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Wahhabi Teaching in the UK

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The department does not have any information about the funding or teaching of Wahhabi in the UK. However, all schools, including independent schools are regularly inspected by Ofsted or by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Any reports that the curriculum was in any way inciting disrespect or hatred of others would be investigated with the individual school and remedial action sought.

NHS Laboratories: Bulk Procurement

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): We plan that the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHSPASA) should assume responsibility for bulk procurement during 2003–04, as current contracts are completed. Before these transfers, NHSPASA will be putting in place bulk procurement procedures which will be designed to provide equivalent benefits to the current arrangements for all the National Health Service microbiology laboratories.

Antenatal Care

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Euronatal study notes a lower rate of perinatal deaths in England compared with most other European countries. Of this low number, the study indicates a relatively high percentage may have been influenced by suboptimal care factors.

The study also acknowledges that the Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy may mean that English cases have been more rigorously analysed than those in other countries.

The data used is from 1993–98. Antenatal care is only one aspect of suboptimal care contributing to perinatal death, and much has been done in recent years to improve all aspects of maternity care. This includes:

    (ii) Publication of clinical guidelines by National Institute for Clinical Excellence on:

    (a) routine use of Anti D prophylaxis for rhesus negative pregnant women;

    (b) foetal heart monitoring;

    (c) induction of labour;

    (iii) Clinical guidelines from NICE on antenatal care and use of caesarean section including antenatal screening are due later this year. Guidelines on care during delivery and post natal care have recently been commissioned.

    (iv) The development of a children's national service framework, which will set national standards of care for antenatal, intrapartum (delivery) and post natal services;

    (v) Increasing the number of doctors and midwives.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What measures they are taking to ensure that all cases of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are diagnosed properly. [HL1720]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The risks of excessive drinking during pregnancy are well documented, and for this reason the Government recommend that women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant do not drink more than one to two units of alcohol per week.

The Government are committed to implementing the National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy by 2004. The strategy will be prepared by the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit, and will be published in summer 2003. The Strategy Unit team will be examining a range of issues relating to the impact of alcohol on health, as well as any additional training which may be needed by medical and other health professionals to improve the care they can give to patients with conditions arising from alcohol misuse.

Foetal alcohol syndrome is currently recorded on an individual patient's medical records to ensure that health and other professional staff are aware of the situation and can help sufferers to access the support that they need.

Abandoned Vehicles

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the end of life directive for cars will result in increased anti-social car disposal by individuals; and what steps they are taking to avoid an increase in the number of burnt out cars being abandoned by their last owner. [HL1645]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The number of vehicles being abandoned has grown in recent years, largely due to a fall in the price of scrap metal and deficiencies in the accuracy of the vehicle register Implementation of the End of Life Vehicles Directive might lead to a further increase because of a consequential rise in the costs of disposal, but the Government are already addressing the problem with a number of initiatives announced last year. Statutory notice periods after which local authorities can remove abandoned vehicles from the highway have been reduced and can now be as short as 24 hours. We will be consulting in the spring on reducing the statutory notice periods of vehicles abandoned on private land. Local authorities can seek information about the keeper of a vehicle from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) more quickly than before via a new electronic link funded under the Invest to Save programme. In addition, the Finance Act 2002 contained outline powers to establish a system of continuous registration in order to ensure that keepers of vehicles remain responsible for licensing their vehicle until such time that the DVLA has been properly notified of its sale or disposal. The Department for Transport is currently considering how this will be implemented, and will make a announcement in due course. All these measures will make it more difficult for vehicles to be abandoned with impunity.


Lord Mason of Barnsley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many deep coal-mines are still in production; what are their names; in which region they are; and how many people are employed underground and overall in the coal industry.[HL1670]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There are currently 12 major deep mines in production in the UK, together with 10 smaller ones. The names of the major deep mines and the regions in which they are located are detailed on the attached table.

Provisional employment figures for 2002 show that there were 8,167 people employed in underground mines, with a further 2,970 employed in opencast mines. Employment figures include contactors.

Major deep mines in production:

Clipstone(1)UK CoalNottinghamshire
Daw MillUK CoalWarwickshire
EllingtonUK CoalNorthumberland
HarworthUK CoalNottinghamshire
KellingleyUK CoalNorth Yorkshire
MaltbyUK CoalSouth Yorkshire
RossingtonUK CoalSouth Yorkshire
Selby Complex(2)UK CoalNorth Yorkshire
ThoresbyUK CoalNottinghamshire
WelbeckUK CoalNottinghamshire
HatfieldCoalpowerSouth Yorkshire
TowerTower CollieryMid Glamorgan

Notes: In addition, there were 10 smaller deep mines in production in February 2002, including Betws Colliery, operated by Betws Anthracite Ltd, in Carmarthenshire and Hay Royds Colliery, operated by J Flack & Sons Ltd, in Yorkshire.

(1) Clipstone Colliery is due to cease production in March 2003.

(2) The Selby Complex consists of Riccall, Wistow and Stillingfleet mines and is due to close by spring 2004.

Sources: The Coal Authority, DTI publications.

Telephone Boxes in Rural Areas

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Rural Affairs Forum and their rural advocate have given any advice with regard to BT's decision to remove telephone boxes from rural areas; and if so, how many telephone boxes are scheduled for removal in the next two years.[HL1763]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The regulation of telecoms operators is a matter for Oftel. I understand that no advice has been received by Oftel on the removal of telephone boxes from rural areas from the Rural Affairs Forum or its rural advocate. BT is subject to a universal service obligation to provide public call boxes throughout the UK (except Hull). Removal of a call box from a single site is subject to a consent procedure. The procedure is set out in guidelines published by BT and agreed by Oftel. Any removal of a single site call box requires the consent of the local authority and the relevant parish council (if any).

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