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Written Answers

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Accident and Emergency Departments

Question

Asked by Baroness Manzoor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to locate health visitors in accident and emergency departments.[HL2393]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Department knows that some parts of the National Health Service are under pressure at the moment. Health Visitors and other health professionals have the potential to play a strong role in reducing the burden on emergency departments. We welcome proposals on innovative ways to achieve this.

NHS England has advised that while health visiting services are currently provided in many community locations including children’s centres, community clinics and local general practitioner surgeries, NHS England is carrying out work to look at how health visitors, in response to local need, can support other frontline services and provide more support and advice to parents on caring for their children.

For example, London and Midland and East Regions are looking at opportunities which will simultaneously enhance the health visiting service provision and support a reduction in accident and emergency attendance and waiting times over the winter period.

In both regions the services offered will fall within the professional scope of Health Visitors and are designed to support families receive the most appropriate care. In addition, health visitors in accident and emergency departments can support delivery of the high impact areas: particularly managing minor illness, preventing accidents and also support maternal mental health, early attachment, and transition to parenthood and breastfeeding.

These ideas have been shared with the other regions.

Afghanistan

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the United Kingdom intends to ensure that at the London Conference on Afghanistan, due to take place on 24–25 November, Afghan women in attendance will be able fully to participate in the Conference’s deliberations.[HL2321]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): As co-hosts of the London Conference on Afghanistan (LCA), the UK government has agreed the overall invitation list in partnership with the Afghan Government. However, decisions on civil society attendees have been

5 Nov 2014 : Column WA238

made by Afghanistan civil society themselves (rather than the UK or Afghan Government) through a democratic process in Kabul. At least 45% of these elected, sponsored attendees are Afghan women who are scheduled to contribute fully to the civil society event and its outcomes

.

The make-up of the official Afghan government delegation is for the Afghans themselves to decide, however we will be encouraging them to ensure that this includes female Afghan representatives.

Asylum: Appeals

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Home Office asylum decisions were appealed against in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2013; and what percentage of those appeals were successful.[HL2225]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Home Office asylum decisions were appealed against in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2013; and what percentage of the total applications that represents.[HL2226]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The annual number of asylum appeals lodged and the percentage of asylum appeals determined that were successful for 2005 and 2008 are shown in the table attached.

Data for asylum applications, asylum appeals lodged and the percentage of asylum appeals determined that were successful for 2011 and 2013 is available in published data and can be found in the links listed in the bullets below:

• Data for asylum applications can be found in table ‘as 01’ of the ‘Asylum data tables immigration statistics April to June 2014 volume 1’ is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ immigration-statistics-april-to-june-2014-data-tables.• Data for asylum appeals lodged and % of appeals allowed is available at: https://www.gov.uk/ government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The volumes listed in the table and links above are not necessarily the same cohort of cases. As a result we are unable to provide data on the percentage of asylum applications in the years requested that resulted in an appeal.

Table showing asylum appeals lodged and percentage of asylum appeals determined that were successful.
2005[1][2][3]2008

Asylum Appeals lodged

24,891

11,008

Appeals determined by the IAA/AIT

32,611

10,057

% Asylum appeals allowed (of those determined) [4]

18%

25%

[1] Appeals were dealt with by the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA) until April 2005, by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) from Apr 2005 to Feb 2010, and since then by the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

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[2] 2005 lodgement figures exclude appeals dismissed at the Preliminary Issue stage (out of time or invalid). HMCTS now include this category of appeal in Official Statistics data, from 1st April 2007.

[3] The 2005 asylum appeals lodged figure may not match figures previously in the public domain due to differing dates of extraction from the case management database. See link to archive http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110206074952/http://www.tribunals.gov.uk/ImmigrationAsylum/

[4] “determined” means decided by a judge and excludes withdrawn appeals.

Azerbaijan

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to send observers to the imminent trials in Azerbaijan of (1) Mr Arif and Ms Leyla Yunus of the Peace and Democracy Institute, (2) Mr Intigam Aliyev, and (3) Mr Rasul Jafarov; and whether they will propose that their trials are fully covered by European Union diplomats.[HL2337]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The British Government has publicly expressed its concern surrounding the arrests of Mr Arif and Ms Leyla Yunus and Mr Rasul Jafarav amongst others, and supports the EU statement of 14 August 2014 regarding the recent deterioration of the human rights situation in Azerbaijan. As has been the case in recent high profile trials, the British Government expects to make representation in coordination with its EU partners.

Bank Services: Fees and Charges

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment have they made of the level of unauthorised overdraft fees charged by banks in the United Kingdom. [HL2518]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government has not made an assessment of the level of unauthorised overdraft fees charged by banks in the United Kingdom.

In November 2011, the Government announced an agreement with the major current account providers to enable customers to control their account and to take action to avoid unarranged overdraft charges.

The Office of Fair Trading found in January 2013 that there had been a significant reduction in bank fees and charges since their 2008 market study, and estimated that there had been an annual saving of £928 million for consumers as a result.

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Broadband: Coastal Areas

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment have they made of the provision of broadband services in coastal areas.[HL2517]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Government has, to date, committed £780m of central funding to support improvements to broadband services for 95% of UK premises. The funding was allocated to local bodies who are responsible for setting priorities and delivering local broadband projects. Broadband Delivery UK supported local delivery teams by providing indicative broadband coverage data from its broadband model. The data model does not identify coastal areas separately from other areas, however information about broadband provision and speeds is publically available from Ofcom at:

http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/

Information about the BDUK projects, including coverage maps and post code checkers can be found at:

https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=202405357373084260711.0004c0a24c8574593fb79& msa=0&dg=feature

Church Schools

Question

Asked by Baroness Eaton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the implementation of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) (Amendment) 2014, requiring the active promotion of protected characteristics as set down in the Equality Act 2010, what provision will be made to enable Christian schools to teach traditional Christian values and views about marriage; and what measures they have taken to ensure that any such provisions are not overridden.[HL2440]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 do not require the active promotion of the protected characteristics in the Equality Act.

The Regulations require that schools actively promote principles which encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics. This is a crucial distinction. It is right to respect other people, even if one does not agree with them or their way of life. This is a fundamental part of preparation for life in modern Britain.

The Government is absolutely clear that the changes make no difference to the existing legal obligations that schools have under the Equality Act 2010. All schools are already required to abide by the Act and their obligations are not altered by the changes to the standards. The changes do not fetter the views of individual teachers or censor the discussion of relevant

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matters. A teacher who, for instance, disagrees with same-sex marriage because of their Christian faith will not be prevented from expressing that view by these changes. Since the changes make no difference to schools’ existing legal obligations under the Equality Act there is no question of the ability of schools to teach traditional Christian values being overridden.

Civil Servants: Languages

Questions

Asked by Baroness Coussins

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which languages have been studied by civil servants and diplomatic staff at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Language School; and how many civil servants and diplomatic staff have studied each language. [HL2340]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): Since the Language Centre opened on 19th September 2013 a total of 45 different languages have been studied there either full or part-time by 813 students. Of those students, 779 are Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff and 34 are from other government departments (OGDs) (including staff from the following departments: Ministry of Defence, Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, UK Trade and Investment, the Department for International Development, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the House of Commons). An additional 60 FCO staff have trained at the Institut Francais. Staff across the Civil Service can also access the FCO Language Centre library to continue to develop their own language skills outside formal study and 58 OGD staff have taken advantage of this offer so far.

It is important to note that when more appropriate, staff from OGDs also receive language training outside of the FCO Language Centre through use of the Civil Service-wide contract with Language Services Direct (the company that run the FCO Language Centre) or at the Institut Francais if French is required. Since September 2014, 113 OGD students have received language training on their own premises via the FCO contract.

The table below provides a breakdown of the languages that have been taught at the FCO Language Centre:

Albanian

2

Arabic

186

Azeri

1

Bosnian

1

Bulgarian

3

Burmese

1

Cambodian

1

Czech

1

Danish

2

Dari

5

Dutch

5

Farsi

33

Finnish

1

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French

14

Georgian

1

German

40

Greek

4

Hebrew

1

Hindi

20

Indonesian

4

Italian

23

Japanese

33

Korean

8

Macedonian

1

Mandarin

93

Norwegian

1

Pashto

5

Polish

3

Portuguese

47

Romanian

3

Russian

84

Serbian

3

Sinhalese

1

Slovak

1

Slovene

1

Spanish

153

Swedish

3

Tajik

1

Thai

2

Tigrinya

1

Turkish

11

Turkmen

1

Urdu

4

Uzbek

2

Vietnamese

2

Total

813

Asked by Baroness Coussins

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they expect to see an increase in the numbers of United Kingdom civil servants capable of fulfilling the language requirements for applications to the European Civil Service; and if so by how many, and by when. [HL2341]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: The Government is working to increase the number of applicants to the European Civil Service and to increase civil service language training. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports all UK applicants, including civil servants, through the EU recruitment process, including advice on how to pass the recruitment tests in a foreign language. The European Fast Stream programme has been re-structured for 2014 and the training updated. As part of this, the language training provided to participants has been revised and tailored to offer more effective preparation for the Commission’s entry exam known as The Concours. There is also language training offered to civil servants through the FCO language centre. Some Government Departments also offer training in-house in different languages.

Asked by Baroness Coussins

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how civil servants from all departments with the wish or the potential to benefit from a course at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Language School are identified.[HL2342]

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Baroness Anelay of St Johns: Full-time language training is available to all staff on appointment to one of the 674 designated ‘speaker’ roles based across the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)’s network of posts overseas. Appointment is made following an advert, application and selection by interview for a position. All positions (including speaker roles) in the Senior Management Service are also advertised across the Civil Service. A number of positions (including speaker roles) in the delegated grades are also advertised across the Civil Service via ‘Interchange’. All FCO staff (or staff from other governmental departments (OGDs) if on Interchange) and their spouses/partners posted to non-speaker roles in a foreign country also have the option of taking up language training to reach a basic level (Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) – A2 Confidence foreign language proficiency) to help settle into a new posting overseas. FCO staff who wish to develop skills in a foreign language can also attend a rolling programme of part-time lunchtime or evening classes in 12 languages. Where there is space in these classes, OGD staff are offered places based on language learning needs analyses by Departments. Language Services Direct (the company who run the FCO Language Centre) also provide part-time classes to a number of OGDs (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Cabinet Office, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for International Development, Members of Parliament, UK Hydrographic Office) on their own premises or at Language Services Direct premises (HM Revenue and Customs). Language Services Direct also run a bespoke training package for staff from both the FCO and across the Civil Service wishing to apply for positions within EU institutions. A number of OGDs also appoint staff, following their own internal appointment processes, to their own ‘speaker’ roles overseas and are able use the Language Centre for training, or receive training at their own premises from Language Services Direct. To-date over 130 OGD staff have been trained either full-time or part-time at the Centre or at their own premises.

Coastal Areas

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action are they taking to deal with the problems faced by coastal communities.[HL2516]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): This Government recognises that coastal communities face a range of economic, environmental and social challenges and is committed to making them better places to live, work and visit. We set up the Coastal Communities Fund in 2012 to support economic growth and jobs in coastal areas across the UK.

The Fund is open to public, private and voluntary sector applicants and supports a wide range of projects to help build stronger, more diverse coastal communities.

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They include schemes to improve infrastructure, regenerate seaside town centres and heritage and leisure facilities, provide skills, training and advice, and create workspace for new businesses and social enterprises.

To date, the Fund has provided £65 million in grants to 117 projects across UK, levering in over £103 million of other funding and delivering over 8,900 jobs, nearly 4,000 training places and apprenticeships over 400 new business start-ups.

Coastal Communities are also benefitting from the changes we’re making to local areas to take control and act in the best interests of their local community through a wide range of powers, freedoms and flexibilities to help drive growth and jobs. Nineteen of the 39 joint local authority/ private sector led Local Enterprise Partnerships cover coastal areas. As part of the Growth Deals announced in July we have committed over £500 million to projects put forward by the coastal Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Eight out of the 24 Enterprise Zones the Government has created in Local Enterprise Partnerships include coastal locations. These coastal Enterprise Zones have delivered nearly 5,000 jobs to date and secured over £200 million of private investment.

We have enabled local areas to adapt their high streets to meet changing consumer demands by funding 8 Portas Pilots and over 50 Town Teams in coastal towns.

We are also on course to invest more than £3.2 billion in flood and coastal erosion risk management works in England from April 2010 to March 2015. This funding will improve forecasting and early warning systems, maintain flood defences and improve flood protection for 165,000 households.

In July, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Penny Mordaunt) was appointed as Minister for Coastal Communities to help coastal places realise their potential and build a sustainable future for themselves.

Domestic Violence

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to compile reliable statistics on the extent of dowry violence in Britain.[HL2549]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Violence against women and girls, including dowry abuse, is never acceptable and culture is no barrier to arrest and prosecution. The Forced Marriage Unit already collects data on forced marriage, which may include an element of dowry abuse. In 2013, the Unit provided advice or support in 1300 cases. While this does not reflect the full scale of the abuse (as many more cases are not reported), it enables the Unit to support those confident enough to come forward.

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The Home Office is also committed to improving data collection on domestic abuse. Following HMIC’s report, the Home Office has begun work to make collection of data against a national standard on domestic abuse mandatory for all forces from April 2015. This activity will provide the police with a better platform for sharing information on domestic abuse.

Ebola

Question

Asked by Lord Blencathra

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the research report by the Keenan Research Centre at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto which estimates that three ebola carriers fly out of the most affected countries each month and that their preferred destination is London; and whether they have any plans to further increase ebola testing at airports.[HL2332]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The report makes a number of assumptions, including that exit screening procedures were not in place in the major affected countries. Since the report was published in August exit screening in the three most affected countries is now in place.

Screening is now in operation in Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester airports and at St Pancras (Eurostar). The purpose of screening is to identify, and give advice to, passengers coming from high risk areas who will be spending time in the United Kingdom. This is to provide them with relevant advice on the nature of the virus, what to be aware of, and what action to take should they begin to display any symptoms.

Economic Situation

Question

Asked by Lord Blencathra

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the latest revised forecast by the International Monetary Fund for the British economy, whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer still has confidence in its forecasting.[HL2350]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Britain’s long term economic plan is working, boosting economic security for Britain’s hardworking people. The economy is growing, the deficit has fallen by a third and there are record levels of people in work. But the job is not done and the biggest risk now to the recovery would be abandoning the plan that is delivering a brighter economic future.

The Government’s strategy is to restore the public finances to a sustainable path and the UK is seen as a relative safe haven, with interest rates remaining historically low helping keep interest payments down for households, businesses and the taxpayer.

The IMF set out their latest forecasts in the October 2014 World Economic Outlook. The publication recognises the Government’s long term economic plan is working, that the UK is growing and leaving the crisis behind.

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The IMF project the UK economy to be the fastest growing G7 economy in 2014, at 3.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent in 2015. Furthermore, the IMF recognise that fiscal consolidation undertaken during the past few years has built trust among financial investors that current fiscal paths are sustainable.

Electricity Generation

Question

Asked by Baroness Worthington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, given the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2008, how they will ensure that all new and refurbished power generating capacity in the United Kingdom is contributing towards the meeting of carbon targets; and how they will ensure that higher carbon infrastructure is not being locked in that will make the meeting of carbon targets harder and more expensive in the future.[HL2389]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The Climate Change Act established a legally binding target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% below base levels by 2050. The Act introduced a system of carbon budgets which provide legally binding limits on the amount of emissions that may be produced in successive five-year periods, setting the UK on a least cost trajectory to 2050.

A comprehensive package of policies has been put in place to meet future carbon budgets, which includes reducing the carbon intensity of power generation.

Electricity market reform (EMR) provides support for all low carbon technologies including nuclear, Carbon Capture Storage and renewables. The EMR delivery plan also provides an outlook to 2030 illustrating different scenarios for power sector decarbonisation consistent with our carbon plan and budgets.

This approach increases energy security and minimises costs to taxpayers and consumers, while reducing emissions.

Entry Clearances

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many applications from outside the United Kingdom for entry clearance visas for work, using certificates of sponsorship from employers, were made in the last four years; how many applications were made for extensions of stay for work using certificates of sponsorship from employers from within the United Kingdom in the same four years; and what were the top 20 employers overall making applications. [HL2130]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The published figures related to numbers of certificates of sponsorship (CoS) used in applications, and are shown in table 1 below.

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The latest Home Office immigration statistics, including those for CoS used in applications for entry clearance visas and for extensions of stay, are published in the release Immigration Statistics April – June 2014, tables cs_03 and cs_04 (Sponsorship), which is available from the Library of the House and on the Department’s website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Sponsors do not make applications for visas or for extensions of stay. Table 2 provides information on the names of licensees associated with the highest number of Certificates of Sponsorship used in the period 2010-2014, for Tier 2 and Tier 5.

Table 1
Applicants for visas and extensions of stay using sponsorship certificates, Tiers 2 and 5
2010201120122013

Tier 2 (Skilled work)

Entry clearance visa

42,433

39,511

40,742

47,845

Extension of stay

20,621

17,744

27,815

35,195

Tier 5 (Youth mobility and temporary work)

Entry clearance visa

36,594

38,232

40,296

43,209

Extension of stay

310

321

397

554

Source: Immigration Statistics April – June 2014, tables cs_03 and cs_04 (Sponsorship)

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Table 2
Sponsoring employers associated with the highest numbers of CoS used in the period 2010 to 2013
CoS used in Tier 2 applicationsCoS used in Tier 5 applications

Tata Consultancy Services

THE AGENCY GROUP LTD

Cognizant Technology Solutions Ltd

The Underworld

Wipro Technologies

Creative Artists Agency UK Ltd

Infosys Limited

Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd

Accenture (UK) Limited

BUNAC

IBM UK Ltd

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (U.K.) Ltd

HCL GREAT BRITAIN LIMITED

Gricind Ltd. t/a ITB

Tech Mahindra Limited

Culture Arts Ltd

HSBC Holdings plc

Universal Music Operations Ltd.

JPMorganChase & Co.

X-R Touring LLP

Ernst & Young

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Great Britain)

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Primary Talent International Limited

Capgemini PLC

P & IAS Ltd.

5 Nov 2014 : Column WA248

THE ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC

Godolphin Management Company Limited

Deloitte LLP

Coda Music Agency LLP

DB Group Services (UK) Ltd

Mama New Music Limited

Satyam Computer Services Ltd

3A Entertainment Ltd

University of Oxford

AEG Live (UK) Ltd

Goldman Sachs International

T&S Immigration Services Ltd.

Barclays Capital Services

TIN ANGEL PRODUCTIONS LTD

Source: UKVI Sponsorship Management System

Eritrea

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent events in Eritrea, and of the impact of those events on the number of refugees seeking refuge in Western Europe.[HL2514]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We remain deeply concerned by the political situation in Eritrea and the impact on migration in Western Europe. Although the number of claims has increased, the profile of Eritrean asylum claims seen by the Home Office has not changed significantly. Our Ambassador regularly monitors events in Eritrea and works closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, through whom we receive monthly updates on migration. We also support multilateral initiatives to tackle illegal migration such as the African Union-EU Khartoum process. The last meeting was on 13-16 October 2014.

Ethiopia

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the recent events in Ethiopia, and of the impact of those events on the number of refugees seeking refuge in Western Europe.[HL2515]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We remain concerned by events in Ethiopia that contribute to the number of Ethiopians seeking refuge in Western Europe. Although the number of claims has increased, the profile of Ethiopian asylum claims seen by the Home Office has not changed significantly. We regularly monitor events and support multilateral initiatives to tackle illegal migration such as the African Union-EU Khartoum process to tackle these issues.

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EU Grants and Loans

Question

Asked by Lord Vinson

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which United Kingdom organisations have received European Union funding in the last year from structural, cohesion or other funds.[HL2505]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): The United Kingdom receives an allocation for the Structural Funds (the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund) but not the Cohesion Fund.

A large number of United Kingdom organisations received European Funding under Structural Funds programmes in the last year. As these are too numerous to set down here, I have provided below details of websites which contain lists of beneficiary organisations.

The links to the Structural Funds programmes are:

ERDF Programmes in England:

https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-progress-and-achievements.

ESF England and Gibraltar:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/european-social-fund-2007-to-2013

Devolved Administrations (ERDF & ESF)

Northern Ireland:

http://www.dfpni.gov.uk/index/finance/european-funding.htm

Scotland:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/support/17404/StructuralFunds2007-2013

Wales:

http://wefo.wales.gov.uk/programmes/progress/searchprojects/?lang=en

In terms of other sources of EU funding that BIS is responsible for, this includes the Framework Programme 7 for Research & Innovation with numerous participants from Higher Education, Research Organisations, Private Sector and Public bodies. Project information is not set out on the Commission website in such a way as to make it easy to identify UK recipients of EU funding in a calendar year.

Another source of EU funding that BIS was responsible for was the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) under the Competitiveness of Innovation and Enterprises (CIP). The latest beneficiaries report is the 2012 version. The following link will provide more information about the recipients of the programme, Beneficiaries Report October 2012 Final Version – http://ec.europa.eu/cip/files/cip/docs/beneficiaries-report-october-2012.en.pdf

General Practitioners: Pay

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement by NHS England that general practitioners are to be paid an additional £55 for diagnosing dementia in patients, what other complaints

5 Nov 2014 : Column WA250

or illnesses diagnosed by general practitioners are already rewarded by payments additional to their salaries; and whether they will review the system of additional payments of this sort.[HL2465]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): General Practitioner (GP) income is made up of global sum payments for carrying out essential and additional services under the contract. Practices may also receive further payments for specific services including:

- enhanced services – those that require an enhanced level of service provision above what is required under the core contract. The additional payment for diagnosing dementia falls within this category; and- the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) - a voluntary incentive scheme that provides payment to GP practices for how well they care for patients based on performance against a number of agreed indicators.

Specifically on diagnosis, a number of QOF indicators are concerned with the establishment of disease registers. In order to receive payment GPs are required to ensure diagnosis levels consistent with those expected for their population for the following conditions:

- atrial fibrillation;- coronary heart disease;- heart failure;- hypertension;- peripheral arterial disease;- stroke and trans-ischaemic attack;- diabetes mellitus;- hypothyroidism;- asthma;- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;- dementia;- depression;- schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses and other patients on lithium therapy;- cancer;- chronic kidney disease;- epilepsy;- osteoporosis;- rheumatoid arthritis; and- obesity.

Each year NHS Employers, on behalf of NHS England, negotiates the new GP contract with the General Practitioners Council of the British Medical Association. This includes discussion of changes to the Enhanced Services and QOF.

Health and Social Care Act 2012

Question

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Earl Howe on 22 October (HL Deb, col 631), what has been the cost of the reforms introduced under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 in (1) 2012, and (2) 2013; and what are the anticipated costs in (3) 2014, and (4) 2015.[HL2407]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The cost of the reforms have been recorded by financial year as follows:

2010-11

£199 million

2011-12

£264 million

2012-13

£633 million

2013-14

£220 million

We anticipate the future costs will be below £180 million and within the £1.5 billion as announced in my Written Ministerial Statement of 23 July 2014, columns WS135-136. The majority of the remaining anticipated costs are expected to be incurred in 2014-15.

These costs have been more than covered by the savings arising from the Health and Social Care Act, which up to 31 March 2014, were approximately £4.9 billion.

Honduras

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the authorities in Honduras regarding Dina Meza.[HL2383]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): Our Embassy in Guatemala City represents the UK in Honduras and has raised Dina Meza’s case with the Honduran authorities on several occasions, including with the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights. Our Embassy is in regular direct contact with Dina Meza herself, and is supporting a project concerning Freedom of Expression in Honduras, in which she is involved. Our Ambassador to Honduras has publicly stated our concern about crimes committed against journalists in Honduras. Officials will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Kashmir

Questions

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have received reports about exchanges of fire on the Line of Control in Kashmir and on the working border between India and Pakistan; and whether they have provided any advice to India and Pakistan in order to resolve outstanding matters, including the right of self-determination for the Kashmiri people.[HL2371]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): We are concerned about the incidents which took place in recent weeks on both sides of the Line of Control and the International Border in Kashmir. We hope that both sides can take steps to reduce tensions. The longstanding position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir, one which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to mediate in finding one.

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Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to encourage the dialogue between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir.[HL2372]

Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We have followed developments in the region and officials from our High Commissions in both Delhi and Islamabad discuss the situation in Kashmir with both governments. The long standing position of the UK is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting resolution to the situation in Kashmir, one which takes into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to mediate in finding one.

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Lord Ahmed

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any assessment of the efforts of the Pakistan security services in clearing the tribal areas of that country of Tehrik-e-Taliban in Pakistan and Al-Qaeda terrorists.[HL2307]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): The Government of Pakistan has been carrying out a counter-terrorism operation in the tribal area of North Waziristan since 15 June. Its stated objective is to remove all militant groups and dismantle terrorist infrastructure.

It is for the Government of Pakistan to determine how to tackle the prolonged and deadly insurgency they face. The UK supports Pakistan as it tackles terrorism and violent extremism, and we will stand together to tackle terrorism and the extremism that sustains it. We expect all concerned to act in accordance with international law and take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian casualties.

Parole

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are in place to ensure reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities who are released from custody on licence so that the licence conditions are (1) necessary, and (2) proportionate.[HL2315]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): All offenders released from custody on licence are subject to six standard conditions. There are no exceptions. The standard licence conditions include requirements to keep in touch with their supervising officer, to seek permission prior to obtaining employment or moving address, and restrictions on travel outside the UK.

It is also possible for additional conditions or restrictions to be placed upon the licence - for example, to prevent the offender in question from contacting a previous victim, or from visiting certain locations or premises. Any additional condition must be justified

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as being necessary for the effective management of the offender in question, as well as being proportionate to the risk the offender poses.

The process for requesting and approving any additional conditions is the same for all offenders released on licence, so that the supervising officer may have specific regard to any offender with learning disabilities. If the supervising officer who manages the case considers that additional conditions are necessary and proportionate, they must request these of the Governing Governor of the releasing prison, or the Parole Board, whoever has responsibility for release in that case. The decision on whether to include such conditions rests with that authority.

Asked by Lord Bradley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what arrangements are in place to ensure that, when a person with learning disabilities is released from custody on licence, the person understands (1) the licence conditions, (2) what is expected of them, and (3) the implications of non-compliance. [HL2316]

Lord Faulks: All those due to be released on licence must have explained to them the conditions of their licence, what they are required to do upon release, and the implications of non-compliance. This is explained by a member of the prison staff prior to release, with the offender asked to sign their licence to confirm that they have understood this. It is explained again following release, by their supervising officer from the probation service responsible for managing their licence. These requirements are set out clearly in Prison Service Instruction 18/2014, and Probation Instruction 11/2014.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice has produced an ‘easy read’ guide to licences to enable staff to explain the licence conditions to those who have learning disabilities in as clear a way as possible. These documents contain simple text and illustrations to help the understanding of an offender who may otherwise have difficulty comprehending the requirements made of them on release.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Question

Asked by Baroness Uddin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans police and crime commissioners have to ensure that they have appropriately trained staff to support people with autism spectrum disorder.[HL2558]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): Staffing and training matters relating to the offices of Police and Crime Commissioners are a matter for them locally as an employer. More broadly Police and Crime Commissioners are accountable to the public they serve and set out their priorities in their local police and crime plans. Many have made clear their commitment, through these plans and their

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other public work, to supporting vulnerable individuals, including those with mental health problems, learning, or other disabilities.

All police officers receive training on a range of mental health and related issues, including awareness of autism spectrum disorder.

Railways: Electrification

Questions

Asked by Lord German

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to electrify the main and relief lines between Severn Tunnel Junction and Cardiff.[HL2317]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): Network Rail has been instructed to wire both the mains lines and the relief lines. Network Rail plan to electrify the section of track between Severn Tunnel Junction and Cardiff by winter 2017.

Asked by Lord German

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the estimated cost of electrifying the relief lines between Severn Tunnel Junction and Cardiff at a subsequent date to the electrification of the main lines.[HL2319]

Baroness Kramer: Recently the Great Western Electrification Programme (GWEP) – Maidenhead to Cardiff (Route Sections 1 - 9) went through the Enhancement Cost Adjustment Mechanism (ECAM) process. As part of the industry’s commitment to transparency, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has been keen to ensure there is clarity around ECAM and how it operates. It will continue to provide independent commentary on enhancement schemes, as well as Network Rail performance.

The ORR would not expect to publish its findings on the level of funding for individual projects until after Network Rail has competitively procured from its supply chain.

The ORR will report its conclusions at an aggregate funding level, rather than project-by-project. The ECAM process is planned to be completed in early summer 2016. The role of the ORR is to be transparent and consistent delivering the best value for rail users and tax-payers.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to propose to Parliament that the United Kingdom join the United States in air attacks on the Daesh besiegers of Kobani.[HL2294]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Anelay of St Johns) (Con): Reports from Kobane continue to be deeply concerning and we are monitoring the situation closely. We strongly support the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda affiliates in

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Syria by the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan. As the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), has said, the Government will return to Parliament for a separate decision if we propose to take military action against ISIL in Syria. As the Prime Minister has made clear, if there were a critical British national interest at stake or there were the need to act to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, we would act immediately and explain to Parliament afterwards.

Welfare Assistance Schemes

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 15 October (HL1906), whether they will place in the Library of the House the findings of their review into the impact of the abolition of the Discretionary Social Fund.[HL2303]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): The Department for Work and Pensions are undertaking a review into how local welfare provision has been used in 2013/14 and its anticipated

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use in 2014/15. The Department are making plans to publish the review shortly. A copy will be placed in the Library of House.

Wind Power: Planning Permission

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many applications for planning permission for land-based wind turbines were refused by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in the most recent 12 months for which information is available; and how such decisions are reconciled with (1) their policy of localism, and (2) the United Kingdom's commitment to carbon reduction. [HL2193]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): I have interpreted this question as asking about planning applications which have been called-in for decision by the Secretary of State (as opposed to decisions on appeals).

No planning applications for onshore wind turbines called-in within the last 12 months have been refused.