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Whether Helen Ghosh has been appointed to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as Permanent Secretary on a temporary basis; and, if so, for what length of time she has been appointed. [HL2904]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): Following an open competition, Helen Ghosh was appointed Permanent Secretary to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 7 November 2005 for an indefinite period. In line with other Permanent Secretaries, her appointment is expected to continue for a term of about four years.
Whether they have agreed that the post of Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs should be held on a part-time basis; and, if so, what hours Helen Ghosh will work in the department. [HL2905]
Lord Bach: Helen Ghosh, who was appointed Permanent Secretary on 7 November, is employed and paid on a part-time basis of four and a half days (32 hours) a week instead of five days (37 hours full-time rate). We welcomed Helen Ghosh's proposal to work part time: it bears out the Government's belief in the value of flexible working and demonstrates commitment to provide opportunities for all employees to achieve a better work-life balance.
19 Dec 2005 : Column WA209
Helen Ghosh's contract mirrors other senior civil servants' contracts in that it states that her working pattern may be varied by agreement, or as the requirements of the post dictate. She is also required to work such additional hours as may from time to time be reasonable and necessary for the efficient performance of her duties but she is not entitled to the payment of any extra hours worked beyond 37 hours.
What assessments they have made of (a) the extent to which cycles of various kinds are used as mobility aids by registered disabled persons, including those with sensory as well as movement disabilities; (b) the extent of the mobility benefits thus conferred on these people in comparison with other mobility aids, such as wheelchairs; and (c) the status of cycles as a mobility aid in relation to regulations under Parts 3 and 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [HL2758]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There are several types of cycles on the market designed for use by disabled people. However, we have made no assessment of the extent to which they, or other forms of cycles, are used as mobility aids and information to inform such an assessment is not held centrally. The extent to which cycles benefit the mobility of disabled people when compared with other forms of mobility aids has therefore not been determined.
Part 3 of the Act includes provisions which place duties on service providers not to discriminate against disabled people and to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people in the way that they provide their services. Since 5 December 2005, the duties in Part 3 have started to be extended in stages to more areas, including private clubs, public bodies in their carrying out of public functions, and letting of premises. An adjustment for a disabled person who required a cycle as a mobility aid would need to be considered by those with duties under the Act when deciding what may be a reasonable adjustment to make. Factors such as the cost and practicability of making an adjustment, and the resources available to the service provider, private club or landlord may be taken into account in deciding what is reasonable in any individual situation.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Available information held centrally in England and Wales and Scotland on the number of fixed penalty notices issued does not distinguish the offence of failure to identify the driver of a motor vehicle, contrary to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, from other types of offence. The information requested is not presently collated in Northern Ireland.
How many residential places for drug and alcohol treatment and maintenance will be available nationally and by region, for men and women respectively, for persons serving the non-custodial part of a custody plus sentence, when this provision comes into force. [HL1984]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): There are presently 122 residential treatment centres for adult drug and alcohol misusers in England and Wales with a total of 2,595 beds. A breakdown by region and gender is shown in the table below.
|Region||Number of centres||Total number of beds||Number of male only beds||Number of female only beds|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||8||176||24||12|
|East of England||6||148||6||25|
Why European Union foreign ministers vetoed publication of an agreed report on the future of east Jerusalem; and whether this veto will be lifted before the end of the British presidency of the European Union. [HL2643]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary said after the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 12 December, we discussed the EU analysis on east Jerusalem submitted to Ministers by heads of mission in the region as well as by various committees here in Brussels. We decided, given the changed circumstances in Israel and the occupied territories, that this would not be endorsed or published and instead that we would continue to make strong representations to the government of Israel about the matter in the normal way.
The Government's policies on gifted and talented education support learners with one or more abilities developed to a level significantly ahead of their year group in their school, as well as those with the potential to develop abilities to such a level. In this context, "gifted and talented" has been used to denote abilities in one or more curriculum subjects, in creative arts and in sports.
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