Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: All Iraqi citizens seeking entry to the United Kingdom are required to have visas issued abroad. All have their details checked against the warnings index before a visa is issued and again on arrival.

All asylum seekers are screened in a three-tier process: first, the details of all asylum seekers are checked against the warnings index; secondly, their fingerprints are taken and checked against existing Home Office records and EURODAC and they are photographed. Most asylum seekers will be issued with an asylum registration card.

13 Feb 2003 : Column WA136

The third stage, the interview, has different levels of screening which allow for those with acceptable evidence of identity and nationality to be fed into the system while allowing for more in-depth screening interviews for those with little or no credible evidence. Should there be any indication given during any of the processes that someone might be of security interest, the information is quickly passed on to the appropriate agencies.

Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the Information Commissioner's response to the Government's consultation paper on entitlement cards and identity fraud. [HL1681]

Lord Filkin: The Information Commissioner has today published his response to the Government's consultation paper on entitlement cards and identity fraud and copies have been placed in the Library.

We particularly welcome and value the detailed and thorough response from the Information Commissioner, which we will be studying carefully.

Police Performance

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the development of indicators of police performance for forces in England and Wales.[HL1682]

Lord Filkin: Next week we shall be publishing the first police performance monitors for individual forces in England and Wales. The monitors are intended to enable the performance of each force, over a series of indicators, to be compared with similar forces.

The publication of these monitors is the first stage in publishing accessible information on police performance. They will evolve to reflect the Policing Performance Assessment Framework (PPAF) currently under development. This is intended to capture the breadth and scope of police activity. The development of PPAF has the support of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.

The initial monitors omit some key areas of activity such as serious crime and some violent crime and so provide a limited basis on which to compare the overall performance of forces. Nonetheless, they represent a significant improvement in the accessibility of police performance data. They will enable the public to compare the performance of their force with that of those forces most similar to it. The monitors cannot, however, be used to construct national league tables.

13 Feb 2003 : Column WA137

Home Office Targets Delivery Report

Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the Home Office Targets Delivery Report.[HL1683]

Lord Filkin: The Home Office Targets Delivery Report has been published today by Command of Her Majesty. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office and in the Library. The report is also available online

The report contains the service delivery agreement for Spending Review 2002 (SR2002), which shows how the Home Office will deliver its new public service agreement targets. The report also reports the latest performance against the old SR2000 targets, updating the description of performance which was provided in the Home Office annual report 2001–02.

Successful outcomes include a 27 per cent fall in crime, as reported in the British Crime Survey, continued delivery of the pledge to deal swiftly with persistent young offenders and achievement of interim targets for rapidity in considering initial claims for asylum. The report highlights ways in which the department will build upon these successes in order to underpin the prosperity of our country and the cohesiveness of our communities.

CPS Targets Delivery Report

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Crown Prosecution Service Targets Delivery Report will be published.[HL1655]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Crown Prosecution Service Targets Delivery Report 2002–03—2005–06 has today been published and laid before Parliament. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the Houses.

Sting Ray Lightweight Torpedo

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the award of a contract for the manufacture of the modified Sting Ray lightweight torpedo.[HL1654]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): A £441 million contract has been placed with BAE Systems Electronics Ltd, Underwater Systems Division, for the manufacture of the modified Sting Ray lightweight torpedo, which will enhance the capability provided by the existing weapon system. The in-service variant of Sting Ray has been the main anti-submarine weapon carried by our surface ships and aircraft since 1983. While it continues to meet its design aims, the threat of

13 Feb 2003 : Column WA138

a new generation of more advanced submarines, operating in both deep and coastal waters with ever more sophisticated counter-measures, requires an enhanced capability.

The modified Sting Ray torpedo will make best use of advancing technologies and will significantly enhance the capability and maintainability of the weapon system. It will combine the essential attributes of high speed and manoeuvrability, deep diving, low radiated noise, advance computer based intelligence and high warhead lethality. It will provide the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with the world's most advanced lightweight torpedo from its planned in-service date of 2006.

The award of this contract to BAE Systems is excellent news for both our Armed Forces and the defence industry. It will sustain approximately 300 jobs across the UK. This is the culmination of work conducted by both the MoD and industry and is a good example of the principles of smart acquisition being put into practice to give our Armed Forces the equipment they need at an affordable price.

Cattle Herds: TB Movement Restrictions

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many cattle herds are currently infected with tuberculosis and under restriction notice.[HL1535]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): TB movement restrictions are generally triggered by a reaction to the TB skin test which indicates exposure to TB but does not prove infection.

Provisional figures indicate that on 10 February 2003 there were 2,172 herds under TB movement restrictions.

Krebs Tuberculosis Trial Projects

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Krebs tuberculosis trial projects are currently in hand; and how many tuberculosis tests are overdue on farms.[HL1536]

Lord Whitty: The Krebs badger culling trial, which is being carried out in 10 triplet areas in England, is just one element of the Government's wide-ranging research programme into bovine TB. Currently there are 29 separate TB-related research projects ongoing. In addition, Defra is also carrying out exercises into the epidemiology of the disease (the TB 99 farm survey) and a survey of badgers killed in road traffic accidents in seven English counties.

On 31 December, 9,183 herd tests were overdue in Great Britain. This is down from a maximum of 27,000 overdue herd tests at the end of 2001.

13 Feb 2003 : Column WA139

Hunting Bill

Earl Peel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will define the test of competence for a person carrying out the shooting of a wild mammal under the current plans brought forward in the Hunting Bill.[HL1577]

Lord Whitty: The Hunting Bill is concerned with hunting with dogs and not directly the issue of alternative methods of pest control. An automatic condition of all registrations is that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that any wild mammal which is shot during the course of registered hunting must be shot by a competent marksman. Competence is a matter to be determined on the facts of each individual case and will reflect the appropriateness of the experience, skill and qualifications of the marksman to the difficulty of the shooting being carried out. As that difficulty will vary depending on which species is being hunted and as a result of local factors, the Bill does not prescribe a single standard or provide a definition of what is competent.

Golf: Governing Body

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Blackstone on 9 January (WA 227), whether they agree with the statement made by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, contained on pages 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 10 in its publication Rules of Amateur Status, that "In Great Britain and Ireland, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is the Governing Body".[HL1481]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): In my previous reply to my noble friend (WA 227) I indicated that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews is the international governing body for golf (with the exception of the United States of America).

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews holds a unique position in the world game. Over the last two centuries it has evolved as the leading authority in the world game, and golf clubs throughout Britain have looked to it for guidance. The club currently has responsibility for the administration of the rules of golf in conjuction with the United States Golf Association; the running of the Open Championships; the development of the game in existing and emerging golfing nations and the operation of a private club with almost 2,400 members.

In terms of its status as the governing body I do not consider it is the role of government to determine the organisations which should be acknowledged as the governing body for a sport.

13 Feb 2003 : Column WA140

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page