Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Marlesford asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees: (a) and (b) Members may use the free internal mail system for sending any mail within the Parliamentary estate, including to Lords and Members of Parliament. If the Lord or Member of Parliament has given instructions for mail to be forwarded to a different address, the appropriate House will bear the cost.

(c), (d) and (e) The Mail Room off Peers' lobby will accept unstamped mail for any official buildings within the M.25 which are covered by the InterDespatch Service (IDS). A list of IDS Call

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA128

Points is held by the Mail Room and the Staff Superintendent (extension 3213), and includes government departments and several other public bodies. The envelope should be clearly marked "IDS".

Peers may also use special post-paid air mail envelopes, available from the Printed Paper Office, for certain official EU addresses.

Lord Marlesford asked the Chariman of Committees:

    What arrangements exist for free postage to enable members of the House of Lords to send copies of Hansard to members of the public. [HL3458]

The Chairman of Committees: Lords who wish occasionally to send their copy of Hansard to a third party may ask the Printed Paper Office to frank the envelope provided it has already been addressed and sealed.

House of Lords Staff: Ethnic Minority and Gender Breakdown

Baroness Whitaker asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What is the ethnic minority and gender breakdown of the staff of the House of Lords at all grades. [HL3429]

The Chairman of Committees: Ethnic and gender breakdown for the House of Lords' staff is as set out in the table:

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA127

Staff of the House of Lords as at 1 April 2000

BandTotal No.WhiteEthnic MinorityMaleFemale
Senior Structure2020-18 (90%)2 (10%)
Band A (Officers)3131-19 (61.3%)12 (38.7%
Band B (Higher Executive Officer/Senior Executive Officer etc.)5050-23 (46%)27 (54%)
Band C (Executive Officer/Personal Secs./ Doorkeepers)10396 (93.2%)7 (6.8%)43 (41.7%)60 (58.3%)
Band D (Clerical/Attendant/Chef)4540 (88.9%)5 (11.1%)32 (71.1%)13 (28.9%)
Band E (Catering Staff, Housekeepers etc.)10071 (71%)29(29%)28 (28%)72 (72%)
Total:349308 (88.3%)41 (11.7%)163 (46.7%)186 (53.3%)

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA127

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Outbreak, USA

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will ask the United States Department of Agriculture for samples for research purposes from sheep recently affected by Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy in Vermont. [HL3630]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): Samples from the sheep in the recent TSE outbreak in Vermont are being fully analysed in the USA. Samples for research

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA128

purposes have not been requested by Her Majesty's Government. A UK scientist will be part of a Commission mission which intends to visit the USA in August to examine the scientific analysis of these sheep.

MAFF Service Delivery Targets

Lord Desai asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have made in meeting the service delivery targets set out in Commitment to Service. [HL3741]

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA129

Baroness Hayman: The table below sets out the performance achieved by the Regional Service Centres (RSCs) during 1999-2000 against the targets published in the Charter document Commitment to Service.

RSC Performance data (per cent) for financial year 1999-2000 (unless otherwise specified)

Arable Area Payments Scheme Oilseeds
Main payments Non-Food payments Advanced payments Final payments 99 97 99 99
Beef Special Premium Scheme Advance payments (1999) Balance payments (1998) CID applications issued (1999) Premium paid CIDs issued (1999) 97 99 99 99
Suckler Cow Premium Scheme Balance payments 1998 Advance payments 1999 99 99
Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances Claims 1999 99
Sheep Annual Premium
Scheme Claims marketing year 1999 99
Sensitive Areas Applications Claims 90 98
Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Conservation Plan Applications Claims 77 93
Farm and Conservation Grant Scheme 1991 Plan Claims 78
Farm Woodland Premium SchemeApplications Claims (1999) 90 81
Injurious Weeds Complaints receiving a response within 15 working days 95
New Nitrate Sensitive
Areas SchemeClaims (1999) 98
Protection of Badgers Act 1992 Licence applications 97
Strychnine PermitsApplications 99
Agricultural Wage Inspections Visits made within 10 working days of the RSC receiving the complaint 67
Wildlife & Countryside Act Licence applications 98
Correspondence Answered within 10
working days 92
Complaints Numbers receiving response within 10 working days 80


(i) FWPS claims--Under certain circumstances, FWPS agreement holders may count some or all of their FWPS land towards their AAPS set aside requirements. The AAPS set aside payment rate (to which the FWPS payment is "linked" in these cases) fell below the FWPS rate for the first time in 1999, and the associated payments had to be restricted. Problems/delays were encountered both by the Information Technology Division in amending the payment system, and also by the RSCs in identifying the agreements/land involved. Regettably, this resulted in a significant number of Charter failures.

(ii) FWPS applications--The FWPS is one of a number of measures which were notified under the new EC Rural Development Regulation (RDR), which took effect on 1 January 2000. The majority of "failures" reported relate to applications submitted on or after that date, which cannot be approved until the England Rural Development Plan (ERDP) has received Commission approval.

(iii) The high failure rate for Agricultural Wages Inspections arose primarily because of difficulties at one RSC where most of the complaints were sent for investigation during a short period when the wages inspectors' time was already fully taken up carrying out IACS Arable Area Payments Scheme inspections needing urgent completion to protect the Department from EC disallowance.

(iv) The relatively high failure rates for the ESA Scheme were due primarily to the introduction of new and complex EC Regulations, uneven workloads and staffing difficulties.

(v) The number of claims processed for the Farm and Capital Grant Scheme 1991 is insignificant compared to most other schemes. Staffing problems at the two RSCs with the largest number of claims has distorted an otherwise excellent success rate.

(vi) The 80 per cent response rate to complaints is explained by the fact that often cases require referral to HQ or the National Scheme Management Centres and thus take longer than 10 days to resolve. In all cases where the deadline was not met, a holding letter was issued to the complainant detailing the reason for delay.

General Notes:

(i) The total percentage has been calculated by setting the entire number of applications or claims cleared within the target time against the total number received. Applications and claims not cleared due to reasons beyond our control (incorrect information supplied by applicant, etc.) are not included as failures to meet target.

(ii) The Farm Conservation Grant Schemes 1989 Claims and Pilot NSA Claims have been omitted from the table since these schemes are now closed.

(iii) 44 complaints were referred to the MAFF Adjudicator during the year. 10 of these were upheld and 4 were partly upheld, 27 were not upheld. 3 cases were dealt with outside of the Citizen's Charter Unit.

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA130

Engineers' and Architects' Copyright

Lord Howie of Troon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What specific means an engineer or an architect has to assert his or her right to be recognised as the author of an artefact under the terms of Part II of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.[HL3675]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright is granted to the authors of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, including works of architecture and artistic craftsmanship. These authors are also granted the moral right to be identified as the author of the work in certain circumstances, such as, for example, in the case of a building, on the building itself and where graphic representations or photographs of it are published. However, this right does not apply unless the author has asserted his or her wish to exercise it by giving notice to this effect (which generally has to be in writing and signed) to those seeking to use or exploit the work. Moreover, the right may be waived by the author, and is also subject to certain exceptions such that it does not apply, for example, to anything done by an author's employer in whom ownership of copyright originally vested. Where the right applies and has been infringed, the author may take court action to obtain an injunction against further infringement and/or damages. The relevant provisions of the 1988 Act are those set out in sections 77 to 79, 87 and 103.

28 Jul 2000 : Column WA131

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page