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Young Carers

Baroness Howe of Idlicote asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Although there is no clear evidence of the extent of the problem, we are aware that young carers are prone to bullying. We recognise that some of those who care for people with mental health problems are particularly susceptible to bullying at school. We are taking steps to raise awareness of these issues, for example, through citizenship education and initial teacher training. Schools need to take all bullying very seriously. Head teachers are required to draw up and implement measures to prevent all forms of bullying in school. Schools should recognise bullying as it occurs and take firm steps to tackle it. They need to be aware that any risk of bullying, particularly if it is not dealt with firmly, could result in young carers dropping out of school.

12 Jun 2003 : Column WA69

Housing Benefit Sanctions and Anti-social Behaviour

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the question "whether it is right, in principle, for the State to support the housing costs of people whose behaviour brings misery to the lives of individuals and communities" (Housing Benefit Sanctions and Anti-Social Behaviour) can be answered without reference to an alternative, and if so, why; and whether prisoners in gaol are exempt from this principle, and if so, who else is exempt; and[HL3089]

    What reason they have for believing that housing benefit sanctions will diminish anti-social behaviour rather than increase it; and[HL3090]

    Further to paragraph 6 of Housing Benefit Sanctions and Anti-Social Behaviour, why they believe that housing benefit sanctions will contribute to restoring a sense of social responsibility; and[HL3091]

    Why they believe that housing benefit sanctions are compatible with their own social responsibility.[HL3092]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The Government strongly believe that all residents are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of their housing, a right undermined by anti-social behaviour.

As the consultation paper makes clear, we are not proposing housing benefit sanctions as the only way of addressing bad behaviour. Sanctions would be one of a number of measures that might be used to address the type of anti-social behaviour that can blight neighbourhoods. We are seeking the views of those involved in dealing with anti-social behaviour on whether a power to impose sanctions would be a useful and effective additional tool.

Housing benefit continues to be paid when a convicted person is in prison for 13 weeks or less. Many prisoners spend relatively short periods in detention for comparatively minor offences and it would be inappropriate to remove housing benefit from these persons. However, if the offence also involved anti-social behaviour, a benefit sanction might also be appropriate.

Non-Residential Property

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

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 12 May (WA 22–24), why they were unable to provide figures for the total rateable value of non-residential property in the Shaftesbury ward of Belfast and the Diamond ward of Londonderry, and whether they will provide such figures.[HL3065]

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The rateable values for the two requested wards in Northern Ireland, were not available from the database to which the Inland Revenue has access, which covers England and Wales.

The residential populations and the rateable values of non-residential properties in the Shaftesbury ward of Belfast and the Diamond Ward of Londonderry have been obtained from the Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland and are now given below:

Residential Population Rateable value (£ millions)
Ward20011 April 2003
Shaftesbury5,745112.5
Diamond2,55415.8

Gaelic Language: Status in UK

Lord Mackenzie of Culkein asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any plans to give the Gaelic language legal or official status within the United Kingdom.[HL3159]

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: The United Kingdom Government ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in March 2001. As a signatory to the Charter, the Government have signalled their clear commitment to maintain and promote the use of indigenous minority languages across the United Kingdom, including Gaelic. The Gaelic language has, therefore, official status within the United Kingdom, although the Scottish Executive has devolved responsibility for the development of the language within Scotland.

SSSIs on North-West Coast: Grant Awards

Lord Fearn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which sites of scientific interest have been given government or European grants on the north-west coast of England in the past five years.[HL3168]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Lord Whitty): In the past five years, the following sites of special scientific interest have received the government or European grants listed below.

SSSIScheme
Solway FirthEuropean Marine Sites LIFE Project Estuary Partnership Funding Local Nature Reserve Grant
Morecambe Bay (inc a number of SSSI)European Marine Sites LIFE Project Estuary Partnership Funding Wildlife Enhancement Scheme
Duddon EstuaryEstuary Partnership Funding Wildlife Enhancement Scheme Local Nature Reserve Grant
Ribble EstuaryEstuary Partnership Funding Wildlife Enhancement Scheme
Mersey EstuaryEstuary Partnership Funding Wildlife Enhancement Scheme
Dee EstuaryEstuary Partnership Funding
Sefton CoastEU LIFE funding
Solway Firth (Maryport Harbour)European Marine Sites LIFE Project
Drigg CoastPublicity Grant Wildlife Enhancement Scheme
AnnasideWildlife Enhancement Scheme
Silloth Dunes & Mawbray BanksWildlife Enhancement Scheme
South Walney & Piel Channel FlatsWildlife Enhancement Scheme Reserves Enhancement Scheme
Upper Solway Flats and MarshesWildlife Enhancement Scheme
Lune EstuaryWildlife Enhancement Scheme
Dee CliffsWildlife Enhancement Scheme
Hesketh Golf LinksWildlife Enhancement Scheme
Eskmeals DunesReserves Enhancement Scheme
Foulney IslandReserves Enhancement Scheme
Rockcliffe MarshReserves Enhancement Scheme

12 Jun 2003 : Column WA72



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