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Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: New cases of all forms of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease are subject to close scrutiny by the National CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh. There is currently no evidence of the existence of more than one strain of variant CJD in humans.

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NHS: Allocation of Additional Funds and Hospices

Lord Hayhoe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any indication can be given to independent hospices of the extra funds which they will receive out of the extra £2 billion being allocated to the National Health Service as announced in the Budget Statement.[HL1888]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The additional moneys announced in the Budget will help the National Health Service to meet local pressures, to tackle waiting and to provide fair and convenient services. The first £600 million of new money for the NHS in England has already been allocated, improving the position of local services. Independent hospices as part of the local health community may benefit from this improved financial position, according to local needs and priorities.

Parents with Care: Maintenance Assessments

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of those parents with care in receipt of income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance are calculated as being due to child support payments of £5 or less, £10 or less, £15 or less and above £15; and what those figures are expected to be under the system to be established under the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill.[HL1683]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The information is in the table.

Number of parents with care who have maintenance assessments within the bands requested

Banded maintenance (£ per week)Current scheme maintenanceNew scheme maintenance
£0.01 to £5.0025,00020,000
£0.01 to £10.0050,00030,000
£0.01 to £15.0060,00045,000
£15.01 and above130,000145,000
Total190,000190,000

Under the current child support scheme, children living in families on income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance do not see the benefit of any maintenance paid. But under the new scheme, with the introduction of the child maintenance premium, children for whom maintenance is paid stand to gain up to £10 per week.

Notes.

(1) Based on a new scheme start in April 2002.

(2) Figures are rounded to nearest 5,000.

(3) Includes only those parents with care where the non-resident parent is in paid employment.

(4) Includes cases where the minimum liability (currently £5.20 and from 10 April £5.30) was less than £5 when they were assessed and where the liability has not subsequently been uprated. Flat rate liability under the new scheme will be £5.

(5) Figures in the first three bands are cumulative.


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Mersley Farm, Isle of Wight

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Whitty on 31 January (WA 4), whether the Environment Agency has completed its investigations into pesticides incidents at Mersley Farm, Isle of Wight; if it has, whether it has decided to prosecute; and, if not, how much longer it anticipates the investigations will take.[HL1809]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The Environment Agency has carried out investigations at and around Mersley Farm and has removed pesticides which it considers to pose a pollution threat. So far the agency has found no evidence that pollution has occurred or that there is a basis for prosecution. As a precautionary measure the agency plans to install boreholes to monitor a nearby groundwater supply. The agency expects this work to begin in April and the results to be availble after 12 months.

DETR/National Assembly for Wales Concordat

Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to publish a concordat with the Cabinet of the National Assembly for Wales.[HL1907]

Lord Whitty: We are pleased to say that we have now reached agreement with the Cabinet of the National Assembly for Wales on the terms of a concordat between us. This has been published, and copies have been placed in the House Library. The concordat will also be made available in due course on the department's website.

Pig Industry: Structural and Retirement Aid Packages

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the response of the European Commission to the National Pig Association's Meat and Livestock Commission's proposals for structural and retirement aid packages for the pig industry.[HL1828]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): As announced in the Action Plan for Farming on 30 March, the Government have lodged a pig industry restructuring scheme notification with the European Commission. The scheme includes both an outgoers and a restructuring element. Under state aid rules, the

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Commission must clear the scheme before it can be introduced and it has two months to respond to the notification. We still await the response, but the scheme will be introduced as soon as possible following Commission clearance.

BSE: Latest Statistics

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cattle born in the United Kingdom in each month since 1 January 1996 have died of BSE in each year since 1996, including the current year to date.[HL1865]

Baroness Hayman: In the UK to 10 April 2000 there has only been one case of BSE confirmed in an animal born on or after 1 January 1996. This animal was born in January 1996, slaughtered as a suspect in December 1999 and the disease confirmed in February 2000.

BSE: Strain-typing

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cases of BSE in cattle have been strain-typed; and what were the results of these experiments.[HL1866]

Baroness Hayman: Samples from the brains of nine cows with the natural BSE have been strained-typed in panels of mice. These all gave incubation periods and lesion profiles consistent with the presence of one strain of BSE. In addition, the lesion profiles within the brains of cattle with natural BSE have been monitored in birth year cohorts, starting with the 1992 cohort. The lesion profile in cattle has remained constant, indicating that only one strain is present.

Young People: Government Consultation Exercise

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the findings of the joint Women's Unit and Home Office's dialogue with young people.[HL1971]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): My right honourable friends Tessa Jowell and Paul Boateng launched Listen Up!, our report on the dialogue, yesterday. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report describes a major consultation exercise with young people run by the National Youth Agency.

This consultation was the first time in which government consulted young women and young men separately. The report sets out their views and concerns. It looks, in particular, at issues such as the importance of family and parenting; preparation for adult life, including school; careers choices; pressures to conform and self-esteem; vulnerability to risks;

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health and crime. The report considers the significance of gender differences and looks at ways of involving young people more as policies are developed. It sets out the government's response to the key concerns raised by young people, giving an outline of those areas where gender specific policies could make a difference.

Northern Ireland: Crime Prevention and Domestic Violence Strategy

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will provide funds for a crime prevention scheme and a programme for limiting domestic violence, both previously financed or planned by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.[HL1804]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: Government are currently involved in the development of a community safety strategy for Northern Ireland. One of the aspects that the strategy will consider is the impact of domestic violence in Northern Ireland. Funding for programmes to tackle crime prevention and domestic violence will be considered as part of the strategy.

Northern Ireland Railways: EU Funding

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What applications have been made for the European Union funding over the last 10 years for any aspect of activities of Northern Ireland Railways; what has been the amount sought; and what was the response.[HL1837]

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton: The information sought is set out in the table below:

Transportation Programme 1989-93

ProjectsAmount SoughtResponse
Cross Harbour Rail Link(1)£16,552.500Approved
Great Victoria Street Station(1)£630,625.50Approved
Belfast/Dublin rail upgrade(1)£4,512,000Approved
Civil engineering plant£349,331.25Approved
Total£22,044,483.75

Transportation Sub-Programme 1994-99

ProjectAmount SoughtResponse (approved/ project withdrawn)
Great Victoria Street Station(1)£4,918,787Approved
Cross Harbour Rail Link(1)£7,043,348Approved
Belfast/Dublin rail upgrade(1)£38,388,000Approved
Rail vehicle transfer
equipment£708,750Approved
Antrim/Bleach Green rail
reinstatement£12,703,500Approved
Bangor line upgrade£7,169,250Not yet approved
Belfast Central Station
refurbishment£991,136Approved
Tens Fail Feeder Lines study£60,000Approved
NITHC New Railway Station Study(2)£18,750Approved
A study of public transport
options for the Belfast to
Newtownards corridoor(1)£152,606.25Approved
Newry Railway Station£200,000Withdrawn
Total£75,354,127.25
Overall Total£97,398,611.00

(1) Funded from both programmes.

(2) Responsibility for project rests with NI Transport Holding Company.


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