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Lord Whitty: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has overall responsibility for promoting a good standard of environmental information in on-product claims. The Department of Trade and Industry is responsible for the consumer protection regimes under which action can be taken against false or misleading claims. The two departments work closely together on the development of policy across this area.
Lord Whitty: The Minister for the Environment wrote to the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment, Dr Alan Knight, on 13 November 2000 welcoming the report and indicating how the Government proposed to take forward the committee's main recommendations for action. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House. Since then the committee has received regular reports on progress from officials.
Lord Whitty: We have looked at the position in a number of European countries regarding laws on deposit systems for drink containers. Of the member states of the European Union, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and Sweden have laws involving deposits on cans and bottles. The schemes vary in detail but they all have the common aim of encouraging re-use and recycling and a reduction in the amount of one-way containers flowing into the waste stream. Barry
Lord Whitty: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State has lead responsibility for government policy on sustainable development, including preparations for the World Summit for Sutstainable Development (WSSD).
My right honourable friend the Prime Minister, who will lead the UK delegation at WSSD, has established a Cabinet Committee (MISC 18), chaired by my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister, to co-ordinate and develop the Government's strategy for WSSD.
Lord Whitty: Sustainable development is a priority for the Government as a whole; all departments and all Ministers have a responsibility to contribute. Defra is the lead department and my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has overall responsibility.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Information on the number of unaccompanied minors by language spoken is not collected centrally. The London Asylum Seekers Consortium collects information on the estimated number of unaccompanied minors seeking assistance in each of the London boroughs according to country of origin, not language spoken. This information suggests that, in total, there are an estimated 242 unaccompanied minors from Albania and an estimated 1,261 from Kosovo (of whom the majority is likely to speak Albanian) currently seeking assistance in all London boroughs (as of 5 March 2002).
|Country of Origin||Number of Cases|
|Barking and Dagenham||43|
|City corporation of London||1|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||7|
|Kensington and Chelsea||3|
|Barking and Dagenham||191|
|City corporation of London||8|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||50|
|Kensington and Chelsea||39|
|Kingston upon Thames||6|
|Richmond upon Thames||31|
What plans the Secretary of State for Health has to recognise problem gambling as a health problem. [HL2925]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Pathological gambling is a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. National Health Service mental health services would be expected to offer assessment and appropriate support, treatment and onward referral to those with severe problem gambling.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Strategic stocks of smallpox vaccine are held which could be rapidly deployed to contain any outbreak. However, it is not our policy to provide details concerning quantities of vaccine as this information could aid planning of a bioterrorist attack.
The United Kingdom policy on future smallpox vaccine manufacture is currently under review. The Department of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Defence in determining the UK's vaccine needs. We are also in discussions with other governments about stocks of vaccine.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: All children who are unable to give informed consent to medical procedures, no matter what the circumstances of their conception, have considerable protection in law to safeguard their best interests.
The Government are currently reviewing the law on the removal, retention and use of human organs and tissue from both living people and those who have died. A report will be published shortly for consultation.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Social Services Inspectorate has been closely monitoring Lancashire County Council since it was placed under special measures in February 2000. Following the publication of the council's proposals to close a number of its care homes, the SSI is following closely the work undertaken by the council to assess its current care provision and to consult on future strategies with the National Health Service, local people and other interested parties. In line with the code of practice on open government, the analyses which the SSI will be passing to Ministers on a regular basis will not be published in order to permit frank discussions with the council.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Pursuant to the dissolution of 64 National Health Service trusts on 1 April 2001 and their reconfiguration through the establishment of 29 new NHS trusts, we propose to create originating capital for the new NHS trusts equal to the net assets transferred to them and therefore to remit the outstanding debt of the dissolved trusts.
A number of primary care trusts were also established during the year. Public dividend capital is not required for the establishment of new primary care trusts as they are subject to a different financial regime. Net assets transferred from dissolving NHS trusts to primary care trusts are reflected in the general fund of the primary care trust.
These operations involved no overall loss to the Exchequer. Her Majesty's Treasury has presented a minute on 8 March to the House giving particulars and circumstances of the proposed remission which it has approved in principle.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): In their responses to reports from the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the Public Administration Select Committee, the Government committed themselves to introducing legislation for the Civil Service and to consultation in advance of legislation.
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