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Prisoners: Employment

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): It is disappointing that the Howard League for Penal Reform has taken the decision to close the small design studio workshop at HM Prison Coldingley. The Prison Service has been supportive of this project from the outset. The service has been, and continues to be, willing at all times to give further consideration to any proposals to expand the same business model into other establishments.

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Prisoners who are employed in partnership with private industry or any other third party to carry out work while in prison are not directly employed by

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the organisations involved. This enables the governor to rightly retain primacy on prison control and prisoner management issues. Prisoners who are released on temporary licence to work outside the prison are also subject to prison rules. The policy remains appropriate.

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: Significant numbers of prisoners are already meaningfully employed on a daily basis in a wide range of activities. This includes essential work producing a variety of goods for internal consumption and providing in-house services such as catering, cleaning and laundries. This reduces the cost of imprisonment and has an element of restitution while producing real work opportunities. Employment in prison also acts as an aid to good order and control and aids resettlement through skills and qualifications.

Increasingly, prisoners are employed to carry out work in partnership with other organisations and there are a number of employer partnerships with private industry that provide not only real employment and training but also the potential for employment on release. The Government are keen to grow these initiatives so that increasing number of prisoners and society can benefit.

Prison Service Order 4460 on prisoners' pay, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library, sets out minimum rates of pay for prisoners who participate in purposeful activity. The order requires governors and directors of contracted prisons to devise local pay schemes that reflect the regime priorities of their establishment.

HM Revenue and Customs takes the view that because prisoners working inside prisons, whatever the category of prison, are working under prison rules, they cannot be treated as employees for tax and NIC purposes.

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bach: In relation to a meeting with representatives of the Howard League for Penal Reform, my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Justice (David Hanson) visited the Barbed design studio at HMP Coldingley and met Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, to discuss its social enterprise venture in July 2007. He is willing to meet the Howard League again to discuss Professor Green's evaluation report.



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Prisoners: Transfers

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The transfer was for operational reasons.

Public Funds

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Information for the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the European Parliament for 1997-98 to 2001-02 was provided in the following Written Answers by Lord McIntosh of Haringey:

22 July 1999 (WA 129-130);5 July 2000 (WA 133);12 July 2001 (WA 87); and21 June 2002 (WA 109).

The information for 2002-03 onwards in respect of the House of Commons and the House of Lords is detailed below.

Total Cost
£ millions2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-08

House of Commons (1) (4) (5) (6) (7)

393.6

401.9

433.2

490.4

378.1

363.9

House of Lords (1) (7)

79.1

85.5

145.3

113.1

109.1

153.5

Per Capita Cost
£ thousands2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-08

House of Commons (2) (7)

609

622

433

759

543

522

House of Lords (3) (7)

110

118

201

157

151

213

The devolved legislatures in Scotland and Wales are funded from within the block budgets for Scotland and Wales. The devolved Administrations publish their own budgets (8) (9), which identify the costs of their legislatures.

Figures for the European Parliament are available from its website. (10)

Questions for Written Answer: Unanswered Questions

Lord Howell of Guildford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Answers to a number of Written Questions tabled by noble Lords since the summer have been significantly delayed, due to an administrative error. I wrote to the noble Lords recently to apologise for the delay to these Answers, which we take very seriously. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has upgraded its central system for answering Questions, with effect from the start of the new Session,

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to ensure that Questions are answered in a timely manner, and management information is more readily available.

Racism

Lord Ouseley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): We do not believe that political parties in the United Kingdom are institutionally racist.

Nevertheless, we recognise that the current make-up of our legislature is not reflective of the diverse make-up of the United Kingdom as a whole, especially with regard to the number of woman MPs and black, Asian and minority ethnic MPs.

On 12 November, following a debate led by my right honourable friend the Minister for Women and Equality (Harriet Harman), the House agreed to establish a Speaker's Conference which will consider the under-representation of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in the House of Commons. We look forward to the findings of the conference.

Recycling

Baroness Scott of Needham Market asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): On 11 November Defra, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the Environment Agency issued a joint statement about the approach being taken to address the fall in prices for some recyclable materials. This made clear that our priorities are:

to further promote waste minimisation;to maintain public confidence that recycling is worthwhile to ensure continuity of collection systems for recyclables;to focus on producing high quality marketable recyclables;to ensure any storage of recyclables does not undermine the environment or public health or the recyclability of those materials;where the traditional markets for recyclables have contracted, to encourage recovery and disposal options towards the top of the waste hierarchy, i.e. landfill, as a last resort; andto avoid actions which exacerbate the situation whilst markets stabilise.

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The Environment Agency, with government support, has issued guidance on the circumstances in which it will allow extra storage of recyclable materials in the short term. WRAP will continue to monitor markets and prices and make information regularly available. The Government will keep the situation under review to assess what further action may be necessary.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: There are already incentives and support for recycling by companies through the combination of the advisory services provided especially by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), Envirowise and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), as well as through the landfill tax, in discouraging landfill. The Government do not believe that additional financial incentives to business are needed.

We provide capital grant and other funding for the demonstration and pre-commercial deployment of low carbon and renewable energy technologies under the Environmental Transformation Fund, which has a budget of £400 million over the 2008-11 CSR period. This includes support for the Carbon Trust innovation portfolio. The Government also provide support for renewables through market drivers such as the renewables obligation, which is expected to be worth around £1 billion a year by 2010.

In addition, through the research councils, the Energy Technologies Institute and the Technology Strategy Board, we provide support for energy research and development and for business innovation. The regional development agencies, devolved Administrations and the European Union also offer a range of support for research into new energy technologies.

Regional Development Agencies: One NorthEast

Lord Bates asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): The budgets for One NorthEast are as follows:

Indicative Allocations £ millionActual Allocations £ million
2009-102010-112007-082008-09

243

208

277

245


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