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Lord Chan asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: The terms of the contract that will be awarded to the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) following the transfer of funding from the Home Office to the Legal Services Commission have yet to be finalised. Ministers will write to the IAS and the noble Lord in the near future, when the position and impact on work will be clearer.

Public Guardianship Office: Annual Report and Accounts 2002–03

Baroness Pitkeathley asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Filkin: The Public Guardianship Office's annual report and accounts for 2002–03 have been laid before Parliament today. This document gives full details of the agency's performance and expenditure for that year. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Joan

EU Working Time Directive: Marine Pilots

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Under which regulation transposing the European Working Time Directive into United Kingdom law are marine pilots included.[HL4332]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Marine pilots fall under the scope of the Horizontal Amending Directive (2000/34/EC) which was implemented by the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations on 1 August 2003. The Working Time Regulations apply to all workers, including most agency and freelance workers, but do not apply to the self-employed.

Mental Health Services: Report

Baroness Gould of Potternewton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the 13th report on the Development of Services for People with a Mental Illness in England was published.[HL4508]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): Yesterday we issued the 13th report prepared pursuant to Section 11 of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986 as amended, on development of services for people with a mental illness in England.

The report sets out the current policy and the developments in mental health services that have taken place since the 12th report.

Copies of Development of Services for People with a Mental Illness in England—Thirteenth Report have been placed in the Library.

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

Lord Blackwell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is:

    (a) the estimated numbers of those entitled to claim child tax credit and working tax credit;

    (b) the estimated value of entitlements; and

    (c) the assumed take-up rates underlying the published public expenditure estimates for those tax credits in 2005–06 broken down by household income bands of £0 to £5,000, £5,000 to £7,500, £7,500 to £10,000, £10,000 to £15,000, £15,000 to £20,000, £20,000 to £30,000, £30,000 to £50,000, and over £50,000 or the closest bands available.[HL4271]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): (a) Six million families are expected to be in receipt of child tax credit and/or working tax credit.

(b) The tax credit awards are provisional annual awards and so it will not be possible to calculate the final value of awards until the end of the tax year.

(c) The information requested is not available. Joan

World War Debts to US

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord McIntosh of Haringey on 8 September (WA 100), when they last held discussions on the issue of war debts payable to the United States with the Government of the United States.[HL4381]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Successive governments have undertaken, as with all external debt, to meet their obligations under the terms of the Second World War loan agreement with the US. There has therefore been no need to make representations to the United States Government except on the six occasions when in accordance with the terms of the loan we deferred repayments.

Information is not readily available as to whether war loans have been discussed on any other occasion between the UK Government and the United States Government since 1945. However, this has not been an issue for significant discussion in recent years.

Schoolchildren: Travel to School

Baroness Turner of Camden asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they are doing to reduce car use on the school run.[HL4509]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): An increasing number of schools and local authorities have, with the support of school travel advisers, introduced measures to tackle rising car use on the school run, including providing safe routes to school, adjusting the time of the school day and promoting greater use of buses. We want to encourage every school and local authority to act on this agenda.

My right honourable friends the Secretaries of State for Education and Skills and for Transport are today publishing jointly an action plan and good practice guide outlining how schools and local authorities can increase the number of children travelling to school on

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foot, by bicycle or on public transport. I am placing a copy of the action plan and best practice guide in the Library.

NHS: Efficiency Measures

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the underlying data relating to changes in activity levels and health and community health services expenditure expressed in volume form which are shown in graphical form in Figure 7.7 of the Department of Health's Departmental Report (CM 5904) so that the efficiency increase of two per cent over the 10 years to 2000–01 referred to in paragraph 7.100 of the report can be analysed for each of those years.[HL4230]

Baroness Andrews: Changes in the way healthcare is delivered by the National Health Service now means that this measure of NHS efficiency is no longer reliable. For example, this efficiency measure fails to count an increasingly large amount of activity—such as procedures undertaken in primary care—or nurse-led outpatient admissions; records improvements that result in reducing the number of steps in a patient journey as a fall in efficiency; may perversely record real efficiency improvements as reductions in efficiency—for example when activity is shifted from inpatient to outpatient settings; and fails to pick up any improvements in quality.

The Department of Health is therefore developing a new efficiency measure that will take account of the quality, casemix and diverse way in which NHS outputs are delivered.

Aircraft: Seat Spacing

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What consideration they, the Joint Aviation Authorities or the Civil Aviation Authority have given to amending on grounds of safety the regulations governing the seat spacing on scheduled and charter flights to take account of (a) the increasing height and weight; and (b) the ageing of the general population.[HL4330]

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) safety requirements for seat spacing are designed to ensure that passengers can evacuate quickly and safely in the event of an emergency.

Recent research carried out by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has confirmed that the population body size is increasing and that the introduction of pan-European seat-spacing regulations may be appropriate. The JAA Cabin Safety Steering Group is considering the research data and is being encouraged

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by the CAA to reach an early decision on the introduction of a common European standard for seat spacing.

The CAA is not aware of any studies relating to the effect that ageing of the general population may have on an emergency evacuation. When new aircraft types are approved, the aircraft manufacturer is required to demonstrate that an emergency evacuation can be performed successfully.

As from 28 September 2003, the European Safety Agency (EASA) will assume responsibility for setting design standards for all aircraft registered within the European Union. These design standards will include emergency evacuation. With effect from this date the CAA will have no power to implement seat-spacing standards which differ from those set by the agency. The output of the JAA Cabin Safety Steering Group will be transmitted to the agency.

M1 Motorway

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many weeks during the past five years parts of the M1 motorway had carriageways or hard shoulders coned off between junctions 23A and 25; and whether they will commission experts and advisors to instruct the local engineers and administrators on how to make structural changes to the carriageway in conjunction with each other, rather than separately.[HL4361]

Lord Davies of Oldham: I have asked the acting Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Stephen Hickey, to write to the noble Lord.

Letter from the acting Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr Stephen Hickey, to Lord Jopling, dated 16 September 2003.

I have been asked by the Lord Davies of Oldham to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the number of weeks over the last five years that the M1 motorway has been coned off between junctions 23A and 25.

The information requested over five years will take some time to collect but this work has been put in hand. I will write to you again as soon as this is available.

There has recently been a considerable programme of works on this section of M1 between junctions 23A and 25. The pressures on this length of motorway are considerable; over 100,000 vehicles per day use it. As a result, roadworks are phased to limit the length of motorway restricted at any one time. Normal policy is that roadworks should not exceed a maximum length of 4 km and be a minimum distance between separate works of 10 km.

The Highways Agency already uses consultant engineers for designing and managing maintenance works. The contracts include a requirement to minimise roadworks on a particular length of road. By careful planning the agency aims to ensure the maximum amount of work is undertaken during any

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one contract and the disruption is kept to a minimum. On this section of M1 most work is carried out overnight with three lanes remaining open during the daytime and, wherever possible, all work is suspended at peak holiday times. All contractors employed by the

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agency are required to complete roadworks as quickly as possible and are offered incentives in their contracts to do so.

As explained, I will write to you again as soon as we have collected the information you have requested.

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