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Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blackstone: The department has given notice to all Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) in England that their licences will be terminated at the end of the financial year 2000-01. Under the terms of this notice TECs are required to agree with the relevant Government Office any significant changes to staff terms and conditions, including proposals for severance payments.

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Blackstone: Based on the 1997-98 consolidated annual statutory audited accounts of 73 English TECs, the value of freehold property and other capital assets owned by TECs was £86 million.

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Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any financial assets of any Training and Enterprise Councils are held in offshore bank accounts; and if so, whether any estimate can be given of the amount of such assets.[HL4049]

Baroness Blackstone: The information requested is not held by the department. TECs are private limited companies and as such are not required by company law to disclose the location of their bank accounts within their statutory audited accounts.

Secondary Schools: Collective Worship

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Blackstone, on 27 July (WA162), what action they intend to take in respect of the 70 per cent of secondary schools that do not comply fully with the requirement to have a specific daily act of worship.[HL4101]

Baroness Blackstone : The Department for Education and Employment expects schools and their governing bodies to fulful their statutory requirement in providing collective worship. The department relies on the OFSTED inspection cycle to identify where failure to fully meet statutory requirements is a key issue, and arrangements are in place within that inspection cycle to revisit those key issues on post inspection plans. Schools which have difficulty in meeting their statutory requirements should seek advice from their local Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE).

Dance and Drama Awards

Baroness Hooper asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How the Department for Education and Employment's new one and two-year Dance and Drama Awards Scheme will operate so as not to apply unfairly to vocational dance training course providers offering three-year courses.[HL4097]

Baroness Blackstone : All providers were given the opportunity to take up fair shares of the available one, two and three-year Dance and Drama Awards. The formula for making allocations took account of the relative allocations and filled places made under the Interim Funding Scheme, which the awards will replace in September 1999. This approach ensures that all providers, including those deciding to use only three-year awards, are treated fairly.

Baroness Hooper asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will permit dance training course providers offering three-year courses to encourage dance students to apply for a one or two-year award and to seek other forms of sponsorship, including parental contributions, to finance the third year,

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    rather than requiring course providers to finance the third year themselves.[HL4098]

Baroness Blackstone : Providers may use funds from other sources to encourage dance students to apply for one and two-year awards. They cannot charge students or their parents more than the prevailing rate of student fees (£1,025 p.a. in 1999-2000) during courses supported by the awards, to safeguard the interests of students from low income families.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995: Access to Medical Services

Lord Robertson of Oakridge asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they stand by the assurance given by Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish on behalf of the then Government on 15 June 1995 (HL Deb, col. 1952) that the Bill which became the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 covered all medical services. (HL 4021)

Baroness Blackstone: Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act deals with disabled people's access to goods, facilities and services. Any service available to the public is covered by Part III, with the exception of most education services and services which consist of the use of any means of transport.

A revised Code of Practice on Part III was issued by the Government on 29 June. Paragraph 2.13 of the code advises that, among the services covered, are those provided to the public by the emergency services, hospitals and clinics.

Air Campaign in Former Yugoslavia: Civilian Population

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the use of cluster bombs and depleted uranim bombs by NATO in the recent Balkan conflict, over areas known to be populated by civilians, is lawful and authorised by Geneva Conventions. (HL 4051)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): One of the purposes of the first Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions is to protect the civilian population and civilian objects during armed conflict. This is what we sought to do throughout the air campaign. Furthermore, neither cluster bombs nor depleted uranium ammunition are proscribed by any of the international agreements to which the UK is a party, and the UK did not use any of the latter during the air campaign.

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Defence Medical Services Units in Kosovo and Bosnia

Baroness Park of Monmouth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which units of the Defence Medical Services are deployed in (a) Kosovo and (b) Bosnia; whether these units are up to establishment; and what is the tour interval for personnel serving in such units.[HL3953]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Elements of the following Defence Medical Services units are currently deployed to Kosovo and Bosnia.


    Kosovo


    22 Field Hospital


    2 Armoured Field Ambulance


    Royal Air Force Tactical Medical Wing


    84 Field Medical Equipment Depot


    23 Parachute Field Ambulance


    Bosnia


    34 Field Hospital


    4 Field Ambulance


    Royal Air Force Tactical Medical Wing Medical units in Kosovo and Bosnia are currently fully manned. Intervals between six-month operational tours for these units are normally 18 to 24 months. Certain specialists with shorter tour lengths of one month have intervals of three to six months between tours.

Gurkhas: Compensation Awards

Baroness Jeger asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What compensation is available in respect of Gurkha casualties serving with NATO compared with other casualties of equivalent rank.[HL3939]

Baroness Symons: All Gurkhas, including those serving with NATO, serve under the terms of the Tri-Partite Agreement (TPA) between Nepal, India and the UK. Under the terms of the TPA, compensation for injury or death is awarded in the form of an immediate pension and a gratuity payment in line with Indian Army rates and the cost of living in Nepal. British Service personnel who are injured or killed as a result of their service are eligible for benefits under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, which are based on the degree of disability and rank.

Payments for both Gurkhas and British Servicemen can be supplemented by contributory schemes; the Army Dependants Assurance Trust providing an additional pension, and Army Insurance Funds providing additional payments.

My honourable friend, the then Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Mr. Henderson) announced on 1 July 1999 (Commons Official Report, 1 July 1999, col. 471) that he has set up a committee to examine

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Gurkha pensions and gratuities within the context of the Tri-Partite Agreement.

Lt Gen Jackson and NATO's Role in Kosovo

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To whom does General Jackson report; and what is NATO's role in Kosovo.[HL3871]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As COMKFOR, Lt Gen Jackson reports to NATO's Commander in Chief South, Admiral Ellis.

NATO's role in Kosovo is set out in UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (together with its Annexes) and includes; deterring renewed hostilities, demilitarizing the KLA and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups, establishing a secure environment for the return of refugees and other displaced persons, ensuring public safety and order until the international civil presence can take responsibility for this task, supervising demining, supporting the work of the international civil presence, conducting border monitoring duties as required and ensuring the protection and freedom of movement of itself, the international civil presence and other international organisations.


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