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17 Jan 2000 : Column WA135

Written Answers

Monday, 17th January 2000.

Death Rates

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which local authority areas have death rates more than 10 per cent above the national average.[HL509]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Director of the Office for National Statistics, who has been asked to reply.

Letter to Earl Russell from the Director of the Office for National Statistics, Dr T Holt, dated 17 January 2000.

As Director of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary Question on which local authorities have death rates more than 10 per cent above the national average.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Local authorities with age-standardised mortality rates 10% or more above the figures for England and Wales

Local AuthorityMortality rate1% greater than England and Wales
Manchester MCD98330.6
Knowsley MCD94625.8
Liverpool MCD94625.8
Easington CD93924.8
Merthyr Tydfil UA93824.6
Salford MCD92723.3
Derwentside CD92723.2
Blyth Valley CD91922.1
Halton UA91721.9
Burnley CD91321.4
Blackburn with Darwen UA91221.3
Rochdale MCD89919.6
Gateshead MCD89819.4
Sunderland MCD89418.8
Oldham MCD89418.8
Middlesbrough UA89318.7
Tower Hamlets LB89118.4
Hyndburn CD88417.5
Hartlepool UA88217.2
Tameside MCD87716.6
Newham LB87716.5
Preston CD87616.5
Rhondda, Cynon, Taff UA87316.1
Wear Valley CD87115.8
Blaenau Gwent UA86915.6
Sandwell MCD86815.3
Sedgefield CD86715.2
South Tyneside MCD86615.2
Stoke-on-Trent UA86615.1
Copeland CD86515.0
Newcastle-upon-Tyne MCD86515.0
Rossendale CD86314.7
Wansbeck CD86314.7
Blackpool UA86214.7
Stockton-on-Tees UA85814.1
St Helens MCD85714.0
Barnsley MCD85613.9
Caerphilly UA85613.8
Corby CD85413.6
Barrow-in-Furness CD85413.6
Wigan MCD85413.5
Chesterfield CD85013.0
Barking and Dagenham LB84812.8
Darlington UA84812.8
Redcar and Cleveland UA84812.7
Southwark LB84412.2
Bolton MCD84212.0
Torfaen UA84111.8
Hackney LB83811.3
Wakefield MCD83711.3
Kingston upon Hull UA83510.9
Nottingham UA83410.9
Cannock Chase CD83410.9
Doncaster MCD83310.8
Nuneaton and Bedworth CD83110.5
Warrington UA83010.4
Lewisham LB83010.3
Islington LB82910.2
Neath Port Talbot UA82910.1
England and Wales752

1 Rates per 100,000 per year, all ages 1991-98.


17 Jan 2000 : Column WA136

Government Information and Communication Service

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to impove further the performance of the Government Information and Communication Service.[HL433]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The process of improving the Government Information and Communication Service (GICS), in accordance with the recommendations of the Report of the Working Group on the Government Information Service (Mountfield Report, November 1997), is almost complete.

The Head of the GICS and his colleagues are now concentrating on further improvements through better training and development and through the implementation, in partnership with the Centre for Management and Policy Studies, of new systems of peer review.

Millennium Dome

Lord Brett asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the shortlist of the proposed uses for the Millennium Dome after the Millennium Celebrations will be announced.[HL578]

17 Jan 2000 : Column WA137

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Government have announced the six proposals for the shortlist today. They are:


    City of the Future, a theme park centred on the use of technology, proposed by Monex Leisure Ltd and MEPC plc.


    Dome Europe, a high technology leisure, business and retail destination, proposed by the Principal Finance Group of Nomura International plc.


    Greenwich Media World, a high profile mixed use leisure and business destination focused on media and communications, proposed by a consortium comprising Pell Frischmann, London Merchant Securities, Sir Robert McAlpine, WestLB Panmure Ltd and the Tussauds Group.


    International Merchandise and Cultural Centre, a global one-stop shop for exchanging goods, services and tourism promotions, proposed by a consortium comprising Country Heights Holdings Berhad, Sunrise Berhad and Maccon Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Ltd.


    Legacy plc, a high technology industrial campus of workspace leisure and retail uses, proposed by Robert Bourne.


    Sports Dome 2001, an advanced multiple sports facility, proposed by a consortium comprising John Taylor International Ltd, Chelsfield Plc, Collard Grosvenor and Price Nicholson.

The Dome has been instrumental in focusing regeneration activity on the Greenwich Peninsula and the Thames Gateway, and this is set to continue as a result of the response to this competition.

English Partnerships, the Government's regeneration agency, has transformed one of the largest tracts of derelict land in Europe on the Greenwich Peninsula. The proposals emerging from this competition, together with other developments on the Peninsula and key public transport improvements, will take forward the major regeneration of this area. Further details of the shortlist of proposals are in the Libraries of the House.

House of Lords Reform: Royal Commission Report

Lord Borrie asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the report of the Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords will be published.[HL576]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): I understand that the Royal Commission proposes to publish its report on Thursday, 20 January. Copies of the report will be placed in the Library of the House after publication.

17 Jan 2000 : Column WA138

Sexual Orientation: Anti-discrimination Code of Practice

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baronness Blackstone on 16 December (WA 57), whether the code of practice being drafted by the Equal Opportunities Commisssion in conjunction with the Department for Education and Employment is designed to tackle indirect as well as direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment.[HL499]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): It will be for the steering group overseeing the development of the code, including representatives of the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Department for Education and Employment and other stakeholders, to decide what employment-related discrimination issues the draft code should cover.

Sex Offences and Penalties: Review

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Blackstone on 16 December (WA 57), whether the terms of reference of the Home Office review are designed to ensure that all new offences will avoid being indirectly as well as directly discriminatory so as to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.[HL498]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The aim of the Sex Offences Review is to produce recommendations for just and equitable laws in this particularly sensitive area. This is why the terms of reference include the requirement to make recommendations that will be fair and non-discriminatory in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998. It is also why the review has sought to bring in the views of people from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible.

Either-way Cases Committed to Crown Court

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the annual rate of decrease over the most recent 10-year period for which statistics are available in the percentage of either-way cases that are committed to the Crown Court as a result of an election by the defendant.[HL491]

17 Jan 2000 : Column WA139

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Figures provided by the Attorney General's Department which relate to prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service are given in the following table:

YearPer cent of either-way cases committed for trial on election of defendantYear on year change
199038
199136-2
199237+1
199335-2
1994350
199533-2
199632-1
199728-4
1998280
January--September 199932+4

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of the either-way cases that are committed to the Crown Court as a result of an election by the defendant over the most recent 10-year period for which statistics are available proceeded to a contested trial by jury in the Crown Court on a plea of not guilty.[HL492]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: No regular statistics are collected on this. However, there is some information available from the baseline data collected by the Home Office in 1998 for the evaluation of the pilot schemes to reduce delay in the criminal justice system. In a sample of nearly 1,000 cases in the six pilot areas, nearly a third of those who elected trial proceeded to a contested trial by jury.


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