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Wheel Clamping on Private Land

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In the White Paper The Government's Proposals for Regulating the Private Sector Industry in England and Wales, issued earlier this year, we announced proposals to regulate private wheel clampers as part of a package of statutory measures to regulate the private security industry as a whole. We will introduce legislation to Parliament as soon as parliamentary time allows.

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Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill

Lord Wigoder asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Upon what facts and what assumptions has the approximate saving in public funds in the event of the Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill becoming law been calculated.[HL171]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The savings were measured using the flows and costs model which has been developed by the Home Office in collaboration with the Lord Chancellor's Department and Crown Prosecution Service to estimate the cost of initiatives in the criminal justice system. The following assumptions were included:

Assumption
Defendants would be tried in the magistrates' courts instead of the Crown Court12,000
Remand time avoided9 weeks
Timeous guilty plea rate80 per cent
Late guilty plea rate10 per cent
Not guilty plea rate10 per cent
Appeals against mode of trial decision25 per cent

The resulting net saving is estimated at about £105 million. This represents savings in remand time, the shorter sentences likely to be passed by the magistrates' courts than in the Crown Court and the lower cost of trying cases summarily. The background to the flows and costs model is available on the Internet at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/areas/econpf.htm.

Attorney-General: Role as Government Spokesman on Bills

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list any Home Office Bills in recent times for which the Attorney-General has been the principal government spokesman in either House of Parliament.[HL251]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Attorney-General assisted me on the remaining stages of the Immigration and Asylum Bill during the spillover period from the last Session and is currently assisting on the Criminal Justice (Mode of Trial) Bill. The previous Attorney-General, my right honourable and learned friend the member for Aberavon (Mr Morris QC), did not act as the principal government spokesman on any Home Office Bills.

It is common practice for Ministers from more than one department to take a government Bill through Parliament. This could happen if the subjects covered by a Bill cut across departmental responsibilities or where the size and complexity of the legislative

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programme requires more than one Minister to be involved. In the Lords, the latter circumstance often results in a multi-departmental ministerial team taking a Bill through the House since most departments only have a single Lords Minister.

Kensington and Chelsea Voters Register

Lord Trefgarne asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place in the Library of the House a list of the 160 peers, referred to by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 6 December, who were on the voters register in the Kensington and Chelsea parliamentary constituency at the time of the recent by-election.[HL265]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Electoral registers are compiled by local electoral registration officers. They do not supply copies of their registers to the Home Office and the Government do not have a copy of the electoral register for the Kensington and Chelsea constituency, nor a list of the 166 peers who appear on it. It is, however, available for consultation in the town hall and libraries in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Peers are identified on the electoral register by the letter "L", though no distinction is made between life peers and hereditary peers or between hereditary peers who remain Members of your Lordships' House and those who do not.

Gaming Legislation

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked her Majesty's Government:

    When they last reviewed the working of legislation on gaming and what plans they have for further reviews.[HL307]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Much of the law on gambling is more than 30 years old. Social attitudes have changed markedly in these three decades and the law is fast being overtaken by technological developments.

The Gaming Board for Great Britain and the Deregulation Committees of the House of Commons and the House of Lords have recommended reform.

There is, therefore, a good case for a wide-ranging review to design a new structure of regulation for the gambling industry and to test public perception.

This will not be a simple task. The main controls are laid down in three major Acts of Parliament--the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, the Gaming Act 1968 and the Lotteries and Amusement Act 1976, together with associated secondary legislation. Reform will raise important issues. The social and economic impact of any change will have to be carefully assessed.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary intends to set up an independent review body next year, bringing together a wide range of relevant expertise. It will be asked to report to my right honourable friend the Home Secretary within 12 months on proposals for reform.

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The Government will not be asking the review body to consider changes to the National Lottery, although the review will clearly need to address the impact on the lottery of changes proposed for the regulation of gambling generally.

We will announce the full terms of reference shortly.

Firearms Consultative Committee: Annual Report

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the 10th annual report of the Firearms Consultative Committee.[HL308]

Lord Bassam of Brighton : My honourable friend the Minister of State at the Home Office (Mr Clarke) today placed a copy of the annual report of the Firearms Consultative Committee in the Library.

Legislation against Terrorism: Consultation Paper

Lord Graham of Edmonton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish a summary of the responses to the consultation paper, Legislation against terrorism.[HL309]

Lord Bassam of Brighton : My right honourable friend the Home Secretary today published a summary analysis of the responses to the consultation paper Legislation against terrorism. Copies of this have been placed in the Library and the Printed Paper Office.

Home Office and Scottish Executive Concordat

Lord Hughes of Woodside asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the bilateral concordat between the Home Office and the Scottish Executive.[HL310]

Lord Bassam of Brighton : I am pleased to announce that my officials have agreed the text of a bilateral concordat with their counterparts in the Scottish Executive. A copy has been placed in the Library.

Hunting with Dogs Inquiry

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will announce the full membership and terms of reference of the inquiry into hunting with dogs in England and Wales.[HL311]

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The full membership of the committee of inquiry into hunting with dogs in England and Wales will be as follows.

The chairman will be the noble Lord, Lord Burns, as already announced. Dr Victoria Edwards, Professor Sir John Marsh, the noble Lord, Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, and Professor Michael Winter have agreed to serve as members.

The terms of reference are to inquire into:


    (i) the practical aspects of different types of hunting with dogs and their impact on the rural economy, agriculture and pest control, the social and cultural life of the countryside, the management and conservation of wildlife and animal welfare in particular areas of England and Wales;


    (ii) the consequences for these issues of any ban on hunting with dogs; and


    (iii) how any ban might be implemented; and to report the findings to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Biographical details of members are:

Lord Burns--formerly Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty's Treasury (1991-98), and Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury and Head of the Government Economic Service (1980-91).

Dr Victoria Edwards FRICS FAAV--principal lecturer in land management and departmental research director, University of Portsmouth (since 1989); non-executive board member Countryside Agency (since 1998) and Forestry Commission (1999); and member Advisory Councils, School of Rural Economy and Land Management, Royal Agricultural College Cirencester (since 1996).

Professor Sir John Marsh CBE--Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Reading Department of Agricultural and Food Economics (since 1997); member of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister's Independent Advisory Group (since 1997); chairman Agricultural Wages Board (1991-99) and director Centre for Agricultural Strategy (1990-97).

Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior MA (Cantab) PhD DSc DVM DVSM FAMS FRCVS--Emeritus Professor of Animal Pathology, University of Cambridge; president Royal Society of Medicine; chairman Veterinary Advisory Committee, Horserace Betting Levy Board (1985-97); chairman Animal Research Grants Board (1986-89); and president Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (1984-85).

Professor Michael Winter--Professor of Rural Economy and Society, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (since 1993); member Policy Committee, Council for Protection of Rural England (since 1998); member two Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Regional Agri-Environmental Forums (since 1996) and director Centre for Rural Studies, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (1987-93).

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MoD and Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Concordats

Lord Hogg of Cumbernauld asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to agree the Ministry of Defence concordats with the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly.[HL283]

Lord Burlison : The Ministry of Defence has today agreed concordats with the Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly which set out the principles governing our bilateral relationships. A copy of these has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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Eighteen year-olds in Full-time Education

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each year 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1990 and 1995 and the latest available year, what are the numbers of 18 year-olds in full-time education as a percentage of the age group, both in total and by gender.[HL169]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The information requested is contained in the following table. The available data are for England and Wales for the years up to an including 1975 and England only for the later years. Instead of data for 1965, we have provided 1966 figures, as this is the earliest year for which we have readily available data for all 18 year-olds in full-time education.



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