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10 Nov 2009 : Column WA148

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: The UK, USA, France, Germany and Australia maintain offices in the north of Cyprus. Turkey is the only country with a self-declared embassy in northern Cyprus.

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: The Government are aware of the EU Programme Support Office, managed by a private sector company; and the United Nations Development Programme offices in Northern Cyprus.

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: The Government have made no such assessment.

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: The north of Cyprus is relatively secular, but the largest religion is Islam. Most denominations are free to worship but restrictions remain on the use of some churches. The Government welcome all steps to ensure and expand freedom of worship.

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: Our high commissioner frequently visits the north of Cyprus and follows events there closely.

Official Visits

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): There are no plans for official visits by HRH the Duke of York around the coast of the UK by cruise liner.



10 Nov 2009 : Column WA149

Organophosphates

Question

Asked by Lord Tyler

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Official Group on Organophosphates last met on 26 June 2007.

The frequency of the face-to-face meetings is determined by new events which are discussed as agenda items. At the 2007 OGOP meeting it was agreed that the group should meet when the Committee on Toxicity (COT) of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment have completed their review of research on organophosphates and human health.

The agenda for OGOP meetings are not published.

The Official Group on Organophosphates remains in regular contact and all members have had the opportunity to review the three recently released research reports. These three reports were reviewed by the COT at its 22 September meeting. The views of the COT will be available when the minutes of the meeting are published.

Police: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Office has no record of any involvement in a decision or direction which overruled the PSNI's decision not to award a contract in the way described.

The department does not specifically comment on newspaper articles.

Pollution

Question

Asked by Lord Willoughby de Broke



10 Nov 2009 : Column WA150

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): Government Ministers and officials have had extensive discussions with other European Union member states and European Union institutions on the proposed industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) directive (recast) since its publication in December 2007. These paved the way to a satisfactory political agreement on the proposal at Environment Council in June 2009, and will continue as the proposal moves to its Second Reading in the European Parliament next year.

Regional Development Agencies

Question

Asked by Lord Bates

The Minister for Trade and Investment (Lord Davies of Abersoch): The following table indicates where approvals have been given for re-appointment from December 2009, the number of new appointments which were advertised in June across the regional development agencies (RDAs) taking up post on the 14 December and details of extensions given to date.



10 Nov 2009 : Column WA151

RDAApproved for re-appointment starting December 2009New Appointments to be taken up on 14 December 2009Extensions

Advantage West Midlands

Brendan Connor

4 positions

East of England

Peter McCarthy-Ward, William Pope, Lord Edward Iveagh

2 positions plus Chair vacancy advertised.

Richard Ellis, Chair, up to December 2010.

East Midlands

Tricia Pedlar, Haydn Biddle

none

ONE North East

Ruth Thompson, Paul Callaghan, Cllr Peter Jackson

Chair vacancy advertised.

Margaret Fay, Chair, up to December 2010.

North West

none

2

Joe Dwek extended to Dec 2010.

South East of England

Alexander Pratt, Mr Robert Goldfield, Pamela Charlwood

4

South West

John Savage

5

Yorkshire Forward

Cllr John Weighell, Professor Michael Arthur

2 plus Chair vacancy advertised.

Terry Hodgkinson, Chair, up to December 2010.

No guidance has been issued on making public appointments to non-departmental public bodies with a tenure of more than one year in the run-up to a general election.

Roads: Londonderry

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: No such undertaking has been given by Her Majesty's Government. The Northern Ireland Office's annual block grant to the Northern Ireland Executive is not ring-fenced.

Schools: Special Educational Needs

Question

Asked by Lord Sheikh

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): To support local authorities and schools to fulfil their duties towards children with special educational needs (SEN), the Government have increased investment with planned expenditure on SEN rising from £2.8 billion in 2000-01 to £5.1 billion in 2008-09.

We are improving school workforce skills, with the Inclusion Development Programme cascading in-service training for the school workforce. The first year of the programme covered dyslexia and speech, language and communication disorders, this year is focused on autistic spectrum disorders and next year the focus will be on behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Nationally accredited training for all those new to the role of special educational needs co-ordinator in schools started in September 2009.

We have published the Better Communication Action Plan, to improve services for children and young people with SLCN, supported by up to £12 million, and we are funding training for up to 4,000 specialist dyslexia teachers over the next two years.



10 Nov 2009 : Column WA152

The £31 million Achievement for All pilots started in 10 areas this September to demonstrate how to improve outcomes for children with SEN.

Schools: Unregistered Institutions

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): No firm decision has been made about the date on which the provisions of the Education and Skills Act 2008 requiring part-time providers of education falling within specified thresholds to register with this department, come into force.

Shipping: General Lighthouse Authorities

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): I have asked the General Lighthouse Authorities to provide the information requested and this will be placed in the Libraries of the House in due course.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: The General Lighthouse Authorities' Research and Radionavigation Directorate records show that spending on overseas travel and subsistence relating to the e-loran project was roundly £22,000 in 2008-09 and £11,000 so far in this financial year.

Asked by Lord Berkeley



10 Nov 2009 : Column WA153

Lord Adonis: The National Audit Office audits the accounts of the General Lighthouse Fund annually. The last audit of the General Lighthouse Fund covered the 2008-09 financial years.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Adonis: The income is recorded as below:

2005-06

£132,000

2006-07

£144,000

2007-08

£208,500

2008-09

£27,000

2009 to date

£255,500

Spain: Urbanisation

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government have no authority to get involved in any matters relating to Spanish domestic legislation, whether national, regional or local, as property laws are the competency of individual member states, and in Spain responsibility is devolved to the regional governments. Many of the concerns detailed in the Auken report are ones that we share. Although we have not raised this matter with the Prime Minister of Spain, we continue to raise it at other Ministerial and official levels, whenever appropriate. Most recently, my honourable friend Chris Bryant, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, raised property issues with the Spanish Minister of State for Territorial Policy during his visit to Madrid in September and will do so again when he visits this month.


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