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Earl Attlee: BAA is a member of the South East Airports Taskforce, chaired by the Minister of State, which is looking at improving efficiency and reducing delays at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The taskforce is due to report in July.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the job titles of the constabulary, council or safety partnership employees authorised to enter names and addresses for the South Wales Constabulary's anti-social behaviour database.[HL8537]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): A number of police officers and local authority staff in anti-social behaviour co-ordination roles are authorised to enter data in the database. However, a full list of the relevant job titles, which vary between Community Safety Partnerships, could only be compiled at disproportionate cost.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Charity Commission for England and Wales is the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, established under the Charities Act 2006. Similar charity regulators exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where charity law and regulation is devolved.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales does not register or regulate charitable organisations that are established outside of England and Wales, but can act to protect charitable funds raised in England and Wales, even where such funds are raised by overseas organisations.
There are also certain groups of exempt charities. These charities are not registered with the Charity Commission and are currently not subject to its regulatory jurisdiction. They were granted the exemption because they were considered to be adequately supervised by
4 May 2011 : Column WA156
Certain other groups of charities are not required to register with the Charity Commission, but are subject to its regulatory jurisdiction. These include the large number of charities with an annual income of less than £5,000.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Earl Attlee on 12 January (Official Report, cols. 1397-8), whether they are now able to announce a date for publication of the guidance on the dimensions and weight of mobility scooters suitable for use on public transport.[HL8549]
Earl Attlee: We are currently undertaking discussions with transport operators, manufacturers and user groups, and will publish guidance on scooters on public transport as soon as possible. Information on existing arrangements, in the mean time, is available through individual operators.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage reduction on current carbon emissions they expect each sector listed in the Department of Energy and Climate Change Carbon Plan to achieve as their contribution to the overall Government carbon reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050.[HL8822]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) produces regular updated projections of energy demand, supply and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We would like kindly to refer you to the latest published DECC emissions projections which were produced in June 2010-link attached: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/projections/projections.aspx.
These projections set out what Government expect emissions to be from each economic sector and the associated emissions savings from all policies prior to the publication of the coalition programme. An updated version of the projections will be published in the autumn and help inform the Government's updated Carbon Plan.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they plan to take to avoid being fined £300 million by the European Commission later this year for failing to achieve the limits of particulate emission PM10 in London.[HL8662]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Government take air quality issues very seriously, and are working closely with the mayor and Greater London Authority to achieve full compliance with the particulate matter (PM10) limits in London as soon as possible.
The limit values are expected to be achieved in London by June 2011, consistent with the UK's time extension notification that was submitted to the European Commission in 2010. The Government announced on 4 April 2011 an additional £5 million funding from the Department for Transport to help improve air quality in the capital through support for a range of further localised measures to reduce the risk of PM10 exceedences, including trials of dust suppressant technology and measures to reduce vehicle idling.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of recent reports from the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and the National Nuclear Laboratory on the cost and safety benefits of the thorium fuel cycle when compared to uranium nuclear power generation, what steps they are taking to encourage research and development into liquid fluoride thorium reactors, and particularly into overcoming technological and practical problems.[HL8653]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The department is aware of the potential of thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor designs and is in the process of assessing claims regarding its suitability as an alternative to uranium-based reactors in the longer term.
The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington, with input from a number of sources, recently co-ordinated an assessment of the prospects for research into advanced thorium reactors. Additionally, the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) undertook a recent independent assessment, in which it assessed a number of claims made by proponents of thorium fuel. The report can be found at: www.nnl.co.uk/positionpapers.
The conclusion was that, while the science is reasonably sound, developing reactors based on a thorium fuel cycle would carry major commercial risks. The resources required to develop these technologies to the point at which they might be deployed successfully at a commercial scale are also very significant.
To date, both in the UK and elsewhere in the world, this has prevented private industry and government investing in the development of the technology. No thorium reactor design has been implemented beyond relatively small, experimental systems, while many either exist only on paper or have only had specific subsystems demonstrated. As an indicator of the challenge of taking this technology further, the Chinese Academy of Sciences estimates a development period of at least 20 years will be required before a demonstration thorium molten salt breeder reactor might be available.
While thorium does not appear to have a part to play in the UK's near-to-mid-term energy market, we do maintain an interest in its development. The Secretary of State has asked the NNL to look further into the wider benefits of next generation reactor designs and to compare the use of thorium and uranium fuels in them. We are expecting the findings to be available by the end of the summer.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): This Government are devolving power from national and regional bodies to local authorities and communities. All government departments routinely take into account in their work the needs of different communities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of its commissioning reforms on the management of services for specialist ophthalmic conditions including diabetic macular oedema.[HL8629]
Earl Howe: The Health and Social Care Bill currently before the House of Commons sets out our proposals to devolve power and responsibility for commissioning services to commissioning consortia, supported by the creation of an NHS Commissioning Board. We are, however, taking advantage of a natural break in the passage of the Bill to pause, listen, reflect and improve the legislation.
The listening exercise period will run until the end of May, at which point the NHS Future Forum will publish its advice. The Government will respond based on what it has heard and the forum's report.
While we do not want to stop the valuable work already under way by GP Pathfinders and local authority early implementers among others, our timetable for transition will, of course, be subject to the outcome of the listening exercise.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Moses Room is already used on a regular basis for Grand Committees. At other times, the Moses Room can also be booked by Members of the House for other business, subject to my approval.
The recent Report of the Leaders' Group on Working Practices recommended that greater use should be made of Grand Committee. Implementation of any of the proposals in that report will be a matter for the House to decide.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations have taken place or are taking place on aspects of the Localism Bill; what is the deadline for responses in each case; and what further consultations are proposed.[HL8572]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Localism Bill contains a wide range of measures to devolve more powers to councils and neighbourhoods and give local communities greater control over local decisions like housing and planning. As such, aspects of the Localism Bill relate to policies across the department, many of which stem from the coalition agreement.
As is common practice, policy discussions on aspects of the Localism Bill continue to take place on an ongoing basis between the department and relevant third parties, devolved Administrations and other government departments. These informal consultations have not been listed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy on the use of unlicensed comparators in assessments made of the clinical efficacy of treatments by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.[HL8630]
To ask Her Majesty's Government in what treatment areas they have authorised the use of unlicensed therapies as comparators against licensed, approved medications in assessments made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [HL8775]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The comparators used in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) technology appraisals are a matter for the institute as an independent body.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received representations regarding the impact on patient safety of the use of unlicensed comparators in clinical trials and assessments made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [HL8631]
Earl Howe: Since May 2010, we have not received any representations regarding the impact on patient safety of the use of unlicensed comparators in clinical trials or assessments made by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): As stated in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill's impact assessment, elections for police and crime commissioners in England and Wales will cost £50 million in 2012. These estimates are based on the costs of other national elections, and costings are therefore not available for each force area. However, the money was allocated separately by the Treasury as part of the comprehensive spending review; consequently no money for elections will come out of police force budgets.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): While I monitor the list of Questions for Written Answers that are currently overdue, as published in the House of Lords Business, figures detailing the cumulative number of Lords QWAs that each department has answered after the 10-working-day deadline are not held centrally.
Based upon the House of Lords Business figures, my office routinely investigates with individual departments the reasons behind high numbers of outstanding Questions for Written Answers. The reasons for late response will vary in individual cases.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 5 April (WA 365), by how much the trial of ERTMS on the Cambrian trial area exceeded the originally estimated cost; and what lessons have been learnt.[HL8697]
Earl Attlee: Network Rail is funded to deliver the Cambrian ERTMS deployment. The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), which is responsible for the economic regulation of the national rail network, will examine the costs of the Cambrian trail as part of their regular
4 May 2011 : Column WA162
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 March (WA 226), whether, in light of the results of the Irish banking stress tests, they will review (a) their bailout contribution, and (b) the impact on United Kingdom public funds and taxpayer liability. [HL8513]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK bilateral loan is part of a package of multilateral assistance to Ireland. Ireland's obligations as part of this package are set out in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, agreed in November 2010 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission. This document is available on the IMF's website at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2010/cr10366.pdf.
The results of the capital and liquidity stress tests for Irish banks have been published, in accordance with this memorandum. Ireland is complying with its obligations and there is no reason to review the bilateral loan. The stress test results have no impact on UK public funds or taxpayer liability.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have given to the South Wales Constabulary regarding the use of manpower and financial resources for the purpose of monitoring the location to which calls are made and received on mobile phones within 48 hours of their removal during a night-time dwelling burglary.[HL8481]
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