]

Baroness Northover: DfID closed its bilateral aid programme to Brazil in 2004. While not specifically targeted at the Yanomami, the EU is currently funding four projects supporting indigenous rights in Brazil. Since 2007, funding totalling 748,000 euros has been approved. The British embassy in Brasilia regularly discusses issues associated with the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the lives of those who depend on it with the Brazilian Government.

Cameroon

Question

Asked by Lord Smith of Finsbury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Government of Cameroon about safeguarding lives of two men being released from prison following an overturning by the Court of Appeal of their convictions relating to homosexuality, and about the safety of their lawyer.[HL4469]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Our high commission in Yaounde has followed this case closely, and our high commissioner attended one of the court hearings in November 2012. We have been in close contact with the defendants' lawyers throughout.

We regularly raise our concerns about the criminalisation of homosexuality, the treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and threats against human rights defenders with the Cameroon Government. For example, on 5 December 2012, our high commissioner raised these issues, including this particular case, with President Biya. On 14 November 2012, our high commissioner, alongside his EU counterparts, also lobbied the Minister of Justice and the Director General of National Security to provide protection to members of the LGBT community and their legal defenders who had received threats. We will continue to work closely with EU, US and civil society partners to engage the Cameroon Government on these issues.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA164

China

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will ask the Government of China to release the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and remove restrictions on the freedom of movement of his wife Liu Xia; and, if so, when.[HL4455]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): I refer my noble friend to the Answer I gave on 17 December 2012 (Official Report, col. WA 273).

We remain very concerned about both Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia and continue to call for their immediate release. We most recently raised their cases with the Chinese Government during the UK-China human rights dialogue in January 2012 and plan to do so again in the next dialogue, and during subsequent future high-level discussions.

We strongly support freedom of movement for all in China and highlighted our concerns about Liu Xia's extra-legal house arrest in our most recent quarterly update to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Report in December 2012.

Climate Change

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the data produced by the Met Office for each of the past 10 years on (1) annual surface temperatures averaged over the land areas of the world, (2) annual surface temperatures averaged over the oceans, and (3) annual sea level rises globally.[HL4540]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie): I have asked the chief executive officer of the Met Office to respond direct to the noble Lord.

Letter from John Hirst, Chief Executive of the Met Office, to Lord Hunt of Chesterton, dated 17 January 2013.

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 11 January 2013, HL4540 to Her Majesty's Government.

The Met Office's estimates of global average land surface air temperatures and global average sea surface temperatures are based on the CRUTEM4 dataset, which is produced in collaboration with the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, and the HadSST3 dataset, respectively.

Global average temperatures from the CRUTEM4 and HadsSST3 datasets, for the most recent 10 years of available data, are shown in the following table, expressed as anomalies relative to average temperatures in the period 1961 to 1990.

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YearGlobal average surface air temperature anomalies over land (°C with respect to 1961-1990 average)Global average sea-surface temperature anomalies (°C with respect to 1961-1990 average)

2002

+0.76 ± 0.13

+0.37 ± 0.07

2003

+0.75 ± 0.13

+0.39 ± 0.07

2004

+0.66 ± 0.13

+0.35 ± 0.07

2005

+0.87 ± 0.13

+0.39 ± 0.07

2006

+0.81 ± 0.13

+0.37 ± 0.07

2007

+0.90 ± 0.13

+0.30 ± 0.06

2008

+0.68 ± 0.13

+0.26 ± 0.06

2009

+0.72 ± 0.14

+0.40 ± 0.07

2010

+0.88 ± 0.14

+0.41 ± 0.07

2011

+0.68 ± 0.14

+0.29 ± 0.07

In line with our understanding of the mechanisms of climate change, the land surface has been observed to warm faster than the sea surface. Indeed observations show that since 1970 globally the rise in temperature over land has been 0.26 °C per decade, compared to 0.13 °C per decade for sea.

The Met Office does not compile estimates of observed sea level rise. This is done by other organisations, such as the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) which has been responsible for the collection, publication, analysis and interpretation of sea level data from the global network of tide gauges for several decades.

Recent peer reviewed research1 indicates a global mean observed sea level rise Met Office from 1972 to 2008 of 1.8 ± 0.2 mm per year from tide gauges alone and 2.1 ± 0.2 mm per year from a combination of tide gauges and altimeter observations. Estimates for the period 1993 to 2008 from satellite altimeter and tide gauge observations shows a rate of 3.22 ± 0.41 mm per year, but it is not yet clear if this higher recent rate is part of a sustained long-term acceleration.

I hope this helps.

1

Church, John A; White, Neil J; Konikow, Leonard F; et al (2011), Revisiting the Earth's sea-level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L18601, doi: 10.1029/2011GL048794.

Diego Garcia

Question

Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there are any plans to start discussions with the Government of the United States concerning the renewal of the Diego Garcia lease due in 2016.[HL4533]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The 1966 Exchange of Notes with the US provides that the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), including Diego Garcia, shall be available to them until 2016 and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated by either Government in the period 2014-16.

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There have been no substantive discussions to date with the US on the future of their presence in BIOT post-2016, but we look forward to discussing this with them in due course.

Education Act 2011

Question

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the likely impact of the Education Act 2011 on the balance of faith and non-faith school provision.[HL3972]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: We have not undertaken any impact assessment on the balance of faith and non-faith school provision, as we expect the vast majority of schools to continue to be non-faith schools.

Electoral Registration

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the Electoral Commission’s recommendation in its November 2012 report Continuous Electoral Registration in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Office will fund the additional costs of conducting household registration activity across the whole of Northern Ireland.[HL4395]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson): We have allocated funding for the review of data matching processes recommended by the Electoral Commission and are considering carefully what further steps are needed to ensure that the register is in good shape for elections in 2014. We will be writing to Northern Ireland political parties shortly, to seek their views on proposed action.

Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total administrative cost for (1) the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, (2) the Human Tissue Authority, (3) the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and (4) the Health Research Authority, in each of the years 2010–11, and 2011–12; and what is the estimated cost for the year 2012–13. [HL4507]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The annual report and accounts for each body, setting out income and expenditure, including administrative costs, for the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 can be found on each body's website.

For the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) this can be found at: www.hfea.gov. uk/annual-report.html.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA167

The HFEA has advised that the total forecast costs for the year 2012-13 is £5.7 million. The HFEA has made efficiency savings in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, reduced cash requirement from the department by 33% over the same period and reduced the main fee it levies on the sector by 28% from 1 October 2011, applying a further discount in support of elective single embryo transfer from 1 April 2012.

For the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) this can be found at: www.hta.gov.uk/publications/ annualreviewsandreports.cfm.

The HTA has advised that the total forecast costs for 2012-13 is £4,262,403. Overall, the HTA made efficiency savings of 27% between 2010-11 and 2012-13 and has reduced licence fees for the regulated establishments in each of the years 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

For the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) this can be found at: www.mhra.gov. uk/Publications/Corporate/index.htm.

The MHRA has advised that the total forecast costs for 2012-13 is £110,101,000. The MHRA is a government trading fund, which generates the majority of its income from its licensing activities.

For the Health Research Authority (HRA) the annual accounts can be found at: www.hra.nhs.uk/hra-publications/?entryid85=144475.

The HRA was established as a special health authority on 1 December 2011 so it only has an annual report and accounts published for the period 1 December 2011 to 31 March 2012.

The HRA's total forecast costs for 2012-13 is £9.5 million. Overall, the HRA made efficiency savings between 2010-11 and 2012-13, which have enabled both cash releasing savings for the department as well as the funding of new functions into the organisation.

Employment

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of jobs created since May 2010 in (1) the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency, (2) the Basildon local authority area, and (3) England, that have been either (a) part-time, or (b) temporary, contracts. [HL4446]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, Director General for ONS, to Baroness Smith of Basildon, dated January 2012.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics. I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the number of jobs created since May 2010 in (1) the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency. (2) the Basildon local authority area, and (3) England, that have been either (a) part-time. or (b) temporary. contracts. HL4446

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ONS compiles Labour Market Statistics following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions for areas smaller than the UK from the Annual Population Survey. (APS).

Information regarding jobs created is not available. As an alternative we have provided estimates of the number of people who were employed part-time or employed in jobs that were not permanent according to survey responses during the 12 month periods ending June 2010, the survey period closest to May 2010, and June 2012, along with the net change between these two periods. This net change provides a reasonable approximation of the number of jobs created since May 2010.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at http.//www.nomisweb.co.uk.

Table 1: Number of people employed part-time1
thousands
Level
12 months endingJune 2010June 2012Change between 12 month periods ending June 2010 and June 2012

South Basildon and East Thurrock

13

16

3

Basildon

18

24

6

England

6,464

6,605

140

Source

: Annual Population Survey

NB All estimates are independently rounded.

1 Part-time in main job.

Table 2: Number of people employed in temporary1 jobs
thousands
Level
12 months endingJune 2010June 2012Change between 12 month periods ending June 2010 and June 2012

South Basildon and East Thurrock

2

3

1

Basildon

1

4

3

England

1,219

1,301

82

Source

: Annual Population Survey

NB All estimates are independently rounded.

1. Temporary is defined as “not permanent in some way”—reasons included are:

Working for employment agency;

Casual type of work;

Seasonal work; Under contract for fixed term or fixed task;

Other reason.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA169

Energy: Wind Farms

Question

Asked by Lord Fearn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many offshore wind farms there are in England and Wales; and how many are planned for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015.[HL4653]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): There are currently 16 fully operational offshore wind farms in England and Wales. Fourteen of these are off the English coast and two are off the Welsh coast.

There are a further four offshore wind farms currently under construction, one of which is in Wales and three in England.

In addition there are a further seven offshore wind farms with development consent and awaiting construction in England.

The planning status for all renewables, including offshore wind, is available on the renewable energy planning database (REPD): https://restats.decc.gov.uk/app/reporting/decc/monthlyextract.

EU: Trade Agreements

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint on 8 January (WA 28–9) concerning European Union trade agreements, what consultation ministers and officials of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills had with (1) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (2) British businesses, and (3) British business organisations, before negotiations began with Singapore.[HL4588]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): Officials in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills working on trade liaise closely with colleagues across Government, including those in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment based both in London and in British embassies throughout the world. They also meet regularly with representatives from business and business organisations, notably through the regular formal business consultation meetings.

This approach was followed prior to opening of negotiations on the Singapore FTA in early 2010. Colleagues at the British High Commission in Singapore were closely involved in preparing UK priorities for the negotiations with regular input from business including co-operation with the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and European Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. The Government also encouraged UK businesses to submit responses to the European Commission consultation on priorities for the negotiations. Surveys amongst British Chamber of Commerce members were carried out to seek inputs from British businesses,

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA170

and follow-up meetings were held with individual companies to discuss specific needs.

These consultations intensified during the two years of negotiations.

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint on 8 January (WA 28–9) concerning European Union trade agreements, whether a written brief outlining United Kingdom requirements from an European Union-Singapore Free Trade Area was submitted to the European Commission before the commencement of negotiations; and, if so, what are the details of that brief.[HL4589]

Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint: A written brief outlining the United Kingdom's priorities from a European Union-Singapore free trade area was submitted to the European Commission on 15 February 2010. This brief detailed the UK's primary and secondary interests.

The brief outlined five primary priorities, namely: increased opportunities in financial services and other services sectors (legal, insurance, architecture, engineering, telecommunications, health, distribution, automotive, photographic and packaging, rental and leasing); mutual recognition of qualifications; increased opportunities of procurement in goods and services; liberalisation of rules of origin; and the liberalisation of environmental services.

The brief outlined an additional six secondary priorities, namely: liberalisation of all remaining applied tariffs, protection of intellectual property rights; standardisation; protection and enforcement of geographical indicators (agricultural products), sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (the removal of regulatory barriers to food imports): and a clear linkage between the FTA and the partnership and co-operation agreement.

Fluoridation

Question

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 12 December 2012 (WA 230–31), whether the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, which conducted the systematic review of water fluoridation in 2000, will be among the interested parties to be consulted on revised guidelines for possible new fluoridation proposals.[HL4466]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Yes; the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York has relevant experience in reviewing research studies on the effects of fluoridation.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA171

Health: Diabetes

Question

Asked by Lord Rennard

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the annual cost to the NHS of treating diabetes; what proportion of the entire NHS budget that represents; and what is their forecast of the future NHS costs of treating diabetes.[HL4480]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Audit Office, in its report, Management of Adult Diabetes Services in the NHS (HC 289) estimated that NHS spending on diabetes services in 2009-10 was at least £3.9 billion, or 4% of the NHS budget. Diabetes UK have suggested that indirect costs to the NHS would inflate this figure considerably. Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, soft tissue infection, and cellular damage.

Evidence suggests that 3.3 million people in England currently have diabetes and that this figure will rise to over four million by 2025. The department and NHS have made no estimate of potential future costs. Our shared priority is to improve the management of risk factors both for developing diabetes and those emanating from a diagnosis of diabetes. Both will have a major impact on the NHS resources unless there is action to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing policies.

A copy of the Management of Adult Diabetes Services in the NHS is available in the Library.

Higher Education: Foreign Students

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact on the numbers of foreign students coming to English and Welsh universities of changes in immigration policy in 2012; and what forecast they have made of the numbers in the future, assuming those policies do not change. [HL4539]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Our reforms have tackled abuse of the student migration system while protecting universities to ensure they can continue to attract the brightest and the best. The latest Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures, and our own visa statistics, show that in 2011-12 the number of students from outside the European Union applying to study at the UK's universities continued to rise.

On 1 June 2011, the Government published an impact assessment that set out the projected reduction in tier 4 student visas. This is available in the Library of the House. This estimates that the Government's student visa reforms would result in reductions of approximately 71,000 main applicant visas and 21,000 dependants by 2013-14 with the reduction in sponsored student visa applications coming from those sectors where there was previously most abuse. New data relating to visa applications by education sector, up to

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA172

September 2012, were published as part of the quarterly immigration statistics for the first time on 29 November 2012.

I have placed a copy in the Library of the House. These statistics show that as overall student visa numbers have reduced, those for universities have seen a small increase, as forecast in our impact assessment.

Housing

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the amount of New Homes Bonus allocated in its first two years (1) to local authorities in London and the South East, and (2) to local authorities in the three regions in the North of England; what proportion of the total allocation this represents in each case; and how much is the allocation per thousand people in each case.[HL3718]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The New Bonus Homes is not a regional grant. It is allocated to individual local authorities based on increases in their effective housing stock. Councils which help build more new homes receive more funding.

As outlined in the Written Statement of 18 September 2012 (Official Report, Commons, col. 31 WS) my department no longer produces regional statistics, not least since policies like the New Homes Bonus do not operate on a regional basis.

Individual allocations by local authority can be found on my department's website. Population figures are available from the Office for National Statistics website.

In practice, local authorities in north England often receive substantial New Homes Bonus grant. The 2013-14 provisional allocations include seven local authorities in the top 30 recipients: Leeds, Salford, Bradford, Manchester, Durham, Wakefield and Sheffield.

Income: Household Averages

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the average income per household in (1) the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency, and (2) the Basildon local authority area.[HL4445]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, Director General for ONS, to Baroness Smith of Basildon, dated January 2012.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office. what is the average income per household in

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA173

(1) the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency. and (2) the Basildon local authority area (HL4445).

Table 1 shows the average net weekly equivalised household income for the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency and Basildon local authority areas for 2007-08, the latest year for which data are available at this geographic level. These figures are based on small area income estimates published by the ONS. They are presented on a before housing costs basis.

These estimates, as with any involving sample surveys, are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Table 1: Average net weekly equivalised household income in the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency and Basildon local authority areas, 2007-081 2
£ per week
Mean income (before housing costs)

South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency

470

Basildon Local Authority

490

1

Incomes are presented net of income tax payments, national insurance contributions and council tax.

2

Figures rounded to the nearest £10.

Source:

Office for National Statistics

India

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the kidnapping of young girls in India to meet the demand for wives or domestic servants in areas in which there is a substantial gender imbalance in the population as a result of abortions on grounds of gender; what representations they intend to make to the authorities in India about this problem; and what action they intend to take to ensure the situation is addressed.[HL4471]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We are aware of reports of slavery and human trafficking of women and girls in India. We continue to raise these issues with the appropriate authorities at national and state level and through the EU/India human rights dialogue. Our high commissioner in Delhi will also look for opportunities to raise sex selective abortion with the Indian Government. We believe that it is important that family planning and its implementation meet international human rights standards.

Human trafficking is prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution of India. We support co-operation between UK and Indian enforcement agencies in a range of areas and will continue to engage the Indian authorities on measures to combat human trafficking including offering UK experience and expertise where appropriate.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA174

Justice: Lay Justices

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the current age profile of lay justices.[HL4549]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): There are currently 24,098 lay justices in England and Wales. Their age profile is shown in the table below.

18 - 3030 - 3940 - 4950 - 5455 - 5960 - 6566+

88 (<1%)

649 (2.7%)

3,059 12.7%

2,856 11.9%

4,023 16.7%

7,859 32.6%

5,564 23%

Lay justices can be appointed between the ages of 18 and 65. They retire at 70.

Libya

Questions

Asked by Lord Macdonald of River Glaven

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken, or intend to take, to address the failure of Libya to surrender Abdullah Al-Senussi to the International Criminal Court in violation of the Order of that Court on 10 December 2012; and whether they have brought the situation to the attention of the United Nations Security Council, or intend so to do.[HL4523]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested a response to its order of 10 December 2012 by 15 January. Specifically the order “Requests the Libyan authorities to: (i) confirm the extradition of Mr Al-Senussi from Mauritania to Libya; and (ii) provide the name of the detention centre in which Mr Al-Senussi was being held, if any, as well as information about his state of health, by Tuesday, 15 January 2013”.

We have raised on numerous occasions with the Libyan authorities at the highest levels the need to engage with the ICC in line with their obligation under UN Security Council Resolution 1970, including most recently on 13 January when our ambassador in Tripoli met the Libyan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. In these circumstances it is for the ICC to make an assessment of Libya's co-operation and take a decision on whether to refer any instances of non-co-operation to the UN Security Council.

Asked by Lord Macdonald of River Glaven

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any information indicative that the Government of Libya paid, or promised to pay, a sum of money to the Government of Mauritania in return for the transfer of Abdullah Al-Senussi to Libya on or about 5 September 2012.[HL4524]

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA175

Baroness Warsi: This Government have no information substantiating media reports stating that the Libyan authorities paid a sum of money to the Government of Mauritania to facilitate Abdullah Al-Senussi's extradition back to Libya.

Asked by Lord Macdonald of River Glaven

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any of their servants or agents have taken part in the questioning of Abdullah Al-Senussi during the period of his detention in Mauritania or during his period of detention in Libya, either directly or by providing questions or lines of questioning to be put to him in interview.[HL4525]

Baroness Warsi: It is the longstanding policy of successive Governments not to comment on intelligence matters.

NHS: Contractors

Questions

Asked by Lord Bassam of Brighton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assurances with regards to staffing levels were given by Sodexo when bidding for their contract at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.[HL4474]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what provision is in place for the termination of Sodexo's contract for services at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.[HL4475]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what performance indicators will be used to judge Sodexo's compliance with their contractual responsibilities at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.[HL4476]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures are in place to ensure that private companies such as Sodexo pay their staff on time and at an appropriate rate when undertaking work contracted from the National Health Service.[HL4477]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by Sodexo to make staff redundant at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust.[HL4478]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This information is not held centrally. The noble Lord may wish to contact Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust for further information.

NHS: Dentistry

Questions

Asked by Lord Lipsey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, for the latest year for which records are available, what was the total cost to the National Health Service of providing scale-and-polish treatments.[HL4561]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the efficacy of scale-and-polish treatments; and on the basis of what evidence that assessment was made.[HL4562]

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA176

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Plaque and supra-gingival calculus removal, colloquially known as scale and polish, is integral to the clinical treatment of gingival and periodontal disease. Professional guidance on periodontal disease is clear on this.

Information on the cost of National Health Service dental care is not collected in the form requested.

Dentists are remunerated for NHS dental care through weighted courses of treatment made up of units of dental activity rather than per individual treatment delivered. These courses of treatment will, if there is a clinical need, include plaque and supra-gingival calculus removal alongside any other treatment required.

NHS: Procurement

Question

Asked by Baroness Cumberlege

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure greater transparency in the procurement of NHS consumables; and whether that includes a requirement for each NHS Trust to publish the prices it pays for products.[HL4366]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department is placing an immediate focus on areas where transparency can be improved, such as the implementation of a standardised coding system and piloting a range of tools to assist trusts in capturing spend data which will allow them to be more transparent.

As yet, we have not directly required trusts to publish the prices they pay for products; the publication NHS Procurement: Raising our Game published in May 2012 included NHS Standards of Procurement. The report had as a key theme transparency and this continues to be an objective across all of our work.

Sir Ian Carruthers is leading a review for the department to assess where procurement within the National Health Service can be improved. This process has encouraged an open engagement process that has proactively involved a wide range of stakeholders; the report is due for publication by March 2013.

Northern Ireland: Constitution

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to hold a referendum in Northern Ireland on future constitutional arrangements; and, if so, what criteria they will apply in considering whether a referendum is required.[HL4426]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson): We have no plans at present to hold a referendum in Northern Ireland on future constitutional arrangements.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA177

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Judd

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking bilaterally and multilaterally within their overseas aid programme to assist smallholders and farmers in the developing world to deal with the consequences of climate change.[HL4431]

Baroness Northover: The Government support smallholder agriculture through bilateral programmes with a range of implementing partners building resilience to the consequences of climate change, including extreme weather events. In Kenya, the Department for International Development is helping strengthen the support mechanisms for smallholders in Kenya's dry-lands to cope with the impact of climate change. UK Government funding for the development of flood resistant scuba rice in south Asia will benefit up to 18 million farmers across the region, helping to protect their livelihoods against flooding in the monsoon season.

Multilaterally we support many programmes to assist smallholder farmers to deal with the consequences of climate change. For example, through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme, the UK is helping up to 6 million smallholder farmers adapt to climate change. The Climate Resilient Agriculture in Africa Programme supports better policy and evidence around climate-smart agriculture and the Clima, Agricultura e Alimentos (Climate, Agriculture and Food) Programme shares tools and approaches to climate-smart agriculture and food security between Brazil and Africa. The Government also fund the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security project of CGIAR to work with farmers and policy-makers affected by climate change, by addressing the most important interactions and trade-offs between climate change and agriculture.

Prisons: Lincoln Prison

Question

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they have taken to respond to the finding of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons set out in his report on Lincoln Prison published in October 2012 that the prison was not safe.[HL4317]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): I refer the noble Baroness to the Written Answer I provided on 9 January 2012 referred to in Hansard (col. WA 101) where I explained that, NOMS accepts that the performance at HMIP Lincoln was declining at the time of the inspection. The inspectorate report concluded that Lincoln was not effectively applying NOMS violence reduction policies and that conclusion has been fully accepted. Since the inspection of HMP Lincoln, a new governor has been appointed and he has introduced various measures to improve safety, decency and the regime.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA178

NOMS is fully committed to ensuring that prisons are safe places for all those who live and work there and one of its primary aims is delivering safer custody procedures and practices to ensure that a safe environment is provided for staff and prisoners. The governor has introduced a full time safer custody manager with administrative support, and better violence reduction processes are now in place at the prison.

NOMS is considering the recommendations made in the chief inspector's report on Lincoln, which was published on 11 December 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.

Royal Australian Navy: Centenary

Questions

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will give a vote of thanks to the Royal Australian Navy on their centenary to recognise their support and sacrifice in two world wars, the Korean war and other operations worldwide.[HL4461]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): When the time comes I will be very happy to express the thanks of Her Majesty's Government on behalf of the United Kingdom for the support and sacrifice made by the Royal Australian Navy in the cause of peace and in the course of two world wars, the Korean War and other operations worldwide.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Royal Navy ships will represent the United Kingdom at the Royal Australian Navy's centenary fleet review on 3 October 2013.[HL4462]

Lord Astor of Hever: No decision has yet been taken on the nature of the United Kingdom's representation at the Royal Australian Navy's centenary fleet review in 2013.

Rwanda

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of allegations by the M23 rebel group in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that elements of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda have formed a military coalition with the Congolese army, and what action they consider the United Nations Security Council should take as a result.[HL4378]

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA179

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We are engaged in dialogue with the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on these issues but are not in a position to verify the allegations. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) is monitoring the situation and we are in close contact with them about eastern DRC. We would be deeply concerned by any firm evidence of military collaboration between the Congolese Army and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

Schools: Complaints

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of formal complaints made by (1) maintained, (2) independent, (3) boarding, and (4) residential special schools to the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills were upheld in (a) 2008–09, (b) 2009–10, (c) 2010–11, and (d) 2011–12. [HL4514]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: This question is a matter for Ofsted. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has written to the noble Lord, and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted, to Lord Storey, dated 16 January 2012.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA180

Parliamentary Question Number HL4514: To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of formal complaints made by (1) maintained, (2) independent, (3) boarding, and (4) residential special schools to the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills were upheld in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10, (c) 2010-11, and (d) 2011-12.

Your recent Parliamentary Question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for response.

The tables below detail upheld aspects of complaints about Ofsted from schools, divided between stage one and stage two of the published Ofsted complaints handling process.

A stage one complaint investigation includes challenges to judgments (gradings) as well as concerns about inspector conduct, administration, or information. The stage two complaint investigation is Ofsted's equivalent of an appeal against the investigation completed at stage one and reviews the handling of the original complaint. The total number of Ofsted inspections within each remit is included for comparison purposes.

Ofsted does not hold sufficiently detailed complaints data for the academic year 2008-09 to be able to contribute to this aspect of the response. Ofsted implemented a national complaints function from 1 September 2009 which led to the introduction of a national reporting system for stage 1 and stage 2 complaints. Prior to this date, complaints handling was carried out across three of Ofsted's regional offices where data and information were collated, but not in a consistent format.

Stage 1 complaints—proportion upheld or partially upheld (academic year)
2009-102010-112011-12
InspectionsUpheld complaintsInspectionsUpheld complaintsInspectionsUpheld complaints

Maintained

6,171

28%

5,726

20%

6,139

20%

(119/430)

(72/362)

(102/504)

Independent

319

40%

314

9%

361

22%

(4/10)

(2/22)

(5/23)

Boarding

179

93%

154

42%

15

50%

(13/14)

(5/12)

(1/2)

Residential

197

50%

140

50%

131

0%

Special Schools

(3/6)

(1/2)

(0/6)

Stage 2 complaints - proportion upheld or partially upheld (academic year)
2009-102010-112011-12
InspectionsUpheld complaintsInspectionsUpheld complaintsInspectionsUpheld complaints

Maintained

6,171

43% (29/67)

5,726

55% (29/53)

6,139

30% (18/60)

Independent

319

50% (1/2)

314

25% (1/4)

361

0%

Boarding

179

0

154

0

15

0

Residential Special Schools

197

0

140

0

131

0% (0/1)

Notes

Data for inspections of maintained schools includes Section 5 inspections and Section 8 deemed Section 5 inspections only. It does not include monitoring visit activity.

Data for inspections of independent schools includes Section 162A inspections only.

Data for inspections of boarding schools includes inspections only of care.

Data for inspections of residential special schools includes those reinspected in the year.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA181

A copy of this reply has been sent to Baroness Garden of Frognal, and will be placed in the Library of both Houses.

Schools: Discrimination

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to avoid the development of discrimination between different schools in the public sector. [HL4045]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The statutory school admissions code (the code) sets out the legal framework for school admissions and requires that school places are allocated in a fair, clear and objective manner. The code applies to admissions to all maintained schools in England. Academies and free schools are required through their funding agreements with the Secretary of State to comply with the code. All schools must also have regard to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and review their policies and practices to make sure these meet the requirements of the Act.

Schools: Inspectors

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Garden of Frognal on 9 January (WA 102), how many of Her Majesty’s Inspectors currently employed as school inspectors, are (1) former lay inspectors, and (2) former headteachers, who (a) have failed as school leaders, or (b) have had no classroom experience.[HL4513]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: This Question is a matter for Ofsted. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wishaw, has written to the noble Lord, and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Schools: Pupil Premium

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Worcester

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what forecast they have made of the impact of the pupil premium on differences between funding per pupil in Worcestershire and Birmingham in (1) 2013–14, and (2) 2014–15. [HL4488]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The deprivation and looked-after premium will increase to £900 per pupil in the 2013-14 financial year and the service premium will increase to £300 per pupil. Final figures relating to the number of pupils eligible for the pupil premium in 2013-14 and 2014-15 are not yet available as they will be based on pupil numbers from the respective January 2013 and January 2014 school census returns.

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Illustrative pupil premium allocations for 2013-14 using January 2012 pupil numbers show that Worcestershire local authority will receive approximately £12.934 million of pupil premium funding in 2013-14 in respect of 14,460 eligible pupils. Illustrative pupil premium allocations for 2013-14 show that Birmingham local authority will receive approximately £67.868 million of pupil premium funding in 2013-14 in respect of 75,490 eligible pupils. Final allocations will be available in the autumn when pupil numbers from the January 2013 school census are confirmed.

In addition to pupil premium funding, each local authority receives Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) funding from the Department for Education. In the 2013-14 financial year the DSG will be formed from three blocks of funding—the schools block, the early years block and the high needs block. For Worcestershire local authority, the DSG schools block funding for 2013-14 is £4,231.27 per pupil and will be paid in relation to 68,734 pupils. For Birmingham local authority, the DSG schools block funding for 2013-14 is £5.218.28 per pupil and will be paid in relation to 159,719 pupils. DSG allocations for 2014-15 will not be available until December 2013 as they are based on October 2013 pupil numbers.

The per-pupil amount for the schools block in Birmingham is higher than in Worcestershire partly because the funding reflects the greater levels of recorded deprivation in Birmingham. However, the difference in Birmingham and Worcestershire's funding is also linked to the fact that the existing school funding system uses out-of-date information based on 2005-06 assessments of need. We are now reforming the funding system so that it reflects the current needs of pupils and is more consistent across the country. The Secretary of State confirmed in March 2011 that we will introduce a new national funding formula during the next spending review period.

The pupil premium may affect the difference in overall per pupil funding between authorities due to different areas having varying levels of disadvantaged pupils but this is not the premium's primary aim. The pupil premium is intended to recognise that disadvantaged pupils need extra support and provide additional funding for these children to help raise their attainment.

Schools: Voluntary Aided Schools

Questions

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the removal of the requirement for groups to seek consent by the Secretary of State before publishing proposals for voluntary aided schools outside of competition was intended to make voluntary aided schools easier to establish or to remove a requirement on the grounds of reducing bureaucracy.[HL3971]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: Removing the requirement to seek the consent of the Secretary of State before publishing proposals for voluntary vided (VA) schools was done as part of the department's drive to reduce bureaucracy. Since this requirement was first enacted

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA183

in 2007, there have been 43 such requests for consent and none have been turned down. While we have removed the requirement to seek the consent of the Secretary of State, all VA school proposals are still required to follow the same statutory process as set out in regulations that were brought into force in 2007.

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the commitment in the coalition agreement to “work with faith groups to enable more faith schools and facilitate inclusive admissions policies in as many of these schools as possible”, what progress they have made in ensuring voluntary aided schools have inclusive admissions policies.[HL3973]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: New faith academies and free schools can only apply faith based admissions criteria to up to 50% of their places. Only maintained schools designated as having a religious character are permitted to apply faith based admissions criteria and allocate up to 100% of their places to children of the faith and only when they receive more applications than they have places.

The department brought a new school admissions code into force in February of last year that set out a shorter, clearer set of principles for all admission authorities, including VA schools, to follow. We have also made it much easier for all schools, including voluntary aided schools to increase their intake to reflect parental demand.

We do not collect any information on whether any school is being more or less inclusive. It is noteworthy, however, that the most recent report of the chief schools adjudicator made no reference to faith school admissions being an issue, whereas the 2011 report did.

Asked by Baroness Massey of Darwen

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether local authorities in England must seek proposals for the establishment of an academy when they wish to establish a new school, or whether they can arrange for a faith group to propose a voluntary aided school.[HL3974]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: Where a local authority thinks a new school needs to be established in its area, it must, under Section 6A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (the academy presumption), first seek proposals for the establishment of a new academy or free school. Those proposals must be submitted to the Secretary of State to decide whether he is willing to enter into a funding agreement with any of the proposers.

It is possible for voluntary aided school proposers, which can be faith groups (though not exclusively), to submit proposals for a new school, to a local authority, for consideration outside of the academy presumption arrangements. Since the enactment of the relevant provisions of the Education Act 2011, this can now take place without the prior consent of the Secretary of State. Any such proposals must, however, still follow a statutory process set out in regulations brought into force in 2007.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA184

Security: Vetting

Question

Asked by Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many individuals received positive vetting or developed vetting clearance by Defence Business Services National Security Vetting and its predecessors in (1) 1985, (2) 1995, (3) 2005, and (4) 2010.[HL4399]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Defence Vetting Agency (DVA)—now Defence Business Services National Security Vetting—was launched in 1997. Prior to that, Ministry of Defence clearances were awarded by a central MoD body for civilians and single service vetting units for military clearances. At the time DVA was established appropriate historic cases were transferred to the DVA database on a bulk basis, so it is not possible to identify clearances awarded by year prior to this date.

For the purpose of this Question, positive and developed vetting (DV) are the same clearance. DV clearance replaced positive vetting (top secret) around 1995. The data are collected by financial year, are only for MoD civilian, defence industry and military personnel and is taken from the DVA annual reports. Copies of the DVA annual reports for 2005 and 2010 are available in the Library of the House.

Financial yearNumber of Developed Vetting Cases

1997-98

9,779

2005-06

11,860

2010-1 1

9,778

UK Trade and Investment

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of United Kingdom trade is with the European Union, excluding trade which goes to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp before being transited to locations outside the European Union.[HL4688]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 49% of UK trade (in 2011) was with the European Union.

Source: ONS Balance of Payments 2012

It is not possible to exclude trade which goes to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp before being transited to locations outside of the European Union.

The ONS produces its trade statistics in accordance with international guidelines. The trade in goods figures are based on data collected by HM Revenue and Customs. Exporters are explicitly asked to state the final destination for goods. It is not possible to estimate the possible impact of the Rotterdam-Antwerp effect without increasing the burden on at least some businesses.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA185

UN: Specialised Agencies

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve communication to Parliament of the activities of United Nations specialised agencies in relation to the objectives of United Kingdom government departments and agencies.[HL4541]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The government department responsible for a UN specialised agency leads on keeping Parliament informed about significant developments within that agency as they relate to Government objectives. This is done in a number of ways, for example, through the laying of reports, multilateral aid reviews and updates to Parliament on recommendations and conventions which have been adopted in relation to that agency.

Visas

Questions

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 15 October 2012 (WA 445), how many Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories wishing to visit the United Kingdom have been (1) granted visas, and (2) refused visas, in the past 12 months for which information is available; what are their reasons for applying different requirements to Israeli citizens and Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories; and whether they have any plans to amend the Immigration Rules to treat Israelis and Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories on the same basis. [HL4417]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): (1) Total number of UK visit visas issued to nationals of the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the period October 2011 to September 2012: 2,386.

(2) Total number of UK visit visas applications by nationals of the Occupied Palestinian Territories that were refused in the period October 2011 to September 2012: 784.

These data are based on internal UK Border Agency Management information. They are provisional and subject to change.

The UK currently requires visas from 117 countries. The UK's visa policy is based on the nature and scale of the threat posed to the UK by nationals and passport holders from all non-EEA countries. Visa requirements are based on nationality, as opposed to a person's residence or location.

The UK's visa policy is reviewed regularly. There are currently no plans to amend the Immigration Rules specifically for Israelis or Palestinians.

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA186

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 15 October 2012 (WA 445), why those Israeli citizens who have breached international law by building illegal settlements in the Occupied Territories are allowed visa-free access to the United Kingdom; and what steps they take to ensure that those who engage in such illegal actions do not pose a threat to the security of the United Kingdom in the light of that policy.[HL4418]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Non-visa nationals, including Israeli citizens, regardless of where they reside, wishing to visit the UK for six months or less, do not require a visa. However, any person who is found to pose a threat to the UK may be refused leave to enter if their exclusion from the UK is considered conducive to the public good. Public safety and national security remain a primary concern and will not be compromised.

Zimbabwe

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the status of their relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe; at what political level they have conducted meetings since 2010; and what modification of that Government’s human rights record has been evident as a result of such diplomacy since 2010.[HL4517]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The UK maintains full diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe, although we have only engaged with President Mugabe consistent with the requirements of diplomatic protocol. Ministers have engaged at all levels with representatives of the Zimbabwe Government of National Unity since its formation in 2009 and our ambassador in Harare maintains broad relationships with all political parties, including with the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU¬PF).

Although there has been a consistent year on year decrease in human rights abuses since the peak in 2008, the Government of Zimbabwe's human rights record continues to be a serious concern. Some important steps have been taken over the past 12 months. Zimbabwe accepted 115 of 177 recommendations made during the Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council in March 2012 and in May 2012 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, visited Zimbabwe—the first visit of its kind.

We remain concerned by the lack of progress in a number of important areas in terms of human rights, including a lack of media freedom and continued abuse of repressive legislation, and by increased harassment of non-governmental organisations and civil society groups in recent months. We continue to monitor closely the situation on the ground and our diplomats attend many court cases to monitor human rights violations. We call regularly, both bilaterally

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA187

and in partnership with other EU member states, for an end to abuses and for the restoration of internationally accepted human rights standards in Zimbabwe.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the access of the Matabele people in Zimbabwe to (1) governmental and administrative opportunity, (2) children’s rights to be educated in their day-to-day language, and (3) opportunities to participate in the police service (a) nationally, and (b) regionally; and what representations they have made on these issues through the United Nations since 2010.[HL4519]

Baroness Warsi: Matebeleland has a crucial role to play in shaping Zimbabwe's future. We are in regular contact with political figures from the region and are aware of these issues of access. In our dialogue with the Government of Zimbabwe we stress regularly the importance of minority rights and the importance of Matabeleland's full participation in the political process.

We have not made a full assessment of the access of the Matabele people in Zimbabwe to governmental and administrative opportunity or to opportunities to participate in the police service. But we judge Matabele children are well served in terms of both rights and opportunities to be educated in their day-to-day language. For example, all teachers in Zimbabwe must be able to speak, read and write in the local language of the children they teach. And all primary school textbooks are produced in seven local languages many of which are spoken in Matabeleland. The Government are providing £24 million through the UN Children's

21 Jan 2013 : Column WA188

Fund (UNICEF) to the Education Transition Fund (2011-15) to ensure improved education provision throughout Zimbabwe, including to Matabele children.

The Department for International Development are also the majority hinders of the Child Protection Fund which provides child protection support across Zimbabwe, including in Matabeleland, in order for vulnerable children to secure their basic rights (through the provision of quality social protection and child protection services).

We have not made representations through the UN on these issues.

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have had discussions with African inter-governmental organisations regarding Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Southern African Development Community principles and guidelines governing democratic elections in advance of Zimbabwe’s general election, and regarding Zimbabwe’s international obligations. [HL4545]

Baroness Warsi: We regularly raise with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and its member states the importance of Zimbabwe fulfilling the conditions of the global political agreement and adhering to the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. We also regularly raise with the African Union the importance of Zimbabwe implementing essential reforms ahead of its elections.

The SADC continues to play a crucial role as guarantor of Zimbabwe's global political agreement. We welcome the ongoing efforts of President Zuma of South Africa to help the parties in Zimbabwe overcome their differences and make progress on the reforms necessary to prevent a repeat of the violence of 2008.