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Halon Fire Extinguishers

The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Whitty: In 2001, the former DETR and DTI published detailed guidance, entitled Phase out of Halons, for the fire-protection industry and users to alert them to the fact that, under Regulation (EC) 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer, halon fire-protection systems and extinguishers would need to be decommissioned before 31 December 2003. Halon fire-extinguisher cylinders should be green rather than red, as they should have stopped being

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manufactured before an EC requirement for cylinders to be red came into effect. They would also be labelled as either Halon or BCF, which is the acronym for bromochlorodifluoromethane, the chemical name for Halon 1211.

Events held in Hyde Park

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For each major event staged in Hyde Park since 1 April 2002, what were (a) the date of the event and the name of its promoter; (b) the periods during which access to parts of the park was restricted during setting up or dismantling of staging; (c) the numbers of paying customers; and (d) the revenue payable to the Royal Parks Agency.[HL2107]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone): I set out below the dates of the events held in Hyde Park since 1 April 2002, the promoters of the events and the periods during which access to parts of the park were restricted during setting up or dismantling the events.

With the exception of the Star Trek exhibition, I am unable to say how many people attended each event and I have therefore set out the maximum capacity of the audience for each event.

The income payable for individual events is commercially sensitive, but the total amount received for the events listed below was £1.095 million.

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DateEventPromoter breakdownSetupCapacity
3 JuneMusic LiveBBC29 May to 7 Junenone (free)
29 JuneSafeway Picnic 2000The Prince's Trust17 June to 12 July60,000
7 JulyParty in the ParkThe Prince's Trust17 June to 12 July100,000
20 JulyBryan AdamsAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
21 JulySupertrampAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
24 JulyMeat LoafAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
26 JulySt GermaineAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
27 JulyThe CureAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
28 JulyPaul WellerAAA10 July to 2 August18,000
1 SeptemberFlora Women's ChallengeLondon Marathon Trust31 August to 1 September20,000 runners
14 September 15 September 15 SeptemberProms in the Park CBBC Prom Blue Planet PromBBC BBC BBC6 Sept to 21 Sept 6 Sept to 21 Sept 6 Sept to 21 Sept40,000 20,000 20,000
17 DecemberStar Trek The AdventureAAA3 December to dateaverage 6,000 per day

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Food Supplements Directive: Production of Dossiers

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What steps they and the Food Standards Agency intend to take to address the technical and financial issues associated with the production of dossiers for consideration by the European Food Safety Authority in relation to nutrients which are not included in the list of permitted ingredients for use in food supplements set out in Schedules 2 and 3 to the proposed Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003; and [HL2070]

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    Whether they or the Food Standards Agency have made any approaches to the European Commission or the European Union Scientific Committee for Foods in relation to the technical difficulties and financial issues associated with the production of dossiers for consideration by the European Food Safety Authority in relation to nutrients which are not included in the list of permitted ingredients for use in food supplements set out in Annexes 1 and 2 to the Food Supplements Directive.[HL2071]

Baroness Andrews: The Government are not able to address the financial issues associated with the production of safety dossiers for consideration by the European Food Safety Authority. The Food Standards Agency has written to the European

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Commission with the aim of facilitating a meeting between UK stakeholders and representatives of the EU Scientific Committee on Food to discuss the technical content of such dossiers.

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assessment they have made of the potential costs involved in the production of dossiers for submission to the European Food Safety Authority in connection with nutrients for which manufacturers are seeking inclusion in the lists of permitted ingredients set out in the annexes to the Food Supplements Directive.[HL2073]

Baroness Andrews: The Government have not made their own assessment of the potential costs involved in the production of dossiers for submission to the European Food Safety Authority. Industry cost estimates provided to the Food Standards Agency during consultation suggest that they might be £80,000 to £250,000 per dossier where significant safety data are not already available.

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What assessment they have made of the numbers and value of food supplement products currently on the United Kingdom market which contain nutrients omitted from Annex 1 of the Food Supplements Directive and for which no nutrient sources are listed in Annex 2 of the directive.[HL2085]

Baroness Andrews: The Government have not made an assessment of the number of products on the United Kingdom market which contain nutrients and nutrient sources omitted from Annexes 1 and 2 to the Food Supplements Directive. In the UK, the retail market for vitamins, minerals and other supplements was valued at £335 million in 2000. Industry estimates suggest that up to 5 per cent of the market may be affected, indicating a value in the region of £16.75 million.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What discussions the National Health Service has had with the British Healthcare Trades Association on provision of closed circuit television to improve the well-being of patients with age-related macular degeneration; what the outcome of any such discussions has been; and whether they will consider a pilot study, supported by clinical input, of improvements that can be achieved by such provision.[HL2091]

Baroness Andrews: The Department of Health has had no discussions with the British Healthcare Trades Association on the provision of closed circuit television reading aids (CCTVs) to patients with age-related macular degeneration.

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Social services departments can provide CCTV if it is felt to be warranted in particular cases. However this will be the exception rather than the rule. The majority of patients with reading difficulties as a result of vision loss will have access to optical low vision aids such as high-powered reading lenses, magnifiers and telescopes, on loan through the Hospital Eye Service. In addition, some primary care trusts have local arrangements for the provision of low vision aids.

Clinical Negligence Claims

Lord Colwyn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 19 July 2001 (WA 139), what was the total cost of clinical negligence claims in the National Health Service in England for each year from 2000 to date.[HL2152]

Baroness Andrews: The total cost of clinical negligence claims in the National Health Service in England for each year from 2000 to date is

YearTotal Cost
2000–01£415 million

Information concerning 2001–02 is due to be published by the National Audit Office shortly.

The total cost of clinical negligence claims in the National Health Service in England for each year from 2000 was previously quoted at £392 million. An internal audit has revealed that the correct figure is £415 million.


Northern Ireland: Protestant and Roman Catholic Employment

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What factors have been identified as responsible for the unemployment differential between Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland.[HL1965]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): A substantial body of research has indicated that the difference in the unemployment rates between Protestants and Catholics is due to a complex interaction over time of a number of factors. These factors include characteristics such as age, marital status, number of children, family experience of unemployment, housing tenure and educational qualifications; regional factors such as area of residence, sectoral performance and demographic factors such as labour force growth and migration and the unwillingness of some job seekers to consider employment in particular geographic areas (referred to as the chill factor). Discrimination has also been considered as a possible contributory factor but it is unclear the extent to which this has, or continues to be, an influence.

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