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28 Jun 2011 : Column WA383



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Written Answers

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities), Home Office and Government Equalities Office, my honourable friend the Member for Hornsey and Woodgreen (Ms Lynne Featherstone), discussed the problem of sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, as well as other issues affecting women in India, during meetings with the Indian Ministry for Women and Child Development and the Indian Parliamentary Committee for Women's Empowerment, in her visit to India from 15 to 17 June 2011. Ms Featherstone's interlocutors agreed that although there was a law in place there was still a need for more social movement to change mindsets. They are focusing on women's health, education and economic empowerment as a long term solution.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The UK strongly opposes sex-selective abortion. We do not fund any programmes which contribute directly or indirectly to sex-selective abortion. Through our own reproductive health programmes, and through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we support partner Governments' efforts to prevent it.

India's 1994 National Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Regulation Act (PC&PNDT) bans the use of sex selection techniques before or after conception and the misuse of pre-natal diagnostic techniques for sex selective abortions. The UK and UNFPA both support the primary vehicle through which the Act is implemented, India's Reproductive and Child Health Programme (RCH) under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: We do not directly procure ultrasound equipment. We provide financial support to three poor States (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa) to improve

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the quality of health services. Over 60,000 women die every year in India due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. It is therefore important for health services to use ultrasonography, which is an essential medical technology to diagnose problems in pregnancy and protect the life of both mother and baby.

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Questions

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The figures requested are shown in the following table.

PeriodNo. of air to ground munitions used by Tornado GR4 in support of ground troops

October 2010-November 2010

6

December 2010-January 2011

2

February 2011-March 2011

5

April 2011-May 2011

1

RAF Tornados are tasked by the NATO combined air operations centre in a variety of roles across Afghanistan. Use of force in Afghanistan remains closely regulated and the avoidance of civilian casualties has been paramount; we carefully select the type of weapon in every engagement to ensure the most appropriate munition is used to deliver the required effect, while minimising the risk to civilians.

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

Lord Astor of Hever: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

Asylum Seekers

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton



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The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): On 21 June we published the Government's response to the consultation on Proposals for the Reform of legal aid in England and Wales. We have decided that asylum matters will be kept within the scope of the legal aid scheme and that all immigration matters will be removed from scope, except for where the person is detained.

Aviation: Air Quality

Questions

Asked by The Countess of Mar

Earl Attlee: There is no national or international legislation requiring passengers to be informed of fume events. We do not have evidence that passenger health is affected by fume events.

The main message from the Cranfield University research published on 10 May 2011 is that, with respect to the conditions of flight that were experienced during the study, there was no evidence for target pollutants occurring in the cabin air at levels exceeding available health and safety standards and guidelines. Moreover, levels observed were comparable to those typically experienced in domestic settings.

Asked by The Countess of Mar

Earl Attlee: The Government take the health of air crew and passengers extremely seriously. That is why we have put in hand a number of research studies looking into cabin air quality. The main research was published by Cranfield University on 10 May 2011. It found that, with respect to the conditions of flight that were experienced during the study, there was no evidence for target pollutants occurring in the cabin air at levels exceeding available health and safety standards and guidelines. Moreover, levels observed were comparable to those typically experienced in domestic settings.

Aviation: Young People

Questions

Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government have increased funding to over £1.4 billion, sufficient to train 360,000 apprentices in the 2011-12 academic year across all sectors. Overall, this Government will deliver at least 250,000 more apprenticeship places over the lifetime of this Parliament than the previous Administration planned. The latest statistical first release data show that we have delivered 326,700 apprenticeship starts in the first nine months of the 2010-11 academic year. This is 114,000 more than the previous year, and more than double our ambition.

The apprenticeships programme is demand led. We rely on employers and providers to work together to offer sufficient opportunities to meet local and sectoral demand taking advantage of the greater freedoms and flexibilities that we have created in the further education system. For example, in the aerospace industry Rolls-Royce is training more apprentices than they need themselves which will deliver more qualified people to work in the supply chain.

Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

Baroness Wilcox: The Government welcome the Air League's commitment to engage young people from all backgrounds in the aviation industry. We also welcome the suite of financial support the Air League has made available to enable individuals to experience the industry.

Bahrain

Question

Asked by Lord Turnberg

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK Government continue to press for the Government of Bahrain to ensure that due process is carefully and transparently followed in the trial of doctors and medical staff and that civil liberties are protected, particularly where severe penalties are proposed. Anyone accused should have adequate time to prepare a defence, access to legal counsel and be tried before independent, impartial tribunals. It is essential that medical personnel can treat their patients free from political interference. We remain deeply concerned about the continued allegations of abuse in detention and continue to urge the Government of Bahrain, at the highest level, to take forward their commitment to investigate the claims.

Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK Government are aware that the Bahraini police were asked to remove three women from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) mission to Bahrain following a sit-in protest. We have made no representations to the United Nations in relation to this. This is a matter for the UNDP.

Bank of England: Financial Policy Committee

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): There will be significant executive cross-membership between the Monetary Policy Committee and the Financial Policy Committee. The Governor, two Deputy Governors and the Bank's Executive Director for Markets will sit on both committees. This will ensure that interactions between the remit and work of each committee are fully considered and taken into account.

There will be no cross-membership of independent members. This will allow the independent members, as specialist experts in the relevant field, to focus entirely on the remit of the committee of which they are members.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The interim Financial Policy Committee is supported by Bank of England staff, who are available to undertake research requested by external members of the Committee.

Asked by Lord Myners



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Lord Sassoon: Time varying capital requirements (the countercyclical capital buffer) were included in the Basel 3 package, endorsed by the G20 at the Seoul November meeting in 2010. Under these proposals, the buffer held by international banks is linked to the geographic location of their credit exposures. Under this principle, all banks lending in the UK would be affected by the buffer setting determined by the Financial Policy Committee.

Following the G20 endorsement of macroprudential policy, the International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlements, and Financial Stability Board are leading a joint workstream on developing macroprudential frameworks. A key part of this work is developing effective international co-ordination and sharing best practice. The UK is supporting this workstream.

The UK has agreed in Europe to the setting up of the European Systemic Risk Board to survey and monitor systemic risk and oversee macroprudential policy across Europe. The Government are expecting European Commission proposals later this year on the implementation of Basel 3 through further amendments to the capital requirements directive. The UK is calling for the faithful implementation of the Basel 3 agreement in Europe.

Banking

Questions

Asked by Baroness McDonagh

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government's investments in financial institutions are recorded in the Treasury's resource accounts. Any share sale would also be recorded in the resource accounts.

The accounting will be in accordance with international financial reporting standards with any gains or losses recognised in the Treasury's statement of comprehensive net expenditure within the resource accounts.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Government are expecting European Commission proposals on the implementation of Basel 3 through further amendments to the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) later this year. The

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Government will wish to ensure that the revisions to the CRD do not unduly limit the Government's scope to implement any potential recommendations from the Independent Commission on Banking if they see fit.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Sassoon: This is a matter for the Financial Services Authority, whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence. This question has been passed on to the FSA, which will reply to you directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Banking: Cheques

Questions

Asked by Lord Naseby

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Sassoon on 6 June (Official Report, cols. 6-9), who will decide whether the proposals from the Payments Council to replace cheques are acceptable.[HL10128]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Payments Council has made a commitment not to close the cheque clearing system unless alternatives are put in place, including a paper-based system.

The Government are clear that any alternative system will need to replicate the flexibility and ease of use of cheques, while improving processing times and being cost-effective. An alternative will need to have been tested in practice and be widely available, widely acceptable and widely adopted by users who do not currently have a suitable alternative. Until this is demonstrated by the Payments Council, there is not a credible and coherent case for abolishing cheques. The Government are keenly monitoring the progress of the cheque replacement programme and are considering whether they may need to intervene to protect vulnerable individuals and businesses if there is any threat that cheques may be withdrawn without suitable alternatives being put in place.



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Banking: Lloyds

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has started the process of disposing of assets, as set out by the terms of the state aid agreement with the European Commission. The Group has stated publicly that the total assets of the divestment will be greater than the liabilities. It is up to LBG to dispose of these assets as it sees fit, subject to the terms of the state aid agreement.

The Financial Services Authority will need to give the sale regulatory approval, which will include an assessment of the capital strength and funding position of the new business.

Banking: Royal Bank of Scotland

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): In May 2009, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) launched an investigation into the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to consider whether regulatory rules had been broken during the period leading up to the collapse of RBS and what, if any, action was appropriate.

This supervisory investigation is a matter for the FSA. We are not aware of the contents of the investigation, including who was asked to give evidence.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Government have not received, nor asked for, the report on the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The FSA is aiming to deliver a publishable report on the events that led to the failure of RBS. The Government look forward to publication of the report.



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Barnett Formula

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): European Structural Funds are devolved. It is, therefore, a matter for the Welsh Government. The public spending element of any match funding is funded within the Welsh Government's existing budget.

Chagos Islands

Question

Asked by Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I assume the noble Baroness is referring to the arbitration proceedings brought by Mauritius under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in which Mauritius is challenging the appointment of Sir Christopher Greenwood, a judge of the International Court of Justice, as one of the arbitrators. The challenge is being considered by the tribunal and therefore it would be inappropriate to comment, other than to confirm that the Government have no doubt whatsoever about Sir Christopher's integrity and suitability for this appointment.

China

Questions

Asked by Baroness Quin

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): On 22 June Ai Weiwei was released on bail. Following his release the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) made a public statement. The Foreign Secretary welcomed the release of Mr Ai but called on the Chinese Government to clarify the

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exact details of the charges against him as soon as possible. He also expressed concern about the cases of other activists, lawyers, journalists and bloggers detained in recent weeks, and called on the Chinese authorities to ensure they are treated in accordance with international human rights standards.

On 4 April 2011 the Foreign Secretary made a public statement outlining our concerns (http://www.fco. gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?id=579056182&view=News). His statement called on the Chinese Government to clarify Mr Ai's situation and expressed the hope that he would be released immediately.

On 11 April 2011 my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister raised Mr Ai's case when he met Shanghai party secretary and Politburo standing committee member, Yu Zhengsheng. The Minister of State, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne) wrote to the Chinese ambassador regarding Mr Ai's case and other human rights issues on 3 May 2011. The Foreign Secretary and Minister of State, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne) also raised Mr Ai's case with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying when she visited London on 12 May 2011. We will continue to monitor closely developments in Mr Ai's case and look for further opportunities to raise our concerns.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Minister of State, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Jeremy Browne) wrote on 3 May to the Chinese ambassador, requesting information on a number of individual cases of concern to the British Government, including Gao Zhisheng. We have not yet had a response on Mr Gao's case from the Chinese Government.

We will continue to look for appropriate opportunities to raise Mr Gao's case with the Chinese authorities.

Commonwealth

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): A country that expressed an interest in joining the Commonwealth would be assessed against the membership criteria set out in the Harare Declaration of 1991. These include commitment to protection of human rights, freedom of expression and equal opportunity.



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Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

Earl Attlee: The department responsible for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 is the Health and Safety Executive.

Crime: Fuel Laundering

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) leads the cross-border fuel fraud enforcement group, which was formed in 2008 to bring together representatives from law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border. This group shares intelligence and co-ordinates activity against the illegal fuel trade, from single offenders to highly organised criminal gangs.

As a result, HMRC has developed closer working with partner agencies, and has been increasingly successful in taking effective action against fuel launderers, increasing the numbers of arrests of those running laundering plants or allowing their premises to be used for such activity. In 2010-11, for example, HMRC closed down 21 laundering plants and arrested 18 fraudsters, compared with 20 and 12, respectively, in 2009-10.

HMRC aims to continue to develop and refine its testing and detection techniques: for example, research is currently being carried out into improving the markers used in rebated gas oil ("red diesel") to eliminate the avoidance of tax by using this fuel as road fuel. A number of the existing techniques developed by HMRC has been adopted by other EU enforcement agencies.

Crime: Hate

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester



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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The Government welcome the Mencap report in highlighting disability hate crime, which, as recent events have shown, is still an issue for too many people in this country. The Government take the issue of hate crime very seriously and are working with the Association of Chief Police Officers and others to improve the reporting and recording of all hate crime, including those motivated by hostility towards disabled victims. Our cross-government hate crime programme will consider the report in the development of the Government's new hate crime strategy.

Although adopting Mencap's "Stand By Me" charter is a decision for individual police forces and chief constables, we would encourage all police forces to sign up to it.

Dogs

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Such an estimate is not available. The Government are, though, looking at possible measures to address dangerous and nuisance dogs and encourage responsible ownership.

Energy: Heat Pumps

Question

Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government estimate the carbon savings arising from the operation of a heat pump and separately estimate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by all refrigerant leakage from air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. This latter estimate is currently being updated and will include GHG emissions from heat pumps' refrigerant loss.

Some of the assumptions underpinning the estimates on carbon emissions in the Energy Policy journal article cited are different to those used by Government-notably the rate of the expected decarbonisation of the electricity grid, and the underlying assumption about the efficiency of condensing gas boilers. However the overall conclusion is similar: based on current average CO2 factors for electricity, efficient air source heat pumps result in annual CO2 emissions comparable to those of efficient gas boilers.

The Government are working with the Microgeneration Certification Scheme to address some of the issues set out in the Energy Policy journal article cited to improve

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the system design and installation of air source heat pumps to make the efficiency of their performance more consistent.

Energy: Wind Generation

Question

Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The cost projections in the Mott MacDonald report were produced to provide an up-to-date set of assumptions on the costs of generation technologies at that time, to inform government policy. Mott MacDonald's assumptions on the costs of different electricity generation technologies were used to inform the modelling of the electricity system for the electricity market reform (EMR) project.

The results of this modelling formed part of the assessment of the EMR options. They have not been used to provide a value for money (VFM) assessment on offshore wind nor other technologies, and the department has not carried out such a VFM assessment. The most recent independent projections on levelised generation costs are contained in a 2011 report Review of the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK, produced by Arup, and recently published by the department.

1 Mott MacDonald (2010), UK Electricity Generation Costs Update, can be found at http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Statistics/Projections/71-uk-electricity-generation-costs-update-.pdf

2 Arup (2011), Review of the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK, can be found at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn11_47/pn11_47.aspx

Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

Baroness Verma: I refer the noble Lord to the answer provided by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox) on Wednesday 22 June 2011, Official Report, col. WA 304.



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Falkland Islands

Question

Asked by Lord Tebbit

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have no doubts about the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. There will be no negotiations with Argentina about sovereignty against the wishes of the islanders. Their right to determine their own political future is paramount.

Financial Services Authority

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): These are matters for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence.

These questions have been passed on to the FSA, which will reply to you directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

First World War: Debts

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The United States proposed a one-year moratorium on all First World War debts in 1931, which allowed extensive international discussions on the general problems of debt repayment to be held. However, no satisfactory agreement was reached and, in the absence of such an agreement, the United States has not sought payments from the UK and other nations since 1934.

The UK has not included the First World War debt to the United States in the national debt since 1944-45.



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Gaza

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: Healthcare in Gaza is provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Health, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, with the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah holding responsibility for providing drugs and medical disposables to facilities in Gaza. The most recent assessment of healthcare provision by the World Health Organisation is of deterioration in the quality of care as a result of Israeli movement and access restrictions, and political and institutional separation between the West Bank and Gaza. The most serious issue is the shortage of essential drugs.

Where treatment is unavailable in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority pays for patient referrals to external providers, including Israeli hospitals. Rates are negotiated bilaterally and reflect the costs of providing treatment in each case.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: Reports from United Nations (UN) agencies working in the Gaza Strip confirm there are no shortages of cooking oil in Gaza. We are, however, concerned about the availability of cooking gas, following the breakdown of the pipeline which supplies cooking gas from Kerem Shalom into Gaza five weeks ago. While supplies entering through tunnels from Egypt mean there are currently no shortages on the ground, we are working with the UN to press the Government of Israel on the urgent need to repair the pipeline, in order to maintain a secure and sustainable supply of cooking gas to meet the needs of the Gazan population.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: We remain gravely concerned by the level of unemployment in Gaza, which continues to be among the highest in the world. While the announcements by the Israeli Government in June 2010 and February 2011 to ease access restrictions were positive steps, recent reports from the United Nations show that economic stagnation and de-development in Gaza remain the norm. We are clear that more needs to be done, including easing

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restrictions on exports, construction material imports and the movement of people, to enable a return to economic normality and address the high levels of unemployment in Gaza.

The UK regularly raises Gaza with the Israeli Government. We believe that an improved economy and access to work are not only essential for the people of Gaza, but also firmly in Israel's security interests. We are taking practical steps to improve access to Gaza through our support to the UN Access Coordination Unit, our capacity building work with the Palestinian Authority and our work with the Office of the Quartet Representative on confidence building measures to facilitate exports from Gaza. We are also working to promote business regeneration through our facility for new market development, supporting 304 companies in Gaza to generate jobs for over 1,800 unemployed Gazans.

Glyphosate

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Glyphosate has been subject to extensive testing and regulatory assessment in the European Union, the United States of America and elsewhere, and by the World Health Organisation, without raising concerns that it causes birth defects. The chemicals regulation directorate (CRD) of the Health and Safety Executive has reviewed the paper Roundup and birth defects and noted that the EU assessment considered studies cited in it and found no evidence for such concerns. CRD also considered that some citied studies were unlikely to be relevant to humans. The forthcoming EU review of glyphosate will consider all relevant evidence concerning the substance. The current approval was extended to 2015 in order to allow sufficient time for the review procedure to be properly completed.

Government Departments: Research and Data

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Information about research and data collections which have been initiated, terminated and amended since 12 May 2010 is shown below.

A) Research projects initiated since 12 May 2010
ReferenceProject Title

2009018

Parents' and Young People's complaints about school issues

2009223

Systematic Review of Solution Based Brief Therapy

2009237

Evaluation of City Challenge

2010008

National Centre and National Project Manager for the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012

2010011

Systematic Review Of Models of Analysing Significant Harm

2010013

Dissemination of findings from the safeguarding children research initiative

2010032

Evaluation of the Raising Participation Age Trials - Phase 2

2010033

Power To Discipline In Schools

2010036

Evaluation of Foundation Learning for Young People

2010040

OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2013)

2010042

Evaluation of Parenting Information Programmes (PIPs)

2010043

An Investigation of Allegations of Abuse Against Teachers

2010044

Developing the cost calculator work on children in need for early intervention services

2010045

Biennial review of serious case reviews 2009 - 2011

2011001

Process Evaluation of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check Pilot

2011002

Omnibus Questions To Inform The Review Of Commercialisation And Premature Sexualisation Of Childhood

20041151

Infants suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm: a follow-up study

200805815

Understanding Vulnerable Young People: Evidence From The Longitudinal Study of Young People In England



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B) Research projects terminated since 12 May 2010
We have interpreted this to mean research projects which were terminated after a contract with a supplier had been signed by the Department.
ReferenceTitle

2008003

Evaluation To Assess The Impact Of The Programme Of Support For Schools And Financial Capability

2008024

Extended Services Evaluation

2008051

Evaluation of Play Pathfinders

2008063

Evaluation of the Impact of the Languages Review At Key Stage 4

2008086

Find Your Talent Programme: Evaluation

2008090

TELLUS Survey

2008100

Survey of disabled children's families to measure Disabled Children's Services Indicator

2008135

Making the links between Professional Standards, Induction, Performance Management and Continuing Professional Development of teachers

2008149

Evaluation of the Open School for Languages

2009036

Modern Foreign Languages - campaign awareness and message take out tracking

2009037

STEM campaign awareness and message take out tracking

2009149

Evaluation of Academies1

2009193

Evaluation of the Children and Learner Strategic Adviser (CLSA) Service

2009198

Customer Tracking Omnibus

2009222

Teachers Careers: The Behavioural Impact of Changes to the Economy

2009227

Youth Community Action Evaluation

1 We terminated the original contract and are currently considering options for re-focusing the evaluation on the policy of the current Government.



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C) Research projects amended since 12 May 2010
ReferenceTitle

2004108

Co-ordination of Quality Protects and Adoption Programmes

2005006

An investigation of family finding and matching in adoption - briefing paper

2006068

Does training in a systematic approach to emotional abuse improve the quality of children's services?

2006151

Programme for International Student Assessment: National Project Management for PISA 2009

2006156

Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC): Extending the Evaluation

2007014

Evaluating the Impact of the UK Resilience Programme

2007034

Improving the Outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Pupils

2007083

Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of Diplomas

2007106

Anti-Bullying: Research into the Effectiveness of Anti-Bullying Strategies

2008009

The Evaluation of the STEM Programme 2008-2010

2008019

Citizenship, Community Cohesion and Perceived Inclusion Amongst Young People

2008027

Family Pathfinders Evaluation

2008055

Evaluation of the RIGHT2BCARED4 pilots

2008079

Evaluation of effectiveness of support measures alongside anti-social behaviour enforcement action for young people

2008080

Data Analysis Programme for Longitudinal Data

2008087

Evaluation of Impact Of Investment In Initiatives Designed To Improve Teacher Workforce Skills In Relation To SEN And Disabilities

2008096

Monitoring and measuring the impact of Family Intervention Projects

2008103

Evaluation of the Schools Linking Programme

2008109

Pupils' perceptions shape educational achievement: evidence from a large- scale behavioural economics experiment

2008124

Outcome Monitoring of Youth Crime Action Plan and Child Poverty Family Intervention Pilots

2008127

Evaluation of Free School Meals

2008145

Evaluation of Disabled Children's Access to Childcare (DCATCH)

2008146

Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey (2009)

2009034

Longitudinal Study of Young People: Wave 7

2009051

Production of Parental Engagement Research

2009072

Implementation Study of Free Early Years Education for Two Year Old Children

2009074

Cambridge Delinquent Study

2009084

Youth Cohort Study - Cohort 13, Sweep 4.

2009096

External Evaluation of the Primary Maths Specialist Programme

2009098

Teachers' Workload Diary Survey 2010

2009101

Evaluation of the Extra Mile

2009103

Schools' and Colleges' Engagement With The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Sports and Physical Education

2009132

Aiming High for Young People: Evaluation Feasibility Study

2009150

Independent Evaluation of ICAN's Early Talk Programme to establish its impact on meeting speech, communication and language needs of children

2009151

Provider Influence On The Early Home Learning Environment.

2009153

Evaluating Child Poverty Pilots: Delivering Improved Services For Separating Parents

2009155

Citizenship Survey Young Persons Module

2009184

Personal, Social, Health And Economic (PSHE) Education: a mapping study of the prevalent models of delivery and their effectiveness

2009241

OECD - Future of the Family

2011004

The Independent Evaluation of the Impact of Changes To A Levels and GCSEs

3302000

Sure Start National Evaluation

20021211

Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (2006-2009)

20060891

Intervening to Improve Outcomes For Young People

20081511

The School Sport Partnership Evaluation 2009/2010

D) Data collections initiated since 12 May 2010

School Workforce Census Year 1 Phonics

E) Data collections terminated since 12 May 2010

These include data collections that were due to take place during the year stipulated that have stopped. Not included are data collections that took place in that period and will be stopping in the coming months.

Diploma FundingChild Care: Extending the Two-Year Old PilotHealthy SchoolsImproving Information Sharing and Management Programme benefits surveyMaking Good ProgressOne-to-One TuitionPE and SportPriority Schools Absence dataProvision of Positive Activities for Young PeopleYouth Taskforce project monitoring

F) Data collections amended since 12 May 2010

Children in Need Census

Pupil Referral Unit Census

School Capacity

School Census

School Exclusion Appeals

School Level Annual School Census

Section 251 financial return

Secure Children's Homes

Smoking Drinking and Drugs

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



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Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office. Information on what research and data collection the Cabinet Office has initiated, terminated and amended since 12 May 2010 is not held centrally.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Wallace of Tankerness: I have not commissioned any research or data collection projects since being appointed as the Advocate General.

Government Departments: Scientific Advisers

Questions

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

Baroness Verma: The Cabinet Office does not have a Departmental Chief Scientific Adviser.

The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA), Sir John Beddington, has responsibility for ensuring that policy and decision-making across government is underpinned by robust scientific evidence.

Part of this role coincides with the cross-government work of the Cabinet Office in that the GCSA:

Provides scientific advice to No 10 and Cabinet where needed,Normally chairs the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which provides scientific advice to the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) in times of crisis. Chairs the National Security Council Officials' Science and Technology sub committee (NSC(O)S&T)

The GCSA also has oversight of other cross-government science issues. For example, the scrutiny of the scientific evidence underpinning the National Risk Assessment (NRA), which is owned by responsible departments and the Cabinet Office.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Professor David Clary FRS is the Foreign and Commonwealth Chief Scientific Adviser.

a. Professor David Clary FRS was appointed as Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) on 5 August 2009 on a fixed term contract for 3 years.b. President of Magdalen College Oxford and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford.c. SMS3.d. Part-time (40 per cent full-time equivalent) and continuing as President of Magdalen College Oxford and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford.e. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers meet regularly with officials, including the CSA, during the normal course of business.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

Baroness Verma: The Departmental Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for International Development (DfID) is Professor Chris Whitty, DSc, FRCP, FFHP, FMed Sci. The Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser is Professor Tim Wheeler, BSc, MSc, PhD;

(a) Professor Whitty was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser in June 2009 on a three year contract with an option for an extension; Professor Wheeler was appointed in March 2010 on a three year contract with an option for an extension.

(b) Professor Whitty is a Professor of International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Professor Wheeler is a Professor of Crop Science at the University of Reading.

(c) The Chief Scientific Adviser is a G3 Senior Civil Servant and the Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser is a G5 Senior Civil Servant.

(d) Both the Chief Scientific Adviser and Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser are part time (80 per cent) appointments seconded in from their academic institutions and both remain active in research with those institutions (20 per cent).

(e) Over the past year the Chief Scientific Adviser has had seven meetings with the Secretary of State, one with the Minister of State and eleven with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. Over the same

28 Jun 2011 : Column WA404

period the Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser has had five meetings with the Secretary of State, three meetings with the Minister of State and six meetings with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Scotland Office does not have a Chief Scientific Adviser.

Government: Ministerial Duties

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Chancellor of the Exchequer attended the Bilderberg conference in St Moritz. All travel undertaken by Treasury Ministers and officials is carried out in line with the Ministerial and Civil Service Management Codes. Details of all ministerial overseas travel are published quarterly on the Treasury website: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/minister_hospitality.htm.

In addition, the Prime Minister reports annually to Parliament on ministerial overseas travel, encompassing costs incurred by officials and special advisers. In line with the practice of previous Administrations, details of ministerial discussions on ongoing policy issues are not disclosed, as this could undermine effective Government decision-making. Any issues that require the consideration of Cabinet or reporting to Parliament will be dealt with according to the proper protocol.

Government: Ministerial Meetings

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): My honourable friend, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has policy responsibility for financial stability, including in relation to the Irish National Asset Management Agency.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Greece

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I refer the noble Lord to the comments the Prime Minister made in another place on 22 June 2011, Official Report, column 314.

Higher Education: Course Closures

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): We do not collect information on the total number of courses available in any one academic year. Universities are autonomous bodies and it is entirely a matter for them which courses to offer. All institutions will review from time to time their suite of courses taking into account factors such as student demand and financial viability. Additional funding is available from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for strategically important and vulnerable subjects.

Higher Education: Private Institutions

Question

Asked by Lord Sutherland of Houndwood

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and

28 Jun 2011 : Column WA406

Skills uses the criteria for automatic course designation in the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2009 as amended, when specifically designating undergraduate courses at private institutions. For undergraduate courses, the course should be:

mentioned in Schedule 2 of the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2009;of at least one academic year's duration;intended for students of 18 years or over; andthe minimum entry standard should be 2 passes at Advanced level of the General Certificate of Education or equivalent qualification. (Two passes at AS level will be regarded as equivalent to one pass at Advanced level).

In addition all courses must currently be validated by a body with UK degree awarding powers to ensure consistent quality and academic standards are maintained. The only exceptions to this are Higher National Diplomas or Higher National Certificates which are awarded by Edexcel (formerly the Business and Technician Education Council) or the Scottish Qualifications Authority and initial teacher training courses which are subject to a separate approval process.

We will be reviewing the process and criteria for designation of these courses in light of the proposals for regulatory reform which will be outlined in the forthcoming Higher Education White Paper.

HMS "Illustrious"

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): HMS "Illustrious" is scheduled to return to operational service, to assume the landing platform helicopter role from HMS "Ocean", in spring 2012.

Housing

Questions

Asked by Baroness Ford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): We do not provide estimates of future new build numbers, as forecasting is imprecise and could affect market sentiment. However, there are various private sector organisations who can, and do, use our statistics to make their own forecasts.

Ultimately, the number of new homes that are built will depend upon market conditions and decisions that are taken at the local level. This Government are

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rebalancing power from central government to local authorities and local people, replacing top down targets with fiscal incentives for local authorities to develop housing.

I would note that house building starts in England are up 22 per cent in 2010-2011, compared to 2009-2010 (DCLG, House building: March Quarter 2011 England, 19 May 2011) and the value of new housing construction has risen by 23 per cent (in constant price terms) over the same period (ONS, Ouput in the construction Industry, Ql 2011, 13 may 2011).

Asked by Baroness Ford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The average amount of grant per unit allocated through the Homes and Communities Agency's National Affordable Housing Programme in 2010-11 was £51,594 for affordable housing schemes (i.e. social rent and low cost home ownership).

Asked by Baroness Ford

Baroness Hanham: We have not made estimates of an average grant rate for 2011-12. This will be subject to the outcome of the Affordable Homes Programme assessment process. The deadline for offers to be submitted to the Homes and Communities Agency for funding from the Affordable Homes Programme was 3 May. The Agency is currently considering the offers made by providers and we expect initial contracts with providers who are successful in receiving allocations for the new programme to be signed from September.

Human Rights

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The situations in Darfur and Libya were referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a result of the international community's concerns that serious crimes were being

28 Jun 2011 : Column WA408

committed, and that steps needed to be taken to ensure that these allegations were properly investigated and those responsible were held to account. Israel, as with Libya and Sudan, is not an ICC state party and an ICC investigation in to events in that country would require either a United Nations Security Council referral, or for Israel to accept the court's jurisdiction. The Foreign Secretary made clear at the time of the flotilla incident that we deeply deplored the loss of life. The Security Council and the European Union also condemned the violence. Our goal remains ensuring full accountability for the events which occurred. There have been various investigations into this issue. It is now important that the United Nations Secretary-General's panel of inquiry headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer completes its report into this incident, drawing fully on the evidence available. We will give careful consideration to this report in due course.

Immigration: Deportation

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Neither the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, nor our high commissions in Nairobi and Kampala, were aware of the Government of Kenya's order to deport British human rights investigator Clara Gutteridge, prior to her arrest and subsequent deportation from Kenya on 10 May. We only became aware of the deportation order shortly after Ms Gutteridge did, when she drew our attention to it. We offered Ms Gutteridge full consular assistance around her deportation.

Immigration: Detainees

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The quality of legal aid advice and the administration of legal aid is the responsibility of the Legal Services Commission (LSC) through the award of contracts with solicitors firms and not for profit organisations. All legal aid providers are subject to a quality assurance framework, their contract work is monitored by the LSC, and they are subject to a number of supervisory requirements.



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Caseworkers that carry out immigration legal aid must be registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority or the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner and comply with the terms of the Law Society's Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme, which directly tests the competence of individuals in immigration and asylum law.

The table below shows the number of bail applications and their outcomes for clients in immigration detention for the year 2009-10, split between those with and without legal representation. Legal representation covers both those that are funded by legal aid and those who are privately represented.

TotalCompleted*GrantedRefusedWithdrawn/Abandoned

Bail Applications (Detained)

7,200

7

173

4,175

2,845

Not Represented

2,616

6

57

1,690

863

Represented

4,584

1

116

2,485

1,982

India

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have discussed the issue of human trafficking with the Government of India through the EU-India human rights dialogue. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities), Home Office and Government Equalities Office, my honourable friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Ms Lynne Featherstone), raised the issue of trafficking with the Indian Ministry for Women and Child Development during her visit to India in June. We will continue to stay in close touch with EU partners and relevant non-governmental organisations that monitor the implementations of the protocol.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: We have discussed the issue of human trafficking with the Government of India through the EU-India Human Rights dialogue. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister

28 Jun 2011 : Column WA410

for Equalities), Home Office and Government Equalities Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Ms Lynne Featherstone), raised the issue of trafficking with the Indian Ministry for Women and Child Development during her visit to India in June. We will continue to stay in close touch with EU partners and relevant non-governmental organisations that monitor the implementations of the protocol.

Kenya

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have raised our concerns about alleged renditions and the treatment of terrorist suspects with both the Kenyan and Ugandan authorities at a senior level, including with Ministers. In doing so, we have not referred to specific cases, but rather to all terrorist suspects.

The UK Government's policy is clear. We do not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for any purpose. We have consistently made clear our absolute opposition to such behaviour. We repeatedly stress to all our international partners the importance of due legal process and the centrality of human rights in approaches to counter-terrorism.

Libya

Question

Asked by Lord Hoyle

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We welcome the report of the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry which reported that crimes against humanity and many serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including those which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, have been committed by government forces in Libya. Although the commission established that there have been instances in which armed opposition forces have been responsible for committing acts which constitute war crimes, which we also condemn, it concluded that these were not part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians such as to amount to a crime against humanity.

In the UK's statement to the Human Rights Council on 9 June we welcomed the statement made by the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) outlining

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their determination to fully and transparently co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry, and to implement in full those conclusions of the report addressed to the NTC.

The UK's office in Benghazi has raised human rights violations with the NTC on several occasions, most recently on 15 June with Dr Salwa al-Daghaili, NTC Representative for Legal and Women's Affairs. We are encouraged that the NTC has insisted all its troops observe the Geneva conventions; issued guidance on humanitarian law to its forces on the front line; set up a Prisoners/Human Rights Committee and allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross full access. We will continue to engage with the NTC and remind them of the importance of upholding the values they have espoused.

Milk

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): January average retail prices in pence per litre from 2008 to 2011 for milk sold in four pint containers are listed below. Defra does not keep records on retail prices of milk sold in one pint or two pint containers.

YearPence per litre

2008

69

2009

79

2010

77

2011

77

Money: Northern Bank Notes

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Part 6 of the Banking Act 2009 updated, strengthened and modernised the regulatory regime governing commercial banknote issuance in the UK and passed the responsibility for regulation to the Bank of England. The primary aim was to ensure that holders of commercially issued banknotes received a level of protection similar to that provided to holders of Bank of England banknotes.



28 Jun 2011 : Column WA412

Since the new legislation came into effect on 23 November 2009, authorised banks have been required to back their note issue in full and at all times. This would include any notes not returned as part of Northern Bank's 2005 note recall. Reporting under the regime does not, however, require declaration of notes by series.

Nepal

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): All visa applications globally are considered carefully and individually in light of the information submitted by the applicant, the information available to the UK Border Agency and against the UK's Immigration Rules. UK visa applications involving those against whom there are substantive allegations of serious human rights abuses and violations are subject to additional checks. Our embassy in Kathmandu has made this clear to the leadership of the Nepal army, Nepal police and Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The UK condemns all instances of violence and discrimination because of faith or belief. Our development assistance targets the poor, regardless of race, religion, creed, or nationality. Since the poorest are often minority or marginalised groups they benefit from many of our programmes. All of these programmes are carefully monitored, including through third party verification as necessary, to make sure that aid is reaching the intended recipients.

In parallel, Pakistan's commitment to agreed human rights obligations is one of the principles of the 10 year Development Partnership Arrangement (DPA) between the UK and Pakistan. We discuss progress on the DPA every year with the Government of Pakistan.

Palestine

Question

Asked by Lord Patel of Blackburn



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We want to see a Palestinian state living in peace and security with Israel, and as a member of the UN. The Arab spring gives further impetus to this goal. Palestinians deserve statehood and the freedom that entails and Israelis deserve long-term security. That is why we are pressing the parties to return to negotiations urgently on the basis set out by President Obama: 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps and security arrangements that protect Israel and respect Palestinian sovereignty.

Park Homes

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Department for Communities and Local Government plans to carry out a consultation in England during the summer on measures to improve the licensing regime which applies to park home and caravan sites so local authorities are better equipped and resourced to tackle problems of poor management in the sector. It also plans to consult on improvements to the buying and selling process of park homes to prevent the unacceptable practice of the blocking of lawful sales by unscrupulous site owners and to provide an effective means of redress for residents where this happens.

Parking and Traffic Offences

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

Earl Attlee: Where a Local Authority imposes a penalty charge using a system of cameras, it must have been certified as an approved device by the Secretary of State. We are satisfied that the civil enforcement regime for the use of CCTV set out in legislation is clear and understood by relevant local authorities. It is for those authorities to comply with legislative requirements and we have no plans to take any further action to ensure that they are doing so.

If a local authority has imposed a penalty notice and has subsequently realised that the proper legal basis for the imposition of that penalty notice may not have been in place, then it will be open to that authority to consider whether it is appropriate to make a refund.



28 Jun 2011 : Column WA414

Probation Trusts

Questions

Asked by Baroness Gibson of Market Rasen

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): On 31 May 2011, there were 6,623 open work orders on the probation estate. This included pre-planned maintenance jobs generated by the contractors and reactive work requests generated by the contract managers and building occupiers.

The Home Office contracts for the provision of facilities management to the probation and other estates do not incorporate financial penalties. Each of the six regional contracts has a mechanism that applies financial deductions against contract prices where service levels have not met performance targets. The Home Office has applied this mechanism continuously in line with the contracts and agreed aggregate deductions by way of payment credits on six occasions for three of the contracts and on five occasions for the other three contracts since July 2008.

Railways: Intercity Trains

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: A full deployment statement of the train diagrams for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines will be published shortly.

Republic of Ireland: Loans

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The ECOFIN Council implementing decision granting financial assistance to Ireland was clear that loans were provided with a view to supporting the

28 Jun 2011 : Column WA415

successful implementation of a programme of adjustment to return the economy to sustainable growth, ensure a properly functioning banking system and safeguard financial stability in the European Union and euro area.

This decision document can be found in full here: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/articles/eu_ economic_situation/2010-12-01-financial-assistance-ireland_en.htm.

Rome: British Embassy

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): While the embassies to the Republic of Italy and to the Holy See are located on the same compound in Rome, they remain separate diplomatic missions and have their own diplomatic and administrative staff. The embassy to Italy assists the embassy to the Holy See primarily with security, and provides a single guard force for the compound. For security reasons we cannot provide further details of the guard force. A small number of staff in the embassy to Italy assist the embassy to the Holy See with some IT, finance and other support functions.

Rwanda

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs was extremely concerned about these allegations. We have sent a clear signal via our high commissioner in Rwanda and the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Rwandan Government that this sort of activity is not acceptable in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: In the light of information concerning a threat to the life of a number of Rwandans in the UK earlier this month, the Metropolitan Police issued advisory warnings to those individuals. Other measures were also taken to ensure their security.



28 Jun 2011 : Column WA416

We have sent a clear signal via our high commissioner in Rwanda and the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Rwandan Government that this sort of activity is not acceptable in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on security matters.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on security matters.

Saudi Arabia

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My right honourable friend the Prime Minister raised Yemen during his telephone conversation with King Abdullah on 18 June, and my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has discussed the subject with Prince Saud including when the latter visited the UK in March. Other visiting British Ministers and officials have discussed Yemen with their Saudi counterparts in Riyadh and Jeddah, and our embassy officials in Riyadh are in regular contact with the Saudi Government on issues relating to the situation in Yemen.

Sri Lanka

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The previous Government's position and actions on the situation in Sri Lanka in 2009 were stated in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's annual report on human rights, and in a number of Written Answers and debates.

The UK has recently reiterated our call for an independent, thorough and credible investigation of

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the allegations that war crimes were committed during the hostilities. We have made it clear that we expect to see progress by the end of the year.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: Prageeth Ekneligoda has been missing since 24 January 2010. 8 June 2011 marked the 500th day since his disappearance.

Our high commissioner in Colombo raised this case most recently with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on 6 May. We will continue to raises cases of concern with the Sri Lankan Government.

Sudan

Question

Asked by Baroness Cox

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are extremely concerned about the reports of air and other attacks on civilians in Southern Kordofan and are monitoring the situation closely. We continue to believe that the best solution is a cessation of hostilities, and a negotiated settlement between the two parties. We are calling for this urgently and are supporting the AU-led mediation between the two sides. We are also requesting that the Government of Sudan allow UNMIS to remain in Southern Kordofan and neighbouring Blue Nile State after 9 July. We note that it would be highly challenging militarily, logistically and financially to enforce and sustain a no fly zone, even were the Security Council to authorise it, something we judge extremely unlikely at the moment.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) raised freedom of the media in Turkey in his meeting with the Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Egemen Bagis, on 31 March 2011. The UK Government continue to support efforts urging Turkey to fulfil its Organisation for Security and

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Co-operation in Europe commitments on media freedom. It is not general UK Government practice to comment on individual judicial processes, but we expect high legal and judicial standards to be observed throughout.

Universities: Russell Group

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The numbers of UK-domiciled young (aged under 21) full-time undergraduate entrants to Russell Group universities shown by ethnicity and socio-economic group will be placed in the Library of the House. Figures are taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Record and are provided for each academic year since 2002-03. Figures for the 2008-09 academic year have been excluded as they are not directly comparable with those for 2002-03 to 2007-08 and 2009-10, due to a change in the way parental or student occupation information was gathered. As a result of the change, it is not possible to determine whether the 2008-09 socio-economic class relates to the student or their parent.

Socio-economic classification was introduced into higher education student data in the 2002-03 academic year and, therefore, figures for earlier years (which show the former social classification) are not comparable.

Figures are provided for young full-time undergraduate entrants, as data on socio-economic class is gathered on a different basis for young and mature (aged 21 and over) students. Socio-economic class is derived from information on occupation: for entrants aged under 21 this is based on the occupation of their parent, and for those aged 21 and over it is based on their own occupation. Socio-economic information is not available for part-time students.

Figures for the 2010-11 academic year will become available from January 2012.

Waste Management: Food

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Government have no plans to require the use of food waste caddies (containers) by all households. Local authorities are responsible for delivering high quality waste and recycling solutions that meet local needs.


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