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Further information is also available on national level data for children placed in care outside their local authorities only by foster placement, children’s homes and secure units, year ending 31 March 2007. Table A3 is accessible at

Information on the cost of out-of-authority placements is not collected centrally.

Children: Computerised Database

Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The department is fully committed to implementing the ContactPoint system. Before it is put into service, ContactPoint will go through extensive user acceptance testing by practitioners to ensure that the system meets their needs and is fit for purpose. It will also be subject to rigorous penetration testing by people who are experts in the IT security field and approved by the Communications and Electronics Security Group.

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families (Kevin Brennan) and I have today made the following Written Ministerial Statement about funding and implementation of ContactPoint:

I am announcing today levels of funding to local authorities to support the implementation of ContactPoint and providing an update on the implementation timetable.

To support local implementation until March 2009, £40 million will be made available, made up of the following elements:

£27 million to local authorities in England, from April 2008 to March 2009, to support implementation;£1 million from April 2008 to March 2009 to support national partners’ ContactPoint implementation projects;a further £12 million from January 2008, made available to lead organisations to support modifications to case management systems. This will enable the main existing systems to provide data to ContactPoint and/or for authorised users to be able to have one-way access to ContactPoint via those systems.

We have also provided indicative funding allocations to local authorities for future years: £27 million in 2009-10 and £15 million in 2010-11. My officials will write to local authorities and national partners today to inform local authorities and other partners about this funding.

ContactPoint is a key element of the Every Child Matters programme to transform children's services by supporting more effective prevention and early intervention. Its goal is to improve outcomes and the experience of public services for all children, young people and families. ContactPoint will provide a tool to support better communication among practitioners across education, health, social care and youth offending. It will provide a quick way for those practitioners to find out who else is working with the same child or young person.

ContactPoint will be a simple basic online tool containing:

minimal identifying information for each child, and name, address, date of birth, gender, and contact details for parents or carers; each child will also have a unique identifying number;contact details for the child's educational setting and GP practice and for other practitioners or services working with them; and

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an indication as to whether a service or practitioner holds an assessment under the common assessment framework or whether they are a lead professional for that child.

No case information will be held on ContactPoint.

ContactPoint is being developed with extensive input from a wide range of stakeholders. These include:

delivery partners—local authorities and national partners (for example, voluntary and community sector organisations);practitioners and managers from across children's services, and bodies that represent them; andchildren, young people and parents and carers.

Over the last few months, we have been considering the substantial stakeholder feedback that we have received and we have looked at the implications that the resulting proposed changes could have on the system. It is clear from the considerable work that we have done so far that we will need more time than we originally planned to address the changes to ContactPoint that potential system users suggested.

The change to the timetable will mean that deployment of ContactPoint to the “early adopters” local authorities and national partners will be in September or October 2008. It will be deployed to all other local authorities and national partners in 2009, between January and May, depending on final deployment slots. The additional time available presents a number of opportunities to do more work in the period prior to ContactPoint deployment, which will help to realise some benefits earlier. The fundamental design of ContactPoint will not change; the alterations will make sure that the system works even more effectively for users and improves the ability of local authority ContactPoint teams to manage user access.

The news on Tuesday 20 November of the loss of large volumes of child benefit data from HMRC has raised questions about the safety of large-scale personal data in other government systems, including ContactPoint. ContactPoint will not contain any financial information (such as bank details) or case information (such as case notes, assessments, medical records, exam results or subjective observations).

On Tuesday 20 November, the department conducted an assessment of how personal data are stored and protected in the department. As a result of that assessment, I am confident that we have very robust procedures in place. On Wednesday 21 November, the Prime Minister confirmed this approach when he asked all departments to check their procedures for the storage and use of data. In light of the security breach at HMRC, we are continuing to check our procedures to ensure that standards are as high as they can be. To this end, on 20 November, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families decided to commission an independent assessment of its security procedures. This will be undertaken by Deloitte. Delaying the implementation of ContactPoint will enable the independent assessment of security procedures to take place as well as address the changes to ContactPoint that potential system users have told us that they need.

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Delivery partners will receive further information early in the new year. In the mean time, progress will be reported to local project managers regularly through their ContactPoint implementation co-ordinators. They will work with individual authorities and national partners to agree new deployment slots as soon as it is possible to do so.

Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The most significant factor contributing to increases in UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2005 and 2006 was greater electricity generation from coal burning. The price of gas has been at a level that has meant that it is more profitable to generate electricity through the increased use of coal.

The introduction of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) set a price on CO2 emissions. Power stations are covered by the scheme and must account for their emissions by surrendering allowances.

In phase 1 of the EU ETS, the price of allowances fell significantly due to oversupply in the market. It is still more profitable for electricity generation to come from increased use of coal even when factoring in additional carbon costs of burning coal compared to gas.

In phase 2 of the EU ETS, the European Commission's decision to request significant reductions on several member states’ caps will help to ensure greater scarcity of allowances in the market. This should deliver a carbon price that incentivises cost-effective emission reductions and investment in clean technology.

Crime: Domestic Abuse

The Earl of Dundee asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): There is a range of support for victims of domestic violence. Some victims will be accommodated in refuges, but sanctuary schemes and mainstream local authority accommodation may be an option for others, while some victims will pursue independent solutions with help and advice from support schemes as necessary.

Housing associations have around 3,200 units of accommodation for women at risk of domestic violence. In the period 2006-08, the HC allocated

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£17 million for 153 units in 17 schemes or refuges, which will accommodate some 400 persons. It is currently assessing bids for 2008-11.

The department provided revenue support for victims of domestic violence through the Supporting People programme of £61.6 million in 2006-07, up from £59.3 million in 2005-06. The Government also fund the national domestic violence helpline to give support and advice.

Many victims of domestic violence prefer to stay in their own homes, if these can be made safe. We have published guidance on sanctuary schemes for housing providers, which set out the security measures that can enable victims and their children to remain in the family home.

Crime: Electronic Tagging

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Electronic monitoring (EM) is currently available for those aged 10 to 17 who have been sentenced to curfew orders, bailed with a curfew requirement from the courts, or subject to curfew on release from custody under a detention and training order.

According to data provided by the EM contractors Group 4 Securicor and Serco, the case load for this age group at 31 October 2007 was 3,447.

The total number of these cases monitored in each of the last five financial years, according to data returns from the EM contractors, is set out in the table below:

Financial yearTotal number of people aged 10 to 17 subject to electronic monitoring













Disabled People: Electric Powered Vehicles

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Davies of Oldham: Electric mobility scooters have been classified in the same tariff heading for customs import duty purposes since at least 2002 when the World Customs Organisation published its classification opinion on the subject. The World Customs Organisation is the international authority responsible for tariff classification. The European Union has set an import duty of 10 per cent for these vehicles.

Representations have been received from both the industry and disabled users of mobility scooters. They cover a range of issues:

the tariff classification of the vehicles;the potential impact of demands for unpaid customs duty on companies within the industry and the increased cost to disabled people;the effect on value added tax (VAT) zero rating; and the usage of mobility scooters for travelling on pavements etc.

VAT and customs are separate regimes. Classification for duty purposes under the customs regime has no direct bearing on VAT liability, which is determined by VAT law.

For VAT purposes, mobility scooters may qualify for the zero rating that applies when disabled people purchase certain “carriages” or other equipment specifically designed to meet their needs. The Government have no plans to change the scope of this VAT relief.

Classification for import duty purposes has no direct bearing on the usage of mobility scooters for travelling on pavements, usage on public roads etc.

Officials from HM Revenue and Customs are working with the industry on the options available to pursue a change to the classification.


Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The e-Borders solution contract was awarded to the Trusted Borders consortium, led by Raytheon Systems Ltd, on 14 November 2007. The contract has provisions for the capture of all travel document information (TDI) from carriers during their check-in process as part of the core contractual requirements.

We also have the option of additional service provisions to add to the core contract to enable capture of other passenger information (OPI), which are reservations data transmitted from carriers.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord West of Spithead: Project Semaphore was commissioned to run for 39 months to provide an operational prototype to trial e-Borders concepts and technology in order to inform and derisk the e-Borders solution.

The project currently receives and processes 30 million passenger movements each year, covering 134 non-UK arrival and departure points, and has exceeded its 30 million target. It will conclude on 31 March 2008.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The e-Borders programme will establish the capability to automatically deny authority to carry (ATC) at the point of check-in to certain categories of individuals seeking to travel to the UK. Primary legislation is already in existence for the authority to carry scheme.

E-Borders will require carriers to submit passenger details in advance of travel to the UK. The travel document data will be checked against a specific ATC categories list, which will be specified in secondary legislation. If a person is on this list, authority to carry can be refused to the carrier.

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The e-Borders service provider has been tasked with delivering components of the authority to carry scheme over a phased period from October 2008.

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