24 Jan 2013 : Column WA241

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Written Answers

Thursday 24 January 2013

Apprenticeships

Question

Asked by Lord Addington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether a comprehensive guide for those with dyslexia and other special educational needs wishing to take an apprenticeship qualification is available; and, if so, where the guide is published.[HL4763]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The National Apprenticeship Service provides advice for those with dyslexia and other special educational needs wishing to take an apprenticeship, and its website has a section about learners with learning difficulties or disabilities including resources and case studies.

Other resources are available on the LSIS Excellence Gateway. Resources include a dyslexia starter kit: http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/dyslexia-starter-kit and a resource pack: Raising Aspirations: Creating opportunities to enable more young people with LDD to access Apprenticeships: http://www.exellencegateway. org.uk/node/23469.

Civil Service: Redundancy

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 19 December 2012 (WA 307–8), whether the administrators of the principal Civil Service Pension Scheme can extrapolate and accumulate the numbers and annual costs of civil servants made redundant each year; and how the Cabinet Office assess the efficacy of making civil servants redundant in the absence of that information.[HL4609]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: It is for individual departments to effectively manage their resources so as to remain within their budgets. As each department is responsible for meeting the costs of any redundancy compensation to be paid to their staff it is right, and appropriate, for them to assess the efficacy of making any of their employees redundant in the light of their business needs and financial situation. The Cabinet Office exercises oversight of the operation of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme so as to ensure that departments are operating within scheme rules. This does not extend to monitoring the numbers of staff departing under the scheme.

The role of the scheme administrator appointed by the Cabinet Office is to calculate and pay compensation in accordance with the scheme rules, and ensure that the full costs are charged to departments. It is then for individual departments to report these costs in their resource accounts each year.

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Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many full-time equivalent staff are currently employed by (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; and what is the planned establishment for each in the year 2013–14.[HL4508]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information requested is shown in the following table:

BodyCurrent number of Full-Time Equivalents (FTE)Planned FTE establishment for 2013-14

Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority 1

62

64 2

Human Tissue Authority 3

43.4

44.4 4

Medicine & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency 5

945

1,283 6

Health Research Authority 7

124.6

134 8

Notes:

1. Source of information, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority.

2. This figure reflects the budgeted number of full time equivalent staff in 2013-14. The HFEA it is currently carrying vacancies.

3. Source of information, the Human Tissue Authority.

4. A business critical post of Regulation Manager currently being advertised.

5. Source of information, the Medicine & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

6. The increase reflects the transfer of the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control from the Health Protection Agency to the MHRA on 1 April 2013.

7. Source of information, the Health Research Authority

8. Addition reflects a new function in relation to ethics and confidentiality.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on how many occasions in (1) 2010-11, (2) 2011-12, and (3) 2012-13, the chief executives and chairs of (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, formally met to discuss integrated regulatory pathways; and what was the outcome of each meeting.[HL4509]

Earl Howe: All four bodies maintain regular contact at different levels. These discussions have included issues relating to the regulatory pathway between the respective organisations.

The number of formal meetings, involving the chairs and/or chief executives of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the Human Tissue

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Authority (HTA), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Health Research Authority (HRA), at which these issues were discussed, is shown in the following table:

Bodies2010-112011-122012-13

HFEA & HTA

3

3

3

HFEA & HRA1

-

-

22

HFEA & MHRA

-

-

-

HTA & HRA1

See 2012-13

See 2012-13

23

HTA & MHRA

-

-

-

MHRA & HRA1

See 2012-13

See 2012-13

64

Notes:

1. The HRA was established as a special health authority on 1 December 2011 and its chair was appointed on 12 June 2012.

2. This includes one occasion where the HFEA chief executive attended a meeting of the HRA Steering Group.

3. Meetings since the current HTA chair was appointed in January 2010 and the current HTA chief executive was appointed in September 2011.

4. The chief executive of the MHRA (or the director of policy acting as his deputy) attended six meetings of the HRA Steering Group between December 2011 and July 2012.

Source:

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Human Tissue Authority, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and Health Research Authority.

There have been a number of positive outcomes that have integrated the regulatory pathways though collaborative working. Some examples of this are:

the HTA has carried out joint inspections with the MHRA and has also issued joint position statements on advanced therapy medicinal products and held joint training events to ensure that regulation in this area is enabling. The HTA coordinates any relevant notifications of serious adverse events and reactions with the MHRA;there are four centres that use human embryos to derive embryonic stem cell lines for human application that need to be regulated by both the HFEA and the HTA. In addition there are five centres that store ovarian tissue for potential human application; these centres also have to be regulated by both the HFEA and the HTA. In both of these areas both bodies are working closely to ensure a single regulatory approach on guidance and inspection. A joint working protocol and memorandum of understanding have also been drawn up;the HFEA and HRA have developed a memorandum of understanding in relation to the assessment of applications from research bodies to receive identifying information held on the HFEA’s register of fertility treatments, patients and offspring;the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) Board is chaired by the HRA chief executive. The MHRA and HFEA are represented on the board as IRAS partners (HFEA since June 2012);

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the National Research Ethics Service, as part of HRA, has memoranda of understanding with both the HTA and the MHRA;the HRA chief executive is a member of the European Union Clinical Trials Revision Steering Group with MHRA;the HRA chief executive also chairs the new HRA UK Collaboration and Development Steering Group (which the chair also attends). The group includes membership from HFEA, HTA and MHRA; andthe HRA and MHRA are members of the Medical Devices Steering Group and the Clinical Trials Collaboration Steering Group.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 8 January (WA 22–3), whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) code of practice currently requires all clinics to give women seeking treatment any applicable information about the possible side effects and risks to the woman being treated and any resulting child, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS); and, if so, (1) when that requirement was first included in the HFEA code of practice, and (2) what guidance the HFEA has provided to clinics regarding how all relevant data about such adverse outcomes should be obtained without monitoring patients, particularly whenever a treatment cycle has not been abandoned. [HL4534]

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended, requires centres licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to provide patients with such relevant information as is proper before providing treatment services. The HFEA has advised that it provides clinics with guidance regarding what this information should include, which is outlined in its code of practice. This includes information about the possible side effects and risks to the woman being treated and any resulting child, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).

The code of practice has, since its first edition, advised licensed centres to provide people seeking treatment with information about the possible side effects and risks of the treatment to the woman and any resulting child. Guidance regarding information provision specifically about OHSS was first included in the third edition, which was issued in 1995.

The HFEA has advised that its current guidance on OHSS and incident reporting can be found on its website at: www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2011_OCT_27_ adverse.pdf.

Government Departments: Catering Facilities

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the cost of the subsidy for catering facilities in the Whitehall offices of (1) HM Treasury, (2) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (3) the Home Office,

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(4) the Department of Health, (5) the Department for International Development, (6) the Cabinet Office, (7) 10 Downing Street, (8) the Ministry of Defence, (9) the Ministry of Justice, and (10) the Department for Education.[HL4661]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Cabinet Office estate, including 10 Downing Street, does not subsidise its catering facilities.

My department does not hold information relating to other government departments' catering facilities.

Government Departments: Publications

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Department for Transport produces a staff magazine. [HL4728]

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport and its agencies produce a number of staff magazines in the interests of good internal communications. The majority are electronic publications produced in-house to reduce costs and paper consumption.

The table below gives the titles and frequency.

Department/AgencyMagazineFrequency

Central Department

a2c (electronic)

monthly

Driving Standards Agency

None

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Licence (electronic with small print run)

monthly

Highways Agency

Major Project News (electronic)

monthly

Our TMD (electronic)

monthly

NDD News (electronic)

every other month

Communications Chronicle (electronic)

every other month

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Coast to Coast (electronic)

monthly

Vehicle Certification Agency

Nuts & Bolts (electronic)

monthly

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

VOSAlink (electronic)

weekly

Government Departments: Training

Question

Asked by Lord Norton of Louth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 9 January (WA 97), who will be responsible in each government department for determining the training needs of civil servants pursuant to Section 3(6) of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 until such time as a capabilities plan is published. [HL4489]

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Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Departments with dedicated HR staff will oversee the demands and requirements for training from Civil Service Learning. A capabilities plan will be published in due course containing further information on key priorities for building the capability of the civil service. Publication of the plan is unlikely to change these responsibilities.

Health: Accident and Emergency Departments

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of closures of NHS accident and emergency departments across the United Kingdom.[HL4768]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): This information is not collected centrally. The reconfiguration of urgent and emergency care services, including accident and emergency departments, is a matter for the National Health Service locally. What matters is that strategic decisions are taken at the appropriate level, that service change is clinically driven, and that patients and the public are involved in the process.

Health: Oesophageal Doppler Monitoring

Question

Asked by Lord Walton of Detchant

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will expedite the availability of oesophageal Doppler monitoring during surgery in the National Health Service, in the light of advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [HL4663]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Oesophageal Doppler monitoring, along with other National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) approved fluid management monitoring technology, has been chosen as a high impact innovation for the National Health Service. It is for individual commissioners, working with their providers, to determine when and where they should be used in line with NICE guidance.

The NHS Technology Adoption Centre has produced a technology adoption pack, generically labelled “Intra-Operative Fluid Management”, which includes clarity on the competing technologies in the marketplace, together with the evidence that supports their use.

Health: Pathology

Questions

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made in terms of any increase or reduction in (1) costs, and (2) time from blood taking and

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA247

testing to receiving results, of the proposals to move pathology services from Southend and Basildon hospitals to Bedford Hospital.[HL4492]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they, the regional health authority and NHS Midlands and East have received in response to the proposals to move pathology services from Basildon and Southend hospitals to Bedford Hospital.[HL4493]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Information about the cost and time implications of the proposals to move pathology services from Southend and Basildon hospitals to Bedford Hospital are not collected centrally. Decisions about the local configuration of pathology services are for local National Health Service commissioners. We are aware that the Royal College of Pathologists has supported the decision making process in the East of England region by giving advice on all the bids submitted to NHS Midlands and East.

We understand that the preferred bidder for the Basildon and Southend areas is currently working with all trusts in the area to finalise how the service will operate. Although it is intended that the service will be provided under a hub and spoke model, the location of hubs and spokes for this area is yet to be confirmed.

The Independent Review of NHS Pathology Services in England, chaired by Lord Carter of Coles, undertook an extensive cost and activity data collection and analysis exercise in order to establish a robust evidence base on which to found its recommendations. The review forecast that up to £500 million could be saved through consolidation of NHS pathology services into managed networks.

All decisions on how service changes will be implemented are for local determination. Nevertheless, these changes are vital to the NHS. The current pathology arrangements are unsustainable and, in light of the robust evidence available, commissioners will be seeking high quality services that represent best value for money.

Ministers’ offices have received no representations on this subject. A search of the department's ministerial correspondence database has identified two items of correspondence received since 12 December 2012, when the preferred bidders to take forward the new community pathology services across the East of England region were announced. This figure represents correspondence received by the department's ministerial correspondence unit only. Information about representations received by the local NHS is not collected centrally.

Health: Surgery

Question

Asked by Lord Walton of Detchant

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact of oesophageal Doppler monitoring during surgery on complications, patient outcomes and the length of hospital stays.[HL4662]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Department has made no such assessment. However the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published medical technologies guidance on the CardioQ-ODM oesophageal Doppler monitor. This guidance is available on NICE’s website at: www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/13312/52624/52624.pdf

Higher Education: Student Enrolment

Question

Asked by Baroness Brinton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many students in England studying (1) full-time, and (2) part-time, are aged (a) 19–21, (b) 22–24, and (c) 24 and over.[HL4705]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on student enrolments at English higher education institutions (HEIs). Latest statistics on higher education enrolments by age and mode of study, for the academic year 2011-12 are provided in the table.

Student enrolments (1) from all domiciles by age (2) and mode of study.
Academic year 2011-12
English Higher Education Institutions
AgeFull-timePart-timeTotal

Aged 18 and under

192,665

11,950

204.615

Aged 19 to 21

705,180

44,310

749.490

Aged 22 to 24

255.715

68.995

324.710

Aged 25 and over

270.280

547.345

817,625

Not specified

30

760

790

Total

1,423.870

673,360

1097,230

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.

Notes:

Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded up or down to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals

(1)

Enrolments refers to students in all years of study

(2)

Age refers to age at the start of the academic year

Hillsborough

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the comments by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 11 December (Official Report, col. 1027) that further documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 had been discovered, what is in those documents; where they were held; when their existence was discovered; who discovered them; and whether they will be made public.[HL4155]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): I met the noble Lord on 16 January and the Bishop of Liverpool, in his capacity as the Home Secretary’s adviser on Hillsborough, was also present. It was explained that

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA249

there are a limited number of documents in this category and with the Bishop of Liverpool’s agreement these have been catalogued within the Home Office and are being made available to the IPCC.

House of Lords: Members’ Allowances

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask the Chairman of Committees what was the average daily total claim per member attending the House of Lords in (1) 2009–10, (2) 2010–11, (3) 2011–12, and (4) the first quarter of 2012–13. [HL4528]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The average daily total claim per member attending the House of Lords was:

2009-10—£270;2010-11—£284;2011-12—£281; andfirst quarter 2012-13—£287.

These figures include travel costs and other costs claimed under the Members’ finance scheme, full details of which can be found at www.parliament.uk.

House of Lords: Members’ Attendance

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask the Chairman of Committees what was the average daily attendance in the House of Lords in (1) 2009–10, (2) 2010–11, (3) 2011–12, and (4) the first quarter of 2012–13.[HL4527]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The average daily attendance for the periods in question is given below. The figures exclude attendances at Select Committee meetings, which do not relate directly to sitting days.

PeriodAverage daily attendance

1April 2009 to 31 March 2010

397

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

451

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

492

1 April 2012 to 30 June 2012

488

House of Lords: Staff Pay

Question

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask the Chairman of Committees what grades or other classifications of staff employed by the House of Lords have been subject to a pay freeze in each of the past three years.[HL4505]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): Senior-band staff have been subject to a pay freeze since April 2009. All other staff were subject to pay freezes in 2010-11 and 2011-12, except for those earning less than £21,000 pa who received an increase of £250 on basic pay in each of those years.

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA250

Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Warsi on 19 December (WA 316–7) concerning Israel’s nuclear facilities, what measures are available to persuade Israel to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Authority.[HL4592]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Israel is an active member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and committed to its objectives, in particular Article 2: to seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. Israel is not, however, a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty. Accordingly it is under no legal obligation to agree to a full scope comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Government have regular dialogue with the Government of Israel on nuclear issues, support the objective of a weapons of mass destruction-free zone in the Middle East and encourage Israel to participate in discussions to that end.

Justice: Non-payment of Fines

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 17 December 2012 (WA 270–1), what is their estimate of the cost of proceedings for failure to pay a television licence fee in 2011; which of the options for reform of the system of enforcement published in Swift and Sure Justice: the Government's Plans for Reform of the Criminal Justice System they consider likely to be efficacious; and whether they have recently considered the compliance of punishment for failure to pay such a fee with human rights standards.[HL4680]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Ministry of Justice does not collect data on the cost of proceedings for specific offences in magistrates’ courts and therefore is not able to estimate the cost of proceedings for failure to pay a television licence fee in 2011 with sufficient reliability within the time and cost available.

Paragraph 122 of the White Paper on Swift and Sure Justice outlined the Government’s thoughts on reform of TV licensing enforcement. We are continuing to examine the efficacy of the various measures.

When the Communications Bill was introduced to Parliament in 2002, the terms of the statement signed under Section 19 of the Human Rights Act demonstrate that the Government were of the view that the enforcement regime for TV licensing complied with the European Convention on Human Rights. That view has not changed.

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NHS: Clinical Commissioning Groups

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many clinical commissioning groups have been authorised by the NHS Commissioning Board; and how many remain to be authorised.[HL4738]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A total of 211 aspiring clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have applied to the NHS Commissioning Board (the board) for authorisation. The board is authorising CCGs in four waves. Thirty-four CCGs were authorised and established in the first wave in December 2012, and 67 have been authorised and established in the second wave in January. The remaining 110 aspiring CCGs are preparing for authorisation in February and March.

NHS: Foundation Trusts

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which NHS trusts that are currently the responsibility of the NHS Development Agency have been passed to Monitor for approval as foundation trusts; which of those have been approved or rejected by Monitor; which NHS trusts are scheduled for submission for approval to Monitor in 2013; and which NHS trusts are no longer expected to be approved as foundation trusts by April 2014.[HL4737]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): To date, the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) has referred no foundation trust (FT) applications to Monitor. NHS trusts are required to submit their plans for 2013-14 to the NHS TDA for sign off by the end of March 2013. Any plans where the trajectory to achieve FT status is not deliverable or credible will not be signed off by the NHS TDA. Further discussions between the local NHS trust and the TDA will then take place.

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA252

Population Movement

Question

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the findings of the Electoral Commission’s November 2012 report Continuous Electoral Registration in Northern Ireland that, “changes of address are the key change that needs to be managed by the registration system”, and that “continuous registration is not keeping pace with population movement in Northern Ireland”, whether they will set out the average rates of population movement in Northern Ireland in comparison with (1) England, (2) Wales and (3) Scotland.[HL4394]

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 Hayter, dated January 2013.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking in the light of the findings of the Electoral Commission's November 2012 report Continuous Electoral Registration in Northern Ireland that changes of address are the key change that needs to be managed by the registration system', and that -continuous registration is not keeping pace with population movement in Northern Ireland'', whether they will set out the average rates of population movement in Northern Ireland in comparison with (1) England, (2) Wales and (3) Scotland. HL4394

A measure of population movement based on this definition can be derived for local authority areas in England and Wales from the ONS's Mid-Year Population Estimates. The table below contains the relevant data. It shows that an estimated 5.5% of the population of England at mid-2010 had moved out of their local authority area (to elsewhere in England, elsewhere in the UK, or to another country) by mid-2011. The corresponding percentage for Wales was 4.0%.

Similar measures for Scotland and Northern Ireland would be a matter for the respective statistical authorities.

Table 1: Population Movement: England and Wales, 2010-11
Population at Mid-2010Internal Migration within area 2010-11*Other within-UK flows from area 2010-11**International Emigration from area 2010-11“Population Movement” (Total migration outflows as a proportion of starting population)

England

52,234,045

2,464,094

102,795

301,012

5.5%

Wales

3,0006,430

53,161

54,590

11,232

4.0%

Source:

ONS

Ports

Question

Asked by Lord Fearn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many passenger liners have anchored in the Mersey in 2011 and 2012; and how many have stayed for more than two days in that port.[HL4651]

Earl Attlee: Information is not held centrally in the form requested. It would normally be better to address detailed enquiries of this kind directly to the port—in this case, Peel Ports and/or Liverpool City Council.

Some related figures can be found in the Department for Transport’s port statistics at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/10102/port0601.xls.

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA253

In this table, a total of 140 ships in the category “passenger vessels” is shown to have called at Liverpool in 2011. This includes cruise vessels but is predominantly passenger ferries. Other passenger-carrying ships could be included in the “ro-ro” and “other” categories.

Railways: East Coast Mainline

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for improving the journey times on the east coast main line.[HL4613]

Earl Attlee: The Government recognise the importance of the east coast main line in linking Scotland, the north-east, Yorkshire and eastern England with London. A total of £428 million (in 2012-13 prices) is currently being invested in a series of schemes designed to improve capacity and performance on this critical route. A further £240 million of funding has been allocated to the route for enhancement expenditure between 2014 and 2019 on schemes that improve capacity and reduce journey times. The rail industry will be working together to determine how this funding is spent.

New rolling stock under the InterCity Express programme will enable reductions in journey times, and the first of these trains are due to enter revenue service on the east coast main line during 2018.

Continued improvement in service quality is a key objective for the current operator, East Coast, and will be for the next intercity east coast franchise, the timing of which will need to be determined in light of Richard Brown’s independent review of the rail franchising programme.

In the meantime, the Department for Transport will be working with East Coast, Network Rail and others to ensure that the Government’s substantial investment in the east coast main line delivers real benefits for passengers, striking an appropriate balance between journey time, reliability and other potential improvements.

Railways: Heathrow Airport

Question

Asked by Viscount Astor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to promote a rail link between Heathrow Airport and the great western main line.[HL4587]

Earl Attlee: The July 2012 high-level output specification asks the rail industry to develop and, subject to business case and agreement of terms with the Heathrow aviation industry, deliver a new western rail access to Heathrow Airport.

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA254

Railways: High Speed 2

Question

Asked by Viscount Astor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the (1) top speed, and (2) average speed, projected for trains on the HS2 London to Birmingham route. [HL4585]

Earl Attlee: HS2 Ltd is continuing to finalise the design of the infrastructure but the aspiration is to have a top-speed capability of 249 miles per hour (400 kph) in the longer term. The line is intended to open with services at a maximum speed of 224 mph (360 kph), but in many sections such as tunnels and urban areas it will be less, leading to an anticipated average running speed for services on the HS2 London to Birmingham route of 205 mph (330 kph).

Schools: National Curriculum

Question

Asked by Lord Northbourne

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish their proposals for the new curriculum of all subjects to be introduced from September 2014; whether this curriculum includes the new curriculum for personal social and health education (PSHE); and, if not, when the PSHE syllabus will be published.[HL4683]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): We will be publishing our proposed new national curriculum for consultation very shortly. The separate PSHE review has been extended to take account of the outcomes of the national curriculum review. We will set out our proposals for PSHE in due course.

Schools: Ofsted

Question

Asked by Lord Northbourne

To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) how many, and (2) what percentage of, (a) primary schools, and (b) secondary schools, achieved each Ofsted grade in the last year for which figures are available. [HL4684]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): This question is a matter for Ofsted and the Deputy Chief Inspector, Education, Children’s Services and Skills, John Goldup. He has written to the noble Lord, and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA255

Schools: Teachers

Questions

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they offer to teachers who consider leaving the profession.[HL3978]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): The Government are not the employer of the teaching workforce in our schools. We expect schools and local authorities as the employers of the workforce to provide appropriate levels of pastoral and professional support to teachers who are considering leaving the profession.

The Government have set out to make teaching a more attractive career, encouraging outstanding individuals to stay in the profession. We have put teachers back in charge of the classroom with powers to deal effectively with poor pupil behaviour. We are slimming down the national curriculum and reducing bureaucracy so that teachers have professional autonomy to determine how to teach. We are also reforming pay so that heads have more flexibility to reward good teachers. Giving heads greater freedom over the way they deploy their teachers also affords them greater flexibility in adapting working conditions to respond more effectively to local and individual circumstances.

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many trainee teachers were awarded (1) tuition fee loans, (2) bursaries, (3) School Direct bursary top-ups, and (4) scholarships, in the last five years.[HL3980]

Lord Nash: The number of applicants on initial teacher training courses domiciled in England and the EU (outside UK) and who were awarded tuition fee loans was 22,800 at 9 December in academic year (AY) 2012-13. The equivalent figures in previous academic years were 23,600 (in AY 2008-09), 28,600 (in AY 2009-10), 25,900 (in AY 2010-11) and 21,100 (in AY 2011-12).

In the past 5 years a total of 99,652 trainees recruited were eligible for a training bursary award*. This breaks down by academic year as follows: AY 2008-09 23,534, AY 2009-10 25,114, AY 2010-11 24,240, AY 2011-12 5,992 and AY 2012-13 20,772.

School Direct was introduced in academic year 2012-13. In order to be eligible for a bursary top up, a trainee must spend the majority of his or her time at a school that has 25% or more of their students eligible for free school meals. This data will not be available until February 2013 and I have asked my officials to write to you then with this information.

Scholarships for trainees in physics, run in partnership between DfE and the Institute of Physics, were introduced in AY 2012-13. A total of 105 scholarships were awarded.

*

Subjects that attract bursaries and amounts payable change from year to year to reflect Government policies and priorities. In AY 2011-12 the number of subjects that attracted a bursary award was reduced hence the reduction in the numbers of

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trainees eligible for a bursary award in this year. In AY 2012-13 new tuition fees were introduced which Is why high value bursaries were introduced to acknowledge the academic achievements of the trainee and their potential to teach. Trainees must have at least a 2:2 to access a bursary in a shortage subject, chemistry, physics, mathematics and modem foreign languages, and at least a 2:1 for non-shortage subjects.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the situation of minorities in Syria; and what discussions they have had with opposition groups in that country about safeguarding minorities from jihadist attacks.[HL4630]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, inflicting a heavy cost on the country’s population, including its minority groups.

There are credible reports and video footage of human rights abuses and sectarian attacks by armed opposition fighters in Syria, which we utterly condemn. We urge all opposition groups to observe human rights and international humanitarian law norms.

As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), said on 10 January (Official Report, col. 483), he has urged the leadership of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) to show a clear commitment to human rights and international humanitarian law, including the protection of all religious communities and unfettered and safe access for humanitarian agencies. The SNC has stressed their intention not to repeat the violations of the Assad regime.

We regularly meet representatives and members of minority groups and we continue to encourage the SNC to reassure all Syrians that they are working towards a Syria which is democratic, inclusive, representative, respectful of its ethnic and religious minorities and which adheres to international human rights conventions. We remain resolute in our support of the Syrian people’s demands for a peaceful and democratic transition to a more open society, one that respects the rights of all its citizens, Allawite or Sunni, Christian or Kurd.

Taxation: Income Tax

Questions

Asked by Lord Greaves

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many employed persons in the current year do not earn enough to pay any income tax in the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and each English region respectively; what proportion of the number of employed persons in each area this represents; and in each case what proportion of such people are (1) women, (2) under the age of 25, and (3) over the age of 55.[HL4515]

24 Jan 2013 : Column WA257

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of employed persons in 2013-14 who will not earn enough to pay any income tax in the United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and each English region respectively; what is their estimate of the proportion of the expected number of employed persons in each area that that will represent; and, in each case what proportion of such people are expected to be (1) women, (2) under the age of 25 , and (3) over the age of 55.[HL4516]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The following table sets out the available estimates for the number of adults in employment or self-employment with employment income at or below the personal allowance in 2012-13 and 2013-14 by country and region.

2012-132013-14
Thousands1as % all employed% femalethousandsas % all employed% female

England

4,300

18

63

4,900

20

64

North East

200

18

64

200

21

65

North West and Merseyside

600

20

58

700

23

59

Yorkshire and the Humber

500

19

64

500

22

66

East Midlands

400

19

65

500

22

66

West Midlands

400

19

63

500

22

64

East of England

500

18

68

500

19

69

London

500

15

61

600

16

60

South East

600

16

64

700

18

63

South West

500

21

64

600

24

64

Wales

200

19

58

300

23

60

Scotland

400

17

68

500

19

68

Northern Ireland

100

17

62

100

19

63

United Kingdom

5,100

18

63

5,800

20

64

The Government have announced the largest ever cash increase in the personal allowance, from £8,105, in April 2012, to £9,440 in April 2013. The percentage of the United Kingdom adult working population with employment income below the personal allowance is estimated to rise from 18% in 2012-13 to 20% in 2013-14.

As a result of all changes to the personal allowance made by the Government since 2010, 2.2 million individuals under the age of 65 will have been taken out of income tax by 2013-14.

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These estimates are based on the Family Resources Survey data for 2010-112, projected to 2012-13 and 2013-14, using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility's December 2012 economic and fiscal outlook.

Estimates of the proportion of adults in employment or self-employment with employment income at or below the personal allowance who are aged under 25 or aged over 55 are not available at the national and region level, due to small sample sizes.

1

Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000 and whole percentage points

2

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/frs/2010_11/frs_2010_11_report.pdf

Territorial Army and Reservists

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what protection exists for continuity of employment, pension and service rights for members of the Territorial Army and reservists who are required to present their P45 forms when called upon for military duty, in view of the fact that a request for a P45 from an employer would normally indicate termination of a contract of employment with that employer.[HL4512]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Government take the continuity of employment and pension and service rights of members of the Territorial Army and other reservists as a matter of great importance. That is why they are provided with legal protection of their civilian employment through the Reserve Forces safeguard of the Employment Act 1985.

This gives the reservist the right to be reinstated in the same job in which they were employed before they were mobilised or, if it is not reasonable and practicable, to be re-employed by their civilian employer in the most favourable job and on the most favourable terms and conditions to the reservist.

Regarding the protection of pensions, reservists are eligible to become an active member of the Reserve Forces pension scheme (RFPS) when mobilised under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 or a corresponding power in the Reserve Forces Act 1980. When at the mobilisation centre they make a choice and complete a declaration that they wish to have the period of permanent service counted under the RFPS, or to remain in any civilian occupational or personal pension scheme or to join the state second pension.

Members of the Reserve Forces are asked to report to the mobilisation centres with either a P60 or P45 (not solely a P45), whichever is relevant, to confirm their civilian earnings and, if required, their employment status. This document can also be used to assist in the administration of any financial assistance award that they or their employer may claim.