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15 Jun 2010 : Column WA97

Written Answers

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Asylum Seekers

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Violence against women and girls remains prevalent. This is unacceptable and there should be a cross-departmental approach to addressing it. My honourable friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup will discuss with colleagues across government how we take forward our approach in this area.

The Department of Health's consultation review of access to the NHS by foreign nationals runs from 26 February 2010 to 30 June 2010. Ministers will decide how to respond to issues raised by respondents after the consultation has closed.

Care Services: Commission on Long-term Care

Questions

Asked by Lord Grocott

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Details of the terms of reference and membership of the commission on funding long-term care will be published shortly.

Child Poverty Commission

Question

Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Section 14 of the coalition document confirms the Government's commitment to ending child poverty in the UK.

The Child Poverty Act establishes a Child Poverty Commission to provide advice to the Government on the development of its child poverty strategy. The Act also requires a child poverty strategy to be published by March 2011. The commission must therefore be

15 Jun 2010 : Column WA98

established in time to feed into the child poverty strategy. We shall make an announcement about the commission in due course.

Crime: Prosecutions

Question

Asked by Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): This information is not collected by the Home Office.

The programme set out by the coalition explains our approach to policing with greater freedom for police forces from ministerial control; and police forces which are better able to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that blight people's lives, and are more accountable to the public they serve. Our reforms include:

directly elected individuals to make the police more accountable;reducing bureaucracy that hinders the police, and introducing better technology;publishing crime maps showing the public what is happening on their streets; andregular beat meetings allowing residents to hold the police to account.

We have already set out our intention to return charging decisions for some offences to the police.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Budgets

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The table below sets out details of the department's under- and overspends against its DEL budget in financial years 2003-04 to 2008-09. The figures represent the sum of resource and capital.

Underspend/(Overspend)£m% Variance from Budget

2003-041

300

9.5%

2004-05

163

4.7%

2005-062

(37)

(1.0%)

2006-07

93

2.3%

2007-08

65

1.7%

2008-09

71

2.2%

1 Approximately half of the £300 million underspend in 2003-04 was retained deliberately to be carried forward to cover known pressures in 2004-05; and the majority of the remainder reflected savings in non-cash costs, and slippage in and deferral of some programmes.



15 Jun 2010 : Column WA99

2 The overspend in 2005-06 was on non-cash and related to provisions for foot and mouth disease burial sites and common agricultural policy disallowance.

Egypt

Questions

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In May, Egypt extended a limited version of its state of emergency, first imposed in 1981, for a further two years. Both our embassy in Cairo and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have raised this with the Egyptian Government asking for an explanation for this action.

We continue to call on the Egyptian Government to honour their commitment to end the persisting state of emergency and urge Egypt to ensure that any new counterterrorism legislation takes full account of international human rights law and its obligations under international human rights treaties. On 11 June at the UN's Universal Periodic Review of Egypt, we called on Egypt to end the state of emergency, which allows for unwarranted derogation of some of Egypt's human rights obligations, such as the use of administrative detention.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: Our embassy in Cairo has raised the use of torture with the Egyptian Government. We welcome Egypt's efforts to follow up cases of torture and encourage them to pursue these cases rigorously through the judicial system.

On 11 June at the UN's Universal Periodic Review of Egypt, we called on Egypt to accept outstanding recommendations on ratifying the optional protocol to the convention against torture and on extending an invitation to the special rapporteur on torture in 2010. We also called on Egypt to end the persisting state of emergency and to use new anti-terrorism legislation to address current and persistent human rights violations, including the use of administrative detention, and torture.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it does not hold this information and to obtain it would be at a disproportionate cost. The process of how the HFEA inspects and reports on centres is provided at the following link: www.hfea. gov.uk/159.html.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it holds information on the granting of research licences as set out under the headings listed in paragraph 3A(2) of Schedule 2 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, but this does not include the number of embryos used for the specific purpose of deriving embryonic stem cells.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: Any United Kingdom centre that deposits embryonic stem cell lines will have a research licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). It is a condition of an HFEA research licence that if a stem cell is derived, then a sample of the line has to be deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank.

The following table shows the stem cell lines currently held by the UK Stem Cell Bank.

CentreNumber and type of stem cell lines deposited

Edinburgh University

4 lines human embryonic stem cells (hESC)

King's College London:

6 lines hESC

Newcastle University (Centre for Life)

9 lines hESC

Nottingham University

2 lines hESC

Manchester University

2 lines hESC

Sheffield University (and Axordia)

8 lines hESC

Roslin Cells

6 lines hESC

Roslin Institute

6 lines hESC

Cambridge University

1 line (neuroprogenitor)



15 Jun 2010 : Column WA101

Food: Labelling

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are currently no plans but discussions are taking place in the European Union on the introduction of new food labelling rules, which include those on country of origin labelling.

The Government are keen to introduce honesty in food labelling so that consumers can be confident about where their food comes from.

Football Association

Question

Asked by Lord Fearn

Lord Shutt of Greetland: Ministers and officials are working closely with the FA to demonstrate to FIFA the Government's full commitment to the bid. Ministers will be attending the World Cup in South Africa and will provide direct support in making presentations to FIFA.

In addition, as the Prime Minister made clear in his recent phone conversation with Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, the Government are also fully committed to delivering on the guarantees required by FIFA to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Government: Ministerial Duties

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Defra is the champion of sustainable development across government and internationally. The goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life, without compromising the quality of life of future generations.



15 Jun 2010 : Column WA102

Health: Obesity

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department is assessing the impact and cost-effectiveness of a number of individual programmes contained in Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives.

As these programmes are still running, most of these evaluations have yet to report. However, there are reports on the early phase of Change4Life and cycling demonstration towns.

Change4Life One Year On is available at:

http://collections.europarchive.org/tna/20100509080731/http://dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_112529.

Reports on the impact of the cycling demonstration towns, including an economic evaluation of this initiative, are available at:


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