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Water Abstraction Strategies

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies (CAMS) started to be prepared from April 2001. Most CAMS will take up to two years to complete and therefore the first CAMS should be complete and operational by April 2003. All 129 CAMS should be operational by April 2008.

Farming: Regulatory Measures

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: We regret that the information is not available in the form requested and could only be assembled at disproportionate cost.

National Parks: Access

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: The latest figures available for the proportion of open countryside currently accessible in the national parks are given in the table provided, but it should be noted that the figures are updated each week.

A Park area (hectares)B Open country accessible pre-foot & mouth (hectares)C % of park areaD Area currently accessible (hectares)E Column D as a % of column B
Brecon Beacons137,00061,50045%27,12644%
Broads30,3003601%360100%
Dartmoor95,30045,50047%23,07651%
Exmoor69,3009,00013%2,30025%
Lake District229,200105,43246%32,50231%
Northumberland105,00020,06219%17,95089%
North York Moors144,00026,92718%8,62232%
Peak District144,00025,00017%25,000100%
Pembrokeshire62,000N/AN/AN/ANo restrictions
Snowdonia213,20085,30040%85,300100%
Yorkshire Dales177,0008,1424%00%

16 Jul 2001 : Column WA98

DCMS Quinquennial Reviews

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will undertake reviews of the Public Lending Right and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. [HL296]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): As part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's programme of quinquennial reviews of its public bodies, I am today announcing that this summer we will be starting reviews of the Public Lending Right and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

The reviews will include an evaluation of the role and functions of these bodies and how those functions can best be carried out, and a review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the way in which they deliver services to their users. We estimate that the reviews will be completed next spring. A copy of the announcement has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Prisoners: Hours Confined in Cell

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

    How many inmates in HM Prisons in (a) England and Wales and (b) Scotland respectively are kept in their cells for 23 hours a day, and in which establishments they are being detained; and what are the relevant categories of inmates kept in such conditions. [HL145]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Rooker): The information is not available in precisely the form requested, but there is no prison in England or Wales where the normal regime entails prisoners being routinely locked in their cells for 23 hours a day.

The following table shows average weekly purposeful hours and average weekday time out of cell by category of prison.

Average weekly purposeful hours YTD May 2001Average weekday time out of cell May 2001
Male local19.48.7
High security18.59.0
Cat B24.610.0
Cat C25.611.3
Male open41.619.6
Male remand centre20.07.4
Male closed YOI22.77.9
Male open YOI40.212.8
Male juvenile27.710.6
Female local22.18.9
Female closed26.511.4
Female open33.719.0
Total prison Service23.210.0

These are average figures for all prisoners in the establishments.

Individual prisoners could spend longer periods locked in their cells when segregated for reasons of good order or discipline, as part of a disciplinary punishment, or for their own protection or the protection of others. Details of these prisoners are not collated centrally, but efforts are made to move them to a location where they can participate in a more active regime. Prisoners are also likely to be locked up if they refuse the out-of-cell activities available.

There are 16 category A prisoners and 5 category B prisoners in close supervision centres and other parts of the High Security estate whose behaviour is assessed as being so disruptive and dangerous that restricted conditions of segregation are necessary for the safety of staff and other prisoners.

Responsibility for prisons in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Executive, who should be approached for the relevant information.


16 Jul 2001 : Column WA99

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

    What is their programme and timetable to end the practice of keeping prisoners in cells for 23 hours a day in HM prisons in (a) England and Wales and (b) Scotland respectively. [HL146]

Lord Rooker: There is no prison in England or Wales where the normal regime entails prisoners being routinely locked in their cells for 23 hours a day. Prisons have local targets for time out of cell and purposeful activity. These targets and plans for meeting them are set out in the Prison Service's Delivery Agreement with the area or operational manager, and performance is closely monitored.

Our priority is to reduce reoffending on release. While time out of cell may be important, we believe it is even more important to ensure that as much as possible of that time is spent in a demanding regime of purposeful activity. The Prison Service is therefore investing an additional £31 million in 2001-02, £50 million in 2002-03 and £71 million in 2003-04 following the Spending Review 2000 in work on basic skills, drugs, offending behaviour programmes and resettlement to support this.

Responsibility for the prisons in Scotland has been devolved to the Scottish Executive.

16 Jul 2001 : Column WA100

Commission for Racial Equality: Annual Report

Baroness Whitaker asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the Commission for Racial Equality's Annual Report for 2000. (HL346]

Lord Rooker: The Commission for Racial Equality's Annual Report 2000 is published today.

Copies have been arranged to be placed in the Library and to be sent to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.

Electronic Communications: Storage

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What position they took at the recent Telecommunications Council in Brussels, with particular reference to the storage of electronic communications; and whether the conclusions of the Council, which are to be referred to the European Parliament, are consistent with that position.[HL122]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): At the Telecommunications Council on 27 June, member states and the Commission agreed to clarify that the proposed Directive would not alter the existing balance between individual rights to privacy and the possibility for member states to take measures necessary for law enforcement. Member states would therefore be able, but would not be required, to introduce data retention requirements provided these were proportionate and in accordance with the general principles of Community law. The position will therefore be essentially the same as it is under the existing Telecommunications Data Protection Directive.

The UK Government welcome this outcome, although there are no plans to introduce legislation mandating the retention of communications data here. Such a move could only be considered in the context of detailed consultation with all relevant law enforcement, industry and civil liberties interests.

Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the conferment of a peerage on the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank was approved by the Appointments Commission.[HL228]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The Appointments Commission were consulted and raised no objection.

16 Jul 2001 : Column WA101

Baroness Morgan of Huyton

Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay asked Her Majesty's Governement:

    Whether the conferment of a peerage on Baroness Morgan of Huyton was approved by the Appointments Commission; and, if not, why, when and by whom it was decided not to seek the Commission's approval.[HL229]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government have always made it clear that in relation to party political peers, the Appointments Commission was taking over the role formerly fulfilled by the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee. It was never the custom that appointments to the Lords to enable someone to take up ministerial office should be subject to scrutiny by that committee.


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