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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 28 January (WA 59), whether the options presented to the United Kingdom and other member nations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in the non-paper Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the IWC on 2 February were produced in consultation with civil society representatives to allow input, comment and review prior to their distribution. [HL1630]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): No, these suggestions were produced by the chairs of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the so-called Small Working Group (SWG) on their own initiative. Under the terms of the process agreed by the IWC for considering its future, the meetings and proceedings of the SWG and its subgroups are confidential, and not open to representatives of civil society. Civil society will, however, have an opportunity to comment and question the chairs' suggestions at the intersessional meeting of the IWC which will take place in Rome from 9 to 11 March.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any of the options presented for consideration to the United Kingdom and other member nations of the International Whaling Commission on 2 February would (a) legalise Japan's catches for up to five years in the Southern Ocean sanctuary; (b) legalise Japan's catches of coastal minke whales; and (c) legalise commercial hunting by Japan of minke whales, Bryde's whales, sei whales or sperm whales in the North Pacific Ocean. [HL1631]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Under the terms of Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, Japan's lethal research takes of minke whales in the Southern Ocean and of minke, Bryde's, sei and sperm whales in the North Pacific are, regrettably, quite legal. Any decision by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to set quotas for North Pacific whale species (whether for highly localised use by the people of coastal communities in Japan who have a tradition of whaling, or for wider commercial use) would require to be framed as amendments to the schedule to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, and could be brought into force only by a three-quarter majority vote of those present and voting at a recognised meeting of the IWC. The intersessional IWC meeting which will take place in Rome from 9 to 11 March has no power to make such decisions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the International Whaling Commission paper proposes a solution
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Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The right of any contracting Government to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to issue special permits and to conduct lethal research whaling is enshrined in Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). The chairs' suggestions do not include any proposal to amend Article VIII. The extent to which current so-called scientific whaling may or may not be curtailed as a result of pursuing any of the options advanced in the chairs' paper will depend on the willingness of those Governments currently pursuing such operations to scale them back voluntarily, in exchange for other possible concessions. There would be no legal recourse for the IWC if such voluntary action were ever discontinued.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the International Whaling Commission paper contains a proposal that would require Japan to cease importing whale products from other countries including Iceland or Norway or from any other nation that issues special permits for its nationals to catch great whales. [HL1633]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: No. Trade matters are within the competence of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and outside that of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Rome in March and the annual IWC meeting in Madeira in June the United Kingdom will oppose and vote against any options that defer resolution of urgent issues. [HL1634]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: At the intersessional meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Rome in March, the UK delegation will seek to explore whether any of the options suggested by the chairs in their paper could possibly be viable, viability being considered against the requirements that they are achievable and would guarantee in the long term a significant reduction in the number of whales hunted and killed. At the annual meeting in Madeira, the UK would not support the adoption of any measure which it considered prejudicial to the conservation of whales.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Rome in March and the annual IWC meeting in Madeira in June the United Kingdom will vote against options contained in the Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the International Whaling Commission paper that would legalise catches of whales either in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary or in the North Pacific Ocean to ensure such options are not agreed either by consensus or through an abstention by the United Kingdom. [HL1635]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Save through an amendment to Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (which would probably require the convening of a formal diplomatic conference to adopt it and subsequent ratification by all parties to bring it into effect), the International Whaling Commission has no power to alter the legal status of whaling under special permit. The UK could agree to the legalisation of other forms of whaling only if it was convinced that by doing so it would bring about a significant improvement of whale conservation in the long term.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will urge other European Union nations that are members of the International Whaling Commission to oppose and vote against any of the options that would legalise whale catchers in the Southern Ocean sanctuary or the North Pacific Ocean that were included in the non-paper Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the IWC presented to the United Kingdom and other member nations of the Commission on 2 February. [HL1660]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The options included in the chairs' suggestions on the future of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) are not sufficiently clear to enable a definitive evaluation of them to be made. At the intersessional meeting of the IWC, the UK will seek to probe their meaning and determine whether there is any likelihood that they could subsequently be framed as amendments to the schedule to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling which could command support. In so far as options are worked up into amendments (which will not be up for consideration until the annual meeting of the IWC in June), the UK will certainly urge those EU member states which are also members of the IWC to oppose and vote against any measures, the adoption of which would not guarantee a significant improvement in the conservation status of whales in the long term.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Standards of cleanliness in the National Health Service are measured against The National Specifications for Cleanliness in the NHS: AFramework for Setting and Measuring Performance Outcomes, first published in 2001 (a copy of which has already been placed in the Library) and the Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) annual inspection programme introduced in 2000. This latter programme includes an assessment of ward kitchens. The Healthcare Commission monitors cleanliness by means of its national in-patient surveys and annual
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No specific assessment has been made of the relative standards of cleanliness as detailed in the question. Production kitchens will be the subject of separate requirements under local environmental provisions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with industry representatives on the revision of Health Technical Memorandum 0104 The Management of Infected Linen in the Healthcare Sector. [HL1639]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The document Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-04 The Management of Used and Infected Linen in the Healthcare Sector does not currently exist and therefore there is no revision taking place. The current guidance associated with this area is HSG (95) 18Hospital Laundry Arrangements for Used and Infected Linen.
The department is currently producing HTM 01-04: Decontamination of Laundry and Infected Linen (working title) as part of the suite of HTM documents that provide guidance on decontamination in the healthcare sector. HTM 01-04 is intended to provide a replacement for HSG (95) 18Hospital Laundry Arrangements for Used and Infected Linen and provide a more complete guidance package on uniform and laundry decontamination to assist with the reduction of risks associated with healthcare-associated infections.
HTM 01-04 is being produced with the assistance of a wide cross-section of stakeholders who have been engaged in a formal steering group with departmental officials and the technical authors for the document.
The steering group is actively involved in contributing evidence and in the review of the draft guidance material. The steering group membership includes a broad range of industry representatives including, among others, the Textile Services Association and Sunlight Services Group as representatives of industry.
The approach and structure used within this guidance has been changed following consultation with the steering group members. The changes are intended to ensure that the guidance is equally usable and useful
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Department practice requires that the draft guidance be subject to peer review before final publication can take place. The department intends to publish HTM 01-04, subject to a successful peer review, during the autumn of 2009.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): It is the responsibility of each National Health Service trust to develop and maintain its own policies in relation to the provision of changing facilities for staff. A trust's chief executive has the responsibility for ensuring that nurses have enough suitable clothing and equipment to carry out their work effectively and to make any other supporting arrangements that may be necessary.
In order to support and advise trusts in the review and maintenance of such local policies, the department's Working Group on Uniforms and Laundry put together an evidence base on the wearing and laundering of uniforms outlining the existing legal requirements and current research findings. This document, Uniforms and Workwear: Evidence Base for Developing Local Policy, was published in September 2007 and a copy has already been placed in the Library. Copies can also be obtained via the department's website at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH078433.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many petitions the Department for Transport received in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; what steps the department has taken to publicise them; and whether they will place the text of the petitions received and the number of signatures in the Library of the House. [HL1646]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will give the information contained in table 4 (appointments to the boards of public bodies) of Public Bodies 2008, published by the Cabinet Office, in relation to executive non-departmental public bodies only. [HL1214]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total number of female appointees to non-departmental public bodies, and their percentage of total appointees, for each of the past 10 years (a) including, and (b) excluding, Ministry of Justice non-departmental public bodies. [HL1215]
Lord Patel of Bradford: This information is not held centrally. The annual public bodies report provides information on the number of women serving on the boards of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), NHS bodies and national public corporations. This information is broken down by department. The Commissioner for Public Appointments's annual report provides information on the total number of women appointed and reappointed to the boards of executive NDPBs during the financial year. Copies of Public Bodies and of the commissioner's annual reports are available from the Libraries of the House. A copy of the commissioner's latest annual report is available from her website at www.publicappointments commissioner.org.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the constraints which have prevented them from giving replies to the Written Questions tabled by Lord
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The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): A response was sent to Lord Corbett of Castle Vale on 3 March 2009 (Official Report, col. WA141) by my right honourable friend Baroness Taylor of Bolton, and to Lord Hylton on 11 February 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 196) by my right honourable friend Lord Davies of Oldham.
To ask Her Majesty's Government in relation to the reinstatement of Todmorden Curve and following their statement in the Pennine Lancashire multi-area agreement (MAA) that DfT will work with Pennine Lancashire MAA, Northern and Network Rail to facilitate the introduction of a new service in the period 20092014 (CP4) for which funding would need to be sourced by local authorities, (a) what actions they have taken and will take to support and progress this proposal; (b) to which local authorities it refers, and (c) whether any of those local authorities are outside the Pennine Lancashire area which would be served by such a new service. [HL1820]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): Department for Transport officials have had a meeting with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Lancashire County Council, Burnley Borough Council and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) to explain the process for taking the project forward. A further meeting is to take place in mid-March, along with Network Rail, and officials will attend future meetings as necessary when requested by the promoters.
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