Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Legal Aid: Cost

Lord Rogan asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Lord Filkin): The cost of legal aid in England and Wales for the financial year 1993–94 was £1,210 million; the cost of legal aid for the financial year 2002–03 was £1,908 million. This represents an increase of 58 per cent over the period. In real terms (i.e. allowing for inflation) the cost rose by 27 per cent over the period. Rebo

Fraudulent Data Collectors

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Filkin: We have no plans to do so. The commissioner carries out his statutory duties independently of government. He has no power to take legal action against these "collectors" himself, but he has been working closely with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), local trading standards services (TSSs) and various police forces to tackle the problem. These bodies have collectively agreed that the commissioner should refer complaints to their local TSS or police force, since the TSS has an established network to deal with nationwide issues.

The commissioner's staff gather evidence of complaints made to him and provide the TSS or OFT with witness statements and other relevant evidence. They also offer appropriate advice to the public and help publicise the activities of these "collectors".

NHS: Complaints about Length of Treatment

The Lord Bishop of Oxford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Department

28 Oct 2003 : Column WA32

of Health does not hold letters on individual complaints made by patients or their families, most of which are handled by the National Health Service locally.

Upwards of 1,000 letters have been received by the department in the past two years that concern these matters. Among these were four instances of families commenting on their personal experiences of treatment being, in their view, unduly prolonged. In respect of personal experiences about the premature withdrawal of artificial nurition and hydration, we have not been able to identify any specific correspondence.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition

Lord Powell of Bayswater asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition has for the re-assessment of the dietary reference values to promote genome stability and optimal health. [HL4902]

Lord Warner: The forward work plan of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition includes a review of dietary reference values for nutrients. The approach that the committee will adopt to reassess dietary reference values for each nutrient is yet to be considered.

All papers relating to the work of the committee are made public on the committee's website: www.sacn.gov.uk

National Mental Health Partnership

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is appropriate for the National Health Service to pay for the postage costs of circulating an invitation to a parliamentary launch of the National Mental Health Partnership.[HL4919]

Lord Warner: Management of issues such as this are a matter for individual trusts. However, we are aware that the National Mental Health Partnership does some excellent work and we are told that chief executives and the services for which they are responsible derive considerable benefit from membership.

Baroness Noakes asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they provide any funding for the National Mental Health Partnership; if so, how much; and on what terms.[HL4920]

Lord Warner: The Department of Health does not currently provide any funding for the National Mental Health Partnership.

28 Oct 2003 : Column WA33

SchlumbergerSema

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What services SchlumbergerSema provides for the Benefits Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions.[HL4909]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): SchlumbergerSema is contracted to provide the following services to the Department for Work and Pensions: medical advice and examinations in connection with claims to benefit under a contract awarded in 1998 and managed by Jobcentre Plus; and operation of a Customer Conversion Centre under a contract to convert people who currently receive benefit by order book or giro to payment by automatic credit transfer (ACT). This contract was let by the central DWP payment modernisation programme in 2003.

Illegal Firearms

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many firearms have been seized by Customs and Excise entering or leaving the United Kingdom in the current year and each of the previous four years; and whether such firearms have been destroyed.[HL4843]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): HM Customs & Excise pass seized firearms to the police for destruction, with the exception of those donated to the Armed Forces or to museums or similar educational and scientific institutions.

The table below sets out the number of firearms seized by Customs since 1998–99. Figures include all complete prohibited weapons falling within the definition of a firearm in Section 57 of the Firearms Act 1968, but exclude weapons prohibited by virtue of Section 5(1)(b) of that Act.

Number of illegal firearms seized by HM Customs and Excise

YearImportsExports
1998–19992406
1999–200064114
2000–200125513
2001–200263414
2002–20032646

Elite Sport Funding Review

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the action plan presented to the Sports Cabinet on the conclusions reached within the Elite Sport Funding Review

28 Oct 2003 : Column WA34

    undertaken by the right honourable Jack Cunningham MP.HL4853]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The right honourable Jack Cunningham attended the 5th meeting of the Sports Cabinet in February 2001 at which he provided a report on progress with the Elite Sport Funding Review. The final report has been submitted to the Prime Minister and subsequently reviewed by the Sports Cabinet. Work is under way in preparing an action plan.

UK Sports Institute

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress they have made in co-ordinating the delivery of UK Sports Institute services throughout the home countries[HL4854]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: There is a very close day-to-day working relationship between UK Sport and the UK Sports Institute network. UK Sport takes a strategic lead role hosting regular meetings with the home country institute directors, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association to discuss work programmes, service delivery and system development. In addition the chairs of each of the four institutes join these meetings at least twice a year to form the leadership group taking a strategic perspective.

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What private sponsorship has been received to support the funding of the UK Sports Institute and the English institutes.[HL4857]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The UK Sports Institute is a network of the sports institutes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The institute network provides our best men and women with the facilities and support services they need to compete and win at the highest level. Each home country sports council has responsibility for the development of its own institute network.

No private sponsorship has been received by UK Sport to support the institute network, but services in kind have been provided by industry partners, but not on a major scale. The English Institute of Sport is wholly funded by the Sport England Lottery Fund. jenny

National Sports Centres: KPMG Report

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will place a copy of the KPMG Report on the national sports centres and the English institutes in the Library of the House.[HL4855]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: KPMG was commissioned by Sport England to assist the organisation and the English Institute of Sport in considering how best to deliver their national

28 Oct 2003 : Column WA35

programmes. The report is not yet complete and the work is continuing.

In the interests of commercial confidence and in accordance with clause 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it would be inappropriate to place the report in the Library of the House.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page