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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 18 May (WA 253), (a) what would be the likely cost of research into the proportion of United Kingdom legislation originating in the European Union; and (b) what assessment they have made of the figure of 75 per cent as the proportion quoted by some political parties and organisations and by the Independent on 19 May (page 27). [HL3903]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government have not assessed the likely cost of research into this issue. The Government believe that any expenditure would be disproportionate given the limited purpose such figures would serve.
The Government do not believe that the figure of 75 per cent is accurate. A House of Commons Library analysis of the effects of EU legislation on British law between 1998 and 2005 gave a figure of just 9.1 per cent.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn, on 23 March (Official Report, House of Commons, 12WS), how many of the staff of the component parts of the new Food and Environment Research Agency have not transferred and what are their grades. [HL3887]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The attached table summarises the Defra staff from the Plant Health Division/ Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate (PHD/PHSI), Plant Variety Rights Office and Seeds Division (PVS) and the Government Decontamination Service (GDS), who did not transfer to FERA on 1 April 2009.
|SCS||Grade 7||Executive Officer||Administration Officer||Total No of staff who did not transfer to Fera|
Lord Tunnicliffe: Since January 2008 the Department for International Development (DfID) has not purchased bottled mineral water as a matter of course, but instead uses bottled filtered mains water that is prepared on site.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an official announcement has been made on any scheme for the location of Government departments on a new site adjacent to Manchester Piccadilly station on the site of the Mayfield station. [HL3423]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): On 1 May my right honourable friend the Minister for the North West announced a feasibility study into plans for a civil service campus on public land near Piccadilly Station in Manchester.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 20 April (WA 348), why they do not maintain a list of the names and types of cases where the United Kingdom has requested a referral to the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber; and what would be the cost of maintaining such details. [HL3679]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): It is not the general practice of the Government routinely to keep statistical information in relation to cases before the European Court of Human Rights, including cases before the
4 Jun 2009 : Column WA109
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the interdepartmental committee on organophosphates, also known as the Carden Committee, last met; what subjects were discussed; whether their deliberations were minuted and published; and which members attended. [HL3873]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Official Group on Organophosphates (sometimes referred to as the Carden Committee) last met on 26 June 2007. The meeting discussed the government-sponsored research programme on organophosphates and agreed that all of the research should be referred to the Committee on Toxicity (COT) of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment. The John Harvey report, aircraft cabin-air contamination, the Australian review of diazinon were also discussed.
The Chief Veterinary Officer and other officials from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Scottish Government Rural Directorate, the Department of Health, the Health and Safety Executive, the Food Standards Agency, the Ministry of Defence and the Office for Science and Innovation attended the meeting.
Apologies were received from the Welsh Assembly Government, Department for Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland, the Pesticide Safety Directorate, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Scottish Government Health Directorate, the Health Protection Agency and the Cabinet Office.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their forecast of the quantity of personal imports of products of animal origin that will follow the introduction of the new paragraph (7) in regulation 4 of the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations 2006 by the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/875). [HL3885]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The recent amendment to the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations 2006 simply updates existing paragraphs to reflect the revised
4 Jun 2009 : Column WA110
There is no official forecast of the quantity of personal imports of products of animal origin as a consequence of the revised European Union (EU) personal imports rules from 1 May. There is no change to the ban on personal imports of meat and dairy products (the products which constitute the main animal health risk) from most countries outside the EU.
However, increases in the permitted amounts of other products of animal origin posing little or no risk to animal health (such as fish/fishery products and honey) will more likely result in an increase in the quantity of these products being brought into the United Kingdom. This will be particularly evident in respect of the increase in the amount permitted for fish and fishery products from 1 kg under the previous rules to a 20kg combined total. Personal imports of non-meat and dairy products from certain countries are also now permitted (although restricted) when they were not permitted under the previous rules.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that rats have developed an immunity to standard poisons; and what plans they have to counter any increase in the rat population. [HL3802]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government do not hold data on the size of the UK rat population. However, the latest report on rodent presence in domestic properties as revealed by the English House Condition Survey data for 2002-03 and 2003-04 is available on Defra's website. Key findings are that the occurrences of rats inside and outside properties in these years are not significantly different from those observed in 2001.
The former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food funded an assessment of resistance to rodenticides in 1998. This was published in: Kerins, G.M.; Dennis, N.; Atterby, H.; Gill, J.E. & MacNicoll A.D. (2001) Distribution of resistance to anticoagulant rodenticides in the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus Berk.) in England 1995-98. In: Advances in Vertebrate Pest Management Volume II (Eds. H-J Pelz, D.P Cowan & C.J. Feare) pages 149-159, Filander Verlag, Furth.
The Health and Safety Executive is aware from literature that rats may be becoming increasingly resistant to anticoagulant rodenticides. Although it is aware of the research mentioned above, it is not aware of any new studies and has not itself commissioned any recent work of this nature. The department is currently considering whether it is possible to allow more effective rodenticide to be deployed.
Under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, local authorities have a duty to take such steps as may be necessary to secure, so far as is practicable, that their districts are kept free from rats and mice.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether only trained teachers are used to provide intensive one-to-one literacy support in primary schools; and what are the cost implications of the sole use of trained teachers. [HL3894]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): There are currently three funded programmes with an element of one-to-one literacy support in primary schools. The Every Child a Writer programme and the one-to-one tuition programme (which covers English and mathematics) are delivered solely by qualified tutors. A qualified tutor is:someone with qualified teacher status (QTS);an overseas qualified teacher eligible to teach in schools in England;a newly qualified teacher in the summer before he or she attains QTS; andsomeone with teaching and subject-specific qualifications from the higher or further education sectors.
In the third programme, Every Child a Reader, the intensive support reading recovery element is delivered only by a trained teacher. The Fisher Family Trust Wave 3 materials are delivered one-to-one by a teaching assistant.
The total cost of the one-to-one tuition programme and the tuition element of the Every Child a Writer programme is £468 million in this Comprehensive Spending Review period. This figure includes the cost of paying qualified tutors to deliver the tuition. During the school day, tutors are paid according to the pay scale set out in the school teachers' pay and conditions document. Outside the school day, tutors are paid a suggested set rate, which was calculated based on teacher pay scales, research into the private tuition market and experience from the Making Good Progress pilot.
In addition primary schools are able to access help from volunteers to support children's reading, both locally organised programmes and through national
4 Jun 2009 : Column WA112
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received communications from individuals or companies expressing interest in financing the proposed airport in St Helena; and, if so, whether any further meetings are planned. [HL3548]
Lord Tunnicliffe: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Mike Foster, met representatives of one company following receipt of outline proposals that included ideas about financing. A further meeting with officials has been held at the company's request, and further meetings may follow.
Lord Tunnicliffe: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Mike Foster, met representatives of Impregilo S.p.A. on 10 February 2009. He agreed to keep them updated in respect of any decision on the airport. This is now the subject of a public consultation.
The Minister of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Lord Drayson): The Government still intend to make sales from the student loan book, but it is clear that this should only be done at a time when we can get a good return for the taxpayer. For the time being, the market conditions do not allow this. However we will actively look to identify opportunities for a sale that represents value for money as market conditions improve.
Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government have been in regular contact with the Mexican authorities about the outbreak and two specialists from the UK Health Protection Agency have been temporarily seconded to our embassy in Mexico City to provide a direct link between health professionals in both countries. The Mexican Government have not made a direct request for bilateral assistance from the United Kingdom.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the prosecutions in Turkey of Ahmet Turk, Emin Ayna, Fatma Kurtulan, Sebahettin Demirtas, Sebahat Tuncel and Aysel Tugluk, some of whom are elected parliamentarians, allegedly accused on grounds arising from their speeches, affect Turkey's application for European Union membership; if not, whether they will raise the matter with Turkey; and whether the European Union will take any action. [HL3935]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The charges against the Democratic Society Party (DTP) MPs relate to statements which were allegedly part of speeches the MPs made prior to their election to parliament. However, the DTP believe that as MPs they still benefit from parliamentary immunity for the alleged offences. Debate between parliament and the courts about how the immunity provisions in the constitution should be interpreted is ongoing and it is therefore unclear at present whether the trial will go ahead. No further legal developments are expected before the end of September 2009 but we will continue to follow this issue closely.
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