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10 Dec 2002 : Column WA19

Written Answers

Tuesday, 10th December 2002.

Election Material: Post Office Box Numbers

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether a Post Office box number meets the imprint requirements for election leaflets.[HL232]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Section 110 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and Section 143 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 variously require the name and address of the printer, publisher, promoter or any other person on behalf of whom the materal is published to be included on election material. Whether that requirement would be met by the provision of the Post Office box number is a point that has not previously arisen and we will discuss the issue with the Electoral Commission.

Personal Injury Cases: Conditional Fee Arrangements

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any savings have been made in legal aid expenditure since the introduction of the Conditional Fee Agreements Regulations in April 2000; and, if so, how much. [HL262]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Legal Services Commission does not record case data in a way that would enable an answer to be given to the exact Question asked.

Conditional fee arrangements are most widely used in personal injury cases as claims relating to negligently caused injury are excluded from public funding under Schedule 2 to the Access to Justice Act 1999 on the basis that such matters are suitable for conditional fee arrangements.

Net savings to the Community Legal Service Fund from the introduction of conditional fee arrangements in personal injury cases in the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2002 are estimated at £85 million.

Special Immigration Appeals Commission Cases: Funding

Lord Gregson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to change the way the Legal Services Commission funds cases which are heard before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.[HL531]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Lord Chancellor has today issued a direction under section 6(8)(b) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 to the Legal Services Commission which will bring the Special Immigration

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Appeals Commission (SIAC) within the scope of the Community Legal Service. This will allow applicants to receive public funding from the CLS for cases before SIAC, subject to the normal financial eligibility and merits criteria being met.

This direction will cover the period before the relevant provisions in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 comes into force next April, The Act will amend Schedule 2 to the Access to Justice Act 1999 to the same effect. Prior to the issuing of this direction, funding for representation before SIAC has been provided for on an individual basis under section 6(8)(b) of the Access to Justice Act 1999, which specifies that certain cases can be funded in exceptional circumstances on the express approval of the Lord Chancellor.

Privately-funded FE and HE Institutions

Baroness Brigstocke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) how many privately-funded institutions of further and higher education there are in the United Kingdom; (b) how many students are enrolled in these institutions, and how many of these students are from overseas; and (c) what arrangements there are for ensuring that these institutions are bona fide educational establishments and are of good quality. [HL311]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Information on the number of privately funded further and higher education institutions and their students is not collected by the department unless the institution is in receipt of public funding. Therefore figures for the sector as a whole are not available.

Privately funded colleges of further and higher education are independent and autonomous institutions. Where they offer courses which receive public funding they have to meet the requirements of the relevant funding body. Where they offer courses leading to formal qualifications they have to meet the standards and other requirements of the bodies issuing those qualifications. Only institutions with recognised degree awarding powers are permitted to award UK degrees. John B

Oxford and Cambridge and Russell Group of Universities: Honours Degrees

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

    What percentage of students who gained their first degrees in 2002 from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and each member of the Russell group of universites received (a) a first-class honours degree and (b) a 2(1) honours degree. [HL326]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The latest available data showing students who graduated in 2001 is shown in the table. Information for 2002 graduates will be available in January 2003.

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First Degree Graduates by Class of Degree Obtained 2000-01

1st ClassUpper 2ndOtherTotal1st ClassUpper 2ndOther
The University of Birmingham5532,3721,6224,54712.252.235.7
The University of Bristol3991,4637152,57715.556.827.7
The University of Cambridge1,0131,6865973,29630.751.218.1
The University of Leeds4662,3961,6174,47910.453.536.1
The University of Liverpool2801,3551,3582,9939.445.345.4
King's College London3061,2401,1792,72511.245.543.3
London School of Economics and Political Science1525713011,02414.855.829.4
The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne2311,4181,1152,7648.451.340.3
The University of Nottingham4141,6419162,97113.955.230.8
The University of Oxford6942,0115813,28621.161.217.7
The University of Sheffield3561,9131,2643,53310.154.135.8
The University of Southampton3861,7011,4263,51311.048.440.6
The University of Edinburgh4631,7971,2853,51513.250.336.6
The University of Glasgow3121,3621,5903,2649.641.748.7
Cardiff University3941,7851,3303,50911.250.937.9
The University of Warwick4111,3756052,39117.257.525.3
Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine4047716831,85821.741.536.8
University College London5001,5931,0733,16615.850.333.9
The Victoria University of Manchester5791,9861,4714,03614.349.236.4

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Passive Smoking

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether exposure to tobacco smoke for people with asthma often leads to more severe symptoms such as reduced lung function, lower quality of life and increased use of the health service; and whether they will now ban smoking in the workplace or in public areas. [HL184]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The effects of passive smoking on those suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions are well recognised. Although we do not intend to introduce legislation banning smoking in the workplace or public areas, we accept the right of everyone to breath air unpolluted by cigarette smoke and we encourage the introduction of smoke-free environments. We recognise that this is not always going to be possible and encourage in these circumstances other measures to be taken to reduce people's exposure to smoke.

This year the Department of Health is funding local tobacco control alliances across England to carry out projects in close co-operation with local employers to tackle passive smoking and to increase the number of smoke free environments. These projects vary in nature from the production of smoke-free guides to pubs and restaurants to the provision of advice and support to managers wishing to introduce policies. We hope that many will be suitable for national application.


Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What type of material is supplied to a woman contemplating an abortion in the National Health

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    Service; and whether they will place in the Library of the House examples of such material given; and [HL389]

    Whether any booklets or other information are given by the National Health Service to a woman contemplating an abortion that would show foetal development; and [HL390]

    Whether the abortion procedures are explained in detail by the National Health Service to a woman contemplating an abortion; and [HL391]

    Whether the adverse consequences of an abortion are discussed by the National Health Service with a woman contemplating an abortion. [HL392]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Department of Health-funded Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) evidence-based guideline The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion (2000), which is applicable to National Health Service and independent sector providers, recognises the importance of women seeking abortion receiving accurate, impartial information. Verbal advice must be supported by printed information which every woman considering abortion can understand and may take away and read before the procedure.

The guideline states that professionals should be equipped to provide women with the information they need in order to give genuinely informed consent: that abortion is safe and complications are uncommon; description of the abortion methods that are available; immediate complications including haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion, uterine perforation which may require immediate abdominal surgery, cervical laceration which may require suturing and anaesthetic complications; complications in the early weeks following abortion including incomplete abortion requiring re-evacuation, continuing pregnancy, pelvic

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infection, short-term emotional distress and ectopic pregnancy; and long-term effects of abortion (which are rare or uproven) including breast cancer, infertility and psychological sequelae.

In 2001 the Department of Health also funded the RCOG to produce the patient leaflet About Abortion Care; which is available for use by NHS and independent sector providers. The leaflet does not provide information on foetal development. The leaflet can be found at abortion care.pdf. Copies have also been placed in the Library. In addition, many NHS and independent sector providers produce their own literature for women considering an abortion.

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